The 7 Small Gestures Men Value The Most In Relationships, According To Research

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When you're in a relationship with someone, you want to feel like you matter, you want to know that they really, truly care for you, you want to see and feel some of that affection. It's not that you need validation and affirmation at all hours of the day and night, it's just that everyone wants someone to care about them like that, and if you're in a relationship, it should be your partner. That's why it's good to know the small gestures men value most in relationships, according to research, because it's sometimes difficult to communicate how much you care for them if they don't receive love the way that you show it.

It's great to do big things to show your partner that you care about them, but sometimes the tiny, seemingly insignificant things that you do much more frequently have a far greater impact. These tiny gestures are some that research and experts say that men really appreciate. Since you want to do things that they'll actually understand and appreciate, knowing what some of those things might be that can have the effect you're hoping for is important. Small gestures that show your affection don't need to be overly complicated.

1Cuddling

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Snuggling up with your partner is a really easy way to show your affection and it's something that they'll actually appreciate and enjoy as much as you might. ABC News reported that researchers at The Kinsey Institute found that cuddling is important to men who are in long-term relationships. In fact, the research concluded that men favor it more than women do.

2Smiling At Them

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Glancing over and smiling at your partner for no real reason probably doesn't seem like much, but it's something that men (and women as well) really like. SuperDrug surveyed of over 900 Americans and Europeans and men ranked "smiles at me often or randomly" among the small gestures they value most.

3Making Eye Contact When They're Talking To You

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If your partner is talking to you about something, looking at him lets him know that you're actually paying attention. In an interview with Woman'sDay, Dr. Mike Dow, PsyD, a marriage counselor, said that men tend to interpret your eyes on something else (like a phone) as a signal that you don't particularly care what they're saying. That's definitely not the message you want to send.

4Little Touches

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Kisses, hugs, and little touches are also important for men when they're in a relationship, as the aforementioned study from The Kinsey Institute found. That physical touch is really important, but it doesn't always have to lead to anything else.

5Remembering Little Details That He Told You

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Think about how great it feels when someone remembers something you told them off-hand that you didn't necessarily expect them to remember. The previously-mentioned survey from SuperDrug found that remembering details about their lives are one of the things that matter most to men. It shows that you really care about them.

6Encourage Him To Do Things For Himself

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Though you might think that the gestures that men appreciate would have a lot to do with things that you do directly, that's not always the case. In an interview with Woman'sDay for the aforementioned article, Dr. Andra Brosh, PhD, a clinical psychologist, noted that when you encourage him to do the things he likes to do (whether you're there for it or not), it shows that you're supportive.

7Connect Over An Activity Instead Of Just Having A Conversation

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Verily reported that research from Deborah Tannen, a linguistics expert and author of You Just Don't Understand: Men and Women in Conversation, found that men connect with others better over an activity. Additionally, planning activities was another of the gestures that men said they valued most in responses for the previously-mentioned SuperDrug survey.

Doing little things for your partner can really show how much you care for them, but doing things that'll actually mean something to them can be even more effective. And showing your partner how much they matter is really what these small gestures are all about.