6 Experts Explain What Men Actually Need To Be Happy In A Relationship

Here's how to truly make a man happy in your relationship.

Last updated on Sep 07, 2023

happy couple walking down the beach being silly Mikolette | Canva 

In an interview, noted genius Stephen Hawking said that “women” are the most intriguing mystery in the world. However, when it comes down to it, are women really that much more mysterious than men?

Sure, men may seem simple at first, but, as anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship with a man can tell you, there are definitely some mysterious depths lurking beneath the surface.

Take happiness for an example. What makes a man happy? Or, to be more specific, what makes a man happy in a relationship?


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That sounds like a straightforward question, but it can be surprisingly complex to answer.

Because men aren’t normally raised to discuss their feelings. So, when you want to do a relationship check-in or have a serious conversation about the state of your romance, they either don’t want to have the conversation or (what’s worse) they just don’t know HOW to have the conversation.


They grunt “I’m fine” and deflect, leaving you wondering what, if anything, they really want from your partnership. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be happy or that they don’t have any goals or aspirations. They just don’t know how to express them.

With this in mind, we asked a panel of respected love experts “What do men REALLY need to be satisfied and happy in a relationship?”

Here, 6 experts explain what men actually need to be happy in a relationship:

1. Men need you to be happy

"Good men want us to be happy. When we're happy, they're happy, because it means we're happy with them. They need to know we love them. So stop worrying and live your passion, love and encourage your man, and you'll have an authentic, happy relationship." — Kathy Ramsperger

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2. Men need to be heard

"I think our stereotypical ideas of what it means to “be a man” sometimes stand in the way of finding an answer to the mystery of men’s happiness in a relationship. That said, the men I have spoken with often express a desire to be 'felt' — to really be listened to and heard as we do for our girlfriends. I mean, my best friend barely has to say a word and I know exactly what she needs … so why can’t we do the same with the men in our lives? Working on solidifying that connection can truly go a long, long way." — Laura Mae Lindo

3. Men need you to value what they bring to the table

"Generally speaking, men take relationships more seriously than we are given credit. To be happy in a relationship men wish to be acknowledged as an equal partner coming to the relationship with his own set of skills. In most cases, men feel the need to be a protector, but not in a dominating way, but rather, in a way that ensures the best for their partner. I have found from my own experience and clinical practice, that the happiest men are those who are able to make their partner happy." — Christopher Shea

4. Men need to feel like a hero

"Men need to be respected by their partner — and mutual respect is key to any healthy relationship. Men also need to be accepted and appreciated. Praise him and let him know how you appreciate his love, his effort, and how he makes you feel special. Let him be your hero."  — Katherin Scott 

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5. Men need you to respect their individuality

"For men to be happy in a relationship they need to feel respect and have the freedom to be themselves. That doesn't mean stepping outside of the relationship but being able to achieve their personal goals, hang with their buddies, and have alone time to take care of their own health. If men feel their personal needs and freedom are being jeopardized, then they will think their partner doesn't respect or trust them. A healthy interdependent relationship includes two partners who mutually rely on each other for support while maintaining their independence. This is where men can find real happiness in a relationship." — Jillian and Jan Yuhas 

6. Men need the simple things 

"Let's not make this complicated. Men want two things to be happy in a relationship. Intimacy and a sandwich. Oh, and to be appreciated. So three things. Oops ... AND a smile, so really it’s four. Men want their women to be happy and appreciative, and they want intimacy and a sandwich afterward. It’s really that simple." — Sharon Cohen

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Tom Burns has served as a contributing editor for 8BitDad and The Good Men Project, and his writing has been featured on Babble, Brightly, Mom.me, Time Magazine, and various other sites.