Through the ages, many of us have seen how true and lasting friendships between men change in nature over time. But why are these friendships so hard to maintain? We’ve seen countless stories of two boys being best friends since childhood only to eventually drift apart. There have been studies conducted to better understand why these relationships between males seem to be so fragile. Unfortunately, the lack of quality friendships may lead to repercussions like depression, substance abuse and in some cases, suicide.
One crucial factor in forming a meaningful bond between two people is having a mutual desire for “goodness", meaning a hope for happiness, success and fulfilment. When the driving force behind a relationship is this kind of shared aspiration, it becomes much more likely to endure. Ironically, we often forget that a friendship's strength lies in controlled fragility. Meaning, there must be flexibility between two people in order to grow together while also allowing both of them to remain individually fulfilled.
Since most friendships form during childhood or early adolescence, it is paramount to instil strong morals and strong values that will guide these two individuals through any difficult moments. Some experts suggest setting boundaries right from the start, in areas such as the types of activities that can be done together or the strength of emotions that those involved can feel. Although, it is important to point out that even with these ideas in mind, what matters most is the capacity of the relationship to adapt, evolve and stay true to itself, regardless of the changes that might occur in life.
When nurturing a bond between two males, making sure that you have someone who understands and accepts that individual for who they are, instead of idealizing them is key. This means being able to talk about real thoughts and feelings, no matter how deep or troubling, without judging. Being open with each other and listening to one another can help create a strong connection, even if it is just for an hour or two during an activity.
In order for a friendship between two males to withstand the tests of time, communication and understanding are absolutely essential. If these two aspects are neglected, not only do they weaken the bond, but they also may lead to loneliness and low self-esteem. These are behaviors which can ultimately drive someone toward self-destructive behavior and result in depression, aggression, or even suicidal thoughts.
It is important to remember that although difficulties may arise, strong and lasting relationships between men are possible and incredibly valuable. Allowing oneself to open up to a friend and share the challenges, joys and insecurities of life can provide a great love and sense of relief, especially in difficult times. Such a bond should be respected, nurtured and provided with the care, understanding, and patience it needs, in order to reach its full potential. After all, an unbreakable connection between two men is worth preserving.
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