A couple of articles to get thoughts going:

Loneliness...

...in middle age.

...in the gay community.

(If you have other good articles for other sub-groups or aspects, sure, post 'em.)

As for me, I relate to the "in middle age" part, as I'm just too busy to have any sort of regular -- or irregular -- time to get together with a friend.  Difference is, I don't really miss it, for now at least.  I feel some unease as if I should miss it.  

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The topic certainly struck a chord. Reading responses, a reality that surfaces quickly is time; lack of it. And as with most other things in life, a guy will make time for what's important; reasonably family, employment, and community should be priorities. The digital age makes possible friendships after a fashion. But the same banter eyeball to eyeball over a beer or coffee has that beat by a long shot.

Time lacked tends to run hand-in-hand with time mismanaged.

Dull, rote and ritualistic behaviors whether ambiguously designated as "employment, family community" are that which people shouldn't have any more "time for" than minimally needed if it distracts them from enlightenment which is the only thing that makes any of the previous worth anything at all to begin it.

It would honestly be better to live on a desert island and still retain a mental state of enlightenment, than to allow wordy distractions to prevent them of that  even artificially 'altruistic' distractions, such as "work, family, community", which without the enlightenment required to appreciate them, are worthless and not altruistic at all, but merely a manifestation of one's self-serving impulses to sate their mortal ego under the flimsy veneer of being seen as a "company, family, or community man".

"Friendships after a fashion"... online friendship can fill a gap for many of us. Finding it easier to build commmonality here it seems than locally. It is no less real it seems, but agree that face to face (ftf, f2f?) is best. Do you find you can reach the same depth of openness eyeball to eyeball? What causes the difference?

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