Just like men, women like to get compliments. According to a study in the journal PLOS One, a compliment can give any person a positive boost that may be akin to getting a monetary reward. However, it can be tricky for a man to tell a woman that they are attractive.

In these days of the #MeToo movement, a compliment may be easily seen as insensitive and disrespectful to women. When done the wrong way, letting the woman know you think she’s attractive might send a message that her beauty is just for consumption and pleasure and that nothing else about her matters.

So, here are some ways to tell someone that they are attractive without demeaning the person.

Here Are 5 Ways To Tell Someone They’re Attractive, Without Talking About Sex

“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others.” – Deepak Chopra

1.    Be chill about it and have good timing

Approaching a woman to tell her she’s attractive might not seem a chill thing to do. The unexpected gesture could flatter her. But on the other hand, you could be interrupting someone who’s got a list of things to do for the day, and talking to a stranger isn’t one of them.

You could also potentially make the woman uncomfortable even if you only want to express your admiration. According to a sociologist via Huffington Post, making a someone uncomfortable by encroaching on her space borders on human rights infringement and it could be dehumanizing.

So, resist the urge to say something corny (and potentially offensive) when trying to talk to a woman. Don’t attempt a complicated pick-up line or pull off a shallow gimmick. Some men behave in odd ways when they approach a woman to cover up for their nervousness. But women can easily sense a man who’s being dishonest. You surely don’t want to risk coming off offensive in this day and age.

The best thing you can do is to be normal so you can relax. Even if you have to pretend, try regarding her as an old acquaintance you haven’t seen since college. This might help you feel more comfortable chatting with ease.

A few pointers

  • Try to create a rapport first so that you’ll have a more pleasant conversation and obtain a positive outcome.
  • If you’re in the bar, maybe start by asking her about her drink or talk about the general vibe of the place.
  • Always be aware of the importance of good timing when approaching a woman to tell her she’s attractive.
    • Observe what she’s doing first. Is she having a deep conversation with someone else at the bar? Is she furiously texting on her phone? Does she keep making calls? Does she look distracted or harried?

Approaching a stranger who’s preoccupied might not be a good move in any situation. Even if you’re on your best behavior and she finds you interesting, she might not be able to carry on a conversation properly if she has to keep calling work or texting a friend in crisis.

2.    Consider the delivery and context.

The reality is you can tell a girl she’s attractive without being creepy and awkward. It all depends on the delivery and context of your approach. The key is not to be vulgar or put the woman in an embarrassing and defensive position. You want this encounter to be a positive one and not the kind of stuff talked about and judged on social media.

So, always exercise tact when approaching a woman to tell her she’s attractive. Don’t compliment her around plenty of people who can hear what you say. Don’t honk your car horn at her and shout, “Hey lady, you’ve got a fine a**!” In case you have not heard, catcalling a woman is never a compliment. It is considered harassment, plain and simple, according to the National Organization for Women.

Keep in mind:

  • The direct approach of telling a woman she’s attractive might not work, especially if you’re going to chat with a stranger.
  • If your first words to her are “I think you’re beautiful,” she’ll likely turn and run as far and quickly as possible.
  • So, the best method is to let her know that she’s attractive in a subliminal way.
  • The art of flirting is very important in this situation. If she feels safe around you, she might well take your lead and flirt back.

For instance, if you’re already deep in the conversation with her and having a laugh, you could just blurt out, “I love how your eyes squint when you laugh!” Or, if the woman is someone you always run into at work but have never really gotten to know better yet, you could try giving her a compliment about what she’s wearing. Try, “That outfit really suits you!”

Now, if you’ve reached a more comfortable level in your acquaintance with her or if you’ve been out on a couple of friendly dates, perhaps you can send her a text out of the blue and profess your attraction. Write, “I just want to let you know that I think you’re stunning.” And then leave it at that.

