19th Nov 2015
Millions of men have no friends
Millions of men have no friends

The Movember Foundation, in conjunction with YouGov, has released new research that has found that millions of men are without close friends to whom they can turn in a crisis.

The survey, undertaken in Britain, found that 51 per cent of participants, or 2.5 million men, have no close friends apart from their partner. And although earlier research suggests that men’s physical and mental health improves when married, being hitched or middle-aged decreased the likelihood of men having someone they can rely on in a serious situation, such as concerns about work, health or money.

It shows that the male culture of independence and stoicism and the commonly-held belief of men having trouble reaching out and making solid social connections may be to blame for this unhealthy situation.

These statistics also support the soaring rate of suicide amongst men, with Australian males being three times more likely than females to take their own lives.

Last year, Movember Australia found that 70 per cent of men were reluctant to reach out when they had issues, preferring instead to ‘suck it up’ and get on with their lives. Men, it seems, are not ones to talk about their problems, finding it especially difficult to discuss emotional issues with their mates.

The research found that 1.1 million Australian men aged between 30 and 65 had very few or no social connections and around one third of them were dissatisfied with the quality of their relationships.

Around 79 per cent of men just don’t feel as if their mates are up to helping them with the serious problems they may face so, rather than discussing them, they don’t bother bringing them up. Add to that the 76 per cent of males who don't feel emotionally supported, and it becomes a glaring social issue.

"One of the things we see is that men are out of the habit of striking up new friendships," says the Movember UK Director Sarah Coghlan. "Women are quite comfortable with striking up a new friendship and saying 'Hi, do you want to go for a glass of wine after work or even see a film next Tuesday'. For men that's just not socially acceptable in the same way.”

So boys, it may be time to phone a friend or strike up a new friendship today. Go on, what are you waiting for?  

Are you having difficulty with something in your life? Why not call any of these organisations to see if they can help?

Lifeline 131 114  |  beyondblue 1300 224 636  |  MensLine 1300 789 978

Discuss this issue on the BeyondBlue forum.
Read more at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Read more at The Daily Mail.

Opinion: Time to phone a friend

When I read this report, I thought to myself, “hmmm, this sounds familiar”.

I do have what I consider to be friendships, just not so much in the conventional sense of the word.

I have a core group of mates from my school days with whom I catch up once a year. I rarely, if ever, see them more than on this one annual occasion. And yet that one weekend I look forward to every year. I love them and consider them my closest friends and, even though I don’t do it, I feel that I could call on them in times of need. As I said though, I just don’t do it. But I still feel we have a bond that has lasted through the years and, even though I don’t see them that much, I believe we are all very close. So why don’t I see them more often?

To tell the truth, I’m really not sure.

It’s the classic case of school’s out, boy meets girl, boy and girl get married, boy and girl have baby boys and girls – life moves fast and before you know it’s been years since you’ve had time for your mates.

So, yes. It seems that married life can play a part in limiting the amount of time available for social contact. But is that an excuse?

I am one of the lucky ones who can say that their partner is their best friend. She truly is. I can think of no one with whom I’d rather spend time. I can even say that when I have issues with my relationship I can talk to her about it freely and openly and have very little trouble expressing my inner feelings with her. But, as I said, I’m one of the lucky ones.

There are many men out there who simply do not enjoy the same emotional outlet.

That is why it’s so important to have a close knit group of friends, or at least a couple of mates, to whom you can relate. And considering the incidence of depression increases after age 65 – especially for men – friendship is quite possibly as important to your health and wellbeing as you age as eating healthily and exercising regularly.

So, why not treat creating and maintaining friendships with the same vigour?

A phone call once a week is all it may take to maintain social connections that can have a profound ongoing effect in your life. Sharing a hobby, joining a sporting club, volunteering for a cause about which you feel passionate, or simply having a beer at the local all seem like very good excuses to get out and get in touch with friends.

But the trick is actually doing it. And whilst I’m writing this I’m figuring that I too need to heed my own advice. So I’m going to phone a friend or two this afternoon. Will you? 

How many close friends do you have? Do you agree with the Movember survey findings? Do you have difficulty discussing emotional issues with your mates? What prevents you from maintaining male friendships? Have you lost a male friend or family member to suicide? What suggestions do you have for any of our members looking to improve their social connections?





