Do you feel like your boyfriend never compliments you anymore?
It’s really tough to feel like you never get compliments from the person who should be complimenting you all the time.
Just a simple “you look great in that dress” can turn around another dull, winter weekday.
An “I’m so proud of you for getting that promotion” makes you feel truly loved and cared for.
Compliments are – or should be – your boyfriend’s way of demonstrating that he really does care about you, respect you…and find you sexy as hell.
At the beginning of a relationship, compliments usually seem to flow naturally.
Just as you can’t keep your hands off each other, you can’t stop complimenting each other.
Compliments are a natural way to bolster your growing relationship and create a deeper bond between you.
You don’t even have to think about it…they just happen.
When those compliments don’t flow like they used to, it hurts.
You start thinking ‘is he about to leave me?’ or ‘is he seeing someone else?’.
Your awareness of the lack of compliments can creep up gradually, but once you start noticing that they’re not happening anymore? Then you can’t stop noticing, and you can’t stop hurting.
I should know. My boyfriend never compliments me. At the beginning of the relationship, I didn’t care because he showed his affection in other ways.
But lately, he’s been so busy and stressed with work that I’ve been trying really hard to make him feel more relaxed, but he never expresses his gratitude towards me!
I began to wonder whether this is a big issue in our relationship or not.
So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done a hell of a lot of research on what it means when a man doesn’t compliment you and what you can do about it.
And in this article, we’re going to talk you through all the possible reasons I’ve found in my research on why he might not be complimenting you anymore, what you can do about it and when it’s time to walk away from a compliment-free relationship.
Some of the reasons we’ll talk about are the things you fear most, but others are much less serious.
A lack of compliments doesn’t always have to mean the end of a relationship – it might just meant that you have a little work to do (and you can have fun doing it).
Reasons he never compliments you
1. He’s started to take you for granted
Every relationship settles down into a more comfortable kind of pattern after a while (whether that’s a couple of months or years).
This isn’t a bad thing. You know you love each other, you’re secure in that knowledge and you’re over all the insecurities that can make early dating so stressful (and fun).
But you can get too comfortable. And when that happens, the compliments often start to drop away.
It’s not that he consciously thinks ‘I’ve got her, so I don’t need to bother complimenting her’.
It’s more that your relationship has moved past the dating stage, but your boyfriend hasn’t quite realised that he still needs to make an effort.
If this is the case, then it’s an easy one to fix.
He’ll probably be horrified if he realizes that he’s been making you feel insecure because of his lack of compliments.
Talk to him and see how he reacts. You might be pleasantly surprised.
2. He’s seeing flaws that he didn’t see before
Sometimes, the initial glow of dating wears off, and the compliments dry up for a more sinister reason.
That is, he’s realized that he’s not as into you as he thought he was.
The same thing might have happened to you, though perhaps over a different timescale.
Have you ever gone on a couple of dates with someone, been really into them, and then found that you just couldn’t stop noticing things that felt ‘wrong’?
This can happen in an established relationship too.
If it has, this doesn’t have to be the end – but you do need to have an honest conversation about where you both are.
3. He’s having second thoughts
This is another version of the above, but with more serious consequences. Sometimes, a guy might go from seeing more flaws than he did before, to starting to think that those ‘flaws’ are really deal-breakers.
If you suspect this to be the case for you, no doubt you’re really hurting right now.
It’s a tough thing to have to face.
What can you do if you think he’s having second thoughts? Talk it through. It doesn’t have to be the end – depending on what’s really going on in his head.
If he’s having second thoughts about your relationship because he’s got some trivial stuff into his mind and managed to blow it out of proportion by not talking about it, that’s one thing.
If it’s that he’s started to have bigger doubts about whether you’re compatible, that’s another. There’s really no way to find out other than by talking honestly.
4. He’s seeing someone else
It’s natural that when something changes in your relationship, one of the first places your mind goes is to that panicked thought of “is there someone else?”
Most of the time, when you worry about this, it ends up being nothing.
But sometimes, your first instinct is right. If you think that the compliments are drying up because he’s complimenting someone else instead, get smart.
Think clearly. Are there any other signs?
If he’s suddenly secretive about his phone – taking it to the bathroom with him, or jumping whenever it rings – then that’s a good reason to be suspicious.
Or if you find that he’s often home later than he used to be. Or perhaps you’re just not having sex any more…
Watch, wait and try and get evidence before you confront him. That way, you’re sure of your ground and he can’t do anything to get out of it.
