There’s a reason superhero movies are getting so popular these days.
They’ve tapped into something vital in the collective consciousness of men. These movies with their over-the-top heroic exploits are speaking to young men and adult men in a language that they understand.
It’s called the hero instinct.
And learning how to trigger it in your man can be the difference-maker between burning hot passion and a frigid fade-out.
In this article, I’m going to tell you how to make a man feel like a hero.
It’s easier than you think.
But it can make a massive difference.
How to make a man feel like a hero
In order to make a man feel like a hero, you need to understand the hero instinct.
It’s a term coined by relationship psychologist and bestselling author James Bauer that describes a deep evolutionary instinct found inside all men.
The hero instinct is embedded in men’s biology and it’s basically about a strong attraction and will to commit that a man experiences when he protects or “saves” a woman he’s interested in.
Failure to stimulate the hero instinct can result in a man’s disinterest to continue the relationship and work on it.
With that in mind, you can see why it’s so important to learn about the hero instinct and how it works.
This simple and genuine video is the best guide to the hero instinct you’ll get.
I did, and here’s what I learned about triggering a man’s hero instinct:
14 ways to trigger his hero instinct
1) “Honey, can you give me a hand?”
These simple words have won many a man’s heart.
Let me specify here, however:
No man likes being ordered around or micromanaged (neither does any woman I’m aware of);
Nagging or telling him what to do all day is going to sink his attraction like the Titanic without any touching Celine Dion love song at the end.
Asking him to help you should be done occasionally and stereotypically.
Ask for his help looking at an issue in your car, a leaky pipe, or a door hinge that seems to be breaking.
His inner sense of masculinity and competence will be heightened and his hero instinct will be revving to go.
She loves me, she needs me, she wants me.
2) Be true to you
One of the biggest reasons many women get tripped up on triggering attraction in their men is that they overthink it.
So don’t worry what he thinks of you or consciously “try” to craft it.
Be true to yourself and your interests, values, and boundaries.
The hero instinct does not mean you have to always be agreeable or meek and mild.
It’s fine to express strong opinions, be yourself, and stand your ground. Your man’s love for you will grow when he senses your strength and character.
The hero instinct doesn’t require that you fake vulnerability or pretend to need his help in extremely basic situations. It just requires being a tiny bit needier of his manly charms every now and then and being open to his guidance and “mansplaining” a tiny bit more than usual.
Just enough to be sexy but not enough to be a pushover or betray your own independence and values. You’ll get the hang of it.
Trigger his hero instinct and trigger it well.
You’ll be glad you did.
3) Let him be your knight in shining armor
Deep down, what Bauer is saying with the hero instinct is that men want to be a knight in shining armor for the right damsel in distress.
The thing is that if you try to “set up” scenarios where he saves or rescues you, his inner instinct will immediately feel that something is a bit off and not respond strongly.
He may even lose attraction.
Instead, what you want to do is ask his help in low-key but powerful ways that make him feel needed and even a little bit heroic — but not like a prop.
What you want to do is ask him for help you actually need — as in situations where you otherwise might just try to do it alone — and spare him the trouble.
An example could be the following to illustrate what I’m saying:
You’re running late for work and the temperatures outside are below-freezing.
You know that your car which is parked on the street is going to need at least three to five minutes to warm up for the windows to defrost. But you still haven’t had your morning bagel or coffee and you hate eating in the car.
In a pre-hero instinct mindset, you would manage to cram it all into 15 minutes and arrive at work as a stressed-out mess.
In your new hero instinct mindset, you gently wake up your man and ask if he could please go out and warm up your car. You give him a kiss as you place the keys in his hand and he rubs the sleep out of his eyes, his desire and love for you already rising up to a burning flame.
You didn’t ask him to change the world. But you gave him a small but definite task where he could genuinely help you out and use his “tougher” masculine qualities to brave the cold and the frost and help you have a better day.
4) There’s a question you need to be asking yourself
If you want to understand men and what really makes them tick, then there’s a question you need to ask yourself.
What’s the difference between him feeling needed but pressured versus him feeling needed and even more attracted?
The difference is in a few key things:
Firstly, asking him for help in a way that’s not optional is more like an order, not a request;
Secondly, your tone of voice makes a big difference and you should pay attention to whether you’re asking sweetly or offhandedly and roughly;
Thirdly, are you making it personal to him or just getting him to do random tasks.
