Role of a man in a relationship: 15 important things every man needs to do

Gender roles are a hot topic at the moment, and for good reason. Women aren’t as reliant on men as they once were, but that doesn’t mean men don’t have an important role to play in relationships.

And for a relationship to be successful, both men and women need to know where they stand and what they bring to the table.

So if you feel left wondering what the role of a man is in a relationship, we’ve got you covered with 15 essential roles below:

1) He takes full responsibility for his actions and decisions

Ready for some cold truth?

Here it is: A lot of men have no idea what their roles are in a relationship. They just love the idea of dating (or baiting) many women so they’d have someone who takes care of them.

This is quite understandable, though, given how our society is viewing gender roles nowadays. I mean, look around: how many women do you see teaching their sons to be the perfect boyfriend or husband?

My guess is not many. The focus is mainly on teaching girls about their roles as a wife in the future.

The result of this subculture is that a lot of men grow up being very irresponsible in relationships. Many are just dating for fun or are becoming deadbeat partners.

To be fair, this may be a hasty generalization — as there are also a lot of amazing men out there — but the reality is that a lot of men know little about building a healthy relationship.

A responsible man doesn’t do things he knows are wrong and then blames others. If he commits a mistake,  he takes responsibility for it.

He doesn’t shift blame or tries to rationalize his mistakes. Instead, he simply owns up that he has made a mistake, feels sorry for it, learns from it, and offers to make up for it.

Every man should know that saying “sorry” for his shortcomings don’t make him any less of a man.

In fact, apologizing for the mistakes he’s committed makes him more of a man because it demonstrates he has the courage and integrity to own up to his faults and find solutions to correct them.

2) He is the provider — and strives to be good at that

This may seem like a page from an archaic gender roles book, but it’s still valid and relevant up to these days: A man should be able to provide in a relationship.

In fact, if you’ve already heard of the hero instinct by now, you’ll know that it is biologically imprinted in him to need to provide for and protect someone he loves.

The hero instinct is a new concept in relationship psychology that is already creating a real buzz.

What it boils down to is that men have a genetic urge to be a woman’s hero. If that sounds outdated, remember that we’re not talking about social roles, this is in their DNA.

I was skeptical at first, but the more I read about the hero instinct, the more it made total sense.

And I can see how countless relationships fall apart simply because this natural instinct is not being triggered in men, causing them to go cold or not fully commit to a woman.

It’s nothing anywhere near as caveman as it might at first sound, it’s actually way more simple. For a relationship to be successful men have to feel that they’re stepping up for you and earning your respect in return.

The best thing to do is watch this quick video to get the full rundown on what the hero instinct is, and how you can trigger it in your man.

Every woman deserves to meet a man at the point in his life where he already has something to his name, or he’s making suitable plans to reach it.

It’s never old-fashioned to seek a man who’s “prepared” enough to take care of someone else — and I’m not just talking about financial matters.

Curious to learn more about the hero instinct?

Click here to watch the excellent free video.

3) He works hard and pursues his passions because he is thinking ahead

If a man is responsible when it comes to his job, that same attitude would reflect in other areas of his life, especially in dealing with relationships.

That’s why it’s a common thread that many women would prefer dating men who have an impeccable work ethic.

Every man should work hard. That means no matter what happens, he’d work hard to ensure he fulfills his role in the relationship and protects the well-being of his woman and his family at large.

Moreover, a man in love is able to pursue other passion(s) that don’t involve his partner — he has enough going on in his life to keep him busy and productive. This means that he is, at least, passionate about one other thing besides your partnership.

The relationship is not everything he is. That’s why he can readily give you your space when you need it, and you must be ready to give him his as well.

4) He shows strength and is manly

The Jewish ethical teaching defines strength as being able to control one’s passions.

Thus, a strong man isn’t someone who can conquer a city with his bare hands — it’s he who can control his anger. Blowing up in anger can cause a serious threat to the relationship.

While not feeling any sense of anger even when being treated badly isn’t a good thing either, a strong man knows how to calmly set limits on his reactions over emotions.

Meanwhile, being manly is not being macho. Manliness goes beyond superficial qualities, which are often limited to physical standards.

A “manly” man has the qualities of decisiveness, strong convictions, confidence, self-reliance, high moral values, integrity, and many more outstanding calibers.

He is courageous enough to deal with difficulty or pain and is smart enough to know the difference between bravery and stupidity.

You know when you’re dating a manly man because he can speak his mind — always.

Having said that, a strong man is not afraid or timid to say what’s on his mind. He does not hold back from saying no when he doesn’t agree with something.

He will debate with you on important topics — even those he is not comfortable with — without losing his cool.

He is straightforward and talks to you as an equal while allowing you room to make your own conclusions. This does not mean he is indifferent or disrespectful to women. He just knows that an all-yes man is no man at all.

5) He deeply respects you

While many people may have this notion of a man being the head of the family —therefore everyone must respect him — this isn’t entirely true.

A relationship that’s controlled by an ego-centric, dominant alpha is a partnership that doesn’t have love, unity, and intimacy freely flowing in it.

To combat this, both parties need to feel respected and loved, and it’s not a gender-specific role.

