It’s a standard assumption that once a man gets older or gets in a relationship, he has to give up his old ways. That, typically, includes hanging out a lot with his guy friends. This is especially true once a man gets married or into a long term relationship. The assumption is that the two must always hang out as a couple. The friction of guy time vs. couple time can even be found in popular media, like the show “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
However, whatever your place in life, I want to speak to the value of guy time. I’m going on a vacation with my brother and one of my best friends this weekend. Sure, it’s unconventional at my age. But, it shouldn’t be. Here I explain why guy time is very important.
I’m not saying male/female time can’t be stress relief. However, couples are together all the time. They typically deal with struggles like paying bills, raising kids, and making huge decisions. The male/female long term relationship/marriage is by its very nature stress inducing. That’s not a bad thing. However, most guy friendships aren’t. Of course, co-worker relationships aren’t stress free.
When I’m with my guy friends we BS, laugh, crack jokes, reminisce, and screw around. We don’t have any responsibilities to each other except friendship. Having guy time is stress relief because the relationship lacks pressure.
Male Friendship Is Different
A woman can’t replace a guy. This is obvious when it comes to sex. But, a woman and man aren’t interchangeable when it comes to hanging out and being friends either. Women and men think and act differently. It doesn’t mean a guy can’t have and value female friends (including having his lover as his friend). But, it’s a different type of friendship.
Men are typically more physical in their relationships. They don’t usually talk about their feelings. In addition, male relationships are often based on humor and giving each other a hard time. Male relationships can involve guys asserting themselves and brutal honesty. For straight friendships, there’s no sexual tension involved.
This is just a different dynamic than a friendship between a guy and a girl. It’s not better or worse, just different. And, a well-adjusted guy needs that balance.
Different Activities Are Possible
Guys who only hang out with women or have no social life outside of work typically don’t get to do traditionally male activities. Men are more physical oriented and aggressive. It’s why the vast majority of die-hard football fans are guys.
Having guy time allows men to pursue those activities without compromise. They can see the violent movie, get aggressive at the gym, watch the football game with crude comments, or openly speak their mind about their lives. There’s no need for the inevitable compromise that comes with co-worker or female relationships.
Guys Need A Break
Finally, sometimes guys just need a break from their typical situations. For most older guys those are work, family, and a long term relationship. Hanging with guy friends, especially good ones, provides a break from the monotony of everyday life, even those parts of life that might be enjoyable.
As much as I like my family and jobs, I still crave the time with my guy friends. It’s a time to let loose, ditch the stress, and break out of routine. So, don’t discount the value of guy time. If you don’t have enough of it, contact those old friends and get more of it. It’ll make you happier in the long run.