How to Compliment a Guy

Whether it’s your husband, your boyfriend, a new crush, or just a friend, complimenting the man in your life can be a lovely way of showing him just how much you care and how much he means to you. If you’re not quite sure how to go about doing that, don’t fret. We’re here to fill you in on some of the nicest ways you can compliment a guy in a thoughtful and respectful way. 

How to Compliment a Guy’s Looks?

Whilst some guys might really appreciate a positive compliment on their appearance, others might find it uncomfortable or in some cases, a little shallow or even offensive. With that in mind, always be careful and thoughtful when complimenting someone on their looks.

For example, saying ‘you look well’, ’ I love your jacket, it really suits you’, or ‘your new haircut looks so great!’ are all really nice ways of complimenting a guy you don’t know super well yet on his appearance. It shows you’ve been considerate of his feelings and care enough to compliment his appearance but in a respectful way. That’s always a good thing!

That said, there are a few exceptions to the rule. If the guy you’re wanting to compliment is your long-term partner or perhaps your spouse even, being a little friendlier and more familiar is usually acceptable. A simple ‘wow’ when he puts on a nice outfit, a ‘Look at you, I’m so lucky to have you’ when you wake up beside him in the morning, or even the occasional ‘whitwoo!’ could be a welcome compliment on his looks if you’ve been together for years. Just be sure you know your partner’s comfort levels before you go calling him a ‘hottie’ in front of his entire family!

How to Compliment a Guy’s Looks in One Word?

If you’re looking for a quick compliment whether in person or over text, choose your words carefully! Again, showing a guy respect when remarking on his appearance will mean just as much if not more to him than the compliment itself.

As before, think about how well you know this guy. If the answer is, ‘not very well’, you’ll need to be even more selective with the language you use. Words like ‘hot’ ‘gorgeous’ ‘sexy’ should never be used to compliment a stranger or someone you barely know. They’re way too familiar and not respectful in the least! Instead, if you really feel the need to compliment his appearance, try words like ‘smart’, ‘great’ and ‘charming’.

how to compliment a guy

Meanwhile, if the one word compliment is to be directed towards a partner or spouse, the words above and others like ‘stunning’, ‘amazing’, ‘beautiful’ will generally make your partner feel noticed and charmed by your love of their appearance. If not, make sure to come up with a few positive words you’re both comfortable with so you can let them know how perfect they look to you each and every day.

How to Compliment a Guy’s Looks Through Text?

Just because you feel more confident behind your phone screen doesn’t mean you can be any cheekier or less respectful than in person. In fact, since the tone of your voice can’t be heard through a text it can be even trickier to get your compliment across in the right way. Stick to general chit chat over messages (unless you’re in a relationship of course, then go full for it with the cute emojis and ‘you’re so adorable’ texts!), then when you see them in person, bring up your text convo to start building a foundation before commenting on his appearance. If you just can’t wait, stick to our suggestions above. You’ll rarely go wrong with a ‘cool hair!’ or ‘nice shirt!’‘.

How to Compliment a Guy in His Picture?

Whether you’re complimenting a guys picture through social media or in person, there are plenty of nice ways to do so. Keeping things light and positive is generally a much nicer and friendlier way of commenting on appearance than getting too specific or over-familiar (again, unless you’re together and definitely know what he’s comfortable with!).

Here are a few friendly and thoughtful phrases you can use when complimenting a guys picture:

“That’s a great picture of you!”

“You look really happy in that picture!”

“I really like that picture, where was it taken?”

“What a fun photograph!”

“Looks like you had a lovely day from this picture!”

If you’re complimenting your boyfriend or husband:

“This is my favourite picture of you.”

“I love you… and I love this picture of you!”

“This one’s going in a frame!”


“Look at this picture! I’m so lucky to have you.”

If all else fails and you don’t know what to say, a simple ‘great pic!’ is always a safe bet!

How to Compliment a Guy on His Body?

In general, commenting on somebody’s body is not a great idea, especially if you don’t know them well or you’ve only just recently met. After all, our bodies and appearances shouldn’t be up for discussion or commentary from others and you might find that commenting on somebody’s appearance (no matter how nice or well-intentioned the comment might be) may not be well received.

With this in mind, we suggest sticking to more general comments on appearance, particularly when you first meet a guy and want to make him feel seen but not awkward. 

how to compliment a guy

You can never know someone’s relationship with their body or whether or not they’d appreciate your comments on it, be mindful when you compliment him and try these:

“It’s great to see you again!”

“You look really well!”

“You look so happy today!”

“You’re glowing!”

“Nice shirt, that color is great on you!”

How to Compliment a Guy Friend?

