Do Guys Like Being Called Cute? Let A Guy Answer This!

Do Guys Like Being Called Cute

10-12 min read

YOU: “Hey.”
GUY: “Hey! What’s up?”
YOU: “…”
GUY: “… what?”

Has this ever happened to you?

You meet an attractive guy—he’s nice, smart, funny—and you guys have a good thing going.

You start to harmlessly flirt.

You decide to take things to the next level, and let him know directly that you like him.

And so you go for it!

YOU: “I think you’re cute.”

Nice job!

GUY: “…”

Why isn’t he saying anything back? Did you do something wrong?

YOU: “What? Did I say something wrong?”
GUY: “I… I’m not… I’m not sure?!”

What is that supposed to mean? You’re not sure, but you feel pretty confused.

“What is his problem?” you might think. “I just said he was cute. Guys call girls cute all the time!”

So what’s the difference? Do guys like being called cute? What may seem to be a simple question actually has a lot of surprising depth to it:  the answer will depend on the specific guy in question—his maturity; his age; his relationships; and lots of other, tiny factors! 

Today, we’ll be helping you draw out a unique roadmap to your specific answer! The waters may seem murky at first, but by the end, we’ll help you determine: “Will my guy like being called cute?”

This is a question I’ve been asked to give advice on literally countless times. Take it from a male authority who has been in 6 serious, LTR’s (long-term relationships), and lots of other, short-term flirting scenarios: the answer will surprise you, ladies!

How Mature Is Your Guy?

This may seem obvious, but maturity is an incredibly huge factor when calling a guy cute could make or break your chance at successfully flirting.

Your guy being emotionally mature enough will add (or detract) to your ability to successfully call him what it is you’d like to call him and to know that your compliments will go through as intended!

For example, I reacted very, very differently to be called “cute” when I was dating my first girlfriend in middle school as I would today.

As a 7th Grade adolescent in the late 2000’s, lines of masculinity and femininity were kept extremely rigid, and crossing those lines would be considered extremely taboo.

It was an unfortunate time when heteronormativity (i.e. the belief that heterosexuality is the default, preferred, and/or normal mode of orientation) was everywhere. That meant that even the slightest appearance of ‘girliness,’ or any lack of ‘manliness’ in general, invited endless taunting and torment from my classmates and peers!

Despite all that pumped-up machismo, guys really can be sensitive at a young age, and they are incredibly defensive of their masculinity being challenged!

Particularly while they’re still cognitively developing, people tend to cling to whatever sense of identity they have.

But most of the time, pre-teens, teens, and young adults won’t understand (or even notice) that they’re actively protective/defensive about something as basic as being called “cute.”

So, when my unaware, 7th Grade girlfriend called me “cute” I responded that cuteness (at the time) was a term only meant for girls!

Obviously, a pre-teen boy wasn’t mature enough to completely process the following:

  • He had a girlfriend that found him attractive
  • She wanted to flirt to show him that she likes him, and that she finds him attractive
  • She wanted to call him something that felt more charged than “handsome,” but less intense than “hot” or “sexy”
  • Finally, she wasn’t trying to question his masculinity—the opposite!

Nowadays, I know that my girlfriend wanted to just reiterate her attraction to me! It didn’t have anything to do with her thinking of me as ‘girly’ or ‘unmanly.’

So… Calling me “cute” seems like something that would make a lot of sense. But… did it work?

The answer is: Yes… and No.

How Old Is Your Guy?

Being called cute when I was 12 obviously didn’t work out… But what about when I got older? Does age matter when calling a guy “cute?”

When I was 13, and dating my second girlfriend, I started to grow a bit more comfortable with the idea of flirting. In hindsight, the first ‘relationship’ felt more like a close friendship with exclusive titles.

But my second one started to grow actual intimacy—in a physical and emotional sense.

At that point, I was starting to grow more mature—or at least, learning about mature things:

  • I listened to a lot of angsty, artsy, introspective music
  • I was assigned older reading materials for homework (and read even-older books on my own)
  • I started to participate in school musicals, and join clubs
  • I started to exercise so I could make myself look (and feel) healthier

All within the span of a single year, I started to drastically change! Suddenly, I had emotions lots of intense, sometimes overwhelming emotions to deal with. Slowly—but surely—I was going through the process of becoming sensitive.

Of course, as you can guess, it still took me many, many years (and a few other relationships) to begin figuring out who I was, who I’d want to be, and what I want—not to mention what my partners wanted!

What made things even harder were incorporating all the different means of communication: letter writing, online messaging, over-the-phone, and of course texting, this includes when a guy double texts you!

Years before the explosion of emojis, including best emoji to send to crush, we now know and love, conveying meaning over text messages (on a crappy, Nokia flip-phone no less!) was like doing mental gymnastics. More often than not, tone can easily get lost in a sea of words.

