In the course of meeting someone new and getting to know them better, whether online or in a real-world dating scenario, most guys know to throw a compliment or two out there. People love to hear good things about themselves, and it’s especially welcome if the things that are said are heartfelt, honest and unique. Women with even the slightest bit of attractiveness have probably heard most of the usual “lines” before: “You have nice eyes,” “You’re so pretty,” etc.
So what can you say about a new love interest that will catch her attention and make you stand out from the crowd? Some rules of thumb include: Be specific, take cues from the situation (what she’s interested in or talking about), be sincere, and don’t go over the top. Here are six suggestions culled from a variety of sources that you could keep handy for most occasions.
- “I like listening to you talk about [insert her interest here].” Most people talk about their hobbies, jobs, interests, etc. on their dates. Sometimes, it can feel like the person across the table isn’t all that interested, or worse, is turned off by the convo. If you don’t mind (or even actually like) what she’s talking about, whether it’s her extensive collection of archery bows or her dedicated work at the animal shelter, let her know that what she has to say is interesting to you.
- “That [insert something physically unique] is cute/interesting/nice.” You can compliment a woman’s appearance, but steer clear of generalities (“you’re pretty”) and avoid the obvious features (like eyes). Instead, find something about her looks that’s endearing but maybe a little different, like a smattering of freckles on her nose or a tasteful tattoo on her wrist. Pointing out the less-than-cliché shows you’re paying attention and that you notice details.
- “You’re very accomplished.” This compliment goes with asking what she does for a living (or what hobby she’s pursuing). Women who have strong jobs or positions of power often get torn down for it – after all, a bossy guy is assertive, but a bossy woman is often seen as a bitch. Women don’t get enough credit for what they accomplish in a workplace, especially from men. And if she has a job that isn’t so impressive (it would sound a little silly to say this to someone who, say, refills straw dispensers at the local stadium), use it in reference to an interest she’s working on. Whether she reads a lot of books or paints in her spare time, she’s probably accomplished at something, and it’s worth pointing out.
- “Your smile is contagious.” This seems like another looks-based comment on the surface, but it’s really about overall positivity and exuding good vibes. It’s sort of a low-key version of “you light up a room,” and because of that, it works well. A girl doesn’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous to have a contagious smile, a bubbly personality or a great outlook. Be sure to smile when you say it, though, otherwise it comes across as stupid.
- “The world would be pretty awesome if more people like you were in it.” This one works best when NOT related to appearance, of course. Once you’ve gotten to know someone a bit and gotten comfortable with them, this is a nice thing to say to express how much you enjoy their company. It’s not over the top, but it communicates the idea fairly directly and clearly.
- “You remind me of [insert fictional character here.]” This can be tailored to whatever her interests (or your mutual interests) are. Here’s an example from my own life: My husband and I were watching “Scrooged,” the Christmas movie with Bill Murray as the angry Scrooge character. He’s redeemed, in part, by his old flame, Claire. Claire is sweet and giving and just all-around awesome, and at the end of the movie, my husband turned to me and just said simply, “You’re my Claire.” That remains the best compliment I’ve ever gotten, because he was telling me that a) he thinks I’m sweet/generous/kind, and also that b) I make him a better person. There’s not a lot of topping that. So if your date is into literature or comics or rom com movies, try to think of a character that she’d know and that she’d see as a positive thing to be compared to!