Hero Instinct In Men: 15 Ways To Trigger It, With Examples

Dating experience | | , Copywriter & Writer
Updated On: April 24, 2024
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The hero instinct in men captures their biological drive to feel needed by their partner. They like the feeling of being wanted by the right woman. This is akin to the knight-in-shining-armor fantasy where a person saves the day single-handedly, and they feel essential to their partner.

A man is biologically hardwired to provide for his mate; he derives meaning and fulfillment from taking care of his partner. The man feels like he is contributing to his partner’s life, and that he plays an important role in it. We can, therefore, sum up this instinct in men as a desire to help one’s partner and protect them from harm.

And this doesn’t refer to grand gestures. One of the simplest hero instinct examples is opening a tight jar of pickles for their partner. The underlying message is “Allow me to do this for you.” If a man finds a healthy way of following through on this instinct, he will experience satisfaction and happiness in the relationship. And that is precisely our goal today, to give you cheat codes on triggering this instinct in your man so you can watch it transform your bond.

What Is The Hero Instinct?

Why are our movies filled with one man trying to save a population from aliens, another man defeating a gigantic creature, yet another decimating all the villains of the world to save a child, or someone who is simply determined to face economic odds to keep his family afloat? Hero instinct in men sells to a wide audience, even though this instinct isn’t gendered. It’s a primal instinct to protect and care for loved ones, to feel needed, to feel that you have made a difference to something beyond yourselves. It could even be something like being there for a friend, making a girl laugh, or just making someone a cup of tea.

How does the hero instinct in men apply to your life then? See, men don’t need to be your Prince Charming, but they do want to be an intrinsic part of how your life functions in general. Your independence along with your expression of how much you value the man in your life — walking this fine line is what makes him feel purposeful as well as creates a deeper connection between you two. It’s said that understanding, recognizing, and satisfying this instinct for our partner, regularly, makes a relationship sustainable.

The hero instinct in men will be satisfied if the answers to the following questions are ‘yes’:

  • Can I protect this individual?
  • Can I care for them the way they need me to?
  • Can I help them in this crisis?
  • Can I make them feel good and safe?
  • Am I important to my loved ones?

Related Reading: 15 Ways To Attract A Pisces Woman And Win Her Heart

Who introduced the term ‘hero instinct’?

We can trace this tendency in men back to a book titled His Secret Obsession by James Bauer, a relationship coach whose expertise lies in reviving connections. This awesome guide explores the components of male psychology in a relationship. According to Bauer, a man wants to provide for and protect his better half. This hero instinct in men is a primal desire that is the key to unlocking your relationship’s potential and further understanding relationship psychology.

Why do we love His Secret Obsession and all that its 17 modules offer? The theories of romantic attraction usually ask us to change ourselves, including our style, speech, body language, etc. But hero instinct psychology merely asks us to read the cues and respond to them. Bauer wants us to learn the art of communicating for the sake of long-lasting and healthy relationships.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to make your man feel loved and wanted by triggering his hero instinct. Using Bauer’s work as a launchpad, we have designed 10 simple strategies that will help you trigger this instinct in men. You’ll be surprised at how effective they are. We won’t make you wait any longer; here’s the show you came for.

Related Reading: How To Deal With An Alpha Male – 8 Ways To Sail Smoothly

15 Tips On How To Trigger A Man’s Hero Instinct, With Examples

Letting your man ‘provide’ for you doesn’t mean quitting your job to take care of the house and do his laundry. Neither does letting him ‘protect’ you mean you become some kind of a victim. These views are very reductive when it comes to romantic relationships. We believe in adopting a much wider perspective when it comes to bringing out this instinct in him. There is one goal here that we want to talk about, which is making him feel like he’s contributing to your life in a meaningful way — and we’re determined to achieve it by making him feel like he is a true hero.

Here are 10 surefire ways of triggering this instinct in a guy so you two can develop emotional intimacy. You’re bound to find something from our selection that resonates with you. Don’t make the mistake of dismissing any suggestion right away. Lend them your due consideration because some of these are deceptively effective. We’re going to talk about everything you need to know about why most men want to feel like a hero.

