How to Compliment a Guy & Not Come Across Fake


Last Updated: June 3, 2024

Sugar Baby

Want the guy in your life to know just how special he is? Learning how to compliment a guy the right way can make him glow while deepening your connection. But the trick is to do it in a way that isn’t intimidating or disingenuous.

With these tips to give better compliments, you’ll have him smiling in no time!

Think about what you genuinely like about him

There’s one easy solution to avoid your compliments ever coming off as fake: stick to genuine compliments! And don’t be too hard on yourself if this doesn’t come so easily to you. You might not be accustomed to focusing on the good in your partner. So, before you start sharing compliments, consider spending some time simply thinking about what you appreciate about this person. Making yourself more aware of what you like will make genuine compliments come easier to you!

Avoid back-handed compliments

If you have a habit of offering back-handed compliments (which are positive comments couched in negative feedback,) you’ll definitely want to phase out this behavior as soon as possible. This is a surefire way for your compliments to be taken as fake or even manipulative. Here are a few examples of back-handed compliments to take out of the rotation right away:

“You dressed up for once!”

“I’m surprised to see how well you cook!”

“You’re smarter than you look in your dating profile”

“You’re cleaner/funnier/nicer than most guys.”

“I actually enjoyed myself this evening.”

“You’re more interesting in person than online. I was worried.”

Any compliment, in other words, that has a negative hint to it is likely to be received poorly. Stick with purely positive commentary!

Break the ice with your compliments


When you’re getting to know someone, light compliments can make you both feel comfortable and let a guy know how you feel about him. At this stage, it can be helpful not to get too deep yet. Try something like,

“That’s a great hat/jacket/shirt”

“I love your restaurant choice!”

“What you’ve told me about yourself so far is so interesting, I’d love to hear more.”

“You’re so easy to talk to.”

“Wow, the night really flew by!”

“Thank you for planning such a fun date.”

As you can see, these are low-pressure compliments that will set a bubbly tone for you to start feeling more comfortable around each other.

When you’re ready, spice up your compliments


The right compliment can also help to take things to the next level when your relationship is starting to get more intimate! So, if you want to make him blush, let him know where your mind is at! Consider some flirty compliments, like:

“Have I told you that I find you very sexy?”

“I can't stop thinking about how great you looked on our last date.”

“You’re a great kisser.”

“I’m having trouble focusing on anything. Your smile keeps popping into my head.”

You should, of course, personalize these compliments to what you find most attractive about your guy. Focus on how he made you feel and what you’re looking forward to.

Compliment his character

Complimenting a guy on how well he can plan a date and how sexy you find him are great ways to get the ball rolling. But when you want to connect with him on a deeper emotional level, you’ll want to start giving him more meaningful and thoughtful compliments. One way to do that is to focus on his personality traits that you admire. Take these examples for inspiration:

“I admire the way that you can make people feel so comfortable around you.”

“You do such a good job of making people feel heard.”

“I love it when you go into decision-making mode so that things run smoothly.”

“You make me feel protected.”

“I love that you’re not afraid to say what’s on your mind.”

“Your dog is lucky to have such a caring owner like you.”

“The way that you tackle work problems is so inspiring.”

“You are the bravest guy I know.”

“You’re so creative!”

“It melts my heart to know that you’re such a family man.”

“I’m so glad that I get to see the real you.”

Be careful about comments about his looks

Some guys may appreciate compliments about their looks, but this can be something of a touchy subject for others. If, for instance, he has struggled with self-esteem, his looks, his weight, or anything else about his physical appearance, even the best-intended compliment can be upsetting.

So, if you are going to compliment him on his looks, try these more neutral comments:

“Your hair looks great today.”

“You have such lovely eyes.”

“You’re glowing these days!” That’s right, this is a compliment that’s usually addressed to women, but men can have a glow-up too!

“You’ve got a real pep in your step! Have you been working out?”

“That shirt is perfect for your frame.”

“I waited to move these boxes until I knew my strong man was going to come over.”

Compliment his actions that align with his core values

Another way that you can make your compliments have a bigger impact on him is to tailor them to the things you know are important to him.

For example, if he’s an athlete, compliment him on his dedication to getting up early to train. If he has a hobby, compliment him on his patience.

Or, you can pay close attention to the values that are most important to him in daily life. For instance, you may learn that he always treats service people kindly because his first job was at a restaurant. You might offer a compliment such as, “You would be my favorite customer if I worked here. You’re always so nice!”

