The Private Man

Attraction and dating information for all men

The Pathology of Male Loneliness

I write frequently about social isolation. It’s a huge problem for middle age men who retreat into their homes to stare at the television and computer monitors. Homo sapiens is a social animal. We need each other for so many reasons. Time Magazine (still relevant?!) recently reported on a study from Brigham Young University where researchers are sounding the alarm on what could be the next big public-health issue, on par with obesity and substance abuse.

The article is not real great on depth but does actually manage to understand the subjective, self-reporting nature of “feeling” lonely versus the objective observation of a person actually living alone. Also, I’m suspicious about the motives/funding of the study. This is a Mormon university so I can’t help but wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind that study.

“The researchers emphasized the difference between the subjective, self-reported feeling of loneliness and the objective state of being socially isolated. Both are potentially damaging, the study found. People who say they are alone but feel happy are at increased risk of death, as are those who have many social connections but say they are lonely. People who are both objectively isolated and subjectively lonely may be at the greatest risk of death, says Holt-Lunstad, though she notes that more data would be needed to know with certainty.”

This study is a harbinger of further research on the social pathologies that can cause real problems with public health. I see the problems with social isolation in the context of attraction and dating. Regular guys won’t leave the house except for work. Women tend to be more social and can’t find decent guys out in the real world. The players are happy to be social and approach women. Those guys also create soft harems of women that they date.
A regular guy can improve his chances by getting out of the house. Meetup.com singles groups are an excellent way to start.

Aside from the player aspect, there is certainly a public health issue to loneliness. Suicide rates for men are alarmingly high yet are given short-shrift in the media. The feminine imperative pushes back the emotional and physical needs of men. Divorce and men’s mental health is a major issue. Post-divorce men retreat emotionally and physically. When they emerge, if they do, the dating scene is one of confusion and frustration. Online dating is a minefield – more mines than field. I empathize, I really do.

For post-divorce guys, there is no magic cure. The young men have PUA. Us older guys can only gird our loins, leave behind as much emotional baggage as possible, and soldier on with all that makes us men, despite the complications of ex-wives, children, and the like. Yes, there are concrete things a man can do to increase his attractiveness. Those things take time, motivation, and effort.

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21 thoughts on “The Pathology of Male Loneliness

  1. DruncleWill on said:

    Witness the wasteland that the feminist movement has achieved for us to all enjoy!
    The post divorce women in the late 40’s to early 50’s age category just can’t seem to figure out why I’m not upset when they decide to call it off after I’ve banged them a couple of times. You fucked me on the 2nd date, and the 3rd time you just figured out that maybe I’m not LTR material? No, I’m not angry. Confused perhaps, but most certainly amused.

  2. Fucking amazing article!

  3. First and foremost men are all about tribes, and modern life has stripped us of that connection, the end of a marriage leaves us on the open plains with no provisions or anyone to cover our back…..There is a new thing about called “The Shed Movement”, started I believe in Australia, Ireland or England where older single/divorced men with common interests have banded together into a form of informal club. These “Shed’s” can be any building where these guys get together to do woodworking, built stuff, work on motorcycles, cars etc… I guess you could call it a communal “Man Cave”.

    I can see how this can work as a way of breaking out of the social isolation most of us go through during and post divorce. First, no women are allowed in most of these places, so men who are in a bad way can learn/remember what it is like to be man again in the company of other men they trust.

    I know I broke out of my own social isolation by building a bucket list and involving myself in a lot of charity work, but lately I’ve been making friends with younger single men, ( late 20’s to mid 30’s) helping them wrenching on their cars and motorcycles a couple of nights a week. Some might say I’ve regressed back to my youth, but it’s the kind of stuff I truly always enjoyed doing and I’m providing mentorship to a lot of guys who grew up without fathers

  4. I think the biggest shock is coming to the realization as a middle aged man is how much of our lives were spent chasing and maintaining tail. Having a second chance, go after things you want to do and excel at it, pick up a guitar, take Latin dance lessons, learn a new language, buy motorcycle, hit the gym etc. , but do it for you.

    • DruncleWill on said:

      You need to just ride the shit out of the motorcycle. Those things just seem to open the opportunities for the riding territory everywhere else. I’ll just check back Monday…

      • I’ve already ridden the shit out of it. I put over 130K miles on it. Given the state of my eyesight, it’s not prudent for me to be motorcycling just yet.

  5. After my divorce, I dove into PUA with both feet, including the most important part: self improvement. This is the most important message in the Manosphere; become a better man. Most of us have been exposed to the lies of feminism for the bulk of our lives. Being a better man begins with rejecting ALL of that.

    After that I stopped feeling lonely. Dating is easy when you don’t actually care whether or not there’s a woman with you when you’re doing your thing. It’s the great irony of dating.

  6. It seems to me that women are able to rebound faster, at least in my experience. They are in control of nearly everything. If they want sex that night all they have to do is go the local watering hole and wait. I think that divorce is extremely hard on men, but because we have to be “men” the whole issue gets swept under the rug. I agree with what you are saying, for me it has taken almost 3 years to really come to a point where I was just “ok” with my marriage of 12 years being over. Thank you for sharing this.

  7. Reblogged this on Trolling the Class and commented:
    I think that this is a more common problem then a lot of people realize. Great article and insight into the thoughts and feelings of us men.

  8. “It’s a huge problem for middle age men who retreat into their homes to stare at the television and computer monitors. Homo sapiens is a social animal. We need each other for so many reasons.”