1. Be appreciative of him

Express your gratitude when he does little things for you. Let him know that his efforts aren’t going unnoticed or unappreciated. While relying on external sources of validation at all times is not advisable, periodic approval from one’s partner can help a person significantly. Your man’s self-esteem will get a boost with your words of praise. He will feel valued when you admire him. Besides being the best way to trigger the hero tendency in a man, being appreciative is one of the foremost characteristics of a healthy relationship. Let’s give you a few examples of hero instinct 12-word texts:

  • Saying “Thanks for taking out the time to pick me up from work!” will go a long way
  • Tell him that “I love how you checked in with mum today. I am touched.”
  • Appreciate how hard he works. Say something like, “I’m so impressed with all that you have achieved. I see you.”

2. Ask for small favors

If you want to know how to trigger the hero instinct in a man, pay close attention to this one. A man’s desire isn’t to overpower you, it is to support and help you. Maybe he can change your tire or help you zip up a dress as small favors to help you through the day. Perhaps he can help with the technical glitch on your laptop or lend a hand when you’re cleaning the closet. Seemingly trivial things like these can strengthen your relationship by leaps and bounds.

What is the hero instinct for a woman, though? Lina, a 41-year-old bartender, tells our female readers, “Coming to your aid makes your man feel useful. In no way does this mean becoming dependent or helpless. When a woman as self-sufficient as you asks him to help out a little, he’s elated to be of help. Being of service to you is gratifying for him.”

hero instinct examples
Don’t shy away from asking for help from your man

3. Support his endeavors to make him feel like your hero

Support, that indispensable pillar of love, is vital to understanding this instinct in men and what their masculine energy desires. Be supportive of his endeavors and let him know you have faith in him. Feeling like you have his back will increase his self-confidence for sure.

There are some hero instinct phrases that you can use to keep offering that push he needs. “You are worthy of everything” or “I am so excited for this new chapter in your life” are some things you can say to him to show that you are always cheering him on. Offer him all the fundamentals of support.

4. Let him take care of you

New-age couples emphasize balancing independence in the relationship. But this doesn’t mean being a lone wolf in the face of problems. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work or a little under the weather, don’t shy away from being taken care of. Let him make you his happy wife or girlfriend.

We all need extra help occasionally and looking after you will make him feel worthwhile. Relationships flourish when partners lean on each other during times of crisis. The next time the going gets tough, let your man be there for you. A great example of hero instinct 12-word text for this would be: “I’m feeling depressed. Can you please take care of my chores too?” A reliable partner will help you deal with depression.

  • Sometimes when you are feeling unwell, the least he can do is make a cup of cocoa
  • If you are tired after work, let him give you a massage just a few minutes a day
  • Allow him to buy you a present every now and then. It does not have to be expensive. He could just buy you the candle you’ve been wanting for a while, or a bracelet that you really liked

Related Reading: How To Balance Independence In A Relationship?

5. How to trigger a man’s hero instinct: Drop sincere compliments

Founding Father and US President James Munroe, without meaning to, told us why hero instinct phrases are important. He said, “A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.” There’s no dearth of compliments for men and you should use them liberally to put a smile on your man’s face. Compliments are associated with respect and praise, and can even be a way of expressing gratitude for how much he cares for you. Need some hero instinct 12-word text examples? Next time, try these:

  • “You listen with such calm and poise. You make people feel safe.”
  • “The way you carry yourself will never not be attractive to me!”

To feel respected is one of the central tenets of making him feel valued. So, when you’re in company, be his cheerleader and a safe place. Criticism and mockery are strictly off limits in public. Partners ought to hype each other up, not tear each other down.

6. Don’t curb his conventionally masculine pursuits

While stereotyping men is harmful, there’s nothing wrong with him wanting to feel ‘manly’ as long as it doesn’t become a case of toxic masculinity. Everyone ought to express their gender however they like. For your man, this may entail subscribing to conventionally masculine pursuits too. Athletics, camping, fishing, drinking with his buddies, game nights, and so on. If that’s your man’s life, let it be that way.

Don’t discourage these activities as they play a key role in his self-image. That’s what hero instinct refers to as well, even though it’s largely centered on being of use. If being manly accomplishes this need, what’s the harm in it?

