Let’s talk about what it takes to keep a man interested, like really interested, not just kind of into you… interested.
So you have no problem rousing a guy’s interest … but keeping him interested is a different story. Time and time again, they fall hard, but they don’t stick. You wonder if it’s you, if you’re doing something wrong.
I get tons of questions from women wanting to know the “strategy” or the “rules” to keeping a guy interested. But finding love isn’t like playing a tennis match.
If a relationship starts from a healthy place- both people are emotionally healthy, want the same thing, share the same values– then it will most likely last. If it starts off with a bad foundation, it probably won’t. At the end of the day, if you’re fundamentally incompatible or not on the same wavelength (meaning you don’t want the same kind of relationship), then it’s not going to work and no amount of rules is going to change that.
The good news is that you do have some degree of control here, and you can up your chances of getting love to stick. In this case you’ll know that if it doesn’t last, at least you know you did your best.
And with that, here is exactly how to keep a man interested in you:
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
1. Show interest in his interests
One thing men crave more than anything else is a woman who seeks to understand them, a woman who really sees him and appreciates him. One easy way to get there is to show genuine interest in his interests. You don’t have to love what he loves, and he wouldn’t expect you to. But a man loves being able to share his passions with a woman who is excited by them.
Ask him about the things he enjoys and really listen for the answers, follow up with more questions. Ask him to take you to see his favorite band, or watch his favorite movie. (And if you need ideas on what to ask, then you must read this article: 225 Amazing Questions to Ask a Guy To Get Closer.)
If you fake this then you’re just playing a game and it won’t work and will probably push him away instead. It has to be a real, genuine interest. If you can’t summon any ounce of interest, then why are you with a guy who doesn’t interest you?
If this is hard for you, it’s also probably because you’re default is to focus on yourself, maybe as a way to protect yourself from getting hurt. Understandable. But you have to step outside of your own experience of the relationship if you really want to form a lasting connection and really reach a man at his core in a way that no other woman has.
2. Show appreciation
If you’re a longtime ANM reader, then you know appreciation is vital to a man. If you’re new here, then let me tell you the most important relationship secret you may ever learn: appreciation is vital to a man.
Most women just don’t get it. The expect things or they don’t notice things or they don’t take a minute to step outside of themselves and see the intention behind an action. They are so worried about being blindsided in the relationship that they focus on his actions (specifically, the actions that show his level of commitment), and don’t take the time to look at who he is as a person.
Men want to be seen and appreciated for who they are. And no man is ever going to come right out and ask you for this, it’s on you to know it. And now you do!
Don’t just expect him to do things for you, appreciate him for it, for things big and small. Appreciate the things he does as well as, and even more importantly, the person he is.
3. Accept that sometimes men need space
This messes women up all the time. You’re seeing a guy, all seems to be going well, and then suddenly he’s not as interested or attentive anymore. He just doesn’t seem as excited by your very existence as he did in the beginning. Is he losing interest? It’s possible. But what’s even more possible is he just needs a little space for whatever reason. (If you want to know the exact reasons why men need space sometimes, and what to do about it, then this article is a must read: What to Do When He Says He Needs Space.)
You panic and think you did something wrong, that you did something to push him away. So you do everything in your power to bring him back… which only succeeds in pushing him further away. In your attempt to solve the problem, you have become the problem that he now needs to get away from.
At the root, it’s caused by insecurity. The second a guy takes a step back you panic and think he’s losing interest. Now you’re on a desperate quest to win him back over when you never even lost him, to begin with.
Sometimes guys need space, it’s natural and normal and seriously, no big deal. It becomes a big deal when you can’t handle it and smother him to get his interest back. That’s when he legitimately starts losing interest and re-thinking the relationship.
Accept him for who he is without demanding him to change to meet your needs. Sometimes he’ll need things that you aren’t happy with, but you still need to respect that this is what he needs and that he is an independent person and isn’t on this earth only to serve you.
4. Have a life outside of the relationship
Don’t be one of those girls who falls off the map the second she gets a boyfriend. Keep doing whatever you were doing before he came along. Spend time with friends, pursue your hobbies, have a full and well-balanced life.
As a relationship deepens your lives will merge more and more, but it’s important to also have that separate time because it makes coming back together more exciting. This is also what enables you to bring happiness into the relationship instead of extracting happiness from the relationship, a common mistake many people make.
The fact is, the best way to keep a guy interested is to be interesting. The best way to be interesting is to fill your life with many interests. He was initially drawn to you because you had a lot going on in your life, so don’t stop being that person. As romantic as the idea of being someone’s “whole world” is, it’s just not realistic. No one can ever be someone’s everything.
