What’s the secret to a happy relationship?

That wasn’t rhetorical, I was really asking. And so was this person on Reddit:

Men of Reddit: What is the best relationship advice can you give us women?
byu/MoonjazzCat inAskReddit

What wisdom do these dudes have to dispense? Let’s look at some of the gems.

1. Remember he’s an individual, not just a part of some “man collective.”

Everyone is different, and generalization is so stupid no matter what it is about.

Everyone has different views, morals, motives, needs and aspirations, and people should be aware of that, especially in a committed relationship.

– KosViik

2. Space isn’t a lack of love

Sometimes men need space to relax and play video games with their buddies.

It doesn’t mean that they don’t love you but giving them some space is so important.

– J16W

3. Ask first

Please don’t volunteer us to do something for someone else before asking

– Brianray14

4. Let’s get it started in here

Be the one who engages intimately once in a while.

What I’d give to have a girlfriend reach out and touch me without me doing anything prior. Means a lot to a guy!

– Rocky_Road_To_Dublin

5. Take a break

If there is a big issue you’re having arguments about with your partner, it sometimes helps to give it a rest and come back to it later.

I guarantee that in that time both will continue to think and come to terms with what’s been said so that upon restarting it’ll go much better.

It’s just not nice to constantly clash over the same thing, non-stop.

And just because it’s not actively talked about doesn’t mean we don’t know it’s there. There is no need to constantly bring it up and bash it in.

– Keiizux3

6. Our apathy is sincere

When we say that we don’t care about something, like what color to paint the living room, what it means is that the outcome of the decision matters less than your happiness about the outcome of the decision.

– The_First_Viking

7. Trust is earned

Understand that you also have to earn our trust.

In all of my relationships there’s so much emphasis on the guy earning trust from the girl, which is completely valid, but there’s little understanding that it goes both ways.

I also have had bad experiences that close me off, and you shouldn’t take it personally.

– Notasupervillan

8. Fine

Only say you’re “fine” if you actually are.

If you have an issue then say so and we can talk about it, don’t just say you’re “fine” and expect my Neanderthal brain to figure out what you mean.

I’m busy thinking about food and boobs

– Tip_of_my_ginger

9. Seriously, it’s nothing

9 out of 10 times when you ask “what are you thinking about?” And we answer something akin to “how much I love you”

What we really mean is we were thinking of something so random that it makes more sense to just say that instead of explaining for an hour about why aquaman ability to control whales shouldn’t work or possibilities as to why hearing your favorite song play on the radio is much more satisfying to listening directly from your ipod.

We aren’t thinking about your friend Jennifer, we aren’t thinking about the weight you gained, we are literally just thinking about random bits of info that pop into our head that makes us question reality and we want to spare you from an explanation that could take the better part of the afternoon.

– Just_an_Anvil

10. Get out of here

Don’t take relationship advice from reddit.

Don’t take any advice from reddit.

– -Atticus-Finch-

11. Say what you mean

Don’t dance around an issue. Don’t make it a game.

Be direct and just come out with it (in a non-a**holish way). You could save yourself a lot of time, potential pain, or the escalation of an argument that wasn’t even on the table.

That’s for both s**es. – SheriffComey

12. We really don’t know

We can’t read minds.

Never think “we should know” what you want or are thinking.

– broadsharp

13. No Games

Probably my top advice for anyone in a relationship: DO NOT PLAY RELATIONSHIP GAMES!

Just say what you want, don’t make the other person guess, don’t make them try to win you over. Don’t play the silent game where they have to guess what they did wrong or guess how to fix things.

And, don’t “loyalty test” them or whatever c**p. If trust is lacking, tests won’t fix them. Communication and trust will. If that doesn’t work, tests certainly won’t.

Just say what you want. If the other person genuinely doesn’t know and is trying, that’s okay. Don’t make it unnecessarily hard on them.

– Alope_Ruby_Aspendale

14. Remember to compromise

Longevity in a relationship is about compromises both ways.

If the other one is the only one who always has to bend backwards but you never do, you are not doing it right.

– ahjteam

15. Don’t focus on the fix

If you go into a relationship with a list of things he does wrong but you want to ‘fix’ in him, neither of you will be happy.

People can make small, incremental adjustments and concessions, but most people don’t make sweeping changes to their personality and habits for the sake of another person.

You have every right to break up with a guy who makes you unhappy. He has every right to break up because living with a constant reminder of what he isn’t doing right is miserable.

Both of these things can be concurrently true about people who are in a relationship together.

