Man Friends

In The Atlantic, Michele Willens examines the difficulties that men have when it comes to maintaining friendships with other men as they age. Willens says that one of the reasons for this is due to the rifts that are caused when their careers diverge:

“One reason why boys can stick together in a way men can’t is that disparities in achievement haven’t begun to make themselves felt,” contends Neil, a friend who had a searing “break up” over how much money should be spent on a joint event with his former Ivy League classmate and best friend of 20 years.

This sort of argument is old hat, of course (men find it difficult to share feelings with one another/are too competitive!), and I think mostly pertains to what Willens calls “the Boomer and beyond variety.” Sure, friendships will fade because life happens, but I can’t imagine losing friends because I have so many feelings about their careers or feel competitive with them—especially after experiencing one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history together.

Photo: Brenda_h_lee



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