7. Express your affection to make him feel needed

Expressions of love are so very important in triggering this instinct in men. Every now and then, be sure to convey how important he is to you. Understand your partner’s love language, and try to spend quality time with him too. This can be done through affirmations, declarations, uncommon romantic gestures, different types of intimacy, etc.

Reinforcing the message of “You’re mine and I’m yours” can rekindle the spark of passion in long-term relationships and make a man fall hard for you every day. Make your significant other feel loved, special, and pampered in your own way.

  • Plan a stay-at-home date with him where you two cook, watch movies, or make some mulled wine
  • Book a weekend getaway or a long vacation for two
  • Find him that tie he saw in a store once, that he’s been looking for ever since. Or a new set of PJs. Surprise him!

Related Reading: 10 Things To Do When You Are Drifting Apart In Your Relationship

8. Keep things fresh

Spontaneity is a stellar habit of couples in healthy relationships, even if they’ve just started dating. Resist stagnancy and the mundanity of routine. In order to prevent boredom from creeping in, introduce an element of surprise in your connection. Keep your man on his toes and see how he rises to the occasion. His inner hero is dying for it.

For instance, the two of you could take up a unique hobby or pursuit and give it your all. Even if it’s just scheduling wine tastings every other Saturday night. Don’t be bored, and don’t let him get bored in this relationship.

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9. Your man wants the best for you, so take his advice

The easiest way to make your man feel needed is by asking his opinion on things that matter to you, so that he can feel good about himself and genuinely helpful. Our partners often give us a unique perspective that makes us look at things differently. Seeking advice from someone and having faith in them are important elements of developing respect in the relationship.

Tips on how to trigger the hero instinct in a man you love, by letting him contribute to your well-being:

  • One way is to let him give you his two cents on how to tackle an argument with your mother
  • Allow his opinion in the decision-making process when you are stressed about your finances. Men love that
  • He’ll feel appreciated if you allow him a greater space in your life. It’s always a good idea to have him weigh in on the choices you make, even if you are not always on the same page

10. Make room for chivalry to make the hero instinct work

Everyone likes doing acts of service for their significant other. For some people, it’s literally a love language that could manifest in either buying lots of gifts, giving them undivided attention, or always running errands for their partner. So, when your man opens the door for you, see the care and intention behind his action. Don’t be dismissive of such romantic gestures and let yourself feel secure.

While there are many little gestures or behavioral tactics that one can use to learn how to trigger a man’s hero instinct, a man realizes his worth in his woman’s life when it is communicated to him. Men’s desire to care for their partners is not just to be received or noted, but it has to be appreciated. To make sure that the hero instinct works, here are a few tips to make him feel useful in your life:

  • Pulling your chair at the table, carrying your bag, or helping you put on your coat, these gestures of love for you don’t make you any less of a strong woman. They only make him a high-value man. So let him do these things
  • Let him drive you around if he insists; do not always feel compelled to drive him or take a cab when he is not around. If he wants to pick you up from a far-off location, let him once in a while
  • There might be many psychological benefits of women proposing to men, but if he is the one who wishes to do it, let him plan the proposal. He’s sure to keep your choices and taste in mind

Related Reading: 9 Signs You Have Serious Communication Issues In Your Relationship

11. Being open with him can work wonders

If something bizarre happened at work or you ran into an old friend on the street — yes, call up your girlfriends to tell them about it. But a man also wants to be present in his woman’s life. Try to talk to your partner about all the things that you’d tell your buddies, even if they are silly. Let us explain through some hero instinct text message examples below.

Text him about the restaurant messing up your salad order for lunch, or how excited you are for the new movie to hit the theater. Or try this next time: “I saw the most beautiful sunset on my way back home, I feel at ease even now.” Don’t reserve these deep conversation topics for just your friendships — That’s our tip on how to make him feel like a hero in your life. Be your authentic self with your man, and watch him feel more important in your life.

12. Be careful during a rough patch

When trying to resolve conflict, don’t fight everything he says to you. Even if you disagree, make the effort to understand his side. And most importantly, show him that you are willing to work for this relationship and are not just stomping your feet because things aren’t going your way. Let him know you’re both a team.

