Taking Care of Core Needs~Connection

Covid has been a hard thing for most of us. Especially when it comes to connection and having our needs met with other men. For me it has been a time of growth and discovery. I have learned so much as I have really taken the time to look at myself and discover what is driving my needs and connections.

One of the most interesting discovery during Covid has been the way men try to connect. I have to say that I have received many texts from men trying to connect and not really understanding how. A good majority of the texts started out with nude or dick pics. At first I was offended by some of the texts and normally I would just block someone. But it hit me one day that the intentions was not what it looked like. These men were just trying to connect and did not understand how to go about it. I realized that the only why they could think of was to send a picture. I also realized in the process that normally a text pic is most often a cry to be seen or affirmed in some way.

So I started asking questions instead of blocking or judging them. Questions like, “What are you really looking for” or “Is that who you really are, what are your intentions” and “Is the how you normally connect with another man”. Interestingly enough, most of the men were totally taken aback. Not expecting questions, but most were so grateful and responded well. Most confessed that they were really looking for friendship and absolutely had no clue what to do. Some, I have to admit only wanted sex or inappropriate interactions. But the majority were really looking for more. Almost all the men were really looking for and really needing to be affirmed and seen in some way. It is interesting that our culture has not taught us how to affirm or how to seek affirmations in a positive way or how to connect beyond the “how is the weather or who’s playing tonight”.

I will say also that if you might be thinking that this is a gay problem, you are wrong. All men are seeking the same thing. They have an inner drive to connect with other men and be affirmed and seen. I believe that is one of the driving forces behind Porn. Core needs are not being met so men go there looking to fill a need and leave more empty then before.

In reading about core needs, meaning needs that are essential to wellbeing, one of the most basic core needs is the need of social connection and intimacy. Intimacy is not a sexual thing in this case. It is the desire to be seen and understood on a deeper level. One which we greatly lack in our culture.

During Covid, more than anytime in recent history men have been faced with isolation and desperation. Desperation destroys normal boundaries. Meaning out of desperation men are doing things they normally would not do. Screaming for affirmation and connection, men are left lost and empty because men in our culture have not been taught how to connect and fill those core needs in a natural healthy way with other men.

Is what I am suggesting is that we look beyond the surface actions of those men around us, or those that try to connect with us and look deeper using the God given gift of intuition so see what the men around us are really asking when they do things we don’t often understand.

I am certain that you will find good wonderful men that are hurting from the isolation that has been forced upon us. Men that only want to be seen and affirmed and loved by other men. Connection is a core need. Connecting man to man is a core need that has always been there and will never go away. I believe it started even before we came here. It is part of our spiritual DNA , the need to connect, the need to support, the need to affirm, the need to have open candid conversations about what is going on in our lives, the need to have other men hear and express the same things. Most all men are dealing with the same struggles in life. From relationships, to dealing with weaknesses, from work to family, we need to have the type of connections where we can really discuss and help each other.

We need to create a circle of friends around us that support us, lift us, affirm us, and love us for who we are, weaknesses and all. This core need cannot be ignored and pushed aside, we are seeing the results of that in our culture. Addictions, porn, masturbation, obesity, depression, abuse, isolation, etc are all often results of this basic core need not being met in a healthy way.

Here are some of my suggestions for building a circle of friends that can fill the needs you might have in your life. I do want to add that if you are feeling that your don’t really fit into this group, that your core needs are being met, you might want to consider how you can bless other men around you that are seeking your friendship and affirmation. In the big picture it is not about just me and my needs being met, it is also about me making sure the needs of those around me are being met. And yes it does mean stepping outside of my comfort zone and taking a risk. But it is well worth it.

~Simple text messages are a great way to say hello and offer words of encouragement and affirmation. Phone calls are even better.

~When in groups or out and about taking the time to offer a smile. I can’t tell you have many friends I have made simply by smiling. It’s so rare that when it happens there is an instant connection.

~Don’t be afraid of affirming another man. It is not “gay” to tell another man he looks great. Men love to hear from other men that they look great. I have randomly told men they are beautiful and have never had a negative experience. Just the opposite. They smile and it totally makes their day.

~Offer support when you know someone is down or struggling. They may not accept, we struggle with that also, but it will make a difference just knowing someone cares enough to ask.

~Use that God given gift of intuition that we all have is we desire to know the needs of those around us. Often times I will reach out and get a response of how much that was needed at that moment. I also hear many say I thought about it, but never acted on the thought. We have to act when we have the feeling someone might need us. We never know the results of the small and simple things we can do to connect.

~Be nice to yourself. You are worth connecting with. Even on our worst days we have value beyond what we understand. Value that can literally change the course of another persons life.

~Don’t let discouragement keep you from trying. Good friends are hard to find, but we don’t find them if we are not actively working to create connection. As we try and take risks we will be able to experience real connection with other men that can build and nurture our own personal lives and in the process we do the same for our brothers.

The world is full of men searching. Could I be just what they are looking for?? I think so.

Brad Petersen

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