What A Man Cave Really Is & Why Every Man Needs One

man cave

The trend of creating a separate room for personal use in the home has been gaining in popularity for some years now. A male dedicated space, known as a man cave, is a feature that is becoming more common in homes with every passing year. It is designed to help a man to unwind and de-stress from the strains of everyday living and also provide a private space for entertaining friends.

What is a man cave?

A man cave is a dedicated personalized space for the male of the house. A man cave is designed to cater solely to his needs and is therefore often a very male-orientated space. A man will fill his man cave with items that reflect his personality and his interests.

Why every man needs a man cave – man cave psychology!

There are many benefits to having a man cave that go well beyond just pursuing personal interests. Other family members can also benefit when a man takes time to recharge his batteries in his man cave.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits a man cave offers.

A man cave creates a space to rejuvenate mind and body

A man cave’s main function is to provide, to the man for whom it has been designed, the emotional, physical and psychological relaxation that leads to emotional, physical and psychological rejuvenation.

In his man cave a guy can engage in his hobbies or in activities that he loves or he can just kick back and relax on his own or with friends.

A man cave is usually exclusively designed and decorated to the tastes of its owner. For example, an avid football fan may fill his man cave with footfall memorabilia that is associated with his favorite team, while a music fan may hang signed albums and music-themed posters as wall art.

A man cave can take many different forms from a quiet place to be alone, to a games room, to a home bar for socializing with friends. It provides a man with an opportunity to take his mind off work and family concerns in a space where he can fully relax and engage in pursuits meaningful to him.

Traditionally, a man would kick back and take some time to himself by pursuing an outdoor activity or by meeting up in a bar with his buddies. But a man cave offers the ability to unwind and enjoy personal interests within the confines of the home. This means there is no need to go out and spend a significant amount of money in order to kick-back.

It also means there are more opportunities for him to kick back even if it is only for an 30 minutes per day or an hour or two per week. Most of us do not have the time to head to another location in order to pursue a hobby or activity for such short durations if we have family and home commitments.

So a man cave provides us with the opportunity to unwind from our daily routine without leaving our house (or garden if your man cave is in the shed).

To learn how to create your very own male space read the article How to Build a Man Cave. If you want to build your man cave from scratch in your yard read the article How to Build a Man Cave in the Backyard.

A man cave allows you to pursue your interests

No matter how well-suited you are to your partner you will undoubtedly have separate interests.

Many times your interests are of no interest to your other half at all. In fact sometimes your interests may seem off-the-wall to your partner. Like this bat cave man cave shown below.


man cave or bat cave

When you have a hobby or interest that is unique to you and no other family member then having a man cave can allow you to pursue that interest on your own.

Many men will build a sports man cave where they can enjoy watching games and socializing with their buddies. However, there are endless possibilities open to you as far as theme and purpose goes.

Having a man cave means you are free from criticism of people who do not share your specific interests and they, likewise, are not impacted by your activities.

For example, imagine your wife hates basketball but you are an avid Lakers fan and she complains or interrupts you while you watch the game. A great compromise that will suit both of you is a man cave that is kitted out with a large screen TV and all the items you would need for watching the game. You can even deck it out with basketball memorabilia.

It’s a win-win situation for both you; she gets space away from basketball and you get to watch the game in peace.

When you have your man cave built and furnished you can even suggest some gifts for her to get you from our 100 unique man cave gift ideas.

A man cave lets you socialize with friends at home without disturbing family members

One of the most popular items in a man cave is a bar. Can you guess why?

A man cave is most definitely a place for a guy to recharge his batteries and most times he will do this on his own. However, a man cave can also be a place to meet up with your buddies.

When you have a dedicated space for yourself you can not only indulge in your personal interests but you can also socialize with friends without disturbing family members. An outdoor man cave is perfect for this – though you may need to soundproof it.

A man cave bar does not even have to tax your wallet. In the article How to Build a Man Cave Bar on a Budget I highlight neat ways to build a home bar in your cave relatively cheaply.

A man cave can help you improve relationships with other family members

Man caves are a great way for men to induce some positivity into their interpersonal relationships.

Since taking time to yourself is proven to help rejuvenate mind and body a man who spends even short periods of time in his man cave will be better able to tend to the needs of other people in his life.