3.    Choose your words carefully.

If you like a girl, don’t choose words like “hot” or “sexy” to tell her she’s attractive. Definitely don’t use the word “bangin” because that might land you in real trouble (especially if this woman is a co-worker). If you have to dish a pick-up line, don’t describe her feminine physical assets because that is sleazy and disrespectful. You’ll likely get a (well-deserved) slap on the face if you try to objectify her.

  • Complimenting a woman for her looks might come off as needy for some guys.
  • Words like “hot” and “sexy” have sexual undertones so men shouldn’t try to pull this off.
  • Save the sensual stuff for getting intimate later on in your relationship. Instead, use words like “pretty” and “cute” and you will likely get a positive reaction.
  • The key is to use words that are complimentary but not objectifying.
  • Sound earnest with your non-sensual compliments as well.
  • Unless you’re already a couple or have seen each other a few times, even innocent words might come off like a harassment. If it does not feel right, then it’s better not to say it.

Sometimes, you don’t have to use descriptive words at all. For instance, if she’s done talking, don’t respond first but hold her gaze and maintain eye contact and say, “I’m sorry, I’m having a hard time focusing when I look at you,” and then divert back to the conversation.

Women are also into details so rather than saying outright that she’s beautiful, try specifically making a comment on her face, her eyes, her makeup, and her clothes. You could say, “That blouse really goes well with the color of your eyes.”

4.    Don’t make a big deal out of it.

As soon as the compliment is out, don’t pay much attention to it or make it seem important. It should not be a big deal if she does not respond to the compliment or if she acted as if what you told her went over her head.

Downplaying a compliment is a natural reaction for women. According to a study in the journal Language in Society, only 22 percent of women accept or acknowledge a compliment. For this reason, don’t expect her to say thank you to what you’ve said and don’t demand it either. Understand, it’s not a rejection when a woman doesn’t say anything after being told that she looks nice. Women are just wired this way.

The study also cited that most women don’t respond well to compliments for fear of being seen as too confident or cocky. In some cases, downplaying a compliment can be a cultural thing too. A woman might also have been raised in a household where they are supposed to act meek when being complimented.

So, don’t take it personally if it looks like she didn’t notice or hear you say you think she’s attractive. Trust that she got the message loud and clear even if she won’t show it.

5.    Be self-aware, not self-conscious.

When you are self-conscious, you become too worried about what you’re doing and start to sweat bullets. You end up acting awkward or making moves that completely pull her away from you. But when you’re self-aware, you basically know how you’re coming across. This means that you’re also aware:

  • Whether she’s comfortable and at ease with you.
  • If you’re seated or positioned well, instead of encroaching on her space.
  • If there’s decent distance between you.
  • Whether other people are looking in your direction.


Being aware of these things are important because it’s a way for you to test the boundaries if you’re trying to flirt with her. Apart from your words, you can also tell a woman she’s attractive with your body language.

Does she flinch or does she move closer when you lightly touch her arm or hair or put a hand on the small of her back? Do you notice her lean toward you when you talk to her or pull away? Does she tilt her head when you talk? Does she have her purse in front of her like a wall?

If you’re observant about these things, you could be emboldened to let her know how you really feel about her not just in words but also in your gestures.

Final Thoughts On Ways To Tell Someone They’re Attractive

In an ideal world, there should be nothing wrong when a man tells a woman she’s attractive. It’s part of a human’s need to find a mate in life. But in today’s social landscape, a man has to consider a lot of things before blurting out the words that show his attraction to get a positive result.

These days, there’s a fine line between giving women compliments and offending or harrassing them. When the words are said properly and with the right timing, any person will appreciate the praises. But when the wrong words are said, it could come back to bite the person who said it.

A man who respects women will act with foresight, poignancy, and sincerity. He will not come across as a guy whose only agenda is to bed the woman on their first meeting. Respecting and considering a woman’s feelings and comfort level is vital if you want to take a relationship any further.