A man should respect you for who you are — not just your body, possessions, status, but all of you! He treats you with dignity and respect.

Of course, respect is reciprocal. There’s no way a man will continue to be in a relationship where he’s not being respected for who he is.

6) He shows leadership by taking the first initiative

If a man wants to be seen as worthy of the woman he wants to have a good relationship with, he has to show leadership.

During situations that need to be dealt with immediately, it’s the man that should step forward and offer to handle the crisis.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that women aren’t capable of handling difficult situations. It’s just that when it comes to a partnership between a man and a woman, it’s always the former that should take the first initiative.

People admire men who can readily step forward to handle difficult situations, and frown at those who stand back and wait for their woman to solve the problem.

However, some men avoid taking the lead due to fear of criticism. They think playing it safe is the best way to do it. But this is far from the definition of a “manly” man.

A man should say, “I’ll handle it”, and seek solutions to the problem at hand. He is the first to step forward and address issues in the relationship.

If he’s not sure what the solution is, he isn’t shy about doing what other brave men do: consult others, especially their partners, on the proper way to handle situations.

7) He commits to the relationship fully

Lack of commitments among men can be blamed on the gender roles that had been assigned centuries ago, where the man got away with infidelity while the women suffered the burden.

Sadly, many men still think this way today. They feel it’s a “manly” thing to cheat, and it would be a “slap on their masculinity”  not to date multiple women at once.

But lack of commitment can also happen when a man is in a relationship that doesn’t trigger his hero instinct.

I mentioned this concept earlier — that guys need to feel appreciated in a relationship.

If they don’t, it won’t make a difference how loving, smart, smoking hot, and all-around incredible a woman is — he won’t fully commit. He will eventually become distant and look elsewhere to satisfy this need.

Check out this free video if you want to discover how to trigger his hero instinct to ensure he is a loyal and attentive partner.

This simple and genuine video reveals the texts you can send, words you can say, and little requests you can make to trigger this very natural instinct in your man.

Remember, a man who thinks that he can’t commit to one woman isn’t a man — he’s still a boy and should never leave his mother’s crib.

A committed man never cheats nor becomes unloyal to his partner. He thinks of his affection for his woman as a full-time commitment.

Therefore, he will fulfill his part in nourishing and strengthening the relationship through honest communication and teamwork.

When you are with this kind of man, keep him. You can trust him with your life, for he will stay faithful to you no matter what — but you also do the same.

8) He provides anchor and support to his partner

What’s even the point of having a partner who can’t support us?

No relationship will ever flourish if one party thinks it’s all right that his partner supports his life goals while he just keeps on pouring cold water on her.

So, women, beware. Before you ever decide to commit to a man for the rest of your life, make sure that he’s supportive of your dreams too.

There are so many stories out there of women having to give up their own dreams and aspirations just to cater to the needs of their short-sighted men who couldn’t see beyond their shoulders.

How many men have you heard who forgo their ambitions because of their girlfriends or wives? I can’t even recall having heard of one.

Therefore, don’t ever enter into a relationship where support isn’t given both ways.

A man should be the anchor of the relationship. And he should be able to support you with all your life goals.

It may be that you want to go back to school after 15 years to get your master’s degree, or you want to pursue your passion after having stuck in your corporate job for 20 years.

No plan is ever too crazy or funny for a man who is willing to support you. He will never discourage you or doubt your capacity to fulfill what you set out to do.

He will be there for you in every step of the way, cheering and offering comfort during your victories or defeats.

9) He loves you and is not shy to show it

No relationship survives without love. Period.

However, most men have attributed that role to women. Funny that is, because if all this time women are supposed to do everything for a relationship to work, then what’s the use of men?

Are they just supposed to be these extra-macho guys who are uncaring, unfeeling, and hard?

Every man should take note of this:

It’s never unbecoming of a man to show his compassion and love to his partner or anyone.

The ancient views of men being discreet with their feelings are the same reasons why most relationships sink to the bottom.

It’s okay to project manhood as being hardcore, but it’s never okay for a man not to love his partner soulfully, fervently, and whole-heartedly.

Every man should never let his partner forget how much he loves her. This is the most important piece of the love puzzle.

If a man is truly committed to the relationship, you will know it and feel it, as he will never shy away from showing you all his love.

10) He adds value to your life

This is one other role that many take for granted.

If you’ve been in an organization for years but can’t really see the value it has added to your life, isn’t that a pure waste of your time?

This same rule applies in relationships: Both couples should be able to impact or add value to the other in the best way they can.

Every man should be able to provide or add value to his partner’s life and the relationship. And this added value never has to be just monetary.

Remember, the best things in life aren’t those that involve money. In relationships, it’s often the valuable lessons we learn that are our best takeaways if ever the partnership ends.

It can be a character flaw that’s corrected or a unique view that helps us move on with our lives.

So, if you can’t point at something your man has added to your life since the relationship started, that’s a red flag.

11) He protects you physically and emotionally

In married life, most men just take care of the financial part — you know, providing a comfortable shelter, paying the bills, and giving other luxury benefits (if he’s boxed up).

