You’ve probably chatted successfully enough to get her number, but now that you’ve got to fill possibly hours of unstructured conversational time, what do you say? Allow us to point you toward some choice phrases that’ll work in your favor — as well as some that you think might impress her, but will backfire badly most of the time.

Five things she’d love to hear:

1. “You look amazing.”
Acknowledge (and appreciate) that she went all-out for you. Trust us, even if this is a simple latte liaison, a degree of decision-making went into that jeans-tee-ponytail combo she’s got going on. No need to be too specific with your compliment; just let her know you’ve noticed that she looks good.

2. “How was your day?”
This may seem like innocuous chit-chat, but it shows you care and are interested in her life. Make sure to really listen to the response rather than glaze over when she itemizes details of a petty spat with a coworker. Bonus: It’ll give you something to follow up on in a later conversation (e.g., “Did you patch things up with that woman in finance yet?”)

3. “I’m really having a great time with you.”
This is probably the best thing you can say mid-date! It takes the edge off and lets her know she can relax. You’ll also get feedback on how she’s feeling, too. Hopefully, she’ll beam back and say, “Me too!” as opposed to a sniffle followed by her muttering, “How nice.”
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4. “What do you think about such-and-such topic?”
Guys, you’re great at telling us what you think, but you can be a bit stingy about seeking out our opinions. Ask your date for her viewpoint and she’ll be flattered — and stimulating discourse is bound to ensue. Naturally, steer clear of obscure subjects she may not be up on or comfortable discussing, and only bring up hot-button issues like politics if you’re prepared for a potentially serious debate to follow shortly thereafter.

5. “I’d love to see you again.”
This is a great way to end a date, because it assures your date that you like her (and it may also prevent that awful waiting-by-the-phone thing women tend to do). Trust us, she’ll appreciate it.

Five things she’d hate to hear...

1. “You’ve really got a great body. Do you work out or something?”
Do not say anything like this, please! It is way too objectifying and will make her uncomfortable. Avoid making mention of any particular body part or anything that might make you seem shallow.

2. “Oh, I know all about that!”
If you’re commiserating, fine — but if you’re about to start pontificating, resist! Women like intelligent, informed, worldly men, but we also appreciate humility. When you put on your “superior face,” you’re so not sexy to us anymore. If she wanted a know-it-all, she’d spend her evening with Wikipedia.

3. “I’ve been shopping for a new luxury SUV…”
Such a transparent attempt to impress her will have the reverse effect — unless you hear “cha-chiiing” and dollar signs appear in her eyes. So bag those “I’m a big man” comments about your stuff, your status and your salary.

4. “Wanna come back to my place for a bit after dinner?”
Asking a woman to drop by your place off the cuff, huh? What’s next — showing her your etchings? We women hear this and automatically think you’re just trying to get us in a compromising position, even if you really do have a good reason for inviting us in. It would be way better to say something like, “I’d invite you to my place, but it’s a wreck” and wait for her to insist that she doesn’t mind first. Oh, and never ask to “come in for a minute to use the bathroom” when dropping her off at her door, either.

5. “I’ll call you.”
OK, this actually is what she wants to hear, but so many men say it and don’t follow through that I need to caution you about doing that first. So if you have any doubt in your mind whatsoever about calling her, do not utter those three little words! Instead, wish her luck on the big presentation she mentioned, thank her for sharing her time with you and say goodnight.

Nina Malkin is the author of An Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle. For the other side of the story, read What men really want to hear from you.



Article courtesy of Match.com.