“It is the differences between men and women, not the sameness, that creates the tension and the delight.” – Edward Abbey
Men and women are, undeniably, different. While these differences are something to be celebrated, it can make communication a challenge. It takes empathy and a desire for connection to break through these barriers.
You can’t routinely expect a man to want to hear the same things as you do. What makes you feel happy and loved is not always going to be what does the equivalent for him.
If you’re feeling a little lost about what your man wants to hear, here’s a list of suggestions to get started.
It’s a well-understood fact that women appreciate compliments. After all, it’s more common for a man to tell a woman she looks beautiful than for a woman to tell a man he looks handsome. But while men often present a tougher exterior, they feel the same desire to be complimented.
Don’t think you’re going to embarrass your man by recognizing his qualities. If he gets a new haircut, tell him you think it looks super flattering. Comment on how sexy he looks in those jeans. You can even just take a moment on an average day and say, “Wow, you look great today.”
Men need this self-esteem boost just as much as women, but it’s less socially acceptable for them to admit it. Make your guy’s day by complimenting him genuinely.
2. That you appreciate him
“Women need to feel loved, and men need to feel needed.” – Rita Mae Brown
Men are hardwired to want to feel useful to you. This can be in something as simple as helping you with an odd job around the house, but it can be deeper than that, too. If you look relieved or immediately pleased when he walks in the door, he’ll feel like you truly crave his presence.
Always thank him for the little efforts he makes to assist you, but go further than that. Let him know that you appreciate his mere existence, who he is as a person. Give him a big hug or kiss as soon as you see him. At the end of the day, straight-up saying, “I appreciate you” can have a profound effect.
3. What you like
You’re reading this article because you’re aware of the differences between how men and women communicate. Just like you weren’t born instinctively knowing what a man needs to hear, a man needs help understanding what a woman wants.
Women tend to pick up on the subtler cues in facial responses or conversations faster than men. For this reason, you may need to be more direct than you would with a woman when expressing yourself. Don’t drop a sly hint about what you want for your birthday and expect him to decipher your meaning. If you say “I’m fine” in a tense tone, he’s probably just going to take your words at face value.
This kind of miscommunication builds wildly unnecessary resentment between the two of you. Save yourself some grief by telling him bluntly what you want and how you feel. Maybe you think he should just “know,” but he doesn’t, so don’t set him up to fail.
A man feels safe with a woman who is honest. This builds trust. If you play mind games or try to manipulate him, he’s going to feel on guard around you. That kind of relationship is not one that will last.
A man wants to come home to someone who is reliably on his side. If he has to jump through hoops to figure you out, being around you will be a chore instead of a reprieve. Be his beautiful confidante by being truthful and trustworthy at all times.
Occasionally it’s hard to be honest with the person you love, but if they are important to you then you have to find a way to do it.
5. That you accept him
Every human craves acceptance. Conditional love that comes with strings is not real love.
If you constantly criticize him, he’ll never be able to relax. He may try and change for you, but he’ll feel terrible about himself. There’s always going to be resentment lingering under the surface. If you always feel the need to change him, you’re probably not with the right person.
A real, loving relationship will not include one person trying to change or “fix” the other. There’s nothing wrong with having the ambition to become a better version of yourself, but the right person will make you want to do that without saying a single word.
MORE: What Men Want to Hear
6. That everything’s cool
You have to learn to choose your battles. If something isn’t that big of a deal, don’t make it one. If you’re constantly on the verge of hysterics, he’ll feel like he’s walking on eggshells. That’s no way to thrive in a relationship.
Try to be easy going. This doesn’t mean you should be a pushover if something upsets you. It just means that you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. If you can laugh about something instead of getting wound up, that’s always the best option. This isn’t just to put him at ease – it will make you a more content person as well.
Like I said earlier, men move toward what feels good. If he senses drama in the vicinity, he won’t want any part of it. I know it’s fun to be dramatic, but men don’t bond over drama the way a lot of women do. Men bond when everything is cool and there are no problems.
