The Top 35 Things Men Really Want In A Relationship (And How To Give It To Them)

You’ve been in the dating scene for a while now, and you’ve probably had one or more serious relationships. As a result, you’re pretty sure you know what men want in a relationship as well as what they need. However, have you actually got it right or are there things you’re missing?

While it’s impossible to account for the desires of every single man since they’re all different, there are certain things that men (and women) across the board need in order to feel happy in a partnership. If you want to ensure that he’ll be in it for the long haul, make sure you’re providing him with these very important things.

What men need in a relationship — give them these things to make them want you

1. Love and affection

The need: Men, like women, crave love and affection to feel cherished and valued in a relationship. It’s about emotional closeness and intimacy. No one wants to end up in a loveless relationship, so it’s important that this is a constant presence.

How to satisfy it:

  • Show physical affection through hugs, kisses, and cuddling.
  • Express your love verbally with heartfelt words and compliments.
  • Engage in activities that strengthen your emotional bond, like deep conversations or sharing secrets.
  • Be attentive to his emotional needs and offer comfort and support during tough times.

2. Respect

The need: Respect is fundamental in any relationship. Men need to feel respected for their thoughts, opinions, and decisions. Even if you don’t agree with them, you should acknowledge his right to be his own person and make his own decisions.

How to satisfy it:

  • Listen actively when he talks and avoid interrupting him (even if you think you’re right).
  • Show appreciation for the things he brings to the relationship and acknowledge his achievements.
  • Avoid criticism or belittling comments, even when you’re fighting. Don’t say words you won’t be able to take back.
  • Encourage open and respectful communication and allow him to express himself.

3. Trust

The need: Trust is the rock sold foundation of a strong relationship. Men want and need to feel they can rely on you in the relationship and that their trust won’t be betrayed.

How to satisfy it:

  • Be consistent in your actions and word — no wishy-washy behavior!
  • Keep promises and commitments. If you can’t follow through, don’t say you will.
  • Communicate honestly and transparently, especially when it’s difficult.
  • Respect boundaries and privacy.

4. Communication

The need: Men often prefer straightforward communication. They need open, honest, and direct conversations rather than passive-aggressiveness or expecting him to read your mind.

How to satisfy it:

  • Initiate conversations about important things in a calm and non-confrontational manner. If you’re too hyped up, wait until you’re feeling calmer to chat.
  • Encourage him to share his thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  • Be an active listener, showing that you value his opinions.
  • Address issues promptly instead of letting them fester.

5. Quality time

The need: Spending quality time together is vital. Men want to know that they’re a priority in your life, so no matter how busy you get, make sure you prioritize your relationship and the man you’re with.

How to satisfy it:

  • Plan activities or date nights that you both enjoy.
  • Put away distractions like phones or work during your quality time.
  • Show interest in his hobbies and participate in them together.
  • Be fully present and engaged during your time together.

6. Support

The need: Men appreciate feeling supported in their goals and dreams, just as women do. Make sure he knows you’re his number one cheerleader and that you’re behind him in whatever he attempts 100%.

How to satisfy it:

  • Encourage him to pursue his passions and goals.
  • Offer words of encouragement and affirmation to boost his confidence.
  • Be there to celebrate his achievements and comfort him when he experiences a setback.
  • Show interest in his interests, even if they differ from yours.

7. Independence

The need: Men want and need personal space and the freedom to maintain their individuality within the relationship. This shouldn’t be much of a challenge since you should be doing the same.

How to satisfy it:

  • Respect his need for alone time and time with friends — it’s healthy and it’s not about you.
  • Encourage him to pursue hobbies and interests independently. He needs his own life like you need yours.
  • Avoid being overly possessive or controlling.
  • Foster a relationship where you both have room to grow individually.

8. Understanding

The need: Men appreciate having their perspectives and feelings understood by their partner. They want to feel heard and acknowledged, just as anyone would.

