There’s no question that one of the biggest challenges facing us guys fighting to overcome habitual sexual sin is finding good accountability partners. This is true whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re many years into recovery. Like a high achieving pro scout, we’re always on the lookout for good, strong, trustworthy men to fill out our accountability team.
The Accountability Partner Bottleneck
In my last blog, I offered up some tips and suggestions on what to look for when searching for a good accountability partner, including where to look and who to turn to for help. Let’s face it–this blog is full of great advice and guidance from a lot of experts on what to look for in an accountability partner.
So what’s the problem? Why is it so hard to find good accountability partners?
For one thing, the actual task of finding qualified candidates and initiating contact with them can be awkward and time consuming at best, and at worst, risky and unsafe. It’s difficult for men who’ve been unfaithful and untrustworthy in their addiction to learn to trust others. Add to that the guilt and shame most men who struggle in this area bring with them into the recovery process, and just calling another guy can be like picking up an 800 lb. phone.
But I’ve also found there’s an even more fundamental reason that often gets in the way. A lot of times, it just comes down to having a hard time finding someone you like spending time with. You know, people you’ve got something in common with, who like doing the same kinds of things you like doing. In our busy lives, building healthy male relationships often gets pushed to the bottom of our priority list. So when we really need it the most, we’re out of practice finding and building healthy male relationships. Especially those that go deep and get personal.
Compatibility Factors for Guys
But when those relationships do click, it’s usually because there’s a good match in a certain set of criteria. Here’s a sample of some key criteria I’ve seen most guys use when considering who they want to spend time with, whether it’s for the primary purpose of accountability or just hanging out together:
1. Like-minded and Like-hearted–I believe that this compatibility factor trumps them all. When a guy finds another guy who, at least in the case of their common pursuit of sexual integrity, has a similar attitude and level of commitment towards the task at hand, their connection takes on a greater sense of purpose and meaning. There are the spiritual sojourners, the equally yoked brothers in Christ. These pairings are hard to find, but also hard to separate.
2. Age and Marital Status–Age and marital status are what I’d consider to be the next biggest factors in male relationship compatibility. Guys typically like spending time with other guys their same age and relationship demographic more than they do guys from another generation and a different marital status. They just have more in common in their given season of life.
3. Hobbies and Interests–This factor is a biggie and tends to override differences in age – that being shared hobbies and interests. After all, guys are doers. We just like doing things far more than we do talking about doing things. So all the better when we find someone else who likes doing the same things we like doing. It’s relational nirvana for guys!
4. Location–While the younger guys who I mentor are just as comfortable on screen as they are in person, relational compatibility still most often comes down to location, location, location. So even when distance and remote proximity requires regularly connecting by phone or video, those same guys will eventually want to meet up face-to-face, even if it requires them flying clear across the country in order to do so. It’s a necessary step in building a lasting trust.
5. Similar Backstory and Time in Recovery–This isn’t so much a determining factor of whether or not guys will connect in general, as much as it is a helpful guide for someone wanting to know what kind of accountability relationship they might be headed into – whether it’s with a peer, mentor or mentee. Of course, we need all of these kinds of men in our lives. Guys start to figure that out when they start sharing their stories and talking about their past and present relationship with pornography, sexual temptation and sexual sin.
This is just the short list of the key criteria I’ve seen guys use when deciding who they want to start spending time with. There are others as well. Naturally, the more of these factors they discover they share with another guy, or those they find they work well with in spite of their differences, the more likely it is that they’ll be intentional and invest in that relationship.
A Natural Solution–The Accountability Partner Finder
So when I finally took the time to sit down and think through the problem of how difficult it was to find good accountability partners, a thought dawned on me – why not create a website that works like a dating site, only have it be for guys looking for accountability partners? You know, something easy to use and intuitive, complete with a powerful search and sort capability?
It’s got to be safe and accessible for every guy who wants to use it. So it should be free.
The result is a brand new BraveHearts website we’re officially launching today called the Accountability Partner Finder. I created it just for men who are looking for sexual integrity accountability partners. And to ensure that it remains a safe and secure place where like-minded, like-hearted guys can go to find and connect with one another, I plan on personally managing and administering it myself.
I encourage you to visit the site, register as a new user, create your profile page, and start searching. It only takes a few minutes, and you can remain as anonymous to the other users as you like. Once there, you’ll also find some helpful tutorial videos I’ve made that’ll teach you how to use the site effectively so you get the most out of your experience there. You’ll also find my personal blog that I created to help you learn accountability partnership best practices.
This site is for any man who wants to hold himself accountable to another man in the area of sexual integrity, regardless of the degree to which you struggle. So check it out and let me know what you think. I’m confident it’ll help you fill out your roster with some top notch guys on the way to building yourself a Grade A accountability team.
Looking for an accountability partner? Be sure to check out BraveHeart’s new Accountability Partner Finder website and register for free as a new user.