    COMMENTS

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    19th Nov 2015
    10:43am
    The problem is the male outlook based on competitveness. We compete with other males for women, for jobs, in sports, and in gaining wealth and influence.
    It's hard to establish and keep male friends because they are virtually always seen as a competitor.
    If you have a woman, you have to guard against your close male friends from becoming too close to your woman.
    Women are more social creatures and less competitive. They will collaborate more easily in a group - whereas blokes in a group will immediately start to compete and establish authority.
    It takes a great deal of effort to establish close friends and even more effort to keep them.
    Then there's the problem of close friends that move away, so you see them less often.
    My best mate is currently moving to a new place in the country about 300 kms away.
    His move is entirely due to his poor financial position, caused by a bad marriage split, and his lack of financial nous.
    I'm saddened that he's moving and I know I will see less of him, and when I think of the amount of times I've relied on him for support in numerous ways, it makes me realise just how much a good mate means to you.
    Not Amused
    19th Nov 2015
    10:52am
    Well the key comment is his poor financial position caused by a bad marriage split so he has to move 300 kms away from all that is familiar. How absolutely dreadful. Men come out of break-ups very badly. Women (I am one) take advantage of financial settlement laws designed to soften the blow for them while men are cast aside, lost and lonely, so they just suck it up and suffer in silence.
    There are many reasons why mateship is almost a thing of the past. One thing a man can do is pluck up the courage to go out dancing, or to learners classes because there's an abundance of women who can't find dancing partners and it's a brilliant way to have some fun and make new friends of both genders.
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2015
    11:48am
    This prattle about competitiveness is a load of crap! The want/need of wealth, influence, and authority has absolutely nothing to do with a man's reticence to confide in another about a difficulty, illness, or weakness of any kind - the reluctance to discuss one's "frailties" is all about admission of needing assistance in handling a hardship or problem which can't be resolved on one's own. This plea for help is seen by many a man as " unmasciline", hence their hesitance with asking for assistance. Wake up to yourself, Aaron!
    marls
    19th Nov 2015
    1:07pm
    Not Amused,
    don't speak for me, my ex came back for the family home twice, once we came to an agreement between us. and when the divorce went through he came back for a second lots. and financial gain sorry I raised my children all on my own with no financial support from him he was self employed. I worked shift work, and my children were home after school on their own, as i was very poor, degree via correspondence, many women have a hell of a life so don't not say we get financial gain, my 2 daughter both raise a child with no support,
    marls
    19th Nov 2015
    1:08pm
    Not Amused

    it was 4 children i raised i my own
    Peterrj
    19th Nov 2015
    2:56pm
    Aaron, sorry, but can you do something with that photo for your postings and replace it?? Bragging about the size of your male appendage is not a good look, OK?
    Brissiegirl
    19th Nov 2015
    3:06pm
    I doubt if not amused was speaking for you marls. What she said all sounded very fair and appropriate in response to today's column. You have done very well but just for once on this rare occasion aren't we supposed to be talking about men, so can we give a bit of space and a rare chance to have something said about them. Women's worries are constantly addressed with forums, organisations spokespeople. I think you have done very, very well and congratulations - but just for today men's friendships and their loneliness is the topic heaven help them it won't happen again in too much of a hurry. Also men do raise kids on their own and we never seem to hear much about their battles.
    jackie
    19th Nov 2015
    11:09am
    The point is be men not boys and stop allowing women to run your lives.
    mangomick
    19th Nov 2015
    12:24pm
    Yeah, but they have something we need.
    Hasbeen
    19th Nov 2015
    4:20pm
    Men have always done things together.

    They went hunting or fishing, or built houses, meeting halls, or irrigation systems together, all things that required joint effort for their own, family, or tribe/village life. Working in the factory, office or shopping centre does not lend itself to the shared effort & satisfactions of our earlier life styles.

    Boys still tend to do things, & get into trouble together, but any male togetherness is highly disliked by the woman in his life once he has a "partner". How the hell is she going to nag him into doing what she wants, if he is off gallivanting with his mates. No fear, HIS OLD MATES are highly discouraged. He is to make new mates with her girlfriends men, where she can keep an eye on him.

    That he finds this not very satisfying is to be expected, after all he often does not have all that much in common with his partner. This makes it unlikely he will have much in common with her mates, & even less likely he'll have much with her mates menfolk.

    Fortunately the net is coming to our rescue. As many of my old mates are falling off the perch, I am finding some interstate & overseas members of web car communities are becoming quite close friends. We are discussing many things far removed from the interest in old cars that brought us together. It just may be easier for men to share their closest held secrets with other men they will probably never meet, but with whom they have developed a bond
    PIXAPD
    19th Nov 2015
    11:30am
    I like my own company, I can talk with myself.
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2015
    12:01pm
    Just don't start arguing.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    12:14pm
    First sign of madness: you start talking to yourself.
    Second sign of madness: you get an answer.
    Third sign of madness: you have an argument and lose.
    Thanks PIXAPD. You've made my day..
    KSS
    19th Nov 2015
    12:22pm
    Yes PIXAPD. the listener always understands and you always get the answer you want! hahaha
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2015
    12:26pm
    Ask your confidante is you could borrow a few bucks.
    Cranky
    19th Nov 2015
    12:29pm
    I have a split personality and we are always having a dispute about something or other...So who needs friends?
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    12:59pm
    Fast Eddie, at least if he argues with himself he is half a chance of being right. Argue with his Mrs and he's never right.
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2015
    1:07pm
    Yes, gillham, it's like asking "If a man is in the woods and is all alone (there's no woman around to hear him) and he says something, is he still wrong?"
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    1:36pm
    Fast Eddie, march the guilty bastard in.
    Peterrj
    19th Nov 2015
    2:43pm
    And play?
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    11:43pm
    The reason laws are such dates way back when men used to do runner leaving wives with many children bereft and no chance of working.
    that wasnt heard of in those early years especially before the two wars..as I said these family laws need radical change especially all those coming here.
    some of those men and women never been educated etc.
    Young Simmo
    20th Nov 2015
    12:37am
    Sorry Precious 1, but if a wife brakes the rules, or doesn't obey her hubby, of course he has the right to go down to the pub and get some sort of compensation, C'mon let's be real. He pays the bills, and she spends the money.
    Come on guys, I think I might need some help here.
    Simmo.
    Peterrj
    20th Nov 2015
    7:22am
    Sorry Simmo, you go have your beer, I am too busy with the all the chicks!
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    12:12pm
    Thanks leon. Your profile sounds about right.
    I doubt that this would ever make the 'News' on TV as not a women's issue and the plight of men has no relevance in a female dominated media landscape.
    The last article you ran had almost zero comments from the ladies. Let's see if this one does a bit better. I doubt it.
    Polly Esther
    19th Nov 2015
    12:32pm
    I'll say this much to you Mick, you poor dear, you sound like you could do with a damn good hug or two or three. XX :-)
    leonYLC
    19th Nov 2015
    1:13pm
    Thanks mick,
    Always happy to shine a light on men's issues. And, as I'm sure you will find, as are many women – just have a read of Brissiegirl's comment below – that sympathise with men's health issues. And, as KSS hays stated, we need to band together and get these issues more 'air time'. I quite like how she said "Women have been coming together and yelling for decades" – well maybe it's time we men yelled a bit too. (Just don't yell at a lady!)
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    1:22pm
    Ditto. Ta.
    Precious 1
    24th Nov 2015
    1:22pm
    It was a joke or mayber better called an event when a man left his wife in a village in UK and came hete and adopted a new name
    .it was called jumping a ee and aksi the churchship to get here.families had to rally aound to finance these often very large families to survive
    KSS
    19th Nov 2015
    12:52pm
    Aaron and Mick this is not a competition to see who is worse off at the hand of women!