– tylerss20

16. Don’t hold hostages

Holding your relationship hostage in every argument means you’re a s**t person with no real argument.

“Oh yea? Then why are we even together.”

“If I’m so sh**ty then just leave me.”

“I guess you don’t care about our relationship then.”

– Nethervex

17. Don’t try to change people

People change for their own reasons. Don’t get into a relationship with someone hoping he will change. Unless he wants to, it won’t happen.

Remember that love is a choice, not a feeling. Someone who loves you is going to treat you in such a way that you feel loved. If you don’t feel it, and he has no interest in doing things to make you feel loved, he doesn’t love you.

He might have the hots for you, sure. That’s not love.

– DrHugh

18. When we say we’re thinking about “nothing,” we mean it

I mean sometimes we are thinking, but it’s stuff like I wonder how much beans cost in Uruguay or who would win in a fight between a Rottweiler and a python

– Bum-Sniffer

19. Don’t phone it in

when you are with your SO put the f#@%ing phone down. nothing gets to me more than having a set time to be together and her constantly checking txts, FB, Instagram… when i am with my SO my phone is on silent and stays in my pocket so i can be focused and engaged with her.

– BodhiBill

20. Give the benefit of the doubt

If we say something seemingly offensive out of nowhere, ask what we mean instead of assuming the absolute f**king worst thing that could be interpreted.

– mightsdiadem

21. Please take the compliment

If we compliment you, take the compliment and don’t say anything like,”No I’m ugly,” “No I’m fat,” were complimenting you for a reason and it’s not because “we have too.”

– CianV161

22. Shoot your shot

If you see a dude you like, go for it. I H**E the whole “only the man asks because that’s the masculine thing to do.” Nothing is hotter than a strong-a** woman who sees what she wants and takes it.

Just call me Ron Swanson because powerful women are awesome to me

– ManlyVanLee

23. Silence is golden

We enjoy a comfortable silence. Not every moment need be filled with meaningless talk.

That may not be a general thing as silences can be awkward for some.

Speaking for myself though, two people can enjoy one an others company in silence.

– [deleted user]

24. Attention is nice

Many men don’t get the attention from women that women get from men. We’re expected to give flowers, arrange a date, initiate romantic evenings, etc.

Maybe not the flowers, but how about taking him out to dinner? Or a surprise date doing something he likes? Plan a romantic evening that centers on him instead of you.

In other words, let us know you like us with more than just words.

– GodNamedBob

25. This is not a test

Men are tested enough in their lives; by family, employers, schools, other guys, and society in general.

Don’t add to this by conducting “tests” of your own.

There’s nothing worse than coming home to a “test” after a long day at work.

– goat-of-mendes

26. Don’t manipulate

It seems fairly common for women (men also guilty) of trying to worm their way into a guy’s life as a strategy to move things forward.

Most guys seem to strongly dislike this. It can be very manipulative, and can seem to indicate we’ll lose a lot of freedom if we move forward.

See also, being very entitled to his time, especially if you just want us to be present while you watch TV (bonus negative points for being on your phone while you want us around.)

The more you can keep yourself content without our effort and time, the more attractive the relationship is.

– 7788445511220011

27. Be a straight shooter

If asked a straight question, give a straight answer.

Are you hungry? Y/N

Do you want to get dinner? Y/N

What would you like to eat?

If you don’t know ask “What are my options?”

Instead of I don’t know.

If you tell him “You pick” don’t complain about his choice.

Guys the same goes for you if you give the decision you have waived your vote. Try not to pick places they h**e cause you like them. Bonus points if you choose a place they love and you do not. Best bet is pick a place you both like.

– RaphaelSolo

28. Being open is tough

Don’t know if this has been said already, but most of us aren’t used to being emotionally available, so we may not open up.

When we do, it may all flood out, so if you do want your man to be emotionally open, try to make it so that it’s a manageable controlled flow rather than opening the flood gates all the way.

– q-squid

29. Be kind

If a guy opens up to you about something, never ridicule or mock his feelings.

He probably has very few people he can be vulnerable with, and getting that rejection from a romantic partner is a huge blow.

He’s showing you he trusts you. He showing you his humanity. Listen, hold him, empathize.

– teh_swimmlyBoogaloo

30. We are also watching

We have been watching the same show/movie for the same amount of time as you have.

We don’t know more than you do.

– stokeszdude

Welp, that about wraps it up.

What’s your best piece of relationship advice?

Tell us in the comments.