Why Doesn't My Boyfriend Compliment Me?

By Karen Karbo, REDBOOK

Q: My boyfriend of three years no longer gives me compliments, sends quick texts, or even flashes me winks. When I remind him of how much this stuff would mean to me, he says, "I don't need compliments," implying that I shouldn't either. Is it so wrong to crave a little praise from the one person I thought adored me? - J.D., 39, IOWA

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A: Of course not! And by the way, you look lovely today. Here's the deal: Most men are gung ho to make their women happy. It's why they'll spend hours moving furniture when we decide to redecorate the living room (for the eighth time).

What I want to know, then, is why your guy is being stingy with the compliments. He showered you with them in the early days, so we know he has it in him. I consulted my own Man of the House about your dilemma, and he said that perhaps you need to connect the dots for your boyfriend, and remind him that there's something in it for him, too. Repeat after me: "Compliments make me feel good. When I feel good, guess what I'm in the mood for?" Say it often, say it funny, but keep saying it. If he doesn't come around, it may be that it's taken you this long to realize you're with an emotional miser. Can you live with that?

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Advice guru Karen Karbo is a mom, a teacher, and the author of the new book How Georgia Became O'Keeffe. Do you need life advice? Send questions about perplexing friends, family, mates, colleagues, and anyone else to karenkarbo@redbookmag.com , and include your initials, age, and state. Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

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