    The fact is, men are their own worst enemies when it comes to their own health - physical or psychological. Men tend to define themselves by the work that they do. It is usually the first thing they tell about themselves (after their name) and for many men that is the sum total of their social involvement. With this focus on work, their health plays no part in their daily existence. All health issues get ignored - the 'she'll be right mate' syndrome! Women tend to take up the slack with 'nagging' their male partners, relatives and friends to even get the regular health checks everyone should be having. Then they are resented for it, or the man is left alone to deal with it by himself.

    The truth is, until and unless MEN take responsibility and make men's health a public issue - and that means banding together and actually talking about it - it will always be the 'poor-relation' to women's health. Women have been coming together and yelling for decades; yet there are still areas where more work needs to be done e.g. heart attacks kill more women each year than anything else yet few women would know that or are able to describe the symptoms. Even GPs miss the signs because they are different to those exhibited by men.

    Women cannot build relationships for men. Men have to do it themselves. Men have to put themselves 'out there', take a chance and be the first. Someone has to be first it might as well be YOU!

    So Aaron and Mick, its time to stop blaming women for the plight of men and DO something about it. Start the equivalent of Pink Ribbon (blue ribbon?), lobby goods manufacturers to brand everything 'blue', publicise all the research that is being done into various aspects of men's health, take men's health to the media and engage them in the issues, TALK to your mates, make new 'mates' and nurture the budding relationship with your time etc etc etc

    Just stop whinging that women have done all those things and been successful in highlighting women's health. Take a look at how they did it, learn the lessons and then make your move! Or do want women to do it for you????
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    1:01pm
    FFS KSS there's no days left in the year for men. Women have taken them all up with days for themselves.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    1:27pm
    No argument KSS.
    My lament is that men are being ignored in the 'poor us' media blitz. And yes...we have ourselves to blame.
    Its just that in a fair and just world both sides should get a run. Better to maybe just get on with life rather than dwell on the obvious.
    I'd love to see Debbie or Sue get involved with a men's article. Come on girls........make my day. Where's the smilies? You gotta get the webmaster to add these to the site.
    KSS
    19th Nov 2015
    1:54pm
    How about February 29th 2016 gillham?
    Peterrj
    19th Nov 2015
    2:47pm
    Can I join in ... But I can't do the 29th. What about the 12th as suggested by Johhny Mathis?
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    3:08pm
    More like Feb 30th 2016. i.e. leap year and comes around as often Haley's comet.
    Brissiegirl
    19th Nov 2015
    8:40pm
    And while you blokes are both doing blue ribbon stuff, as an un-funded two-man team raising awareness and fighting for gender equality in health and social wellbeing services, why not ask the PM to appoint a Minister for Men? And tertiary level Men's Studies to complement the myriad of courses in Women's Studies. Or at least ask why there is not a Minister for Men because focusing on women has the effect of making men feel invisible.
    Peterrj
    20th Nov 2015
    7:28am
    Brissiegirl, ummm, which two blokes do you mean who are out there fighting for gender equality for men? I hope I am not one of them as I am too busy fighting for women's issues .... I know which side my bread is buttered!!!
    Brissiegirl
    20th Nov 2015
    5:34pm
    Peterrj, above KSS suggested Aaron and Mick stop blaming women and do things like: Start the equivalent of Pink Ribbon (blue ribbon?), lobby goods manufacturers to brand everything 'blue', publicise all the research that is being done into various aspects of men's health, take men's health to the media and engage them in the issues.
    I just thought that in between doing all of the above as recommended, on top of fixing the car, clearing out the spouting, mowing the lawn, changing tap washers, lifting the furniture, they could also squeeze in a visit to the PM's office to request appoiontment of a Minister for Men to provide gender equality as well as complementing the duties of the Minister for Women.
    Brissiegirl
    19th Nov 2015
    1:04pm
    It is good to see a rare story on an important men's issue. There is so little interest in male wellbeing.When a topic like this is raised only to be made fun of, how hurtful it could feel. Women are generally more talkative which enables us to befriend others. Some of the present male isolation began when women started muscling in on men-only organisations that were traditionally places of refuge and mateship. Men could talk and confide in each other in their own way on their own level without women overseeing their every word. But guess what? Women began screaming "discrimination", banging on the doors wanting to dominate and push into men's business. Of course there are women-only gymnasiums, women's this and women's that but if you are an evil man look out we are coming to get you. No escape, no mateship opportunities for men to talk in their own language without bitching women forcing their way in. There's probably a large under-researched percentage of our male population that has been disenfranchised in ways that are cruel, unfair, thankless and soul-destroying. So I'm giving three cheers for all the valued men I know and go along with NotAmused's suggestion there's heaps of women out there who love to socialise and learning to do a few basic dance steps is an under rated way to make and keep new friends, male and female.
    leonYLC
    19th Nov 2015
    1:10pm
    Wow Brissiegirl – not a response I would ever have expected, but refreshing nonetheless! I'm sure it will strike a chord with a few fellas!
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    1:20pm
    Thats not a rare story at all its always been the same.
    .since we came here in 1972..women in one corner and men in the other and actually no Women allowed in a Yatcht
    club in Perth at all


