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A picture of a man giving flowers to his lover on a winter day

7 Things Your Love Wants To Know About You

Love. That elusive beast.  We all rejoice when we feel its surge.  And fight it when it wanes.

A picture of a man giving flowers to his lover on a winter day
Be Upfront

Of course, women at least want to believe that rush of loving feelings will remain—forever.  In the happily-ever-after vein.  Prince Charming will always be that hero galloping in on a white steed (with which of course Freud had a field day, but we won’t get into that here!).

The thing that kills love doesn’t come via sledgehammer in the night.  Oh, an “event” may surely provide the death knell, but once that smoke has dispersed, even if you didn’t pay attention, the signs were clearly there.

Hate when that happens.

But the thing that kills love quicker than dead is resentment.  That’s how those oh-so-lovely feelings turn first to hurt, then anger, then to indifference—the true antithesis of love.

So how does our fair maiden keep that from happening (provided she’s with a prince and not a frog)?

Communication.

I know, not very sexy.

But it’s the thing that fosters understanding.  To be upfront with your emotions and needs and desires can sure cause feelings of vulnerability.  Which isn’t a lot of fun at times.  And to stand in the midst of it requires true courage.

If this list were about things our maiden wanted to know about our prince, it would be much longer.

[Tweet “But the thing that kills love quicker than dead is resentment.”]

Men, though, are fairly simple beasts.  It’s not that difficult to keep one happy.  Just make sure he knows these 7 things:

  1.    Will you be true?

I know, most women would hoot at this.  “That’s not the first thing my man needs!” I hear a lot.  Besides, they say, men think about sex 60 times per day (this number is continually changing via studies.  Which I suspect results from any given man giving a different answer on any given day!).  And he isn’t thinking about sex with me but with whatever cute girl walks into his line of vision!”

True.  Men are wired that way.  The propagation of the species and all of that.

Doesn’t discount, however, his need to know that you won’t stray.

A man’s most primary need is to attach to his mate.  It all comes from his attachment to Mom, and no need to get all Freud here, but there’s a reason men call for their wives and mothers as they’re dying.  It’s the number-one constant in his psyche.

So let him know you belong to him—however antiquated that feels.

  1.    Do you respect him?  

You always have to keep in mind the fragile male ego.  I know—this isn’t terribly politically correct!  But men, although straightforward enough once you understand them, grow up trying to find their place in the pecking order, and pursuing a sense of mastery that if disputed, causes doubts about their very manhood.

I know, right?  Bless ‘em.

But do not discount the vital importance of this need in men to “feel like a man.”  If he doesn’t feel respected, then he feels castrated.  Which isn’t something you want to deal with!  Five Keys for Understanding Men delves deeply into this subject, so just know that he needs respect.  From you.

He needs to believe that you think him capable, the master of his ship, the captain of his troops.

  1.    Does he please you?

Do you appreciate the little things he does?  And to a man, these things are most likely different from what you’d think, or wish he would do.  You might like some help in the kitchen, but he may or may not have a clue how to fit there.

Men show caring in ways odd to women’s thinking.  But cleaning out the roof gutters may be his way of taking care of the homestead.  Making sure your car’s oil is changed is his way to assuring you’ll be safe.

The trick is to discern the “odd” things he does and make him feel appreciated for doing so.

  1.    Does he stir your chili?

Simply, men need to feel sexual prowess.  Although they’re wired to breed everything that walks willingly by, and we often joke about the male of the species just wanting to get off, that’s only partly the story.

Men want to feel that their women are fulfilled.  Not only so they don’t stray (see number 1), but because it bolsters that fragile ego.

He’s a man, by golly!  His woman is satisfied.  Which means his manhood is intact.

  1.    Will you make him a sammich?

Or any food fit to eat.  I know, I know, again, we’re in the liberated age, no?  But we’re talking how men are, not how we want them to be (which is often a female psyche in a male body).

Again, men’s needs are fairly simple.  Once he feels respected, appreciated, a manly man, he’s hungry.  For food.  And his woman fixing vittles for him fosters those feelings of attachment—his primary need.

Yep, sounds a lot like his attachment to Mom.  And it is a carryover from that.  But this is one you want to fight at your own peril, as the symbolism is as strong as the life force itself.

Just feed him.

  1.    Can he go out and play with his friends?

Women often laugh about male friendships.  While women bare to their friends their deepest dreams and desires, their emotions and fears, men ask, “How ‘bout them Cowboys!” as a method of communication.

Men’s friendships are just different from women’s, but not any less vital.

Surprising?  Often it seems men have no friends, or none outside the “couple.”  This is, however, a mistake.

Men need other men.  They need to reconnect with their hierarchy of friends and acquaintances.  It keeps them safe in the pecking order of life.

If they’re doing this around a ballgame rather than a bar, that’s all good, right?  And even better, if they’re playing in some ballgame, that’s the jackpot as they can reestablish that sense of mastery too, and connect with their tribe, and be men.

  1.    Do you love him?

Men rarely ask this.  Women do, but men, not so much.  The question itself implies some weakness, and showing that—even to you!—causes those feelings of castration again.  Of not being manly enough.

So this is a question he needs answered in other ways.  By your appreciation.  By your desire.  By your actions.