Audio-visual signals (i.e. biting your lip, playing with your hair, staring at their mouth, looking away a few times, not knowing what to do with your hands) are a huge part of successful flirting. Ergo:  there are pros and cons to flirting IRL versus over text! 

And unlike everything else that’s taught in explicitly in school (or implicitly at home, in books, or in TV or movies), there is no class or teacher for flirting—it’s everybody for themselves; everybody learns differently, and learns different lessons from what seems like the exact same situation.

Needless to say: growing up is hard! And I am only one guy out of millions out there—you are only one person out of billions out there!

The point is: depending on who your guy is, and where/when/how he grew up (and he still might be growing up!), he could have the following traits which you should consider before flirting:

  • A very specific (or very unspecific) idea of who he is
  • A specific idea of who he wants to be
  • A list of what he wants to be associated with/likes
  • A list of what he absolutely doesn’t want to related to/hates

You might be growing overwhelmed… and that’s okay! It’s a lot to think about, but it’s all to get you in the right mindset that “Yes, I think this guy is attractive. I want to tell him… But what should I say?”

How Does He Act With Others?

So it’s time for the answer you’re all waiting for… should you call this guy you like cute?

The short answer is: “Yes, go for it!” But… prepare yourself for the chance of him not taking it as well as you’d hope.

Depending on you guy’s maturity, age, sense of self-identity, and confidence, he may respond surprisingly to being called “cute.”

You may ask, “Well how do I judge ahead of time how he’ll respond?”

Easy! Just take a look at how he acts with his friends (including you)!

  • Is he shy, or does he take on a more background role in conversations? He will likely respond just as quietly to you calling him cute.
  • Is he a braggadocious talker? He will likely try to dodge the compliment and focus on complimenting you instead!
  • Is he a leader in whatever room he walks into? He will likely be very forcefully for—or against—being called cute.
  • Does he compliment others a lot? Does he compliment you a lot? He likely likes you, and will just as likely be excited to hear you find him cute!

Go On And Call Him… What?

So let’s summarize. You know this guy. He’s attractive, you’re into him, and you want to tell him!

So… What do you say?

What do you call him to start things of flirty and fun?

Let’s list some options!

Maybe not. It’s a polite and safe thing to say once you’re formally on a date, and you maybe see each other the first time—have that moviesque moment of losing your breath and staring into each other’s eyes. But for flirting? Maybe not.

That’s a bit too direct for just flirting, and too strong for somebody you may have just met. If you have known the person long enough that you’re comfortable to move things forward to the next level? Go for it! But (depending on what you’re looking for) that’s likely a bit too strong to just let a guy know “I like you.”

Yes! This is a tried and true classic—it weirdly doesn’t emasculate the man, and it shows affection in a way that’s more intimate than romantic, while still not being directly sexual. But as always: tone is just as important as the word choice—be careful how you phrase/say/text it!

Baby Boy?
No. While still being just a variation, this wording is likely going to fail you. The simple addition of “Boy” is what removes the levity and fun teasing-element of just calling a guy “Baby,” and instead makes him think you’re belittling him.

Yes! Much like “Baby,” this is another classic name that can be just as light or heavy as you need to apply it.

The keyword of this whole article? Yes! But be open to not calling him that if he’s not into it! Whatever you intend, your guy might have a very strong response at the idea of being called “Cute.” Depending on his maturity, his (and yours) age, his other relationships, and whether or not you tell him in-person or over text, you can have a huge amount of variability in the response you’ll get.

Yes! This is arguably even safer than just calling somebody cute because it is a name, and not a description of their character. This makes it easier for guys to bridge “They’re flirting by giving me a name,” instead of “They think I’m cute… does that mean they think I’m a child? Or less masculine?”

In the end, you should take the chance and just go for it!

If he responds poorly?

You have two options:

  • Just ease off of calling him that specific word for now. Maybe he’ll warm up to it later! Maybe he’s just sensitive about his masculinity and needs some reassurance. As shown above, there are lots of other names you can call him.
  • Maybe think about flirting with somebody else. Admittedly, it’s not the best sign of maturity for a guy to react defensively to what is intended as a harmless flirtation. Being uncomfortable is one thing, but if he were to potentially react really poorly? Consider: “Is he really worth it?”

No matter what?

Just try and remember that flirting should make everybody involved feel:

  • Safe. THIS IS RULE #1. Always (and only) flirt with somebody who makes you feel safe!
  • Respected. Both the guy and you deserve respect!
  • Happy! People feel happy when they’re wanted, and feel all kinds of special when they’re flirted with. You calling a guy “cute” might be just the thing he wants to hear!

Now… with all this in mind? Go forth and flirt with confidence!

Go on and tell him how you feel!

Just be honest, smile, and  tell him that you think he’s cute—see what happens! 

Good luck!

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