Draw Him Closer by Feeding Him This

The male ego is a strange beast.

On one hand, men are proud creatures. They like to feel independent, strong and respected. But they can also be big babies.

Sometimes really big babies.

Dealing with your guy’s ego is kind of like feeding a lion. If you don’t give it enough food, it’ll wither. It’s hard to imagine anything more depressing than the king of the jungle wasting away simply because he can’t get a decent meal.

But if you feed his ego too much, it can turn into a rabid, blood-thirsty monster. Something like Jaws with a mane.

Too much and too little are both bad.

Granted, this is true for everyone. But it’s especially true for us guys. And that’s because guys tend to use their ego as a shield.

Few men will let you get close to them if their egos have recently taken a beating.

Author Carli Blau puts it this way: “A man will sooner let his ego control his emotions than allow his heart to control it, especially if his ego has been bruised.”[i]

So if you want a real connection with him, you have to learn how to feed a lion. Once you learn to do this you’ll be nothing short then His Secret Obsession. Hence the title of my newest course.

Making sure his ego gets enough “food” is fairly easy. Listen to him. Make sure he knows you’re invested in the things that matter to him. And always give him the impression that you admire him (even if you disagree with him sometimes).

Although, I have to admit, I may be using the wrong analogy. “Feeding his ego” is not the best way to explain what you really need to do.

What you’re really doing is protecting his ego, not feeding it. Because you only get to see the heroic version of your man when he’s feeling heroic.

When you draw out a man’s hero instinct, you see the best in him. When his ego is bruised, you’re likely to see the worst side of his masculine nature.

So you should never point out how other men have superior talents (even if they do). And never tell him he’s acting like a toddler, even if he is.

Instead, always give him the impression that you admire him for his unique talents and personality traits.

And then SAY IT. Say it out loud. Guys need that.

Of course, if all he hears from you is how awesome he is, you might fear he’ll have difficulty getting through doors with his big head. But don’t worry about that. It doesn’t happen in real life. Here’s what really happens when you protect a man’s ego.

He stops feeling the need to protect his own ego. He becomes gentler. Kinder. More considerate. And more interested in the well-being of others.

There will be times when you need to ask him to change something. After all, he’s going to screw up some times.

When he does, focus on what he did, not who he is.

If you go after his character, you’ll bruise that ego. His defenses will fly up, and your connection will suffer.

For example, if he ditches you to hang out with his friends, tell him how that made you feel instead of telling him he’s a jerk. It’s always easier to ask someone to change certain actions than to get them to admit they are a bad person in need of reform.

You want a guy who’s confident without being arrogant. Bring out the best in him by protecting his ego so he doesn’t have to. He’ll appreciate you for that. More than you might imagine.

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27 thoughts on “Draw Him Closer by Feeding Him This

  1. Lisa said:

    I should have studied ur blogs & learned valuable lessons ! I was dating a great guy,an old friend I bumped into after more than 20 yrsI I’m divorced ,he’s separated.We’re old but still very active. He’s a neurosurgeon & still actively practicing. I was looking for companionship,someone to enjoy activities .He was telling me he wants to practice until he can’t anymore& has to leave or cancel because he has to do emergency surgeries .The 3 hospitals he is on call for for trauma emergencies were bought & are asking him to meet to talk contracts”I said maybe this is a chance for him to think retirement & not wait until they ask him to leave!”He got very formal ,left after a few minutes & has’nt called since! I realized I have disrespected him . I have lost him & my heart is broken!

    • Joyce said:

      Have you told him that you’re sorry for disrespecting him? I would. I would call him, no writing, this is too important to leave tone and inflection up to interpretation. I’d want him to hear my voice. If he didn’t answer, I would leave a voice mail. Very simply, I realize I’ve disrespected him & how sorry I am. Something that let’s him know I really enjoyed our time together. I’d like to hear from him, when he’s ready. Then leave it alone.
      He’s a Neuro surgeon, he will check his messages. But, he’s a neurosurgeon, he must keep his mind free from distractions. Nobody knows this better than him.
      Lastly, he’s a married neurosurgeon! That in itself is quite the conundrum