Compliment him on what you know

Sometimes we’re afraid to give compliments because we feel out of our depth and worry that whatever we say will come off sounding hollow. For example, maybe your guy has been stressed out at work and you want to say just the right thing to make him feel better. But saying that he’s been doing a great job when he feels like he’s on the brink of a firing won’t land well. Instead, you can complement something that you do know to be true, for instance:

“I can see how much you care about this and that is something I really admire about you”

You can even acknowledge that there are things that you don’t know but want to be supportive anyway. For example, you might say something like,

“I don’t know that much about your work, but I do know that you’re a dedicated, hard-working, and smart guy. Any team would be lucky to have you.”

Consider taking yourself out of your compliments

Sometimes our compliments can be too centered on how the guy in our life makes us feel. For instance, we might say something like, “I love how relaxed I am when I’m with you” or “You make me feel so happy.” These compliments aren’t bad! But if every compliment you give is about how he makes you feel, he might wonder whether there are things about him that you actually like.

So, consider changing your compliments slightly to put him back in focus. For instance, you might say things like:

“You brighten up every party.”

“You have such an interesting way of seeing the world.”

“I could listen to you talk about that all day.”

Don’t draw it out too long

Learning how to compliment a guy is also about learning when to stop. Because, if you keep reiterating the compliment over and over, he’s likely to feel overwhelmed.

If he starts blushing, pulling back, or trying to change the subject, take it as a cue to back off. You might even diffuse the situation by saying something playful like, “Well, you don’t have to take the compliment, but that’s how I feel” with a kiss or a wink. And then move on.

Choose your timing carefully

Most men like to receive compliments, but only when they’re not distracted by something that requires their attention. For instance, if your guy is driving in heavy traffic, cooking something complicated, or about to go into an important meeting, a compliment could throw him off kilter. In that instance, instead of the comment having a positive impact, it could fluster and even upset him.

Instead, if you see that he’s stressed out over something, make a mental note of your compliment so that you can share it at a better time.

Keep it between you and him

You want to show your guy off to the world, but the extra attention could make him uncomfortable. This is especially true if he’s meeting your friends or family for the first time or you’re around his coworkers.

That’s not to say that you can never compliment him when you’re in public. In fact, a well-placed compliment could boost his confidence and make him feel more relaxed. But, wait for a moment when you can talk without people overhearing so that he doesn’t feel so exposed.

Don’t shy away from the corny compliments

Sometimes, a cheesy compliment can be a great mood-lightener! So, if you really want to get him smiling and maybe even shaking his head at your goofiness, try these compliments:

“I think you’re the bee’s knees.”

“You’re the peanut butter to my jelly.”

“You’re my superhero.”

“I feel like I won the lottery with you.”

“There’s no one I would rather wait in line at the bank with than you.”
“You can make a traffic jam fun.”

If he seems uncomfortable receiving compliments, gently talk to him about it

Unfortunately, many men have never received compliments or have been taught that they shouldn’t feel good about receiving compliments. And your guy’s negative or neutral reaction can make you feel confused about whether he wants you to stop saying nice things about him. If you feel like your compliments are being received negatively, try the following:

  • Ask him whether your compliments make him feel uncomfortable. It’s possible that he really doesn’t like to receive compliments. Or, maybe he really does like them but doesn’t show his emotions on his face. Talking about it can give you clarity and possibly encourage him to be more expressive.
  • Ask him whether there’s a type of compliment that he likes more than others. Maybe he’d rather you tell him when he has a good style than compliment him on his character.
  • Ask him whether there’s a way that he prefers to receive compliments. Does he like it when you leave compliments on little notes around his apartment? Does he prefer a text on his way to work?

Keep in mind that you can adjust the way that you compliment him based on his preferences, but you also don’t have to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate your effort. If you enjoy giving compliments as a way to build a connection and he is not emotionally available enough to receive them, it might be time for a more serious conversation about compatibility.

Now that you know how to compliment a guy, it’s time to get practicing!

If you’re not used to giving compliments to a guy, it’s going to feel a little bit forced and uncomfortable at first! And, to be sure, that could make your first few compliments sound fake. But, if you can stick with it and follow the tips in this article, you’ll start sharing compliments with your guy that will make him feel like the most special person in the world! So, don’t be shy. The best way to learn how to compliment a guy is to simply get started!

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