The top 22 things men desperately want in a relationship

A couple bonding. Signs he respects you.

Is your boyfriend unwilling to commit? Or are you dating someone who’s going back and forth with the relationship?

If so, you might have to rethink how you’re treating your man.

Men think and fbetteeel differently compared to women. They have their own communication styles and emotional needs.

Most men find it difficult to commit because they are afraid that their social independence and self-sufficiency are being threatened.

In order to overcome this, your relationship has to be reshaped to fulfill his needs – even those he doesn’t realize he has.

A woman has to change her perspective on what men truly want, so she can meet these needs and help the relationship move forward.

Making your man want to commit: turn the relationship into a need

Men are from Mars; women are from Venus.

Men and women are different on many levels: physically, emotionally, and communication-wise.

Ladies tend to be socially open which lets them befriend other women easily, but their usual approach won’t work with men.

This is just one reason why men pull away.

If your man is unwilling to commit to you, then it’s time to change up your strategy.

Commitment is a decision. Commitment isn’t a personality trait that you can only find in a select number of people. Fear of commitment isn’t a valid excuse either.

Even if someone has the tendency to avoid attachment, they can still make a different choice.

It’s likely that your man is unwilling to commit to you because he isn’t sure of you yet.

He might not realize the value you add to his life or he just doesn’t feel safe enough to show you his vulnerabilities.

In any case, something has to change before he can make the decision to commit to you.

The solution? Treat your man right.

Instead of forcing him to shape his life around yours, you have to understand things from his point of view and adjust accordingly.

Women tend to think that men don’t need them, or value their opinions, support, and praise.

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Men want to be treated in a way that doesn’t diminish their egos or make them feel inadequate.

They love to be praised and acknowledged for the things they do right. Above all, they like to be reminded that they are great guys who are well-loved and appreciated.

Simply put, men care about the same things as women. Even if there are many differences between the sexes, we connect through the eyes (like soulmates do) and we share the same human needs.

So if you really want your man to commit to you, you have to figure out how to turn your relationship into something he needs.

What men want in a relationship: 22 ways to evolve from a convenience to a need

Contrary to what we see in the media and online, men aren’t a perplexing mystery you have to solve.

In order to get your partner to commit, you simply have to convince him that this relationship is something he needs.

To do this, you have to give him what he wants in a relationship.

Here are 22 things you can do to evolve your relationship:

1. Praise him.

The Need: To hear your approval and admiration

Satisfy It By: Complimenting him regularly

Men have surprisingly vulnerable egos so let your praise loose. Take time to remind your partner what you like about him and reassure him about all his qualities.

Don’t worry, it won’t boost his ego to the point of insufferability.

Tell your partner exactly what you find attractive about him and praise him for his skills.

Compliment him whenever he does something nice for you. You’ll find that little words of encouragement will make him feel loved.

The more you praise his positives, the more you will see and appreciate them too.

2. Give him some space.

The Need: To have some quiet time alone

Satisfy It By: Being mindful of his time

Having alone time is essential for every person. It lets us re-energize, regroup, and reconnect with ourselves.

This is especially true for men, who are more inclined towards independence rather than intimacy.

It can seem pretty counterintuitive when your head tells you to be there at his beck and call, come day or night.

But conversely, giving him the right enough of space will almost always work in your favor.

That doesn’t make trusting the process and pinging that elastic band away (in doing so, waiting for it to return) any easier.

But it’s largely in unlearning these societal beliefs – such as that need to almost suffocate someone with love and attention – that a greater sense of peace is achieved in our future relationships.

Rudá Iandé is a world famous shaman who has helped many people achieve more contentment in their relationships both with themselves and those they love.

His Love and Intimacy Masterclass is a great free resource which can kickstart your own learning process (of unlearning) beliefs such as the more you give, the more likely he is to stay. 

Because as much as your heart might beg you otherwise, giving your man enough space and time for himself will keep him from feeling suffocated by the relationship.