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Oh dear, Lisa. I know what you mean!! I made a terrible faux pas with my man, who WAS a lawyer but got struck off for making a bad decision – so he has to live with that huge blow to his ego already every day for the rest of his life – he knows how wrong he was but things just escalated out of control. Then I come in and twist the knife, when I accused him of doing something I disapproved of – unknowingly and because I also have a big ego and an even bigger mouth! He got angry with me and I told him we were finished and he went off immedialtely looking on the internet for a replacement – aargh!! Well, anyway, I think it is now slowly resolving itself. I agree with Joyce. I apologized profusely saying, both via email and then verbally, that I had questioned his integrity and I should never have done that – I am truly sorry. He seems to have calmed down. I think he is still very hurt, and he is very proud, but I am hoping that things will right themselves. His tounge-in- cheek (I hope!!) remedy for preventing a repeat is to say he is going to keep a book of misdemeanours and when I have chalked up 6 I will get six whacks on the bottom with a hairbrush. I’m not too sure about this and hope he is joking, but if my agreeing makes him feel that he is back “in charge” maybe it will work. My response was that he’d better get a very small book as I will never do it again!! It doesn’t help that we live three and a half hours away from each other and he has no money. We are both in the Autumn of our lives, but I am hopeful that we can overcome this hurdle and enjoy some of the time we may still have left together in harmony. It is not easy, but then relationships never are. However, we have James (adorable man!! – how’s that for an ego boost!!) to give us all quality, sensible advice from a man’s perspective. Once again, James, thank you for another wonderful article. It is taking time, but I am learning so much more about the male psychy, and I hope I won’t mess up this time. I never learnt in almost 40 years of marriage to my ex-husband what I have learnt from your forum. Wonderful stuff!! Best of luck, Lisa, and don’t give up just yet!! Lorna

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Lisa, I am intrigued to know if you have still lost contact with your friend. It would be nice to know that you have re-established contact after reading James’ article above. As you say your heart is broken, he obviously meant more to you than just a friend. There is no reason why YOU can’t get in touch with him, rather than waiting for him to contact you. Remember, as you say he is separated, he will be going through a lot of emotional turmoil now. Give it a go – relationships are too precious to just give up on at the first hurdle. You have nothing to lose. I wish you luck. Lorna

      • Ol' Grammy said:

        He is separated not divorced. So he’s a Dr. Ok.
        Comes across like a player, not a bruised ego. Just saying.

  2. Nadin said:

    How to protect his ego if he believes his colleague has a superior talent and he mentions that to me ? I work on a relatively close area and I know if we compare their results it is true that his colleague has better work. His colleague used to be his mentor before (because he is older and more experienced) but I feel he compare himself with that colleague, and I guess he needs an answer from me to make him feel better.

    • James Bauer said:


      There’s always a hidden complement waiting to be discovered. In this case, I have one example for you. He mentions how this coworker has superior skill. You could respond by appreciating his talent for recognizing opportunities for growth. Tell him it’s one of the things you admire about him…that he is going to go far in life because of his constant pursuit of excellence.


      • Nadin said:

        Thank you very much for quick respond. Excellent answer! Indeed the answer describes some of his characteristics!

  3. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    PS – I forgot to click the “notify” box – please keep me in the loop for replies. Lorna

  4. Sandra ~ Dee said:

    What are the best key words to grab his attention and keep it ? I don’t want *all* the secrets, because obviously i would have to pay for the course to get every detail but i’m just looking for step 1 … (i dont have $50 to pay for the course but if i did it would definitely be a good investment!) Please help this hopeless romantic find her mr right !

    • James Bauer said:

      Unfortunately you would need to first understand the basics about the course before keywords would be useful to you. Maybe one day I will have the system refined to the point where you can use key ideas without understanding the underlying male psychology. But I’m just not there yet. Wishing you the best!


  5. Bentwingangel said:

    Please help me I’m separated from my husband he cheated on me and then I started a relationship with someone else too. I broke mine off when I realized I still love him but he continued for 2 months and now it’s over. He’s talking to me but still keeping me at a arms length when I question him about it he says don’t start. I don’t want to argue. I’m on a emotional roller coaster when I’m around him. I love him so much more than I realized. I want him back. Could you give me the Hero instinct text. That’s all I want . I believe it will truly work on him. Totally at your mercy …

  6. Laura said:

    Recently got with this guy after he chased me for two years but since we started dating he now tells me he doesnt like talking on the phone. Takes forever to respond to my messeges. I hit braking point a few days what Exactly I feel about this whole thing and since then I have not heard from him. Help.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Laura. When you submit a question to one of our relationship coaches, the form takes you through the necessary steps of providing context and background for your question. This might help us to offer a meaningful response for your situation. You can access that paid service here.

  7. Reyna Pecot said:

    Dear James:

    I am going through a second separation from my boyfriend who has recently let me know he doesn’t see himself with me in the future. The issue is he has let me know it is him more than me. He let’s me know I do so much for him and I go above and beyond for him but (I guess it not enough) problem he felt he could not help me when I got depressed and hurt when my father and best friend died.

    I was hurting and became lethargic everyday. And that when he gave up.

    The work within him depleted because he felt he could not be my hero

    • James Bauer said:

      Hello, Reyna. I wish your relationship had unfolded differently.

      I want to be honest with you. It is very difficult for a relationship to recover from this kind of situation.

