Daughter Accidentally Sees Parents' Texts After 24 Years of Marriage — and Their Messages Go Viral (Exclusive)

During a flight, Piper Phillips glimpsed at her dad's plans for picking up her mom from the airport

<p>Piper Phillips</p> Piper Phillips with her parents Rob and Verena

Piper Phillips

Piper Phillips with her parents Rob and Verena
  • While on a flight with her mother, Piper Phillips saw a text exchange between her parents, in which her dad offered to bring her mom's go-to coffee order when he picked her up at the airport

  • The 23-year-old recorded their messages and posted the footage on TikTok, where millions of viewers appreciated her dad's simple yet romantic gesture

  • Phillips spoke to PEOPLE about how her parents' pure connection has provided a model for her own relationships and why she chose to share their example with the world

True love comes in many forms, but sometimes it's simply served best with a cup of coffee.

Piper Phillips got a peek at her parents’ decades-spanning connection while she and her mother, Verena, were flying home after a trip to Florida. The 23-year-old content creator recorded a precious interaction between her mom and dad and posted it online for her followers to see.

“Accidentally read my dad’s text to my mom while flying home from my grandparents’,” Phillips captioned her eight-second TikTok video, which showed messages on her mom’s phone screen.

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Phillips' father, Rob, texted, “Would you like an iced oat milk latte waiting for you in the car when I pick you up?”

“You are so sweet,” Verena typed in reply.

Phillips summed up their wholesome exchange in just a few words: “To be loved is to be known,” she wrote in overlaying text, though she tells PEOPLE it's not a phrase she or her parents have used before.

“It was just the little thing of him anticipating her needs and wants, knowing that her habits are getting a coffee when she lands after a long flight. Knowing a person so well is just such a true form of love,” Phillips says of her now-viral video, which has over 493,000 likes and 6.8 million views on TikTok.

<p>Piper Phillips</p> Rob, Piper and Verena Phillips

Piper Phillips

Rob, Piper and Verena Phillips

The video's comments section is filled with appreciation for Verena and Rob, who will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary this August.

“That’s the kind of love I’m looking for,” one user said, adding, “She’s got a good one!”

Another person commented, “This, or nothing! Don’t settle ladies.”

Phillips tells PEOPLE that she guessed some of her followers might not be familiar with that type of romantic gesture, and she was heartened by all the positive comments on her post.

<p>Piper Phillips</p> Rob and Verena Phillips

Piper Phillips

Rob and Verena Phillips

“I can imagine that if people grew up with divorced parents, or grew up in a household where the parents weren't really affectionate to each other, it can be hard to not have that model of love,” she says, adding, “It makes me really happy that people are seeing the video and realizing their own worth and that everyone deserves to be loved like that.”

Other viewers questioned why Rob didn’t ask his daughter if she wanted a coffee too, but Phillips' journey didn’t end when they landed in Chicago, where her parents live. If she didn’t have a connecting flight to her current home in New York City, Phillips says her dad would’ve definitely added to the order.

“Our love language is Starbucks. I'm not even kidding,” says Phillips, who has two brothers. “My family just loves to get coffee and talk.”

<p>Piper Phillips</p> Piper Phillips' parents' text exchange

Piper Phillips

Piper Phillips' parents' text exchange

Beyond coffee, the influencer tells PEOPLE she’s witnessed her parents express their love in many languages throughout her life. She’s grateful to have grown up around examples of a strong partnership, like how Verena always shows up when Rob — who works as a lawyer and plays the drums as a side gig — performs with his band.

In fact, Verena even brings her girlfriends along to hear her husband’s music, Phillips says.

“They'll be dancing out on the floor, even though my mom has heard these songs a billion times,” she says. “It's so cute to see both of them support each other equally.”

<p>Piper Phillips</p> Rob and Verena Phillips

Piper Phillips

Rob and Verena Phillips

In honor of their milestone anniversary this summer, the Phillips family is boarding a cruise to the Mediterranean. The TikToker notes how their vacation plans speak to another pillar of marital success mastered by Verena and Rob: compromise.

“My parents have become big cruise people,” Phillips says. “My mom loves to travel … and my dad likes comfort, so they found that the cruises are a really good, happy medium for them.”

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