The hero instinct: What it taught a 39 y/o single man

Have you heard of the hero instinct?

It’s a radical new concept in relationship psychology that explains what really drives men in relationships.

After hearing about the hero instinct through a friend, I dived right in to learning everything I could about it.

And something VERY surprising happened to me. I quickly realized that it explains so much about my own lifetime of relationship failure.

The hero instinct hit the nail on the head as to why I’ve been emotionally unavailable to women my whole life.

In this article, I’m going to give you the essential information you need about the hero instinct. I’ll:

  • Explain what the hero instinct really is
  • Tell you my own personal story about how the hero instinct revealed to me why I’m 39 and still single
  • Give you 3 examples of how you can trigger this instinct in your man.

Let’s get started.

So, what is the hero instinct?

The hero instinct is a new concept by relationship psychologist James Bauer. He introduces it in his best-selling book, His Secret Obsession.

After working in private practice for 12 years, James discovered that men possess a natural biological urge to provide for and protect women.

And this is what drives them above all else when it comes to relationships.

In other words, men want to be your ‘hero’. And it’s up to you to make your man feel like one.

If you’ve spent any time with a man, you’ll instantly realize that this all makes so much sense.

Men come in all shapes and sizes, but the biological urge to step up to the plate for our partner is common to us all. We all want to feel valued as men.

Now, I know what you may be thinking:

Do men really want to don a cape and rescue their girl, like you see in the movies?

Not exactly.

What men want is to feel like your hero.

I know all this talk about ‘heroes’ seems kind of silly. In 2020, women absolutely don’t need rescuing. They’re more than capable of taking care of themselves.

But men still have a biological urge to feel like one.

Because at the end of the day, a man cares less about how beautiful you look or what a firecracker you are in bed…

… And much more about how you make him feel about himself when he is around you.

Why is this so important for women to know?

I think that understanding the hero instinct is incredibly important for women.

Look at it this way:

Women who trigger the hero instinct in their man are the ones who will go on to have loving, passionate and life long relationships.

Because you’re providing something he craves. Something that has been brewing under hood in men for 200,000 years.

And the ones who don’t — who don’t allow him to step up and provide for them — are the ones who will continue to have short term, unsatisfying relationships that eventually fizzle out.

Why do I know this?

I know this because I’ve been an emotionally unavailable man my whole life. Watch my video about this above.

And learning about the hero instinct has made it crystal clear why.

I don’t usually take much notice of “popular” new concepts in psychology or recommend videos by relationship experts.

However, it’s not often that a mirror gets held up to my lifetime of relationship failure.

Because that’s what happened when I discovered the hero instinct. I ended up learning more about myself than I bargained for.

I’m 39. I’m single. And yes, I’m still looking for love.

But the simple truth is that I’ve been emotionally unavailable to women my whole life.

This is because the hero instinct was never triggered in me.

My relationships with women involved everything from ‘best friends with benefits’ to being ‘partners in crime’.

In hindsight, I’ve always needed more. I needed to feel like the rock in a relationship. Like I was providing something to my partner that no one else could.

Learning about the hero instinct was my “aha” moment.

For years, I wasn’t able to put a finger on why I would get cold feet, struggle to open up to women, and fully commit to a relationship.

Now I know exactly why I’ve been single most of my adult life.

Since I discovered the hero instinct, I’ve written extensively about it and other key biological drivers of male behavior on

I think instincts are powerful drivers of human behavior.

And this is especially true for how men approach their relationships. How I approached relationships my whole life…

When the hero instinct isn’t triggered, men are unlikely to commit to a relationship and forge a deep connection with you.

I never could with the women I was with.

What men really need

Understanding the hero instinct can be a powerful tool for women. Not just to forge a better relationship, but as a way to make your guy feel better about himself.

I know first hand that men need to live meaningful lives and to dedicate themselves to the people we care about.

I have even created a best-selling online course on taking responsibility for our lives. What I teach is the importance of having a sense of purpose and taking action every day towards it.

That’s what the hero instinct really is all about.

Men have a biological drive to feel needed, to feel essential, and to provide for the woman he cares about.

By triggering the hero instinct in your man, you’re giving him a sense of meaning and purpose.

Something which all men want.

The hero instinct speaks to the built in desire men posses for something in life that goes beyond sex and even love.

You’re empowering your partner to be the best version of themselves.

I think bringing out the best in the person you love is one of the truly great things about being in a relationship.

How do you trigger the hero instinct?

The best way to learn about triggering the hero instinct in your guy is to watch James Bauer’s free video on the hero instinct.

You can watch the video here.

James is the psychologist who first coined the term.

And in his video he gives the clearest explanation you’ll get about what it is.

He’ll also give you a step-by-step blueprint for triggering the hero instinct in your man, including the things you can say, texts you can send, and the little requests you can make.

However, to get you started, here are 3 things you can do right now to bring out the hero in your man.

1. Ask for his help

There is no denying it. Women can do everything a guy can. But there are times when asking for help isn’t such a bad thing.

Do you have a dodgy internet connection, is your washing machine playing up, or do you have a problem with a colleague at work?

Then ask him to help you.

Let your man step up to the plate. He actually wants to do this for you.

2. Show your appreciation

When he helps you in a genuine way, tell him how much it meant to you.

Did he fix something around your house? Or did he listen to that problem with a colleague and offer you thoughtful advice?

Then show your appreciation.

This is just basic human psychology. Men want to feel appreciated as much as women do.

3. Support his hobbies

Is your man a fantasy football freak or does he and like to nerd-out to World of Warcraft?

Men need their own space to do whatever makes them happy.

And you need to encourage his hobbies.

This will make him feel supported and comfortable in the relationship. He’ll also feel that he is living his best life possible.

What now?

My explanation of the hero instinct is just scratching the surface of what this fascinating concept is all about.

James Bauer’s free online video is the one you want to watch to really understand what the hero instinct is all about.

James is the real deal when it comes to relationship advice.

As a private relationship coach, he has helped thousands of couples fix their issues and rocket their relationships to the next level.

In recent years he’s become a best-selling author and one of the most respected relationship experts on the planet.

James first revealed the hero instinct in his most recent book, His Secret Obsession.

I wrote a comprehensive review of this book which you can read here.

Reading this book revealed some powerful insights about my own biology and what drives men more generally in their relationships.

Above all else though, His Secret Obsession is a deeply practical guide for women.

If you’re a woman who has been burned by dating in the past—be it by a man who ghosted you, or maybe got cold feet later into the relationship— then His Secret Obsession will help you avoid this happening again.

Or if you’re currently in a relationship, but you want to make it better by truly understanding what motivates your man, then you’ll also get a lot out of it.

If you want to learn more about the hero instinct, and James Bauer’s new book His Secret Obsession, check out his free online video.

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Justin Brown

Justin Brown

I'm Justin Brown, the founder of Ideapod. I've overseen the evolution of Ideapod from a social network for ideas into a publishing and education platform with millions of monthly readers and multiple products helping people to think critically, see issues clearly and engage with the world responsibly.



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