    It’s the reason the middle-aged man retreats into his home that matters. If he’s doing it because he’s been injured and hurt, is nursing grudges and drinks to numb the pain, then that’s a problem. I stay away from the world Saturdays because it’s when all the miserable happy families come out to play, and it’s horrible to be around. That’s the kind of social I’m quite happy to be anti.

    The ulterior motive you’re wondering about is funding. If loneliness is a public health issue, and the authors have a programme or a therapy to “help” with loneliness, then they have a better chance of getting funded than if loneliness is just about a few sad sacks who nobody cares if they die. You’ll notice that the illustrations in the original article are all women. Because female “loneliness”, I mean, “public health” matters. If it was about men, the article wouldn’t have run.

  9. cptnemo2013 on said:

    Reblogged this on MGTOW 2.0.

  10. I used to have a horrible time early on after my marriage went south going out on my own into the family centric world. As I began to observe body language of many of these happy couples, I realized they were not as happy as they appeared.

    I remember one night having a cartoonish “Lightbulb Monent” that I was a “Free Man” while eating a burger and a having a beer at a local beach bar. The place was near empty when I arrived, but soon filled up with the evening crowd, nearly all married couples mid 40’s. The men all looked like they’d rather be somewhere else as their wives cackled to one another and watched me flirt with the waitress and bartender….I went home alone, but from then on it never bothered me near as much.

  11. JulesK on said:

    This is happening to a good friend of my dad’s. Poor bastard. His bitter divorce years back destroyed him. And then there’s people who are just super introverts… At some point you realize you should talk to someone, but let’s face it, unless you really make an effort, you’re a crappy friend because you actually enjoy spending 95% of your time alone :/

  12. Pingback: The Man’s Shed – The Australians Are Getting It Right! | The Private Man

  13. I’ve never married and I’ve got a couple of years on you. The isolation really is killing me. I am active and go out to various things, but I a still horribly isolated. There really isn’t a place for me. Add to that my job is a total dead end, if I don’t find something else soon, I’ll be unemployable. It’s tough.

  14. Haha yep, somehow Time Magazine is still relevant. You’d think all their subscribed readers would have died off by now.

    Suicide rates have never been higher. If you’re looking for evidence that our society is fucked up down to the foundation, you won’t find many better examples.

    • Suicide rates are higher and for a man to ask for help will usually lead to ridicule, abuse and extortion. There is no help available, especially from the so-called “professionals”.

      I live with the pain every day and know that there isn’t anything I can do about it. Alcohol helps.

  15. Just Saying on said:

    Us older guys can only gird our loins, and soldier on

    On the contrary – we can use our experience and knowledge to stack the deck in our favor. I have been doing that for years. I started a band several years back, and play at vacation spots which always pays dividends when it comes to women. And I teach as well as have hobbies which have a high proportion of young women – mostly college age, so that for the most part I get to pick the ones that I want to enjoy.

    Most young women have bought the feminist non-sense about having as much sex as they can when they are young, and think that older men are the way to gain experience, and they are right. Most younger guys don’t take their time to savor a woman – I learned long ago that several hours of sex is a great way to pass an evening. Of course, they like to hide it – so being a “dirty little secret” just makes it more fun.

    YMMV but pick what YOU enjoy… Women are easy to find – especially, if all you want is sex. At some point I’ll leave the US and hook up with a couple of young Asian cuties – but for now, I like the West for women who have bought the whole Feminist BS… Tie them up, blind-fold them, smack them around, put a ball-gag in their mouth – they love it… Most women crave to be submissive to a strong man, and older in their mind makes you more “Daddy like” so do things that their Daddy never dreamed of… It’s all good…

  16. “Post-divorce men retreat emotionally and physically. When they emerge, if they do, the dating scene is one of confusion and frustration.”

    This is exactly my experience with the exception of a quick rebound after divorce. When I arrived to the dating scene after 12 years of marriage it was culture shock.

    I walked the minefield and landed a few dates that never lasted and just stopped cold. It became apparent that I spent more time chasing women than on an activity that worked to my favor. And then it happened……

    I stumbled up a manosphere book. This book then led to another and mentioned most manosphere blogs. I can’t describe the feeling while reading the material. I knew damned well it was truth; but would deny it all. I’d pick up a book, read a chapter, and renounce the content.

    The denial ended when I started to see the conventions played out in my day to day life. Every fem-centric maxim, ideal, meme; hell everything I thought I knew is false. I would have died a 100 times as a white knight only to discover that I’m merely a plant in a continental crop of beta chumps waiting to be harvested to feed the interest of the feminine. The result……..

    A total shut down; think computer with no OS. Here I sit in my early 40’s and clueless as to how to proceed. I was NEVER a real man. A man who takes charge and guards the fort. A man with a reality in which a woman would want to be a take part. That is something to come to terms with; especially this late.

    I am withdrawn mainly for the complete loss of confidence for being the fem-centric caricature of a man. There is regret for not thinking critically about the “barf curds” fed to me as part of my socialization. Lastly, a deep, slow burning, unwavering anger. I’ve wasted enough of my life as a social puppet. The time I have left is mine; and I’m using it better myself.

    I don’t feel an ounce of loneliness. How could I long for the company of a feminist socialized drone; a programmed unit of the collective bent on the destruction of anything male. I’m good.

  17. Apostaticus Supremus on said:

    “I live with the pain every day and know that there isn’t anything I can do about it. Alcohol helps.”

    Using alcohol on those wounds must provide one hell of sting…lolz

  18. Pingback: Ready For Dating? 15 Yes/No Questions For Men | The Private Man

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