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12 Important Things Most Men Want In A Relationship

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Whilst every man is different, there are some things that most men will want in a relationship.

Yes, the list below does discuss some common male and female stereotypes, but stereotypes exist because there is often a lot of truth in them.

If you are looking for a man, knowing what he wants out of a relationship will help you build attraction and make him feel that a relationship with you is a good idea.

If you are already in a relationship with a man, gaining a better understanding of what he needs and is looking for from you and from the relationship can help you strengthen the bond that already exists.

Take this list seriously, but don’t take it as gospel. Each man will have unique wants. Get a feel for how much importance your man puts on these things to figure out what his priorities are.

(And whilst this list may focus on what men want out of a relationship, there’s no doubt that women want many of the same things.)

1. Acceptance for who they are.

A stereotype aimed at women is that they want to change the man they are in a relationship with. They want to mold them into their perfect idea of a boyfriend or husband.

This does not apply to all women, or even most women in truth. But it is something that many men are wary of.

Men don’t want to be changed or controlled. It makes them feel as though who they are right now is not good enough. They might feel unworthy of being loved.

What men want is acceptance. Acceptance for who they are right now, flaws and all.

People do things in different ways. People behave in different ways. Truth is, men and women are typically more different to each other than they are to members of the same gender.

Many men feel more accepted by other men than they do by women, even those women they are in relationships with.

Of course compromises have to be made in any healthy relationship – if a man’s behavior upsets or harms his partner, he should make an effort to change that behavior within reason.

But, if you want to make you man feel content in your relationship, show him that you accept him for who he is.

2. Peace and harmony.

Another stereotype of women is that they create more drama than men. This may not be true on average, and there are certainly plenty of men who fuel drama in their lives and relationships, but it’s something that many men believe.

Men tend to like an easy life. Part of that is a life of minimal drama. Men want a relationship to be harmonious. They want a relaxed atmosphere and an easy-going attitude.

What they don’t want is regular conflict or nit-picking. They don’t want to feel nagged. They don’t like to be accused of things they have or haven’t done. They don’t want things to be blow out of proportion.

We’re not saying that all women do these things. Or that no men do them. We’re simply trying to provide a general view of how many men see things.

3. Some space and independence.

Most men need more time and space alone or socializing with their friends than women do. Again, this is a generalization, but one that is closer to the truth than most others.

This is the reason why it is often said that men need ‘cave time.’ Maybe they are less able to cope with the constant pressures and demands a relationship can put on you. Perhaps they just need time and space to do stereotypically male pastimes.

Where children are involved, many men simply struggle to be as active and hands-on with their kids as women are.

Space doesn’t only refer to physical distance but also to digital communication too. There will be times when a man feels unwilling to have a constant back and forth over text message because even that is an intrusion into his little manly haven from life.

Whilst you should feel able to demand quite a lot of time and attention from your boyfriend or husband, your relationship might go a little smoother if you give him some time and space to himself on a regular basis.

If you really value time together as a couple and can’t understand why a man might not want to spend all his time with you, it’s important that you find a man who doesn’t fit the stereotype and who has quality time as a love language too.

4. Regular sex, and for you to initiate it sometimes.

On average, men have higher sex drives than women. Whether that’s because of hormones or simply a legacy of evolution, men like to have sex on quite a regular basis.

This can create a challenging dynamic in a relationship whereby the woman feels pestered for sex by the man and the man feels like his sexual needs and desires are not being met by the woman.

This is an area where sensitive compromises need to be made. No one should be made to feel like they have to have sex more often than they are comfortable with. But it might be the case that having sex more often than you would personally choose to is still within your comfort levels. In which case, your man is likely to appreciate the additional sexual contact a great deal.

Another stereotype that may not always be true is that men are more likely to be the ones to initiate sex in a relationship. But nearly all men find it a huge turn on when their partner is the one to initiate sex.

It makes them feel sexually attractive. It communicates to them that you really enjoy the sex you have with them which makes them feel more confident about their performance in bed (a worry that affects many men).

5. For you to tell them what you want.

Nobody can read minds, as helpful as that would be. So when it comes to relationships, it helps to be clear and open with what you want from your partner.

Men tend to be worse at reading between the lines of a request. They aren’t great at understanding body language or tone of voice. They prefer to be told straight what it is that is being asked of them.

Many men are very literal in their understanding of requests which means that you might have to ask them to do the same thing on different occasions, even when it seems clear to you that you’d like them to be responsible for that thing at all times.

Maybe you’d like them to be the one who cleans the car, and you’d like it to be done every two weeks minimum. Being told that explicitly is a man’s preferred way to communicate.

Ambiguity of message will be met with inconsistency in behavior. Clarity of message will be more likely to be met with consistency in behavior.

