How Often Should I Compliment My Girlfriend?

Complimenting your girlfriend often can make her feel special.
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Compliments are a way to let your girlfriend know you notice and value her special qualities. When you give compliments the right way, they can bring the two of you closer. You might worry you are complimenting too much or not enough. While there is no exact science for the ideal frequency of compliments, there are some guidelines to make sure your girlfriend gets the right amount.

1 Let the Good Outweigh the Bad

You should always give your girlfriend more compliments than criticisms. She will remember a negative comment more than a positive one. As reported on The Gottman Institute Relationship Blog in the post "The Positive Perspective: Dr. Gottman's Magic Ratio!" research conducted by Dr. John Gottman shows stable relationships have five times as many positive interactions as negative. Couples who are very unhappy usually have more negative interactions than positive. If you have a choice between giving a compliment or being critical, always go for the compliment. For example, you might tell her that you love the way she looks in a dress, rather than saying you are tired of seeing her in sweat pants.

2 Timing Is Everything

If your girlfriend does something new, such as wear her hair differently or buy a new outfit, she will expect a compliment sooner than later. If you do not comment right away, she will probably worry that you don't like it. If she has to ask if you like it, your compliment will not mean as much to her. Furthermore, you should avoid giving lighthearted compliments when your girlfriend is upset or needs to talk about a serious topic.

3 Sometimes Less Is More

If you use the same compliment over and over or compliment constantly, your comments will have less value to your girlfriend. Watch her reaction when you give a compliment. If she starts to get embarrassed or seems uncomfortable, it's time to back off. Some compliments go over better when you keep them short. Letting her know she looks great in her new jeans is one thing, but going on and on about how much weight she has lost and how much better she looks is another.

4 Flattery Will Get You Nowhere

Never compliment if you have an agenda. Saying nice things to "butter her up" or convince her to do something you want is manipulative. You might get by with it at the beginning of a relationship, but in time she will probably see right through false praise. Do not use compliments to avoid serious issues or minimize problems in your relationship.

Sharon O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has been published on various websites, including Walden University's Think+Up. She has worked in international business and is a licensed customs broker. She is currently a supervisor with a social service agency that works with families to prevent child abuse and neglect. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in business from Indiana University.