10 Couples Tattoo Ideas Without Initials, Just In Case

Relationships don’t always last forever, but tattoos certainly do. If you and bae can’t wait to seal your love with some matching ink, there are so many creative ways to commemorate your ‘ship. But going all in and getting each other’s names or initials might be risky if the relationship doesn’t go the distance. Luckily, whether you want a bold design or something a bit more subtle, there are plenty of couples tattoos that don’t have initials you can base yours on. Naturally, there will always be naysayers who can’t get behind the idea of having matching tattoos with a partner. But if you and your SO are both on board, follow your bliss.

Thankfully, couples tattoos aren’t limited to just hearts or the date of your anniversary in Roman numerals. Any shared memory, hobby, or passion can be transformed into a cool design that’ll always make you think of your partner. As with any tattoo, the most important step is finding a tattoo artist whose work you’re both excited about, and doing plenty of research. Your tattoo artist should be working at a credible shop that follows the proper health and safety regulations. Also, it’s important that you and your partner can decide on a design, you both love. It’ll be on your body forever! Depending on how complex your tattoo idea is, it might take some ongoing discussion between you and the artist to fine-tune the final design, and that’s OK. Here are some fun design ideas inspired by couples tattoos done right.

1. Something To Commemorate Your First Date.

These little Ferris wheels are a great example of a minimalist design done well. Maybe it’s a nod to the location of their first date or kiss.

2. Something That Pays Homage To A Character, You Both Love.

If you and bae your partner share a love for the same character, movie, song, or superhero, this can also be incorporated into a sweet tattoo.

3. A Symbol That Reflects Your Connection.

These baby lightning bolts are too cute. Even though they’re in a prominent spot, they can be easily covered by the strap of a watch for work environments that might not be tattoo-friendly.

4. A Classic Motif With A Twist.

If you want to incorporate traditional elements into your tattoo design, adding a second meaning makes it unique.

5. Something In A Meaningful Spot.

These ring finger dots are as subtle as it gets, but their placement gives them added significance.

6. Reminders Of The Promises You’ve Made.

Meaningful words or phrases you and your partner have exchanged are also a good route to take. For all the Harry Potter fans out there, these elegantly penned “always” tattoos are the perfect nod to the series.

7. Two Elements That Interact In A Clever Way.

This hoop and basketball design shows how effective the interaction between two totally different tattoos can be.

8. Something With Complementary Symbols.

These tattoos are another great example of how you can use different designs to complement each other. The sentimentality of sharing ink still rings true, and these tattoos can easily stand on their own post-breakup.

9. Designs That Are Similar Enough, But Still Different.

If you want the focus of your tattoos to be the same, but are open to small details that differ, consider something like this (or the more traditional yin-yang symbol).

10. Something That Nods To A Shared Interest.

If you have a shared interest, like astronomy, it’s easy to extract inspiration for beautiful tattoos.

Couples’ tattoos can be a creative way to express your utter devotion to an SO. That said, to avoid regrets, spend time thinking through any pros and cons. With the right prep, you’ll have a beautiful reminder of a meaningful relationship that will last a lifetime.

 

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7 Scientific Reasons You’re Attracted To That Special Someone (#3 Is Creepy)

When it comes to finding a romantic partner, we often equate attraction with beauty. But beauty in itself is not the only thing that attracts us. Science tells us that beauty is just one part of the equation. It seems that true romantic attraction goes way beyond the surface and is more closely linked to our subconscious urges to procreate. Here are seven scientific reasons why you’re likely attracted to a special someone.

He oozes confidence

The sexiest person in the room may not necessarily be the most beautiful person with perfect asymmetric features and a great body. It’s actually the person who projects self-confidence. So, why is self-confidence so darn sexy? Well, according to research published in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology,  it’s hard to see certain traits — like aptitude, ambition, social status, and compassion — in a potential love interest at first glance. Therefore, since we believe people actually know themselves, we assume that their perceived confidence (or lack of confidence) reflects positive traits that we’re looking for in a partner.

But there’s a fine line between self-confidence and overconfidence. Researchers decided to look at the advantage overconfident individuals might have in the dating world. What they found was that overconfident people were not seen as more attractive, and may in fact come across as being arrogant, which diminishes the benefits of being confident.

Opposites don’t attract, similarities do

Researchers have found that attraction happens from similarities, not differences.

If you share the same values, life experiences, age, and even similar levels of attractiveness, then there’s a good chance that special someone just might be your match. According to a study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the adage suggesting opposites attract may not entirely be true. It seems that ongoing evidence finds that romantic couples often share strong similarities between ages, political and religious attitudes. However, they only share a moderate similarity in education, general intelligence, and values.

