What Does It Mean When a Guy Calls You Pretty?

When a guy says you’re pretty, in most cases, it’s a genuine compliment.

Still, we can’t help thinking, is the word pretty being used as a weapon for him to get what he wants from me?

“Pretty” has many connotations. Ultimately, you can’t be sure which is the right one. 

This post will help you understand why he might have called you pretty. It will help you figure out why other guys might call you pretty in the future. 

So, what do guys mean when they say you’re pretty? Read on to understand better what it means to be called pretty.

What Does it Mean When a Guy Calls You Pretty?

Words have different meanings to different people. Giving compliments serves the same purpose as offering gifts: it’s a very human way to build relationships.


The essential thing is to know what kind of relationship he wants to make with you. 

Here are some common reasons why he says you’re pretty. Note that each reason a guy will call a girl pretty comes with clues in his body language.

Pet Names Guys Give Girls:

He thinks you’re girlfriend material

He may like you a lot. He might want to start dating you. The word “pretty” often refers to the type of girl men want to date. Words like “pretty” and “cute” are sweet compliments.

They refer to your personality as much as your looks. They’re not really about how much a man lusts after you. 


When a guy uses these terms to refer to you, he finds you impressive. Pretty girls are happy and make the people around them happy too. He may also be at a point in his life where he wants to find a good woman to settle down with.

He doesn’t want to be too forward

Another reason why men call cute girls pretty is because they find them attractive. But they want to tone it down because they don’t want to sound too sexual or perverted.

Using the word “cute” or “pretty” is a subtle way to deliver such a compliment. He doesn’t want you to banish him to the friend zone, which is what you might do if he comes on too strong. So instead of using “hot” or “sexy,” he gives you lovely compliments like “pretty” instead.

He enjoys spending time with you

One of the most unmistakable signs that a guy likes you is that he loves to spend quality time with you. So when that guy compliments you, it could mean he craves that special time.

His body language will tell you the rest of the story when you see each other. It will signal if you’re being called cute so he can sleep with you. 

Is he doing other things that show interest in more than your physical appearance? Has he been making an effort to call you during the day? Is he being consistent? Those are telltale signs he likes you.

You’re pretty

People tend to think you’re a pretty girl, and he’s one of them. Applaud yourself. You’re one of the most beautiful girls on the planet! Seriously though, most times when a guy says a girl is pretty, he means it. 

He may be looking for reasons to speak to you because he wants to get to know you better. Is “you’re pretty” his only compliment? Yep. He wants to start a friendship with you.

You have a friendly smile

Guys love to be around girls with beautiful smiles. When a guy tells you you’re pretty, it could be because he’s noticed your smile. Sweet smiles engage guys, making them feel comfortable in your company. 

If he finds you pretty because of your welcoming smile, take it as a compliment. It means he appreciates you.

He thinks you’re unique

Generally speaking, when a guy says you’re pretty, it could be because he finds you unique.

Most men pay attention to your appearance, but “pretty” refers to your personality or style. He might think you’re pretty because you stand out from all the other girls he knows.

He thinks you’re creative

Most people admire a creative soul. He loves watching your artistic side come to the surface. He also enjoys watching your creative mind come up with many different things. 

Do you have fun creating artistic drawings or writing poems? Do you happen to be a rock climber who can tackle any cliff face? Are you a brilliant chef? He’s so attracted to your artistic process that he doesn’t even have eyes for other girls.

He’s trying to take advantage of you

Sometimes when a guy calls you cute, it’s because he has an ulterior motive. He knows you love receiving compliments. So, he’s trying to get on your good side and get you to trust him because he wants something out of you. This behavior is a classic example of narcissism. 

Ask yourself: do your friends see you as a kind person? If so, he may think you’re gullible and is trying to get into your pants.

You boost his ego

It’s great when the guy you’ve been talking to shows you off to his friends and family. But, he may have different reasons for taking you around. 


He may sense you have feelings for him and is using you to boost his ego. He uses the word “cute” to reel you in, but his love for you is not authentic.

Instead, it’s what peer educator Geneva Nieto refers to as “ego love.” According to her, that type of love is about power and control. It’s also about gaining something in exchange for giving.

He wants to compliment you

Sometimes when a guy calls a girl pretty, he wants to flatter her. He may also wish to express his appreciation for her good looks. When a guy calls you pretty, he’s noticed that you’re attractive and sweet.

For some guys, it’s the highest form of praise they can give a woman. It means that they think the woman is beautiful on the inside and out. 

