Learn how to compliment your date and you’ll make a great first impression, increasing your chances of further dates and greatly endearing yourself. But it must be done in the right way – insincere or generic niceties may come across as cheesy or impersonal.
You’ve got a hot date lined up and want it to go really well. So what can you do to show them how keen you are, without being too forward? In this article, we’ll reveal how you can get things off to the very best start and
How to compliment your date
Do you know someone who has a way with words? Who’s able to make you feel a million dollars with just a remark, statement or question? If so, you may envy this skill. And it’s no wonder. Compliments are not only flattering and lovely, they actually help you get on in life, winning you friends, attracting lovers, improving success at work and increasing your sphere of influence.
But it can be easy to become tongue-tied, or unsure where the line lies between complimenting someone and appearing to suck up to them. Many people – particularly Brits – struggle to take compliments too and can be very awkward if they’re not delivered just right.
The good news is, there are many ways around this, including approaches that will make your date feel great, without even realising they’re being complimented. And many compliments serve as conversation starters. So it if doesn’t come naturally, don’t worry. You can learn to give non-verbal compliments and slip in some stealth verbal ones too! And we’ll tell you how to do it.
What to do on a first date
It can be worth watching other dates to get a feel for what really works and what doesn’t. But of course, you don’t want to hang around eavesdropping in bars. Instead, turn to YouTube and TV for inspiration. The series First Dates is a great source to study from and features many blind dates with real people – from the cringiest to the cutest moments.
And it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. Different people can deliver the same words but have a completely different outcome. Consider your tone of voice, use open body language and be very careful not to sound at all sarcastic. Always open with a friendly greeting, a big smile and eye contact.
Romantic things to say on a first date
The best thing you can do on a first date is to read the situation. If the other person is clearly nervous or awkward, a flurry of cupid-worthy romanticisms is likely to exacerbate it. Instead, focus on putting them at their ease until you feel they’re ready for some more flirting. Chat, ask questions and keep it light-hearted. If you need some help working out what to say to keep the conversation flowing, check out these great ice breakers.
But if there’s a quick and instant attraction between you, you have room to be more lovey-dovey with your words and actions. Here are some things you might like to say:
- After they mention an activity they do/enjoy: ‘I’d love to do that with you sometime’
- ‘You have incredible eyes’
- ‘Your smile lights up the room’
- ‘I’ll get this’ – offering to pay the bill is a nice sentiment
- ‘You’re such good company’
- ‘The time has just flown’
- ‘Thank you, I’ve had a wonderful time with you this evening’
There are lots of nice romantic non-verbal things you can do too, like opening the door for them, (regardless of their gender). And it doesn’t stop when you say goodbye. If you want a second date, send them a nice message telling them how much you enjoyed spending time getting to know them.
What to give a woman on the first date
This can be tricky. Flowers? What is she’s a hayfever sufferer? Chocolate? What is she’s lactose intolerant? Champagne? What if she’s tee-total? See if you can find out a little about her first. If it’s a blind date, ask the people who set it up. If you met online, look for hints, or if it was speed dating – what was she drinking? Noticing what someone likes is a compliment in itself, it shows you’re interested and value them.
Or if you have no idea and need some inspiration, check out quirky independent gift shops for small and fun presents. For example, the Mr Men books have been reimagined for adults, with a book, especially for online dating, a lovely and very funny option to take on the first date.
How to compliment a girl
It can be tempting to stick to physical compliments when trying to impress a girl – especially if she’s clearly made a great effort on her outfit, hair and make-up. And some of these are worthwhile (more on that shortly). But the way to her heart is through far more than her looks.
Do be sure to be complimentary about other aspects – this is something many men neglect, so can put you ahead of the crowd, especially if you’re at a speed dating event and want to stand out
Here are some lines that you can customise to fit, many of which have the dual benefit of instigating further chat (and they also work for guys). Remember, a question can be a compliment in itself if it shows you’ve listened and taken an interest.
- ‘I love your laugh’
- ‘You’re really funny’
- ‘It’s so much fun spending time with you’
- ‘You’re easy to talk to’
- ‘That’s such an interesting job, how did you get into it?’
- ‘Wow, you’re really well-travelled – what’s the coolest place you’ve been to?’
