Friday, December 25, 2009

#7 of best posts of 2009

(originally posted in September 2009)

Dear Danielle,

I've been dating a really great guy for the last 6 weeks. We enjoy each other's company, are comfortable around each other, etc. One issue that I'm having is that he has never once complimented me ... and when I ask him why, he merely says that it's not something he was raised doing and it's going to take time for him. I recognize that while it's still new, it has been 6 weeks. I even noticed one evening as we were heading out on a date that he was 'checking me out' and when I asked him what he was thinking, he said he wouldn't tell me. I compliment him and try to make him feel good; how do I get him to come out of his shell and do the same for me?

"Tell me you like me"

Dear "Tell me you like me,"

I am not concerned with his lack of compliments, as long as he is affectionate and warm with you. Unfortunately, a guy who can't compliment a girl he is dating might also be the kind of guy that cannot open up emotionally or be loving. If you have been dating for 6 weeks and he hasn't told you how he feels about you, for example, "I am so happy we met and that I am getting to know you" or, "I have been really enjoying our time together and find you funny, or interesting, (or whatever)" then it would seem as if he is a very closed person who has some issues with emotional intimacy.

Possibly he didn't get much affection or positive reinforcement when he was growing up. Have you asked him why he isn't comfortable complimenting you? If he'll talk openly about his hesitations or his upbringing, and you don't find anything else in the relationship problematic - then I would give him more of a chance to open up. Maybe he doesn't have the tools to compliment you, so offer him an idea of what you are looking for in terms of positive reinforcement. However, if he isn't even open to letting you in a bit to understand his rationale then I wouldn't waste your time trying to change this guy.

I have a friend whose dad has never said I love you to his wife (her mother). This man grew up in a communist country and was raised very closed. Despite that, he is a loyal and devoted husband. His wife could obviously overlook the fact he was not affectionate or loving. However, you seem like a woman who needs some doting - so make sure the guy you are dating can give you what you need, even if it takes some time.

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