Much like general comments on my appearance, I’ve always struggled to accept a compliment about my body or looks. Recently I’ve developed a really strong aversion to it…especially from people on the dating apps. I think there are a few reasons why I don’t enjoy compliments about how I look…

  • It’s generic: Just like someone calling me ‘babe’ or ‘darling’, a compliment on my appearance doesn’t make me feel unique. It seems like I’m interchangeable with the next attractive person when I want to be celebrated for my individuality.
  • It’s lazy: In the same vein as someone sending ‘Hey’ as a first message, when I receive a compliment that could be applied to anyone, it feels lazy and insincere. Especially when my bios are full of material to start a conversation with. Saying ‘you’re hot’ seems like something you copy and paste to everyone without even reading their profile.
  • It’s objectifying: When someone continually and only comments on how I look, it makes me feel like I’m just an object to be admired. Not a person that someone is interested in getting to know. It actually makes me feel less desirable when someone puts all my value in how I look.

I understand that particularly with online dating, initial attraction is part of the deal, however I don’t appreciate it being the sole focus. Instead of receiving yet another compliment on my looks, I’d much rather someone show curiosity and thirst to get to know me. That grabs my attention way more than someone telling me I’m pretty.

On dating apps, compliment on:

  • Their sense of style 
  • How they seem adventurous/skilful/studious etc from their photos
  • Something they wrote in their bio

There will be people who enjoy being told they are gorgeous, but I think most want to be appreciated for their character more than how they look. Once you’ve spent some time getting to know someone, compliments about their physical appearance will be more meaningful because they’ll know you care about them as a person too. 

Once you start dating, compliment on:

  • How they make you feel
  • A personality trait that shines through
  • Something small like their hair looks great worn up

Why not try complimenting a match on something other than how they look and see how they respond?

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