‘I’m a man in my 30s and I lack any strong, platonic friendships’

Tell Me About It: It hurts to feel ignored and avoided, and causes feelings of loneliness

The pandemic has stretched many friendships as the usual supports for keeping them alive have disappeared. Photograph: iStock

The pandemic has stretched many friendships as the usual supports for keeping them alive have disappeared. Photograph: iStock

Question: I’m a male in my early 30s, with a loving partner and a decent job. However, I can’t help but feel I am missing something. Specifically, I find that I lack any strong, platonic friendships, beyond my family. I have a large group of male friends who I know since we were teens, but in recent years the bond seems to have diminished.

I understand this can happen as we grow older, but I often feel actively excluded, or marginalised, as I know several of them regularly meet up without me and have relationships as strong as ever. I have raised this concern before with some, but they dismiss my feelings as false. I also know many think I can be negative or outspoken, and this has led to some arguments in the past, so perhaps this is a reason they avoid me.

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