The point is, you need to more than just love your partner. You need to more than lust after them, too. For the rest of those waking, non-working hours not spent in the sack, you had better really like each other! Liking each other is the glue the foundation on which all the subsequent points will be built.
You know what you want in a best friend. You want someone with whom you share common interest, who is fun to be around, easy to talk to, and eager to lend a hand. You want someone who is the first person you rush to in order to share laughter and pain and rage. You want someone with whom you feel a partnership in your common endeavors.
He wants the same thing.
A man wants to feel accepted by the woman in his life
This means he wants to be accepted for the man he is, trusted in the choices he makes, supported in the actions he takes, and respected for the opinions he holds. There is plenty of denigration coming at all of us from the world; from those we work with, the public we serve if we are cops, our clients and stakeholders if we are not, the kids and family, friends and neighbors, and that one guy screaming at us with extended middle finger on the highway. It is tiresome getting so much unvarnished criticism from so many sources, so acceptance at home is a welcome relief.
Please understand, this is not a demand for blind acceptance of just anything we do, or a request you never intervene when we go astray. A wise man knows he is human - and subject to human frailties and failure - and welcomes critique given with his best interest at heart.
The key is to show continuing acceptance of the man, while questioning (or even rejecting) the substance of an individual action, word, or opinion, and regardless of whether he heeds your advice or not.
Here is an important caveat: Helping us become our best selves is NOT the same as molding us into the incarnation of someone you wish we were. In other words, never challenge us in order to change us into someone we neither recognize nor like; to do so is self-serving and patronizing and will cause more harm and hurt than can imagine.
A man wants open communication from the woman in his life
Sometimes it may seem we men prefer to communicate in monosyllables, grunts, blank looks, and the occasional burst of apparently random profanity (it is never really random). And you have probably read how women have the capacity to speak and comprehend 20,000 words each day, while men can only manage 10,000 leading to serious communication issues between the sexes. Just the same, guys do want communication with their women.
Him: What's wrong??!!? What did I do?
Her: Oh, you know what you did! Think about it.
Him: But. Wha...? I really have no idea. Please... just tell me!
Is this a simplistic plot device, drawn from tired gender stereotypes, and used in countless sitcoms and comic routines? Sure, but stereotypes resonate because, deep down, they tweak group recognition of shared experience. Every one of us has wondered just how two people can live the same event and share a common language, but walk away with vastly different interpretations of what went on and what it means.
Despite shared language, men simply do not communicate relationally with the same depth of nuance and meaning as do women. The result is often confusion or hurt feelings. We (men) want to understand, and we want to say and do the right things, but may require patience and ongoing coaching in understanding female communication. This can be burdensome for the woman in the relationship but the alternative is burdensome on the relationship. Look, there is no Rosetta Stone system for this yet, so it has to fall on you!
Approach each other with patience and humor and make communicating fun.
A man wants the woman in his life to have self-confidence
Self-confidence is sexy.
Many women get stuck comparing themselves to supposed ideals of femininity, motherhood, wifehood, beauty, body, stylishness, intelligence, and achievement and are endlessly wondering how they measure up, only to knock themselves down in disappointment. Others constantly seek assurance from others that they are good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or accomplished enough, but they never seem able to hold onto affirmations and get stuck in a tedious cycle.