Whether you’re dating someone new or are in a serious relationship, learning how to appreciate your man will go a long way to building your relationship in a positive way.
After all, who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? I can tell you from personal experience: when Jessica shows me that she appreciates me, it makes me feel incredible…and then I work that much harder to be a great partner in our relationship.
Why You Need to Appreciate Your Man
I’m not giving you 27 ways to appreciate your man in this article so that you can get him to do nice things for you or buy you gifts. I want you to understand the value of showing anyone appreciation.
For you, taking the time to compliment or thank your guy means you’ve got to slow down and really see him for who he is. It’s hard to take someone for granted when you’re showing them appreciation. It can also make you want to reciprocate. After all, if he’s putting in the work, shouldn’t you?
For him, it can make him feel like you are acknowledging his efforts in the relationship, which only makes him want to put more effort in. You build trust with him and get him to open up when you show your appreciation. And it paves the way for a loving and trusting relationship if you’re in the early days of dating.
Now let’s look at a few ways you can appreciate your man.
1. Compliment Him
It’s funny: I once realized that I often thought complimentary things about my girlfriend or friends, but rarely said them. Why keep the compliment locked in your own head when it would make someone so happy to hear? Now I make an effort to give people compliments when they pass through my brain.
The trick to complimenting your man is to do so authentically and not go overboard with a compliment every ten minutes. Don’t go out of your way to find something nice to say; simply say the nice things that come to mind.
His new haircut might make him look younger. Tell him.
He might have made a Michelin star-worthy meal for dinner. Tell him.
He might make you laugh. Tell him.
Compliments don’t need to be cheesy or complicated. As long as they come from the heart, he’ll be glad to accept them.
2. See Him with Fresh Eyes
Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you can sometimes glaze over what makes this guy great. If you see him every day, it might be hard to notice those things that first attracted you, like his intellect or engaging personality.
Step away from your relationship and pretend you’re someone who just met your man. What stands out? What attracts you to him? These are probably the things that first drew you to him, so keep those qualities in mind and try to always appreciate them.
If you’ve both been stressed out lately, take a break from your worries and find a way to play together. Go on a mini-golf date or just chase him around the house to inject a little playfulness into the relationship.
If you’ve gotten into a Netflix and chill rut, get dressed up and go on an adult date. If you have kids, don’t talk about them. Talk about books, news, interests, travel, and each other as a way to light that old spark again.
3. Nip the Nagging
Another habit many couples fall into after being together a while is nagging. Of course, sometimes nagging is indicative of more serious problems in a relationship. You might be unhappy in another area but unable to find a way to talk about what’s really bothering you. You may want him to change in ways you can’t possibly expect him to change. But while some nagging is going to be the norm in most relationships, it’s up to you to find a better way to deal with things that annoy you.
First of all, accept his frustrating habits. Easier said than done, I know. Once you’ve made it clear that it irritates you that he leaves his sweaty gym clothes on the laundry room floor a few hundred times and he still doesn’t change his behavior, consider how else you can approach the situation. Maybe instead of nagging you simply put a hamper in the laundry room and encourage him to put his clothes there.
If something else is bothering you, find a time when you’re not irritated to discuss it. If you do want to complain about something, take a beat before berating him the second he comes home from work. Instead, ask about his day and give both of you time to unwind before getting to the issue. You’ll get better results this way.
4. Really Hear Him When He Talks
Another way to appreciate your man is to really and truly listen. Now, I don’t mean that while he’s talking you’re waiting for him to take a breath so you can tell him something that’s on your mind. I mean putting aside whatever it is you want to discuss and actively listening.
Don’t start planning your defense when you’re in the middle of an argument. Listen.
When he’s telling you about his bad day, don’t think, my day was so much worse! Listen.
Don’t judge when he’s opening up to you. Listen.
Ask questions when he talks to show that you’re hearing him and paying attention. You can bet he’ll notice, and that he’ll return the favor when you have something to say.
5. Get Interested in His Hobbies
You can also show appreciation to your man by taking an interest in what he’s into. If he’s into hiking and just completed the 5 Peak Challenge, cheer him on. If he wants to try surfing, sign up for a lesson with him.
That’s not to say you need to have all the same hobbies as him. When it makes sense, participate in activities with him. But if you’re not into, say, watching UFC, let that be his thing, and then ask how it went later.
6. Tell Him How You Feel About Him
Whether you’re already exchanging “I love yous“ or you’re still just fumbling for how you feel, express your emotions so that he knows where you are in the relationship.