    what do they expect ostrasizing.th
    and as one said tome stamping his foot .and WHY cant I have it all way.em
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    1:30pm
    I am nominating you for the 'Woman of the year' award Brissiegirl. Most impressive. BUt be aware that Germaine Greer may be after you.....heh, heh, heh......
    Just out of interest sake Men's Sheds have survived the invasion, although I've never been to one.
    Rae
    19th Nov 2015
    2:14pm
    I agree. The Men's Shed idea suits some but there is probably a need to bring back the male only clubs of the past. Women will need to support men in doing it.
    Brissiegirl
    19th Nov 2015
    3:23pm
    Mick - Germaine Greer made a lot of money out of demonising men. She stupidly encouraged women to paint ourselves into a corner - a corner of drudgery "we can do it all, and do it all now" from which there is no escape and that so many of us are nowadays constantly complaining about. Remember how viper-like she jumped on the opportunity to character assassinate Steve Irwin (a decent sort of bloke), before he was even buried?
    Peterrj
    20th Nov 2015
    7:43am
    Germaine Greer, women's lib, females can be like blokes .... And so it came to pass. Now that women have been liberate from the kitchen to the work desk and now that families have two incomes prices have risen accordingly. Things are now twice as expensive! A single person has no economic chance in life. A couple now are reduced to the buying power when only the male was the bread winner. Now females HAVE to work .... Congratulations you can now do a man's job, work long hours and still carry the burden of keeping the household domestic duties! Women's Lib??? Women can be like men? NO! Because men don't do the bulk of the household duties whilst being in paid employment. Women, say thank you to Germaine Greer when you next go to work having dropped of your babies at the pre school centre at 7am now that paid employment is not an option for females!!!! And good luck trying to save to buy a house with a backyard for your children!
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    1:13pm
    i am a woman replying...this sort of thing doesnt seem to be happening in UK the attitude is family and friendship which in comparison here its mateship sport and getting drunk..

    now all their mates have gone and women have got tired of waiting and wondering so have firmly established themselves as totally independant..
    u fortunately its gone up their backsides
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    1:33pm
    Really?
    Maybe have a look at the Australian media. Pretty well tells the real story.
    As for bad young behaviour women in Australia are knocking themselves about like never before and you see reports where some can barely walk after boozing all night.
    You must be living in a vacuum Precious 1 as your account has missed the mark by a fair way.
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    1:24pm
    Its time the Family law is CHANGED..men are left with NOTHING.women with it all.
    its tantamount to rape..and should be changed radically ASAP.....
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    1:33pm
    Sound sentiments Precious, but women are too precious to allow men any concession in life. Women wish the domination in life and the home and can invent any paedophile, battered wife syndrome, or any other character assassination to retain the upper hand. So men are equally becoming as independent or walking away from women because the day before marriage is when your life will have peaked .

    As you say Precious men will be legislated out of life henceforth.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    1:37pm
    I remember when I was growing up the family next door split up. The wife was given the house by the courts...and she then took up with a man who also owned a house. The husband got nothing and had to live in a caravan at the back of his parent's home. This was the norm in the good old days.
    Not sure what you are saying.......that this is wrong or that it should again be the case.
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    1:47pm
    Mick it is a career path. Some knee departed friend of my wife met a bloke on a train, then did a bit of horizontal dancing with him until she found he had no house then flicked him. She was angry when she said this in general conversation and i said great basis for a relationship.
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    2:01pm
    well those non believers its too much available cash.
    ruination
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    1:25pm
    I'm 70 and a self funded white male. I'm obviously not in the target group for Social investment. Your wife never listens to you. Social media and Social initiatives are all about women. I have no identifiable Social group deserving of attention, welfare/gratuity or any other target group to attach myself to, to be an inclusive part of present day Australian Society. Groups like women, immigrants, 1/16th indigenous, unemployed, single mother, refugees, pensioner, disability.

    No problem with genuine leaners but I would love some inclusion. Exclusion does nothing to enhance your character. When you cannot provide for the leaners any longer you are discarded, and no one knew you existed anyhow because you were not part of a focus group for special attention.

    Fact is I find most people suffer some form of dementia as they age over 55 to 60 (which is relatively young) and there values change. Wrongly I hold on to all the values of the 50s and 60s that everyone envy's and wishes that we still had.

    So most men in the subject age for this article merely feel and know that they are forgotten. And your wife has normally become some narcissisis of self entitlement who can still use the law to leave you destitute. It is why men of my cohort remain in unhappy relationships with nothing better on offer except more of the same and purgatory from friends because your wife has spent a lifetime detaching you from them. Acquaintances at golf etc are easy, but deep and meaningful? Not necessarily so.

