The secret to building deeper friendships. The 1-on-1.

Andrew Horn
3 min readNov 23, 2022

“I don’t know who my good friends are…or what to do about it.”

I’ve had two men share this with me in the past week.

Both are cool, successful, connected guys.

I shared the same insight with both of them.

When I look back at my life, there is one thing I can point to that transformed my community and the strength of my relationships more than anything.

The 1-on-1.

When I first moved to New York, I had an active social schedule and spent a lot of time out on the town, partying and hanging with fun people.

While I love being with people, I am more energized by my solo-alone-creative time. I would often leave these events feeling drained. While they were fun, they often lacked the depth that truly nourished me.

I would naturally spend time at parties locked in with a single person or couple of people…it was more generative for me.

So, one day I said…”why don’t I just skip the party and go straight for that?”

I made a list of all of the men that I wanted to cultivate deeper friendships with and I started inviting them to man dates at the Russian Turkish bath in NYC. A grimey and wonderful sauna/steam complex in the East Village. Sometimes we’d get ramen afterwards.

I noticed something immediately.

These hangs filled my “social cup” and also left me feeling energized and full.

I felt deeply connected to the men I spent time with, even when we didn’t speak to each other for months afterwards.

My relationships with these men naturally started to become closer, more intimate and supportive.

— —

If you are feeling like you want to build deeper friendships and aren’t sure where to start, try this…

  1. Make a list of all of the people you want to cultivate a deep friendship with. Someone who you want to hang out with and someone you want to support because you believe in them.

2. Invite those people to a solo hang. Go for a hike, hit the sauna or hang out in a park. Bonus points for doing something unique as novel experience help us to connect more quickly.

Often, we hesitate to make these request of other people because we’re afraid that we might get rejected.

Remember this:

  1. When we act in the face of fear, we write a new chapter in the story of who we want to become. We have to be willing to embrace fear to build/deepen any relationship.

2. if someone is flighty or unavailable for deeper, 1-on-1 time, that’s a great thing to know. It free’s up your bandwidth and will help you to invest your energy into finding and sustaining the relationships you truly want.

Most people crave depth, they are just waiting for someone to invite it in.



Andrew Horn

Founder // - Spreading gratitude and meaningful human connection in the world — prev. @dreamsforkidsdc and @abilitylist.