If I were to ask you – for the men reading this – “Do your friendships with other guys satisfy you?” I’m guessing you might say “yes”, and I can understand why you respond that way. You have somebody to have a beer with, golf with, help move a piece of furniture, etc. It is great to have a friend for these kinds of activities. However, there’s a stat that I recently heard – 1 in 6 men don’t have a single friend. This is not a positive statistic. If you’re fortunate enough to have friends, consider yourself blessed. For those of you who have friends that you can do some of these things with, this is good, but what if I told you, it could be better? Here’s the problem – most guys don’t know that there’s any other way of being with other men. I know because I used to be one of those men.
What if I informed you that there’s a way to enhance your friendships beyond what they currently are? Would you be interested in that? The reason I co-founded MenLiving back in 2012 was because my existing friendships with other guys were fine- nothing wrong with them, but as I got older, I realized the “surface” nature of these friendships were dominated by making fun of one another, getting drunk together, etc. Everything seemed the same, but I had changed. I had been following the same “bro-culture” playbook I’d learned since puberty, but I was finding less satisfaction in playing by those rules.
I believe the foundation of most of what we do at MenLiving can be summed up in one word: vulnerability. This word was cast away in my early teens and continues to be suppressed from every aspect in our society. As I type this, I’m on a flight to Utah to be with six other incredible friends I met through MenLiving. We’ll engage in typical activities like golf, fly fishing, and maybe share a beer or two. But I can almost guarantee that we will also have deep conversations about the challenges we’re facing in our lives. We’ll hug, laugh, cry, ask for support, and offer support. I know that this may sound foreign to most guys; it’s an entirely different playbook. Does it scare you? It scared me when I first started having these real conversations, but now it’s my norm, and I believe it’s the playbook I’ll continue to follow for the rest of my life. There’s no going back for me.
90% of the spaces we create are presented in what we call “Full Houses”, and they are led by one of our amazing facilitators who will do his best to cultivate a space to connect, heal, and thrive. But for me the Full Houses are simply the on-ramp for 1 on 1 connections that happen because of these group settings. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than discovering that two men are meeting for coffee or a phone call because of MenLiving.
It is my belief that our world would be a more compassionate place if guys could step into this vulnerability and connect deeply so that they could live fully. If we were able to create a world of healthy, intentional, and connected me- I believe the ripple effect would translate into these men being better partners, better dads, better members of their community.
So, if you’ve read all the way through to the end of this blog, I encourage you to ask yourself this question, “Are you willing to step out of your comfort zone and join us?” Perhaps you’ve already participated in Full Houses or some one-on-one interactions—I’m thrilled if you have. Maybe you’ll consider inviting a friend to check us out by signing up for our newsletter or becoming a member by completing a profile. Or perhaps you’ll explore our weekend retreat offerings.
Care to join us? Wherever you happen to be on your own journey, I can assure you that there’s a place for you. I hope to see you soon.