When you think about relationships and connectedness, there seems to be an acceptable difference between men and women. Women seem to bond and connect so much more easily. Men, on the other hand seem to be much more superficial. Of course this is an overstatement, but over the years it has been parodied in comedy and has been at the core of many a joke.
Yet, there seems to be evidence for these differences. Robert Putnam argues in his book, "Bowling Alone," that women are the social glue that advance community. He hypothesizes that the fall off of social capital in the past 50 years is partially tied to the distractions that women feel being pulled in their career's.
In any social situation, if you are a fly on the wall, the women gather and discuss deeper issues while the men gather and have superficial discussions about the weather or sports or other inane issues. Quite simply, men have a more difficult time getting deeper in their relationships, and especially with other men.
This brings me to a recent article a friend sent me about a movement started in Australia called the "Men's Shed." This is an effort to create safe places for men to gather around projects, or activities, much like you might have going on in your shed. The movement has a number of outcomes - obviously one is to help men develop a deeper sense of social capital. Another, related to social capital, is to improve men's health issues. We know that men typically do not tend to their health at the same level that women do so the hope is the "menshed" will push that indicator.
Regardless, any way that men can become conscious of the importance of social capital, and then find ways to build opportunities to connect deeper, especially with other men would be a good thing.