It’s positive to be called cute, so enjoy the compliment. If you like the guy back, that’s great. 

Did a guy call you cute, but you’re not interested in him? Tell him thanks for the compliment, and move on.

He likes more than your face

Sometimes cute girls cast spells on men, leaving them stunned. It’s one thing to be called pretty, but it’s another to captivate a man with your beauty.


But sometimes, a guy calls you cute because he also likes your personality. He thinks that your qualities stand out from those of other girls. 

The fact that you keep it simple makes him like you. The other girls vying for his attention may use heavy makeup and do crazy antics for guys to notice, while you don’t seem to bother. He loves those things about you.

What Does it Mean if a Guy Calls You Pretty Instead of Beautiful?

Some men won’t use the word “pretty,” not even to boost the egos of the women they’re dating. The reasons are diverse, but one guy summed it up thus for one of the writers of the online magazine Prime Women:

I don’t tell beautiful women they are beautiful. Beautiful women know they are beautiful, and they hear it all the time. It doesn’t mean anything to them because so many people tell them. 


Average-looking women know they aren’t beautiful, so if you tell them they are, they know you are lying.

And women think that someone wants something from them if you compliment their looks. I find it best not to tell women they are beautiful, pretty, or sexy.

Not all men subscribe to that philosophy. Still, figuring out what a guy means when he calls you pretty instead of beautiful can be hard.

It’s no secret that “pretty” and “beautiful” have two different meanings. Thought Catalog blogger Chyra Talis asked (mostly) men the salient question. She asked them, “What’s the difference between pretty and beautiful girls?” Here are some of the answers she got:

  • Pretty is very close to attractive. It’s something that catches your attention to a certain point. It’s enough to look at, and it’s interesting. Beautiful leads to more robust and more energetic engagement. It captivates your attention longer and makes you wonder about it.
  • Pretty: someone with a cute face. Beautiful: someone who’s acting sexy.
  • Pretty: tender, nice, simple. Beautiful: strong, complicated, sexy.
  • My dog is pretty. My relationship with my dog is beautiful.

Why He Says “Pretty” Instead of “Beautiful”

When a guy calls you pretty, he finds you sweet and attractive. You know you’re cute, but he’s telling you how much he appreciates you. 

When a guy calls you pretty, he admires your appearance. Note that appearance does not only involve clothes. Instead, it includes how you smile, move, and talk.

“Pretty” isn’t only about one aspect of you – instead, it’s YOU as a whole. Your love interest thinks you are pretty as a person, he loves how kind you are as a human being, and he likes how you express your opinions. 

When he calls you pretty, it means he likes you. He adores and appreciates you. He’s attracted to you and wants you to know. So, in turn, thank him for his compliment.

Cute Girls Are Pretty, Beautiful is a Whole Other Level

We use both adjectives to describe women. Both words are about how these women look. Yet, there is a subtle difference. “Beautiful” trumps most other compliments because it is all-encompassing.

According to Merriam-Webster, “pretty” is “having conventionally accepted elements of beauty.” Oxford defines it as “attractive in a delicate way without being truly beautiful.” So, we can use the word “cute” or “pretty” to describe a good-looking girl. But it’s not as much of a compliment as “beautiful.”

You can use the words “cute,” “pretty,” or “beautiful” to describe something that looks good. The dictionary definition of the word “cute” is “attractive or pretty in an endearing way.”

Here’s a note about the word “sexy.” It means “sexually appealing.” Are you a girl, and guys are using that word to describe you (or its synonyms, for example, “hot”)?

Be on the alert when you’re around them. If you’re a guy, now you know what the word means, so don’t use it for every girl you see!

Beautiful: Who Deserves Such a Compliment?

“Beautiful” refers to more than a sweet, endearing appearance. Let’s go to Oxford again. It’s defined as “pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.” 


Merriam-Webster defines “beautiful” as “having qualities of beauty: exciting aesthetic pleasure.” Interestingly, both dictionaries use the word “aesthetic.” So, “beautiful” has a deeper meaning than just pleasing the eye.

When a guy calls you beautiful, he’s going beyond mere physical appearance. For instance, “beautiful” can refer to personality, character, spirit, or mind. 

In short, it’s easy to be attracted to pretty girls because of their appearance. But when a woman is beautiful, she shines from the inside out.

And What About the Word “Cute?”

Conversely, you may hear a guy say he feels uncomfortable around beautiful girls. Men worship hot women, but they also hate them. None admit that they prefer to be around cute girls, but it’s true. 