When you are tired and feeling overwhelmed with work or the everyday hassles of life your entire attitude can be affected. You feel stressed. Stress makes you irritable. This stress and irritability can then bleed into other areas of your life and affect all your relationships not just those at work.

Stress and tiredness also mean that it is difficult to fully engage with other people and to really devote the time and energy to them that they deserve.

However, when you feel rejuvenated and happy, your attitude will be much more positive and this then affects how you interact with other people, especially family members.

A man cave can provide much needed space for a partner

I’ve already touched on this briefly but having your own man cave can be beneficial to other people in your life due to your improved attitude and outlook on life. However, the benefits of having a man cave can positively affect your partner the most.

barn themed man caveWhen you spend time in the man cave you will not only be recharging your own batteries, through spending time alone, but you will providing much-needed space for your partner as well.

Even though you might be head-over-heels in love with each other everyone needs their own personal space.

The lack of personal space in a relationship can make the relationship toxic while giving each other some space can greatly improve your relationship.

That is why spending time in the man cave will also give your partner that “me-time” she also needs.

Of course you need to make sure you are not just entering your man cave and leaving your partner with the kids and other household duties; perhaps you should consider building her a she shed so she can take some time out as well.

When you’re providing proper personal space for your partner while getting personal space for yourself your relationship will flourish.

A man cave helps reduce work stress

Although I mentioned the importance of a man cave for rejuvenating mind and body I only touched on the how it can help reduce stress.

Nowadays, almost all of us lead a stressful lifestyle. Most of this stress comes from work. Work stress can originate from strict deadlines, bad bosses, critical co-workers or just from the fact that you hate your job.

A Gallup poll has shown that a whopping 85% of Americans hate their job!

And, according to Forbes the worldwide number of unhappy employees outnumbers happy employees by 2 to 1.

When you hate your job, your job becomes stressful. When we experience long sustained levels of stress it can often be difficult to relax. So, when we get home and fall on the couch oftentimes the time spent there is not really relaxing at all.

A man cave can help alleviate this problem by providing a dedicated environment that is optimal for relaxation and rejuvenation.

In fact, a man cave can be more beneficial than other forms of relaxation because the more you use it the more you will form a psychological connection between the man cave and relaxation/rejuvenation. It becomes a place to instantly unwind.

A man cave can not only help you in reducing work stress but it can also ensure that you have a much better work-life balance and this is in turn is likely to increase your productivity at work and can even help to reduce your stress levels while at work as well.

A man cave can be used to help you spark your creativity

Spending some time alone while indulging in your favorite activity can actually help you in fostering new and creative thoughts.

creative sparkOn a base level a man cave can allow you to pursue creative interests such as painting, model-making or sculpting, if they are things you like to do, but it also offers a deeper creative advantage even if you don’t consider yourself to be creative.

Since your mind will be relatively free from stress and your body will be relaxed while in your man cave it will actually become easier for you to think about new solutions to existing challenges. It is not uncommon for men relaxing in their man caves to get insights and have flashes of inspiration and ideas for solving problems that hitherto appeared to be unsolvable.

Whether you realize it or not your subconscious mind is much more open to offering new insights and ideas when you are in a relaxed state. So relaxing in your man cave can allow your subconscious mind to offer you creative solutions to some of your most pressing current challenges.

But the wife won’t let me have a man cave – overcoming objections to a man cave

Some women will be against the idea of having a man cave in their home.

This can be due to a variety of different reasons such as:

  1. Expense of creating a man cave
  2. The risk of man cave addiction
  3. Needing a separate space seems selfish
  4. Fear that their relationship may be negatively impacted

Let’s look at these objections one by one so I can show you how you can present the idea of a man cave to your wife in a way where she sees the many benefits of letting you have one.

Objection 1: A man cave is too expensive

It is going to cost money to create a man cave. Depending on where you intend to make your cave the average price range for a conversion can be anywhere from $900 up to $10,000 or more.

The higher-end price scale is based on buying a brand new large and utility equipped shed. The lower price is based upon a room conversion in your house.

However, it can be done cheaper if you are on a very strict budget and in many cases all you will be doing is moving stuff you already own from several different areas of your home to put them all into just one place.