However, your needs as a woman go beyond those material luxuries.

A man needs to make his woman feel protected and he should always be her defense.

Hence, it is an important role of a man to protect his partner physically and emotionally. This doesn’t mean that a woman can’t protect and defend herself, though.

A good man should always be there for her anyway and protect her in many different ways. He isn’t afraid to throw a good punch to defend her from physical aggressors.

However, he is also able to employ his diplomatic skills. He will never make a move until he is sure of all details — as his moves are calculated, deliberate, and assured.

In short, if you’re with this type of man, you will always feel safe around him. Abuse of any kind is never an issue with him, for he is considerate and he treats everyone kindly.

12) He can make tough decisions

There will be times when a man is faced with a situation that requires him to make decisions way more complicated than he’s used to.

And during those uncertain times, he’ll need to think on his feet and come up with a decision that won’t compromise the relationship too much.

With the proper support from his woman, an extra amount of courage, intelligence, and tact would be needed at such critical points in his life.

Having said that, every man should be able to step up and make the tough decisions. He should be decisive enough to never wait for his partner to decide for him.

However, while making decisions, he understands that the views of his partner are equally important too. So he always considers his partner’s inputs when it comes to things that involve the relationship.

Women dislike indecisive, cowardly men, and they are right for being so.

A man needs to make decisions and take responsibility for the outcome.

13) He fulfills his partner mentally and sexually

Relationships don’t just take anchor on sexual activities. So every man should know how to allot time for nonphysical things.

Aside from whispering to her how beautiful she is, a man is also able to engage his partner in meaningful discussions about life. He plans with you for the future and often cracks jokes to lighten and liven your moments together.

But of course, he should be a good lover too — we will not pretend that sex isn’t an important part of any relationship. In fact, most men won’t stay in a marriage where good sex is off the table.

So, fulfilling the sexual role shouldn’t be taken for granted by both parties.

A man should be able to satisfy his wife sexually unless he has medical conditions that are limiting his performance. Rather than just doing it just for the sake of the activity, a man should devote himself to finding new ways to give pleasure to his partner.

14) He stands up for the relationship

Sometimes friends, family, or even total strangers ask inappropriate questions or make inappropriate remarks about your relationship, such as commenting that you are not a “good match.”

In such cases, every man should be able to stand up for himself and defend the legitimacy and integrity of his relationship.

And this one is extremely important: Even when he is with his closest circle, he should speak up and stand his ground in defense of his relationship.

If a man truly values your relationship, he will express himself in the presence of others to defend you and your relationship.

15) He stays in the relationship no matter what

As long as a man feels he is loved, respected, and cherished by his partner, he will find ways to be able to stay in the relationship no matter what the circumstances are.

He would even defy gravity if he needed to.

While it’s not really advisable to stay in a toxic relationship, every man should know how to fix things first before deciding to just dump the partnership.

If a man decides to stay in a relationship, it could be because he has gotten so comfortable in your company or because he believes that he won’t find a woman that will put up with him the way you do.

For him, you are his best companion and his most comfortable option.

But just as everything in this world, not all men are the same. If you find yourself having done everything you could to make your man comfortable and he still can’t appreciate the effort, it might be high time to take the road not taken.


What is the role of a woman in a relationship?

Women are so much better at nurturing and managing things than men are.

So while ladies are certainly allowed to empower themselves, it’s important that they still take care of the responsibilities that they’re usually known to be good at —  planning, budgeting, and organizing — especially if their partner doesn’t do a good job in these areas.

What makes a man fall deeply in love with a woman?

Men easily fall in love with women who have strong passion and purpose in life.

The very reason for this is that these two things are contagious. When a man meets a woman who feels so sure of her life, he will somehow feel the same way too.

Thus, when a man falls in love with a passionate woman, he becomes filled with passion, which can translate to his great love for her.

What does a man want in a woman?

Men are often deprived of genuine care. This is why a man wants a caring woman.

We often associate care with being a good partner. If a man sees that his woman is caring and is a nice person, he will think of her as someone with whom he could spend a happy life.

Even a simple act as asking how a man’s day has been will go a long way into taking a place in his heart.

What makes a man happy in a relationship?

Just by letting your man know how you feel about him — whether you love him or like him a lot — you are already giving him so much joy and assurance.

When you say goodbye to your man, don’t forget to remind him how much you love him or that he’s great. Also, find at least one aspect to compliment him every time you hang out.

What do men look for in a wife?

Like women, men want a life partner who is trustworthy, faithful, and caring.

They want a wife who will stand by their side and doesn’t instantly jump ship when things begin to get shaky.

The bottom line: What everyone deserves

Women need the men in their lives to see them as allies in achieving every goal they have in the relationship. Just because a man lead doesn’t mean he knows it all.

As such, he should take time to recognize and acknowledge a woman’s strengths and all the things she brings to their relationship.

And when it comes to the partnership, men want the same things women do — just the right amount of care, respect, and trust.

We hope that we were able to help you answer all the questions you might have regarding gender roles in a relationship and other things.

Feel free to share this with your male friends, boyfriend, or spouse, as we need more guys assuming their roles and acting like the real men we know they can be.


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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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