The EMOTIONAL HEALTH of Single and Divorced Men (Sorry Guys, But We Need To Talk About This)
Gentlemen! I know I know. We don’t talk openly about emotions. But we need to for a bit. You’ll understand about halfway through this video when you suddenly realize I’m talking about you.
Guys who are single, separated, or divorced, have higher rates of mental health issues compared to married men and single women. So says the research, anyway. A recent study showed that unmarried men who were aged 40-60 were 3.5 times more likely to die by suicide when compared to both married men of the same age and unmarried women.
Not good, right? It was basically the same with depression as well.
Essentially they said that single men experience abnormally high rates of loneliness, which leave them feeling isolated from society.
Covid hasn’t helped either. Males in our culture tend to rely on what’s called ‘opportunistic socialization’, which means socializing while engaging in a shared activity. Think sports and things like that. For most men, feeling a need to actively reach out to others can trigger a shame response about appearing ‘needy.’ Something we were taught not to be.
Now this was the interesting part. The men who reported this were generally progressive when it came to social justice issues and female equality. Despite being “woke,” they still continued to struggle with their self-imposed isolation. This is the damage caused by being raised male in a culture that teaches boys to be stoic and self-sufficient.
What Can Men Do?
Acknowledge this, for starters. It is important for guys to realize that reaching out for social bonding and connection is going to press right against that belief that we are supposed to be able to go it alone and never ask for help.
Accept the fact that we are all social animals, and we deserve emotional support. And that using those phrases in no way diminishes our masculinity.
Act with courage. Reach out to other men. Be willing to talk openly about needing some “guy time”. They will most likely be glad you did. Someone’s gotta go first, why not you?
I know that not all men suffer from the stereotypes of Boomer Upbringing. Some had more enlightened parents and circumstances. Some had worse. But speaking from experience, talking openly about emotions … it’s hard. Take me, I do a YouTube channel dedicated almost entirely to emotions. And sex. I feel like a complete fool most days when I’m before the camera. A fake. An imposter. Because men don’t talk this way.
Well, we do. You do. We can unlearn and relearn. It’s going to be slow, trust me. But especially if you don’t have a full-time partner in your life who you can lean on, understand the risk of staying true to those old teachings. You’re a decent person. You don’t deserve self-isolation and loneliness. And you certainly don’t deserve an early end.
And if you’re not a single dude of a certain age … but know one … reach out for them. Like I said, especially now in these ages of everyone being locked away. Because those connections are good for you too.