We dated the Zeros… so you don’t have to.


Is the three year mark a ‘Hall Pass’ on Compliments?


Far be it for me to lend any credence to a poll conducted by Warner Brothers marketing department to help sell the flick Hall Pass to the British public.  But there was one statistic in the poll, as reported in an article posted on Yahoo UK, that I think merits mentioning.

Apparently, if you’re British and have been in a relationship for three years, you can look forward to one compliment per week from your partner. One. And if you’ve been in a relationship for ten years or longer, you should expect to be complimented… never.

Again, this study wasn’t done by a scientific organization. As it is being used to market a movie about two couples in such serious relationship slumps that the wives give their husbands a week’s carte blanche for cheating, it is fair to say that the pollsters are probably motivated to focus on the negative.  Regardless, I find one compliment a week at the three-year relationship mark absolutely unacceptable.

Perhaps this is because I’m American. Many years ago I dated a Londoner who was very fond of pointing out how emotionally effusive I was. He was a wonderful guy and very sensitive, but he couldn’t quite get over how much I like to talk about, what he called, all of my American Feelings. Perhaps this statistic can be chalked up to the famous British reserve? I wonder if the numbers would be any different if the poll was conducted on this side of the pond.

I’m not saying I need my guy to follow me around all the time, telling me how wonderful I am. That would get annoying very quickly. But he and I are smack dab into the third year of our relationship, and I can honestly say I don’t remember a day passing when he hasn’t said at least one nice thing to me. And I hope he’d say the same about me. I don’t mention that to brag about how awesome my relationship is, only to say that appreciating the person you are with can, and should, be a daily thing. Granted, there will be some days you’ll be happier with your partner than others, but if six days pass, and you can’t think of one nice thing to say, I’d say that’s a bit of a problem.

While it is true that some people and some cultures are more effusive than others, I’m a firm believer that if you are in a relationship with a person, the presumption is that you like them. So why not express it? Then again, maybe it’s just me and all my American Feelings talking.


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