The Hero Instinct: Can it Help Your Relationship?

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The hero instinct is an increasingly popular concept in relationship psychology.

But what does the hero instinct mean exactly? 

And most importantly, can it help you with your relationship? Does it hold the key to better understanding men and what drives them?

In this article, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about the hero instinct. I’ll reveal:

  • What the hero instinct really is
  • Exactly why men need to feel like heroes.
  • 5 easy ways to trigger the hero instinct in your man

If you want to improve your existing relationship, or be armed with the right knowledge when a new man comes along, you’re going to enjoy what’s ahead.

Let’s begin.

What is the hero instinct? 

The idea behind the hero instinct is this:

Men want to be a hero in their day-to-day lives, particularly in the eyes of the woman who they’re in a relationship with or attracted to. 

This urge isn’t some silly desire born out of watching too many Hollywood movies. Men want to be your hero, not an action hero.

The hero instinct is backed by an increasing body of scientific and psychological research. Men are biologically driven to protect and defend the woman they love, unveiling traits of strength, courage and dominance.

Protecting women is embedded in male DNA today as much as any time in the past. While society may have changed, the biological makeup for men has not.  

The hero instinct may not play out as dramatically as it did when we were hunters and gatherers, but instead it’s demonstrated in their everyday actions. 

He may help you cross a busy street, defend you verbally during a war of words with someone else, or try to solve a problem in your life. Or he simply puts your arm around you when you feel vulnerable. 

In essence, men need to feel wanted and respected by their female partner. They need to feel like they are providing something essential, rather than always being treated as a ‘‘best friend’ or ‘partner in crime’.

The simple truth is that men are more likely to stay in romantic relationships with women long term if the hero instinct is triggered.

And when it isn’t triggered? They bail.

Where does the hero instinct come from?

hero instinct in his secret obsession

James Bauer coined the term ‘hero instinct’ in his popular relationship guide, His Secret Obsession. He is a psychologist and widely acclaimed relationship expert. 

The downloadable PDF and audiobook teaches women the secrets of how to get inside a guy’s head by tapping into his full masculinity. 

James claims that men are driven by three primary psychological urges:

  1. To provide for those they love
  2. To live meaningful lives and be appreciated for their efforts
  3. To gain respect from those around them

You would probably know by now through your own experiences with men that these three impulses are true. Your guy may not feel the need to be a hero to the masses but he sure as hell wants to be a hero for you.

It’s not too dissimilar to the hunger that drives him to eat, drink, hustle and bonk.

And the best part?

The hero instinct is something that a woman can actually trigger, which will set your relationship up for long lasting success. 

James Bauer has created a free online video where he provides the best introduction to the hero instinct you can get. Watch the excellent free video here.

This video is essential viewing if you want to understand what the hero instinct is all about. James Bauer reveals the phrases, texts and little requests that you can use right now to pull at your man’s heartstrings.

Here’s a link to the video again

For over a decade, James has been helping men and women navigate their romantic relationships. His experience as a relationship therapist, as well as his considerable research into relationship psychology, has given him a unique insight into what makes relationships work in the real world.

What else you need to know about the hero instinct

hero instinct

Understanding that all men are fundamentally driven by the hero instinct will change the way you approach your romantic relationships forever. 

To reinforce what I mentioned earlier, men are less likely to fall in love with a woman and stick around for the long haul if the hero instinct hasn’t been triggered. 

Women are inherently nourishing and selfless. By this I don’t mean weak — not at all.  But allowing your guy to take the reins once in a while will trigger something deep within him, and makes him feel more empowered.

Don’t get me wrong, no doubt your guy loves your strength and abilities to be independent. But he still wants to feel wanted and useful — not dispensable!

If you’re currently with a guy whom you want a future with or hope to be with a guy that you’ll have a future with, is staunch self-sufficiency worth losing him and the relationship over? 

The answer is obviously no.

And for the record, you don’t have to metamorphosize into something that you’re not. No man would want you to do that.

You don’t have to dilute your strength or independence in any way, shape or form — you just have to let your guy step up to the mark once in a while.

It’s true, women may not need a hero…

But that doesn’t eradicate the fact that your guy wants to be a hero for you! Whether you think you need one or not.

