How do you challenge your man to keep him interested?
Whether you’re on the fifth or fiftieth date, that question will always come up.
When you get attracted to someone you meet, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine, which is responsible for motivation and pleasure. Some people call it the “runner’s high” because of its addicting feeling.
But what goes up must come down, right?
Maintaining a good relationship with your partner is hard work but there are ways to challenge your partner and set your relationship up so you can prepare each other for the long haul. Here are 15 of them:
1) Ask him
What could be better than asking your man straight out about what challenges him?
There’s no fluff here. Be direct and literally ask what challenges your man. Put him on the spot and find out rather than be vague about it and not take the chance of having that conversation.
What did you think your chances were with me when we starting dating? What do you think makes our relationship unique?
It’s always better to talk it out together rather than you second-guessing on your own.
2) Lead separate lives
Men love their independence but it doesn’t mean they deprioritize intimacy.
And while the natural course of a romantic relationship is to have your lives intertwine as it deepens, you shouldn’t lose your individuality just because you’re in one.
Think of it this way: if your partner has his own “man cave,” let him know that you have your own “she shed.”
Scheduling some “me” time isn’t selfish. Whether you’re on a night out separately or you’re at home “alone together,” it promotes mental health and can help relieve you of the pressure in keeping your relationship happy.
3) Be involved in what he likes
Do you ever notice how giddy your man gets when the NBA season is coming up and he suddenly brings out his jersey and cap collection of his favorite basketball team?
Ever see his face light up when he catches the movie trailer of the latest Fast and the Furious franchise?
People usually like to talk about themselves and when you talk about the interests of your partner, he’ll feel more comfortable being around you.
Now, you don’t have to love what he loves and, definitely, you don’t have to pretend to. Take this opportunity to listen and ask questions to get him to open up.
4) Have healthy arguments
A difference of viewpoints on sensitive topics like politics and religion or even mundane ones like traffic and the weather can help shake things up in your relationship.
Be mindful of how your conversation progresses. You want to argue in such a way that will bring you and your man out of the situation closer, stronger, and even more interested in each other.
Just remember to listen patiently, talk lovingly, and keep your drama and ego out of the door.
5) Let him meet your family and friends
Now I know what you might be thinking, and you’re correct.
There is no need to hurry introductions, especially when it comes to family and friends. But when you’ve reached a certain level of comfort with your partner, regardless of how long you’ve been dating, that moment will eventually come.
In some circles, family and friends play an active role in the selection of a romantic partner. And if you rely on their opinions when making choices, then he’s definitely in for a ride.
Now, the reality of it is that you won’t like everyone you meet. Not everyone will love you either. And that’s okay.
So don’t expect your partner to like your family and your friends. It won’t be ideal, and you can’t force it.
But if he respects and cares about you enough to understand how important these people are in your life, they will matter to him because they matter to you.
6) The space between
Ever heard of the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”?
It’s true. All good relationships require space.
Space between you and your man is good when things are quite dandy. The last thing you want is to boost his ego the wrong way by making him the center of your universe.
“A little space, time, and distance can often be just what a relationship needs to bloom at its best.”
— Karen Salmansohn
On the other hand, space is especially good when things get heated up in a discussion.
If you find yourself in an argument with your man, demand some space right away to let off some steam.
Take yourself out of the situation to reflect on what went wrong and why the argument happened in the first place. Step out before things get ugly or you might end up saying things you don’t mean and do things you will regret in the future.
7) Be adventurous
No relationship in the world doesn’t get better with a little more color from time to time.
Sometimes, you have to break the routine, get out of your comfort zone, and put some variety into your relationship.
If you’re into trying new food, get to know each other by taking turns in choosing restaurants during the weekend. Unless your man has dietary requirements, discovering each others’ preferred food palate can lead to discovering more about each other’s personality.
“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.”
— Roland Barthes
Feeling a little vanilla in the sheets lately? Does the idea of bondage excite you?
Fancy wearing some lace lingerie? Be daring! Get creative and go a little crazy. Talk to him about your fantasies and maybe he can talk about his. Keep the excitement up to keep him wanting more.
Being adventurous with your man can reveal parts of yourselves that were never before seen. Keeping things fresh and spontaneous will keep your man on his toes.
Sky’s the limit! He’ll certainly have more to look forward to.
8) Learn his language
Dr. Gary Chapman and his book series of Love Languages talks about how people give and receive love in different ways.
According to Dr. Chapman, people have a dominant language of love and it’s a misconception that they all give and receive love the same way their partners do. Check out these 5 Love Languages and see which resonates best with your man:
Words of affirmation: Does your man particularly like hearing compliments and other words of appreciation such as “Thank you for taking care of me”, “You’re the best” or “I love you”? If he does, say them as often as you can. It can definitely go a long way.
Quality time: Is your partner exceptionally happy when you give him your undivided attention after a long day at work? If it is, make sure to drop everything when you’re together. That means even your mobile phone. All eyes should be on your man.
Receiving gifts: If this is your man’s love language, he gives utmost appreciation to the thoughtfulness that comes with the presents you give him. Doesn’t matter how grand or small they may be, he will love them, no matter what.
