18 May

People have a strong need to connect with others, and the central task of adult- hood involves the ability to master relationships. Both men and women have a similar need to be close. But the way in which many boys are raised and social- ized in our society sometimes makes it difficult for them to recognize and acknowledge this. Boys want to be like their fathers and loved by them. Simi- larly, boys have normal and natural wishes to be close to and to feel loved by their mothers.

Many men grow up wanting to be closer to their mother and father, yet some may feel they have to hold back to feel manly. Unfulfilled attachment needs can create a great deal of inner sadness or anger, which can continue into adult- hood. For many males, a struggle with competence, independence, stoicism, and

public performance can evolve, obscuring their ability to be responsive to those they love. They may have a strong drive to prove their competence. But even as they achieve competence, the urge to connect does not disappear.

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