Interestingly, though, when it comes to personality, the similarities stop there. So, while you’re happy being the life of the party, your partner just might be happier hanging out at home watching a good movie. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find them attractive. According to another study published in the same journal, having similarities in physical attractiveness — meaning you’re both a ten or a two — also plays a role in the process of romantic attraction.

He reminds you of dad, she reminds you of mom

Your earliest relationships are formed with your mom or dad, so it makes sense that you might seek out partners that resemble your opposite or even same-sex parent. And it doesn’t stop with personality, suggests a study in the Journal of Human Behavior and Evolution. It may even include the same eye color and age, meaning that if you have younger parents, you might search for a younger partner.

But how can that be, you say, especially when you have such a poor relationship with mom or dad? Well, it all begins with the attachment theory, suggests Psychology Today. Apparently, the emotional bond that typically forms between a baby and primary caregiver is the gateway to influencing how you will connect to others as adults romantically and in other ways. It also creates a basis on how relationships work. So, if you’re hoping that he or she finds you attractive, look no further than his or her parents.

Women are subconsciously attracted to chest hair

If you’re a man who shaves or waxes the hair from your chest area — stop! Research published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior suggests that women find both muscular or huskier men, who possess hair on their chest area, more attractive than those who bare it all. It seems that chest hair plays a role in sexual selection for women. On a subconscious level, women see men with chest hair visually healthier and possessing a physical prowess — both, apparently, good traits for mating.

They smell so good!

Researchers have found that attraction has to do with pheromones.

Ever notice how some people just smell amazing? They may not be wearing perfume or aftershave, but their skin smells fantastic. Well, it turns out you’re likely sniffing their pheromones. Pheromones are a scent-inducing chemical that secretes in sweat and other bodily fluids. According to Scientific American, all creatures great and small — including humans — send out these chemical signals to entice mates. Bettina Pause, a psychologist at Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, says, “We’ve just started to understand that there is communication below the level of consciousness.”

Your brain wants what it can’t have

Why is it that so many of us are drawn to that forbidden fruit? A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology presented women with the same photograph of their potential dream man. Half of the women were told Mr. Right was single, while the other half were told he was in a relationship. Over 50 percent of the women were interested in pursuing a single guy. Interestingly, that figure jumped to 90 percent when they discovered he was already in a committed relationship. Yikes!

It could be that we are drawn to those we consider “out of our league” because we see them as the ideal model of ourselves. Maybe we develop these crushes to force ourselves to improve both physically and socially. Whatever the reason, keep a close eye on your guy!

Love at first sight linked to our primordial past

Apparently, we have inherited the brain circuitry for instant attraction or “love at first sight” because of our primordial past. Dr. Helen Fisher, a professor with the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers, told Match.com, “Like other mammals, our female forebears had a monthly period of heat.” And, like all mammals that have only a few hours, days, or weeks to mate, our ancestors had to become attracted quickly. So, the next time you find yourself head over heels in love at first sight, just chalk it up to your primal need to procreate.

 

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If Your Partner Never Wants To Cuddle After Sex, Here’s How To Talk About It

Apart from enjoying the warm embrace of someone you’re into, cuddling after sex has its benefits. Mainly, your body releases the feel-good chemical oxytocin, often called “the cuddling hormone.” But no matter how good it feels for some people, cuddling after sex isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe your partner isn’t into the idea of pressing your hot, sticky, post-orgasm bodies together, and they just need time to cool down. Or perhaps cuddling feels a little too intimate, especially if you two are just friends with benefits. Your sexual partner could also have a completely different aversion to cuddling that you have no idea about.

Whatever the case may be, if you want to cuddle after sex and your partner never does, consider talking to them about it. Maybe you’ll change their mind and find a compromise. Maybe you won’t. But either way, unpacking why they seem to be uninterested in cuddling you after sex can help shed some light on what makes them tick, what your needs are as a duo, and how you can resolve issues in the bedroom together.

Here’s what two sex and dating experts had to say about how to approach the post-coital cuddling conversation with everyone’s needs and well-being in mind.