    It's not lack of friendship but lack of Social inclusion that fails men, and women covet their superior being to the extent that they would never let go of Social domination. Hence the loneliness, or some would say comfort of solitude of older men. The trust that has been eroded is then not relevant.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    1:48pm
    Wow. Powerful account gillham.
    Whilst I am not in the same boat you appear to find yourself in we will agree that women are much much better networkers than men and can form social bonds at the drop of a hat. I have never been successful at that, but then I have been the partner who has 'made it all happen' and really never had time for too much chit chat anyway.
    As Malcolm Fraser once said "life wasn't meant to be easy". It ain't!
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    1:58pm
    Gilham I too stand for the earlier standards.

    it still doesnt matter finding a friend to start with. i like ita buttrose looking for more than 20 yesRs lolololol

    the
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2015
    2:20pm
    gillham, very well done! We are of the same age and seemingly the same ilk. Women are better networkers because they are more open to talk about their domestic environment, as men are less likely to discuss things of a matrimonial nature. Women, also, are more
    Ikely to agree with and relate to a feminine friend's issue/plight just because they are female and not necessarily because they understand or have experienced a similar circumstance with their husband/partner. This response between females (versus the lack of similar response between males) seems to be almost an intra-sex genetic or DNA character trait belonging predominantly to women. This is not to say that men are any less empathetic, but possibly have to try a bit harder to be so, because of the "macho" image or some such crap. Life can be a hard row to hoe.
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    1:25pm
    The free and easy attitudes have done it
    gillham
    19th Nov 2015
    1:35pm
    Free and easy for women, Precious. Walk in, walk out when you please. Make a career of it.
    Anonymous
    19th Nov 2015
    1:45pm
    gillham, pretty close to the truth. In a Family Court the man is usually looked upon as guilty until he proves himself otherwise. Settlement: she gets the mine, he gets the shaft. Been there, did that.
    MICK
    19th Nov 2015
    2:01pm
    Some 'feelings' coming out here. I have not to date been burnt and have to feel for those who have. It is by no means a fair world, for either sex. Man's inhumanity to man methinks.
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    2:31pm
    I think its the way civilisation is headi ng
    .far too.much.money other countries are buying us out here in Oz i think thats is dreadful and the sooner that Malcolm goes the better he won t admit the secret deal done selling Darwin Port of Authority to foreigners.....
    rookjon
    19th Nov 2015
    2:14pm
    So-called "men's interests" such as outdoor sports, motoring, gaming and visits to hardware stores - mostly pushed by advertisers - think "Fathers Day".....seem to impose artificial limits on the potential depth and generosity of male camaraderie. Sadly though, I can't readily think of many other binding common denominators. My own (limited) experience has been that "volunteering" one-on-one personal care with someone who's doing it tough, widens up male friendship bonds on both sides of the fence. It's a pity there aren't more community-based matching services that can encourage male retirees to give this a go.
    Charlie
    19th Nov 2015
    2:16pm
    One of the problems about living alone is that after a while a person gets good at it and it becomes hard to start sharing things again. Getting married later in life its hard to pick up the threads of living in a family situation again, and yet, the need to have a female partner can become so strong and destabilizing, its sometimes well worth it to give a relationship a go.
    Being a long distance from friends can start early in life when we need to travel far away to get work. A couple of years and that's the end of the school friends. Then there's a new group of social friends but after a while they start getting married. If one can tolerate seeing all the friends getting married off and still remain single, then you are starting to get very good at living alone. This is probably one of the toughest times in life to be alone.
    Employment is a big thing for giving a person a social life and sometimes it is all many people need. It is when full time employment ends that things start to get tough again. Getting up around the fifty mark some friends start to die off and this starts to become an acceptable part of life as more years pass.
    Soon after the employment runs out, then the money runs out and the cost of travel becomes unmanageable. You don't always end up in the town you wanted to be.The pension with its concessions on rail travel still doesn't foot the bill. Its not entirely free and there are little extras that sometimes make it better to skip the pensioners rail concession and travel by air.
    The other thing I want to mention is aging diseases. There are some diseases that affect the mind and body is such a way that you don't want to be in the company of other people except for a couple of hours a day when you are at your best. This is why I keep going on about getting more spacious one bedroom flats for the aged. Sharing is not always like the TV series the golden girls, or the odd couple, it can be much tougher than that.
    Young Simmo
    19th Nov 2015
    2:43pm
    Well finding people can be a challenge, does anybody no any good locating web sites. Following is a bit I recently posted on the Grey Nomads Web Site.
    ****************************************
    Well I haven't had any luck over the last 2 months in touching base with any body who lived or had a connection with Wyndham West Aust back in the 1940s . So I will wind the calendar forward to about 1950 to 1960. Are there any people out there that had an association with the Scarborough Boys back in those days. A gang of teenagers that were not very organised but new how to have a bit of fun. Like jump the fence to get into Claremont Speedway for free, or do the same at the Scarborough picture gardens or take a 5 Gallon keg of Swan Larger up into the sand hills behind Triggs Surf club and make a mess of ourselves. I will rattle off a few names and see if it rings a bell with anybody, even maybe your father.
    There was :::Harry Lloyd, Rod McPherson, Bruce and George Wylie, Ted Prout, Choco a Ceylonese boy, Dennis Butco and his Brother, (Dennis had a 1938 Ford Vee 8)
    Rod Buttel and his Brother, Phillip Norton (Pipsy), John O'Byrne , (Sprocket) who died in a mining accident at Marvel Lock, Ray Williams. Ian Woodhouse, (Cluster) who died when he crashed his bike near the Subiaco Train station.
    OK, if none of that rings a bell, I must be the last one standing or at least close to that.
    This has tested my Memory Box to the limit.

