Everyone loves being the recipient of a compliment. It just feels so great to feel appreciated, respected, and loved. “As women, we know receiving compliments by our significant others is vital for feeling appreciated in our relationship. But we may forget that men are sensitive as well, and crave those flattering moments throughout the course of a relationship.” explains eHarmony’s Chief of Advice Jeannie Assimos. Here are some tips from psychologists and relationship experts on how to give the guy in your life compliments he will really appreciate.
You make me laugh
Jonathan Bennett, a certified counselor, as well as a dating and relationship coach in the Columbus, Ohio area, explains, “All guys want to make a woman laugh. But, not every guy will succeed. If he does, let him know that you think he’s funny.” We all love having inside jokes with those closest to us, so let him know you appreciate his unique sense of humor. Or tell him how hilarious a story he just told you was or how much fun you had with him on a date.
I feel safe (or loved, or seen) in your presence
According to Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, a Manhattan-based Marriage and Family Therapist, “Everyone, regardless of gender expression wants to feel a deep and meaningful connection to other human beings. It’s in our DNA. So tell them you feel ____ in their presence. The blank can be safe, seen, loved, protected. Any feeling will suffice as long as its real. Just don’t make stuff up. It will ring as hollow and insult their emotional intelligence.” Compliment your connection as a couple and how great it makes you feel.
The one thing I admire the most about you is…
“Men want to feel desired, like the woman in his life wants him, adores him, and approves of him as he is. Men don’t want to feel like a project to be fixed. So any compliments that show him your appreciation for who he is will always be a winner. Compliments like, ‘There’s no one like you when it comes to…’ ‘I appreciated when you…’ ‘The one thing I admire the most about you is…’ The more specific the better in building positivist and intimacy.” says Anita Chlipala, a Chicago-based Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. This compliment highlights a unique quality that your significant other brings to the table. Letting him know that you notice and adore him for it will make him feel awesome.
Because of you, I feel…
Barbra Russell, Licensed Professional Counselor and author of Yes! I Said No! How to Set Healthy Boundaries and Increase Your Self-Esteem says that saying, “Because of you, I feel supported” is a great alternative to the vague “You’re the best.” Other examples she gives of specific compliments in this vain are “Because of you, I feel loved. Because of you, I am a better me.” Highlighting how this specific guy and relationship make you feel like a better person will make him feel amazing.
You really helped me when you…
Barbra Russell, Licensed Professional Counselor also explains that instead of a simple thank you, say, “You really helped me when you…. put away the dishes, treated me to an evening out.” It’s a much more specific way to thank him for a thoughtful gesture. It also shows that you notice all the big and little ways he supports you, understands you and meets your emotional needs.
I really enjoy hanging out with your friends
“By complimenting the people closest to your partner, you’re affirming them as well. So it means a lot when you say something wonderful about his family, friends, or coworkers.” says Jeannie Assimos. So if you have an awesome double date with his friends, let him know. If you think his sister is one of the smartest, funniest ladies you know, tell him.
I love how talented you are at your job
Authenticity is very important to men. Dr. Paul Hokemeyer explains, “Most men suffer from what is known as the impostor syndrome. They feel they are just calling it in. So let them know that you feel they love you, that it’s evident they are good at their jobs and the other responsibilities they take on.” Acknowledging work accomplishments, home improvement projects they have taken on or when they help others are other ways to complement their authentic selves.
Give him an overheard compliment
An overheard compliment is also referred to as a third party compliment and is a cool alternative to complimenting them directly. “Instead of directly complimenting them, ‘overheard compliments’ for men is a huge confidence booster.” explains Jessica Elizabeth Opert, a relationship and dating coach based out of London, UK.
She elaborates, “My own husband, swells with confidence, when he hears me talking to clients or reads where I have written all the things I appreciate about him and our relationship. He often tells me, I really love hearing that. Once I responded with ‘Oh dear, am I not saying it TO YOU enough?’ He said ‘nope, I don’t care about that. Hearing you speak about me with such pride and love, means more to me.’ When woman are telling their friends, family etc.. how amazing their partner is, what registers most is pride. Men can onboard someone being proud of them much easier than direct compliments.”
She says that many clients in her practice echo her husband’s positive response to overheard compliments. This lets your significant other know that you sing their praises even when they are not around. It also lets others know how much they mean to you.
Try the 60 Second Blessing
Meygan and Casey Caston from Marriage365 are huge believers in the 60 Second Blessing. They believe that in a relationship “it is important to compliment often. It’s not enough to know how much you might love your spouse, you need to communicate that as often as possible. Words are extremely powerful.” They explain that the 60 Second Blessing is “a daily habit of spending 60 seconds each sharing the qualities that you love about each other. It’s literally that simple, but it will be one of the most powerful habits you pick up.”
This can be done over the phone, via text, or through notes, but they emphasize that it’s most powerful when done in person. It only takes two minutes a day and can have very positive effects on your relationship. You can have fun with it and get creative by putting a note in their lunch. You could send a sweet mid-day text letting them know you are thinking of them and all that they have going on in their day.
So go forth and compliment
Letting the important guy in your life know that you feel seen, loved, and appreciated is essential. It’s also important to let him know that you acknowledge and appreciate all that he does for you, as well as how much effort he puts into important areas of his life. “Men definitely need compliments, and healthy happy relationships feature a good give-and-take in that department, for sure.” says dating coach Jessica Elizabeth Opert. So go out there and let your guy know how much he means to you and how lucky you feel to have this awesome person in your life!