Complimenting a person you’re romantically interested in can sometimes be tricky business. You don’t want your compliments to ring hollow or come across as disingenuous — or as just another attempt to get in her pants — but, at the same time, leaving her starved of affection and affirmation is unlikely to be a smooth move, either.
The trick is to focus on less-obvious areas for praise in order to truly impress her. Compliments like “You’re the most beautiful girl in the world” are thoroughly cliched and are unlikely to cut it, so you’re going to need to be slightly more creative. Here are the top 10 compliments women can’t resist, and that might not come to mind immediately:
1. “You’re hilarious!”
One of the biggest drags about being female is the persistent myth that women aren’t funny, even though female comedians and actors are consistently proving this trope wrong, and ordinary women are cracking each other up whenever we gaggle together in groups. Occasionally, too, men are so preoccupied with the idea that they need to be The Funny One in the relationship that they stifle their significant other’s attempts at humor or drown them out, and this can lead to an awkward dynamic where your girl feels under-appreciated in the comedy department and like you’re always trying to outshine her.
It’s great to be appreciated for your humor: as a guy, you know this, so why would it be any different for women? Show sincere appreciation for her humor, and she’ll warm to you as a result. The bonus here is that, by complimenting your girlfriend on her sense of humor, you establish that you aren’t a sexist idiot who thinks women aren’t capable of inducing a belly laugh.
Letting your girlfriend know you find her funny is usually best communicated by simply laughing at her jokes (or responding with the cry-laugh emoji to her joking texts), but can be reinforced on occasion by letting her know in actual words (“you’re hilarious,” “you crack me up” or “you have such a sharp sense of humor”).
2. “I always learn so much from you.”
Everyone likes to feel as though they bring valuable information to the table, so try to remember to compliment the love interests in your life on their intellect. It doesn’t matter whether they are book smart or street smart, let them know that you value their opinions and input, and learn from them.
Everyone brings something to the table in terms of knowledge, so think carefully about what exactly your girlfriend or date is teaching you, and compliment on that specifically so that the compliment is more genuine. A more tailored way of delivering this compliment is by relating it to taste; for example, “you have such good taste in books/movies/music” or even the more covert (but equally flattering) “could you recommend me a good article/song/series? I definitely trust your taste.”
3. “You’ve got such nice eyes/lips/teeth/hair.”
Telling a woman she is beautiful will usually be well-received, but it can be such a generic compliment that it occasionally comes across as a bit disingenuous and hollow. Go a step further by isolating her best features and complimenting them specifically. If she’s got amazing, full lips, tell her that — in a non-creepy way, and if you’ve known her a while! If she’s got gleaming white teeth, hone in on that particular feature.
The more specific you are the better, because it shows that you’re paying attention, although try not to compliment weird areas like ears and feet, at least at first – it’ll sound like you’re struggling to find something you like about her! It’s also best to avoid focusing on cruder, more sexual body parts (her boobs or ass, for example) unless you have an established relationship and are sure that it will go down well. Complimenting a woman on her skin, hair or nails, if they are particularly clear, glossy and strong respectively, can be a good move, because a lot of women put unheralded effort into those particular areas.
4. “I trust you implicitly.”
This one’s for all the guys in committed relationships: Tell your girlfriend that you trust her! Jealousy can be an ugly dividing force in relationships, and if you have a tendency to let the green-eyed monster run a little wild, you should take stock of your girlfriend’s loyalty and compliment her for it.
After all, unless you have actual evidence that she’s cheated on you, she will appreciate some acknowledgment for staying true to you, especially if the norm for you is suspicious text messages and thinly-veiled accusations of flirting. It takes effort for women to remain faithful in relationships too, and even though loyalty is something that should go without saying when you’ve agreed to commit to someone, that doesn’t mean it’s not nice to occasionally show your gratitude for it.
5. “You’re not like everyone else.”
NOTE WELL: This is not the same as saying “you’re not like other girls,” which is thinly-veiled sexism and unlikely to be well-received by self-respecting women. “You’re not like other girls” contains the assumption that being like most girls is a bad thing, because girls are vapid, love pink and can’t throw balls, or [insert whatever other stereotypes you’re relying on when you set your special snowflake apart from the rest of her gender].
However, “you’re not like everyone else” is a lovely thing to hear, for people of all genders. It acknowledges your girlfriend or date’s unique personality quirks and reassures her that you find them endearing rather than weird. We’d all like for our less conventional quirks and idiosyncrasies to be noticed and appreciated too, because it means that we’ve valued for the entirety of who we are, and not just the polished facade we adopt when we’re on our best behavior.
6. “You’re good at what you do.”
Whatever your girlfriend or date does in terms of career, hobbies and side hustles, she’s bound to want to be noticed for her skill and talent at them. Pay attention to the craft that matters most to her: there’s no point complimenting her on her abilities at her 9-to-5 banking job if you know she finds it soul-destroying and does a half-assed effort, but a meaningful compliment about her art or sporting prowess will be better received and show that you care about the things she truly values and wants to spend her time doing. Most of us are secretly burning to be noticed for our talents and abilities, so a compliment like this will set you apart and make her feel warm and fuzzy.
7. “You’re a good friend.”
We’re often complimented for fairly meaningless things in life: our outfits, how we look or how nice the things we buy are. There’s something very satisfying, then, about being told you’re a good friend, because it strikes at the core of who you are as a person and your very best, most selfless qualities. Whether you’re complimenting your girl for being a good friend to you or to her friends, she’ll appreciate it and be touched by your thoughtfulness.
8. “You’re sexy.”
Keep this one for at least a few dates in, so you don’t seem creepy or overtly focused on sex, but if you’re dating or in a relationship, your girl will want to be reassured that you find her attractive in a sexual way. Usually best for when you’re just about to get it on or when she’s looking and feeling her best, a “you’re soooo sexy” can really be the icing on the cake to boost her mood.
9. “You look great today.”
Complimenting a woman’s appearance can be delicate business. If she’s wearing a face full of makeup or is dressed up to the nines and you specifically compliment either of those things, she may feel as though you don’t like the way she looks when she’s more dressed down. Conversely, if you praise her makeup-free face or tell her you “prefer her without makeup,” she may well take that as a snub, and sign that you find her too made-up on other occasions. The same problem occurs when you use specific body-based compliments like “curvy,” “skinny” or “toned.”
For this reason, it’s best to keep looks-based compliments general and not too specific. The last thing you want is for something you’ve intended as a compliment to make her feel worse about her appearance or like you place too much value on it, so go with catch-all niceties like “you look great today” and “you always look so good.”
10. “You’re my favorite person to spend time with.”
Telling someone that you enjoy their company is about the simplest, sincerest compliment on earth. It’s humble and undramatic, but it’s always to hear from someone you’re seeing that you’re their favorite person to spend time with, or that they find you easy-going and a pleasant person to wile away the hours with. Sometimes long-term relationships lose a bit of the spark and passion that characterizes them at first, so this can be a good way to reaffirm what your partner means to you, even if you’ve moved into comfortable, familiar territory.
Compliments are a simple way to strengthen a relationship and improve the self-esteem of your partner. The key with compliments is to make them thoughtful, specific and related to things other than her looks. If you’re being genuine and pointing out aspects you truly like about her, you can’t go too far wrong. So be generous with your verbal affection, and hopefully she will return the favor!