How to Compliment Your Date

Four Parts:Admiring Your Date’s AppearancePraising Your Date's Character and IntellectAvoiding PitfallsCompliment Help

If you are on a date, a compliment can go a long way. Complimenting your crush helps the date go smoother and allows you to feel comfortable with each other. It is easy to get tongue tied and nervous when you are just beginning a relationship. If you have trouble thinking of compliments, consider the things that you enjoy about your date and let them know. You might focus on their appearance, their intellect or wit, or their personality. As long as you are genuine with what you say, your compliment should be well received.

Part 1
Admiring Your Date’s Appearance

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    Focus on one specific feature. While it’s nice to hear something general like "You look so handsome," or "You’re beautiful," it’s nicer still to have a compliment paid to a specific feature. Perhaps your date has naturally alluring eyes or full lips. Tell your date about your favorite part of their face and why. This will boost their self-esteem and self-confidence.[1] It also might make your date more comfortable around you.
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    Make the compliment about your date. Rather than complimenting your date's clothing or makeup, make sure that you are complimenting your date.[2]
    • For example, instead of saying, “Nice lipstick,” or “I like your dress,” you might say, “You look sexy in red lipstick,” or “You really wear that dress well.” This way your compliment is directed at your date, which makes it feel more personal.[3]
    • You might tell your date, "That blue shirt really brings out your eyes," or "I like the way you look in those jeans."
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    Avoid sexually-charged compliments. If you are still early in your relationship and you want to compliment your date’s appearance, be sure that you don’t say anything that could come across as overly sexual or crass.[4]
    • If you’re on a first or second date and you think that telling your date that you like the way that his or her backside looks in those jeans is a compliment, think again. You’d do better your date that they have glowing skin, warm brown eyes, or shiny hair.
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    Use compliments on appearance sparingly.[5][6][7] While overdoing it with any type of compliment can make your date feel that you are trying too hard or not sincere, throwing out a lot of compliments focusing on your date's appearance is always a bad idea. This will give your date the impression that you are superficial and it might even demonstrate that you are objectifying his or her body, which could lead to the end of your relationship.
    • Try to limit compliments on your date's appearance to one or two at the most. For example, you might offer a compliment at the beginning of your date, when you first see each other, to let your date know you think they look great. Then you might mention a specific facial feature that you really find attractive later that evening.
    • If you want to compliment more, try to focus on his or her personality, sense of humor, or intellect.

Part 2
Praising Your Date's Character and Intellect

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    Admire your date’s interests. The things that make people deep and fascinating are their interests. As you get to know your date, try to find out what he or she loves, and then, compliment those interests. This shows your date that you see their depth and can appreciate that they've spent time learning about the things they enjoy.[8]
    • For example, if your date knows a lot about music, you might say, “I like how you know so much about jazz music. I feel like hanging out with you is going to teach me so much.”
    • You might tell your date, "It is really interesting talking to you about your work. I never really thought about how interesting numbers can be, but when you talk you make it interesting!"
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    Make your compliments specific. Rather than telling your date that you like his or her sense of humor, instead analyze it just a bit.[9] Focus on it until you can adequately describe what you like about it.
    • For instance, instead of just saying, "You're funny," you might say, “I love that your sense of humor is so quirky. You can think of a pun for anything!” This type of compliment is more personal and shows your date that you've really been paying attention.
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    Point out your date’s inner beauty. Rather than focusing on superficial beauty, express your appreciation for his or her depth and character.[10] Reinforce that your date is a beautiful human being inside and out.
    • For example, if you like that your date is driven and motivated, tell him or her, “You’re already so good looking, but your ambition just makes you that much more attractive! I love that you are so driven.”
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    Focus on your date's kindness. Letting your date know that you’ve recognized that he or she is kind and generous shows that you are paying attention and that you’re connecting with them on a deeper level.[11] Maybe your date always holds the door for strangers, or maybe he or she gave up their seat to an elderly person on the subway. Let your date know that you see this generosity and that you appreciate it. You might say something like:
    • “I love how kind you were when you gave your seat up on the subway tonight.”
    • “I find your generous spirit quite sexy.”
    • “Your act of generosity, when you gave that homeless man your leftover food, was really inspiring.”
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    Tell your date that you like talking to them. Let them know that you appreciate being able to share your thoughts on a subject with them and being able to hear their thoughts on a subject in return. This way, you are celebrating your date's intellect and passion, and pointing out that you have much in common.
    • If you enjoy the philosophical conversations that you share over coffee, be sure to tell them. If you like listening to them talking about smart things, tell them so. If you find them easy to talk to, be sure to let them know.[12]

Part 3
Avoiding Pitfalls

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    Do not give backhanded compliments. A backhanded compliment is an insult that is disguised as a compliment. Sometimes these might be completely unintentional, but that doesn't mean they won't hurt your date's feelings.[13]
    • For instance, if your date is a woman, avoid the backhanded compliment , "Wow, you really drive great for a woman!" This type of compliment suggests that you assumed she wouldn't be able to drive well just because she's a woman.[14]
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    Make sure that your compliments are genuine. If you compliment someone too often, you begin to sound disingenuous.[15] You should also only compliment a person if you actually mean what you are saying. People are usually pretty good at recognizing fake compliments.
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    Never give empty compliments. Your compliment should be specific to the person you are delivering it to.[16] If you give a general compliment that could be meant for anyone, it will sound empty and disingenuous.[17]
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    Avoid impersonal compliments. You want to make sure that you are tailoring your compliment to your date in a specific way.[18] Everyone wants to be noticed and appreciated for who they are, so it is much more effective and meaningful if the compliment feels personalized.
    • For example, saying, “You look nice,” is nice but it’s not personal, and as far as compliments go, it’s a bit mediocre. Instead, you might say, “That blue shirt matches your eye color. You wear it really well.” This is a much better and more personal compliment as it shows that you’ve taken notice of your date's shirt and eye color, and that you think they look good.
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    Don’t exaggerate.[19] The best compliments are truthful compliments.[20] If you exaggerate when you are complimenting your date, they will recognize it as a lie.
    • Don’t say things like, “You’re the most beautiful woman that I’ve ever seen” if it isn't true.

Compliment Help

Sample List of Compliments

Compliment Flirt Cheat Sheet

Sample Compliment Reactions


  • Don't use cheesy pick up lines.
  • Keep your breath fresh. Nothing is more off-putting than disgusting breath.
  • Don’t forget to maintain eye contact and smile. If you look around too much, you may be giving off the impression that you are bored or not trustworthy.
  • Use compliments as a spring board to ask a question that could start a conversation. For example, you might say, “I really admire your drive and determination at work. What is your main motivation?”
  • Avoid giving compliments that are rude.
  • Be sure to talk to your date respectfully.
  • If you're feeling awkward, tell your date that you aren't very good at these things. Sometimes this is endearing.


  • Do not over-compliment. Conversations based solely on compliments can make the other person uncomfortable and self-conscious.
  • Be honest. If you really like your date, say what you feel.
  • Don’t give your attention to other people when you are on a date. This means that you shouldn’t flirt with your waitress or bartender, you shouldn’t banter with other customers, and you shouldn’t take phone calls or text your friends until after the date has ended.

Sources and Citations

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Article Info

Categories: Commitment Issues