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30 Seconds to Success (How to Compliment A Woman)

You know I’m not a big fan of giving (or taking) .  But I’ve been asked to write a post about how to a woman and you know what, I actually think this is a topic I could provide a little assistance with.

I’m going to try something different and just address the rest of this post to the guys in my audience.  Sorry girls, but you don’t really need help with this.  At least not any of the women I know.

Dear Guys,

You can pretty much bet that if a woman likes you she’s made some sort of effort to look nice for your benefit.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a first date or 3rd date or someone you’ve been living with for years.  If you’re going out tonight, she’s made an effort to look good because she wants you to find her attractive.  This is practically a sure thing.  So, you have a choice to make:  You can be the kind of guy who notices this effort (thereby scoring major bonus points) or you can be oblivious.  It’s your choice.  A smart guy is going to choose the former.

Now, I know that not all guys are what I’d consider observant and so I’m going to give you step by step instructions so that you don’t screw this up.

First, look at her hair.  Does it look different than the last time you saw her?  Is it shorter, straighter, up (as opposed to worn down/loose), curlier, lighter?  If you think it looks different and nicer then say, “I like what you did to your hair, it looks nice.”  If it looks nice and maybe different, but you’re not sure because you can’t remember what it looked like before you can say, “Did you do something different to your hair?  It looks nice.”  Or, you can just say, “Your hair looks really pretty like that.”  Some women spend hours on their hair.  Noticing it shows her that you value her effort.

Maybe her hair looks the same and it’s not all that fabulous.  OK.  What about her clothes? Take a second.  Is she wearing a dress or skirt or high heel shoes that look like they probably hurt to walk in?  Has she obviously rushed home from work to change for your date?  Maybe she’s wearing some interesting jewelry or pleasant perfume.  Think for a second.  Then say something nice.  Something, anything, even if it’s as banal as, “You look beautiful tonight.”

It should take you no more than 30 seconds to notice (really notice) your date’s appearance and the effort she’s made to look good for you and then to comment on it.   Most women will notice if you did or didn’t compliment her.  If you didn’t, she’ll wonder why.  It might feed her insecurities or make her question how much you like her.  Or it could just make her wonder whether you’re just clueless.  Don’t be clueless.

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10 to “30 Seconds to Success (How to Compliment A Woman)”


  1. CHFBrian says:

    I always try and look at details. Shoes are a detail – many women will put a lot of thought into choosing shoes, so a shoe compliment goes a long way. And not just “Those are nice shoes,” but “I like how those shoes look because of X.”

    Hair, as mentioned, is a big and easy one.

    A woman’s scent is important. “I like what you’re wearing, what is it?” Ask leading questions, give the person your with an opening to talk about why she made the choices she did. It often leads to other things to talk about, and isn’t that what a date is all about?

  2. Jim Dittmer says:

    I think “Wow, you look incredible!” pretty much sums up how I feel for my girl.

  3. Teifion says:

    Awesome, this’ll be really useful for me. I think you should do more posts like this :)

  4. SINgleGIRL says:

    -CHFBrian,
    You are absolutely right. The more detailed your compliment the better. But them, you have an extraordinary palate and I will assume that carries over to your sense of smell and detail altogether. Many men are kind of oblivious and do not notice these things. Details are wonderful, but when in doubt – you look beautiful is a great fall back.
    -Jim Dittmer
    And I am sure she appreciates it, each and every time you say it.
    -Teifion
    I am glad to be of service, as always.

  5. bobbyjensen says:

    Good advice. Luckily, being the anti Rico Suave, I knew this. I do tend to compliment a lady anyway as she probably does care a great deal about it. So why not.

  6. NYC lawyer says:

    Just like the secret to making conversation, the key here is to ask questions. This will help you discover real quick what to zero in on and compliment. The classic “There’s something different about you today, isn’t there?” is my favorite.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As a woman, I can say that I actually find it somewhat difficult to compliment a man. IMHO, we women tend to be easy, just pick an attribute and say how beautiful, well done, etc… “Your hair is so soft.” “Gorgeous dress.” “You smell amazing.” It’s easy to make us swoon because we appreciate the smallest gestures.
    But what do men want to hear? “Nice polo”? “You hair looks nice”? I doubt that. Most men that I know don’t take a whole lot of time getting ready. Help me, anyone…. I NEVER know what to say.

  8. Fool says:

    Anonymous:
    Guys like to feel sexy too. As a guy I feel like I don’t have a lot of options, and most guys have no idea what is ‘sexy’ about them to women. Sure, we understand the James Bond and iconic male sex symbols, but we know we don’t match up to that. More than anything else, we want to see your reaction to us. I don’t think words are the best thing for all the reasons you mentioned. Maybe I’m overly observant, but I want to see the flush in a girls cheeks or a bit of a lip or her eyes get wide. Maybe a slightly longer hug when greeting. An action that says, “I approve, and I’m thrilled about it.” Guys are always looking for feedback, else we have an innate fear we’ll do something unwelcome and immediately be shunned for it.

    FOR GUYS:
    Oh, and though I am new again on the dating scene, a recommendation for guys is to enhance your vocabulary (ladies if you disagree, tell me now!). “You look fantastic/incredible/stunning in that XXX”, or “You smell amazing, it’s intoxicating”, or “Your eyes are incredibly alluring, what did you do different this evening?”

  9. Simone Grant says:

    -Fool
    Welcome to the blog and Thank you. I think most women forget that guys need feedback and compliments too. Kudos for pointing it out.

  10. ebertje says:

    I think compliments go a long way with women. My favorite is when my bf compliments me when I just look ordinary. We live together and when he tells me how beautiful I am when I’m getting ready to leave for work (maybe because I’m wearing a sweater or something instead of my usual hoodie and jeans) that really makes me feel good! Or when I wake up in the morning, and I’ve done absolutely no primping whatsoever, that’s nice too! I’m lucky, my bf is pretty observant and very generous with the compliments.

    As far as complimenting guys go, I think Fool is spot on…it’s more about how you act or the gestures you make. Sure, you can say, “I love that shirt on you, it’s a great color” or something like that, but it’s more about how you look at him and the little things. I’ll give my guy a sweet smile and pause to look into his eyes before I go in for a hug. Or while you’re hugging, smell his neck and tell him how great he smells softly in his ear. I think guys generally aren’t used to be complimented on their appearance, so a “you look really handsome tonight” goes a long way, but I think they probably appreciate more those subtle little physical compliments, a smile, a glint in your eye, etc.