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Is There a Need For Good Old Fashioned Male Bonding?

There were so many highlights from our recent DR Mansformation Retreat that it would be impossible to cover them all.  But since I’ve been back, there is one post that I’ve been meaning to write.

And this is that post!

People have asked us, “What constitutes a man transformation retreat?”

And the fun answer would be to talk about all the infield gaming we did, the all-night partying, and the fact that, quite frankly, nearly everyone got laid.

Mad dogs and Englishmen - Isle of Wight styleBut the right answer would be to talk about the ‘good old fashioned’ male bonding that took place during the weekend.

There is something priceless and quite unexplainable about getting to know a core group of people on a deeper level.

For me, when I think back on my college experience, it wasn’t the girls, the parties, or even the learning that made it so memorable.  It was the fact that I spent five years growing as a person, and had a quality group of guys to share the experience with.

But the sad reality is, that for many guys, when college ends… they no longer have an opportunity to connect with new people.  This means that we spend our days holding onto our past, slowly watching our core crew of friends get shackled away to marriage.  And soon, we’re left interacting with a minute number of other men.

Some guys are lucky enough to share jobs with like-minded business associates.  But many times, we put on a persona at work, and we never get to present our true self.  In the cut-throat world of business, sometimes it is necessary to always wear a mask.

I truly believe that as human being, in order to grow mentally, socially, and spiritually, you need an opportunity to take that mask off.  You need to be able to open up to other human being on a deeper level than “shop talk” or “sports talk” or “pop gossip talk.”

And for me, the highlight of the Mansformation Retreat was having that opportunity to take the mask off.   To not only take my mask off, but to encourage the others on the retreat to take their masks off as well.  It is when the masks come off… that true learning and growth can take place.

The PeopleAs men, we often get to an age, where we no longer make new friends.  Our culture almost frowns upon the idea of two men interacting for the sole person of “making friends.”  Think about how awkward you would feel if a guy at a bar turned to you and started chatting you up.  Or invited you into his group of friends.  You would automatically assume he was gay. Right?

Because of this we very rarely make new friends throughout our life.  We are always making new acquaintances, but very seldom, new friends.

Now, I am lucky to have quite a few close friends.  I’ve been fortunate enough to do an almost yearly “guy’s only trip.”  And with these old friends, I’ve had people to support and encourage me throughout some of the rougher points of my life.  And for that I feel blessed.

But what the Mansformation Retreat taught me… is that sometimes old friends aren’t enough.  Old friends tend to see you as the person you were, they tend to have a subjective view of you.  This great for allowing you that sense of comfort that we all crave.  But it is not always enough to contribute to your continual growth as a human being.

The Mansformation Retreat gave me the opportunity to get a subjective view of myself.  I got to see how a new group of men reacted to me.  I got to have fresh new conversations that inspired new thoughts and revelations.

I had the opportunity to offer feedback to others, that had I known them for years, I probably would have hesitated giving them.  And having the chance to offer this unconditional feedback; opened up new ways of thinking in my own brain.

It would be an exaggerated pompous statement to say that I came back a new man…

But I can honestly say I came back a refreshed man.  A man with a renewed sense of purpose in life.  A man who better understands, that why so much emphasis is placed on “how to interact with women”… maybe we’ve forgotten how to interact with other men.

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About Bobby Rio I'm Bobby Rio, one of the founders of TSB. I tend to write about what is on my mind so you'll find a mix of self development, social dynamics and dating articles/experiences.  For a collection of some of my favorite articles check them out.

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