How Often Should You Compliment Your Spouse
Curiosity led me to conduct an impromptu poll amongst a small group of friends on how often they thought they should be complimenting their partners.
The results for complimenting your spouse are promising:
- 54 percent voted for daily compliments,
- 31 percent voted once a week,
- 8 percent voted once a month, and
- 7 percent say they hardly compliment their spouse at all.
How do praises strengthen relationships?
A writer from Women’s Health Magazine did an experiment in 2015 on her husband. She showered him with compliments for a week, and after the experiment, the husband was informed.
He pointed out that 1 out of the 7 compliments she gave meant a lot to him because she said that he was a good father.
Even though it started out as a trial, what came out of that experiment was an acute realization by the husband that he should lavish his partner with more praise, and the writer reported that it made a difference for her as well – they both felt good.
Don’t we all gravitate towards things, situations, and people that make us feel good?
Do you recall how flirting felt like when you both first knew each other? How the date felt like nervous butterflies. Your partner can do no wrong in the honeymoon phase, so what if we prolonged that?
It turns out that when we receive a compliment from someone else, our brains respond just like they would if we were rewarded for doing something right.
What is the golden ratio for praising your spouse?
The two statistics that will change your life in term of complimenting spouse:
- Healthy couples practice a 5:1 ratio of compliments versus negative comments. For every complaint, there are five positive interactions between a couple. These positive interactions can be as simple as “thank you” and “you look beautiful”.
- Strong, solid couples also respond to their spouse 9 out of every 10 times when their partner makes a request for their attention. This could be one party sharing an idea, or an opinion, ranting about their day, or even talking about a shared experience. Healthy relationships often bear witness to two people who pay unwavering attention to one another. We’re all human, of course, so there are bound to be times people slip through.
If you’re thinking, I don’t often praise my lover. Where do I even begin? Here’s how even if you choose not to praise often.
How to Give Good Compliments to Spouse
Be genuine to your partner
When someone pays lip service, their tone and body language will undoubtedly betray them. An insincere compliment is worse than no compliment at all.
When showing adoration for your partner, always come from a genuine place. That strengthens relationships.
Focus more on their traits than their physical attributes
Women tend to receive more attention based on their physical traits, more so than men do. While a person’s self-confidence and self-worth tend to be tagged to their physicality, you’d make a bigger impact when your spouse realizes you’ve noticed things others never did.
Examples of genuine compliments to a partner:
- “Your energy naturally draws people in, and it’s one of the best things about you. That makes you so great at your job, and I think that’s what I was drawn to as well on our first date.”
- “Your sense of humor is one of the best things about you.”
- “I love how passionate you get when talking about [insert topic].”
- “I feel so safe around you, and I really do appreciate your ability to always respond in kindness, even when we’re sharing a heated moment.”
You can also find some relationship-building activities for couples.
Be specific to your spouse
The more specific your examples are, the better because it’s the context that matters. We’ve all heard generic statements before, and as flattering as they are, nothing hits home more than your spouse really noticing something.
Express Affection In Action
Play to your paramour’s love language. Verbal affirmation is huge to people whose love language is words of affirmation. If he/she values physical touch though, use hugs or peck a kiss on their forehead when informing your companion of what you appreciate.
Slather the praises on like thick butter on toast
Complimenting your partners when they're doing something right shows them that you care about them and their feelings.
What better way to counter criticism and dissolve any defensiveness in the marriage than by inculcating a culture of appreciation?
Even the most secure and self-sufficient person can do with admiration and appreciation in their lives. A daily reminder of why you chose this soul, and why you both got married in the first place helps pepper your days with much love and happiness.
As English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once said, “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.”
You can also find an interesting post on how often couples fight.
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Deborah Choo loves discussing relationships, platonic or not, as that remains at the heart of human existence. She draws upon learnings from couples’ counselling, and continues to celebrate an incredible journey of growth.