Have you ever seen a bunch of guys in a bar or at the beach carrying on obnoxiously? There's a group bravery about them that you sense would disappear in an instant if each guy was alone. A lot of guys, it seems, feel pretty insignificant of they're not somehow hooked into a group personality. Without it they feel small and of little value.

To a decent woman, there's something pathetic about a man who doesn't really seem to exist without his pack of friends. She senses he probably won't be much of a success in his career because he's clearly not a leader. She wonders what kind of a husband he’ll make. Will he find it awkward and inhibiting having dinner alone with his wife...or spending a week driving through New England on vacation, just the two of them trapped together in a car? Will he always be wondering what the guys are doing, missing being with them at the bar, at the softball game, at the pool hall?

Think about your own behavior. How much time each week do you spend with "the guys"? I'm not suggesting you give up your Sunday morning football game or Thursday night out with the guys. But if you spend every single night with the guys and much of every weekend, then it's time to explore whether you're living your life to the fullest.

The Ironman is accomplished. He knows another language. Or even if it's not his career, he knows a great deal about electricity. Or blues bands. Or minor league baseball. He has interests other than hanging out with the guys, and, frankly, other than dating and getting laid. It's a sign of his versatility and a sign of his independence. or, rather, his lack of dependence on other people.


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