A guy isn’t going to feel more romantic or turned on if you just ask him to do easy stuff that anyone could do or that you don’t feel like doing at the moment.
He’s going to have his hero instinct triggered when you ask him to do tasks for which being a typically masculine man comes in handy.
Things like fixing machinery, plumbing, yard work, dealing with extreme weather, resolving practical problems with your neighbors, or advice about your home, car, or even future plans.
Make it about him by explaining what it is about his manly skills and competencies that make you value his help on whichever issue more than just any person off the street.
Psychologist Alice Boyes Ph.D. has good tips in this regard about asking for help, noting that:
“When asking for help, make sure the person knows exactly what you want. For example, if you want your spouse to show you what to do, rather than just tell you, make sure you ask for that.”
5) Go easy on his ego – be nice!
Men like to think they’re pretty tough.
And in some ways, some men really are (but I’d like to see one try to give birth).
Still: physically, even emotionally, some guys can withstand a lot, certainly.
But as you can ask any woman who’s really hurt a guy’s feelings or sense of self-worth, men can also be very sensitive and emotional creatures.
If you make him feel like crap when he fails at a task or jokes too much at his expense, his attraction will rapidly fizzle out.
It’s obviously fine to joke around a bit with him, but in general, you want to be showing your guy that you appreciate his efforts and count on him in a real way.
Making him earn your respect is a good thing; that piques his attraction.
Making him the butt of your jokes or criticism too often is likely to make his butt head out the door.
A hero deserves respect, so make him earn it and watch his hero instinct come to life.
6) Give him a hand
A great way to spark his attraction and keep that fire burning is to give him a hand.
As in…a round of applause.
You don’t have to literally clap for him but celebrate and praise what he’s doing.
Give him a kiss or an extra special hug (or tug) at the right time to show how much him helping out means to you.
When you appreciate him, he feels that loving energy and gives it right back tenfold.
Let him know that he’s your guy and you value him above any other guy.
As Motown sensation Mary Wells sings in her 1964 song “My Guy”:
“As a matter of opinion I think he’s tops
My opinion is he’s the cream of the crop
As a matter of taste to be exact
He’s my ideal as a matter of fact
And no muscle-bound man could take my hand from my guy (my guy)
No handsome face could ever take the place of my guy (my guy).”
7) Play it smooth
If you go overboard asking your man for help, praising him, and showering him with affection and love he’s going to feel confused and possibly annoyed.
Men like women who are a bit of a challenge.
That’s part of why he loves the challenge of helping you out and “solving” your challenges with his capable man hands.
But if you make him feel like everything he does is equivalent to him winning the Grand Prix, then he’s going to stop valuing your attention and affection.
And he’ll also stop caring much about what he does for you since he apparently can do no wrong.
This goes back to my point about being true to yourself and your boundaries.
Are you normally a gal who is very effusive and praises those you care about a lot, showering them with attention? In that case, be you.
But if you’re “playing it up” to make him feel good you’re going to have it backfire.
Just be yourself and give him love and affection at a normal level, expressing particular thanks for the manly tasks he does for you.
8) Boost him up around his buds
Men are tribal animals and they care what their friends and peers think about them.
Whenever possible, boost him up around his buds.
This could be something as simple as winking at him and telling his friends that you didn’t know you married a professional mechanic but you sure found out after he took a look at your car, or telling one of his buddies that your husband is the best when he’s around.
He’ll feel that warm glow and bask in it.
It can also be as simple as telling your boyfriend’s oldest friend that you know you can always count on your boyfriend.
He’ll feel that respect and attraction and his own attraction will bump up.
Build him up and he’ll always be by your side.
9) Tell him the score
One thing that many men find frustrating is not knowing what a woman is thinking or really wants in a certain situation.
When you tell him what makes you happy then he has “something to work with.”
This can be a real relief for your guy but it also helps fulfill his inner drive of needing a purpose.
If you’re clamoring a lot for his attention and help but he doesn’t really know why he may start to get annoyed or tune out.
But if you tell him the score and let him know what’s up then he can proactively do the kind of things he knows you like him to do.
And he’ll feel like a hometown hero while doing it…
When he has the power to make you happy, his inner hero glows red hot.
