An Epidemic of Loneliness for Men is Happening - The Friendship Recession

MAY 13, 202431 MIN
Dad Space Podcast - for Dads by Dads

An Epidemic of Loneliness for Men is Happening - The Friendship Recession

MAY 13, 202431 MIN


Episode 102 - An Epidemic of Loneliness for Men is Happening - The Friendship Recession

According to the search results, male loneliness has become a significant public health issue in 2024. Studies show that a growing number of men are struggling with feelings of loneliness and isolation:

  • Research indicates that 27% of men say they have at least six close friends, which is half the number compared to three decades ago. Alarmingly, 15% of men reported having no close friends at all, compared to 10% of women
  • The Surgeon General's report found that loneliness and social isolation are "associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death" - with the risk being equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • Reaching out to family members like parents or siblings to spend quality time together
  • Joining local clubs, sports teams, or hobby groups to meet new people and form connections
  • Being vulnerable and open with close friends, rather than just discussing surface-level topics
  • Seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor if feelings of loneliness become overwhelming




Checked out.



What is happening with so many of our boys and men? Economists lament inexplicable drops in male labor force participation. Public health officials point to disproportionately male “deaths of despair” from suicide or overdose. Parents see their sons struggling and worry what it means for their future.

In Of Boys and Men, Richard Reeves provides a groundbreaking diagnosis of the contemporary male malaise. Many of the rapid economic, social, and cultural changes over recent decades pose new challenges to boys and men—especially those at the bottom of the economic ladder. Black boys and men face the most acute challenges of all.

Politicians on both left and right have failed to engage constructively with the problems of boys and men. Views on what it means to be a man in the twenty-first century have hardened along partisan lines. But as Reeves writes: “We can hold two thoughts in our head at once. We can be passionate about women’s rights and compassionate toward vulnerable boys and men.”

Drawing on years of deep research as well as his personal experience as a father of three sons, Reeves offers a compelling diagnosis of the problems of boys and men—and a bold set of solutions.

Men often have a harder time expressing their feelings and reaching out for help when dealing with loneliness. Many turn to online communities or public figures like podcasters to find a sense of connection

However, experts emphasize that face-to-face interactions and activities with other men are essential for building meaningful friendships

To combat the growing male loneliness epidemic, some suggestions include:Ultimately, addressing male loneliness will require a multi-faceted approach - from destigmatizing discussions around mental health, to ensuring more institutional resources and support are available for men

By prioritizing social connection, men can take proactive steps to improve their overall health and well-being





Book mentioned: Of Boys and Men: Why the Modern Male Is Struggling, Why It Matters, and What to Do about It - ⁠Richard V. Reeves⁠