The New York TimesThe New York Times

Why is it so hard for men to make close friends?

By Catherine Pearson

28 Nov 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

Post-pandemic loneliness seems to be hitting American men particularly hard. The New York Times examines the "friendship recession," and why some notions of masculinity can hinder meaningful bonds.

The Tuesday before every Thanksgiving, Aaron Karo and Matt Ritter, both 43, go out to dinner with seven men whom they befriended as second graders in Plainview, New York.

At the dinner, one of the friends wins the Man of the Year prize — a silly accolade the group concocted as an excuse to reconnect. They eat and they laugh, and the winner leaves with his name engraved on a cartoonishly large silver cup.

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