Men Talk: What Makes Us Happy in a Relationship
Curated by Polarity Staff
We recently talked about the different ways men can ensure women were happy in a relationship, but faltered in speaking out about men and what they desired from their partner. Are you having trouble keeping your man happy or have always found men to be complex creatures who can't seem to be fulfilled? Well look no further! We’ve asked a variety of men what it is that a woman did that kept them happy in their relationships. Here are the responses we curated:
Give us our own time, I think as guys usually, we like to have time to ourselves (not every guy but for the most part), sometimes women feel like we just don’t want to hang out with them and even though we explain that we just like to do some things by ourselves, they still take it very personally. I’m basing this on multiple relationships I’ve had with varying personalities of women I’ve dated [sic]. Guys do need guy time and women need to understand it’s just “guy time” which doesn’t mean we’re getting tired of our girl, we just like to chill with guys and do and say dumb things that we can only do when we’re around our buddies.
I like it when a girl is straight up with me. I've been in way too many relationships where the girl cannot be straight up with me. They can't just say what's on their mind, I need to dig for it. When someone is straight up with me and transparent about how they feel, it makes me feel so much better. It alleviates the stress I feel not knowing what is on my significant other’s mind because I really care and want them to be happy. It also makes me feel really good when they acknowledge things that I do that make them happy. It makes me so happy knowing that they're happy and it also lets me know I'm doing something right and I can save the same thing in my back pocket for later.
I think a woman should show him love and I’m not saying that we need to fuck all the time, cause honestly I prefer getting a blow job over sex any day! I want more freakiness between the sheets. I feel like a lot of relationships don’t last cause the love making gets boring, which is why men or women cheat. Don’t be afraid to try different things! On the real though, how my lady keeps me happy is all about the little things. Like when I’m having a rough day, she makes me happy by giving me a hug or a kiss. The smallest things matter the most, like her being proud of me and pushing me to better is what’s making our relationship last!
I like when we laugh a lot. It shows that our senses of humor match, which in turn, contributes to our chemistry. If I can be doing nothing with her and still have a good time, then that’s awesome. She also has to communicate with me. I need to know what’s bothering her because I want to know, even if I can’t fix it. I don’t like being in the dark about how she’s feeling. I want to share in her misery!....or try to fix it, if I can. I like when she does sweet things for me. If she can watch a movie that I like, even if she doesn’t like it, that shows me she’s trying to show interest in what I like. Acknowledge when I do nice things. It’s nice to get recognition at times because most of the time, I will go out of the way to do things for her. Also, women like getting complimented, but men like it just as much. It makes me feel confident when she compliments how I look, what I’m wearing, or how I smell.
There’s plenty of things a woman can do to keep him happy. Besides always being there for him, it’s also about catering to him. If he likes video games or sports then show effort by trying to play a game or two with him and maybe even catch his favorite team playing on tv. Communicate with him even if he doesn’t want to hear it. Let him know exactly what you feel, what’s going on with your life. Sometimes yes, we ask how your day was because we want to know if the lady at Starbucks annoyed you or if your best friend pissed you off because she didn’t want to go get her nails done with you. We want the same. Ask us how our day was and what’s really going on. We put up a front that we’re fine, we show that we have to be strong and an alpha male for you, but we need that love and attention - someone to really hear us out like little kids. And it means so much to us if you listen to our nonsense instead of the usual “work, was eh”. We want honesty, even if you did something extremely messed up. We want you to see us as your best friend, your anything really.
To me, there are three main pointers.
One: think about how you desire to be fulfilled in a relationship. Whatever it is that may be that makes you happy, ensure you’re applying that same logic, thought, and care into him, selflessly. We’re simplistic in nature, and we’re only complicated because we do stupid things that women have thought through 200 times and men have not thought through holistically.
You don’t have to prove to men in any particular way your worth. We’re such linear, straight thinkers. When we want something we want it because of what it is. We know when we’re interested in something and we know when we’re not. Let him see you for who you are and let that develop over time.
Two: Understanding his love language. Your love languages might be different, but that means that if you really care being cared for emotionally, you have to be just as willing and conscious of learning what kind of support your man needs and really communicate that in a way that brings him to open up about what he needs. And of course there’s societal construct where we’ve been taught to not lean into that. Figure out his love language, what makes him feel good about himself?
I do think, generally speaking, men enjoy feeling like there’s some benefit that is unique to them as a man that they add to you - for example, solving a problem for the girl from the guy. Just being able to be a support structure for her, which is different than supporting her. Finding his love language and whatever it is that makes him feel like he can be a support structure for you is important. A lot of times it’s a physical thing. But I’d say it’s about understanding what things make you feel how you like to be treated and/or supported in your relationship, and then flip that and think “how can I provide all those things for him?”
Three: Communication in a relationship - finding out the “hows” of having tough conversations early on in the relationship. If you have those tough conversations and make sure you’re open about communicating, the beauty of that is that you’ll be able to keep a man that you should be with. Any guy who you should be with will love the open communication. For example, telling him why he’s wonderful and being specific in why you felt that particular way in what he did. He’ll revel in love that you’ve done that. Be open with communication especially with what may bother you so it doesn’t fester. Do make sure you have an equal balance between positive and negative reinforcement - open communication should be equally if not more positive than negative reinforcement.