Complimenting a guy friend may feel super different from complimenting a guy that you like but honestly, the same ideas apply! Number one on the list is to be mindful of his feelings and top put your compliment across in a way that makes him feel seen and appreciated rather than objectified or only liked because of his looks. Some of our favorite ways to compliment guy friends are very similar to those we like for complimenting guys you wish were more. 

how to compliment a guy

Focus on what makes your friendship so great. Think of all of the reasons why he’s a good person to know and hang out with. This is way more of a compliment than simply telling someone you like the way that their face looks!

With a bud, you can always throw in a little jokiness to your compliments too – you may even find you want to compliment the guy you like-like in this way. After all the best relationships are built on a solid friendship!

You’re a really great friend, thank you for always being there for me, You’re so smart!, I can always count on you, You always know how to make me laugh, I’m really proud of you, You’re an amazing cook! (or any other hobby they might be great at!), You’re so kind, or I feel so lucky to have you as a friend

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How Do You Tell a Guy He’s Attractive?

Now, there are a couple of ways to approach this one and it all depends on whether your compliment is an answer to a question or whether you’re simply saying it out of the blue. If a guy has asked you to comment on his appearance it can be truly awkward… especially if you really like him or worse – he’s just a friend and you don’t find him attractive!

As you might have guessed our first piece of advice is to be kind. Whether you like them as a friend or more, you find them attractive or you don’t, there’s no need to ever tell someone you think they’re unattractive, especially if they didn’t even ask!

Now that we’ve established kindness is the first step, let’s break this down a little more.

If a friend asks you whether or not you find them attractive and you don’t see them in that way, be honest! Tell them you can’t answer truthfully because your bond as buds is so strong you just can’t look at them in that way! If you’re very close however and you have the kind of friendship where telling them you think they’re objectively attractive wouldn’t make things awkward when they’ve asked (and neither of you is in a relationship of course!), it’s fine to do that too.

how to compliment a guy

Now, if we’re talking about a guy you really like, your answer is of course going to differ a little! If that guy happens to ask you what you think of his appearance and you feel comfortable enough to answer truthfully, why not take your moment? Tell them yes, you do find them attractive. No need to go into great detail or start using descriptive words, just be honest. It may be just what they’ve been waiting to hear!

Now, if the guy you want to compliment hasn’t asked for your opinion, it’s usually best not to give it. However, there are times in life we have to be honest about our feelings, and sometimes giving the guy you like a thoughtful compliment is a lovely thing. Just go about it in the right way. Tell him you think he looks really smart today, tell him you love his new hairstyle. Alternatively, forget about his looks altogether and compliment his personality or how he makes you feel. This will make him feel more attractive than any appearance-specific compliments ever could!

How Do You Compliment a Guy in One Word?

One-word compliments are tricky to say the least and yet sometimes they’re just what you need! Instead of thinking of how the guy looks, think about the things you love about his personality. Is he incredibly clever? Is he always kind to those in need? Does he have a special talent you think is particularly amazing? These are the things he’ll want to hear about and will help to show him just how much you care.

Need some inspiration? Forget about ‘hot’, ‘gorgeous’ and ‘muscly’ these are just a few of our favorite one-word compliments!

Smart, Funny, Kind, Helpful, Compassionate, Thoughtful, Talented, Brave, Friendly, Trustworthy or Creative!

Which Compliment Do Guys Like?

In general, compliments that focus more on who a guy is rather than what they look like are going to be the most well-received. Whilst some guys will indeed love to hear that you think they’re physically attractive, as we’ve covered, it can easily be taken in the wrong way.

To be safe and respectful of his feelings, always try and opt for compliments that let him know what a great person you think he is. Compliment his personality, the things you think are special about him, and why you love having him around. Here are just a few more compliments we’re sure the guy in your life will like to hear, just be sure to put your own personal spin on them!

You’re such a talented drummer (cook, painter, singer, father, etc.), You’re so kind, You always know how to make me smile, You’re very funny!, You have such a positive attitude, You’re a great listener, You have great taste in music (movies, food, travel, etc.), Your energy is contagious!, or I’m lucky to know you.

Is It Okay to Compliment a Guy?

To recap, complimenting a guy is a perfectly acceptable thing to do as long as you do it in the right way. Being kind, appropriate, and not always focused on a guy’s physical appearance are some great first steps towards giving a well-timed, inoffensive, and thoughtful compliment. 

When in doubt, go back over our guide and think about the kind of compliment you want to give and to who.

Is it an appropriate setting? Will the compliment make them feel good and seen rather than objectified? As long as you can answer yes to these questions, you should be well on the way to making his day!

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