How to satisfy it:

  • Actively listen without interrupting when he’s sharing his thoughts. (It’s a challenge sometimes, we know!)
  • Show empathy by trying to see things from his point of view. Putting yourself in his shoes will go a long way.
  • Validate his feelings even if you don’t agree with them. You don’t have to agree with them to do this!
  • Ask questions to gain a deeper understanding of his thoughts and emotions.

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9. Intimacy

The need: Intimacy goes beyond physical closeness; it involves emotional connection and vulnerability. Men want to be in a relationship with a woman who isn’t afraid to let herself be vulnerable and get close.

How to satisfy it:

  • Create an atmosphere of trust and openness where both of you can share your deepest thoughts and feelings.
  • Be open to discussing your desires and boundaries in the bedroom.
  • Make an effort to maintain physical intimacy by hugging, kissing, and cuddling regularly.
  • Explore new ways to keep the spark alive in your physical relationship.

10. Companionship

The need: Men want a partner who is also a friend. They enjoy companionship and sharing life’s experiences.

How to satisfy it:

  • Do things that you both enjoy, whether it’s watching a movie, hiking, or cooking together.
  • Be a source of support and comfort during challenging times.
  • Prioritize not just your partnership but a friendship in your relationship by laughing together and creating shared memories.
  • Show genuine interest in his day-to-day life and experiences.

11. Fun and laughter

The need: Laughter is a powerful bonding tool. Men appreciate a partner who can make them laugh and enjoy life together.

How to satisfy it:

  • Share jokes, funny stories, or humorous anecdotes.
  • Do things together that bring joy and laughter, like playing games or going to a stand-up show or something.
  • Encourage a light-hearted atmosphere in your relationship where you both feel free to be playful.
  • Celebrate each other’s quirks and enjoy life’s lighter moments together.

12. Appreciation

The need: Men need to feel that their efforts are recognized and appreciated in the relationship.

How to satisfy it:

  • Express gratitude for the things he does, whether it’s a simple gesture or a significant effort.
  • Compliment him sincerely and acknowledge his strengths.
  • Write thoughtful notes or messages to show how thankful you are for what he does.
  • Don’t take his contributions for granted; let him know you value them.

13. Empathy

The need: Men want to be in a relationship with a partner who shows empathy and understanding toward their emotions and struggles and who can see their perspective even if it’s foreign to them.

How to satisfy it: 

  • Be emotionally available to listen and provide support when he’s going through a tough time.
  • Avoid judgment and criticism when he shares his vulnerabilities.
  • Offer a shoulder to lean on and a safe space for him to express his feelings.
  • Show that you care by checking in on his well-being and offering help when needed.

14. Adventure

The need: Men enjoy excitement and adventure in their lives. They want a partner who can share in their sense of exploration and who isn’t content with the status quo.

How to satisfy it:

  • Plan new experiences or adventures together, like trying out a new restaurant or taking a weekend trip.
  • Be open to spontaneity and trying new things on occasion.
  • Support his adventurous pursuits and hobbies even if they’re not your cup of tea.
  • Embrace the idea of exploring and discovering new aspects of life together.

15. Personal growth

The need: Men value a partner who encourages their personal growth and self-improvement.

How to satisfy it:

  • Support his pursuit of new skills, hobbies, or further education.
  • Offer constructive feedback when asked for it.
  • Celebrate his achievements and milestones along his personal growth journey.
  • Be a source of motivation when he faces challenges or setbacks.

16. Space

The need: Men want and need their personal space and independence within the relationship. Whether it’s to spend time with other people, pursue their own interests, or even just regroup in their own company, this is vital.

How to satisfy it:

  • Respect his need for alone time or time spent with friends.
  • Avoid being overly clingy or demanding of his attention.
  • Encourage him to maintain his own hobbies and interests.
  • Foster an environment where both partners have room to breathe and pursue individual activities.