So it’s good to be honest about what you don’t like, but it’s also just as important to tell your partner what they’re doing well, what they did that you really like, and why. This way, they can have a clear understanding of how you felt about the conversation they started, the meal they made/bought, the gift they got you, or the way they touched you. If they’re doing a great job, let them know and give them specifics so they can continue to replicate those good behaviors and characteristics.
Lastly, and this isn’t really a point but more of a tip. You shouldn’t offer your body if you’re not able to talk about your past situation. Talk about scars behind intimacy, if it differs. Until you’re really able to talk about your scars, then maybe you should sustain from sexual intimacy. If you really want to be in a long-term, loving relationship, then all this needs to be communicated because it’ll be crucial to your growth. Be fearless with your sexuality and be trusting that the person you want to be with will be respectful and receptive to it.
A guy is complicated in the sense that he wants the woman to know when he wants one-on-one time. No one else, just them two, but he also wants her to understand when he wants guy time. Guys night out gets women thinking that we’re out there cheating or doing crazy stuff, when in reality, we just want some time with the guys. We hate it when a woman can’t trust us and starts accusing us of things we haven’t even done. Like, don’t look through my phone while I’m in the shower! I know we make it hard sometimes to be trusted, so I understand that. But, I’d like someone who’s mature and trusting so that we can be in a healthy relationship. There’s no need to cut people out of your life just so we can be together, but there needs to be trust.
I like a lot of physical attention, and I like it giving it back (sex, touching her butt, etc.). Spending a good amount of quality time together makes me happy, too. The better our chemistry, or how well we get along and have fun together, the more rewarding the relationship is. Another thing that makes me happy is surprise attention, like dinner, gifts, sweet texts, kisses, or blowjobs. She has to be obvious about wanting to give me attention and spending time with me.
Being honest, communication, and showing affection/interest. I don’t need surprises. What keeps or makes me happy is knowing that we both are trying our best to be those things for one another. Honesty is something I need. It goes hand in hand with communication. Both help to find understanding in the long term. Being clear about how we feel and allowing for each other to voice concern is what helps deepen a relationship, especially if someone in the relationship is struggling. It allows for a conversation to happen that would have otherwise not occurred. If it were never voiced, then it will most likely end with resentment. Displaying affection is also important. Getting to know what my partner is interested in allows for a deeper connection to develop. Willingness to be flexible with what either one of us likes shows a sense of appreciation. Physical affection is important, too. I think the most strained relationships happen because couples don’t spend some time in the busy week to really be with each other. Taking an afternoon to just be physically and mentally there keeps a long-lasting relationship.
Please tell us exactly what you’re thinking. We can not read minds. We can't even read the situation if you are vague. We are very simple-minded. Hints don't work too well on us. We only get and see what's given to us. We want you to talk to us if something's bothering you, rather than saying nothing when it's clearly bothering you. And then it starts bothering you even more because we don't know why you're bothered. We can't solve anything without talking about it. This is why men would like you to be straight up and just tell us, because that's natural to us to do. Guys are straightforward and get things over with in the most simple way possible. Because girls usually hold back, we also hold back and stop communicating too. Women tend to overthink, but we’re really simple, so that complicates things even more. We give it to you straight. And you still overthink! Take our word for what it is. We’re not trying to communicate anything beyond what we’re actually saying. We’re very linear thinkers. Point A to point B. No detours. I feel like girls think we go from Point A to Point C to Point N to Pont W and a whole bunch of other points before we get to Point B.
Trust us, until we give you a reason not to. When in doubt, ask before assuming. Ideally these types of conversations can happen when you’re ready, but before your imagination runs wild or you talk to your girlfriends, sorority sisters, google, and most importantly, before it starts to impact your actions. So if something is bothering you, please just say it. Guys are simple creatures and even a little dumb sometimes, blame baby Jesus. We won’t always “get it” so please be patient with us.
If we say something, accept it. There’s no deeper, hidden meaning.
Giving us a little quiet time to chill, relax, and just think goes a long way. It’s not that we don’t care or don’t want to talk to you, we just sometimes need quiet time/chill time.
Don’t treat sex like a chore, no guy wants to feel like his partner is only having sex for him. It’s good to initiate sometimes, it goes a long way in making us feel wanted and attractive. And don’t stop doing the things that made us interested in you from the beginning, whether that’s cooking, having a clean apartment, working out, wearing sexy lingerie, etc.
Also, have passions, goals, etc. outside of the relationship such as careers, hobbies, etc.
Last, but not least, a little appreciation goes a long way. A simple thank you for dinner, or for a compliment, or for being an awesome boyfriend.
Bonus: guys love food so there’s nothing better than waking up to breakfast.
Extra bonus: sex + food + quiet time to sleep or watch SportsCenter will get you a ring. Ricky, 30
Encouragement/Reassurance - Having my lady being my main support and energy giver would be ideal. There are times when I am unsure about a course of action I should take and having her being there to reassure me and encourage me when I doubt myself would give me happiness.
Being Upfront - Being open about how she feels or what she's thinking will help me know where I stand and what actions or behaviors I need to correct. For me, apart of my happiness will be her happiness, and when she's upfront about how she feels, it will allow me to be better.
Intimacy - having a healthy sexual relationship with my partner. I understand that scheduling demands can require being flexible about time actually spent together. But not having intimacy would lead to unhappiness for me. So physical touch, cuddling, and overall being held is what would make me happy.
Being Authentic - when I'm around my partner I would love to be myself, she be understanding and receptive of that.