Dating and Relationship Advice – 9 Things The Happiest Couples Do For Each Other Without Being Asked

Small gestures can have a big impact.

In a healthy relationship, people tend to give love and support freely and frequently. They don’t wait for a special occasion to show their appreciation. They genuinely enjoy doing nice things for one another “just because” ― no prompting necessary.

We asked relationship experts to tell us what kinds of things, both big and small, happy couples do for each other without being asked. Here’s what they had to say:

1. They check in with each other. 

“Whether it’s a ‘hello’ text or call to ask, ‘How did it go?’ the happiest couples reach out. They call to say, ‘I’m running late,’ or ‘We just landed,’ or ‘Do you need me to stop at the store on my way home?’ The message: I’m thinking of you. The result: A feeling of being connected, being a key part of each other’s lives.”  ― Winifred M. Reilly, marriage and family therapist and author of It Takes One to Tango 

2. They give each other compliments.

“This doesn’t have to be a lovey-dovey compliment about being the best wife in the world, but even an offhand remark recognizing someone’s contribution, like ‘great dinner!’ Although some couples do well without positive feedback, the majority of people like at least a little bit of verbal recognition for their contribution, and happy couples are free with positive feedback.”  ― Samantha Rodman, psychologist and dating coach

3. They surprise each other with a card, just because. 

“Giving your partner a card that says ‘Thinking of you’ or ‘Thank you for all you do’ is such a sweet gesture. It will make him or her feel special and it’s a great reminder to you as well of all you have to be grateful for. An added fun touch would be to leave the card somewhere your loved one will happen on it. My husband loves to leave cards for me in the refrigerator. I often leave his cards under his pillow.” ― Susan Pease Gadoua, marriage therapist and the co-author of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels

4. They act generously, instead of keeping score. 

“Generosity is something freely given as a gift, with nothing expected in return. When a relationship feels secure, it is easy to want to offer more than your fair share of tasks or thoughtful gestures to show your love for your partner. Whether moving their clothes to the dryer for them or going on their favorite hike again, highly fulfilled couples tend to maintain great satisfaction from being thoughtful and generous toward their partner rather than scorekeeping.” ― Kari Carroll, couples therapist

5. They speak openly about their thoughts and feelings.

“When partners feel that it’s like pulling teeth to get each other to divulge any thoughts or feelings, a relationship can feel very lonely. Happy couples may not communicate constantly on a deep level, but they do it frequently enough to feel that they really know one another.”  ― Samantha Rodman

6. They surprise their partner with their favorite food. 

“We all know that food is nurturing and helps people feel connected. But when you go out of your way to bring home a special food you know they will love, it’s a wonderful way to put ‘I love you’ into action. If the favorite food is a meal that you make — rather than, say, a pint of Haagen Dazs — you’ll undoubtedly get even more points.” ― Susan Pease Gadoua

7. Or with a freshly washed car. 

“Regardless of whether you do the washing yourself or take the car to a car wash, when your partner sees their squeaky clean wheels on the street or in the driveway, he or she will likely be very grateful.” ― Susan Pease Gadoua

8. They’re in the habit of saying ‘thank you.’

“Despite the mundanity and complacency that can develop within a long-term partnership, a sure way to keep the fire alive and burning brightly is to watch your partner beam when you regularly notice and point out their contributions to your life. People want to be reminded they are of value to you, and secure couples understand that this should be frequent. Although you may assume your love to be understood, in reality, acknowledging your partner’s efforts and contributions consistently builds an even deeper connection.” ― Kari Carroll

9. And ‘I love you.’

“And they do it when it’s unprompted, unsolicited, and unexpected. In many relationships the ‘I love yous’ come more from one partner than the other. Typically one leads and the other follows. Too often I hear the excuse, ‘I don’t want to overuse it.’ In happy relationships, both partners initiate saying it and they mean it when then do.” ― Kurt Smith, therapist who specializes in counseling for men

If your partner doesn’t do all of these things, don’t fret. Relationships are a work in progress, and if you’re not getting what you want out of it, you should ask. You aren’t a mind reader, so you can’t expect your partner to be one either.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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Kellie – Feminist Sex Tornado

Next Monday I’ll resume the Cherie series. I just needed to gather some material! So here’s a story from a few years ago. 


I met Kellie on OKCupid and we chatted back and forth for a while. She even asked for my number and we chatted on the phone a couple of times before meeting up. We talked for over an hour one night and I’m usually not a phone person, so it seemed like we got along very well. The one downside was that she was an ultra-feminist.