7. Be real
You can try to fake parts of your personality, and it may work for a while, but it’s never going to pan out long-term. People have an innate ability to sniff out insincerity. Something about you will seem “off.” It’s going to be exhausting for you, too. The superior approach is to just be yourself and let the chips fall where they may.
Speaking honestly and authentically is key to a healthy relationship. Passive aggressive or snarky comments will get you nowhere. Before you begin a conversation, think about what your goal is. Speak with that target in mind. This will help you avoid pointless conversation circles that succeed only in draining both of you.
8.That you respect him
Having legitimate respect for a man doesn’t mean you are being submissive to him. Respect is a crucial part of any real relationship, including non-romantic ones. It has to be mutual, and it has to be sincere.
This means that whatever his ambitions, opinions, or needs are – you treat them with dignity. Regarding his thoughts with patience and kindness doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. It does mean that you never mock or belittle him for them. Be careful of doing this even in jest, because it would be easy to accidentally wound his ego if you went even a little too far.
9. How he’s different
This is another area where people are quick to recognize a woman’s need, but are dismissive of a man’s. If you don’t point out how he is valued and different in comparison to other men, he’ll feel like he could be replaced.
Have fun making him feel irresistible. Fuss him even if he acts like he doesn’t need to hear it. Observe his specific quirks and delight in them. Even if he doesn’t outright confirm it, this will make him feel special.
Men want to feel chosen because of how great and amazing and special they are, not because you were lonely and he’s a dude with a pulse. So let him know what he’s the man that captured your heart and stood out from all the rest.
10.That you admire him
Nothing is more motivating to a man than hearing: “I admire the man you are.” Compliments and admissions of love are great, but being admired ranks at the top. It means you are proud of him.
Showing him your admiration in private is one thing, but it’s even better to also show it publicly. You can do this by praising him in front of your friends. If you’re at a family dinner, brag about his recent accomplishments. He might shake his head or roll his eyes, but inside he will be thrilled that you are so proud of him.
11.That he enhances your life
Any time you observe a way your man adds to your life, tell him. He might be doing it absent-mindedly, or he may not even realize you noticed. Giving him credit for the way he enriches your life will be beneficial to both of you.
Making a habit of expressing yourself in this way will also encourage him to do the same. Two people who feel free to openly describe their adoration for each other are two people in a very satisfying relationship.
A man doesn’t always know that just his presence makes you happy, so tell him!
12.That you feel safe with him
It might sound cliché, but a man craves feeling like your protector. This can manifest itself in multiple ways. For example, it’ll feel good if you have faith in him defending you against physical dangers.
But it’s also meaningful when you indicate that you feel emotionally safe with him. If you seem on edge and guarded, he’ll feel like he is coming up incomplete. He’ll probably feel like he still hasn’t proved himself to you. When you demonstrate your comfort and security in him, he will be able to relax as well.
13.That you believe in him
There’s just about nothing worse than feeling like someone who you care about doesn’t believe in you. When this kind of attack comes from a stranger, you can use it as fuel to prove them wrong. But you never want that kind of skepticism to come from the woman you love.
Assuring your man that you have full confidence in him will change the way he carries himself. He’ll wear that loyalty like a badge of honor. Knowing that you support him no matter what will make him feel equipped to reach his full potential in life.
I hope this article helped you better understand what men want to hear and what really activates him and reaches him deeply. But there is more you need to know. There is one defining moment in every relationship that determines if it will last, or if you will be left heartbroken. At some point, he will ask himself: Is this the woman I want to commit myself to? The answer will determine whether the relationship deepens or ends. Do you know how a man decides a woman is girlfriend or wife material? Do you know what inspires a man to want to commit? If not, you need to read this article next: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman
Here is another big problem most will face: He seems to be losing interest, withdrawing, or going cold. Do you know what to do? If not, read this next: If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...
What Men Want to Hear:
- That you appreciate him
- What you like
- That you accept him
- That everything’s cool
- Be real
- That you respect him
- How he’s different
- That you admire him
- That he enhances your life
- That you feel safe with him
- That you believe in him