Giving the right compliment to your boyfriend can send his feelings soaring and make your relationship stronger. For some men, receiving compliments doesn't come naturally. But even if he modestly shrugs off your compliments, you should keep them coming. If your boyfriend is striving to keep a smile on your face, hearing some positive reinforcement will let him know that his efforts are paying off.
Compliments do have a shelf life. If complimenting his hair went over well today, it will likely not have the same effect tomorrow. Early in the relationship, broad compliments like "You are so handsome" are OK, but try to be more specific as you become closer. Pay attention to anything new or different about your boyfriend and find something positive to say about those things.
Don't assume your boyfriend knows how much you appreciate him. Recognize the little things he does for you and show your gratitude. Use compliments to let him know that he makes you feel special or loved. Keep the compliments about the two of you, without making comparisons to past relationships.
Observe your boyfriend and how he relates to others. Let him know if you think it's sweet the way he helps his mom or donates his time to charities. If he has children, be sure to point out what you love about his relationship with them. Compliment any random acts of kindness that you witness.
As you get to know your boyfriend better, try to find out what really drives him. Is he trying to advance his career? Does he play competitive sports? Is he an aspiring musician? Complimenting his efforts and achievements in areas important to him will show your support. When he feels down and discouraged, point out his successes and encourage him not to give up.
Surprisingly, men don't always expect compliments on appearance. A "Men's Health" magazine survey found that only 8 percent of their readers reported they like to hear compliments about their physical attributes. Sixty-six percent said they would rather hear praise for intangible qualities that make them special. Most guys have moments of insecurity and worry if they are still attractive. Complimenting his eyes or strong physique might make him feel better.
- Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images