21 Things Men Want In A Relationship Desperately

Trust, honesty, and fidelity are just some of the many things men seek in a relationship.

Reviewed by Karen Marshall, Certified Relationship & Dating Expert
Written by Sneha Tete, Certified Relationship Coach
Edited by Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Fact-checked by Gracia Odile  • 

Women are more vocal about what they need and desire, but things men want in a relationship remain a mystery more often than not. Men and women think differently, behave differently, and even want different things in a relationship. While women try to express themselves a lot, men reveal less. Thus, it becomes difficult for women to impress their men as they don’t know what they like or dislike. But don’t worry. We have got your back. In this article, we have listed 21 things that men want in a relationship and what you can do to make them happen. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s jump into it.

Top 21 Things Men Want In A Relationship

When you are aware of what men want in a relationship, it can help you to understand your partner and be considerate of his unspoken wishes and desires. This can strengthen your bond and draw you closer to one another. It can also help you to clear away misunderstandings and minimize any miscommunication. So, what do men really want in a relationship? Let us find out:

1. Men Seek Honesty In A Relationship

A couple hugging each other tightly after a honest discussion.
Image: Shutterstock

Honesty is a top priority for most men. When it comes to relationships, men want to trust their partners completely. They also expect the trust to be reciprocated. A man cannot bear to be kept in the dark over any matter by his partner. They prefer to know the truth, regardless of how unpleasant it might be.

What To Do

Be straightforward in your approach. Trust your partner if they have demonstrated to be trustworthy over your dating period, and you both must communicate your needs preferences, and your feelings with honesty. If one partner has trust issues, they will need to take responsibility for their insecurities when they come up, which is inevitable in any new dating relationship. Otherwise, this behavior would put a strain on or sabotage a relationship long-term.

2. Men Don’t Want To Be Controlled In A Relationship

No man likes to be manipulated or controlled by his partner. Women often believe they can change a man, but it’s important to give a man space to be with his friends, have time for his hobbies and interests, and develop an interdependent, healthy relationship. Sometimes, individuals think manipulation or forcing control is the only way to get a man to do certain things, particularly if one partner is codependent and looking for a partner to make them happy when they should focus on making themselves happy independently and within themselves. But, this often has the reverse effect. A man can feel restricted as if his freedom is being taken away, he is mothered or emasculated, or he is treated like a child and told what to do. This behavior will often push a man away. This isn’t healthy for a relationship.

What To Do

Be frank with your partner and establish your boundaries. It is also important to make clear what your expectations and desires are from him. Remember, it is not your partner’s job to make you happy. It is your responsibility.

3. Men Want Confident And Secure Partners

Men like women who are confident and considerate of their partner’s needs in the relationship. They do not want partners who are insecure and cannot stand to see them with any other female, be it their friends, family, colleagues, or mere acquaintances. If a man is a good communicator with a partner and openly shares his plans, where he is going, and where he ended up going, this helps any partner feel considered. A woman may feel uncomfortable knowing her man is with another woman. But as long as he demonstrates honesty and shares what he is doing before and after the event, he will begin to build a much stronger bond for trust to grow, which is the most valuable foundation of any healthy relationship.

What To Do

Insecurity often leads to suspicion, which can cause many issues in a relationship. Have confidence in your partner, as well as the relationship. Should you have trust issues, take time to personally recognize your own patterns – what happens when your trust button is triggered? Otherwise, a man could be open and honest with you, but if you believe deep down that ‘all men are dishonest,’ you could sabotage your relationship, future, and happiness.

4. Men Want To Be Accepted For Who They Are

Men want to be accepted by their partners for who they are. They do not want to be compared with anyone. They are happy to be in a relationship where they are not pressured to be someone else or meet certain unrealistic standards.

What To Do

Avoid being judgmental. Do not indulge in criticizing him in front of others. Rather, offer him constructive criticism in private.

5. Men Seek Commitment And Fidelity

It is a common misconception that men want to indulge in relationships with more than one woman all the time. But that is not always true. When a man decides to get seriously involved, he can and will stay committed, and he expects the same from his partner.

What To Do

It is not enough to be committed. Let him know through your words and actions that the relationship means a lot to you.

6. Men Want Clear Communication

A couple sitting on the floor looking at each other and discussing something.
Image: Shutterstock

If there is one thing men do not want in a relationship, it is a lack of clear communication. What men really want in a relationship is for you to express your emotions and expectations clearly. If you hesitate to send a clear message, you can create confusion.

What To Do

Communication is the backbone of any relationship. Always keep the doors of communication open and express your thoughts and emotions clearly about what you are really thinking, particularly when you have misunderstandings. It is healthy to have different opinions or argue, which is inevitable in any relationship. It is how you resolve conflict in a healthy, adult manner that matters the most.

