Going to the Pub With Friends is Crucial to Building Male Friendships, Study Finds

Edward Cooper
·2-min read

From Men's Health

With sports on the TV, delectable food and drink on demand and serving as a watering hole for locals and friends alike, it's no secret that the British population is missing the pub amidst current coronavirus restrictions.

After all, Brits will spend 14 months of our lives and around £90,942 — that's 13,104 pints, or 3,276 shots —inside them, catching up with friends and putting the world to rights.

No wonder, then, that a recent study published in Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology found that social activities, such as going to the pub, were crucial in developing intimate friendships.

More specifically, group social activities were found to foster positive relationships between men. The study found that, in regard to building lasting friendships, "males tend to prefer social interaction in groups." (Continued below)

"Outgoingness" was also found as a key predictor for the intimacy of male friendships, as was "mutual support", crucial for intimacy in male groups and a "key factor" maintaining them. The study continued to explain that shared history helped forge positive relationships, detailing that "the extent to which shared history were considered an important mechanism of relationship maintenance in best friendships had opposite effects on intimacy in men and women.

"Whereas this relationship was positive in men, in women it was negative (the greater the emphasis on shared history, the lower the level of intimacy). This might, again, reflect the difference between men's preference for group-based activities (for which shared history is usually an important component) and women's preference for more intimate dyadic ones."

"Fundamentally, the pub provides an element of belonging, community, and connection. These are fundamental human needs, which if not met, can make us mentally unwell," explained Nick Hatter, a life coach with experience in social behaviours, in a previous interview with Men's Health UK.

"The pub is a home away from home for some and the familiarity of it may provide some comfort."

Partner these viewpoints with a 2016 study which found that pubs played a key role in facilitating friendships and that those who have a local pub are happier and better connected to their community, and taking a trip to your nearest beer garden April 12th becomes a very smart order. We'll have an IPA.

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