10 Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time With Your Guy Friends

There comes a time in a man’s life, usually around your late twenties and early thirties, when you realize that all your guy friends from high school or college or work have fallen off the face of the earth. This is usually the result of marriage, kids, and other life changes and can be so gradual that you almost miss it. But keeping up these relationships is one of the most important things you can do. Here’s why:

  1. It could add years to life. According to a recent study done on lab rats, males who spend time together and support each other in times of mild stress end up with higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps you live longer. Oxytocin has many benefits, as it turns out. Beyond helping you live longer, it also works to relieve physical pain, increases generosity, and lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
  2. The oxytocin benefits your other relationships too. Not only does oxytocin make you healthier but it makes your romantic life and your other close relationships healthier by promoting social bonding. In fact, fathers who are given low doses of the hormone are known to bond more quickly with their children, and it has been linked to increased faithfulness to one’s partner.
  3. Your partner can’t be everything for you. No matter how in love you are with your significant other, they simply cannot be everything you need from your relationships. Even if you’re lucky enough to be with someone who is your lover, best friend, and soul mate, it is important for you to distribute your time and energy among lots of people, if only to have a greater perspective on life and make you less reliant on one or two people for your social interactions.
  4. It takes the pressure off your romantic and familial relationships. Pouring all your energy into only a small handful of people is exhausting both for you and the people you’re close to. Friendship is like a social insurance policy. People change. Relationships end. If you invest your entire life and soul into one or two relationships and they fall out from under you, your recovery will be incredibly difficult and lonely. Friends help you get through the hard times, and they improve your closer relationships by making a more well-rounded person.
  5. It’s a lot less work. Fighting is just a reality of the dating world. If you’re in a healthy romantic relationship, there will be arguments, some of them will be nasty. You’ll probably have difficult relationships with your family too. It’s only natural for your closest relationships to go through periods of stress, but male friendships tend to be very mellow. Guys are generally pretty accepting of each other, and unless you physically attack one of them, you’ll find that your bromances are predominantly even-keeled and low drama.
  6. It helps you get more comfortable with emotional intimacy. A lot of men have a hard time confiding their deepest feelings to their partners, but when it comes to other men, guys report feeling much more comfortable being emotionally open when they need to get something off their chest. This easy intimacy will not only bring you and your friends closer together but may also help you ease into a more emotionally transparent relationship with your partner.
  7. Your quality of life will skyrocket. According to studies, friendship has the same positive effect on your outlook on life as an extra $100,000 in the bank. You read that right. Having a friend who you hang out with regularly is better than an extra six figures. Now that’s hard to dismiss.
  8. Your guy friends won’t judge you. When you’re in a relationship with someone, you want to be your best self. But not everyone can be his or her best self 100% of the time, and that’s when it helps to have a few people who don’t really care all that much if you love video games or the music of Katy Perry. Your guy friends simply don’t have much skin in the game and therefore couldn’t care less. It’s easy for them to support you unconditionally when it has no negative effect on them.
  9. Everyone needs a reliable wingman. No matter how charming and socially proficient you are, having a wingman is an absolute necessity. They’ll be your encouragement when you’re not feeling confident enough to approach someone on a night out, and even if you’re humiliated and rejected or can’t find someone you want to pursue, they’re there to make the outing fun and successful regardless.
  10. It’s cheaper. You can really break the bank buying drinks for your date on a night out. When you’re out with your male friends though, you’re probably only paying for yourself, and you’re not going to bother with a fancy meal either. Dating is expensive, but hanging out with your guy friends at one of their houses watching a game or playing ping pong? That’s just a smart financial decision.