There May Be Physiological Reasons Your Partner Doesn’t Want To Cuddle

PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

According to Shan Boodram, a certified sexologist and ambassador for sex toy brand TENGA, there are a number of reasons why someone might not want to cuddle right after sex — one being the “post-coital blues,” Boodram explains. Formally known as post-coital tristesse (PCT) or post-coital dysphoria (PCD), people who experience this condition often withdraw after sex or feel an intense comedown. Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, the resident sex and relationship expert for Astroglide, acknowledges that next to pre-existing sadness or trauma, your partner’s physiological reaction to sex could be why they’re feeling down. “Some folks feel sad after sex because of the hormonal and chemical high followed by such an intense release,” O’Reilly tells Elite Daily. “It can feel as though you’ve just come down from a high.”

Some people may crave physical affection if they’re feeling down after sex, and some people simply may not. “Instead of cuddling they may prefer to do something else to boost their mood like eat, watch something, be alone for a bit, or sleep,” Boodram tells Elite Daily.

Irene Fehr, a sex and intimacy coach, also cites post-orgasm tiredness as a reason why cuddling might not be on the menu for your partner. “Sex that is followed by orgasm — especially a strong, whole-body orgasm — can knock a person out and induce a strong desire to sleep right after the climax,” Fehr tells Elite Daily. “They may not want to cuddle or they may not be up for it physically if their desire to sleep is strong.” She also adds that cuddling might feel uncomfortable for some people because their bodies become hypersensitive after sex.

They Might Also Be Worried About Being Vulnerable With You

Apart from physiological reasons, your partner may be worried about the level of vulnerability cuddling after sex may invite. “The social implications of cuddling are a form of deep intimacy. So, in order to keep their own distance, or to ensure you can keep yours, they opt out of touch outside of the sexual act itself,” Boodram explains. Fehr agrees, saying, “When things slow down and you no longer have to do anything, cuddling after sex is a very tender, vulnerable activity — a time to put down your guard or performance and face each other in the raw. It is intimate, and it can feel intimidating and scary for many people who might otherwise hide behind sexual performance or an emotional wall.”

Talk It Out In A Safe, Light-Hearted Way

There could be a chance your partner might feel differently about post-coital cuddling if you explain why it’s important to you, but you won’t know until you talk about it.

SrdjanPav/E+/Getty Images

When bringing this up to your partner, Fehr suggests you don’t have this conversation during sex or in the bedroom. “Timing this conversation during or after sex puts your partner into a highly vulnerable position to have to answer not only while they’re aroused or relaxed post-coitally, but also when they’re extra open,” she says. “In a way, it’s a manipulative tactic because it traps them.” Apart from not “trapping” your partner into this discussion, you also shouldn’t have what Fehr calls a “fly-by conversation,” meaning, one that takes place while you’re doing something else.

Instead, Fehr says, “Find a time when you both feel relaxed, calm, and present with each other.” Then ask them questions about what they prefer to do after sex and why, or about their boundaries and what would make them feel more comfortable. Ask them about their favorite parts of getting intimate and what defines good sex for them. Hopefully, your partner will ask you these questions back, Boodram says, which will allow you to express your needs, too.

If They Want To Understand Where You’re Coming From, Work Together To Find Solutions

“Brainstorm to find a solution that works for both [partners], if both partners want to […] learn to get over the hurdle. This piece is important,” Fehr says. “Finding solutions only work if both partners want to find a solution.”

One way to approach this problem-solving is to draw from what your partner has told you about why they don’t like cuddling. If their reasons are physical, maybe there’s a way you can make them feel more relaxed and comfortable while cuddling. If the reasons are related to emotions or intimacy, see if there’s a way to make them feel safe or to slow things down. Fehr suggests trying out a short, non-sexual cuddling session as a trial run.

If They’re Not Interested in Problem-Solving, Ask Yourself The Hard Questions

There’s a chance that even after you express your desire to cuddle after sex, your partner still won’t be interested. Even though this can be frustrating, their feelings are valid. “Ultimately, it’s going to be very difficult for the person who needs post-coital cuddling to feel fully satisfied and complete with sex,” Fehr says. So, you will probably have to ask yourself if not cuddling after sex is something you can go without. Likewise, your partner will have to ask themselves if they can fulfill your needs, or if you’re asking too much.

Whatever the outcome of your conversation with your partner, approaching your talk with intimacypatience, and understanding will be helpful. This could be a golden opportunity to reconnect as partners and really improve your sex life.  Even if cuddling after sex seems like just a “small thing,” remember: Even the “small” things are always worth a conversation.

 

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6 Things Your Guy Won’t Tell You (And Will Deny if You Ask)

Things Your Boyfriend Won’t Tell You

There are always things that both men and women are hesitant to share with their partners, things that they know will bite them in the butt if they share. There are definitely things your boyfriend won’t tell you, and while this isn’t a comprehensive list, it does hit the highlights.

