To prepare for this specific piece, I text messaged my two closest guy friends in order to ask them what sort of compliments they love hearing from women. My friendship with these two (we’ll call them “B” and “M”, which sounds about right since they both resemble a bowel movement) has always been a series of sarcastic comments and group conversations that revolve around roasting one of the three of us. I should have known that my text inbox would be flooded with dumba** responses about reproduction organ sizes. When they finally decided to dial down the stupid, they got serious and told me what they wanted to hear from women in terms of compliments… before I promptly responded with sarcastic, dumba** responses about reproduction organ sizes (I’ve clearly been hanging around dudes too long). Here are 15 things you should always compliment him on, even if you secretly don’t mean it. Because we all know that even a Faberge egg isn’t as fragile as a man’s ego.
15 That He's Hilarious
This has ALWAYS been high on my list in what I’m looking for in a guy, so while I don’t necessarily like to compliment a man on this if it isn’t true, I understand the reasoning behind the masking. There are some men who take pride in their sense of humor – hell, there are some who make their livings off their quick quips and sarcastic observations (hello there, stand-up comedians and TV show writers) – so it’s always a booster when the girl in their life repeatedly laughs at their one liners. Though sometimes when you’re with someone for a long period of time, you feel like you’ve heard all their little jokes and no longer feel the need to throw out a single laugh or two. Though it’s pretty important to let him know that you still think he’s hilarious. Otherwise he’ll just try harder and the jokes will worsen and that’s never a good thing.
14 That You Admire His Strength
Yes, strength is a huge deal to dudes (so B and M tell me all the time) – you think they spend all that time at the gym for nothing? If your guy is a workout nut, or even just starting to attempt to get into shape, nothing pushes them along like when their girlfriend, or even just a friend that is a girl, notices and compliments him on his progress and the strength behind it. It’s always good to encourage him if he’s been hitting the gym and the results aren’t coming fast enough (B was adamant on this one topic) to help nudge him along. It’s important to hit all angles of the strength realm, not just the physical. Compliment him on his emotional strength as well, cause god knows some men need to work on that aspect of their lives – even more so than focusing on their dumb-dumb biceps.
13 Size, Size, SIZE
Yes, I get it – I was surprised I didn’t list this one first either. You can throw all the insults you want at a dude (speaking in a facetious sort of fashion like if you have a close relationship with your boyfriend or just your guy friends), roast him to death about losing his hair or putting on a little holiday weight or why he drafted so-and-so in your Fantasy Football league (mainly stuff you couldn’t roast your girlfriends about), but the SECOND you touch base on the size of his member, you’ll see his eyes water up. Even if you’ve never even seen it before, just tip-toeing close to the subject will put a man completely on the defense. If you’re in a relationship and your man is feeling a little insecure about his little member, it’s probably best to shy away from the word “little”. Even if you don’t agree with the words that are coming out of your mouth, it’s better than the alternative; witnessing him curl up in a little ball and cry his eyes out.
12 His Intellect
I never understood why a man has to be the smartest in the room, even when he clearly knows he’s not. Intelligence is huge with me – the higher the IQ the better, but as long as he’s only on the verge of arrogance, not neck deep and drowning in it. This is a low-key compliment that can go for miles, even if he’s not the brightest crayon in the box. Hell, it can go a long way even if the guy is a marble in a drawer full of sharp knives (it could even make a marble become president even if he’s not in the least bit qualified… wait, that might be a bad example). Complimenting his intelligence does wonders for the self-esteem, especially if he’s feeling a little down on himself.
11 That Work Ethic of His
Regardless of the gender, EVERYONE wants to have a strong work ethic – it’s what will get you through this life with a (somewhat) positive outlook. When your work ethic starts to waver, you can fall into a bit of a slump. It’s just as bad for men as it is for women. When a guy’s work ethic starts to get a little weak, it effects every aspect in his life from his work life to his bedroom life. Even if you don’t mean it, it helps a great deal if a guy’s girlfriend takes notice and starts complimenting his work ethic in order to drive up his moral. Taking notice to something that small (*I will not make a member joke here, I will not make a member joke here*) could be a major push in your relationship and help drive up his confidence level.
10 His Charm
This one can present a problem if the guy already knows that he oozes with charm and charisma. You can see that the most “charming” guys tend to be, what do they call them now? “Screw Boys”? (Actually, I know what they’re called these days, I was just doing the whole censoring thing). But in those instances where your guy is NOT George Clooney, it's probably a good thing to point out his charm from time to time, as long as you’re side stepping turning him into a complete douche-hat who thinks he’s Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Especially if your guy is one who appears to be rather introverted, compliments where you’re pointing out his charm can draw him out of his shell a tad – even if you are lying through your lying teeth.
9 His Laugh
Years ago, I was going through a phase with a guy I was seeing. This happened to be my first love who was a man I was over the moon for. Every aspect about his personality and looks was so thoroughly intoxicating that he managed to spark an aesthetic nerve with me and I remember writing pretentious long-form pieces about little things like his eye color to his laugh: “The sea-foam green glass that encompassed the muted gold sparks was so orotund in a clear pitch, you said, that you would sometimes cover your ears to expunge the beauty of the salient colors that all at once were omnipresent,” I wrote. Oh my god, what WAS that? I couldn’t just say “hey, guess what, I like your laugh even though you sometimes sound like a monkey in heat”. Nope, I had to be all snooty. Regardless of which, I found that while the world hated his laugh and compared it with said monkey, I loved it, and would tell him so, which made him happily laugh even more throughout our relationship.
