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How To Compliment A Guy (So They'll Never Forget It)

Francesca Bond
Author:
March 27, 2024
Francesca Bond
Relationships Editor
By Francesca Bond
Relationships Editor
Francesca Bond is mindbodygreen's relationships editor.
Image by Mauro Grigollo / Stocksy
March 27, 2024
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

Flattery may not get you everywhere, but it usually doesn't hurt. We all like to feel seen and appreciated. A thoughtful compliment usually accomplishes just that—validating and cherishing the recipient, giving them a nice self-esteem boost.

If you want to learn how to compliment a guy—from a crush to your long-term partner—here are some things to keep in mind.

So you want to compliment a guy...

There's an enduring piece of wisdom that never goes out of style: Treat others the way you want to be treated. When it comes to complimenting a guy, try to think of things that you would like to be told.

Compliments are a key aspect of flirting (and flirting shouldn't stop when you're in a long-term relationship). Throw away any preconceived notions of what a "flirty" person looks like. You don't need to be a certain way to be flirty—you just need to be confident in who you are... and maybe know how to give a great compliment.

"Compliments are also a fantastic flirting classic, but you don't need to only compliment a person on their looks," Shan Boodram, a certified sexologist, previously told mbg. "If you've discussed their favorite bands, tell them how impressed you are with their taste in music. If you've matched with someone on Bumble and they've included a photo of themselves rock climbing, compliment them on their bravery or sense of adventure."

Here's another reason to compliment your partner: it reinforces good behavior in a positive way, unlike criticism. Criticism may discourage negative behaviors, but it has other negative effects, too, such as leading the person you're criticizing to think you're being too hard on them or they can never satisfy you.

Compliments, on the other hand, reinforce good behaviors and have other positive effects. When you're treating your partner with gratitude, they'll feel appreciated and want to affirm your positive beliefs.

Healthy relationships tend to have many more positive experiences than negative ones. Compliments are one way to fill your relationship with positive interactions, so that they outnumber any (sometimes necessary) negative interactions. As Mary Poppins said, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.

"A lot of why we choose a partner is because it feels good to be around that person," sex therapist Heather Shannon, LCPC previously told mbg.

Tips for complimenting a guy

1. Focus on his personality

What is it about his personality that you really enjoy? Make a list of your partner's positive personality traits. You may want to tell your partner about your list, as a compliment in itself, or keep it for your own reference.

For a direct compliment, try something like this:

  • You're one of the warmest and kindest people I know.
  • I love how thoughtful you are.
  • You can always make me laugh.

2. Be as specific as you can be

To be even more effective, you might want to get specific.

Rooting your compliments in specificity helps the recipient feel valued, according to licensed marriage and family therapist Dana McNeil, PsyD.

"By telling the person we love that we notice who they are and why they mean so much to us, we are offering them a gift of being seen and valued for the things they do or the parts of their personality that they specifically add to your life in ways that no one else can quite replicate," McNeil previously told mbg.

For example:

  • I love how you react to the kids' big emotions. Your warmth and kindness doesn't go unnoticed. I'm so grateful for you.
  • You never forget to ask about my day and really listen to my responses. You are such a thoughtful partner.
  • I was thinking earlier of that joke you made (reference specific joke) and how funny you are. I love that about you.

3. Identify what he is most proud of—and affirm it

We all build our identities around certain aspects of ourselves and our lives, for better and for worse. So think about the kinds of things that make your partner proud of himself. Does he consider himself to be a loyal partner to you? The life of the party? A successful employee? A hardworking caretaker? A physically fit person?

Since we spend so much time with our partners, we often end up being the lead witness to their lives. Never underestimate the power of making your partner feel witnessed and affirmed for their positive self beliefs.

For example:

  • I know that it's hard to take care of your parents, but you are such an amazing son to them and we all are so lucky to have you in our lives.
  • I love seeing you interact with our friends because you're really in your element. We all love being around you because you're so much fun. Our friend group wouldn't be the same without you.
  • I'm always so impressed by your work ethic. Your team is so lucky to have you.
  • You look amazing. The time you've been spending at the gym has really been paying off. I'm proud of how dedicated you've been to your health.

4. Maybe you just want to flirt

If you're not quite at the "life witness" stage—maybe you just want to flirt with your crush—then it might be a better idea to stick to more general compliments. Complimenting your crush can help clue him in that you have feelings for him.

Try these:

  • That sweater looks so good on you.
  • You make me laugh.
  • I really like being around you.
  • I have the best time with you.

The takeaway

If you want to give a guy a compliment they'll never forget, then take your time to be specific and thoughtful. Whether their love language is words of affirmation or not, they probably appreciate feeling appreciated.

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