    Simmo................A 1952 Triumph Tiger 100, with Sprung Hub rear suspension and, all Alloy engine, with a nude model painted on the tank by Ray Williams, who was a commercial artist.
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    2:50pm
    lol Unless you a grey nomad they all got partners so I found out..unless they said it to me being single lololol
    Peterrj
    19th Nov 2015
    2:50pm
    Young Simmo, get back on the horse of yours ... it's time for new friends I suspect!
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    2:56pm
    wherabouts do you want to settle or stay.? i have single women frs looking all over the world widows etc i just thought someone might be for you at no cost to meeting.
    y family went to USA and love it 2 lots nj and centre
    Young Simmo
    19th Nov 2015
    3:00pm
    WOW some people just don't catch on, could it be Grey Nomads with no Grey Matter?
    Peterrj
    19th Nov 2015
    3:11pm
    For some light relief, 2015 Joke of the Year:

    Two women were sitting quietly together, minding their own business.
    Young Simmo
    19th Nov 2015
    3:16pm
    NOT POSSIBLE.
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    3:39pm
    i have met some great guys I really have.
    i had a 26 yr friendship only and he was run down in his gopher last year.
    .died shortly afterwards...prior married for 19yrs we had parents as well Nd hax no time with kids aswell and no time on our own so div kids married now

    some peoples lives arent all as it seems
    MICK
    20th Nov 2015
    1:57pm
    > 3 standard deviations........
    Peterrj
    21st Nov 2015
    1:15pm
    Cryptic mick?
    Young Simmo
    21st Nov 2015
    1:22pm
    Yeh Peterrj, after a life of free hand outs from the Unions, they do go a bit funny, just look at Potato Head.

    19th Nov 2015
    3:18pm
    Excellent article Leon. My motto is 'to have a friend you must be a friend'. It's too easy to let that contact slide....
    How much effort to ring and say 'how're you going mate' friendship is worth everything. Sounds like your partner is very special! Sal
    leonYLC
    20th Nov 2015
    11:16am
    She is very special Sal – and you're right, a phone call every now and then does wonders. I upheld my promise yesterday and I'm meeting a couple of mates for a beer tonight!
    MICK
    20th Nov 2015
    1:58pm
    Good one. Have one on the forum.
    Sundays
    19th Nov 2015
    3:20pm
    I belong to the university of the third age and there is a small annual fee, but it offers a range of cheap and free courses and activities for both men and women. However, there seem to be more female members, many married. Is this because many older men don't make the effort to join activities. Why? Likewise whenever you see a group having lunch, at the movies, at the theatre again it is mostly women. Even volunteers in the community are predominantly women. Get more involved men and your lives will be richer!
    Precious 1
    19th Nov 2015
    3:49pm
    I noticed that a long time ago..i hear about many groups .
    thats the trouble we living longer not looking our age at all .
    and the amounts of women alone never mind the men bringing up the rear.
    some of mine are RIP now almost a generation of people yet i still up and going lolol can be a problem..have the young ones at family gathering to talk to..all the rest RIP lol
    particolor
    21st Nov 2015
    2:26pm
    Yes !! That seems to be a Bit of a Problem now these Men Bringing up the Rear ? :-(

    19th Nov 2015
    4:18pm
    How about the Freemasons you won't get a more dominant male society there and believe me no women will want to join and you should make a mate or two.
    leonYLC
    20th Nov 2015
    11:24am
    I must admit, I've always been fascinated by the notion of joining a secret society!
    MICK
    20th Nov 2015
    2:00pm
    I believe the Klu Klux Klan are doing a membership drive.
    Anonymous
    20th Nov 2015
    4:46pm
    leonYLC You might find a couple of new mates as well as a few secrets.

    mick I can put in touch with a couple of Klu Klux Klan members in your area if you like, they might sort you out.
    Young Simmo
    20th Nov 2015
    4:53pm
    robbo, are you talking about Potato Head who steals from his mates, and gets away with it?
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2015
    11:07am
    Gee, Robbo - Riding Billygoats never appealed to me much, even as a kid - let alone as an adult! Then there's all those secret handshakes and symbols you have to learn and remember! I'm battling to just remember peoples names!
    Rosret
    19th Nov 2015
    5:14pm
    Why does this have to be a Mars Venus thing. Women can be extroadinarily lonely too. Men have pubs, clubs, sports, men's sheds and mateship. Trust me, if you aren't a girlie girl quilting workshops and cooking classes are the pits. Lets have more joint activities like the University of the third age and senior citzs etc.
    Chris P
    19th Nov 2015
    9:51pm
    Arrived in Aus 1990 worked on my own for 20+ years,retired had very few friends but found the Men's Shed in my area know very involved meeting new people and very enjoyable .
    Mandy
    19th Nov 2015
    10:05pm
    The problem is that men do not like discussing personal items. I remember many years ago my wife (then girlfriend of only a few months) was able to tell me more personal details about my friends and work colleagues after spending one afternoon with their wives and girlfriends, than I had learnt in many years of working and socialising with them.
    LadyLover62
    20th Nov 2015
    1:34am
    I disagree strongly with your opinion about men in general being competitive Aaron. Maybe some but not the larger percentage I don't think!
    Has been - I found it to be completely the opposite in my marriage, I left most of MY friends behind and shared most of my life with his friends, partners. I was fortunate enough to meet my now long term friend through my marriage but I disagree that the men sway the other way as a majority rule.
    Leebee
    20th Nov 2015
    7:06am
    Remmeber when there were 'Men Only' bars in hotels? Women had the 'Ladies Lounge' and the two were relatively separate. She could talk girl talk, he had the male version and they could go home together afterwards?
    WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
    Why did 'we' women want to invade every last bastion of men?
    Any place they can go and just be men has fallen to gender equality...Is it any wonder they struggle now!!!!
    Paulodapotter
    20th Nov 2015
    9:37am
    I remember a time when there was so much animosity between the sexes that overseas visitors were amazed that men and women in Oz actually got married to one another. I wonder if the fall out explains why so many opt to live together without ever getting married. However we've got away from the original question. Why is it hetero males seem to lack a male soul buddy? It's great of course to have a partner you can call your soul mate, but who do you turn to when there are things you can't talk about because it's too painful or too close to home?

