Compliment Soup Du Jour

(continued from 12/22)

The last blog I wrote, I mentioned a date. A date with a very unique man who readily rose to the challenge of my Dear Future Boyfriend blog. We knew each other not more than 2 hours at this point-though we’d exchanged several emails and texts; and apparently crossed paths during elementary and high school, along with several CrossFit events.

A few hours following my last post I received a text from this handsome, hairy faced man stating, “Oh-I read your blog post… Very interesting, next time perhaps you could refer to me as “stud muffin” or “beautiful guy”, or maybe even “oddly sexy awkward bearded man” (I’m willing to compromise)”

In my response I promised him a proper introduction-with his permission of course-and I also promised him a special nickname. I mean-he’s gonna need a really good nickname if he’s going to be featured in my life with subsequent mentions in my blog. My friends see photos and they say, “wow he’s HOT”, I walk into restaurants to meet him and the waitresses ask me, “are you with the tall handsome man?”; he has a great sense of humor, has rescued cats, does CrossFit, has a beard, and he’s so tall I literally come up to his nipple when I’m not wearing heels. So what shall I call this man who just appeared in my life-but has actually always been nearby-we somehow never met, but always seemed to be brushing shoulders in passing? I racked my brain and cannot come up with anything really good and I want to get to the point of this story so, for now I’ll call him Sam, after his cat. I’m hoping something will come to me in the next few weeks-but for now Sam will do.

Now that we have that out of the way (hope this suits you Sam), I’d like to talk about a little project Sam and I set out to participate in following our second date.

It started when we were exchanging texts and he revealed that he has difficulty slowing down when playing sports because of his height and momentum-and while playing soccer he clothes lined some girl-which he said he felt very badly about. I laughed and said-“well it’s good you have other redeeming qualities-I can look past that one” to which he responded, “what might those be?”. I then provided a long laundry list of characteristics that I admired in him and coined it “compliment soup du jour”. He replied that he wasn’t expecting that, he was thinking just sports, and thanked me. It got me thinking though… what if we set out to say one nice thing every day from start to… who knows when. What would happen? Would our nice words to each other set the tone for the day? Would we be in a better mood and treat others a little more kindly? I don’t know… and am not sure how to measure that-but I can measure my own mood and reactions.

I’ve read about couples who set out to have sex everyday, couples who abstain from sex, couples who set aside time each week or month to review their relationship and to check in with each other, but never a daily compliment. I wondered how it would affect the future of the relationship if it just started out open and honest-one nice thing that keeps me here-kind of note.

I wanted to try this little experiment at the start of a relationship, but we weren’t quite there yet-though we had all of the trappings of amazing potential. I was nervous to bring it up… though neither of us were having difficulty throwing compliments and words of admiration at each other…so maybe he’d be up to it????

I mentioned my idea at dinner and he was interested. Once again he said, “I can try”.

We have been exchanging compliments in texts, email, or via conversation every day for a week now and I have to say it’s the highlight to my day. Some days I spend time thinking about which quality I want to compliment (because there are so many) and other days it comes right to me. I asked him how he felt about the exercise and he said, “I feel like it’s helping me-open up, understand you more, and I really like giving you compliments-more so than getting them”

In the interest of keeping some things private I’m not going to share the words we exchange… but I will share with you the feelings and reactions I have when I receive those gifts each day…

My soul beams, I feel warmed and get that ushy gushy feeling, I think of his thoughtfulness, I’m surprised and flattered, I get butterflies, and anticipation for the next time I will spend time with him.  Most importantly though-his willingness to participate (on some days even initiate) has left me feeling lucky that I have such a man in my life.

Just an aside-I told my friend H about the little exercise and she text me a few hours later-“I told my husband about your compliment thing and he loved it.. we started it today-he even went first!” Completely reinforcing my putting it out there idea-because you never know who will be inspired by your actions or words..