Let him roam and keep to himself every now and then. Allow him to unwind once he gets home from work and be mindful about making too many plans when he has free time.

Now, I’m not saying you should turn your cheek to any bad behavior and let him mistreat you.

But show that you trust him.

He’ll appreciate you demonstrating this and be more inclined to honour your shared bond when you let him breathe.

If you need pointers on where to get started, I definitely recommend checking out the masterclass.

Rudá’s practical exercises really prompt you to dig deep and think about what sort of beliefs are currently getting in the way of your relationships.

Click here to try out the masterclass yourself.

3. Allow him to be vulnerable.

The Need: To have a safe space for his emotions

Satisfy It By: Being there for him and helping him heal

From a very young age, society teaches men to avoid looking weak. Signs of “weakness” are crying, complaining, divulging fears, or expressing doubts.

This is why as men mature, it takes them time to open up emotionally.

As a partner, you have to nurture him when he lets the cracks in his armour show.

When he first cries in front of you, he needs to be sure that you won’t be turned off or handle it poorly.

You have to learn how to help him work through negative emotions such as sadness or fear without pushing him away.

Otherwise, you will never be able to bridge that emotional gap.

4. Be physically affectionate.

The Need: To experience non-sexual touch

Satisfy It By: Caressing him every now and then

While men enjoy having sexual access to their partners, they also need non-sexual affection as well.

Simple things like touching his hair, neck, or cheek lovingly can reaffirm your physical and emotional connection.

Touch is an interpretation of physical love. It will turn him on and it tells your man that you love him and want him to feel happy all the time.

It is also a reminder that you are by his side and that you care for him deeply.

5. Reassure him you’re in this for the long run.

The Need: To have a sense of security

Satisfy It By: Building his trust in you

Both men and women want certainty in a relationship. If a man feels like his partner is truly invested in the relationship for the long haul, he will be more ready to commit to her.

Aside from reassuring your man that you won’t leave him, there are other areas to consider as well.

Men will feel more secure if he knows you approve of him and his career.

He would also be more confident about the relationship if he knows you trust him enough not to snoop through his messages, or call him every hour when he’s out with his friends.

There are also signs he doesn’t want anyone else to have you.

6. Make him feel like a ‘hero’.

The Need: To feel needed.

Satisfy It By: Make him feel appreciated when he steps up for you

According to James Bauer’s hero instinct theory, men want to feel like your Superman – not your Clark Kent.

They want you to be impressed by the things they do and would hate for you to look down on them.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly what will make your partner feel this way best, but you can try asking him for help every now and then.

Show him that you value his opinions and cherish his advice. Always express how much you look up to his competency and never humiliate him when he doesn’t live up to your expectations.

To learn more about the hero instinct and how it to trigger it in your man, check out this free informative video from the man who founded the term.

James Bauer reveals the things you can say, texts you can send, and little requests you can make to trigger this very natural male instinct.

The hero instinct is probably the best-kept secret in relationship psychology. I think learning about it is the key to gaining a man’s love and devotion for life.

Click here to watch the quick video.

Recommended reading: How to ignore a man and make him want you: 10 important tips

7. Tell him it’s okay if he makes a mistake.

The Need: To feel accepted and supported

Satisfy It By: Giving him unconditional love and understanding

Inside every man is a little boy who forgets he shouldn’t leave the toilet seat up or say the wrong thing to your friends.

He also probably has a curious mind and a short attention span – but remember: you are his partner, not his mother. It’s not really your job to nag at him if he does something wrong.

If he slips up and makes a mistake, talk to him about it calmly and reassure him that it’s okay.

This shows him you support and accept him unconditionally, even if he slips up every now and then.

Once he knows you understand him, he will be motivated to become a better man for you.

8. Be a little playful.

The Need: To have some fun

Satisfy It By: Not taking yourself too seriously

A lot of women are experts at organization and multitasking, which can be draining for men.

