Why Are Men Affected by the Loneliness Epidemic?

Men in the US are lonelier than ever. According to a study conducted by the Survey Center on American Life, one in five men admitted not having a close friend.

Man walking alone

Photo: Unsplash

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

Some of the reasons are linked to working harder, marrying later, and spending most of their time with their children. The loneliness epidemic has become stronger thanks to isolation and telework. As the world faces a pandemic, many people have lost their space outside the home to socialize and spend more time with others.

According to the findings, men without a close friend have significantly increased since 1995. When looking at both genders, less than 60% of US citizens can identify one person as their best friend.

A Cigna Health Insurance study found that 61% of Americans reported feeling lonely, with men feeling lonelier than ever. They are also less likely than women to receive emotional support. Male friendships are more intimate when they share similarities in social activities such as finances. Meanwhile, women are more likely to choose a friend who contributes happiness and humor to the relationship.

In 2018, a University of Pennsylvania study found that reducing time on social media significantly boosts mental health and reduces loneliness and depression. As the new world we live in has forced us to be more connected than ever, replacing fundamental life interactions with technology can be very damaging.


The same study found that being more mindful of the use we give to technology it's the first step to step out of that loneliness. As men feel an enormous pressure to fulfill family and society expectations as fathers and husbands, most of them use their free time for their families or resting. As men work harder, they feel more tired and find it difficult to open up with friends about their concerns. While most women tend to find emotional comfort in their best friends, men can only expect that from their partners most of the time.

According to The New York Post, the workplace used to be where men made most of their friends. However, as today's social dynamics are changing and each time is more usual to switch jobs frequently or work from home, these spaces have slowly faded away.

On the other hand, the study highlights that men feel lonelier due to higher technology and social media use. User's communications and satisfaction with life are not the same as before. Finding people who share the same ideals, values, and hobbies is essential to building healthy relationships and not making all social interactions only at home.

As men spend more time with children and have lost contact with close friends, loneliness increases. For this reason, it's crucial to find a balance between the time spent with loved ones and friends.

Although the pandemic has drastically affected physical contact, there are still many ways to hang out and make new friends. For example, taking their dog for a walk, talking with neighborhoods, or joining a club are good opportunities to break the routine and know a potential close friend.

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