Now let me just say that I have nothing against feminists or feminism. I’m a feminist as well in that I believe in equality and want all my female friends to have the same opportunities as me as a white man. I also can get on board with all the ‘don’t blame the victim’ stuff — I get it, there are plenty of reasons women can’t feel the same level of safety as me when walking home alone at night and it makes me sad and angry because these are my friends. BUT there’s a certain point where a line is crossed and just everything you say makes me cringe. These are not feminists but SJWs (Social Justice Warriors)and they are so annoying. I’m not going to get too much into the politics of it but after hearing her say a few things on the subject that sort of grated my nerves, I told her there were a few things that we might not see eye-to-eye on but that we probably had the same core values. She was cool with this (at first) and said she didn’t mind when people disagreed with her and she found it more interesting to speak with someone like me — who disagreed on some things but was basically not a scumbag — as opposed to talking to someone who was a ‘yes man’.

Fast forward to the date. We meet up at a restaurant and right away I’m attracted to her. Our plans are to go to the museum afterward but I really don’t feel like it. We have a couple of drinks with dinner and are getting along pretty well. We’ve both had a few drinks at this point and the vibe is more one of ‘lets keep the party going’ rather than ‘lets go look at art’ so I suggest we go get more drinks at a club. She suggests we get some wine and go back to her place for a game of monopoly. I try to talk her out of the monopoly game but she insists that we play monopoly. Not wanting to be a stick in the mud, I oblige. We go dutch on our dinner/drinks (which I hella respected her for insisting upon) and grab a cab to the wine store and then to her place.

We’re hanging out drinking, her place is nice but there are a few weird things like fridge magnets of penis’, which I actually think is funny and cool. Then she pulls out the monopoly board and takes the lid off and there’s a huge knife in it. She starts laughing and I laugh along nervously. She said her mom put it in there as there was no space or something last year when she was travelling. OK cool. The knife is put away and I relax. We’re drinking wine and playing the board game and she’s making eyes at me. This is going well.

Now this is the kind of girl who thinks it’s rape if you are in a relationship and you ask your partner more than once for sex if they say no the first time. I’ve been in relationships with girls who had a higher sex drive than me and have been on the receiving end of this. Sometimes it’s annoying but I never felt I was raped. So I was not planning on making any moves on her after we both had a few drinks. I wanted this to go somewhere for the long run and didn’t want to get physical right away anyway. I get up to use the bathroom but apparently I had to do something with the door to get it to close and she got up to show me and we start making out in her hall. She’s a great kisser and a red-head and we get along so well so far, I am very turned on.

We go back to the game for a bit but eventually we end up on her bed and clothes start coming off. I tell her I don’t want to sleep with her as we’ve both had some drinks and I’d like her to be my girlfriend one day. This puts her off, she says it’s too soon to say that and to be fair, she was probably right but I was drunk and smitten. She says for me to either take her pants off or we can go back to monopoly, it’s up to me. So I take her pants off. I slide my fingers inside her and feel this weird thing inside there. I’m like WHAT THE FUCK? Pull my fingers out and am like “uh…what’s that?” She starts laughing. I guess she forgot there was a diva cup in there. But she’s cute so no big deal. She goes to the bathroom and removes it but the mood is kinda gone, so we make out a bit more and decide to go grab some pizza. I’m getting tired by this point, so I go home but we make plans for her to come to my place in a couple of days.

Fast forward to my place 2 days later. We’re Netflix and chilling, more wine. One thing leads to another and we end up in my bedroom after about an hour. She is CRAZY in bed. It’s like a sex tornado. But she doesn’t want intercourse, which is OK. She is sucking my cock, giving a hand job, grinding me, sucking my cock again, it’s like a whirlwind. She asks for me to go down on her and I dive right into her fiery box.

Afterward we go back to Netflix and are cuddling on the couch. I suggest Ex_Machina as I think it might interest her because I thought it was a cool movie with some feminist undertones. Well she was offended that there were so many naked women in it and she ended up going on this rant and I was disagreeing with her on some points. Soon she’s telling me that she can’t see me again (in a very condescending way) because we just don’t see eye-to-eye on things and she can’t respect someone who thinks X etc… and I have a lot to learn about women.

At this point I’m a little annoyed but not too broken up about it because in the long run I could likely not stand listening to her Tumblr meme like beliefs on a daily basis. I call her a cab and we never speak again.


Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day at 8am & 12pm EST.

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