Your job is not to do anything silly—like confront him on these on your next date night. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Things Your Boyfriend Won’t Tell You | Secret #1: He WILL lie about your cooking

You may think you’re an awesome cook, but that meatloaf of yours…yeah, he’d rather go to Burger King. I wouldn’t look too deep into this. If he says he likes it the first time, don’t ask him ten more times.

You’ll get the same answer and you’ll both be grumpy about it. Give him a couple of options, and if you notice he never wants one of those options, chop it out of your dinner rotation. Problem solved.

Secret #2: He’s not going to stop watching porn (no matter how nicely you ask)

But you knew this…or at least I hope you did. Your guy loves having sex with you, but he also loves watching sex from time to time (too much, he may have a problem.)

The more you ridicule him into thinking it’s wrong, the more likely he’ll resent you. Besides, this isn’t about you. I’m sure you’re fantastic in bed. But no matter how crazy the sex, a guy is going to feel the need to get off without you from time to time.

Secret #3: He doesn’t feel like chit chat after sex

I think a lot of you read this and know about it, but it still doesn’t stop you from getting angry when your guy falls asleep in the middle of one of your monologues. Sorry, but our brains shut down.

We want to play a video game or turn on Netflix but the last thing we feel like doing is chatting. Don’t blame us. Blame biology.

Secret #4: Steamy sex dreams (that don’t involve you) aren’t leaving the confines of his head

He’ll never mention it…ever, especially if it has to do with an ex. Sex with other partners in a dream says nothing about his own desire for you so you shouldn’t feel threatened by it. He’s not going to call his ex up just because he had a dream about her.

Secret #5: He’ll hide the fact that he doesn’t feel like having sex with you (at the moment)

It’s easy for girls to tell their guys to bugger off if they don’t want sex. That’s pretty normal in a standard relationship. Society, however, doesn’t apply that same logic to men denying women sex.

Your guy is so nervous about saying something that he’ll probably just run with it anyway—regardless of whether he’s stressed out, tired, annoyed with you, or a whole slew of other things.

Secret #6: Yes, he’s looking at other women – and enjoying it

He’s sneaky about it, too. For every time you’ve caught him looking at another girl, he’s done it another 10 times without you noticing. When he’s hanging out with friends, it’s even worse.

Can we agree that there are other pretty women out there? He’s not going to have sex with them (if you are a catch – and you are) so don’t sweat it. And the more you get on his case about it, the more he’ll just feel nervous around you. Trust your man and understand that it’s nothing personal.

Things Your Boyfriend Won’t Tell You Final Thoughts

If you’re in a great relationship, none of these little secrets are important. He still loves you and wants to do what’s best for the relationship. I would strongly suggest you not bring these up, even if you have in the past. Give your dude some space. Trust me, he’ll appreciate it.

 

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13 Secrets To A Happy Marriage

  • Being in a relationship brings an equal share of moments that are joyous and others that are difficult.
  • As the honeymoon phase inevitably comes to an end, there are many ways that you can work with your partner to keep your relationship exciting and fulfilling.
  • The most successful couples share equal responsibility for household chores, have similar financial habits, and support each other through the ups and downs.

Romantic relationships are challenging, rewarding, confusing, and exhilarating — sometimes all at the same time.

Should you take things slowly at the beginning or dive right in? Can things stay hot in the bedroom even after years of being together? What happens when one of you wants to use a holiday bonus to invest in Bitcoin and the other wants to go on a vacation?

The answers aren’t always clear, but when it comes to marital satisfaction, science has some interesting things to offer.

According to research, the happiest couples are those who:

1. Don’t fight over text
texting working late

What seems obvious is now backed up by science: A 2013 study out of Brigham Young University shows that couples who argue over text, apologize over text, and/or attempt to make decisions over text are less happy in their relationships.

When it comes to the big stuff, don’t let an emoji take the place of your actual face.

2. Don’t have kids
kid playing with parents

Children are one of the most fulfilling parts of life. Unfortunately, they’re hell on relationships. Numerous studies, including a 2014 survey of 5,000 people in long-term relationships, show that childless couples (married or unmarried) are happiest.

This isn’t to say you can’t be happy if you have kids — it’s just to understand that it’s normal to not feel happy sometimes. Many couples put pressure on themselves to feel perfectly fulfilled once they have what they’ve always wanted (a long-term partnership with children), but the reality of kids is that they’re very stressful on relationships.

3. Have friends who stay married
friend crying

If you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you’re also just as married as them.

