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Anyone else ever find themselves wishing for an excuse to compliment a girl?

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
fyfer
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:35 pm (UTC)
Hm. Not really. I mean, if they're compliment-worthy, there must be some particular thing they've done to warrant it, and you can say something... Or is the problem that no socially acceptable opportunity comes up? Or that the things you'd like to compliment are either too abstract or not appropriate and you wish there was something different.
crs
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:47 pm (UTC)
Well, I think it's kind of a hangup of mine, rather irrational, but basically, I feel like when I notice a girl being physically attractive, I have no business noticing such things. And even when asked my initial gut reaction is on the lines of "Oh, really? I hadn't noticed." Even as I'm going "Oooh."
fyfer
Apr. 17th, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC)
That's not at all what I was asking, though. :-) None of the answers to those questions align in any way with "attractive" or "not", at least not in my mind. I could have added "Do I have blue eyes or green?" (and I meant to but forgot), and obviously there are people who think one is more attractive, or the other, but it's also obviously not a question about attractiveness.

But I guess I see what you mean. It's not really cool to say to someone "you are attractive" unless you have some standing to be doing that. I was thinking more about compliments like "you did really well on that thing you were doing" or "that's a nice sweater".
tytso
Apr. 19th, 2004 05:30 am (UTC)
Is the main reason why you're interested in someone because they're physically attractive? You may want to consider that (a) physical attraction generally isn't enough to hold a relationship long-term, and (b) some people may not like being noticed only for their bodies --- especially from those who are attractive by mass-market standards (i.e., nice figure, blond hair, classically proportioned face, etc.). After all, they probably get comments like that all the time, and they're probably tired of it.

I can think of one very good friend (never a girlfriend; physical distance and other issues kept us from taking the next step beyond friendship) who appreciates me simply because I see her first as an intellectual equal and good conversation partner. She is, shall we say, generously endowed, but that's not why we became friends, and she tells me that one of the things that she values about me is that I don't fixate my eyes on her breasts while we talk --- something she gets all the time. Truth to tell, I hadn't even really noticed that she had a wonderful figure until she complained about how many people saw her figure only and nothing else (that and it's a real pain, literally, if you are a runner). But that's because at least for me, smart/assertive/hard-working women has always been more of a turn-on than mere physical attractiveness.

Perhaps because of this, my preference is to be friends with someone first and foremost, and then seeing if a relationship springs up. That normally happens because we find that we are emotionally compatible, and the friendship starts including more disclosure about our emotional life, and then to supporting one another emotionally. The physical/sexual attraction part of the relationship (holding hands, kissing, etc.) comes last, at least for me.

There are lots of people who will over-generalize and say that women generally find the emotional intimacy more important to love than the physical side; I'm not entirely sure that's true, but I do believe that for a relationship to last, the emotional intimacy is far more important than physical attractiveness. Furthermore, it is longer lasting, and harder to achieve. So why not try to see if the more challenging part will work out first? Start by being interested in someone for who they are as a person, and by being friends with them. There's a reason why there's the very old and hoary cliche about happily married couples for fifty years or more describing their spouses as "my best friend".

There are other ways to approach a relationship, of course. Some people will do the physical thing first, and then try to see if they can figure out the emotional compatibility/intimacy thing. Other people will try to work on both at the same time. Only you can figure out which style works for you. On the other hand, if your accustomed method of relating to potential mates hasn't been working, maybe it wouldn't hurt to try another approach.
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chanaleh
Apr. 17th, 2004 07:31 pm (UTC)
hee hee hee... ;-)
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blk
Apr. 17th, 2004 06:38 pm (UTC)
No, but I'm also a girl, with no romantic interest in other girls. I suspect that makes it very different.
rjpb
Apr. 17th, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
Well, you could answer the corresponding question for boys. :) I seem to recall you writing a good post on the subject compliments some time ago. Can you give a pointer to that?

Personally, I usually find it easy to compliment people. I try to give a few compliments each day. (I also tend to tease people just a little. See the previous paragraph for examples. ;) It helps to be observant and notice particulars, especially ones that have been chosen. Appreciating the special necklace, earrings, etc. that someone has decided to wear today is generally safe. I think remarking on the choice and one's taste rather than just the appearance expresses a higher compliment.
plymouth
Apr. 18th, 2004 04:32 pm (UTC)
It helps to be observant and notice particulars, especially ones that have been chosen.

thanks for pointing out that distinction. it's a good one. I never know what to say when someone compliments me on something I had to part in, such as my name. And my name isn't even an inappropriate sexual thing. It's just something about me that I had nothing to do with and all I can think to respond is "uh, thanks, I've gotten used to it over the years".
chenoameg
Apr. 17th, 2004 06:40 pm (UTC)
Shockingly
I can honestly say no.
jetgrrl01
Apr. 17th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
I compliment people (both women and men) all the time. On their shirt, on their new haircut, on the frames of their glasses, on their tie, on their shoes. It's pretty easy. And it shouldn't be pressure for you if it's not along the lines of looking gorgeous (which could be inappropriate depending on the situation). A nice compliment on an item of clothing or jewelry goes a long way without feeling awkward, IMO.
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jetgrrl01
Apr. 18th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, but you could start at any time with people you haven't known for that long (even for several months) and they wouldn't know that it's not something you just do. I think maybe *you* would feel uncomfortable, but they would just think "Oh, that's nice."

I just think about when I've gotten a "you look nice today" from guys at work or if I tell one of them that I like their shirt, which happens every 4 months or so.... Niether end feels awkward to me.

Or maybe that's because I know it's not flirting, just a compliment. I'm sure one would accidentally impose their own presure if they were interested in the person they were complimenting.
alaria_lyon
Apr. 18th, 2004 06:54 am (UTC)
My comment stems from your question and also a previous discussion by navrins, but I was just thinking...

"Pickup lines" no matter what they are, good or bad, say one of the two following:

"I think you're attractive and I want to get to know you better" or
"I think you're attractive and I want to try to get you to sleep with me tonight."

Either way, if you go up to a girl and talk to her, it's a compliment, it says you think she's attractive, it's implied, and you don't even have to say it. People don't randomly start talking with people they aren't attracted to, so when you approach someone, they know you are attracted. If you can work it into the conversation later, then great, but it certainly doesn't need to be the first thing you say.
plymouth
Apr. 18th, 2004 04:36 pm (UTC)
People don't randomly start talking with people they aren't attracted to

I think that's a really blanket statement to make. People start talking to people to kill time, to get information, and just to be friendly. If I'm only allowed to talk to people I'm attracted to then I'm in real trouble, because I've been accidentally flirting with a whole lot of inappropriate people!
alaria_lyon
Apr. 18th, 2004 06:21 pm (UTC)
But why do you choose the people you choose to talk to. If someone looks scary, you're probably unlikely to approach them, at least I am. People tend to approach strangers that they are in some way attracted to. It's simply human nature. Attraction doesn't have to do with sex or flirting, it is simply something that draws your eye.
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