7. Men Want Respect

Respect is one thing that men value very highly. If you demean him in public or do not respect him in private, your relationship may suffer. Men value women who are respectful toward their partners as well as their dreams and aspirations.

What To Do

Learn to respect your man for who he is and appreciate his good qualities. If you do not like something about him, have a frank discussion with him rather than disrespecting him.

8. Men Seek Stability And Growth

A common perception about men is that they are not interested in stability or growth in their relationships. But, the fact is that men want to grow in a relationship with a mature and dependable partner.

What To Do

Be mature in your approach. When you create a healthy space for growth and maturity, you will be surprised to see how quickly he will want to take the relationship to the next level.

9. Men Crave Emotional Intimacy

Most men are conditioned to believe that they cannot be weak or show their vulnerable side. Such vulnerability includes expressing concern, showing pain, divulging fears, etc. But some men do crave emotional support from their partners. They want to feel comfortable enough with their partner to share their secrets, their fears, and how they really feel if they are wired this way. If they were encouraged to express themselves as a child, they would do this more easily as an adult. Once a man trusts you, he will share himself without any pressure to do so.

What To Do

Try to be his emotional soundboard. Reassure him from time to time that you are there to listen to all his concerns patiently. Your relationship will grow stronger when you respect him for his own way of sharing and responding to emotional intimacy with you. Allow him time to express himself when he is ready without rushing him.

10. Men Desire Space In A Relationship

A couple sitting distantly on a sofa, disappointed from each other.
Image: Shutterstock

A man may be fully committed to a woman and still want to spend some time away from her. He may want to be with his friends or need time to be alone and gather his thoughts every once in a while.

What To Do

What a man wants in a relationship is space. Too much proximity can sometimes lead to suffocation. Allow your partner breathing room in the relationship. It is healthy to have alone time individually.

11. Men Want A Sense Of Physical Connection

For a man, physical intimacy and touch are significant in a relationship. It is his way of feeling connected to you on a deeper level. But, the physical connection does not mean he wants to have sex with you all the time. It can be something as simple as a hug, holding hands, or a deep kiss.

What To Do

In a relationship, men and women have different needs. While women love connecting through communication and sharing their world through words, men love doing so through physical intimacy. Talk to him about what makes him feel loved to know him better and express what is important to you. For instance, being heard and listened to and sharing quality time together. Tell him you appreciate the jobs he does to help you, or when he compliments you, it makes you feel desired and wanted.

12. Men Look For Security

Security is something that both men and women seek in a relationship. If your man can still be himself and live independently from his relationship without feeling controlled, you can both demonstrate healthy listening to each other’s needs. He will start believing you are the right partner for a potential long-term relationship. Seeing you have your own friends and interests will make him feel more confident in you. Also, seeing that you are happy in your own skin, he will become sure to commit himself to your relationship. Being self-assured individually and together builds a stronger, more secure, and committed relationship, leading you both towards the commitment right for you both.

What To Do

Let your partner know that building a healthy relationship first is important to you, and you feel secure about him for your relationship to develop in the long run. This will reassure him that you are also considerate of his needs and his space and that integrity is integral to building a more lasting, secure relationship before you both commit for the long term.

13. Men Expect To Be Understood

Men are human, after all. When they make any mistake, they want their partners to be considerate and not turn it into an issue. They want to feel supported and accepted despite their faults.

What To Do

Anyone can make mistakes, including you. Just let him know that it is okay if he has messed up in some way. If the mistake has hurt you in any way, be sure to express that, but also let him know that you are ready to address the problem with him.

14. Men Want To Have Fun

A couple having fun pillow fighting with each other.
Image: Shutterstock

It is not just women who love a sense of humor in their partner. Even men want it. Having a fun-loving partner who does not take things too seriously helps them to relax and unwind. That is why they want a partner who can be spontaneous, laughs with them and is willing to show their playful side.

What To Do

Take an interest in his hobbies. Ask him questions, and he will be glad to share details with you or invite you along. Make an effort to value what is important to him, and he will value and share what is important to you.

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You can go bowling or order his favorite food and play video games at home. Either way, he will love that you can have fun and take an interest in his hobbies.

15. Men Want To Connect Over Common Interests

Men love it when their partners take an interest in their hobbies and passions. It can be anything, such as their love for jogging, photography, playing the guitar, etc. It is their way of spending more time with you while being happy and doing their own thing.

What To Do

Take an interest in his hobbies. Ask him questions, and he will be glad to share details with you or invite you along. Make an effort to value what’s important to him and he will value and share what’s important to you.

16. Men Seek Maturity From Their Partner

Every couple has its share of arguments. But if you do not reel it in every once in a while, the constant bickering can be a turn-off for him. Most men expect their partners to deal with issues maturely and with a calm head. Notice how you respond and react. Put yourself in his shoes to see yourself from his perspective. Do you go on? Or do you respond maturely?