17. Patience

The need: Patience is essential in a relationship, as it allows both partners to deal with tough times calmly and understandingly.

How to satisfy it:

  • Be patient during difficult discussions and avoid rushing to conclusions.
  • Allow him time to process his thoughts and emotions.
  • Show patience when working through conflicts, aiming for resolution rather than immediate agreement.
  • Cultivate a sense of understanding when he’s facing personal or professional challenges.

18. Romance

The need: Romance keeps the spark alive in a relationship, and men appreciate efforts to maintain a romantic connection.

How to satisfy it:

  • Plan surprise romantic gestures or date nights.
  • Express your love through affectionate words and physical touch.
  • Create an atmosphere of intimacy and sensuality.
  • Celebrate special occasions with thoughtful gifts and gestures.

19. Emotional support

The need: Men need emotional support during tough times, and a supportive partner is invaluable.

How to satisfy it:

  • Offer a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on when he’s going through difficult moments.
  • Be empathetic and validate his feelings, even if you can’t solve the problem.
  • Encourage him to talk about his emotions and seek professional help if needed.
  • Show unwavering support during both minor and major life challenges.

20. Listening

The need: Men value a partner who actively listens to them and shows genuine interest in their thoughts. Don’t just listen, either — really hear him.

How to satisfy it:

  • Pay close attention when he’s speaking, avoiding distractions.
  • Ask follow-up questions to delve deeper into his thoughts and feelings.
  • Show that you respect and value his opinions, even when you disagree.
  • Create an environment where he feels comfortable sharing his thoughts and experiences.

21. Honesty

The need: Honesty and trust go hand in hand, and men need a partner who is honest and transparent in the relationship.

How to satisfy it:

  • Practice open and honest communication at all times.
  • Avoid hiding important information or keeping secrets.
  • Address any issues or concerns truthfully and constructively.
  • Foster an environment where both partners feel safe to be completely honest with each other.

22. Trustworthy friends

The need: Men value the trustworthiness of their partner’s friends and appreciate a positive relationship between their partner and their friends.

How to satisfy it:

  • Be respectful and friendly with his friends.
  • Avoid negative comments or criticism about his friends.
  • Encourage a healthy balance between spending time with him and maintaining friendships.
  • Create opportunities for socializing together with friends to strengthen connections.

23. Encouragement

The need: Encouragement and positive reinforcement are essential for men to feel confident and motivated in their lives and in everything they attempt.

How to satisfy it:

  • Provide genuine words of encouragement and praise for his efforts.
  • Celebrate his achievements, both big and small.
  • Offer support and optimism during challenging times.
  • Be his biggest cheerleader and believe in his abilities.

24. Conflict resolution

The need: Men appreciate a partner who can effectively and constructively resolve conflicts in the relationship.

How to satisfy it:

  • Approach disagreements with a problem-solving mindset, focusing on solutions rather than blame.
  • Practice active listening to understand his perspective during conflicts.
  • Avoid heated arguments and aim for calm and respectful discussions.
  • Be open to compromise and finding common ground.

25. Acceptance

The need: Men want to feel fully accepted for who they are, including their quirks and imperfections.

How to satisfy it:

  • Embrace his uniqueness and celebrate his individuality.
  • Avoid criticism or attempts to change fundamental aspects of his personality.
  • Show love and appreciation for his idiosyncrasies.
  • Create an environment where he can be his authentic self without judgment.

26. Gratitude

The need: Gratitude reinforces positive behavior and makes men feel valued in the relationship.

How to satisfy it:

  • Express your gratitude for his presence in your life regularly.
  • Acknowledge and thank him for his contributions to the relationship.
  • Write thoughtful thank-you notes or messages.
  • Show appreciation for both big and small gestures of kindness.

27. Physical affection

The need: Physical touch is a fundamental aspect of intimacy and emotional connection for men.

