Words of Wisdom: Relationship Advice for Men

What are some things that men need to do to make their relationship better?
on December 05, 2023
Read time: 10 mins
by Moraya Seeger DeGeare

Relationships can be a minefield and even the most seasoned professionals can always use some extra dating advice. 

When it comes to relationship advice for men, there are a lot of secrets to be spilled. If you’re listening to the old-fashioned doctrines of dating, men are often expected to be the instigators of every major relationship milestone. Even though this ideal is very outdated these days, many cisgender men can still place certain expectations on themselves. 

What’s the right way to ask a girl out? How do you tell someone that you love them? Does the guy have to initiate the moving-in conversation? As society has become more inclusive, with gender expectations evolving, any person in the relationship can take the lead in these situations. 

No matter your chosen power dynamic or preferences, we accept that every guy still needs a helping hand when it comes to the complex landscape of relationships. From the most obvious to the most intricate, we’ve rounded up some of the best relationship tips from the experts to get you through! 

How a man should act in a relationship?

No matter your gender identity, every member of a relationship should adhere to certain rules and boundaries. No matter who you’re dating, you should always treat your partner with respect, honesty, and care. 

When we give relationship advice to women, the same basic concepts apply, even if we give them a naturally empowering twist. 

When it comes to how a man should act in a relationship, the underlying principles remain the same. Every healthy relationship starts with these basic concepts but when it comes down to the nitty gritty stuff, we can offer you a bit more. 

For example, men are stereotypically viewed as being less in touch with their emotions, or as being bad communicators. These personality traits can manifest as red flags or turn-offs, with relationship problems popping up at every turn. Due to these flaws, the people they date can get hurt, with the guy often unable to see their point of view. 

“Cisgender men often reach for sex and physical connection first in heterosexual relationships and will open up emotionally once feeling secure, as cisgender women often reach for emotional connection first and experience higher sexual desire after feeling connected,” says Moraya Seeger DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist and In-House Expert at Paired.

Therefore to make a relationship work, men may need to peel back a few additional layers to make their partner feel wanted, understood, and valued. 

Although we’re tapping into several gender stereotypes to construct this kind of analogy, every committed relationship could benefit from these pieces of relationship advice. 

What is the best way for a man to make his relationship better?

Even though there are several nuggets of advice that all men could benefit from, the key is to translate these words into actions! 

For example, if your partner communicates that something is wrong, listen to them! While it may seem like a little thing to you, it’s all of these small things that contribute to a healthy long-term relationship. 

So to step up your love life, it’s time to start listening to your significant other. Or, before relationship issues even pop up, rework your approach from the start! 

What is the best relationship advice for men?

1. Ghosting is never the answer 

It may seem presumptive to start with this piece of advice, but we have our reasons. 

The rise of dating app culture has made way for some very unacceptable dating habits to become the norm. Even though there may be plenty of fish in the sea, and the girl you were casually dating isn’t cutting it anymore — you owe her the respect of a conversation. 

We don’t want to hear any excuses. We don’t want to make way for any breadcrumbing tactics in the future. If they aren’t for you, that’s completely okay! Depending on your situation, a phone call or text could suffice, or if it’s more serious and feelings have been flying around — you owe them a cup of coffee at the very least. 

More than anything, treat someone with respect in these circumstances that you’d want to be treated with yourself. Simple. 

2. Don’t invalidate her feelings 

If the person tells you how they’re feeling, or outlines actions that you’re doing that are making them feel that way — listen. 

These clear moments of communication should provide clarity, not trigger a callous response. Even though you may not like it, swallow your pride and try to be malleable to their perspective. 

3. Being cool isn’t everything 

Similar to the cool girl concept, there is also a stereotype that men need to constantly come across as cool, calm, and collected. 

While keeping your head is always honorable advice, we’re all far too mature to keep up the ‘too cool for school’ act forever. In the early days of a new relationship, it’s normal to want to put up a front but as time goes by, you have to let these walls down to foster a happy relationship. 

4. Tap into your emotions 

Men can be emotional, and they should be. 

There is an unfortunate stereotype that guys have to stay strong and have to opt for the non-emotive route. However, this path can lead to a range of toxic behaviors, as the mode of aloofness just isn’t attainable nor is it healthy. 

There is such thing as a guy that’s in touch with his emotions and it’s no diss to his masculinity to admit this. If you want to cry, please do. 

5. The little things count 

Even if something might not be a big deal to you, it could be a huge deal to your partner. Instead of dismissing these little things, pay attention to them! 

Opening the door for your date, and texting her to make sure she got home okay — these are the building blocks that go into building a successful relationship. Even if they seem like small things at the time, they all add up.

6. Be honest about why you’re dating 

Online dating can take lots of different avenues. 

Before you download that dating app, it’s important to access what you want from dipping your toes in the dating pool. Do you want to date to find a long-term partner, or are you looking for a casual relationship? 

Both answers are entirely acceptable, but only if you fairly communicate this to your partner. While you don’t need to spell it out on the first date, especially if you’re still working out how you feel, if you think that you’re on different pages — it’s best to clear things up early on. 

7. Stand up for her 

No one wants to date a guy who won’t stand up for them when they’re not there. 

