10 Simple Needs Men Have In Relationships
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My focus as a writer, speaker, and coach has always been to help men better understand the women in their lives (despite many of my clients being women themselves) and to evolve into better boyfriends, husbands, colleagues, and human beings.
As a result, the literally thousands of articles I’ve written over the years (right here on this website) have primarily been focused on what women want and need in life and love.
Inevitably this leads to questions like “But James, what about what men want?!”
Inevitably once more, when I do write an article about that — which you’re about to read — I’ll get comments like “Oh, so we should only focus on men?!”
The truth is that we shouldn’t only focus on either group, and instead all strive to learn how we can be better in our relationships.
Here, then, is one of those rare articles about what the dudes need — because contrary to popular belief, they have feelings, too.
1: Men need to feel needed.
I figured, hey, why not just go for the jugular right on the first point?
“James, women don’t need men!”
That’s right — men are well aware that women don’t need them, and many are facing existential crises because of it.
I think it’s men’s fault more than anything, to be honest. We’ve held on so long to the belief that we need to take on certain roles and responsibilities in relationships that it’s stunted our ability to grow and evolve with the times.
Nevertheless, though, the point here stands — men still need to feel like they have a purpose. A way to contribute to your life and the relationship. A task, a mission.
This is only becoming exacerbated by the lack of need itself, because men aren’t getting that “fix” of “being the man” in the relationship.
As a result, they’re questioning the value they bring to the table. They’re questioning themselves. They’re always left wondering where their place is, and it takes a toll on a lot of guys.
“So, what are we supposed to do…pretend like we need them sometimes just to make them feel better?”
Guys don’t need much in this area. They like to open your door, pull out your chair, open that stubborn jar of pickles. They like to carry all of the groceries upstairs in a single trip. They like to contribute to your life and make your days easier.
Asking for his help every now and then (even if you don’t need it — everyone knows you can carry your own groceries), is going to make him feel like he has a purpose and a place in your life.
“I just don’t understand, James.”
Yeah, I know. I’m not asking you to understand why, just that it’s true.
Women often have natural instincts to be nurturing, or caring, or they get “baby fever” and have strong biological urges to have a child.
Men don’t understand that, either — but they have similar biological urges in the ways of wanting to provide and protect…even if you don’t need him to do it.
2: Men need to feel supported.
Here’s a whopper of a study: Married men statistically make $15,000–20,000 more per year than their single counterparts.
I’ve got my own theories as to why this is that really have nothing to do with the study, you can read that information for yourself.
My personal theory is that men thrive when they are supported by a person they love. It gives them a purpose, a reason to succeed (Ahem, point #1).
It makes us feel like we have someone in our corner, cheering us on, helping us along the journey.
Someone we can confide in when we fail, and celebrate with when we win.
I also believe that married men can focus more time on their work and less time worrying about going out trying to meet women, but that’s a point for a different article.
Men who feel supported are happier, healthier, and more ambitious. And, any man worth his salt will be equally as supportive and encouraging to you in return.
3: Men need stability.
Interestingly, stability is usually a term that we hear women use when discussing what they want in relationships.
But, that doesn’t make it any less important for men.
Think about point #1 above — the need to feel needed.
As a man, I understand the conditioning that men should be the pursuers when it comes to dating and relationships.
If you’re familiar with my work, you know I agree with this and encourage guys to be more romantic in their dating efforts.
This also means that men are used to feeling like they always need to earn the love and affection of women.
While, yes, they should always be putting in effort for you (ahem…as you should for them), they also need to know that their efforts are being recognized and appreciated, otherwise they might feel as though they could lose you at any time.
That is not a feeling of stability and security within a relationship, and nobody can thrive under those circumstances.
Imagine going to work every single day wondering if you’re going to get fired — you’d never be able to perform at your highest level.
So, yes, of course I believe that men need to earn and then maintain your love and affection, but I also believe that he needs to know when it’s actually working.
4: Men need a teammate.
Yeah, sure, there are guys out there who want to control everything in the relationship and don’t value your opinion or input — but let’s be honest, those aren’t the types of guys who are worth talking about in these articles.
They’re not the types of guys you give your time and attention to.
They’re not guys that I, nor anyone I know, would want to be friends with.
So, back to the well-adjusted and goodhearted men we’re talking about here:
They need a teammate in life and love.
They need someone they can count on, confide in, and work together with in order to achieve the life you’ve both dreamed of.
That study linked in point #2 about married men making more money is not because they married the wrong woman — it’s because they married a teammate.
A teammate can look many different ways depending on your individual needs in life.
You might start a business together.
You might have separate careers.
You might be a stay at home mom while he brings home the bacon.
He might be a stay at home dad while you bring home the bacon.
It matters not what your arrangement is, only that it works for you as a couple.
That’s what the best teams in the world do: They figure out each individual member’s strengths and them put them in positions to capitalize on them.
5: Men need humor.
So many people just take life too damn seriously.
I know a lot of it is serious. Bills are serious, work is serious (sometimes), obligations are serious…
The last thing we need is more seriousness after all of it.
