How To Love A Man So He Stays, In 12 Steps

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To learn how to love a man so that he loves you, adores you, and never wants to leave you, take time to discover what men really need from a relationship. 

This isn't meant to tell you to be more feminine, or to smile and laugh more. You’re a smart, successful woman — you don’t want to be condescended to.

The truth is, men and women are simply different and have different needs in relationships.

Acting like your man’s brain is the same as yours isn’t going to get you the lasting love you desire. Just because men and women are equal and deserve respect doesn’t mean that they are the same.

Men and women are different. Understanding those differences and making adjustments to your behavior will allow you to relax knowing that your man feels loved by you.

He wants to be your hero. And by giving him the space to be your hero, his self-confidence will grow — along with your love.

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Here are 12 steps on how to love a man so he stays with you forever.

1. Tell him what makes you happy.

Your man wants you to be happy, and he wants to be the source of your happiness. Tell him what you want. Don’t keep your desires a secret.

It may seem like it is more romantic for him to just “know” what you want, but that's a recipe for disappointment. Attraction and even deep love do not come with mind-reading powers.

Tell him. You’ll get what you want, and he’ll feel good about himself because he'll be able to deliver what you want and please you.

Love your man by asking for what you want, and he will love you back by giving it to you.

2. Acknowledge and appreciate him.

When your man gives you what you asked for, acknowledge and appreciate his actions. This is the fuel a man runs on in a relationship. He doesn’t need you to reciprocate, but he does need to feel appreciated.

Many divorced men say they never felt appreciated by their wives. Instead, they felt like nothing they did was ever good enough. A man who doesn’t feel like he can win with you will begin to feel demoralized and eventually give up trying.

3. Let him know that his efforts count.

Just because you’ve told your man what you want doesn’t mean that he’s always going to get it exactly right. The key is whether or not he is making an effort. If he's trying to make the changes you are asking for, let him know that his efforts count.

Behavioral change is not always easy. Your habitual behaviors aren’t going anywhere without some conscious effort. Encourage your man instead of criticizing him, and he’ll make the effort to step up for you.

If you're frustrated or disappointed with him, don’t demean him. See if you can have a productive discussion about your expectations and allow him input into how your expectations can be met.

4. Give him the space he needs.

Maybe he needs guy time, or he likes to hibernate in his man cave. Whatever way your guy recharges, give him the space to do it.

Very few relationships function well when the expectation is that the two of you should do everything together. If you respect his need for space, he will then be more present with you when the two of you are together.

Men need time to recharge and time spent alone tinkering on a computer or in a workshop allows them to reconnect with themselves and produce testosterone.

The same applies to giving a man space to make up his mind. Let him know what you want and give him some time to think about it. He’ll be more likely to come around if you let him decide for himself than if you keep trying to convince him.

5. Take him at his word.

Most men are pretty upfront about who they are and what they want. If a man tells you what's important to him, believe him. Avoid the urge to read into his actions or to make assumptions about what you think he wants.

Where a man spends his resources (his time, energy, and money) tells you what is important to him. In general, men don’t send subtle clues. What you see is what you get.

6. Spend time discovering what makes him feel loved.

Just because you love gifts and being told, “I love you,” doesn’t mean that's what makes your man feel loved by you. Take time to discover what makes him feel loved.

The old adage of, “loving someone the way you want to be loved,” should actually be, “love someone the way they want to be loved.”

Most people give love the way they want to receive it. Notice how he is showing you that he loves you. That will give you a clue to what he wants from you.

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7. Don’t treat him like "one of the girls."

When you share a story with your girlfriend, you give her all the details and the play-by-play because that’s what she wants to hear. A man won’t know what to do with all that information. He wants to help you, but his eyes will glaze over if you give him every single detail.

When you need to vent or are looking for a receptive ear, your girlfriends are a great resource. Your man isn’t going to interact with you like your female friends.

He wants you to get to the point and let him know how he can help. He’s not interested in hearing every plot point along the way.

If the two of you are coming together after a long day apart, give him time to recharge before sharing your day with him. And let him know that you aren’t looking for his advice, and that you’d feel better just knowing that he heard you.

Better yet, call a girlfriend while he is recharging and re-hash your day with her. Then you and your man can connect in a more meaningful way later on.

8. Get a status update on his "honey-do list."

You want your man to take care of projects that are important to you, but don’t want to be a nag? A great communication tool for reminding him is to ask him for a status update.

“Can I get a status update on the bedroom getting painted?” This is a much more effective way of finding out where he is than asking him, “Why haven’t you painted the bedroom yet?”

When you ask for a status update, you give him the opportunity to share what he’s gotten done and what he still needs to take care of. It also reminds him of the project without putting him on the spot.

9. Give him the time to express his thoughts and feelings.

Most men know what they think about a situation, but they don’t always know how they feel about it. And even if they know their thoughts, they may take time to find a way to express them.

Give him time to express himself instead of jumping in and sharing your thoughts and feelings so quickly. He may not be as quick to find the words to express what’s going on.

Be careful of the desire to fill in the blanks. If he feels safe expressing himself with you, he’ll gradually open up even more.

10. Be his lover, not his mother.

Most men like to be nurtured but that doesn’t mean that you want him to rely on you for everything. You’re not his mother reminding him to clean up after himself or making sure he wears a jacket when he goes out.

He’s a grown man. He can take care of himself. You can show him your nurturing side, but don’t mother him or treat him like a child. This will kill the romance between the two of you.

Flirt with him. Complement him. Let him know you still find him attractive. And leave the mothering for when he is sick or feeling down.

11. Give him the benefit of the doubt.

Too many women give a man the benefit of the doubt from the first date when there is chemistry and attraction present. It's better to wait until you really get to know him. First discover who he is and what he values, before you give him the benefit of the doubt.

If he’s earned his way to exclusivity and a commitment, then he deserves the benefit of the doubt. He deserves for you to believe that he has the best intentions for the two of you.

Women often wear rose-colored glasses early in the relationship. As the years go by, they take them off and become more critical of their man.

Wait to put on your rose-colored glasses until after he has proven himself. Then put on those rose-colored glasses and see him in his best light, even on his worst days.

12. Don’t take him for granted.

A man who loves you is working to show you his love all the time. He wants to solve your problems. He wants to provide what you need so that you are happy. He wants to take care of you and be your hero.

Don’t take his actions for granted. Let him know that you appreciate him and his efforts.

Respect the differences between the two of you. Show him respect. He will repay you by being the kind of man you can’t count on, as sure as you know the sun will rise tomorrow.

Men and women approach romantic relationships differently and have different needs in relationships. Understanding these differences and adjusting your behavior will bring you the long-lasting, soul-satisfying love you desire.

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Orna and Matthew Walters have been soulmate coaches for over a decade and helped thousands of readers create long-lasting love. Download a complimentary copy of their ebook, Recognizing Mr. Right, along with a guided program on self-acceptance from their website.

This article was originally published at Creating Love on Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.