Are Mancaves Hindering Male Maturity?

As a man, I know first hand (and will openly admit) that men tend to mature, shall we say, a bit later than women. In fact, in many cases, it seems to be a lot later. I was a bit of late bloomer in that regard myself, but now that I have crossed the threshold of having a partner, a child, and a stable job, I can look back on those lost years as time wasted.

And yes, I had a mancave. When I shared a house with three other people, I appropriated a room and made it my own in the prototypical bachelor fashion: it was a mess and it served no other function than to provide me with a spot where I could eat, drink, and watch movies and sports that my housemates had no interest in. It’s just as well for them that they didn’t want to come in as the room eventually had several genuine safety hazards between the rotting food and piles of junk everywhere.

This space meant a lot to me at the time. I could escape from my lousy job and tiresome responsibilities, and just do what I enjoyed. What I didn’t realize at the time was this escape was hindering my growth as a person. Yes, we all need a break from work and family and other things that can be stressful. However, it is important to find ways of doing that which do not cause us to become stuck. Life is about experiences and learning and growing as a person; I wasn’t doing that and I regret the time I lost as a result.

Should mancaves exist? Sure, but it is important to know when you have outgrown them and need to advance to the next part of your life.

By Keyah Cheatum (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons