For the most part, people want to make their partner feel happy and truly loved in the relationship. But if your partner isn't the type to show a ton of emotion, it can be difficult to figure out what you can do to bring out their softer side. Some people have difficulty understanding their feelings, but it doesn't mean they don't care. In fact, according to men, their partners do a number of things that tug on their heartstrings whether they realize it or not.
"Research that shows testosterone can impact the way the brain processes emotion," which may impact how some men express their feelings, David Bennet, counselor and relationship expert at Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. Social conditioning can also play a role, as some men are often taught that they should not express their emotions from an early age. "But this doesn't mean [all] men don't deeply love and appreciate their partners and the things they do. It just means they may feel the emotions and show them differently."
While difficulty showing emotion may not be the case for everyone, having an honest conversation about what's going well in the relationship can clear up any lot of misunderstandings if your partner isn't the type to openly express their feelings. You'll never really know what your partner likes until you actually talk about it.
But as surprising as it may be, it's pretty easy to to appeal to a guy's softer side. Below, several men share the things their partners don't realize tug at their heartstrings the most.
1. Marcos, 48
"The things that my girlfriend does that tug on my heart strings are she treats my son from a previous relationship very well by showing him love and caring for him. She shows me love, trust and respect even though I'm not always perfect. She forgives me when I’m grumpy or bad-tempered. She thinks about my every need and tries to come up with a solution. She is there for me no matter what happens in our lives."
2. Mike, 35
"Just a simple glance across the room when we're at a party. It always makes me feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world."
3. Ryan, 43
"My wife is a step mother to my four children. When she thinks of little things for them, like leaving a note in their lunch box or remembering their favorite food, it makes my heart melt because she doesn't HAVE to do that. She does it out of love for them and for me."
4. Matthew, 28
"I travel a lot for work and whenever I come home my girlfriend is always at my apartment waiting to see me. The way her face lights up when I walk through the door gets me every time."
5. Chris, 32
"She still laughs at my jokes even if all our friends think they’re stupid."
6. Ramon, 40
"I love my wife's chocolate cookies. So for Christmas (and other times), she made me her special recipe of cookie dough so I can make them myself."
7. Zach, 21
"For me it's when she falls asleep in my arms or with her head on my lap. She just looks so innocent and peaceful. Everything in me just wants to protect her."
8. David, 25
"This is going to sound weird (she even thinks it’s weird) but my girlfriend makes the cutest face right before she sneezes. There's something in the way her nose scrunches up. It makes me want to wrap her in my arms and never let go."
9. Poorak, 33
"I feel truly loved when my wife appreciates me and what I do with sincere words of affirmation. A great example is she puts little post-it notes in my laptop telling me why she loves me."
When all you want to do is make your partner feel loved and happy, it's easy to over-complicate things. But as you can see, it's the simple things that tug on the heartstrings the most.