Thank And Compliment Your Partner – Why It Matters And Some Suggestions


Want to know whether it matters that you compliment your partner? It’s a resounding YES from me! When you compliment your partner, it makes them feel seen, loved, and appreciated. It helps to break the cycle of criticism and defensiveness that damages relationships. You can create a culture of appreciation that makes you both happier and your relationship stronger.

Read on to learn about:

  • The magic ratio of positive:negative that will keep your relationship strong
  • How to create a culture of appreciation
  • Some compliment ideas
  • What happens when we don’t receive compliments well


The Magic Ratio of Positive:Negative


How many positive things do think you say to your partner each day? And how many negative ones?

Over a week, what do you think your ratio of positive to negative comments is?

What would you like it to be?

Believe it or not, The Gottman Institute have actually put a number on this!

They’ve been doing extensive research into couple relationships for over four decades. What have they found? Happy couples say around twenty positive things for every one negative.

And even in times of conflict, they keep to a ratio of five positive things for every one negative.

That’s the magic ratio you need to hit if you want to keep things running smoothly between you.

The great thing about knowing this number is that you can work on it from both sides.

Do you find it easier to say more nice stuff or less nasty stuff?

Check out my video on criticism, which includes:

  • Why criticism is so damaging
  • How to make complaints without criticising
  • How to stop feeling critical of your partner
  • What to do if your partner is being critical of you

One way to feel less critical is to actively practice gratitude for your partner.

Look for more opportunities to express thanks and compliments. Over time you will actually feel less critical.


Compliment Your Partner to Create a Culture Of Appreciation


This is what your partner needs most from you: to feel loved, appreciated, understood, accepted, important, and close to you.

It sounds obvious but it’s not always easy: treat your partner with respect and affection.

Don’t save loving words for special occasions.

Look for ways to tell and show your partner that you love and appreciate them all the time.

Look for them in the most ordinary, everyday moments.

When you think something positive about them, say it out loud.

Not thinking positive things about them? Take time every day to think about your partner and look for the good until you do.

Nothing in this life stays steady for long. Things are either going up or they’re going down.

You can create an upwards spiral. It goes like this:

compliment partner cycle appreciation

Remember that thinking good things about your partner is not enough – you need to say them out loud!


Thanks and Compliments For Partners – Some Suggestions


Lots of couples thank and compliment each other less over time.

But there are also loads who keep it up, and they’re usually happier together.

Specific compliments feel the most meaningful and genuine.

Have you got out of the habit of saying nice things to your partner?

Here are a few ideas:

  • “I love watching you with the kids – you really bring the fun to our family.”
  • “That was so thoughtful, what you said to the little one earlier.”
  • You’re a great parent.”
  • “Thank you for folding the laundry.”
  • “I really enjoyed our chat over lunch.
  •  “You look so good in that t-shirt.”
  • “Thank you for putting petrol in the car, it made my day so much easier.”

When was the last time you paid your partner a compliment? What positive thing are you going to say to them next?


Can You Take A Compliment?


My name’s Catherine, I’m a woman, and I’m British.

So you can confidently bet that I was not good at taking compliments… until I learned how important it is.

Do you feel awkward or embarrassed when people compliment you?

What do you tend to say next?

Stop and picture it for a minute. Imagine we’re together and I say something like, “You handled that beautifully – you’re a great parent”. What pops into your head to say next?

Often our responses can be unintentionally dismissive.

For the complimenter, “No I’m not” can sound like, “Don’t say that”.

Having your compliments batted away doesn’t actually feel very good.

What happens next when compliments are not received well? Partners gradually stop giving them.

But this process is often not even noticed, never mind talked about.

Until years down the line, one of you says, “You never say anything nice to me any more”.

So how do you accept a compliment?

It’s simple: smile and say thank you.

You might need to feel the awkwardness and do it anyway at first.

But with practice it will feel natural.

Has your partner already stopped saying nice things to you? Take charge of the situation and start paying them a compliment a day.

Come back in a couple of weeks and let me know if anything has changed.


So You Compliment Your Partner… Need More Support?


If you would like to join my waiting list for counselling (on your own or with a partner), or book a relationships after kids coaching call, you can contact me here.

You can also sign up for Love In Lockdown here, and download the Back In The Sack Workbook here.