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For most of us a day won’t go by without contacting a friend or mate, whether it’s just to catch up, make plans or do something together. And when our world seems to fall apart, or we just need cheering up, we turn to our friends.

Granted, friendships can take a back seat when a man walks into our life but they’re there to help you pick up the pieces after the little sod has moved on (despite the fact you deserted them while you were loved up in your flat with Mr Right).

Gay men have shared identities, coming out stories and common histories which bind us and are a bedrock of our extended family that not only protects us against loneliness and isolation but also provides a space where we are loved, supported and valued.

Underlying the magic which brings friends together is time, mutual give and take, and respect if friendships are to remain happy and healthy. Being with the wrong people who don’t love you for who you are can damage your self-image and do more harm than practically anything else. Bottom line: surround yourself with good friends and dump the ones who put you down or use you as a punch-bag.

Importantly, people come in and out of our lives for a stack of reasons: by chance, through friends, serendipity, and circumstance. It's at this point that the seeds of friendship are often sown. Some flourish, some struggle, while some just don't survive, however much we invest in them. But some endure over the passage of time and it's these which will deepen and grow stronger.

Meeting new people | Being Gay is OK
Get out and about and active | MEN R US

How can I make gay friends without having sex with them? | Queerty | 6 Jan 2018
How to make friends as a shy, gay man | Huff Post | 23 Feb 2017
 The emerging science of ‘bromosexual’ friendships | The Conversation | 13 Dec 2016
How to make friends in the gay community | Huff Post | 23 Mar 2016

The art of gay friending | Matthew J Dempsey | 27 Nov 2017 | 9m 30s

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