5. Don’t commit too soon
A lot of women make the mistake of acting like they’re in a relationship before they are. She operates under the mistaken assumption that if she shows him what an amazing girlfriend she’ll be, he’ll make her his girlfriend. This is just plain wrong.
That is not what inspires a man to commit. Men commit because being with you is an amazing experience, because he enjoys you and just wants you there. What makes him want you there is he feels good around you, and what makes him feel good in your presence is if you are radiating a positive vibe.
If internally you’re panicking over the prospect of losing him and are hanging on for dear life, that is not a pleasant vibe and he will pick up on it on a visceral level.
In the early phases of a relationship, you’re discovering how compatible you are and if a committed relationship would make sense. It’s about seeing how well you get along, how well you get each other, and if you want the same kind of relationship and the same things in life. It’s actually fun when you release all the fears, insecurities, and pressure that usually get saddled in.
When you worry and stress over the relationship before it even is an official relationship, you cheat yourself out of what could be a really fun, special, and magical time. You only get one beginning and you can never go back. There is so much excitement when you find someone you like and really get to know them, so enjoy it instead of choking the life out of it!
If you try to race past the discovery phase and get to the commitment phase before he’s emotionally there, he will just feel pressured and this will kill his attraction at a time when you want his attraction to be mounting!
The solution is to just chill out. I think that’s the advice I give more than anything else! Just breathe, relax, and enjoy. If you’re not official yet, then keep your options open until he clearly and explicitly locks you down. If he really likes you, it will happen. If he’s unsure about you, he won’t. If he says he doesn’t want to be in an exclusive relationship, then believe him rather than going on a mission to prove him otherwise.
6. Have fun!
This picks up from the previous point. We stress ourselves out way too much when it comes to relationships. It makes sense, there’s a lot on the line emotionally. You don’t want to get hurt, so you try to protect yourself by figuring out, or attempting to figure out, exactly where he stands so you don’t get blindsided.
You enjoy your time with him, but you can’t fully relax because you’re terrified he’ll lose interest and leave. Well, this attitude is what very well might cause that to happen.
Just relax and have fun! Try not to bring all your insecurities and childhood traumas and past heartbreak into the mix. Try as best you can to just start fresh and get to know this person, and enjoy him. That’s what dating is about! It’s a discovery, not a means for validating yourself.
7. Don’t try to prove your worth.
Relationships aren’t job interviews, you don’t need to prove why you’re a worthy candidate by going above and beyond, bending over backward to make him happy. Only desperate people do that and desperation is a guaranteed way to cause a guy to lose all interest and attraction.
Here’s a secret: what makes a man happy is being with a happy woman, so just relax and just be. This is what holds a man’s interest. This is what makes you stand out from the rest. This is what makes you confident and sexy and alluring.
You don’t have to prove yourself to him. You don’t need to do things or say things in order to be “good enough.” You don’t need to obsess over what to text him back and what to say and how to act. The reason books about “rules” work is because they teach you how to convey the image of confidence, but this doesn’t get to the root of the problem. The root is the lack of confidence itself.
There is no magic bullet for developing self-confidence, it takes time and work (be sure to read this article for more on that: On Loving Yourself and Being More Confident), but one step you can take to get there is to just accept that who you are is good enough and you don’t need to make yourself into something else in order to get a guy. Now you should always be striving to work on yourself and to be your best self, but who you are right now is also enough.
8. Understand how men operate
This is the one thing that absolutely saved my love life! I was single when I started ANM and I really didn’t have a clue about men. I was only writing about fashion and beauty back then. When we evolved into a relationship-focused site, I started researching men. I read books, conducted countless interviews, and in time it all made sense. You don’t need to go through all the legwork because I’ve done it for you and the information I’ve learned is all over this site, on our newsletter and in our books.
Men aren’t women. They experience things differently, and that includes emotions and relationships! A major mistake women make is punishing men for not acting more like women. She doesn’t understand how he can get so wrapped up with his work he forgets to text her for an entire day because women are typically better multi-taskers than men. There are many more differences, and the sooner you learn them and accept them, the sooner you’ll have a much easier time navigating the dating waters and having a truly amazing relationship with a man who worships you.
9. Be your best self
This is about looking your best and feeling your best because the two really go hand in hand.
I’m going to be straight with you, men are visual creatures. Does that mean all men want a supermodel? No, everyone has different types, guys have different preferences when it comes to body type, complexion, etc. And even that isn’t set in stone.
It’s not about you achieving some impossible ideal, it’s about you looking the best that you can look. It’s about dressing in a way that flatters your shape, about doing your hair and makeup in a way that makes your best features shine, about getting in shape so your body can be at it’s best.