How to satisfy it:

  • Initiate physical affection, like hugs, kisses, and cuddling.
  • Be attentive to his preferences and desires in the bedroom.
  • Keep the spark alive by exploring new ways to express physical love.
  • Show affection in non-sexual ways, such as holding hands or giving massages.

28. Loyalty

The need: Loyalty is a cornerstone of trust in a relationship, and men seek a partner who is loyal and committed.

How to satisfy it:

  • Demonstrate unwavering loyalty and faithfulness.
  • Avoid actions that could erode trust or create doubts about your commitment.
  • Communicate openly about your dedication to the relationship.
  • Work together to strengthen the bond and maintain a sense of security.

29. Shared goals

The need: Men appreciate a partner who shares common goals and aspirations for the future.

How to satisfy it:

  • Engage in open conversations about your individual and shared goals.
  • Collaborate on setting mutual goals and creating a vision for your future together.
  • Support each other’s endeavors and work as a team to achieve your dreams.
  • Celebrate milestones and achievements on your journey together.

30. Compliments

The need: Compliments boost a man’s self-esteem and make him feel valued and desirable.

How to satisfy it:

  • Offer genuine compliments on his appearance, achievements, and personality traits.
  • Express appreciation for his efforts and contributions to the relationship.
  • Make it a habit to compliment him regularly to reinforce his positive self-image.
  • Tailor your compliments to specific qualities you admire in him.

31. An element of surprise

The need: Surprises add excitement and spontaneity to a relationship, making it feel more alive and dynamic.

How to satisfy it:

  • Plan surprise gestures or gifts to express your love and appreciation.
  • Organize unexpected date nights or outings to keep things fresh.
  • Show your creativity and thoughtfulness by thinking outside the box with surprises.
  • Pay attention to his preferences and interests when planning surprises.

32. Financial responsibility

The need: Financial stability and responsibility are important for men in a relationship.

How to satisfy it:

  • Collaborate on financial decisions and budgeting.
  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility and avoid unnecessary financial stress.
  • Discuss long-term financial goals and work together to achieve them.
  • Support each other in making informed financial choices.

33. Adventure in the bedroom

The need: Men appreciate an adventurous and fulfilling sexual life in a committed relationship.

How to satisfy it:

  • Communicate openly about desires and fantasies.
  • Experiment with new experiences and techniques to keep intimacy exciting.
  • Prioritize mutual satisfaction and emotional connection in the bedroom.
  • Maintain intimacy as an essential part of your relationship.

34. Future planning

The need: Men value a partner who actively plans for the future, providing a sense of security.

How to satisfy it:

  • Discuss your future together, including long-term plans and aspirations.
  • Make joint decisions about important life events, such as moving in together or starting a family.
  • Continuously check in with each other to ensure your goals align and evolve together.
  • Offer emotional support and encouragement in pursuing future endeavors.

35. Emotional connection

The need: Men desire a deep emotional connection with their partner, which goes beyond physical attraction.

How to satisfy it:

  • Foster open and honest communication to share your thoughts and feelings.
  • Create a safe space for vulnerability and emotional intimacy.
  • Show empathy and understanding when he opens up about his emotions.
  • Continuously work on deepening your emotional bond through shared experiences and affection.

By addressing these needs thoughtfully and consistently, you can build a strong foundation of trust, emotional connection, and mutual support in your relationship. This can lead to a deep commitment and a loving, enduring partnership.

Is it possible to make a man need your relationship rather than simply want it?

By providing for a man’s needs and desires in a relationship by doing the above things, he’ll very quickly realize that he doesn’t have to compromise or miss out on any of the things that truly matter to him just because he’s coupled up. In fact, by being with you, he’ll experience more fulfillment, excitement, and a sense of contentedness that he’d be missing out on if you weren’t together.

While there’s no one method to make a man realize he needs you in his life, by being your genuine self and treating him with the same love, respect, and consideration you hope to receive in return, you can pretty much guarantee that he’ll be more than happy to commit to you. After all, what more could he want from a partner?

Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.