This is where you don’t make them guess!

This is where actions speak so much louder than words.

Yep, pretty simple beasts, these men.  And it’s easy to rail at all the politically incorrect points here.  And yep, these are politically incorrect.

Doesn’t make them any less true.

The old saying about pick your battles applies to all relationships.  And yep, you can work to change your man on any of these issues.  You’ll be going against his nature, though.  And if you succeed on the outside, he may be very unhappy within.

Anybody who’s ever lived with an unhappy man would surely choose another way!

So, let him know you’re staying.  That you think he’s cool.  That you appreciate him mowing the lawn.  That you want him.  That you’ll feed him.  That his playing basketball with his friends is a great thing.

All those things make him know he’s loved.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Roslyn Tanner Evans

    An interesting approach to love and relationships. Makes sense to help a woman understand her man as she is more likely to adjust, examine, reflect and please.

  2. Patricia Weber

    Valuable insights I’ve learned over my decades of marriage – we’ve both been married only to each other too! And to your point about he needs his friends: this was most difficult for me in our early years with me being the introvert and him being the extrovert. Thanks!

    1. Susan Malone

      It’s hard to understand a man’s concept of friends, isn’t it, Patricia? Sometimes that’s really difficult to get! But friends are so important to men, for such different reasons than they are for us 🙂

  3. Kris Vaughan

    I love your funny way of writing. These are all true and important things in a relationship.

  4. Beverley Golden

    Reading this post I couldn’t help but wonder how at different stages in our lives, what is important to us when it comes to “love”, changes. Young love is filled with chemistry and passion and as we age, companionship and friendship are more important. The key is to understand that men and women are truly different species and the sooner each “knows” the other, the smoother and more loving their relationship will ultimately be. Thanks for the interesting read, Susan!

    1. Susan Malone

      That’s such a great point, Beverley! Our needs do change at different stages, no? And yep, men and women truly are of different species 🙂

  5. Lisa Swanson

    What a great post, I nice look into the mind of men! LOL Not that we don’t already know it, but it does help to be reminded that what they consider “loving” is a bit different from what we think.

    1. Susan Malone

      Aren’t men just odd beasts, Lisa. Not to themselves, but to us! And I need that reminder too!

  6. Sabrina Quairoli

    Great advice for any couple. I personally love giving hugs and receiving them. It’s the little things that matter to me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Susan Malone

      Hugs are pieces of heaven, no? And it is the little things, Sabrina!

  7. Beth Niebuhr

    Nice article. It rings true. His needs aren’t so different from ours but he needs to hear us tell him or show him in ways that make sense for him. I needed to write this twice because that puzzle didn’t accept my solution again.

    1. Susan Malone

      Sorry about the puzzle, Beth! I’m contacting my webmaster about it. And isn’t it funny what makes sense to men and what doesn’t 🙂

  8. Meghan Monaghan

    Susan, I love your voice and your language; in fact, I laughed out loud several times while reading! As I read through the list, I couldn’t believe how accurately you described my husband (except exchange the sports reference to technology). The funnier part is that my husband has verbally expressed your list to me as what he needs! So you’ve definitely got it right according to him. What a fun article, and I’ll be sure to follow your advice. No one likes a grumpy mate–or an absent one. 😉

    1. Susan Malone

      Okay, I’m laughing now, Meghan! Aren’t men just funny. But they do tell us what we need, if we can process it. And you’re so right–no one likes a grumpy mate!

  9. Trish

    Making a spouse happy IS what a real marriage is all about, right? What a delightful post you’ve shared here Susan, along with your words of wisdom. Political correctness is a tad overrated any ‘who’ 😉

    1. Susan Malone

      Thank you, Trish! I was watching a Joseph Campbell segment last night, where he talks about marriage being an ordeal. And the whole point is not that you submit to the other person, but to the entity itself. Your comment just reminded me of that for some reason!

  10. Kristen Wilson

    I’ve been with my man for 7.5 years and ironically have learned a lot from/about him this last year, because I have no friends in the new state that I live it… and for some reason I think that he is finally opening up… but it is interesting and helpful to know what each of us need.

    1. Susan Malone

      I love that, Kristen! Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention? 🙂 But isn’t it helpful to understand one another’s needs!

  11. Joan Potter

    My husband & I have been married for 38 years next March & I’m not sure I have much advice for anyone on marriage. As my husband and I move into our retirement years, I wonder more & more about the possibility that one or the other of us may become mentally or physically disabled. Truthfully, I feel that no matter what, either of us will take care of the other.
    The above points are certainly valid, although the very real “make him a sammich” idea makes me feel that I’ve gotten by easy. My husband always thought we should take out an insurance policy on the can opener – if it broke down, we’d have starved!

    1. Susan Malone

      That so warms my heart, Joan. I watched my parents, who had been married for 60 years when they passed, take care of one another through the long road of disability and death. It was quite amazing, actually.
      LOL on the can opener!

  12. Jackie Harder

    I agree that communication is important — starting with telling your man what YOU want. None of this “if you loved me, you’d know it.” That’s a prescription for disaster.

    1. Susan Malone

      That’s the crux, Jackie! Men can’t possibly know what we want without a little help 🙂

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