Romantic Phrases That Melt Hearts
Men and women respond very differently to expressions of love.
Posted April 22, 2014 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan
Romantic literature abounds with tender expressions that are meant to arouse desire and create openness to love. Most of those phrases are expressed by men to women, as they have been depicted as the primary seducers. But men also need to be on the other end of a different kind of romantic phrase from their women that can authentically touch their hearts.
In my 40 years of working with couples, I have observed and recorded how men and women respond and open up to very different stimuli. Romantic language is too often used to convince the other partner that he or she will be secure, known deeply, and beloved forever. That is basically a more female need than a man’s, and doesn’t allow for what captures a man’s heart.
Women more often want men to express this "female brand" of romantic language. Men comply, as they feel they must to achieve their seduction goals—but rarely expect or experience what they, themselves, would like to hear. They tell me that women’s romantic language is a too one-sided behavior for them, and often rebel at that entitlement.
This difference in expectation and desire results in many misunderstandings and relationship disconnects for both men and women who cannot accept the differences between what each of them needs to hear.
I have gathered a few common gender-related romantic phrases that are most likely to create a more dependable intimacy. They are 10 of the most common male phrases that make females feel beloved, and 10 that women can express to their men to make them feel more seen and desired for who they really are.
Because they have been taught by women, most men will not be as surprised by the following phrases. They pay attention to what their women tell them, because they have traditionally spent more time in pursuit—and are thus more motivated to learn what romantic phrases make their women more available. Women, who are more often the ones pursued, are much less familiar with the romantic phrases that their men want to hear.
Within your own personal relationship, you may have already bridged that communication gap by creating unique phrases that work for you and your partner. Those offered below are time-proven and can make a significant difference to your partner. The quality of intimate relationships increases measurably when both people feel, in their moments of vulnerability, that they have been heard, seen, and beloved.
Some Male Phrases That Melt Females’ Hearts
“I was wrong.”
Whether it is society that determines the need for males to be in control, or testosterone driven competitive strategies, most men have a hard time with genuine apologies or admitting their faults, even when they inwardly agree they are remiss. They may feel that admission of blame signals weakness or a lack of leadership. Sadly, this puts the responsibility on their women’s shoulders when things don’t work out. The simple willingness to admit accountability gives the female a welcome respite from feeling that she is blamed for the problem.
“I’d love to just hold you tonight.”
Very often, men pair affection with seduction, leaving their partners deprived of the non-sexual affection and nurturing they need. The woman is usually the one who has to turn down a sexual advance, and worries that her man will be less affectionate without that guarantee of his own fulfillment. When a man offers affection without an underlying agenda, his partner can enjoy that comfort and worry-free nurturing without feeling the pressure to reciprocate in the immediate future.
“What can I do right now to bring a smile to your face?”
When a woman feels down, overloaded, or just weary, she deeply appreciates that her man not only notices, but offers her whatever she needs to feel better. Most women want to please their man by thinking ahead as to would make him happy, but rarely feel that reciprocity from their men. They believe their partners have a double standard when it comes to being concerned in those ways, and still worries that she might lose his support if she doesn’t stay on top of the situation.
Her partner can make a triple checker jump here by putting aside his current desires and becoming fully available to love her when she’s down or overwhelmed. Just by verbally recognizing how much she deserves his concern, he shows that he understands and loves her when it really counts.
Being treasured by someone without having to perform is a gift that holds for a long time.
“I love you even when you’re upset.”
Many men pull away when their partners are distraught, and don’t want any part of an angry or complaining female. As a result, many women withhold their upset moods for fear of losing the love they need at that difficult moment. Her man’s reassurance that their distress won’t turn him away or make him care any less assures her that she is beloved regardless of her distress.
This response is not valid if the female partner experiences his behavior as an effort to minimize or dismiss the problem, but it is a lovely experience when she expects to be criticized and is supported instead.
“Can I help you?”
When a woman is busy with logistical requirements, whether she is making a meal, caring for someone, cleaning up a mess, or arranging for a support system, she often feels overwhelmed. A man who volunteers to help her with those tasks at that time is going to make big points.
This offer does not work as well when the woman has to ask. Asking may be hard for her for many reasons. Perhaps she is just too tired to think, unable to value herself enough, or feels the support wouldn’t be there if she did ask. The caring she feels when her male partner offers support without needing compensation or gratitude will truly melt most women’s hearts.
“You’re having a hard time babe. Let me take over.”
Many men still feel that their contribution to the household ends at the end of their work day, even when their female partner also works outside the home, or is busy with other responsibilities. A man coming home to find her harried, exhausted, or overly burdened, can take the opportunity to make her feel loved by just taking over. It even works better when he encourages her to take care of herself, like pouring her a hot bath and insisting she just take care of herself without guilt.
