When you've been with your partner for a long time, it's so easy to take them for granted. It's also easy to forgo giving compliments because if you've made it this far, they should know how you feel about them by now. But if you want your relationship to last, experts say it's essential to keep complimenting your partner.
"Compliments are multi-beneficial," Nancy Ruth Deen, relationship expert and owner of HELLOBreakup, tells Bustle. "Not only do they make us feel good when we receive one, we also feel acknowledged by our partner." When you feel like your partner actually sees and appreciates you, there's less room for resentment and other types of negativity to grow.
Research by Dr. John Gottman found that every couple can benefit from applying the "magic" 5:1 ratio rule in their relationship. This rule basically states that you need five positive interactions to every negative one if you want your relationship to last. This can easily be done when you make it a point to give your partner meaningful compliments.
"Even if your partner knows deep down that they're loved, it's still nice to hear," Gia Lili, relationship expert and coach, tells Bustle. "Complimenting your partner can be a way of letting them know they are thought about and appreciated, especially when your partner’s love language type is words of affirmation."
Truth be told, any genuine compliment you give your partner should work. But it's important to not limit yourself to one particular thing like their looks. Because according experts, it's good for your relationship to compliment your partner more on the following things.
Value-based compliments are important because you're complimenting your partner's character, Deen says. For example, you can say something nice about their optimism, their kindness, their strength, or their hard work. It's all about appreciating your partner for who they truly are as a person.
It's important for your partner to know that you believe in them. You can show your support by complimenting them on their abilities, talents, and vision for the future. "Enjoy daydreaming and fantasizing about the future together, even if your partner's dreams are independent of yours," Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, licensed psychotherapist, tells Bustle. "In doing so, you'll allow your partner to have a rich, inner life that's chock full of his or her or their own magic."
It's always nice to hear that your partner finds you sexy, especially if you've been together for a long time. As Amy Hartle, a couples travel and relationship writer at Two Drifters, tells Bustle, "The key here is giving a compliment to your partner that lets them know how much you are attracted to them." If you want to make it more meaningful, be specific. Think about what sets your partner apart physically from everyone else.
Anyone would love to hear how much their partner trusts and respects them. According to Givens, a couple of simple ways to do this is to go to your partner for advice or let them make some decisions without questioning them. This lets them know that you trust their judgment. "Never underestimate the power of just stating those words: I trust you and I respect you," she says.
Things That Make Them Feel Insecure
Everyone's insecure about something. "When you know what your partner is insecure about, it can mean a lot to them when you can compliment them on what they may view as shortcomings," Mackenzie Riel, relationship expert with TooTimid, tells Bustle. It can help to build your partner's self-esteem and remind them of how much you love every part of them.
How They Make You Feel
"One of the signs that your relationship is headed in the right direction is when your partner acknowledges how you brighten up their day," Deen says. When a couple doesn't check in with each other to see how the relationship is going, it leaves a lot of room for worry and doubt. But if you make it a point to tell your partner that they make you happy, they won't need to worry and you can keep your relationship at a good place.
Compliments are essential if you want things to work out long-term. When you compliment your partner on more than just one aspect of themselves, it shows that you really appreciate who they are as a whole. If you give your partner sincere compliments as often as you can, your relationship can last.