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Ever since those first few days of life, when we formed an intense bond with our mothers, we have sought secure, emotionally safe and nurturing relationships with other humans -.   Throughout our lives, we are in and out of countless relationships - those with family members, romantic partners, even  colleagues, neighbors and friends. All are important to our physical and mental health, and without healthy relationships, we become vulnerable to chronic diseases and premature death.

Yet as important as relationships are, and with nearly 8 billion inhabitants of Planet Earth, we are nonetheless in the midst of a loneliness epidemic.  This is most acute with younger generations - and is particularly acute with males. One survey notes 2 out of 3 females under age 30 report being in relationships while only 1 out of 3 males do so. Clearly, the online dating scene (swiping right), has not worked out as manyfolks hoped it would.

The deeper sadness of the male loneliness situation is that males become unhinged and rudderless without the guardrails of a romantic committed relationship with another. Women are more collaborative and form deeper friendships which offer them security, reassurance, love and acceptance, even in the absence of a strong romantic connection.

Problems arise for all genders when social media and the need for acceptance lead to unhealthy self image, which impedes forming healthy relationships even more. And, the “swiping right” phenomenon, which became incredibly popular during the pandemic and has remained so, causes interpersonal connections, communication, and attachment to be digitalized, and less personal, therefor less authentic anc less fulfilling. The result is even more loneliness.

People are beginning to embrace meeting potential romantic partners in more traditional ways - at work, recreational clubs and groups, religious organizations, and even at the grocery store. This is where the magic truly happens, and meaningful relationships form.

To optimize your health, meaningful relationships are essential. Put down the phones, interact with those you meet day to day. Be vulnerable, be honest an authentic and be open to those you meet in person during your usual day. You and the world will be better for it!

In health,

Dr. John Monaco

MONACO Wellness


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