5. He is complimenting you – you just can’t see it any more
Sometimes, what you perceive as a lack of compliments isn’t actually what you think. When you’ve been with someone for a while, you start to get used to them…and the things that they say.
And if they’re often saying the same things, and giving you the same compliments, then you just don’t notice them any longer.
You probably remember really clearly the first time he told you that you looked beautiful. But when it’s the hundredth time?
You probably don’t. It’s just another thing that he says, and it’s no more memorable than when he asks you if you’d like a coffee in the morning.
Think carefully about whether this is happening in your relationship, and if it is, think about whether you could both start to appreciate each other a bit more.
He needs to start thinking of some new compliments, and you need to start recognizing them when they happen.
6. He’s shy
Even once you’re in an established relationship, a shy guy can find it hard to pay you regular compliments.
If your guy has always struggled with compliments, then this could be the reason you’re not getting many of them now.
It might be that in the beginning of your relationship, he made himself compliment you, because he knew that it was the only way to get the relationship established.
But now, as you’re in a committed relationship, he feels like he can breathe a sigh of relief and stop having to do it.
If you think this might be the case, then you need to talk. It’s important that you understand he finds compliments difficult, but also that he understands that they’re important to you.
7. He has narcissistic tendencies
Narcissists are master manipulators who will only pay you a compliment if there’s something in it for them.
They might well have showered you with them at the start, and now completely refuse to give them.
That’s because really, narcissists hate having to give compliments and will only do it if there’s something in it for them.
They want you to compliment them – and they’re not going to return the favor.
If you think that your boyfriend might be narcissistic, forget about trying to get compliments out of him, and instead, think about how you can get out of the relationship.
8. He’s really hard to please
Some people are just more naturally critical than others. For these people, compliments don’t come naturally.
They might feel like the fact you look gorgeous or that you’ve cooked an amazing meal is just the natural state of affairs.
They don’t really consider that these things are worthy of a compliment – they’re just how things ‘should’ be.
Guys who feel like this will only drop in a compliment if you’ve really done something amazingly special.
If your guy is like this, then you have some work to do.
It isn’t necessarily that he’s a bad person – just that he has different expectations from you.
But he should be willing to listen to you…and hear you.
If he’s not concerned that you’re upset about his approach, then it’s time for some tough thinking about your future.
9. He’s not a verbally emotional person
Similar to the above, some guys just don’t naturally show their feelings all that much in words – and that includes compliments.
This isn’t always a bad thing. It’s often just a different love languages thing.
If he struggles with saying ‘I love you’ lots, but he constantly shows that he loves you by doing things for you, then you might not have anything much to worry about.
Talk to him and see if you can find a middle ground where he agrees to compliment you more – and maybe there’s a way that you can make him feel loved that really works for him, too.
Are compliments important in a relationship?
Compliments are important because they demonstrate your appreciation for each other.
Without compliments, you’re in danger of falling into a rut where you only ever notice the bad or irritating things about your partner, rather than the good things.
Experts say that you need five positive interactions with your partner for every one negative interaction.
Without that, your relationship is unlikely to last, as it simply won’t be fulfilling any longer.
The focus becomes the negative rather than the positive, and it then becomes natural to think ‘is there any point to this?’
It’s easy to fall into a pattern where you don’t pay each other compliments.
Once you’re secure in your relationship, you feel that you know you love each other, so you don’t need to make an effort to pay each other compliments.
But, even if that’s the case, having the fact that you love and care for each other confirmed makes an enormous difference to both of your feelings about one another.
You can think of compliments as relationship glue.
If you find that your boyfriend isn’t paying you compliments any longer, then it’s time to consider whether that’s something you can change, or whether your relationship is beginning to come to an end.
Often, a lack of compliments doesn’t mean that there’s anything fundamentally wrong. It simply means that either one of both of you has stopped making the kind of effort that you used to.
To find out what the deal is for you, start making an effort to compliment him and to get him to compliment you.
How can I get him to compliment me more?
To get him to compliment you more, you need to make sure you’re complimenting him in a way that is meaningful to him.
If he doesn’t feel like he’s getting his share of compliments, he’s not going to be inclined to compliment you.
You might feel that you want him to start first, rather than you having to be the instigator. That’s understandable, but one of you has to make the first move.
If you complimenting him more makes no difference, then you know you probably have a bigger problem to deal with.
You might feel that you’re already complimenting him plenty, but he might not see your compliments in the same way that you do.
The kind of compliments and shows of appreciation that mean something to each individual vary, so it’s important to understand what he needs to hear from you in order to feel appreciated and loved.