A guy is more likely to see a cute girl as girlfriend material. Being with a goddess is good for his ego, but he finds cute girls easier to get along with in most cases.

So, don’t be upset by the compliment since it only means he appreciates you. Cute girls make good company because they’re fun. A cute girl is contented and enjoys life on a light note. She also strives to liven up the group by sharing her joie de vivre. 

Men find the charming nature shared by many cute girls to be irresistible. If he calls you “cute,” it means he enjoys your company, and you make him happy.

“Cute” can also refer to your personality. Your love interest might call you cute if you’re relaxed and mellow. His calling you cute is a huge compliment as it means you’re easy-going and drama-free. Men tend to find cute girls approachable because they’re laid back and don’t cause any issues.

Cute girls also tend to have cheerful attitudes, so they attract excellent company. You make people around you comfortable and happy when you’re joyful. 

Because you’re so pleasant, this guy is attracted to you. Men don’t like moody girls. So he thinks you’re cute because of your attractive positive attitude.

Of course, all language has subtleties. If cornered, a guy might refer to you as “cute” as a safe description of your physical appearance. But if a guy calls you “the cutest,” or he can’t contain his appreciation for how cute you are, it means he’s into you.

A Word About Beauty Standards

You may have a friend that guys find beautiful, but they merely say you’re pretty. We’ve given the dictionary definitions.

Yet, the labels still mean different things to different people. It can be difficult to decipher the subtle messages conveyed by his words.

In life, it’s essential to know that beauty is subjective. Being called “Cute” might sound like the fun version of “pretty.” But, most people consider “cute” inferior to “beautiful.”

So, when a guy calls you cute, it might be your instinct to feel devalued. But take it at face value: “cute” is a sweet description that conveys a feeling of fun and is nice to say about you.

Beautiful girls are often not at peace with themselves, no matter how gorgeous they are. These girls never feel like they’re good enough because of beauty standards.

And the goalposts are constantly changing. For example, ladies did Brazilian butt lifts to feel attractive not too long ago. But that standard has changed since the Kardashians started reversing their BBLs.

In the End …

But should the labels define you? For example, do you think your friend is better than you because she’s beautiful? Remember that although more men might be attracted to her, she still has as many, if not more, insecurities as you do.

Still, it can be comforting to know that you’re both going through the same stuff. So try to feel sympathy when your friend complains about how guys see her.

What Do You Say When a Guy Calls You Pretty?

Is a guy flirting with you, but you want to keep your relationship in the friend zone? You must answer in a manner that conveys that message. You don’t have to be blunt or say something to upset him. Here are some things you can say;

“That’s a nice thing to say to a friend. I’m flattered.”

“Thanks, you’re too kind.”

“Thanks, you’re cute too.”

“Not as cute as you are!”

“You’re like my brother, but I’ll take that compliment.”

“Stop making me blush. You’re such a good friend.”

“Thanks, but why do the guys I fancy never say that to me?”

“Is there a punchline? Or are you flirting with me?”

“Aww. Thanks for saying that!”

“You’re an awesome friend. That’s sweet of you to say.”

“And that’s why we’ll always be friends. Thanks, though.”

You can be a total badass and respond, “I know.” It has the same impact as saying, “I’m flattered.” Yet it implies that you haven’t taken the compliment seriously. It’s the type of response you can give to a guy with whom you do not desire a relationship. In other words, you’re telling him “whatever you say.”

What to Say if He Calls You Pretty in Text or Online

It’s much easier to respond to a guy who calls you pretty in-text or online than if he does so face-to-face. People tend to be a bit braver and more open online than in person. You can take your time and think about your reply, so there’s less pressure.


If You Like It

Send him a smile emoji, so he knows you liked his words. Wink emojis are also an excellent way to let him know you appreciate the compliment. Another great way to flirt back is to tell him he’s cuter than you. Sending him a flirty text or risky picture is another excellent response.

If It’s Unwanted

Block him.

Consider Your Relationship With Him

Are you still trying to understand why he called you pretty? It will be helpful to consider what your relationship with him is like.

If he is your friend, he likely called you pretty because he’s trying to make you feel good about yourself. Or, it could be he wants more than friendship.

Still, if we have someone who understands us for who we are, we must appreciate that person. So, when a guy calls you pretty, how about thanking him for the compliment? It will make you feel happier if you appreciate his appreciation. 

So, when a guy calls you pretty, call him “handsome.” It will improve his day and yours when you’re such a kind and gentle soul.