It’s really easy to get wound-up thinking about your to-do list, so why not be a little spontaneous and let loose together?

Men like to see it when you let go of control and enjoy the moment with him. Don’t be afraid to show him your sense of humor because this shows him you’re comfortable and relaxed with him.

After all, life is too short to be so serious about everything; your partner will appreciate sharing inside jokes and having adventures with you.

9. Treat him to romantic gestures.

The Need: To feel love through actions

Satisfy It By: Wooing him

Many people don’t realize that men want romance as much as women do.

Men tend to show their love through actions more than words, so wooing your man through sweet gestures will remind him that you love him.

While they won’t expect flowers or chocolates from you, your partner probably won’t mind if you occasionally send him a cute text or kiss him on the cheek for no particular reason.

Making little impromptu gestures will show that you are passionate and generous in your relationship.

10. Take an interest in his hobbies.

The Need: To share his passions with you

Satisfy It By: Asking plenty of questions and spending time with him

Just as women enjoy their partners taking an interest in their hobbies, so do men.

Now, you may not share all the same interests as him.

He loves movies, you prefer to read. He likes jogging but you enjoy surfing.

It’s easy to stop showing interest once you’ve decided that you don’t like something, but that’s forgetting an important fact – he still likes it.

So even if you don’t plan on joining him every time he plays racquetball or goes to the cinema, it won’t hurt to tag along sometimes (and encourage him to do the same with you).

Think about it this way:

By showing you what gets him passionate about life, or what brings him immense joy to do as a pastime, he’s letting you into his very own little world.

Not only will you get a better understanding of him, but he’ll begin to feel a deep sense of connection now he can share this part of himself with you.

And if he’s the type of guy who prefers to do it alone, that’s okay. You can still ask him questions, just to show you still have an interest.

11. Accept him for who he is.

The Need: To be able to be 100% himself

Satisfy It By: Decreasing judgment and criticism

We all want to feel accepted, by our parents, friends, and especially by our partners.

And since many of us deal with insecurities that stem right from childhood, finding a partner who can truly accept us as we are is rare.

But if you can learn to overlook the small stuff, be there for him regardless of what he’s going through, and hold back on the judgment?

He’ll feel like he’s in the best relationship in the world and it’ll allow him to just breathe and be who he wants to be, without any fear of criticism.

12. Having healthy expectations.

The Need: To establish mutual respect and boundaries

Satisfy It By: Talking openly and making compromises

So, you want a committed relationship, but you’re both stuck in a “will we, won’t we?” loop. The missing link?

Healthy expectations.

Believe it or not, setting boundaries isn’t about putting up walls — it’s about paving the way for a deeper connection.

Open up the dialogue: How much personal space do you both need? What are your deal-breakers?

I know these conversations might feel awkward. To be honest, I personally thought having awkward conversations wasn’t worth ruining the intimacy.

But it turned out that it actually deepened the intimacy between us. 

I only really came to understand my own relationship better after watching the Love and Intimacy masterclass mentioned above.

Being prompted to sit down and reflect on my expectations was the only way I realized how I was projecting them to my partner. 

That’s when I decided to set healthy boundaries for myself, and to my surprise, this was the key in deepening my connection to my partner – not hindering it as I had expected.

If you also want to know how to establish healthy expectations and why your partner may care about open dialogue so much, the class has so much insight to offer. I really suggest giving it a go if you haven’t already.

13. Stick to your word.

The Need: To know he can count on you

Satisfy It By: Being dependable and trustworthy

Trust in a relationship is a must, for men and women.

At the heart of it, men just want someone they can confide in. Someone they know will have their back and won’t let them down.

When you say you’ll pay the bills or pick up the dry cleaning, he wants to be able to put it out of his mind, secure in the knowledge that you’ll do it.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than losing faith in your partner, but if you can show him a high level of trust, it’ll strengthen your relationship immensely.