10) Highlight the positives
Everyone has problems, and even the perfect relationship is going to have bad days.
But as much as it’s realistically within your power, try to highlight the positives.
Focus on what’s working between the two of you, not on what’s causing minor disagreements.
Working together through tough times can build up your bond and give you valuable chances to trigger his hero instinct, but celebrating the good times is also optimal for letting him soak up the sun of a happy relationship.
Jon Terrell writes:
“When our attention and awareness is on what is working, we can feel happy and content with our partner. When we start mentally (or verbally) listing and logging the complaints, we can barely look at our partner without feeling anger and stress.”
At the end of the day, if you’ve let him know what makes you happy, reach out for help in an attractive way, and highlight the positives when you’re with him, then you’re stimulating feelings of fulfillment and success in his heart.
He’s a hero who made you happy and your time together is wonderful.
He’s going to love that feeling — and so will you.
11) Back him on his projects and passions
Men like projects and goals, so back him up on them.
Even if he’s become super into board games or devoting hours to studying different ways to barbecue and make the perfect steak, show him you think it’s great and that you appreciate his passion.
I’m not asking you to fake it here, though. It’s fine to admit you don’t really share his passion, just expressing happiness that he’s happy.
He’ll get it and he’ll love that you’re giving him space and freedom to do what he loves regardless of whether it’s personally your cup of tea.
This level of trust and freedom for a partner is a real turn-on and will increase his feelings of attraction and admiration for you.
12) Make it clear to him that he’s irreplaceable
Heroes can’t be replaced, think about it.
Show and tell him he’s irreplaceable in classy, low-key ways:
Use your touch, your words, and your eyes;
Let him know that you’re not into him for any external “reason,” but just because he’s your guy and that’s the way it is.
Show him that you don’t give up easily on him and that downtimes aren’t enough to sink the connection you have.
As Marydel Mitch Flores puts it:
“Be patient and faithful to your boyfriend and your relationship with him. Do not easily break up with him when things are getting difficult in your relationship. Show him that you have hope and faith in him. Show him that you hold on to your relationship. Without your faithfulness, your man will never feel being loved by you.”
The bond you share isn’t just something you take for granted or see as your right, it’s something you cherish and which turns you on.
It will turn him on too, and the more he understands that you really mean it when you say he’s the only guy for you, the more he will fall in love.
If you want to trigger his hero instinct then you need to show him that he’s the only guy who will ever light your fire in that special way.
13) Give him hills to climb
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.
And heroes are tough, or at least they try to be.
If you want to have his hero instinct humming along then give him challenges to do now and then.
This isn’t really like “homework” or little hobbies. It’s more things like challenging him to lose ten pounds in the next two months or to put in a new garden in the backyard.
He’ll enjoy having that challenge to live up to and even if it’s hard or frustrating at times, his hero instinct will be popping off like crazy as he works to fulfill the goals you’ve set for him.
Try to make the challenges a little bit fun, however:
If he’s into biking then challenge him to build the best custom-made road bike possible this year;
If he loves tennis then challenge him to play at least three days a week every week.
Things like this get his mojo going and make him feel you’re bringing out the best in him.
14) Open up
You may not be the “stereotypical” woman or even feel that you fit the beliefs and norms around your gender…
But finding your own way to be vulnerable and open up to him will pay huge dividends.
Show affection in a sweet, feminine way and let this guy feel like your protector and knight in shining armor.
Give him little kisses and caress his manly self…His hero instinct will be all perked up and ready for action.
As a clinical psychologist and podcaster Nick Wignall writes:
“Learning to be more emotionally vulnerable is a great way to make new friends faster and more easily and improve your levels of intimacy with your spouse or partner.
Here’s the reason: Relationships are built on trust. If you can’t trust a person to consistently act well, you’re not going to have much of a relationship.”
Getting down to business…
When it comes to the hero instinct, it’s better to overdo it a little bit than to let it slide…
But by following the tips above, you can find a way to genuinely work this into your relationship.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already deep in a serious relationship or marriage, learning to trigger his hero instinct is something you’ll be very glad you learned about.
I really recommend James Bauer’s excellent free video as well. It explains the deep science and psychology behind the hero instinct and how to make sure that you’re truly effective in your approach.