In today’s culture, many carry the thought and assumption that the man in a relationship has to be this strong and perfect individual. Some believe that men must bear the world on their shoulders without showing any weakness. This macho mindset actually can do more harm than good, though.

That’s because gentlemen need certain things in a relationship. But, out of fear of being seen as less of a man or showing weakness, they will never admit they need.

Luckily, all you need is a little perception. And it helps to know a little about how men think to figure out all you need to know. Here are the five things that most men will never admit they need in a relationship. But let’s face it, they do.

5 Things Men Need (but won’t admit!)

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1 – Strength, Support, and Presence

It’s typical for many men not to want to talk about their problems. Instead, they just tough it out and figure things out on their own. Men enjoy solving problems and like to fix things. They are always looking for a way to improve the situation.

The frustrations that can come along with that problem-solving nature can be intense, though.  They grow increasingly worried when facing a problem that seems unfixable or a situation that they feel powerless against or entirely out of their control.

When men come up against difficult problems, your support and presence are vital. Just knowing they have someone in their corner or someone to talk to when they hit that wall and can’t break through means the world. Just don’t try to force your support on them.

Men can be very independent when it comes to problem-solving. Additionally, they can be almost stubborn. Men need your support and care, especially when under stress. When it comes to helping your partner with their problems, think of them like a cat. Let them come to you when they’re ready instead of smothering them in affection and support.

The important thing is to make yourself available and provide that rock for them to lean on when they need it. There are plenty of ways men can try to stay strong during even the toughest times. But sometimes what they need most can’t come from within but from others. Make sure you’re close by when they realize that and come to you for help with their troubles.

2 – Your Approval, and Ability to Let Go

While most men will probably never admit it, we think the world of you, and a big part of that is your opinion of us. Many men actually feel very insecure about their partner’s feelings about their actions and lifestyle, continually judging themselves and wondering if they’re measuring up. Many men need to see their partner happy, and it can be crushing, seeing their partner get upset, especially if it is over something they did.

When men do get it right, let them know it. Knowing we have your approval, even over the little things, can be a huge confidence boost. Let us know how proud you are. And tell your special someone that he made the right call. It can be effortless just to focus on the negatives. So definitely make an effort to point out both the good and the bad.

On the flip side, if we have screwed up, which we inevitably will, men want women who will treat us as equals. Nobody is perfect, and we all make mistakes sometimes. So don’t hold it against your partner when they do eventually slip up and make a mistake. It’s ok to get mad for a little while, but try not to hold a grudge.

Forgive them, move on, and give them another chance. Nothing hurts more than feeling like you’ll never live down that one mistake, or that you potentially ruined a relationship, so don’t put your partner in that kind of position by holding a grudge over the little things.

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3 – Your Touch

Intimacy is an essential part of any relationship. But we’re not just talking about fun in the bedroom. While most of the time, guys get a bad reputation for just wanting physical contact and sex in a relationship, regular physical contact is a natural part of any relationship. Physical contact goes a long way to making men feel loved and appreciated in a relationship. They enjoy the little things like being held, holding hands, or just being a shoulder to lean on.

Men need some form of contact, and a relationship without any kind of physical affection can quickly feel cold and emotionless. A little bit of warmth goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to show a little bit of love here and there.

On the other hand, you don’t need to hang all over them wherever they go. Smothering your partner with love might be overdoing it, and just like anyone, men need their own space sometimes too. The sweet spot between too little and too much affection varies from person to person, so keep an open mind and be receptive to their body language and signals to make sure you’re not overdoing it.

If you do get the sense that your partner needs some space or just needs some alone time, let them do their own thing and let them recharge. It’s normal for guys to want to develop some interests that you don’t both share. This helps them recharge their batteries.

Read their signals, and if they seem to be avoiding you, then you might be overdoing things. Give them their space and give them the chance to miss you and come back when they’re ready. Otherwise, you’ll likely just end up driving them away.

4 – Your Loyalty and Trust

Men need your trust. It’s that simple. It’s important to note that not every guy is looking to sleep around behind your back or try to cheat on you. There are some guys out there who are just after a good time, but if you’ve been burned in the past, don’t project that assumption on to every guy you meet.

Males want you to trust them. It can be emotionally frustrating having to prove their loyalty continually. When push comes to shove, many guys might not find it worth the effort if you’re always putting them through the wringer over every person they’ve spoken to or why they’re friendly with the waitress at the restaurant you’re at.

Unless they give you a good reason not to trust them, cut your partner some slack and at least go into things with an open mind, rather than trying to be always on alert trying to catch them doing something.

On the other hand, trust is a two-way street. While men want your trust, they also want your loyalty. They want you to be the only one for them. They want that commitment. Show that commitment by supporting them when nobody else will, staying by them through thick and thin, and making sure they’re the only romantic love in your life.

5 – Your Friendship

Your friendship with your partner is the foundation for everything. You likely started as friends before dating, and if not, then a deep bond formed as you got to know each other better. Men want to know more about you and continue deepening that bod that started it all.

Don’t be afraid to talk about your day, share stories, discover new hobbies, and do activities together. At the end of the day, we just want to spend time with you and enjoy your company.

Take some time to plan outings or date nights, even long after you’ve settled down. It not only helps keep things fresh and exciting, but it also gives us the chance to keep learning more about you and keeps us comfortable and secure with who you are outside of the relationship. Yes, you may be someone’s partner, but you’re also still you, and there is plenty about that to fall in love with over and over again.

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Final Thoughts on the Things Men Secretly Want in a Relationship

Between the tough-guy culture that’s conditioned men to keep everything bottled up and carry the world on their shoulders, and many misconceptions about men being misogynists, pigs, and cheaters that kill many chances at relationships before they even get off the ground, it’s understandable that many times women don’t know what men really want.

Media and our culture have skewed the rational expectations of what men should be so much. So you’ll have to put all of those assumptions aside if you ever want a relationship to really work.

Many of these needs are also very subjective, and everyone is different. While most men appreciate and do well with many of the items on this list, finding that perfect balance really comes down to proper communication between you and your partner.

Some guys are more of the loner type who prefer their space. Others are like puppies who absolutely love attention. Some guys are more open with their emotions, while others can hardly put their feelings into words. Remember, everyone is different, so try not to judge or base expectations on your current relationship off of your last one either. That’s not fair to your party, nor yourself.