Make her day with one of these compliments.
- You're hilarious
Why it works: Loads of women have a great sense of humor, but they rarely hear it. Partly because women "aren't funny," according to society and science. If that sounds like B.S., that's because it is. But let us explain: A woman can be just as funny, if not funnier, than a man, but people tend to assume men are intrinsically the funnier sex, according to a 2011 study from UC San Diego. So it's no surprise women love being told they're as hilarious as they are gorgeous. Because, hey, you're complimenting her brain and wit, not just the body that holds it.
- You're so good at your job
Her career is probably a pretty big part of her life, so it's only natural for her to want to hear she's killing it. Don't be afraid to tell her she impresses the hell out of you. There's nothing sexier than a guy who's not intimidated or threatened by a woman who's at the top of her professional game.
One thing to remember: Make sure she knows you're impressed because she's awesome, not because she's a woman—especially if she works in a male-dominated industry. "You might even want to explicitly state that while you're impressed, you're not surprised," Barton says. "So it's clear you're not comparing her to the men in her industry."
- You have the coolest interests and hobbies
You should never change your hobbies for a girlfriend (and it's definitely a red flag if she expects you to adopt hers), but that doesn't mean you can't appreciate her passion. Maybe she collects rare whiskies or spends two hours every day meditating. It doesn't matter what she's passionate about—just noticing and appreciating she's really into something can be a compliment in itself. Even better if you get in on the action.
- I really value your opinion
You might not know this, but women often feel they can't speak their mind in a social or work setting. More specifically, women who are "assertive or forceful" are perceived as 35% less competent in the workplace than women who are not assertive or forceful, according to a 2015 study by workforce performance company TwentyEight, Inc. In other words, letting her know you value her opinions and thoughts through conversations where she's really able to express what she thinks and feels is a much bigger compliment than you'd think.
- You crushed that
Everyone loves a little praise for a job well done, whether it's something monumental, like delivering one helluva wedding speech, or something mundane. Not many people can parallel park in a single swoop or flip an omelet like a MasterChef champion. Congratulate her on mini-achievements and she'll feel accomplished, admired, and treasured.
- I love how confident you are
Maybe she's incredibly self-assured and confident…or maybe she's not, but she exudes it nonetheless. Either way, you'll win with this compliment. If she's genuinely confident, she'll appreciate the fact you noticed. It's difficult for a lot of women to feel secure with their body image and sometimes even their self-worth. And if she's not, that simple accolade can help bolster her self-esteem.
- You're incredibly thoughtful
Women are expected to be empathetic, nurturing, and kind—so much so that thoughtful gestures are often taken for granted. But she's not necessarily nurturing just because she's a woman, Barton says, so she'll appreciate you noticing her acts of empathy or kindness. "Make it clear that you're complimenting her on those specific things, not on 'being female,'" Barton clarifies. Also, if she goes out of her way to be thoughtful—makes your favorite meal or surprises you with tickets to a show you've been dying to see—return the favor.