Even if both partners work a full day, and the female partner feels overwhelmed with what is left to do, offering to relieve her part of the deal tells her that her needs are more important than his at the time. That sacrifice, made without resentment or the need for reciprocity, is the epitome of chivalry, long touted as the direct way to a woman’s heart.
“Don’t worry, sweetheart. Everything’s going to be okay.”
Women often express their anxiety in ways that makes their men think they need to fix their problem. What they really want is just to be held and reassured that things will get worked out. Once she feels that she’s not alone and that she’s not just being seen as too dramatic, she might surprise her male partner with how competent she really is to solve her own problems.
When a man takes leadership without implying that his woman is overreacting or at fault for her own situation is a true art. It is especially effective in this kind of interaction, and very likely to evoke gratefulness, admiration, and respect in return.
“Take all the time you need to get your thoughts and feelings out. I’m not going anywhere.”
Women tend to process their feelings out loud as they go along. When they’ve had the time to completely go through their “back story,” they eventually come to their own conclusions, often far from where they started. This process can be frustrating to their male partners as they desperately try to figure out what they are supposed to do in the meantime. They may interrupt her monologue early on and demand the sum-up, or just lose interest. Women feel cherished by a partner who will stay present and listen deeply, no matter how long it takes. It feels like a precious gift to them.
“You’re worried about something, honey, and it’s obviously about me or something I’ve done. Let’s talk about whatever is bothering you. I’m open to anything you need to ask me.”
When women feel that her man has done something that would upset her were she to know about it, she may be unable to be direct in expressing her fears. Men may attempt to minimize a woman’s concern if they think the truth will get them in more trouble, even if what they’ve done is something they are okay about.
Her obvious anxiety should be a signal to her man that he needs to open up the conversation and make it easy for her to share her worries. If he ignores her distress, she may express her fears in ways that justify his disconnect, further supporting her suspicions that something wrong has occurred. If instead, he gives her the opportunity to voice her concerns and answers her questions with gentle equanimity, she will feel not only heard, but deeply cared for.
The caveat is when the man is actually hiding something out of shame or not wanting to face the consequences were he to be honest, he must understand that he is saving himself at the expense of her sanity. Even if he has to face an angry or hurt partner, he still must choose to give her the right to know anything that may affect her. If he elects instead to avoid the truth and it comes out at a later time, he will have hurt her even more.
“You’ve seemed more stressed than usual in the last few days, babe, and I’m concerned. You’re normally more resilient when things are hard. It’s not like you to be down like this for so long.”
When it comes to intimate relationships, men traditionally live in the moment and women more often in the past and the future. When a man makes it a point to track his partner in a caring way over a period of time, it is a gift of focus that makes a woman feel cherished. This is especially true when she is deeply distressed about ongoing hurtful events in the past or upcoming future, and her male partner wants to be with her in the moment. Putting his own immediate needs aside to help resolve her concerns will make her feel that he wants to know how she feels and what is really going on.
There is often a bonus. When a woman feels her man going into the past and future with her, she feels less alone and can more easily stay in the moment with him when he needs her to.
Some Female Phrases That Melt Mens’ Hearts
“I love to know what’s in your heart and I know you can share your feelings more with me after we make love. The sequence is worth it to me.”
The four phases of sexual connection are: courtship, arousal, orgasm, and pillow-talk. The first and last are more female needs, and the middle two more male. Most men are more open after they are sexually satisfied, and don’t like to talk a lot when they are looking for sex.
When women insist on talking before making love, especially about relationship problems, most men balk or try to shorten the interaction. Sometimes it is perfectly reasonable to talk things out to make certain that love-making works better, but offering to forego that preliminary discussion is a sure-fire way to make a man feel understood and accepted.
Often men are much more available after they have been loved in a way that is important to them. When they are in a good place, a woman can ask him to talk to her about a troubling issue.
“I know how much fun you have with your guy friends and how you try to be more controlled around me, but you don’t have to. I know men think about different things than women do and I want the chance to know that part of you, too.”
Many men talk and act differently when they’re around their male friends than they do with their women. With their male friends, they most often talk about sports, battles, business, and their health issues. And of course, sex. Depending on the statistic used, men think about sex around 20 times a day, but mostly just brief fantasies. They’re also more interested in pornography than most women are.
Women, when they are not jealous, derogatory, or invalidating of these typical male interests are more able to make their partners feel comfortable about sharing those masculine topics with them. Confident women who like who they are and aren’t afraid of competition are in much demand, especially when they are not threatened by testosterone-driven men who still love them.
“I know my long stories can drive you crazy, so I’ll start with the bottom line and you can ask for more details if you need them.”