    21st Nov 2015
    7:58am
    Umm....Interesting discussion and am quietly wondering if the notion of 'male friendship' known as 'mateship' in Australia evolved differently to say 'male friendship' in other parts of the world....

    Firstly something to do with men greatly outnumbering women something like 6/7:1 in colonial convict Australia with their reliance on 'mateship' not being based on actually liking or even sharing common interests, but with actualy surviving the harsh realities of an environment completely foreign to them....But of course this is limited to the white population of Australia given that indigenous Australians had survived here for thousands of years prior to european settlement...

    Likewise believe in 19th century Australia there were 'Bride Ships' - don't know how many or for how long they were in use - populated by mainly by poor Irish women that were sent to the colony mainly in an attempt to address this gender imbalance...Have an interest in 'family history' and strongly suspect a female ancestor on my father's side, was one of these young women who came to Australia on one of these 'bride ships'...

    Secondly quietly wondering how the huge numbers of men killed in the first world war, with many who survived the event returning to Australia injured or impaired in some way, either physically or pyschologically but probabaly both, and how this this event as well as subsequent conflicts i.e. World War 2, Vietnam etc. etc. impacted on the notion of 'male friendship'/'mateship' in Australia....

    Personally though and as a female on the outside looking in, have always found the notion of 'mateship' a bit 'mysteriously light-weight' a sort of men drinking together yet only talking about their hobbies, past-times etc. but sort of dodging/evading issues that might really bother them, almost just sort of feeling comfort or comfortable being among or in the company of other men...if that makes sense...

    But lots on the internet to read about historical gender imbalances in Australia and 'mateship' or the myth of 'mateship' ....Is 'mateship' the same as 'male friendship'?....Dunno...
    Peterrj
    21st Nov 2015
    1:19pm
    You can have a work mate who is not your friend. So I say yes!
    Charlie
    21st Nov 2015
    6:05pm
    Yes all the different types of other male relationships are worth something as things start to get gloomy when they all disappear. It just depends on what depth of relationship you need to feel comfortable.
    I could have made use of those "bride ships" you spoke of, at times in my life. I think there are some still coming, but all from the Phillipines.
    PIXAPD
    22nd Nov 2015
    10:48am
    I have an everlasting friend (the Son of God) so that I can say...I have often been alone but never lonely.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2015
    11:29am
    One of the problems I find in looking for friends is encountering people who already have imaginary friends, and insist on telling me all about it.

    Got a neighbour of a similar age to me like that, and it puts me off going past his house.

    I seek rational discussion.
    PIXAPD
    22nd Nov 2015
    11:40am
    I'VE OFTEN BEEN ALONE

    God is always close to me
    And speaks words of comfort;

    I've often been alone, but never lonely.

    The Lord walks with me each day
    His footprints next to mine;

    I've often been alone, but never lonely.

    The Holy Spirit shares my grief
    My heart's many pains;

    I've often been alone, but never lonely.

    When I pass the veil of death
    And see my Saviour's face;

    I'll no longer be alone, and never lonely.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2015
    11:49am
    There you go, insisting on telling me all about it.

    To build friendship, it's important to recognise when to be silent.
    PIXAPD
    22nd Nov 2015
    11:51am
    FOR ME

    I was standing in a crowd one day
    And there was such a din,
    Everyone was crying out -
    'Away, and crucify him !'
    I asked of one standing near
    What means this they're screaming ?
    He told me that the one on trial
    Was guilty of blaspheming
    How, I asked is this
    What is it he has done ?
    The other one replied;
    Said that, he was God's own Son.
    And as I then beheld this man
    Who had been scourged and blamed
    I could not tell just what it was
    But, I felt so ashamed.
    For I could see within his eyes
    As he looked back at me,
    One who was a loving friend
    He was no enemy.
    And on the hill called Calvary
    Outside that city gate,
    They nailed him to his heavy stake
    Then they reviled with hate.
    Now as I neared his dying form
    I saw the blood-soaked ground
    I cried, I fell down at his feet
    My Saviour I had found.
    For into his eyes again I'd looked
    And this time I did see,
    He had no need to say one word -
    'Cause he was there For Me.
    Anonymous
    22nd Nov 2015
    1:07pm
    YAAAAAWWN!

    PIXAPD, did you actually read what I wrote, or just choose to ignore it?