- ‘You’re really well-read
- ‘What a great achievement’’
- ‘That’s a really good point’
- ‘Your stories are so interesting’
- ‘You’re so accomplished’
However, don’t lie. If you don’t find them funny, or their stories are boring to you, don’t say otherwise. But do be sure to notice and compliment where appropriate. And don’t litter the conversation with constant compliments, or it’ll sound over the top. Just throw them in here and there.
Words to compliment a girl on her looks
How do you compliment a girl’s appearance?
There’s a difference between checking someone out (flattering) and leering or judging them with an up and down look (uncomfortable and borderline offensive). Learn which is which. A warm, open smile and a genuine comment like: “I love that colour on you”, “those are such funky earrings” or “you have such great style” is a winner. She may have spent time and effort choosing her accessories and clothes and often they’re a reflection of personality, so it’s a deeper compliment than saying she’s hot or sexy.
Unless you already know her and there’s been clear sexual chemistry, avoid getting personal or referring specifically to her body and/or body parts. There’s a time and a place for that, and usually, the first time you meet someone is not it.
You don’t yet know her well enough to understand if she’ll appreciate it, or if you fancy her, let it show through more general comments and your eyes and smile – you’ll light up when she’s in the room and she’ll see that. If you tend to get it wrong when it comes to physical compliments, watch the movie Bombshell. It’s a real lesson in what not to do and the impact created.
How to compliment a guy
It’s long been said that guys love it when lovers – or potential lovers – laugh at their jokes. This may seem cliched, but it is generally true. Now that doesn’t mean you should force out laughter, or giggle at his naff one-liners if they’re awful.
Don’t be insincere, but if you do find him funny, show it (as comedians often say to an audience – if it’s amusing, tell your face). Smiling and laughing is good for your health too, so it’s not only they who will benefit.
How do you compliment a guy on a date?
Try saying – ‘I love that too!’, when he talks about a favourite film, book or music. It must be genuine though – if you get into a chat about it and you’re clueless, it’ll sound pretty weird.
And don’t feel shy to make physical compliments. Traditionally it tends to be women who are on the receiving end of these, but guys love to hear pleasantries about they way they look, particularly if he’s a sharp and stylish dresser.
Here are some more first date compliment ideas from Reddit.
Second date compliments
You can take it up a gear on a second date and, having spent some time with them, you have more to go on when it comes to making personalised compliments. This can be the best time to unleash your funny and witty side. You’ll be a little less nervous and as you’ll have a base from which to start, can afford to be a little more playful and flirty.
Start by saying how much you enjoyed the previous date and that you’re happy to see him or her again. Reference something they said last time, particularly if it was something they said they liked. For example, if they mentioned being glued to a Netflix series, you could say: “Oh, by the way, I started watching X, it was so good, thanks for getting me onto that”. Or “I took my friend to that new restaurant you mentioned, the food was amazing”.
Second date tips
So you’ve made it to the second date. Let that increase your confidence – because confidence is sexy. By now you should have exchanged some compliments. Keep it going and enjoy the experience. It should feel good from both sides – whether making the compliments or receiving them – don’t be someone who can’t take one. Smile and say thank you.
It’s also worth being a little more tactile if you haven’t already. Try a hand on the shoulder or arm, a brush of a knee, or a touch of a hand. Check their reaction – it’s a good way to test where they’re at and how comfortable they are with you.
And the great thing is, you don’t have to wait to get started to put most of this into practice. Try complimenting a friend, colleague or family member today. (adjust your compliments accordingly – don’t tell your boss that they have nice eyes!). See what results you get. Notice the compliments you receive and how they make you feel. Not only will this newfound skill change your dating life, but it may also increase your success at work and in the rest of your relationships too. Happy dating and may you become as good at taking compliments as you become at giving them.
- What do you say after a date?
It depends on how it’s gone. If you’re not keen don’t lead them on, but don’t be mean either. Always say thanks, adding something like ‘take care’. Or if you liked them, saying ‘it would be great to do this again’ with a warm smile, is a hint. This can be followed up by a message the next day.
- What do you text after a first date?
You can then message afterwards and either ask if they’re up for another date or let them know it was nice to meet and wish them luck in future. If you’ve given a clear message in your parting words and body language, they’ll probably be expecting it.
- How do you flirt on a date?
Compliments are a great start. But humour is also a key tool in the dating arsenal. Gentle joking and teasing will work a treat, but remember to always be kind and considerate in your intention, never offensive. You can also show flirtatiousness in your body language and by being subtly tactile.