Many people mistakenly believe that creating a man cave is expensive. I have outlined just how cheaply you can build a man cave in the article How to Build a Man Cave on a Budget.

Even if you plan to start completely from scratch, building everything in the garden from the foundation up, I have shown ways to keep the cost to a minimum without sacrificing on quality or space in the article How to Build a Man Cave in the Backyard.

Bear in mind that the benefits of having a man cave well outweigh the cost (as long as you have the available funds).

Objection 2: Spending time in a man cave can become addictive

When it comes to her fearing that you may develop an addiction to your man cave, that is actually a legitimate fear.

Everyone likes to be immersed in the activities they love and if those activities are readily available then the temptation to overuse them is strong.

You must therefore promise (and keep that promise) to limit the amount of time you spend in your man cave. Set an agreed upon amount of time for you to spend daily in your man cave.

It is also a good idea for both of you to set an amount of time for spending one-on-one with your wife and also set an amount of time where she can spend time alone also. That way you will have agreed on a good compromise and will thus avoided creating family tension.

Objection 3: Having a man cave is pure selfishness

As I mentioned previously having your own space is essential for a healthy psyche. This is just as true for other family members as it is for you.

Having a male-dedicated space where you can just chill and unwind is far from selfish. In fact, as I already covered in a previous section above, it also has a very beneficial effect on your interpersonal relationships.

Objection 4: Spending time alone in a man cave might lead to a relationship breakdown

relationship breakdownThere is a belief among some women, and some men, that building and using a man cave will somehow negatively affect their relationship.

While abuse of a man cave, or any other interest that doesn’t involve your partner, can damage a relationship, using a man cave in the correct manner can actually strengthen your relationship.

This is such an important point that I covered it in detail in an above section.

Busting the myth that man caves ruin marriages

Will building a man cave destroy your marriage?

The short answer is … no!

In fact, a man cave can greatly improve your relationship with your wife.

There is a misconception that man caves can actually ruin marriages. This is not true at all.

While an excess of anything is not a good thing, as long as man cave does not turn into an addiction, it is actually beneficial for both the partners.

Spending quality time alone pursing your interests is psychologically healthy.

A man cave can actually help improve your marriage (don’t believe me? Read this).

Building and using a man cave is only truly acceptable only when your partner is given the same courtesy!

When each partner in a relationship is more relaxed and stress-free the quality of the relationship usually improves significantly. When you are together you are both free to really engage with each other and be there for each other.

How long should a man stay in his cave?

The answer to this question will help you in avoiding man cave addiction and if you are a woman it will better help you understand a man’s need for solitude.

Ideally, if you’re spending time in your man cave on a daily basis, you should really spend no more than about 60 minutes there if you have a family. Any longer than this and you will be neglecting your duties as a husband/partner and father if you have kids.

On the other hand, if you’re only using your man cave on the weekends you can spend around 3 hours plus on a Saturday and a Sunday.

The reason why you need to limit your time in the man cave is to ensure that you are not getting addicted to it or neglecting other family members. The idea of a man cave is to provide you with a space to rejuvenate your mind and body, it should not be viewed as an escape from life.

10 cool man caves ideas

Although the idea of a man cave sounds good, many men are at a loss as to how begin creating one.

Here are a few man cave ideas to get you started.

You could create a:

Don’t forget that you can also give your man cave a theme. You can read more about themes in our post 7 Top designs for the Ultimate Man Cave.

The theme and design you use for your man cave will be largely dependent on its main purpose and your personal interests.

What if you don’t have enough room for a man cave? Small man cave ideas

If you have a growing family or a small home then you know that finding space for storage, let alone finding space for yourself, can be a challenge.

man cave barIf your home is becoming more and more cramped, then the availability of space to kick-back, or indulge in a fun activity, or a hobby may be almost non-existent.

In such a case you can create a man cave either in the garage, an outside storage building or in the shed.

Creating a man cave in a shed involves some very precise steps that are outlined in my article How to Turn Your Shed into a Man Cave in 10 Easy Steps.

If you don’t already have a shed then this article will show you how to build a man cave in the backyard.

If you only have the garage read the article how to create the ultimate man cave garage.

I have covered the topic of small man caves previously and you can find 13 cool small man cave ides in that article.

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