8 His Eye Color
I like to believe that when you fall for someone, their eye color is beautiful no matter what, even if your guy has the pitch black doll eyes of Satan himself. Okay, so he lacks those gold and fiery hues of the copper brown eyes that your ex-boyfriend once had and instead has the eyes of Jaws before he preyed on human flesh? So what? It’s probably best not to tell him that and just keep it under lock and key for the time being. Instead, tell him you enjoy how deep his eyes are – like you can see into his soul through them (instead of, you know, comparing them to Dante’s fifth circle of Hell). Whether you’re a fan of blue, green, brown, black, sorta reddish, or anywhere in between, always be sure to complement a man’s eyes in order to soothe his male ego. Save that Satan doll eyes stuff for when you’re really mad at him.
7 Tell Him You Love Showing Him Off To Everyone
I love how this is a total double standard when it comes to women and men: If you’re an attractive woman, you can sometimes get insulted when a man attempts to show you off to his buddies. What are the lyrics from that old song by Lesley Gore that Grace featuring G-Easy just redid? Oh yeah: “Don’t tell me what to do, don’t tell me what to say, and please when I go out with you, don’t put me on display”? While we strong woman don’t especially like being used as a studio prop to impress your friends, some guys feel the exact opposite. Some like being shown off like it’s the Westminster Dog Show of dating. You get a ribbon for strutting! You get a ribbon for not piddling on the carpet! It makes him feel important and, well, so very pretty.
6 How Much He Makes You Feel Safe
I’m the type of woman who thrives on her independence, and this includes making myself feel safe within my surroundings whatever the situation. I’ve taken self-defense classes, kick boxing classes, and was even taught how to shoot a gun at a young age (my grandfather was a sheriff and was adamant on the subject) so I feel safe in my own skin, regardless of being 5’2 and pretty small. But there was a time when I was in a relationship and was up in the mountains with my guy and I felt particular uneasy about the dark woods (screw dark woods – they suck. Nature is not for me) and all he had to do was wrap his arms around me and I felt instantly better. At that moment, even though I knew I could probably take on a bear and win while he would run the hell away crying, I voiced that he made me feel safer. And right there I noticed a shift in his demeanor, like suddenly he wasn’t afraid to take on a bear. He just wanted to prove my words true. They were an instant rush to his adrenalin.
5 That You Love The Way He Tastes
This one is right up there with size. For some reason, girls have always been the more insecure ones about their specific “taste” in terms of kissing or other activities. It’s been drilled into our heads that if we don’t taste like strawberries or freaking candy down there, we’re doing something wrong. Truth be told, if we taste like actual strawberries or Skittles down there, there IS something wrong and we should probably go to the doctor ASAP. However, when it comes to dudes, they don’t seem all that concerned with a woman’s gag factor and will keep shoveling those asparagus down his throat during dinner (vomit – don’t do that on date night, gentlemen). Regardless, all men like hearing that they taste like fresh mangoes on a Caribbean beach at sunset when you’re going to town south of the border. It’s like a nice little surprise for them whenever you say this, even if you’re lying.
4 How Reliable He Is
One time, he showed up when you had a flat tire out in the middle of nowhere. One time, he brought you soup when you had the flu. One time, he picked you up from the airport when you were off visiting your family. But sometimes, a dude can space on things and would rather play World of Warcraft or something equally as stupid and fail to show up with a spare key if you accidentally get locked out of your apartment. So, he’s not all THAT reliable from time to time, but he’s usually there when it counts. And the more you compliment him on his reliability, the more reliable he actually becomes. It’s better than doing the opposite by calling him a “mindless jerk-wad who can’t be depended on to take care of my sick dog while I’m away”. The more I subtly complement him, the more he’s gonna remember to DVR Game of Thrones for my viewing pleasure.
3 The Way He Moves
On your first date, he broke out into “the Robot” in the middle of the club and you tried to pretend like you didn’t know him. When you took him home to meet your family at Christmas, he started to do “the Carlton” after downing a few eggnogs and you tried to ditch him. Okay, so he’s not the absolute BEST when it comes to busting a move. And that’s okay – it’s not why you’re with the lovable guy. Since he probably already knows that he dances like Elaine on Seinfeld, he would see right through your false compliments on his sweet dance moves, so instead, touch base on the actual way he moves in real life. Like his stride, or the way he moves his hands when he talks. It’s complimenting something that small that will throw off his guard a little and he'll become enamored with the fact that you’re watching him so closely.
2 His Originality
Originality is another big one when it comes to me: I love a guy that is building a world of his own instead of being a basic cookie-cutter cut out in a world of someone else’s. It’s the key of attraction to someone like myself. Why would you want to be with someone basic and who has no problem with being basic? It’s depressing. But if your man is trying his hand at building up his own originality, you need to give him some nudges along the way. Make curious little observations about how he stands out of crowd and isn’t your regular, everyday guy. But the observations can’t be too close together, or else that will just push the poor bastard to try too hard and end up making a fool out of himself.
1 His Relationship With His Family
So his mother is a relentless shrew who thinks you’re not good enough for her little boy or his sister is that one cheerleader b*tch who used to make fun of your bangs in high school – it’s all good. You have your finely tuned skills as a spinner (or you’re just a damn good liar). Because of this, your guy has a somewhat rocky relationship with his family and doesn’t want to put that on you. Too bad. If you love him, it’s possible that these people will become YOUR family so you have to learn to deal. And you start that by complimenting the positive aspects your guy shows his family. How well he treats his mother (but keep your eye on that) or that crappy sister of his. It will make him feel good to know that you’re paying attention, even if you do want to slap the hell out of his family. Don’t feel guilty – he probably feels the exact same way about your family.