14. Respect him.

The Need: To feel your approval and trust

Satisfy It By: Letting him be in charge for some things

Many men think that they should protect and provide for the people they love. If he feels like you disapprove of him somehow or have no faith in his capabilities, he will have a hard time learning to trust and love you.

The lack of respect towards him and what he wants in life will also make him question if you really want what is best for him.

To help overcome this problem, you have to understand what makes him tick.

This all comes down to the hero instinct. I mentioned this concept above.

You can trigger his hero instinct in small ways — but it will have a powerful affect on your relationship.

For example, maybe he prides himself on being a good driver and knowing how to get around. In that case, you can let him take responsibility over your next road trip.

Or, he makes an effort to really understand your career and gives you advice whenever you need it. Make sure he know how much you appreciate him doing this.

Little things that affirm your belief in his talents and skills can boost his confidence in himself and what he’s bringing to your relationship.

To learn more simple things you can do to trigger the hero instinct in your man, watch this excellent free video.

15. Encourage his ambitions.

The Need: To feel supported in his dreams

Satisfy It By: Cheering him on

Whether he wants to run the marathon or he’s going for a big promotion at work, every man wants to know his partner is right next to him, supporting him in reaching his goals.

And the truth is, many men, just like women, struggle with confidence and self-esteem, but your belief in him could be the driving force to help him achieve his dreams.

When it comes to relationships, we’ve all got our aspirations and hopes for the future, but the key is to encourage and support each other in getting there together.

If you can do that with him, he’ll appreciate it and always do his best for himself, you, and the relationship.

16. Be his partner.

The Need: To feel like he’s in a complete partnership

Satisfy It By: Being more than just a girlfriend or wife

Here’s the thing – when a guy invests his all into a relationship, he wants it to be more than just average.

Instead of playing just one role of the girlfriend, be his everything – his companion, his friend, his confidant, the person he can look to no matter what the situation is.

Be the person who gets him excited about life and the possibilities of the future. Encourage growth and development personally and within the relationship.

The truth is:

By being a true partner, you can go above and beyond the requirements of a relationship, you can create a partnership together.

17. Be willing to communicate and compromise.

The Need: To be able to resolve problems

Satisfy It By: Avoiding destructive arguments

Now, that’s not to say you can’t ever argue with your partner, it’s inevitable. But, you can make sure arguments are kept calm and dealt with maturely.

A good tip to try is to visualize the “problem”, the reason for the argument, as separate from the pair of you.

Once you’re able to detach from it, finding the solution becomes a lot easier because you’re both working together, instead of fighting against each other.

If he sees you’re trying your best to communicate even when it’s tough, and you’re open to compromise instead of playing blame games or being manipulative, it’ll make him respect you even more.

18. Make honesty a top priority.

The Need: To feel secure and safe

Satisfy It By: Always being truthful

We’ve mentioned how important trust is, but one of the best ways to build it in a relationship is simply by being honest.

Even when it comes down to “harmless” little white lies, over time these can build up and your partner will start to lose trust in you…we’ve all read the story of the boy who called wolf.

Men need to feel like they can trust your word and know that you aren’t going to hide anything from them. They need a completely transparent partner.

Without it, he’ll always second guess whether he can truly open up to you and trust you with his vulnerabilities.

19. Maintain your independence.

The Need: To keep the attraction

Satisfy It By: Having a life of your own

It’s no surprise that attraction can fade, especially if you’ve spent many years together.

But, it’s a key element of every healthy relationship, so how can you keep it up in yours?

To start with, having some independence and creating a fulfilling life for yourself will make you a lot more interesting to your partner than if you’re sat by his side all day.

He’ll look forward to hearing about your day, and it’ll give him a chance to miss you. Let’s face it, guys don’t want a clingy, needy relationship where they don’t have any time for themselves.

And the most important part:

A confident, independent woman is a major turn-on, so not only will it improve the relationship, it’ll give the sex life a boost too.