Don’t compare yourself to others, that’s always a losing battle. Trust me, every woman on earth has features she wishes she could trade in. But that’s a waste of time to think about, just work with what you have. The outside does have an impact on the inside. When you look good, you’ll just carry yourself with more confidence and that is irresistible to men.
10. Love yourself
Yeah, yeah, it’s cheesy and trite but this is where it’s at. You can’t accept love from the outside if you don’t feel it on the inside. Another important concept to keep in mind is what you are is what you will attract. If you don’t love yourself, you’ll probably attract men who can’t commit or just don’t want to commit to you, thus validating how you already feel about yourself: that you’re unlovable.
Nothing sexier to a man than a confident woman who absolutely loves herself and loves her life. This is all it really comes down to if you want to keep a man interested in your for the long haul.
Common Misconceptions About What Keeps a Man Interested
I was planning to end this article on that final point, but something was missing. I felt that in order to really enlighten you and distinguish fact from fiction, I also had to debunk some common misconceptions about what keeps a man interested.
This sort of information is what leads women astray and had them utterly confused as to what went wrong because she thinks she did everything right!
Here is some bad advice on how to keep a man interested that doesn’t work:
1. Playing hard to get
I’ll admit this can work in the short term, but it’s not a very good long-term strategy. Hard to get works by rousing a man’s competitive instincts. You stay out of his reach, so you become a prize he wants to win. He’s not connecting with you as a person, he’s just intrigued by the fact that he can’t have you and that’s where his interest lies. But what happens once he catches you? You can’t run forever, eventually, you’ll need to get “caught.” If you are insecure and desperate and needy, then he’ll be outta there faster than you know what happened. So all that chasing for nothing!
The chase creates the illusion of chemistry because it’s all up in the air so there’s an excitement. But that is so transitory.
Also, most of the time a man knows when you’re trying to get him to chase you and rather than looking cool and confident, you look pathetic. Sometimes they’ll put up with it, but most of the time he’ll see it for what it is and move on.
When you have to resort to games and making a man chase you, you’re essentially saying your real self isn’t good enough to get a man’s attention, and instead, you need to essentially hide who you are in order to get him interested.
2. Don’t show him you’re interested in him
This again is very misguided. If a guy likes a girl, her interest will be a good thing in his mind!
The idea that it’s bad to show interest in a guy came about because yes, we do tend to feel intrigued by people when we don’t know how they feel about us. There was even a study done on this.
But essentially, this idea got totally twisted along the way. Your interest isn’t a bad thing, what’s bad is being desperate and feeling like you’re worthless if you don’t have a man in your life. That is the mentality men are put off by… not a woman showing interest.
Men are turned off by a woman who is so desperate to have a boyfriend and will accept any guy who shows interest. He wants to feel chosen because of how great and amazing and sexy he is, he doesn’t want to fill a slot that could have gone to any other guy.
3. Wait X amount of time before sleeping with him
This one really messes girls up and the confusion on this is more widespread than anything else. I wrote a whole article on when to sleep with a guy so I won’t go into it so much here, but essentially, time is an arbitrary measure. Look at the quality of the time you spend together rather than the quantity of dates.
Waiting until the 5th date to sleep with a guy who you have a superficial relationship with will not lead to a deep relationship. Men don’t look at sex as a deepening of a bond, they see sex as sex. It isn’t by any means a one-way ticket to girlfriend-ville and it is just not seen as something so significant, at least not to a man.
It’s not really about when you do it, it’s why you do it. Are you doing it so that he’ll commit? Do you think he’ll leave if you don’t give it up? Or do you genuinely want to connect with him in the most intimate way because it feels natural and right? The answer of when to sleep with him lies in your answers to those questions, and not in what some book tells you.
4. Don’t be too available
Yes, it’s important to have your own life outside of the relationship as we previously discussed. That’s not the same as pretending to be unavailable when you really are just so he’ll want you more.
For example, he texts you, you see it and your heart races. You set an alarm on your phone for 3 hours from now and decide that’s when you’ll text him back. You can’t stop thinking about his text and endlessly obsess over what you’ll say back during this time. So you reply, then he takes a while to reply, so you take even longer to reply. Do you really think this is the way to a man’s heart?
Again, it’s not being available that’s the issue, it’s being desperate and dropping your life for him because having a man is your sole source of self-worth, that’s the issue!
Also, if you’re always available, it indicates you don’t have much else going on in your life, and going back to a previous point… a major way to keep a man interested is to be interesting.
Take The Quiz: Is He Losing Interest?
How To Keep a Guy Interested For Good:
- Show interest in his interests
- Show appreciation
- Accept that sometimes men need space
- Have a life outside of the relationship
- Don’t commit too soon
- Have fun!
- Don’t try to prove your worth.
- Understand how men operate
- Be your best self
- Love yourself