This might be challenging if it makes you uncomfortable to open up to a man or feel vulnerable, but in the long run, it will be good for you both.
If you can’t sleep because you’re thinking about your amazing first date with him…tell him.
If you’ve never felt this way about anyone…tell him.
If he makes you want to be a better person…tell him.
And if you’re wishing he’d tell you how he feels, doing this may be a better strategy to get him to open up than flat-out asking him, “how do you feel about me?”
7. Thank Him
Here’s another thing that we often take for granted the longer we’ve been with someone: we start to expect all the nice things they do for us and don’t always thank them for doing them.
Thank yous can be big or small. You can thank him for opening your car door…or being there for you when you had a meltdown about a fight you had with your mom. You can thank him for taking out the garbage…or for attending a very awkward family dinner.
Not only will you make him feel appreciated, but you will also help reinforce behaviors that you like, such as cooking dinner or picking up your dry cleaning.
8. Show You Appreciate Your Man in the Bedroom
Sex is one area where there’s got to be give and take. Maybe he’s usually the one to initiate getting physical, or he does the majority of the “heavy lifting.” Surprise him by seducing him sometimes. Wear sexy lingerie or send him sexy texts to get the mood started early, then take charge once you’re in the bedroom. I promise: it won’t be a hardship for you to give in this aspect of your relationship!
9. Surprise Him with a Gift or Sweet Act
You don’t have to use words to communicate how grateful you are for the man in your life. Show him by doing sweet things for him when he least expects it.
Order food delivery to his office when he has to stay late to work.
Make him breakfast in bed.
Bring him a gift that made you think of him on a trip.
Remember: you’re not doing this to score points with your guy, but rather to show that you appreciate your man.
10. Be Present When You’re With Him
If you’re one of those people who always has her phone within reach, realize that you could be hurting your relationship. In one study, researchers found that diners who had access to their phones during a meal felt less connected to the person they were eating with. If you have your phone, silence it or flip it over when you’re with your boyfriend so you can focus on him.
But it’s not just phones that distract us, is it? We’ve got things on our minds. The television is on. We’re mulling over what we have going on at work. So yes, it takes an effort to really be present, but it’s the most valuable gift you can give anyone you spend time with.
11. Tell Him When He Does a Good Job
This is kind of like thanking him in that it also reinforces good behavior. But everyone likes being told when they do something well. And yes, it makes us want to do more of it!
So if he made your toes curl in bed…let him know.
If he helped you install your flat screen without making any holes in the wall…say something nice.
If he killed it at work…applaud him.
12. Make Him Feel Like the Only Man in the World
If he makes you feel this way, then you absolutely need to return the favor and make him feel like you cherish him.
Most of the ways to appreciate a man on this list will do the trick, but here are a few other strategies to make him feel like he’s the only man in the world for you:
- When you’re out, focus 100% on him. Maintain steady eye contact.
- Smile at him.
- Laugh at his jokes.
- Act like you just started dating, even if you’ve been together for years.
While you, of course, will have other priorities in your life, when you’re with him, communicate that he’s the most important thing to you in the moment.
13. Trust Him
Your man will know how much you care for him when you start to trust him. That means you aren’t jealous if he’s with other women because you know he loves you. It means opening up to him and being vulnerable in ways that make you uncomfortable.
14. Turn to Him When You Have a Bad Day
Nothing makes a guy feel better than having a woman need him for comfort.
Maybe your dog died…
Or you got in a nasty argument with your BFF…
Or your boss was terrible to you today…
Whatever happened, don’t keep it inside. Part of being a couple is leaning on one another when times are tough. So talk to him about your bad day. Let him comfort you. If you want suggestions for solutions to a problem, ask him for them.
15. Support Him in Achieving His Goals
Be his cheerleader. Whether he wants to beat his time in the next 5k or get a promotion, he needs you to believe in him. So put aside any naysaying you might be thinking and just let him know that you support him 100%.
If you can, help him achieve those goals. Go running with him. Or get on board to his diet if he’s trying to lose weight.
16. Tell Him He Looks Nice
Another way to appreciate a man is to compliment his physical appearance. While you don’t want to only do this, lest he thinks you’re only with him because you find him so hot, add physical compliments in the mix to boost his confidence and reassure him that you find him attractive.
Certainly, compliment him when he gets dressed up for a date with you, but also let him know if he looks like he’s lost weight, his hair looks perfect, or he just smells nice. You can bet he’ll go the extra mile to keep looking good for you.
Once we’ve been dating a while, we tend to stop flirting, but there are definite benefits to picking up the practice again. Flirting can actually boost your immune system and your self-esteem, and it can strengthen the bond you have with your man.