What To Do

Avoid destructive arguments and try to find a solution rather than fighting over the issue or trying to place the blame on him. Recognize your anger, calm down, and choose how to respond when you feel emotionally calmer.

17. Men Expect To Be Pampered

It is not just women who expect a bit of pampering from their partners. Men loved to be pampered equally. While they may not expect you to gift them chocolates or flowers every day, an occasional romantic message or a surprise like an unexpected surprise date night is much appreciated.

What To Do

Pamper him once in a while for no particular reason. Make him feel loved through sweet and romantic gestures.

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You can write sweet notes to him or plan a guy’s night out to show that his needs matter and that you appreciate him in your life.

18. Men Expect Their Partners To Step Up For Them

Men are tuned to fight their battles on their own. These battles could range from struggling with difficult familial relationships or dealing with a financial crisis. Irrespective of the problem, they expect you to be on their side to offer support. They expect you to step up for them, be their strength, and offer a listening ear.

What To Do

Be by his side and hold his hand tight. Let him know you are there to support him or talk through any challenges he is ready to discuss with you. You do not have to fight on his behalf. Just stepping up and letting him know you are there for him will be enough to motivate him.

19. Men Want To Be Taken Care Of

19. Men Want To Be Taken Care Of
Simple, caring gestures go a long way in cementing a relationship into an unbreakable bond. After a long and tiring day, if you greet him with a smile and a warm hug, it is often enough for him to feel relaxed. Put yourself in his shoes, and give him space to wind down before you share your day. Read his mood to show how considerate you are of his needs. He will be happy to be in your company.

What To Do

Just be there to make him feel welcomed and shower him with unconditional love and care. He will learn from your kind nature to reciprocate when you need to be taken care of. Men are not great mind-readers or as intuitive as women, so tell him when you need a hug or a listening ear when it matters.

20. Men Want To Feel Like A Priority

A man asking his partner who's busy on the phone to prioritize him.
Image: Shutterstock

Men do not want to be taken for granted in a relationship. They want to feel valued and appreciated and be a priority for the person they love. Being inconsiderate toward this need of your partner can harm your relationship. When you show empathy, tell him how much you appreciate him or you are sorry he has had a bad day to know he is not alone. If you are unable to prioritize his needs, immediately let him know you will prioritize him as soon as you can.

What To Do

Show him that you care. Even small acts like tuning in to his favorite TV show or his preferred music, or cooking his favorite meal after he has had a bad day can cheer him up and feel cared for.

21. Men Want A Partnership

Men love it when the love of their life becomes a complete partner. They do not want her to remain only as a girlfriend or a wife. They love it when they have a true friend in their partner, in front of whom they can let their guard down and confide.

What To Do

Turn into his companion, confidant, and friend. Try to be that person in his life without whom he feels incomplete.

Infographic: Types Of Intimacy In Relationships

Men and women want very similar things in their relationships. The only difference is that men do not express themselves enough, as many are conditioned to maintain a tough exterior. But being patient and putting in efforts to build intimacy in a relationship goes a long way. Check out the infographic below to know the different types of intimacy in relationships.

types of intimacy in relationships (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

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Download Infographic in PDF version

Men may not express themselves enough, but everyone wants to feel seen, heard, and appreciated in a relationship. Despite maintaining a tough exterior to fit in with social standards, the things men want in a relationship can be similar to what women want. Men appreciate it when you are direct in your communication about your likes, dislikes, and expectations. They like it when you are serious in the relationship, but you also know how to have fun and fool around with them. Never hesitate to pamper men; they may not verbally ask for it, but they love it when you fuss over them once in a while. With these new tips in your arsenal, we are sure you will make your man happy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a man trust a woman?

Men often think women are a mystery who do not mean what they say. Therefore, they find women who back their words with respective actions to be more trustworthy.

What are a man’s emotional needs?

Men may not be expressive, but they also have emotional needs. They look for comforting companionship, affection, emotional security, appreciation, compatibility, good level of understanding, independence of decision-making, and encouragement from their partners.

What do men find most attractive in a woman?

Men looking for long-term connections find independent, self-assured, confident, and expressive women attractive, who can hold their own but also be sensitive to others. These qualities prominently become a source of their attraction.

Key Takeaways

  • Men may or may not be vocal about their choices and expectations, but most often than not, it is the simple things that can make a big difference.
  • Clear communication, respect, deep values, and honesty can go a long way in helping them open up and reveal their innermost desires or insecurities.
  • While you need to pay attention to their unspoken words and cues, giving them their personal space is also important in strengthening the relationship and communication further.
  • Take care of your well-being and happiness – that is your job to manage, not his. He will love you for being self-assured and confident, with him or independently.

Are you a woman looking for relationship advice about what men want? Well, check out this video to learn the 7 things men want but don’t ask for to clear your confusion!

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