Women do tend to ramble when they share an experience or be indirect when they want something. If they get how men think, they can work to develop a more direct approach that doesn’t keep their partners hanging, as well as generously offer only what the men ask to know about without unnecessary embellishments.
They also understand that certain subjects are easier for men to listen to, and are careful to know the difference. For example, a woman’s distress about a man’s behavior in the relationship should be presented in as limited a way as possible, i.e., complaint, context, feeling, and desired outcome. Interesting stories that are relevant to their men’s lives may get more automatic stage time.
“It’s perfectly okay that sports, business, battles, and times you just want to spend with your guy friends are sometimes more important than our relationship.”
Many women want their lovers to focus on the relationship above all. They often feel competitive when their male partners are more interested in watching competitive sports, heavily engaged in business interactions, or into political battles. When men are only with each other, they rarely talk about their personal relationships. In contrast, when women are only with each other, they rarely talk about anything else. Living more in separate compartments as they tend to do, men do often treasure the compartment that holds their loved ones, but they also need guilt-free time to enjoy any others that are important to them.
There is one powerful exception. When women have highly demanding jobs where they interact with men a great deal, they do understand and participate more in those typical male interactions.
“I trust that you love me by all the things you do for me, even when I don’t ask you to.”
Men often show their love by what they do for their women, especially when they’re not asked to do them. Washing a car, making a drink, pouring a bath, buying lingerie, arranging a surprise birthday party, picking up dinner, participating willingly in child care, or fixing something that’s broken are all great examples. Female partners who know this never fail to show their appreciation, usually by affection or by being more available for sex.
“Even if we lost everything, I’d still have you, and that’s what matters the most.”
Many men feel that if they don’t provide, protect, and serve, that they are not fully male. If they become ill, lose their job, or aren’t around when crises occur, they may feel derelict in their honor obligations to their partners. Men who know that they are deeply loved and wanted, separate from what they should do or be, are grateful that they don’t have to suit up and show up no matter how they feel or what the circumstances are.
“I promise. No more than three questions in a row.”
When partners come together at the end of a day, women too often begin an interrogative process. As people who weave the past into the future, they naturally live throughout the day thinking about what their partners might be doing. Often, when they reconnect, they want to fill in what has been missing, and long for a run-down of anything important that happened during their time apart.
Men, on the other hand, when reconnecting after time apart, usually want to relax and to let go of their day’s concerns. They want to live in the present and enjoy the moment. If they are pushed to recall experiences that they would just as soon forget, they may respond with curt, impatient answers.
Women who want to make their men comfortable should limit their questions, or only make statements, such as, “I’m so glad you’re home and would love to hear about your day, and only when you’re ready to talk.”
“I never want to own you, or for you to feel obligated to be with me.”
For many women, romantic love is about security. That means the future is somehow assured and their partners mustn’t change a great deal without their agreement. From a man’s viewpoint, they are asking their men to live in emotional captivity without ever doing or saying anything that could threaten the loss of the relationship.
Women need to understand that their men must be free to love without the fear of entrapment, while accepting their men’s needs for novelty and innovation. They would never want their man to be with them while wishing he was somewhere else. Interestingly, men who fall in love with women who love without possession, rarely leave them.
“I feel the safest when you’re near me.”
Male partners usually do want to make their lovers feel safe and secure, if they feel appreciated and unencumbered by too much neediness. If their women are too dependent on them and need constant reassurance, they may feel burdened or irritated. But when their woman is not overly needy or insecure, men can feel free to open up and connect. Most men want to protect their women and feel pride when they can.
“Bald is really sexy.”
Men have several concerns that they rarely share with their partners, for fear they will not be seen as attractive or valuable. Losing their hair is one of them. So is difficulty with erections, not being tall enough, not having strong, straight shoulders, not making enough money, not being physically fit, or being inept in emotionally laden verbal exchanges. So many women do not see these vulnerable concerns in their men and as a result, don’t develop the sensitivity that can help their partners want to share these uncomfortable feelings.
A woman who sees her man as exciting and valuable chooses to minimize his flaws and to concentrate on the things about him she loves and treasures. If he believes that she is sincere, he will feel better about sharing his worries and appreciate her support.
Words create pictures in the mind that can evoke strong feelings. Phrases are groups of words that are even more effective, both negatively and positively. Most men and women basically want the same thing from each other; to feel deeply known and still beloved. Yet, they respond to different words and phrases that evoke those romantic feelings of acceptance and appreciation. If men and women remember to express romantic feelings that reach into the hearts of their lovers, they are more likely to get the intimate connection they want.
Effective communication is all about translation. To communicate love and cherishing in a way that your partner can understand, you must learn how what you say will be interpreted. Romance is in the heart of both genders. All that is different is the way each gender is welcomed.