20. Always be faithful.

The Need: To feel being committed to

Satisfy It By: Staying loyal to him

A bit of jealousy is harmless in relationships – it’s a natural feeling and it shows how much you don’t want to lose your partner.

But only a little bit.

Anything more, and most men will start to lose faith in the relationship very quickly. And if it comes down to an affair, well, the damage is even worse.

Be mindful of this during your relationship, don’t play games or go overboard in making him feel jealous whenever you want to provoke a reaction from him.

All too often this can backfire, so focus on communicating clearly with him if your needs aren’t being met and finding a solution together.

Because ultimately, a man wants to know that he’s the only one for you. So make sure you have the characteristics of a loyal person. 

21. Make him feel like a priority.

The Need: To feel valued

Satisfy It By: Being considerate of his needs

It pays to know the characteristics of an alpha male in a relationship. No one wants to be just an option, especially not in a relationship. Men crave to be the number one person in your life, and they need to see that you value and prioritize them.

And a bit of consideration is all you need to do it.

When you know he’s had a bad day, turn off your favorite show and take his mind off things. If a special birthday or anniversary is coming up, make an effort to show him how much you love him.

It’s these small acts that will remind him how much he’s valued, and in return, he’ll make you and the relationship a priority in his life too.

22. Call him out when he’s wrong.

The Need: To keep grounded

Satisfy It By: Being firm but fair

Since we all have different ways of dealing with confrontation, this will be harder for some than others.

Essentially, a man wants to know that his partner can stick up for herself, even to the point where his ego gets put back in line every so often.

Now, a common misconception is that guys just want a girl who’ll be submissive, never argue back, and always agree.

But the truth is, real men, want a partner they can respect.

Someone who won’t take their crap, but is also mature enough to communicate and work through the issue.

What they don’t want is someone who will bottle it all up and then one day explode, potentially causing even more damage to the relationship through built-up resentment.

So, if you can learn how to keep him grounded even when the tough gets going, he’ll undoubtedly develop more respect for the relationship and you.

7 ways to trigger the hero instinct in a man

3 Tips To Keep Him Happy

How do you keep your man happy after successfully getting him to commit?

A lot of people don’t think past the commitment stage, but a lot of work has to be done to keep your partner happy. Here are our top day-to-day tips to keep him happy and interested for the long haul:

Try new things together: Experiment with date night and be open to new activities like dancing, picnicking, or taking a class together.

Respect boundaries and privacy: Trust is crucial in any loving relationship. You don’t need to be attached at the hip all the time nor have access to each other’s private communications.

Talk openly and honestly: Devote extra time to checking up on your man and paying attention to what he is saying. Be sure to discuss difficult topics and problems with extra kindness.

The purpose of a relationship — why do any of us want relationships?

In the end, it’s important to understand what your man wants in a relationship.

Think of some reasons why you started a relationship with someone. Everyone has a different mindset about it.

Conservative people define relationships as something that maintains social structures, like marriage and parenthood.

Other people tend to think a romantic relationship exists to fulfill their needs: you want to be with someone who “completes” you, you’re afraid of being alone and other variations of these reasons.

While less common, there are also those who think that relationships serve no purpose.

No matter your viewpoint, the key to a fulfilling relationship is to understand what you and your partner want and need.

Personally, once I managed to identify and meet my own needs in a relationship, I knew I was setting the stage for a loving and lasting relationship. But this journey towards self-love and self-care takes time. It’s no easy nor immediate process.

One tool which has helped me immensely along the way is Rudá’s Self-Love Quiz. 

Another free resource, this one helps instigate your thinking as to how you currently view yourself, your partner, and what is currently amiss in your relationship.

Because you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken, right?

You’ll be stumbling around in the dark if you’re not able or ready to sit down and reflect on your own needs.

And sometimes getting to the bottom of what you’re really holding on to requires additional guidance – which Rudá’s teachings really help you to navigate.

Here’s the link to the Self-Love Quiz.

The psychology behind human needs

In psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous “Hierarchy of Needs” theory, he explains that relationships exist to satisfy a level of human needs.