If your friend group or a family member is coaxing you into dissing your date, don’t fall for it. While it might all seem like fun and games, it shows a lot of integrity to stand up for someone when they’re not around. 

Learning how to deal with these situations can be very formative, but if you want a serious relationship, this is the kind of maturity you’re going to need. 

8. Best friends first 

If you’re setting out to find a romantic relationship, this statement can feel counterintuitive. 

However, when you’re dating someone, you should still be laying the groundwork for a lasting friendship. After all, isn’t it the ultimate goal to have someone who is not only your romantic partner but who also doubles as your best friend? 

Therefore, forget about teenage ideals around ‘Saturdays are for the boys’ — treat your date how you treat a genuine friend. It will likely get you a lot further down the road than you might expect. 

9. Be vulnerable 

The second step in dropping the cool guy facade is being willing to open up to your partner. 

In order to sustain a healthy, loving relationship, you have to be willing to get hurt. While it’s tempting to protect yourself, it’s important to fully open yourself up to your partner. Even if things go south, and you take a bruise to your self-esteem, our advice still stands from a long-term perspective. 

10. Communication is key 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — your partner is not a mindreader. 

No one is a fan of difficult conversations, but open communication will save you a lot of stress down the road. This furthers our ghosting point, an actual conversation wins every time. 

It’s tempting to play games to avoid this kind of contact, but you’ll pay the price for this lack of maturity in the end. 

11. Don’t shut down 

When your partner comes to you with an issue, it’s not a personal attack on you. Shutting down in the face of critique is a common response, but stonewalling your partner serves to get you nowhere. 

Other common approaches feature phrases like ‘Well I’m sorry you feel that way’, or ‘I guess I’ll just never speak ever again in case of offending you’. If you feel like a five-year-old could say it, it’s probably not a good approach. 

Rise above these immature responses and try to incorporate a more collaborative approach. Instead of approaching these chats with crossed arms and furrowed brows, open up your body language and show your partner that you’re receptive to their thoughts. If you’re aiming to create a teamwork dynamic in your relationship, conflict resolution is going to rank high on your list. 

12. Make an effort 

You’ve got the girl, and the chase is over. 

No, no, no. You’ve got this all wrong. Even if you’ve bagged the beautiful girl, your job isn’t over. Every day that you’re with your partner, you’re going to have to work for it, and you’re going to have to fight for the future of your relationship. 

If that sounds like too much effort, maybe you’re just not ready for a committed relationship. 

13. Consistency 

Think of it like a workout routine. If you’re consistent in your approach, you’re going to be happy with the results. 

The same theory applies to relationships. If you’re consistent in your actions, it’s easier for you and your partner to build up a natural rapport and trust. Since you both know where you stand and what to expect, it eliminates a lot of the messing that can haunt early relationships.

14. Don’t be reactive

When your partner comes to you with concerns, it’s not the time to shut down and it’s certainly not the time to lash out. 

Perhaps it's a difference in perspective, but men are often accused of taking one bad interaction and thinking that is enough qualification to throw the whole relationship away. This should not be the approach you take. 

For example, if your partner says no to sex on one occasion, it doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed. Instead of reacting to an isolated issue, try and take a wider perspective on both your relationship and the situation at hand — the clarity you’re looking for is in there somewhere. 

15. Don’t take her for granted 

Once you’ve got the girl, you can’t take the rest for granted. 

While you might be used to having someone to come home to every day, complacency isn’t the appropriate response to comfort. Never let your partner forget how much you appreciate them, and never let yourself forget it either! 

Practice saying ‘I love you’ more often and remind yourself how lucky you are to have someone who you love so much in your life. 

16. Appreciate her for who she is 

Every human being is different, and it’s these differences that make us great. 

Instead of criticizing their quirks, give them the space to be authentically themselves and vice versa. Remind your partner that you’re proud of them for exactly who they are and never let them forget it.

17. Be a gentleman 

Even though we like to rebel against some of the constrictive stereotypes around gender identity, this is one that every romantic will never relinquish. 

From opening the door for your partner to protecting your privacy around your sex life, there are a million ways to be a gentleman in every situation. Try and be the guy that you would be proud of for your sister or daughter to date, then you know you’re on the right track. 

18. If it isn’t working, don’t run away 

When things get tough, don’t run for the door. 

This has been a common theme in these dating tips, but we stand by it! Every relationship goes through rough patches but it doesn’t have to spell the end if you don’t want it to. 

Especially if it’s your first time facing adversity, remember that it could just be a road bump! 

19. Don’t be a cheat 

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but needs to be said nonetheless. If your relationship isn’t going well or you feel abandoned by your partner, you can start to look for comfort outside of the relationship. 

The general rule of thumb is, that if you feel your eye wandering, you have a decision to make there and then. You either turn around and resolve to work things out with your partner, or you have to walk away before you inflict the pain of infidelity on your partner. 

Of course, these things are never so black and white, but you get the idea. 

20. Don’t settle 

This is the unanimous advice for every single person embarking on their own love story. If you feel like you’re just settling with your partner, due to self-esteem issues or fears that you’ll never do better, try and remember your self-worth. 

You’re the archetype of your relationship journey and you deserve someone who makes you feel like the luckiest guy in the world. Never forget that. 

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