Understanding Your Man’s Emotional Needs
Why is it that we don’t usually hear about “what men want”? Men have emotional needs that may differ from what women require in an intimate relationship. It is sometimes easy for a woman to oversimplify or overlook the emotional needs of her partner, especially if those needs are not communicated directly. Being in tune with your man and listening effectively to what he needs from you will allow you to connect on a deeper level.
What He Needs
He needs to know you support his endeavors. Even if your man doesn’t outright say it, he wants you to support him in his career choices and activities—or anything else he sets out to accomplish. Let him know you support him. Provide words of encouragement—tell him that you are a team and that you want to help him achieve his personal goals.
He needs to feel appreciated. Historically, men were the providers for their families. While many men still connect a lot of value to their work, they want and need to feel appreciated for who they are and not just for what they do. Make him feel appreciated for what he contributes to the relationship, big and small—how hard he works at his job, how much he helps around the house, etc.—but also for who he is (his character and personality). He will be reassured that who he is and what he does has meaning and purpose and that he does not need to change who he is in order to meet your expectations.
He needs to be independent from time to time. Have you heard the phrase, “Men are like rubber bands”? Men need to feel some level of independence, often as a way to relieve stress. It is normal for some men to pull away occasionally, especially in the beginning stages of a relationship, and spring back for emotional closeness once their feeling of independence has been satisfied. Give your man space to pursue his own hobbies and hang out with guy friends and he will look forward to spending time with you.
He needs to feel attractive. Tell him he’s hot! Just as it feels great when your man tells you, “Honey, you look great in that dress,” men also like reassurance that their partner is attracted to them. Spontaneous compliments are so simple and yet can have a big impact. Compliments can make your man feel as though you’re seeing him for the first time, which can help keep the spark alive no matter how long you’ve been together.
He needs to know you can count on him. Trust is very important in any relationship—for both men and women. While it is crucial that your man has trust in you, he also needs to know that you trust him. Avoid criticizing him for small mistakes which can make him feel as though you lack trust in him. Remind him that you have confidence that he is offering his best to your relationship.
Since men are stereotypically portrayed as not being in touch with their feelings, it is easy to overlook your man’s emotional needs. In a healthy relationship, it is important for both people to communicate expectations and feelings, while listening to and seeking to understand the other’s heart.