You’ll make him feel desired and attractive if you bat your eyelashes at him over dinner or throw a cheesy line out at him, so give it a try!
18. Pay Attention to What Makes Him Happy
Your man will know that you appreciate him if you take note of the little things that make him happy, especially if the relationship is relatively new. Maybe he told you a story about how he was fascinated by ladybugs as a kid, so you buy him some at the hardware store and you set them free in the garden together.
It can be seemingly insignificant details that can have a big impact:
- Buy his favorite type of beer
- Let him know when his favorite band is coming to town
- Surprise him by organizing a visit from an old friend he hasn’t seen in a while
19. Make Small Sacrifices for Him
While you certainly don’t need to be the only one in the relationship making sacrifices, compromising now and then will strengthen your relationship and show him that you care enough to have some discomfort or not have things go the way you’d prefer now and then.
He loves karaoke and you hate it…but take him out to a karaoke bar for his birthday anyway.
You both have invitations from friends to hang out Friday night. If you know he really wants to spend time with his friends, choose them this time.
You hate watching sports but he’s a die-hard football fan. Compromise by sitting with him on the couch reading while he watches the game.
20. Brag About Him to Friends
You’re proud of your man and his accomplishments, so why not toot his horn for him to your friends? Of course, don’t do it if it will make him uncomfortable. But if he won’t mind the attention, share what he’s done. Not only will it make him feel great, but it will also show your friends what an amazing man you’ve found.
21. Get His Opinion
Part of what you appreciate about this guy is his brain. Whether you need an opinion on what to wear to a party or what direction you should take your career, ask him for his honest opinion. And don’t just do it to be nice: really consider his point of view because it might be different from your own and may open up new possibilities to you.
22. Recall What He’s Said
This goes with active listening. You can show that you’re listening and paying attention by recalling things he’s said in the past. This is a great tip if you’re just starting to date because typically the guy doesn’t expect you to retain everything he says. He doesn’t know: you might be talking to several guys, so he doesn’t presume you’ll remember everything!
Impress him by latching onto things and asking about them.
“Hey, you said your mom was having surgery this week. How’d it go?”
“Last week you told me that you grew up in Orange County. Do you miss it?”
23. Let Him Know You Miss Him
We’re not kids. There’s no reason to play hard to get. If you’ve been apart from your boyfriend for a while (even a day!) and miss him, let him know. He’ll be flattered that he’s on your mind and that you want to see him again soon. If you’re new to dating, this will help you score that next date!
If sharing your feelings is challenging, this is a good baby step. There’s really nothing to fear in terms of rejection here: after all, who wouldn’t love to hear that they are missed?
24. Tell Him You Feel Safe With Him
I think this is another one of those instances that you might think but not express, so go ahead and tell him. Safety is a huge thing for women to feel in a relationship, and it indicates that you truly trust him if he makes you feel safe.
Maybe you love how he walks on the traffic side of the street to protect you from cars. Or he bulks up when walking past shady characters at night. Whatever it is, you just feel protected.
Communicating this will make him want to keep on protecting you!
25. Make Time For Him
Life’s busy for us all. You have to make time for a relationship, especially the longer it’s been going on. If you find yourself giving drive-by kisses on the way to work or having a brief conversation before crashing at night, it’s time to prioritize your relationship so that you make your fella feel appreciated.
Schedule a date night on the calendar and get out for a night on the town. Or, if that’s too much right now, just make time to cook dinner together and have a good chat at home. It’s less important what you do than just that you spend quality time together.
26. Plan for the Future with Him
If things are serious, you’re both probably thinking about both the short- and long-term future together. Start making plans. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start planning a wedding (or does it?) but maybe bring up taking an international trip together or investing in salsa classes for a few months. Planning even a few months out tells him that you’re in this and looking forward to building a future together.
27. Give Him His Space
It seems like giving your guy space would be the opposite of showing your appreciation, but the fact is: we all need “me” time. You are confident that he cares for you, so you don’t need to spend every moment together. Encourage him to go out with his friends without you or just stay home and relax on his own. And you can do the same!
How you appreciate your man really comes down to you. It’s just important that you make a consistent effort to do so. In the relationships I’ve seen crumble, one or both people let that appreciation peter out, and the relationship ultimately ended. But solid couples I know prioritize communicating and demonstrating that gratitude consistently.
Talk to me in the comments below: how do you show your man that you appreciate him?
Is your man starting to pull away? You need to step up your appreciation ASAP…and sign up for this Why Men Pull Away course!