    Obviously religion is important to you. It's not to me. In fact, I was pushed away from it by people like you.
    PIXAPD
    22nd Nov 2015
    1:41pm
    LIFE'S HILL

    I was climbing up life's hill
    On a steep and crooked track,
    But for every two steps taken
    It seemed three I would slip back.
    I tried to hang on with my hands
    And dug my heels in too;
    But in the end I'd slide back down
    Injured and feeling through.
    So, up again I'd push
    But that hill it seemed to grow
    Into a mountain fortified
    With a precipice below.

    The load I bore was heavy
    It would force me to the ground
    But as I struggled to my feet,
    I heard a little sound.
    A voice upon my ear did ask
    'Why is it you delay
    if you wish to climb this mountain
    why don't you stop to pray ?'
    It was then that I remembered
    Those words I now love best,
    'Come to me you heavy laden
    and I shall give you rest.'

    Matthew 11:28

    YOU SHALL KEEP HIM IN PERFECT PEACE WHOSE MIND IS STAYED UPON THEE
    Peterrj
    24th Nov 2015
    11:47pm
    Barak, please stop ... You are only encouraging PIXAPD

    22nd Nov 2015
    11:32am
    Went to a Mens Shed once, and found it full of people who insisted on telling me that Tony Abbott had the right idea.....

    Where can I find informed, rational discussion?
    golliwog gran
    22nd Nov 2015
    4:58pm
    I am a single woman whose friends are disappearing due to family relocation, a new partner/romance, illness and/or death, dementia issues, lengthy grey-nomad travels, etc. I'm not quite 'the last one standing', but at times it feels like it. I'm sure that some of you gents are in the same situation too.

    I have joined a group of 65+ year olds who meet once a month for a couple of hours to chat over coffee. We meet in the foodcourt of a large shopping centre. Most of us are female, with one regular male and occasionally a couple of other blokes. It has been going for a number of years before I found out about it - but it works well. People come when they can or when they feel like it.

    I am considering forming a similar informal adhoc coffee-group of ladies like myself to meet regularly at an Ikea cafeteria in south-eastern Melbourne. It's the perfect venue - spacious, cheap, clean toilets adjacent, and with plenty of untimed undercover parking so that even bad weather doesn't put anyone off.

    Maybe this idea could start a men's friendship group. Some cafes can be full of women, but a group of guys wouldn't be out of place here. It's roomy enough that you can move around to sit where you want, to move to where the conversation suits you better, to splinter off into a smaller group, etc.

    All it needs is one fellow to give it a try - set a date and a time, turn up himself, and see what happens.

    Best of luck to you all!!!!
    Not Senile Yet!
    24th Nov 2015
    3:08am
    Remember once attending my married friend's BBQ for his birthday.
    Was divorced at the time......and met his wife's friends over a beer/wine!
    So judgemental...assumed divorce was my fault.....assumed I was a male chauvinist pig! Guys (married) all agreed with pretty feminist's views!
    So I decided to play along and play the role of male Chauvinistic Pig....just for a laugh...besides I arrived on a Motorcycle in leathers...so I just had to be one!!!!
    After winding them up for an hour or so ...left quietly and returned home!
    My friends phoned me days later to have a giggle about my performance and share that their female friend had protested about them having me as a friend!!!! LOL!!!
    My Married friends then informed her that I not only was not a Male Chauvinistic Pig...but that my wife cheated on me...then in the divorce she got the house and custody of our two daughters!
    Within 2 years both girls left their Mother (after her endless boyfriends).....to live with me (their father)!!!
    That I actually cooked and cleaned and was a single parent to two teenage girls who adored me!!!
    Her reaction was Anger at first....because I acted out her beliefs about all men.....but then she completely changed to my friends and wanted my Phone No to apologise/and or pursue me!!!
    Fortunately......my Married Friends refused and advised her that I was not her type......to which she now disagreed!
    We met again and she became hostile when I refused to get better acquainted.....told me I was a stuck-up so & so!!!
    The real issue with us Males is not about our lack of social skills or ability to mingle or share......it is more about the Male Ego and the expectation from women in general to full fill all their dreams or a least provide the finance for them!!!
    Women at the ones who do not believe in equality....not real equality.....where men get to go out with their mates and have a fun time too!!!!
    Trust and True Friendship is always a two-way street....and sometimes your best friends simply cannot handle honesty....regardless of their sexuality!!!
    Being a single dad was not easy......but the real hardship came when my ex-wifes' so called married friends......tried to get a bit on the side......even when I knew their husbands????
    No ......it is not about Males or Females......It is all about how honest you are....and what your Morals or lack of them.....that really matter!!!!!
    Bessie
    24th Nov 2015
    4:14am
    I'm not into dating sites and I'm not here for that and I prefer to live on my own plus I'm self sufficient financially independant but i find that every time i talk to a male all they want is sex and a chat over a few drinks then they want you to go back to their place. Isn't there a man who simply just wants to chat or am I being too old fashioned maybe but.....I also like the company of a male they can be funny at times and strong when needed and sometimes supportive. Some men not all need to get their act together and realize it's not all about sex
    Charlie
    24th Nov 2015
    11:14am
    I was in the process of explaining this when internet explorer failed and destroyed my message. So in brief. Being alone and not living in a family situation heightens the male sexual attraction of being close to a female. But also its the nature of the beast.
    Anonymous
    25th Nov 2015
    3:59am
    Charlie - use Chrome instead of Internet Explorer.
    Precious 1
    24th Nov 2015
    1:16pm
    Its not only men ....as i age gracefully most of my friends have passed on unfortunately...where and what happens then...family busy working and you cannot expect to have all their attention..joining clubs for seniors us good.
    I would like to go for a coffee or a meal with friends too


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