That’s a direct quote from my buddy Tim, uttered earlier tonight. My utterly honest response? “You are one smart man, my friend.”

But what I was really thinking (yes, Tim, you are an incredibly brilliant guy. But I was reflecting more broadly …) about how happy couples seem to be those in which each person is making sure the other person is happy. First. And finally. And often. And sincerely. In big ways and mundane ways. And not all the time, but as a matter of principle. “Happy you, happy me.” Doesn’t that just seem right?

Lest we forget how building up another comes immediately back to us (and usually many fold), keep this in mind: it is only through interaction that we come to know and create ourselves. Our most basic sense of worth (dare we say happiness) is, as human beings, only as great as the happiness of those significant others around us. It’s all one big fat exchange (of emotions, notions, and actions).

Kind of fun to consider how this works in our daily lives, eh? Like when it’s time to empty the dishwasher. Or celebrate a birthday. Or adopt a dog named Ellie from the Minneapolis Humane Society.

Ellie! She was the inspiration for Tim’s “happy life” comment this evening. Because my BFF Molly and her two kiddos found the most perfect little pooch for their perfect little lives today at the Humane Society. She had a powerful “take me home right now I’m so adorable and well-trained and have the biggest blackest nose and the sweetest pinkest tongue that will greet you with kisses every single day of your amazing life please take me home with you, please, please, please, I’m very perfect” quality.

Tim, we know you have said “no dog.” But just one more word and I’ll shut up: “In a deep and profound way, if Ellie will really make Molly happy, you know you will be happier too. And, as a bonus, all of that happiness will stir up an awesome centrifugal force of happy people in your life. And as an engineer, you know how cool centrifugal forces are: they get energy from themselves! Self-sustaining. What a beautiful thing (especially when it’s about good feelings and happy couples … and the most adorable non-shedding, already-trained, perfectly sized, rescue dog ever).”

For the rest of us, all of this raises a central/ifugal question: What have I done to make life for my partner a little happier today?