Ask Amy: Man needs friendship, and a dose of Paul Rudd
Dear Amy: I'm a 33-year-old man with a great partner, a good career, and a baby on the way. My life is going really well and I'm thankful, but my lack of friends has always nagged at me.
If you've ever seen the movie "I Love You, Man," then you know how I feel.
It's about a guy who is generally happy, but lacks a close-enough friend to serve as his best man when he gets married. It's a comedy, but I was actually upset by it because I identify with the main character so much.
I've heard that a lot of men deal with this and that it can even have negative health implications.
It's not fair for me to lean on my partner as my social network and only emotional support, but I've always struggled with this. It was tough - but not impossible - in school and university, but as an adult it's gotten even more difficult.
I don't need or want to be best friends with everyone, but having a couple of close friends to go with me for coffee or to the movies would be nice. It would also take some pressure off my partner.
How can I break this cycle and expand my social circle?
-- Little Circle Seeks Bigger Circle
Dear Little Circle: You are describing a common issue for men, that unfortunately isn't acknowledged openly enough, and this is the challenge of building emotionally intimate male friendships.
Some of these challenges might shift and ease a bit with fatherhood -- because children have a way of bringing parent-friends together, but again, as you astutely acknowledge, your partner will likely be doing a lot of the friendship-forming and connecting.