Flattery will get you everywhere. (Or so says the cliché.) But when it comes to your relationship, it’s only partially true.
Compliments that are hollow will fall on deaf ears. (Or, worse, will backfire.) But if you deliver the right compliment—and you mean it—it will do wonders for your relationship. With that in mind, we’ve compiled all of the irresistible sayings that the woman in your life will always appreciate. So read on to discover how to win her all over again with just a sentence or two. And guys, know your own weakness for flattery with the 20 Compliments Men Can’t Resist.
“That New Hairstyle Looks Sexy”
“What a woman wants to hear is that you notice her specifically,” explains Stefanie Safran, matchmaker and founder of Stef in The City. “If she has been spending more time putting on makeup and clothes, at the gym, or getting a new hair cut/color, compliment her on that. Noticing and giving this kind of compliment can show that you are paying attention, which is what every woman wants.” And for more great relationship advice, check out the 50 Best Marriage Tips of All Time.
“I Love How You Always Take Care of [Insert Thing She Always Handles Here]”
“Women tend to take on a lot of the emotional burden in most households,” notes Michelene M. Wasil, a licensed marriage and family therapist in San Diego, CA. “Making a comment on how kind or thoughtful she is means you really take notice that she’s doing all those little things.”
“This Trip Has Been So Fun. I Know You Put A Lot of Effort Into It and It Shows”
This one isn’t so much about what you say, but how you say it, according to Meredith Silversmith, a licensed marriage and family therapist and relationship coach. “Saying, ‘you look pretty,’ is nice, but different than something like, ‘I really love that dress on you. I know you’ve been working really hard to stay consistent with going to the gym and that dress really shows off your progress. You look great!’ Adding a second layer to highlight reasons why you feel inclined to give the compliment provides more depth and allows for a deeper connection in that interaction.” And if you’re looking for some great ways to reboot your relationships, read the 50 Best Bonding Activities for Married Couples.
“I Can’t Wait to Grow Old With You”
“Too frequently in our culture, getting old or things that are old are not valued as much as newer things,” explains Monique Honaman, relationship expert and author of The High Road Has Less Traffic: Honest Advice on The Path Through Love and Divorce. To hear a compliment about growing old together builds a sense of excitement about all the things you will be able to do together as life changes and transitions. It conveys a value over the depth of the relationship and not a desire to move on to the next new thing. There are a few things we seem to value as they age (e.g., wine) and relationships should be on that list!”
“You’re An Amazing Mom”
An oldie, but a goodie. “If she is a mom, saying this validates her effort, shows respect for a job that doesn’t get much feedback from a ‘boss,’ and shows you are appreciating the hard work it takes to be a mom,” says Dr. Stacy Friedman, a clinical sexologist and certified sex coach.
“I Love What You’re Doing In Bed These Days!”
Even better, reference something specific she did between the sheets that you loved. “We are used to people complaining about the lack of sex, or the lack of creativity in bed,” Safran points out. This is especially true when you’ve been together for a long time. “When you express that you enjoy things in bed, you might find her enthusiasm gets even stronger!” And for ways to really spice up your sex life, consider investing in one of these.
“I Admire Your Work Ethic”
“Genuine acknowledgement is the best compliment whether it’s to a male or female partner,” says Rori Sassoon, relationship expert and CEO of VIP elite matchmaking service Platinum Poire. If you think she’s killing it at work, let her know. “When you acknowledge her for her talent, knowledge, or the skills that she is passionate about, she will feel validated and valued for her accomplishments.”
“You’re My Favorite Person to See Every Day”
This compliment is a favorite of Nina Rubin, an LA-based life coach, because it’s both sweet and effective. Not only does it show her that you look forward to seeing her every day (even if you live in the same house!), but it also speaks to the quality of the time you spend together, and hints at the fact that she’s the reason that time is so good.
“I’m Grateful For…”
“Find things you are grateful for about your partner and share it with her,” suggests Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW, a couples’ therapist. “Whether it’s gratitude for working hard, cleaning up the house or taking care of the children, complimenting your loved one in this way leads to increased positivity in the relationship.”
“What Do You Think?”
Asking her opinion shows you care what she thinks, which is a compliment in itself. “When you seek her advice in an area that she is knowledgeable in, it makes her feel valued,” Sassoon says. “Tell her it is an area that you respect her knowledge or expertise in. She’ll feel respected and admired.”
“Being Around You Makes Me Happy”
Knowing that she’s a positive influence in your life will go a long way. Wasil suggests a remark about her attitude like, “I love how when things go really bad, you always have a way of getting through it and staying positive,” or “You’re so gracious and you know how to make me feel special.”
“What Would I Do Without You?”
“We often forget that expressing gratitude and appreciation is a compliment,” Silversmith points out. “When your partner picks up your dry cleaning, you can say something like: “Thank you so much for picking up my dry cleaning. I really love how you take care of me. I wouldn’t be able to do _______ without you.” This takes the interaction to a deeper level of connection and feels super genuine.”
“I Could Never Leave You”
“You may be cringing or shaking your head at the mere fact that I am suggesting this needs to be said, but it does,” says Nicole Merritt, founder of jthreeNMe. “So many married women are fearful that each and every fight and argument may lend itself to discussion about divorce. Sometimes us women just need it to be made clear that you are in it for the long haul, disagreements and all.”
“You Are Beautiful”
Make eye contact as you say this, Dr. Friedman suggests. “By looking into her eyes and saying she is beautiful rather than that she ‘looks’ beautiful (or that she is hot or sexy) is like saying that she as a person is beautiful.” That includes not just her outer appearance, but who she is on the inside, too.
“You Made The Holidays So Special This Year”
Showing you’ve noticed and are thankful for anything she’s worked hard on will definitely brighten her day. “If she’s spending time making your home festive, coordinating with family (yours or hers) to get everything done, letting her know that you appreciate it is something that helps her feel that you notice her efforts,” Safran says.
“You’re Perfect for Me”
It’s true that no one is perfect, but your partner absolutely can be perfect for you. Everyone has moments of insecurity, and Hershenson says this one can do the trick when a woman is feeling down or not quite herself.
“You’re The Prettiest Woman in The Room
“You can’t go wrong with this especially when you are genuine in the compliment,” Sassoon says. Of course, only say this when you think it’s true—otherwise it could come off as disingenuous.
“Your Bond With Your Family Is Really Incredible”
Or something positive about anything else she really cares about. “We tend to give the type of compliments we would like to receive, thinking our partners feel the same way,” Silversmith notes. “Think about what’s important to your partner. Does she cherish her family relationships? Does she highly value her career? Hone in on one of the areas she devotes a lot of time and energy to, then highlight something specific about that. It will make her feel really known and seen by you—and have a greater impact.”
“You Are So Resilient”
“Or substitute the word intelligence or strength for resilience, if you would like,” Merritt says. “The point is that women respond so much more to compliments that are about traits that are outside of their appearance that they work hard to maintain.”
“I Wish I’d Met You Earlier”
This one works wonders, though it really needs to be true in order to have the full effect. With one little phrase shows that you love your life with her so much that you wish it could have started sooner. For more ideas for tongue-tied men, check out the 20 Things She Always Wants You to Say.
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