What is it exactly that both men and women need to feel content and fulfilled in a relationship? Here’s the short answer: We both need to feel loved. This may sound simple enough, but it is actually quite complex. Why? Because what translates as “love” to each gender is really very different. In a man’s mind, he feels loved when he is respected. To a woman, love means that she is adored. Problems arise when we make the mistake of loving our partner in the way we need to be loved instead of how they need to be loved. When this isn’t working properly, eventually it begins to feel as if there is little (if any) love at all.
So what is it that a man needs in order to feel respected and, therefore, truly loved? In a man’s mind, there are two components to respect: admiration and trust. Here’s how it breaks down.
Every man needs his woman to admire him. He needs to know that you think he’s smart, sexy, capable, and good. He needs to feel that he’s allowed to make mistakes and that you aren’t going to think he’s less of a man because of them. In short, he needs to feel like he’s your superhero.
Complimenting, praising, and appreciating him all make him feel admired. Almost every guy lives to hear his woman tell him, “You’re wonderful.” It’s what inspires and encourages him to be even more wonderful.
Listen, if a man is not meeting your needs, you should not be with him. End of story. If he isn’t a quality guy with good character, you will never admire him and (quite frankly) he’s not deserving of your admiration. But even a good man is human; he’s going to make mistakes. Pointing out his flaws, telling him all the ways in which he disappoints you, or trying to control him and his behavior will only end up hurting both of you. So if he’s worthy of your admiration, be sure to show it.
Trust encompasses so much more than simply fidelity, although that’s definitely part of the equation. A man needs to feel that you trust him not just with commitment, but that you trust him to handle his own business, your heart, and the relationship as a whole. He needs to feel that you believe in him.
Placing your trust in a man should not be done lightly. Further, it can be difficult to do so, especially if you’ve had a few bad apples in your past. That is why it is so important to use the dating process to get to know his character and to determine if he’s trustworthy. However, once you begin a relationship with him, be sure to show him that you trust him. Here are a few ways to do exactly that:
- If he asks for your advice or opinion, give it. But always follow it up with a statement like, “I know you’ll make the right decision.”
- If you find out his best friend is cheating on his girlfriend, don’t try to convince him to stop hanging out with him or suspiciously say, “You better never do that to me.” Instead, tell him, “I’m so thankful you are a faithful guy and wouldn’t hurt me like that.”
- Don’t micromanage him or watch over his shoulder as if waiting for him to mess up.
- Don’t require that he give up boys’ night or that he call you when he gets home. In his mind, giving him his freedom means that you trust him.
When a woman admires and trusts her man, he feels respected. He feels esteemed. In his mind, this is exactly what he needs to feel loved by her. So forget about trying to show him love in the ways you need to be shown love. While he’ll most likely appreciate you planning a romantic dinner or writing him a love note, it’s not what speaks to most men. When we learn to love in the way he needs to be loved, that’s often when we find ourselves being loved properly in return.
Stay tuned: Next we’ll look at what a woman needs to feel loved and how to get it!