In this era of radical feminism and political correctness, gender stereotyping is not only deemed discriminative, it’s considered to be passé. But no matter how woke the world becomes, we are unable to annihilate thousands of years of biological inclination.

The truth is that gender differences exist whether the social justice warriors agree or not. Men naturally flourish when they are allowed to step up for the woman in his life. But when this is taken from him, they are made to feel unessential, and the relationship they’re in will go pear-shaped.

Even in 2021, men want to sexually satisfy women. They want to provide for them and protect them. And they want to feel desired, needed and appreciated for doing so.

When you boil it down to the male perspective, the hero instinct makes complete sense. He just wants to be there for you. And you need to let him.

Today your man may no longer need to protect you from getting eaten by a bear or a tribe of cannibals. 

However, there are still ways to trigger the hero instinct in a modern man.

5 easy ways to make your man feel like a hero

Want to trigger the hero instinct in your man starting today?

While your first point of call should be James Bauer’s free online video, here are 5 easy ways you can also go about it:

1. Ask for his help

Have you ever wanted a guy to simply listen to your problems and instead he decided to give you an actual solution? Frustrating, I know!

That’s because men thrive on solving women’s problems. It makes them feel useful, and yes, it makes them feel like a real man. 

Many women today hate asking for help from the men in their life. They don’t like to be seen as needy, incompetent or dependent. 

But what they fail to understand is that men want to help them overcome their problems.  They thrive on this sort of stuff.

Whether it’s asking his opinion on a personal matter, seeking his advice on a financial issue, or sending him on an errand…

Asking your guy for help occasionally will show him that you trust him. It will show him that you still need him in your life. This is a surefire way to trigger his hero instinct, and bring you closer together.

2. Support his interests

Men need space. 

The hero instinct is not always about women and their wants. This means you need to give him time to hang out with his friends, time to be on his own and time for his personal hobbies and interests.  

Being clingy and bombing him with numerous text messages or calls won’t make him feel like a hero; it will only scare him away. 

Give your guy space. Trust him and allow him to have his own identity and life apart from you. And like a magnet, you will end up drawing him closer.

3. Verbalise your appreciation

Men are not mind readers, even though women would like them to be. 

If your guy does thoughtful things for you, don’t assume he knows how grateful you are. Be sure to verbalize your appreciation. Receiving gratitude from your romantic partner is like receiving a reward within itself.

Men need to feel acknowledged and know that they’re not being taken for granted.  The more you verbalise your appreciation for him, the more he’ll want to be with you.

4. Don’t infantilize your man in public (or in private either…)

Nobody wants to be treated like a child by their romantic partner in public or in private because it’s humiliating.

Men want to be respected by those around them and it doesn’t help when you belittle, nag or scold them in front of others. Support your guy when surrounded by his friends and colleagues and make him feel proud to have a girl like you by his side.  

The people who surround him will notice how happy he is when he’s with you and it will undoubtedly get back to him. 

If your presence helps him to sparkle in front of his family and friends, this is going to trigger his hero instinct in a big way, and benefit the both of you in the long-run. 

5. Compliment him

Women love compliments – just look at social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Yet women quickly forget that men actually derive enjoyment out of receiving compliments as well. Sadly men don’t speak up about their need for external validation from women and when they do try to tackle the topic it gets misconstrued or lost in translation.

Complimenting your guy on his looks, style, body, strength, success, kindness or sexual prowess will make him feel powerful and wanted. Every person wants to feel desired and men often get left out in the cold regarding this. 

Don’t feel embarrassed throwing compliments at him. A little ego stroking of the person you love is never a bad thing. Give that hero instinct some much need triggering. 


Hopefully this article has educated you on what the hero’s instinct is and how you can trigger it in your man.

If you want to learn more about the hero instinct, check out James Bauer’s free video. He provides a wonderful insight into the concept he popularized. You will also get some unique tips for triggering the hero instinct which go well beyond what I’ve covered in this article. 

Ultimately men don’t care if you’re a sexpot or the most beautiful woman in the world. They are more focused on how you make them feel when they are around you. 

Do they feel needed? Do they feel appreciated? Do they feel strong? These are the feelings that the hero instinct is all about.

Can a relationship coach help you too?

If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.

I know this from personal experience…

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