No compliments from boyfriend

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
No compliments from boyfriend
10
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 4:19pm
My boyfriend doesn't compliment me on my looks. He's never critical either. He just doesn't say anything either way. It makes me feel insecure. If I compliment him on his eyes, he'll compliment me on mine. I don't want to go fishing for compliments.

He seems to be hanging back in someway and I feel like I'm hanging back too. I haven't done that much dating recently so I don't what is normal anymore. He's my first boyfriend in 4 yrs and I have a 5-yr-old son. I'm 33 yrs old and divorced and he's almost 38 (never been married, no kids).

He seems to have dating down to a science, except for the no compliments thing. It makes me feel insecure because I don't know if this is the way he is with other women he has dated in the past or if he just isn't into me. He says things like we've got a good thing going and he's optimistic about the future, but I'm not buying it. I know I have hang-ups about commitment. I'd like to be in love, etc....but I'm such a skeptic.

I tried to find an article about men who aren't verbally affectionate, but I couldn't find any.

Avatar for cl_beckty
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 4:58pm

Hi and WELCOME to the board! I am glad you joined us. I hope you keep posting and tell us more about you and your son.


A couple of thoughts came to mind when I read your post. I'll share them in order. ;)


First: My DH was the SAME way, and it brought the same feelings and thoughts to me too. It was SOOO frustrating. But he was VERY complimentary in his actions toward me. (VERY!) and also constantly complimented me on WHO I WAS. The other (physical) part just never came up. I had no idea what he did and didn't like about me. But because I am a woman, there were PLENTY of things about me I didn't like...and I assumed he felt the same.


Second: I would also compliment him very specifically on his physique. All areas. I thought I could "lead by example" but it NEVER EVER led him to compliment me back the same way. At least you have that going for you.


Third: I think you need to try to change this thought pattern: It makes me feel insecure because... I used to say the same kinds of things. NO ONE can "make" you feel anything.

Becky

 

 

Avatar for cl_tcranky1
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 6:08pm

Hi and welcome!


It could be just the way he is.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2003
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 7:02pm
First of all, he wouldn't be your boyfriend if he didn't think you were attractive. He may just not know that you need to hear compliments and reassurances. We can't give what we don't know the other needs. What you need to do is let him know what you need to hear, but you don't need to go into a long discussion about it. All you have to do is the next time he DOES give you a compliment, tell him how MUCH that means to you. (You may have to prompt him with a compliment to him first, as you mentioned) Do not just shrug off the compliment or argue with it, "no I'm not..." because he will not continue giving you what you need. Only another woman would say, "oh yes you are!" because we KNOW that sometimes another woman just needs that extra boost of confidence.

The other thing to remember is that he is NOT anyone else you have dated. He may or may not act like someone that let you down in the past, but you cannot be so skeptical and wait around for the bad stuff. If you truly want to be in love, then start focusing on what you HAVE in the relationship, not the WHAT IF'S. You got a great guy, enjoy it!

Alison

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 8:04pm
My first serious boyfriend was the same way. I was with him for 6 years and never really heard him compliment me physically. He would never directly tell me that I was beautiful or pretty or anything like that. But I had other ways of knowing he thought so…the way he looked at me, the way he smiled when I wore his favorite color. The way he proudly introduced me to friends and family.

Sometimes, men just don’t get it…I wouldn’t take it personally, and I wouldn’t assume that because you’re not hearing it, he doesn’t think it. Why would he be with you if he didn’t find you attractive?

My first boyfriend and I stayed very good friends and went on a cruise together about 2 years ago, and for the very first time, I heard the words beautiful come out of his mouth when describing me. He said I was a “beautiful person inside and out and any man would be lucky to have me.” It took him friggin 15 years to say it LOL…but he meant it and my mouth dropped. And I knew then more than ever, that he had thought it all along, he just never verbalized it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2004
Fri, 06-25-2004 - 9:17pm
I think you need to look harder for the compliments. Maybe they are actions instead of words? I learned this valuable lesson from the guy I like right now. Each time we are together he gives me something very special from his heart. Often it is not words - it is an action - like showing up early, sharing his true emotions, sharing a story. I have learned to open my eyes and see these gifts.