If a man offers to do something for you, be clear with a yes or no answer. Avoid saying things like “If you want…” or “It’s up to you.”

And whilst it may seem as though men like to have things their own way most of the time, they also like it when you provide your input on decisions that have to be made. So don’t leave it up to them to choose a restaurant or movie – state your preference if you have one. Remember, men like to please their partners too!

In fact, if you always allow your partner to make decisions for you both because you think that will make him happy, he may begin to resent you for it. He doesn’t want the pressure of trying to choose something that will keep you happy too. He’d much prefer it if you spoke up and said what you’d like in any given situation.

6. Traditional gender roles.

They may not always say so, but many men still see traditional gender roles as an effective way to live as a couple. Whilst more women work than ever before, it’s still common for a woman to take on a greater share of the household chores and childcare duties.

Whether this is how things ought to be is something you’ll have your own view on, and it can affect how your relationships pan out. If you are in favor of a more equal split of responsibilities that are traditionally seen as the wife’s or girlfriend’s role, you’ll want to be sure the guy is on the same page.

7. To feel appreciated.

It’s not only women who can feel taken for granted by their partner. Men can too.

When a man does something – whether you’ve agreed that it’s his responsibility or he does it spontaneously – he’d like some recognition for it sometimes.

Even if you take on more of the workload in the home, it’s still nice to show your appreciation for the things he does. Of course this should go both ways – he should recognize the effort you put in too.

If he works longer hours than you (especially once a long commute is taken into account), be grateful that he’s hard working.

If he takes the kids out for a few hours one Saturday morning because he can see you’re stressed by something else, make it clear that you see his gesture and are thankful for it.

Buy him a little gift once in a while just to say thank you. Give him a massage if he’s had a particularly hard day. Do all the little things you like him to do for you, even if he’s not always great at doing them.

Strive for a balanced relationship and make sure you both feel appreciated. That’s a key ingredient to a long-lasting partnership.

8. Your understanding when they make mistakes.

Falling back on the stereotypes again, men tend to be less emotionally intelligent than women. This means they are more likely to put their foot in it and do or say something to upset their partner.

This leaves them prone to facing your wrath or dealing with your emotional reaction to the mistakes they make. Even then they may not be sure how best to deal with the repercussions of their actions and can often make things worse, not better.

Whilst you shouldn’t have to tolerate repeated poor treatment, most men will be hugely grateful for a bit of understanding when it comes to their behavior. They don’t act with malice most of the time. They probably feel guilty for hurting you. So to receive your understanding and even your forgiveness means a lot to them.

9. To be silly sometimes.

Men tend to be less mature than women in many ways. Not only in the emotional sense discussed above but also in their general behavior. They do silly things and they enjoy doing them.

And men want that in a relationship and a partner. They don’t want to be serious all the time and to only deal with the important things in life. They want to let loose and have a bit of fun doing juvenile things at times.

If you scold them for acting in such a way, you are invalidating their feelings. You are telling them that they should behave more appropriately for their age and that you don’t find their behavior funny.

This links back in with the first point about acceptance – men want to feel that they can be themselves and do things like pulling pranks or telling childish jokes without facing ridicule.

10. A safe space in which to be vulnerable.

Men often find it easier to open up to women than to other men. They don’t have to show the same bravado around women and can be more honest about how they really feel. And this is an important thing for a man to have in a relationship.

Men need to feel that it is okay to be vulnerable and show their feelings without being made to feel weak or awkward. Just like anyone else, they want to be heard and to have someone show them compassion when they are having a hard time.

Without this safe space, men will bottle up their feelings. This will have a negative impact at a later date when those feelings either explode out in an uncontrolled manner or manifest in some other way.

By providing a considerate ear to listen to your man, you will improve your communication and reap the benefits of a closer relationship.

11. Your belief in him.

Most people doubt themselves a little bit, men included. And so it makes a huge difference to your confidence when someone else believes in you.

When you tell and show you man how much you believe in him when he attempts any sort of goal, you are affirming his worth and his abilities. That can make all the difference in whether or not he succeeds at that goal.

And regardless of the outcome of the goal, when he knows you believe in him, it makes him feel valued and trusted. It will boost his self-esteem and help motivate him to keep going when obstacles cross his path.

12. Your respect.

Let’s be clear on one thing: respect needs to go both ways in any relationship.

Respect is demonstrated in so many different ways, many of which we’ve touched upon in this article. In general, it means treating each other well and being thankful for what you each bring to the relationship.

When a man feels respected by you, he will raise his game and seek to grow as a person. Respect is fuel for self-worth and makes a man want to be a better partner or father or member of society.

It feels good to be respected and it encourages respect to be shown back. Respect is essential to a healthy relationship and men know this.

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About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.