This hierarchy of needs looks like a pyramid.

The base or first level occupies our primary occupation: fulfilling our physical needs such as food, water, warmth, and shelter.

The second level focuses on security, safety, and freedom from fear.

Finally, the third level suggests that humans have a social desire. We want to love and to be loved; we have a need to belong with friends, family, and romantic partners.

The next two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy are still connected to our desire to form meaningful relationships – our self-esteem is tied to how people view us, and we achieve our full potential as we actively engage with others.

Enjoying peak experiences

Maslow also discussed extraordinary moments known as “peak experiences”, where we enjoy profound love, understanding, and happiness.

Peak experiences help us feel more whole and alive. Many of these peak experiences occur in the context of healthy relationships.

However, peak experiences are unlikely to happen if you’re in a relationship that is based on fulfilling lower-level needs.

Obviously, the relationship won’t get very far if you’re with someone because you need food or shelter.

Another problem with the reasons mentioned earlier – the fear of being alone, the desire to uphold social structures, and others – is that these place your life and emotional wellbeing outside your control.

Staying in a relationship because you are dependent on someone is not love, and it won’t be meaningful to you as a person in the long run.

The best way of thinking about your relationship is to consider it as something unconditional, that you can take responsibility for.

This means you’re focusing on the efforts and responsibilities on your end, as well as what makes your partner happy.

Instead of thinking about what you can gain from the relationship, why not appreciate relationships as a space that we work on, while we improve alongside a partner?

Some good reasons to be in a relationship from this perspective include:

Cultivating health and happiness: Happiness is a given when you’re spending your life with someone you love, but relationships can also inspire couples to remain healthy together.

Being someone’s hero: In a healthy relationship, couples tend to rely on each other for help and support. Relationship coach James Bauer even suggests that men want to feel like they are their partner’s hero.

Staying by someone’s side: Holding someone’s hand through good times and bad times makes it easier to weather life together.

Changing for the better: Love gives people the energy to lose bad habits, do things they wouldn’t normally do, and become the best version of themselves.

Enjoying life together: Relationships let people live fun and hopeful lives, where a couple can grow and achieve new things.

How men are different: the differences in how men think about relationships

In her book ‘The Male Brain’, neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizedine describes how the male brain grows and changes but always remains as a “lean mean problem-solving machine”.

Her research shows that the male brain has its own set of unique structures and hormones that create a “male reality”.

This “male reality” is vastly different from the female one, which is why it’s often “oversimplified and misunderstood”.

As a man grows up, his brain will be formed and re-formed depending on his genes and the male sex hormones – which produce distinctly male behaviors.

This is why men process spatial problems, solve emotional problems, and even perceive facial muscles differently from women.

For example, men have larger brain centers for muscular action and protective aggression. This primes them to be more suited for mate protection and territorial defense.

The more primitive parts of the male brain also value pecking order and hierarchy more than women realize.

Different brain circuits in men and women also mean they approach emotions differently.

Women tend to verbally express their emotions as their means to figure out what they feel.

On the contrary, men are more action-driven towards emotions. They prefer to approach emotional distress through problem-solving and will offer solutions on how to “fix” a situation.

Even though men and women generally share a lot of similarities, all the differences still add up when it comes to relationships.

This is why your man might not be seeing the same problems that you do.

Build A Healthy Relationship

At the end of the day, a healthy relationship requires knowing what your partner really wants.

In my experience, the missing link in any relationship is never sex, communication or a lack of romance. All these things are important, but they are rarely deal-breakers when it comes to the success of a relationship.

The missing link is understanding.

Understanding your partner’s needs, your own needs, and how they intersect takes time, and is something you learn to navigate together.

So, if you find yourself going around in circles, missing that ‘something’ that could make your relationship extraordinary, don’t underestimate the power of understanding your own needs.

Sometimes, the key to our relationships with others lies within us – we just need to find it first.



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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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