You may be disgruntled and that is fair, but you should continue to try to be a supportive partner for the sake of the relationship. If he thinks you’re hyper-independent and never put him first, he might just lose interest entirely as it can appear that you do not care about him.

13. Make sure his wins never go unrecognized

When he loves you, he wants to be good enough for you. But if you overlook his attempt at shining bright, it will dim his light. To foster a truly meaningful relationship, you and your partner need to work toward building each other up. There are many things you can say to reassure your boyfriend, to make him feel worthy and happy.

Talia, an animation artist from Brooklyn, tells us about her past relationships and how this instinct shows up in many men, “If he aced a presentation at work, make sure you discuss it at dinner. If he planned a great birthday bash for his sister, let him know how impressive it was. Showing interest in his wins is an easy way to make him feel special. He just wants to feel recognized by you!”

hero instinct examples
You have the power to make him feel amazing by just recognizing his efforts

14. Flirt away with him to make him feel like a hero

We have a great hero instinct 12-word text for you: “I need your hands on my skin. Why are you so far?” Imagine what that would do for his self-confidence! Making your man feel wanted isn’t about playing games or playing hard to get so he can run after you. It’s about giving him a little tease every now and then, but reassuring him that you are always with him.

Send him some naughty texts to mess with him during the day, but don’t leave him high and dry. Take him out that evening to make him feel special, and show him a good time so he can feel valued by you.

15. Don’t be too clingy

While we did say you should give him plenty of details around your day, you should try to draw the line as to when that can become overwhelming for him. He wants to be your guy, but he can’t do it all for you. You need to lead an independent life outside of him too. This concept isn’t about a woman relying on a man. It is meant to be egalitarian in nature.

Don’t call him too much when he’s out with the boys or get upset at him for not texting you back while he was at work accusing him of being with another woman. Trust that you two are in a loving, committed relationship and keep your calm.

Related Reading: Psychology Of Love: Theories That Make Relationships Work

Does The Hero Instinct Improve The Relationship?

Yes, most certainly. We now know how to unleash the potential of this instinct, but how far does it actually go in improving your overall relationship? What is the hero instinct benefit? Let’s take a brief look.

  • This is a great concept that emphasizes the emotional needs of the male partners in relationships
  • It makes women aware of the things they can do to bring satisfaction and happiness into the lives of their men, even though on the surface it just seems like old-fashioned moments or ways to satisfy a man’s ego
  • A connection thrives when both individuals can give what the other needs, or else it just becomes a one-sided relationship
  • Triggering this tendency of a man improves communication habits and thoughtfulness between partners. It also builds trust, support, and mutual respect gradually
  • The woman learns to appreciate and value her partner while he acknowledges her efforts and consideration. Imbibing even 50% of the hero instinct psychology will be beneficial to your emotional connection

Key Pointers

  • What is the hero instinct? The hero instinct in men is their innate need to protect you, care about you, and feel wanted by you
  • Some hero instinct examples to make your partner happy are to spend time with him or valuing the little gestures he makes for you. The aim is to make him feel needed
  • Flirting with your partner is a big part of making them feel valued in your life, whether in person or through hero instinct text message examples as provided in the article
  • Be supportive of him and try to understand him in his times of need 
  • Learning about this instinct can help you flourish in your relationship by enabling better communication and consciously fostering love

Our final thoughts: Gone are the days when it was only men who learned how to woo girlfriends and did the hard work in ‘keeping them happy’ for a happy life. Nowadays, women are equally active in bringing their partners joy. Learn how to fulfill the hero instinct in men, and you’ll bring out your man’s best self. Tell us what you think about our step in this new direction — we love hearing what you have to say!


1. How do you trigger a man’s hero instinct over text?

There are quite a few simple ways of triggering this instinct in men over text. You can do it by asking for their help, showing appreciation for them, dropping a compliment, asking for their advice, or being affectionate and loving. 

2. What is a man’s secret obsession?

As unusual as it sounds in our times, a man’s secret obsession is feeling needed by his partner. This tendency describes the desire to rescue, protect, and provide for his better half. This theory has been spearheaded by relationship coach James Bauer in his book His Secret Obsession.

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