I also sense from your post that you are holding back. The only way to know where your relationship is going to go is to put aside your fears from your past and surrender your heart. A zen book I have read calls this taking off your mask. Just be you. Don't put yourself on an itinerary or mission - be open to new things and experiences. Enjoy each day as it comes - for today is all we really have.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-30-2003
Sat, 06-26-2004 - 3:59pm
I wish I had read all of your wonderful posts before I decided to send an email to my boyfriend. Man, that was a huge mistake. I sent him a lengthy email. We were supposed to get together tonight. He called me this morning to confirm our date. I was in the shower. When I got out of the shower, I tried to return his call....but, OBVIOUSLY he read my email by that time and he has BLOWN ME OFF ALL DAY LONG. I feel so sad about the whole thing. I guess that is that. Good-bye boyfriend. My insecurities made me unfun. Who'd want to be with someone who's a whine baby?

I feel sad that he won't at least talk to me to break up with me. We've dated for 4 months and in that time we got pretty close. No fights. Lots of laughs. I guess the only downside has been my little freakouts related to my insecurities.

He won't ever call me again and I'm sure he'll hook up with some other woman fairly soon. I kind of feel lonely now. I hadn't dated in 4 yrs and I feel lonelier now after this breakup then I did for those 4 yrs when I chose not to date.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2002
Sat, 06-26-2004 - 5:27pm

Hi there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2004
Sat, 06-26-2004 - 5:36pm
Just give him time - he is thinking about it. Don't call or email any more. But be ready to discuss with what you see as compliments that are unspoken.

Don't fret - he will call. Men always need time to think on their own - it could take a few days, though.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 9:52am
I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure he feels like you're wonderful, but most guys just don't gush like we do. I tell my husband all the time he's cute and adorable and all that, but he rarely says anything about me. He'll tell me I look nice if we're going out, but not every time. He did tell me I looked beautiful on our wedding day last month, but he was full of emotion then so I kind of expected he'd say something then.

I've even made comments to the effect that he never compliments me. Like a friend of his will say to me, "Melissa you look amazing tonight in that dress!" I'll thank him for it and say, (while joking, of course) "Thanks, it's nice SOMEONE noticed!" LOL" And Shane will jokingly say to his friend, "Man, you HAD to go there, and make me look bad by throwing out all kinds of compliments! LOL!" But he knows I was serious in a way because I tok the time to look good and nothing was said.

I think it bothers us when we take time to fix ourselves up and get no comments. It seems like they don't notice, but they do. We wish they'd take the time to say SOMETHING, but chances are...no matter how much you complain, they won't change it. And what if they do? Then we'll think they ONLY said it because we want them to. So they feel backed into a corner.

Just let it be. If he says anything, take it and love it. But when he doesn't, don't think he doesn't notice you. Because he really does.

Mel

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Avatar for cl_beckty
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 11:16am

Too funny Mel! Similar happened to me 2 weekends ago. J's graduation dinner/party and I looked GREAT, and I knew it. I didn't ask him. He didn't say anything. Didn't appear to notice. He usually forgets and sometimes I think he takes for granted that I make sure to dress nice for him.


Anyway, one of his buddies walked right up to me (with J standing at my side) and said "Becky, you look incredible tonight. Just gorgeous" and I grinned and said "Thank you SO much. That's the first time I've heard that this evening. You even beat Jason to it" and J very SHEEPISHLY looked at me and said "oops, now Joe's gotten me in trouble" or something like that.


LATER that evening he leaned over to me and said "you do look beautiful tonight. Very sexy. I apologize for not having said so earlier, when I noticed" So, he said something...but of course, in his OWN time. ;) Stubborn man.

Becky

Becky