      If you still want to give this relationship a chance, here’s what I recommend. Consider to what extent your boyfriend knows and understands what you have just shared with us here. If he sees it this way, as a temporary lapse in your readiness to be energized by a relationship, he may reconsider what the future looks like with you. While the odds may be low, it never hurts to make sure he has seen the relationship through the lens of the story you captured in your explanation here.


  8. Melanie said:

    Dear James,

    I am going through this friendship/relationship, not sure how to call it, but it was really good at first he would say all the right things and we looked forward to my messages and if I didn’t reply he would saying in a good way that he always looks forward to my text messages but replying to his messages was like the greatest thing. He never asked me out or anything but spoke to me like we were going out. Eventually we made plans and spent a night together. After that he has been so cold and distance. He doesn’t reply my text message right away and he texts me like twice a week now compared to the everyday messages. I get a feeling he does that to evey lady. I felt like we had a connection there but now i feel it is all an act? He then messages me now but when I reply he takes so long to respond. Please help me say the right words to him to really make him obsessed with me. Please I would greatly appreciate it. I really like him but I do not know if I am saying the right things in my messages. Please help?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Melanie.

      I have two resources for you.

      First, this is the kind of detailed question that may require some back and forth conversation. Our blog is not a great place for that, but our private forum is. We have a fee for access to the private forum…which pays the relationship coaches who are active in the forum each day. You can get access here if you like.

      The second resource is something written by my friend, Amy Waterman, about the “seduction community” and how to avoid it. I’m not saying I know for sure that this guy is just a player, but I’d like you to educate yourself a bit about that possibility by reading this post on my site:

  9. dion said:

    hello i have been married for 30 years my husband told me he does not feel the same about me as he used to.he is never home .no hugs no kisses no sex nothing.he keeps his phone on lock down,and he talks for hours with this one woman.i am broken so sad. is there any hope

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Dion. It seems he has not learned that love is a choice, not just a feeling. Without understanding that, any of his relationships are ultimately doomed to failure. Because the “in love” feeling naturally comes and goes when you’ve been married that long. In contrast, choosing to love someone is steady constant. It creates the foundation from which the feelings repeatedly emerge, sometimes in powerful waves.

      You might ask him if he is willing to “date you again” for a period of three months. You could also ask if he is willing to see a relationship therapist with you. And if you haven’t read through my relationship guide called “Endless Honeymoon,” that would help you explore ways to re-create the context of your relationship.

  10. Mel said:

    Hi James,
    My bf told me two weeks ago he felt I was too good for him and I deserved someone better than himself. We spent the weekend apart and last weekend together, now again last night he ignored me and this morning told me he feels differently than before. That he wishes I would have done the things I do now in the beginning. (I was afraid to allow myself to love him) he said things are feeling different in his head and when I ask if he’s scared or needs space or if he wants to end the relationship all he said was I don’t even know, insert super sad face

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Mel. In situations like these, it’s often best to tell him clearly where you stand (i.e. that you are enjoying the relationship) and ask if he agrees that this might not be the best time to make a decision given that he feels confused. Instead, challenge him to enjoy the relationship one month at a time without feeling a need to “figure it out.”

  11. Moy said:

    I nursed his ego in all the figurative and literal ways you can think of but we still didn’t work. I guess that don’t work for everyone.

    • James Bauer said:

      Yes, making a man feel like a man is only one part of the equation. I’m glad you have mastered that skill, but I’m sorry it wasn’t enough to improve the relationship you were in.

  12. Mary Ann said:

    I’ve been married for 21years and my husband told me he’s no longer in love with me. Made sure to say it’s not anything I’ve done, and went on to list all the good things I do. But says he can’t see a future together. I love him dearly & pray there’s something I can do or say to bring him back to me

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Mary Ann. This must be a very difficult time for you. It sounds like your man still respects you and values you as a person, but has been fooled by the many false messages about what “love” feels like. He may see love as something that happens to you, rather than an action…something you choose to do.

      In long term relationships, couples fall in and out of the infatuated feeling of being in love. It’s a natural cycle. Our brains simply are not wired to stay infatuated nonstop. Perhaps he would be open to exploring this concept. Maybe choosing to date each other again and invest in what is beautiful in your romance. Maybe exploring ways to create a sense of excitement again in your physical relationship. You might ask him to read Mating in Captivity. The author describes some of the research about bringing the physical part of the “in love” feeling back to long-term relationships.

  13. Pheeluvr said:

    Thank you for this excellent and concise summary of how to protect a guy’s ego. I learned this the (very) hard way yet now am happy to finally understand and to have guys respond to me because I learned from my mistakes. Would just add that to get to the place you describe I found it was important to understand what my own defense mechanisms and insecurities were.

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