What kind of compliments could you be paying him? Anything that you genuinely appreciate about them.
Here are a few examples:
1. The way he looks
It’s easy to forget that men have body hang-ups and appearance insecurities too.
We’re often so caught up in our own worries about whether we look as good as we want to that we forget to compliment our men.
Even if your boyfriend doesn’t feel insecure about his looks, it’s still nice to feel that the person who should find you attractive still finds you attractive.
If you notice that he’s wearing a shirt you particularly like, tell him, even if you’ve seen it a million times before.
If he’s just had a haircut, tell you love it. And if he just happens to be looking particularly hot one day, tell him. He’ll love it.
2. Compliments that demonstrate your respect for him
What is it that you most admire and respect about your man? What is it that drew you to him in the first place? What are his achievements?
Many men equate respect with love, and so praising the things that he’s done well, and showing him how much you appreciate his efforts, can make a real difference to him.
Has he been working towards a promotion, or got a new job?
Then you could tell him how proud you are of what he’s done.
Or has he managed to overcome something difficult in his past? Even smaller things, like sporting achievements, can be worth mentioning.
If it’s important to him, then tell him you know that.
3. Compliments that make him feel wanted
Women often feel that men don’t have the same desire to be needed, but they do.
It’s important to anyone in a relationship that they know their partner appreciates just being with them and spending time with them.
He wants to know that you feel good when you’re around him. Tell him that he makes you feel safe, or loved, or cared for. He’ll get a warm, fuzzy glow just knowing how you feel.
If your relationship is generally good, and you feel like you want to compliment him, then paying him compliments can be a great way to see if he compliments you back.
Never say anything you don’t mean, but just simply start honestly and consciously showing him that you appreciate him. If he feels the same way, you’ll start to see it come back to you.
What if you don’t actually want to pay him compliments?
If you don’t want to compliment your boyfriend, or you can’t think of anything to compliment him for, then it’s time to consider whether your relationship is one you want to continue. Paying compliments to each other should be a fundamental part of being in a relationship. If you’re really finding this difficult, then he might be feeling the same.
How do you know when to give up on a relationship?
The compliments aren’t flowing from either side, and you feel like it might be time to give up.
But how do you know for sure? It’s difficult to be certain and you don’t want to throw away something that once made you happy.
At the same time, if it’s over, you don’t want to keep on wasting time on a dead relationship.
Here are some surefire signs that it’s time to stop worrying about compliments from your boyfriend, and find a new one instead.
1. You feel like you’re constantly working on your relationship
Relationships do need work if they’re going to work. But you shouldn’t feel as if it’s all about the work.
If there are no fun times, then it might be time to call an end to it.
Experts say that if you’ve been working on your relationship for over a year, and you still aren’t feeling it, then it’s time to think about leaving.
2. He’s not responding to you
If your boyfriend isn’t complimenting you, and it’s upsetting you, that means that a fundamental emotional need is not being met by the relationship.
And one of the biggest reasons to be in a relationship is to have our emotional needs met.
If you’ve told him that how you’re feeling about the lack of compliments, and he refuses to change, then your relationship is unlikely to get any better.
Perhaps because he doesn’t value you enough, perhaps because of his own personal struggles.
Either way, if he won’t change his approach, it’s probably time to go.
3. He’s abusive
A lack of compliments can just be down to poor communication.
But sometimes, it’s an emotionally abusive tactic designed to control you.
If he follows periods of ignoring you or not complimenting you with showers of affection, then he’s potentially abusive.
Naturally, you should always leave an abuser.
Find out why he’s not complimenting you
Not being complimented regularly by your boyfriend is frustrating, demoralizing and upsetting. You’re with him because you love him and you want him to love you back.
The way you feel that love is through the things that he says and does.
Compliments are a basic part of communication in a relationship.
The reasons for him not complimenting you aren’t always relationship-enders.
A lot of the time, he might simply be caught up in his own head and not have realized how much he’s hurting you.
He might just be stressed, busy or not a natural talker. If he really cares about how you feel, then he’ll respond well to you talking to him about how you feel and be willing to change his approach.
Sometimes, it won’t be that simple.
A lack of compliments can be because he’s starting to check out of the relationship, or even because there’s someone else he’d like to be complimenting.
This is a hard reality to face, but it’s important you know. It’s better to end things now in a relationship that’s failing than to wait until you’ve wasted months feeling miserable.
You can’t change the reasons that he’s not giving you the compliments you need.
But you can find out why, and when you know, you can use that knowledge to decide where you go next.
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