After my side-note on this post about long distance, I remembered something very interesting about how I relate to physical proximity with others.
I think -on the whole -we men actually build relationships of different kinds through physical proximity. For example, my gym buddy isn't someone I need to talk to about my personal problems or feelings. We go to the gym, have a workout, and go our separate ways. But after doing that for some time, I'm comfortable and feel close with him. Some of my best guy friends are dudes that I spend time with playing board games and card games, sports or just living together as roommates.
We don't need to sit down and talk about our deep feelings to bond, just spending time around each other, especially engaging in activities together, builds a connection. Kind of like the guys on a sports team. They don't sit around the locker room drinking tea and talking about their relationships and feelings to become friends -they do that after, when they already feel bonded by spending time together.
In fact, when some of my guy friends have moved away, our relationship somewhat stagnated. In person we are right back to where we used to be. But from far away, it's just not the same. Talking online or via phone doesn't really build the connection so much.
So I posit this: Men bond through physical proximity. Just spending time together. Perhaps not exclusively, but in a big way.
I don't mind doing an activity as a date, as much as I enjoy talking. In fact, in many ways it's really more about spending time together than talking. Of course the exception is when information-seeking, but I'm talking about building a bond, not trying to figure out what a woman is going to do with her hair when she's married or what she thinks about television and movies. There's gathering intel, and there's bonding with someone; I think they are two different things.