Think all men really want in a relationship is good sex, a cold beer and time to hang out with their guy pals? Think again. We’d polled a large group of guys from all over the country, all different ages, and backgrounds, and here are the top seven things they really want in a relationship.
1. They want to be admired, looked up to, and noticed
Even that guy who doesn’t seem to have any emotions whatsoever has a need to hear that you think he’s the best thing that ever walked this earth. He may not voice it, but hearing your words of admiration is important for him.
So be generous with your compliments.
When he has fixed the garbage disposal, tell him you so appreciate having an in-home repairman. When he gets a promotion at work, tell him you are so glad others see how amazingly talented he is.
You don’t even need a special event to look him in the eyes and tell him how lucky you are that he chose you. Sometimes spontaneous admiration is the best kind.
2. A sense of connection, both emotional and sexual
No relationship lasts long if it is only based on sex. Men value both a great sexual connection and a deep emotional one with their partner. In fact, the two work in tandem to create the best sort of intimacy a couple can experience.
So, make sure you are paying attention to nurturing the sexual connection by remaining curious, fun, loving and sexy partners in the bedroom.
Keep the sexual dialogue open, and if you sense your lovemaking is becoming routine or even disappearing, don’t hesitate to speak up and ask what’s going on.
Seek counsel with a therapist if need be, but keep that fire going or you risk having your man look elsewhere for some heat.
Emotionally, you will want to continue to work towards deepening the bond that connects your hearts, by always treating each other with kindness and respect, even in moments of conflict.
3. A room of one’s own
This doesn’t mean a real, physical room where a man can build a man cave, although if you have the space for that, it would be a much-appreciated place for your man to go to when he just needs to chill, play some video games, or regroup.
What men are talking about when they say “something of their own” is really more about moments where they are doing something separate…a hobby, a passion, a sport or learning a new skill.
Good couples know that living in each other’s pockets is not a healthy way to keep the relationship fresh and vibrant. So allow your man to take a weekend away to fish, kayak, or do whatever floats his boat. Let him train for a marathon, enroll in a woodworking class, or just have a night out with the boys from time to time.
These are not threats to your relationship.
To thecontrary,time apart makes you appreciate each other even more when you come back home to each other.
4. Touch that is non-sexual
Just as you appreciate a good neck massage that doesn’t necessarily lead to sex, your man does, too.
So don’t neglect the little peck on the lips as you pass each other in the hallway, or walking hand in hand as you stroll the park. Men love feeling the warmth of your arm around their waist and are always game for a good back rub.
5. Your safe harbor
So many of the men we asked reported that knowing their partner had their back was a very important part of their relationship.
They appreciated the ability to show all their sides to their women: the strong, the vulnerable, the sad and the joyous.
They valued the sense that their partner was their safe person, their rock, their touchstone during rough times, and of course during happy times, too.
6. Pure acceptance
Men told us that they loved that they felt totally accepted by their partners, even during times when they didn’t accept themselves wholly.
Times of unemployment, ill health, bad moods, stress…they loved that even when they weren’t being Superman, their partners always accepted them as the human beings—faults and all—that they were.
Again, romance that wasn’t necessarily leading to bedroom antics.
Men appreciate the gestures of love.
A sexy love letter tucked into their briefcase before they leave for a business trip. A post-it note taped to the bathroom mirror, with “UR SO HOT” written on it. A spontaneous gift of his favorite whiskey. All the small things that spell Romance remind him of what a loving and attentive partner you are.