Yes, of course, much of life requires us to be adults about it (ugh), and take it seriously, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun and laughter along the way.
One could argue, even, that that’s what makes the whole thing worthwhile — the ability to enjoy it.
If you’re not with someone you can enjoy it with, someone you can let loose with, someone you can have fun with, then what’s the point?
Women know how attractive a healthy sense of humor is in a man, so it should be no surprise that it’s equally as attractive in a woman.
He’ll fall in love with you all over again every time he hears your laugh.
6: Men need to give to you.
Not just…gifts, and stuff. Sure, we like giving those things to the woman we love, but I’m talking about giving himself to you.
His time, his energy, compliments, flattery, romance, affection.
A man needs to make you feel good, for no other reason than because he loves you.
Not for the sake of a return, not because you’re asking for it, not just to feed his own ego.
A man who truly loves and cares for you will feel a deep-rooted need to give, not to take.
It all goes back to needing a sense of meaning and purpose. If he knows he is the only person giving these things to you (which, uh, he should be), it’s going to make him feel an immense sense of pride in who he is, and what he’s bringing to your life.
7: Men need to feel appreciated.
“But James, you just said that men shouldn’t do things for the sake of a return!”
That’s right — they shouldn’t. Nobody should. But, it doesn’t mean that people enjoy feeling taken for granted.
He needs to know that you appreciate the things he strives to do for you every day, and not feel that you’re just sitting back and expecting them to occur.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Gratitude is the fuel that fills the tank of kindness.
In other words, if he feels like you appreciate what he does for you, he’s going to keep doing more of it.
No matter how kindhearted and selfless someone is, though, they will eventually begin to feel taken for granted if there is no appreciation for their actions.
This isn’t a “man” thing, it’s a “human” thing.
None of us want to feel like we’re giving ourselves to someone that barely notices our efforts. If that feeling arises for too long, it will eventually create a distance between you that’s too large to close up again.
8: Men need intimacy.
FINALLY, IT TOOK YOU 8 POINTS BUT YOU’RE FINALLY ADMITTING MEN JUST WANT SEX.
You’re an adult. You already know that men have sexual needs.
I mean, shit…you know that you have sexual needs.
But I did not say “sex,” I said “intimacy.”
Sure, sex is a result of intimacy, but you can still have sex without intimacy.
You know what happens if you do enough of that? Either you get bored, or you become attached to the person you’re sleeping with…because the need for intimacy remains.
Intimacy goes far beyond just having sex, it’s about forming a mental and emotional connection with another person that’s rooted in love.
It’s a connection that makes you feel safe being your truest self with this person.
It makes you feel secure in yourself and in your body when you’re with them.
It’s what makes you hold hands while walking in the park. Cuddling while watching that movie. Hugging each other when you come home from work.
That’s what real intimacy is about — and men need it just as much as women do.
9: Men need their own identity.
Believe me when I say — this is important for both of you.
In that…you both need your own identity, but you also both need each other to have your own identity.
What I mean is this:
Too many men are trying so hard to win (or keep) a woman’s attention that they sacrifice who they really are in the process. They do whatever they think she wants. They mold themselves to her. They sacrifice time with friends, or family, or doing the things they love.
Of course! You should want to spend oodles of time with your partner!
But you should also have your own passions and interests that bring you joy outside of the relationship.
You treat your relationship and your partner like your only source of existence in this world…and that is a lot of pressure.
The challenge for most men (and, if we’re being honest, women too) is developing this identity in the first place.
Most people make decades worth of decisions based on making money, or making a partner happy, or raising kids, or something that is outside of themselves.
While noble, there need to be limits — limits dictated by your internal identity to be sure that each decision you make is in alignment with your values and beliefs.
Challenging to implement? Definitely.
Necessary for your own happiness and fulfillment? Absolutely.
10: Men need to be loved for who they really are.
First, let’s state the obvious:
It’s no secret that women have spent centuries facing immense pressure and influence about how they look, what they wear, how they speak, their relationship status, and a slew of other aspects that should be decided by the person themselves.
It’s unfair, unjust, and unreasonable.
This article, though, is about men’s needs, and men also need to feel secure in who they are as individuals.
While the only true place we can find a full sense of self-worth is within us, we still need to know that the person we love accepts and embraces us for who we are.
Men compare themselves to others in similar ways as women do. Though, we’re usually looking at who’s got a better beard, bigger muscles, a faster car, a stronger jawline, or more money in the bank…
Is it driven by ego? Well, yeah.
Does that make it any less real or difficult to deal with? Unfortunately not.
If a man knows that you love him, though…that you think he’s the best guy in the world, the most handsome, the most caring, kindhearted, genuine, and deserving of your love…those are the realizations that will help him feel secure in himself.
When he feels secure in himself, that’s when he can show up for you at his best. It’s how he can be the best partner, father, colleague, lover, and friend.
He’ll know that if he has you by his side, there’s nothing that he can’t do.
At the end of the day, who really needs more than that?
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Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 39 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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