Men - we are extremely bad at friendships.
25% of Aussie men have no-one outside of their immediate family they feel they can call or rely on.
Even for men who do have some friends, 97% agree that making time for mates is essential, yet 85% of Aussie males struggle to find enough time to catch up with mates.
In our teens and 20's, it's often a lot easier. School, uni/tafe, work and sporting teams keep us connected. Yet this quickly starts to drop off. The communal events dry up, many stop playing sport and slowly but surely - 'real life' kicks in (full time jobs, partners, kids, financial responsibilities etc.).
All of those times where we would see mates, suddenly don't happen unless you make an effort and plan - something most guys suck at.
Why do we need our mates?
Study after study shows that it's the quality of genuine human connections that predict our 'happiness'. Not the size or postcode of your house, brand of your car or money in the bank. 'Social connectedness' decreases the chances of mental health deterioration (depression, anxiety & developing addictions etc.).
Having a great relationship with your partner is fantastic, as is having healthy relationships with the kids but men also need a life, outside of family life.
Women are great at this, they can actually call each other just to chat, and regularly make plans to see each other!
Men: "Good to see you mate, we need to catch up soon" "Yeah for sure mate, that'd be good, chat soon". - But it simply never happens. Sound familiar?
Even the best of friendships soon fade if they're not maintained.
We need to make our mates a priority.
It's too acceptable in 'man culture' to cancel on plans at the last minute, citing some half assed excuse. "I'm pretty wrecked after work or nah mate sorry don't want to upset the partner".
We prioritise paying the bills, family time and work.
We need to make time for mates a non-negotiable.
Think of who, outside of the family, you could call if life threw you a curve ball. Who would be there for you?
What is holding you back from seeing your mates more often or planning to catch up?
Think about what friendships you value and which one's you've been neglecting.
Give a good mate a call and tell him you want to catch up.
Make this a regular priority.