My month-long social experiment was both challenging and gratifying
Perspective by Leonard Felson, July 28, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. EDT
Out of the blue last fall, an acquaintance emailed me. “I want to start jogging, but I need someone to run with,” he wrote. I hadn’t run in years, but the possibility that jogging might lead to a friendship was enough for me to say yes.
Even before the pandemic frayed our social lives, Americans had fewer close friends than 30 years ago, a KFF study in 2018 showed. Another survey found adults were talking and relying on each other for support less often than in the past and feeling more left out. And men in particular tend to face a harder time than women making and maintaining friendships, research suggests, and it appears to only be getting worse.