Acts of service: Simple gestures such as throwing out the trash, watering your plants, and doing the dishes won’t seem so ordinary to your partner if this is his love language. He will feel good knowing that you are there, available, and willing to be of service to him.
Physical touch: No, this isn’t necessarily sex. If your man’s love language is getting physical, hugs, kisses, and cuddles can be your main thing.
Share your love language with your man and allow him some time to learn to speak it but don’t stop there. Make it a point to learn his, too.
9) Pick his brain
Having a flirty, playful, and spontaneous relationship is just as important as having an intellectually stimulating one, too.
Complement your daily small talk and light conversation with topics that interest you and see what he thinks.
When you ask him about his opinion, remember to have an open mind. Listen with curiosity, take things with a grain of salt, and talk to gain perspective. As you deepen your connection, you’ll get more personal and have more things to talk about.
When you’re ready, consider sharing your past, dreams, and aspirations. Who knows, it might give you a clearer vision of how things may turn out between both of you in the end.
10) Call out his BS
No one is perfect and your partner definitely isn’t.
If you’re bothered by your man’s behavior, dare to call him out. Don’t sweep things under the rug because he might be afraid of confrontation.
Calling out your partner’s BS can be a difficult conversation to have. So when you do, talk to him in such a way that doesn’t sound so criticizing or demeaning. No one likes mean girls.
Remember to seek to understand first, keep the conversation constructive, and make sure to tell him that you care.
11) Chivalry is not dead
The traditional notion of chivalry has slowly faded over time, what with modern movements for gender equality and girl power. The Spice Girls made that clear.
Have fun being the strong woman that you are and just sit back, relax, and let him take care of you.
Picture this: you’ve just finished a wonderful dinner with your partner. Loved the food. While waiting for the check to arrive, you feel a bit cold. He offers to wear his jacket and you gladly take it.
The waiter arrives and while you’re used to going Dutch, he looks at the check, takes out his wallet, and pays for your meal.
You walk to the car and he opens the door for you. As you reach your home, he does the same and walks you all the way to your gate.
Wasn’t that just romantic? Makes you feel like a real lady.
12) Make him read your mind
While having open communication is key to a happy relationship, it wouldn’t hurt to keep him in the gray sometimes.
There’s a good chance that you’re already thinking of something you need that you’re expecting your partner to just know without having to tell him.
When you’re craving for some attention, keep your answers to a minimum, shrug him off and keep your distance.
Actions speak louder than words. Use non-verbal cues so he can attempt to read your mind. This can be a bit tricky though and you don’t want to come across as one to play games.
Make sure to set it up in such a way that it wouldn’t backfire and end up in an argument.
13) Let him allay your fears
Everyone has their own fears. Regardless if your relationship is 5 days or 5 months long, you may have the same fears as your partner’s.
According to Dr. Louanne Brizendine, psychiatrist, and author of “The Female Brain” and “The Male Brain,” men may seem more analytical than emotional when responding to problems because their brains are wired that way.
Find some common ground and think of three things you and your partner fear. And on one or more occasions, ask for advice on how to overcome them.
If you have a fear of speaking in public, failure, or missing out, know that your man will support you by thinking of possible solutions to overcome them. He will show exactly that by finding answers to your problems.
14) The unsung hero
You’re a strong woman and you know you’re capable of doing certain things on your own.
Why would you let your man serve you? Why not?
Men want to feel they are needed by their partners because they feel the natural inclination to be their heroes.
Your cries for help don’t need to be big. Ask help to fix the light bulb that broke in the bathroom the other day or bring in the bags of groceries that you left in your car this morning. Wouldn’t it be more fun that way?
15) Be confident about your body
You are not perfect; you will never be. And he is aware of that.
Mel Robbins defines confidence as the “willingness to try”. She said that it is a skill you develop over time.
Instead of worrying about the flaws that you think you see in the mirror, and fearing that your partner won’t accept you the way you are, do your best to focus on improving and being the best version of yourself — for yourself.
Choose to eat healthily. Pamper yourself. Keep on learning.
Love yourself in spite of your imperfections. More importantly, show him that you can do that with or without him. There is nothing sexier to a man than seeing his partner comfortable in her own skin.
Maintaining a great relationship with your man and keeping him interested isn’t a walk in the park.
If you feel that something good will come out of your relationship, you’ll definitely have to work hard for it. But it doesn’t have to be work.
Start with what you can control: YOU.
Be yourself. Know yourself. Love yourself. When you know what you are capable of, you can figure out what you are willing to do with and for your man.
Challenging your man to keep him interested doesn’t mean you need to go above and beyond for him. But whatever you do, do it with a good heart.
Discover your partner as much as you can — his likes and dislikes. Share your past so he can understand your present. Give him the independence and space that he needs.
Allow him to be your hero. Let him take care of you. Get him to know the most important people in your life. Learn each others’ language of love.
The more you connect with, and know your partner, the more you can influence him to build and deepen your relationship. However, you want to go about that, remember not to lose yourself.
Keeping a good portion of your life independent from the life you have with your man may come across like you lack commitment.
On the contrary, committing to your independence is committing to your relationship. It won’t work any other way.
The real reason why men pull away
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