It’s a simple fact: men and women are different.
This isn’t a bad thing, though, it’s actually very positive. Understanding more about some of the fundamental differences can strengthen relationships and let love grow instead of wither away.
One of the keys to understanding men is knowing what drives them.
Money, sex, food, sports, power?
Well, sure, now and then a little bit of all of those may come into play.
But the deeper truth under the surface when it comes to men is that one of the most important things that drives men is not an external thing.
One of the deep drivers of male behavior, motivation and romance that many women don’t know about.
It’s called the hero instinct.
If you understand the hero instinct and how to trigger the hero instinct in your man, you will be miles ahead of many people who are still confused and unsure about what makes a man tick.
What is the hero instinct?
The hero instinct is a term coined by James Bauer in his bestselling dating book His Secret Obsession.
It’s the drive inside a man to live a life of meaning, provide for those he cares about and the desire to earn respect from those around him. It basically means that a man needs to feel needed by his partner.
Men don’t necessarily need to be Bruce Willis saving people from a burning building or the main character in a war movie winning a Purple Heart through jaw-dropping bravery. But they want to do something that matters and they want to make a difference.
This is especially true of those they love. They want to protect their woman, treat her right and earn her love in return.
They want to be her hero — if she’ll let them.
Ten ways to trigger the hero instinct in your man
1) Ask him for help
This can include really small things like fixing a squeaky hinge on the door or carrying an extra bag in of groceries.
It sounds like a small detail, but when a man can tell he’s helping you out — even just a little bit — it triggers his hero instinct.
There’s no need to go around creating situations for him to feel useful, but if you make it clear that you appreciate his help and ask him for small ways to make your life easier he’ll appreciate it greatly and his attraction will grow.
Try to ask for help with stereotypically-manly things like fixing household items, understanding electronics or repairing the car. Asking for help to make Christmas cards or decorate the foyer with tasteful flower arrangements may not trigger his hero instinct.
This can also include things like opening up about a situation that is bothering you at work or in your personal life that he could possibly help with in some way.
When he gives you advice or stands up for you in your life his inner hero comes out to shine and he feels needed and valued.
This is a great starting point when it comes to understanding how to trigger the hero instinct in your man.
2) Celebrate his successes
OMI sings about it in his song “Cheerleader.” Of course, you don’t want to be over the top about this, but a man’s hero instinct will bask in the sunshine when you show him appreciation.
Even if he just helped out with changing a light bulb, say thanks and smile to show you mean it. If you want to go for a kiss and affectionate hug his inner hero will be pretty happy about that, too.
If he just tuned up the car maybe you can mention how good he looks in that old shirt and jeans … This creates a positive feedback loop. You appreciate him, he appreciates you. The attraction grows and the love story keeps going.
It’s a cycle of mutual appreciation and it really works.
3) Keep it low-key
This might seem like a contradiction of the last advice tip, but don’t go overboard on thanking your man or asking him to help out.
Keep it low-key.
Asking for help and showing appreciation is the tried-and-true method for triggering the hero instinct in your man, but if he can tell you’re only doing it to make him feel nice or for extremely small details like washing his hands before dinner he’s going to feel weird and not like it.
Sometimes it can work well to have a longer-term project like expanding the deck or repainting a room in the house and let the idea germinate in his head for awhile.
The point is that triggering his hero instinct doesn’t always have to be obvious or immediate. It can stretch out over a longer time and your appreciation can be subtle not always right away or in a very dramatic way.
Sometimes just making it clear you genuinely appreciate him and that he’s helped out is exactly what it takes.
4) Support him around his buddies
Men have a natural part of the hero instinct that’s all about the group. You do your job and help out and others respect and recognize you.
This isn’t about flattery or buttering him up. It’s more about giving him credit around his friends and boosting him up in normal ways.
Maybe you stop by work to bring him a drink and say thanks, or wink at his friend and say you hope he’s as big a catch as your guy.
When talking to your friends, speak about the good qualities of your man and the ways he helps you out.
Positive vibes have a way of spreading, and around him and his friends as well as around your friends, talking about the ways he helps you out and makes you feel special all have a great effect.
5) Let him make you happy
This one has to be genuine, of course. But what I mean here is to let yourself be open to him doing what he can to make you happy.
It won’t always work and every day can’t be sunshine and rainbows, but on the whole if your man can sense that he’s shifting your mood and making you happy it will increase his love for you.
One of the best ways to trigger the hero instinct in your man is to show him that he makes your life better.
Taking someone for granted is a constant risk in a relationship, especially one that’s been going on for a long time.
Showing your man how he makes you happy with the little and big things he does for you and says to you is a relationship revitalizer.
Tell him he makes you happy or show it. He’ll be happy, too.
6) Support his passions and interests
Supporting your man in his interests and passions is another important parts of how to trigger the hero instinct in your man.
Whether it’s playing baseball with the guys, collecting stamps or working on a vintage car in the garage, let him know you think it’s cool and want to give him the time and space to engage in his hobby.
You can always bring out a refreshment, or pay a compliment, for example.
Even if his thing isn’t your thing, show that you respect his interest and find it charming. Show appreciation for the stuff he does and the time he enjoys spending alone or with his friends doing his activities and hobbies.
Your man will feel your support and bask in it. He’ll feel loved and supported, which is very important.
7) Show him he’s the only one
If you’re in a serious monogamous relationship or marriage then your man already knows he’s the only one.
But one of the best ways to trigger the hero instinct in your man is when you show him he’s the only one.
This can be done through everything from subtle body language and gentle touches to meaningful looks, smiles and paying attention to him.
You can also just straight up tell him something like “there’s nobody else like you, baby, I love you so much,” or something along those lines.
At the end of the day he’s going to appreciate the fact that he’s the one special guy in your life who isn’t replaceable and who you value romantically more than any other man.
It means a lot.
8) Challenge him
Heroes love a challenge. Giving your man a challenge of some kind to help out gets his hero instinct revving.
It could be something as simple as seeing if he can fix your laptop, to challenging him to try out a new activity or interest and seeing if he can master it.
When a man has a challenge from the woman he loves it sparks up his desire to be more, be better and rise to the occasion.
On this one make sure that the challenge isn’t to gain your attention or affection or for him to compete for you with another guy. This is likely to lead to a more jealous and negative reaction, rather than a positive growth of love.