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How to compliment a couple without crossing the line?

How to compliment a couple without crossing the line?

Complimenting couples can be a daunting task; overdo it and you run the risk of crossing the line and becoming offensive, play it down and it may not be enough to make them feel appreciated. As we said, there’s no way around it; it can be a real dilemma no matter how you approach it!

In fact, it can be hard to compliment a couple if you’re within the partners’ age group too, as you don’t want to come across as flirty or disrespectful. This is why giving a good compliment to a couple requires creative thinking and strategy because you don’t want to give someone too much attention or make the other partner feel threatened or left out.

So how do you compliment a couple and make both partners feel appreciated? Here we will present 5 steps you should take to do it successfully and without drama or worse: unintentionally inappropriate innuendos.

5 steps to compliment a couple without crossing the line:

1. Never comment on any physical features:

Never make the mistake of commenting on a couple’s physical features when trying to pay them a compliment. Of course, you want to show your appreciation and admiration, but your best bet is to steer clear of ‘suggesting’ that one partner looks better than the other or pointing out disproportionate facial features.

They could even think that you’re hitting on one of them or implying that they’re out of their partner’s league. In other words, commenting on either partner’s physical features is very risky for several good reasons. That’s why again; your safest bet is to avoid commenting on any physical features of either person, to avoid ruffling any feathers.

Instead, focus on something about the couple as a unit: maybe something that they do together, their values, how they complement each other’s weaknesses; the possibilities are endless! Just remember this rule of thumb: keep it classy, not cliché.

2. Maintain a good balance by complimenting both partners:

Another thing you always want to remember is to maintain a balance by complimenting both partners. This will indirectly set the tone and reassurance them that they are both appreciated and valued, while not making the situation awkward, either.

So always make sure to remember that for any couple, one of the ultimate complimenting rules to abide by is maintaining a good balance; by paying compliments to each partner equally. Sure, you could step up your game and give out double the compliments to one person, but that would be downright unfair, wouldn’t it? It could even make the lovebirds feel slightly uncomfortable or make the entire situation feel a little hostile or as is if you’re implying something bad.

A better strategy is to show admiration for both of them. For instance, you could recognize the tasteful home decor of one and lavishly praise their partner’s outfit choice and elegance too. Maintaining a good balance will keep you on track and prevent any awkward blunders.

3. Focus on the qualities they bring out one each other:

Another thing you want to do when trying to compliment a couple is to focus on the qualities they bring out in each other instead. All couples have something special that they share that’s completely unique to them. Finding those things, listening out for what others appreciate about their bond, and verbalizing it could be one potentially ironic way of making the lucky couple remember your compliment for eternity!

It’s true that we’re recommending that you focus on the qualities they bring out in each other here. However, remember that even then you should not go overboard. Nobody likes praise that feels suspiciously saccharine and artificial.

What we recommend you do instead is to try a lighthearted approach; for instance, you might comment on how the couple’s shared love for adventure impresses you. Or, you could let them know that their enthusiasm for travel is made better by their teamwork when it comes to packing and organizing a trip. Gentle irony and levity can be both memorable and effective; as long as it’s not taken too far!

4. Compliment their shared qualities:

As we said offering up overly-exaggerated and out-of-date compliments can come off as overbearing and intrusive. The best rule of thumb in this case and the fourth one on our list? Compliment their shared qualities like how they laugh in sync or share a similar sense of style.

That way, you infuse your words with admiration while avoiding being intrusive or crossing the line. Plus, if you add a hint of irony to really capture the tone, it will make the interaction even more engaging! This type of compliment is meant for both partners at once so there will be no worries about sounding flirting, pushy, or like you’re placing judgment.

It’s true that giving out comments to a group of people or two individuals at once can seem forced a little. It may even seem strange at first, but believe it or not, this kind of compliment can be surprisingly effective!

5. Don’t compare them to other couples or individuals:

Finally, another thing you do not want to do when complimenting a couple is to tell them they look like famous power couples or a celebrity couple, or that they should start a youtube channel or some other similar “joke”. People can feel uneasy when they feel like someone is telling them what they should be doing with their life or putting a label on them. Plus, suggesting they look like a specific celebrity couple could imply that you think they share whatever problems that couple publicly has. And who knows, that may be their most hated celebrity anyway.

Well, we’re not sure everyone will understand this point, but you’ll have to trust us on this! Suggesting that the couple should do something like “joining a modeling agency” or “starting a youtube channel” can actually start real problems between them behind closed doors, even if you only meant it as a joke.

The point is that you shouldn’t compare them to any other relationships, not even to their own! Even if it’s coming from a good place and even if you mean that they were in a darker place a year earlier but made progress, for instance! Nobody likes to be reminded of bad times they went through with their partner, especially not by an outsider.

Additionally, try not to offer intrusive compliments either, like the way one of them is being kinder or nicer and taking the other person’s craziness; when “anyone else” would’ve left or fought back. We’re sure you can reflect and see how this can rub them both the wrong way.


We said it many times before: knowing how to give an appropriate compliment to a couple can be tricky. Again, that’s because on the one hand, you want to express how much you appreciate their relationship, but on the other, you don’t want to give them a remark they might find untoward or questionable.

However, if you pay attention to your tone of voice, make sure not to cross the line with overly-intimate words, and focus on following the tips listed above, you can usually get away with expressing your admiration in a respectful way that they’ll appreciate. It may not always feel natural at first, but it’s far from impossible! So go ahead, be brave and throw a few compliments at your favorite couple that may be the start to a lifelong friendship with both partners.

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