According to research out of Brown University, you’re 75% more likely to get divorced if a friend or close relative has already done the deed. When it’s someone with one more degree of separation out (the friend of a friend), you’re 33% more likely to get divorced.

Researchers had this to say on the ramifications of the results: “We suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages might serve to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship.”

4. Fight at the beginning, then not a lot
couple man woman dating friends married talking sad beach water

Psychologists like Herb Goldberg suggest that our model for relationship is backward — we tend to expect things to go smoothly at the beginning, and for problems (and conflicts) to arise later. In fact, Goldberg argues that couples should have “rough and ragged” beginnings where they work things out, and then look forward to a long and happy incline in the state of the relationship.

Research agrees: A Florida State study found that couples who are able to be openly angry in the beginning are happier long-term. According to lead researcher James McNulty, the “short-term discomfort of an angry but honest conversation” is healthy for the relationship over the long haul.

5. Are comprised of one first-born child and one last-born child
young couple walking

There’s an entire body of research on how your birth order impacts your life, including your relationships as well as professional success. One of the happiest pairings for couples? Someone who was the youngest child with someone who was the oldest.

Researchers hypothesize this may be because the relationship has one person who enjoys being taken care of, and one who’s used to taking care of others.

6. Know who does what when it comes to housework
cleaning chores

According to a 2013 UCLA study, couples who agree to share chores at home are more likely to be happier in their relationships. An important caveat: Couples who have clearly defined responsibilities are far more likely to be satisfied.

In other words, when you know what to do and what’s expected of you, you tend to be happier both yourself and with your spouse. This might be a good thing to sit down and discuss in the new year, especially if you’re newly cohabitating.

7. Are gay, or straight and feminist
gay couple hug

In a 2014 study of 5,000 people, researchers found that gay couples are “happier and more positive” about their relationships than their heterosexual counterparts. Straight couples made less time for each other and were less likely to share common interests and communicate well.

Straight couples are better off being feminists. Research out of Rutgers shows that both men and women with feminist partners are more satisfied in their (hetero) relationships. The name of the 2007 study? Feminism And Romance Go Hand In Hand.

8. If heterosexual, when husbands view wives as more attractive of the two
wedding present

Levels of attractiveness within couples have long been the subject of debate (not to mention song lyrics). According to a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, when husbands view their wives as the more attractive of the pair, not only are they more satisfied in the relationship, but the wives are, too. The opposite was not true — when husbands thought they were better-looking, they weren’t as happy.

9. Are best friends
couple holding hands

The National Bureau of Economic Research did a study demonstrating that marriage, on the whole, leads to increased levels of happiness (they controlled for premarital happiness).

Perhaps more telling was the finding that people who consider their spouse to be their best friend are almost twice as satisfied in their marriages as other people.

“What immediately intrigued me about the results was to rethink marriage as a whole,” researcher John Helliwell said. “Maybe what is really important is friendship, and to never forget that in the push and pull of daily life.”

10. And have a lot of friends in common
friends laughing smiling

In 2013, Facebook released a report that analyzed 1.3 million of its users, looking at, among other things, relationships. The conclusion? Couples with overlapping social networks tended to be less likely to break up — especially when that closeness included “social dispersion,” or the introduction of one person’s sphere to the other, and vice versa.

In other words, the best-case scenario is when each person has their own circle, but the two also overlap.

11. Spend money in similar ways
Couple money talk from shutterstock

The two biggest things couples fight about are sex and money. When it comes to the latter, it’s well-known to psychologists as well as social scientists that for some reason, people tend to attract their spending opposite. Big spenders tend to attract thrifty people, and vice versa.

A 2009 University of Michigan study corroborated this. Researchers found that both married and unmarried people tend to select their “money opposite” — and that this causes strife in the relationship. The happiest couples tend to spend money in a similar way, whether that is saving or indulging.

12. Have sex at least once a week
couple bed

Probably the best statistic of the bunch comes from a 2004 study, which showed that upping your sexual activity from once a month to once a week can cause happiness levels to jump by as much if you made an extra $50,000 a year.

The study, entitled “Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study” sampled 16,000 adult Americans. One of its main conclusions: “[S]exual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations.”

13. Celebrate each other’s achievements
couple champagne balcony

Anyone who has been in a relationship can attest to this one, but now there’s research to confirm it: A 2009 study in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that when couples celebrate their partner’s accomplishments as if they were their own, they’re more satisfied in the relationship.

“In good times and bad” includes the good times — something it can be easy to forget. And it’s true; there’s nothing quite so satisfying as having your partner be loudly and enthusiastically in your corner when you do well.

Joy, after all, multiplies with love.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1