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Things you've been told

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  March 31, 2011 08:22 AM

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On Tuesday, I asked you to email me the best compliments and worst insults you've ever received from a partner. The folks who sent in my favorite entries won tickets to the SpeakEasy Stage Company's "Reasons to Be Pretty," which runs through Saturday at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Here are some highlights from the emails you sent:

Once I tried to send a rather PG "sext" picture to my boyfriend. He responded with, "What is that? A Christmas ham?" It was my thigh. Awesome.

I received a bevy of outlandish physical insults from my college boyfriend. He used to say that I was 'relatively' good looking. He also told me that I could stand to lose 10 lbs (I was and still am 5'7", 130lbs, and I work out 5 times a week). On the flip side, I had one boyfriend tell me that my hair smelled like valentine candy. He had a southern accent so it sounded especially cute when he said it. :)

An old boyfriend called me “pleasingly plump” and that was about 30 lbs ago. I’d hate to think what he’d think of me now. And for the record, I was definitely within the range of “normal” body weight, so this was HIS problem, not mine.

Let me preface this by saying that my ex-boyfriend was one of the sweetest guys I've ever met, so it's my belief this gem was actually a compliment that came out horribly wrong. One night, while lounging on the couch watching television, I had my legs draped casually on his lap. I have no idea what prompted him to do this, but during one commercial break, he picked up one of my (muscular, I like to think) legs, and said in awe: "Look at this thing! It could feed an Ethiopian!"

Once, while trying to figure out what to be for Halloween, my partner said that I should go as the Incredible Hulk. At first I was taken back because I was always the fat kid in school, in college, and most of my life. Last 2 years I started working out a lot and lost some weight, but it's still going to be a lot of work. So I said: because I'm so big? ROARRR. And he said: Nope, because you'd look hot busting out of your shirt.

I was dating a guy once that told me that he could see me (one day) being a good looking mom and when I asked him what would give him that indication, he told me that I was cute and curvy, with nice big child-bearing hips. Not your child, buddy....

The worst physical insult I've encountered was actually a drawing in my (now ex-) girlfriend's diary (which she let me read) showing what she looked like (a sort of stick figure), what I looked like (depicted as a pear), and what her (ideal?) partner should like (a thin, muscular sort of stick figure). The illustration was accompanied by commentary wondering why she was with someone who looks like me.

Longtime (as in 2 years) lurker, first time participating in LL in any way. But I couldn't resist sharing the best compliment I've ever gotten. A guy I used to date once said, "You have such classic Anglo looks it's like making out with a character from a Jane Austen novel." The literary reference earned quite a few bonus points.

Do I have to pick just one? I'll have to go with "My perfect woman is you, but in like... a size two. Or a size zero. Yeah - your style, your ambition, your sense of humor, just... I don't know ... smaller, I guess." That was a special night for me...

The worst thing that a significant other has ever said to me was "you used to be fairly attractive..." and he didn't actually mean it in a nasty way! Honest to goodness....WOW.

I just noticed your solicitation for appearance insults and thought that you'd be amused by one of my boyfriends once saying to me, "Boy, you're a heavy walker, huh!?"

"you'd look nice with straight hair" (my hair is extremely curly and i NEVER straighten it)

My partner says I have a body like sponge bob square pants (no curves, booty, etc). Kind of mean, but I can see the humor in it. He's kind of a joker. But that's ok cause he has a body like Peter Griffin on "Family Guy", Lol.

Anyhow, the best/worst compliment/insult I ever received really was just that...while comparing me to his current flame, an ex said, "You are much prettier, but her body is infinitely better." Ouch. Glad he is her problem now and not mine.

"I like the way your thighs touch when you walk." I feel the need to defend myself here because I am extremely active, working out 5 days a week. Every. Week. Many miles have been run on the treadmill and many flights climbed on the StairMaster, but you know what? My thighs still touch when I walk.

The best compliment I ever received was in college when the guy I was with told me that I looked just like his high school crush who he never got up the courage to ask out.
Seems a little twisted now but at the time I totally loved it!

Thanks so much for sharing these. For the record, I think that you're all very attractive. - Meredith

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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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