Is There Such Thing As Too Many Compliments From Your Partner?

Generally, receiving compliments from someone is considered a kind gesture. Usually, there is something about your accomplishments, appearance, or actions that the other person appreciates enough to vocalize. And while positive comments from random strangers can be lovely, hearing them from your partner is even better. Who wouldn't want to feel loved, valued, and praised all the time?

Wanting your partner to keep the compliments coming may be a natural thought at first. However, too much of a good thing can cause these statements to lose significance over time. Eventually, they may even turn into a warning sign within your relationship.

Since compliments are typically given to provide useful feedback, many people rely on them for a confidence boost and a sense of positive reinforcement. Therefore, how genuine these compliments feel matters. If your partner is constantly shelling out kind phrases that feel empty to you, they are likely lacking authenticity and won't hold the same weight. Plus, it could point to an even bigger problem in the relationship.

The type of compliment matters

While no compliments at all or backhanded compliments are always red flags within relationships, it's also important to analyze the type of compliments a partner gives. Relationship coach Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle that only ever being praised for your physical appearance could point to something shallow within your partner. You might start to wonder if they value anything else about you beyond the looks that will inevitably fade with age. Of course, being attracted to your partner physically is essential to a healthy relationship, but it definitely shouldn't be the only talking point.

The timing of your partner's compliments can also provide a lot of insight into their true motivation. There is a chance that they rely on compliments in order to get what they want out of you. Consider the circumstances surrounding these niceties and how quickly they start trying to use your appreciation to benefit them. Praising and then manipulating is definitely toxic and it can be hard to recognize the flaws behind this flattery. However, if it doesn't seem like your partner actually believes the compliments they're giving, it's likely stemming from an ulterior motive.

Your partner may be seeking their own validation

It may be a form of reverse psychology that your partner doesn't consciously realize, but constantly complimenting you might actually be a cry for help. Perhaps they don't know how to communicate their feelings or aren't in a place to fully understand them yet. However, projecting these words of affirmation onto you is their way of saying that verbal validation is important to them. Maybe they want to be complimented more because their self-esteem is low and they want that self-assurance. Creating this norm in a relationship where compliments are abundant could be strategic.

While it's easy to jump to the negatives here or get defensive, oftentimes these passive-aggressive approaches to communication are simply rooted in insecurity. It doesn't mean the relationship is doomed, but it does highlight an important need for open communication.

This likely starts with more self-awareness by each individual person. Taking a love language quiz separately can be a great activity to do before coming together to discuss the results. Since the various love languages include things like words of affirmation and quality time, understanding what each partner needs the most will be helpful moving forward. Plus, gaining clarity on how important compliments are in your daily communication with your partner is invaluable.