Doug Zeigler asks the question, “You think you can handle the truth…but can you handle a compliment?”
Why don’t we trust the ones we love?
I’m not talking about fidelity here. What I am talking about is something simpler. Why don’t we trust the one we love the most with compliments they give us?
We’ve all had this happen: Your husband/wife/significant other looks at you, beams a smile and tells you how wonderful you look. Or how the outfit you’re wearing really suits you. Or maybe how appealing a particular part of your anatomy is looking that day. They are giving you a compliment, sharing their feelings and attraction to you. They are baring themselves, their thoughts and maybe even some of their lust. FOR YOU. They want to show you how much they like what they see. They want to make you happy and feel wanted.
How do we typically respond to this demonstration of their amorous feelings? “Thanks, hun.” “Glad you think so.” “Not really.” “If only I could lose weight/change this/be where I was when we met.”
What are these statements but flippant thanks and apathy, to the person that we share our innermost selves with on a daily basis.
This is not just limited to physical compliments. We react the same when we are lauded for other facets of ourselves too. “You are really good at fixing things.” “I love how you are with our kids.” “You always make me laugh.”
Again, our initial reactions attempt to minimize the good things our partner sees in us. How do you feel when you get that reaction to compliments you’ve given? Doesn’t it feel dismissive? We need to be open to accepting these snippets of love. We deserve to accept these. Yet, far too often we do not.
Why don’t we trust the ones we love? How is it that we do not believe this genuine display of adoration?
Most likely, as it is with most things in life, it’s a combination of factors, the gestalt of our lives and experiences pushing us toward disbelieving the opinion of the person we are supposed to trust and value above all others. Perhaps you think they are supposed to say those sorts of phrases to you simply because they love you, so those sentiments become not as significant. Maybe you’ve grown a bit complacent or even expectant to hear a steady stream of compliments, so much so that they lose their weight. Or worse, you flat out don’t believe them.
Full disclosure: I do this with my wife too. She’ll tell me how I look fine, how handsome I am, and how she can’t wait to have me to herself later after our kids are in bed. I most certainly do believe her. Her words are always proven by her actions later that evening. So, I am still left with the question: why am I still not trusting her words utterly?
That very question also presents the answer. Not to get all Buddhist, but the answer, my friends, lies within. We owe it to those that we share each morning with, the one that revels in our touch and our presence to actually BE present. Hear their words of praise and take them in. Be grateful for their willingness to give us their needs and wants for us. Pay them back for these gifts with the same appreciation, love, and YOUR needs and wants for them, too.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of complacency in relationships and in life. The key is to find the motivation to open those internal doors that keep in all the good stuff. The stuff your partner needs and deserves to have and to hear. Tell them at every opportunity how much they intrigue you. Tell them how beautiful they are. How you love their skin against yours. And especially tell them how much you want them. You’ll be surprised just how truly hearing, sharing and simply BEING there in the moment, fully invested, will go towards growing your relationship and going even deeper into each other’s love.
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones. Go within to affect without.
Trust your partner. Trust what they say. Take it in and accept it. You both deserve that.
I promise you’ll both be happier and the rewards will be great, in and out of the boudoir.