Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Alexander Burgemeester
You’re spending time with a guy you like, and he suddenly calls you adorable. On the one hand, you feel flattered. This is a compliment, right? Maybe you even laugh because the word seems so kind and unassuming.
But another part of you is more doubtful. Is he being critical? Is he dismissing part of your personality or really being honest with his intentions with you?
Adorable can take on different meanings depending on the context and your specific relationship. It’s certainly one thing if your boyfriend calls you adorable versus a stranger using the term.
Still, it’s important to understand what it means when someone uses adorable to describe you. Here’s what you need to know.
Is Adorable a Compliment?
Men use all types of compliments when talking to women. Some are more obvious than others. While words matter, the context and tone matter far more.
With that in mind, being called adorable can be a compliment. It may mean a guy thinks you are attractive, funny, or charming.
He probably sees you differently than other girls, which can certainly be a positive sign!
But the word adorable can also be cruel or even condescending. For instance, some guys use it when they’re making fun of someone. He may use it as a way to signal that he finds certain behaviors childish or even unacceptable.
What Does It Mean When Someone Calls You Adorable?
The word adorable isn’t a straightforward compliment. Unlike being called beautiful, sexy, hot, or gorgeous, you might not be sure of his intentions.
Here are some explanations for a guy calling you adorable:
#1 He Feels Attracted to You
Maybe you think you’re just friends. But, in reality, he has deep feelings for you. His calling you adorable might be a way to start that flirty conversation.
He might feel too nervous to say what he wants outright, but he’s testing the waters.
If a friend is attracted to you, he’ll also show you in more nonverbal ways, such as:
- taking better care of his physical appearance
- using positive body language (making eye contact, touching you whenever he can, and generally wanting to be close to you)
- making it a point to spend more time with you
- making fun of you lightheartedly
- reaching out to you frequently (even just to say hi)
#2 He’s Just Teasing You
Consider this situation: you’re hanging out at home and feeling really sick. You’re wearing a ratty t-shirt and old sweats, your hair a complete mess, and your nose all inflamed from being congested.
He sits next to you and says with a smile, Well, don’t you look adorable!
At first, it may seem paradoxical, and you might be wondering about the meaning behind his words. His silly comment probably suggests that he always finds you attractive and loves being in a relationship with you!
#3 He Finds You Fun
A guy might call a girl adorable if he finds her fun, spontaneous, or generally carefree.
In that vein, adorable is a positive compliment. He finds you attractive and wants you to hear how much he values you as a person.
#4 He’s Condescending You
Oh, how adorable- you just think I’m made of money, don’t you?
It’s adorable and cute how naive you are.
The way you think about politics is really adorable.
If you’ve ever felt like you’re on the receiving end of a backhanded compliment, then his using the term adorable is a way to condescend you. This form of criticism is common with older men talking to younger women.
In this situation, being adorable is a bad thing. It’s a way he’s gaslighting you into thinking he’s being sweet. In reality, he’s commenting on how naive or immature he finds you.
#5 He’s Discounting Your Emotions
It’s adorable how upset you are over this.
It’s so adorable how happy you get over nothing.
Aww, you’re scared. That’s so adorable!
Men may use adorable as part of a power play when they want to show a sense of superiority. Women tend to express themselves emotionally. When they’re in a relationship with someone, they often hope that their partner will accept and validate these feelings.
But if a man is more abusive, controlling, or narcissistic, he won’t have the mental capacity to tolerate another person’s feelings. Instead, he’ll often play mind games or surprise you with how he reacts to your more vulnerable disclosures.
Remember this: you’re not a puppy. You’re a grown woman. If you feel that being called adorable is him belittling your emotions, don’t ignore your impulse! And don’t waste your future on this guy.
#6 He Finds You Charming
It’s so adorable how much you care about animals!
I think that bathing suit is adorable.
Adorable can be complimentary when he’s clearly interested in your passions or how you choose to live your life. That’s a good thing! He thinks you are a great person, and he absolutely cares about your well-being.
#7 He Thinks You Did Something Really Sweet
That’s so adorable!
You were so adorable today- thank you!
If he uses adorable after you did something kind for him, he’s reflecting on how he appreciates your effort.
He’s also insinuating that you made him feel good. If he pairs it with, you’re so sweet, he’s into you!
#8 He’s Trying to Make You Feel Good
Don’t even worry about it! I think it’s adorable!
Did you recently do something embarrassing? Maybe you feel concerned about how he will react. You might even be afraid that he’s angry with you.
In this context, the word adorable is usually a positive thing.
#9 He Doesn’t Remember Your Name (Or Who You Are)
Hey adorable! What’s up? Can’t stop thinking about last night!
If you ever receive this text, you may need to pause. It isn’t necessarily wrong that he isn’t identifying you by name, but if you two just had a one-night stand, it could mean that he has no idea who you actually are.
#10 He’s Being Really Spiteful
That’s f*cking adorable now, isn’t it?
Men sometimes use words that reflect the opposite of what they actually mean.
So, if there’s no smile, laugh, or just kidding coinciding with his phrases, be careful. His comment is directly criticizing you or your actions.
#11 He Wants to Role-Play With You
Adorable can have undertones of sex, depending on how he says and uses the word.
Maybe he wants you to be the adorable schoolgirl or young, naive girl at the bar. Maybe he’s hoping to be the relationship hero or some other strong savior.
You can tell if he’s focused on sex by the specific situation. For example, is he staring at your body? Does he say it right after you kiss him?
Or, are you in the middle of having sex when he says it? All of these are signs pointing to a fantasy he may want to play out with you.
What to Say When He Calls You Adorable?
If a guy calls you adorable, there are a few ways you can respond. Remember that there is no universal right or wrong reaction. You are entitled to react in the most appropriate way to you and your particular feelings.
#1 Thank Him
There’s no need to overanalyze your reaction to certain compliments. Simply thank him for his kind words and consider telling him how much you appreciate him with a kiss or hug.
#2 Let Him Know You’re Not Interested
It isn’t right to lead a guy on just because you don’t want to hurt his feelings. You can avoid making things weird by being upfront from the start.
You can use any of these phrases as inspiration:
- Thanks, but I’m not looking for a relationship right now.
- Thanks, but I’m already with someone else.
- I’d rather we just stay friends.
#3 Return His Compliment
There’s no doubt that guys love being flattered. They want to know you care about them, too! So, if a guy compliments you, he’ll absolutely feel like a million bucks if you return the favor.
You might say:
- I find you pretty adorable myself.
- You’re so good to me. I’m so lucky to have you.
- You’re the best!
- I bet so many girls want to be with you.
#4 Tease Him Back
If you assume he’s flirting with you, no harm in playing his game!
After being called adorable, consider telling him:
- I don’t find you adorable- I just find you super sexy.
- What part of me do you find most adorable?
- Adorable, huh? What else do you think I am?
- Let me show you how adorable I can be!
Guys act in all kinds of weird ways when they feel attracted to girls. Sometimes, you’ll be searching for the deeper meaning behind their statements.
If you ever feel unsure about a guy’s compliments or his intentions, you should ask for clarification. Don’t just wait around guessing and wondering what he means. A respectful, loving man will totally answer you without even hesitating.