You’re trying out dating apps and can’t seem to find the right matches. You checked off so many “boxes” for one another to be a match. You both enjoy attending concerts, watching sports, and drinking a fine wine. Yet, at the end of a few dates or maybe even a few months, you’re feeling unfulfilled and experienced some red flags. Then you realize it’s because they’re not the perfect fit.
Matching with someone because you share interests like jogging, golfing, or attending the ballet can be fun. But let’s admit it: There are some topics where you may feign interest or tolerate it because you want things to work out.
You can get through these activities with work associates for a few hours, so why not a date? The truth is we’re individuals first. If you’re both movie buffs but prefer different genres, it’s fine to watch what you like with other friends or even by yourself. The issue is many dating apps focus on the idea of doing things together and as a main criteria of why you’re a match.
For a relationship to start and run more smoothly, it helps to have fundamental aspects in common. Then there are the more deeply seated values such as politics, finances, and religious beliefs.
But a foundational aspect that’s growing in importance for compatibility and success is that you’re both animal lovers. We believe these personality traits are intrinsically desirable. Why? Animal lovers naturally build stronger relationships.
Here are five attributes about why animal lovers make better partners, and the relationship stands a better chance of working out.
1. Pet lovers reveal themselves via their pet
Your pet is like a mirror, reflecting back not just how you interact with him/her but how you relate to human beings as well. I share in my book, “Leashes and Lovers,” that how you treat your pet says a lot about how you treat your love interest. If you have an unstable relationship with your pet, you can bet your last dollar that trend is likely to repeat itself with your human counterparts as well. If you’re ignoring walking or spending time with your dog, chances are you are neglecting your relationships with the humans closest to you as well.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell what kind of relationship we have with someone. It’s hard to step back and see the relationship objectively. But that’s exactly what we must do from time to time to make sure we are in a healthy relationship versus an unstable one.
I chatted with a guy named Rick on this subject. He took the “dog is a mirror” truism to heart when I spoke with him about his dog.
“I’ve got lots of wrinkles,” he said. “You know [how] you look like your dog? My dog has lots of wrinkles, so we have that in common.”
“And you wanted a dog that looked like you?” I asked.
Rick sounded proud, “I’ve had boxers, and I wanted a wrinkly one this time. I’ve seen the Shar-Pei—so my lady bought her for me.”
Some men feel the urge for a sports car when they hit middle age. For Rick, this wrinkly dog seemed to console him, assuring him that his new wrinkles could be attractive, too. I think his lady was overjoyed that she and their dog could make him so happy.
Even shock jock Howard Stern had interesting opinions about his Bulldog: “I wish I looked more like my dog. I look more like a Lhasa Apso.”
I replied, “Will that be your next dog, then?”
Howard answered, “It’s up to Beth. Beth decides on the animals (now). I was the one who got the English Bulldog, but next one we don’t know.”
2. Animal lovers are naturally caring people
As much as pet lovers may fantasize having powers like the hypothetical Dr. Dolittle and literally communicate with animals (especially when they’re barking at 3 a.m.), animal lovers do seem to have a knack for reading their pets’ body language and understanding their emotions.
The ability to understand and be empathetic to what makes your pet feel better may transcend to human relationships. It’s reassuring to have a partner who understands you by recognizing certain emotions.
When I was at the park talking with a dog owner named Danielle, she said, “I think that people who are in touch with dogs are more in touch with their emotional side and are more caring people. That in itself makes you sexier.”
Take the story of Tom and Max. When I asked Tom how his small, white, adorable, fluffy dog Max impacted his relationships with other people. He said, “Everybody wants to meet Max more than they want to meet me. He’s very loving; he’s always nice to all the dogs, and I have to make sure they’re nice to him.”
In Tom’s case, Max balanced him out. He selected—possibly subconsciously—a cute, small, outgoing, pleasant dog who doesn’t make waves. His attractive dog gains him attention. More than that, Max’s outgoing personality speaks in lieu of Tom’s shyness, offering him the opportunity to network with more people than he ever would on his own. Through Max, he instantly and easily became approachable, which diffused the pressure on him to take action in starting a conversation. Tom’s insecurity about having to approach others in a social setting is solved all because of Max, making his life more enjoyable. His comment about making sure others are nice to his dog is a sign of a protective and concerned parent. Just imagine how good he’ll be with kids (assuming he wants them too)!
3. Animal Lovers are more patient
No matter how much someone cares about their pet, those loveable creatures can still exhaust your energy and test your patience. Whether cleaning up after an accident, getting up in the middle of the night to put on boots and a coat to walk or let them out, or trying over and over again to teach them how to “stay,” pet lovers approach these responsibilities with love. Not only does this show support that they could offer a partner; it also gives a glimpse into the kind of parent they may be.
4. Animal lovers know what it means to love unconditionally
To have an animal is to understand what it means to feel love without conditions or limits. Dogs teach us unconditional love and affection, and that love never wavers.
No matter what type of house we live in, how much money we have, or what mistakes we might make, animals stay by our side even when the going gets rough.
To love animals is to appreciate and learn from their loyalty, and to show up that way for others as well. Pets add a lot of fun and unconditional love to the homes in which they live. When pets do cute and funny things, which they often do, family members react by laughing and being more relaxed.
A pet’s companionship and unconditional love knows no bounds. It’s absolutely limitless in its capacity to influence our own comfort. They are always there at the ready with a warm, wet snout, a sloppy kiss, to play, or to be cuddled. They don’t make excuses. They don’t get headaches. They don’t screen calls, hide behind the front door when we knock (unless they haven’t been socialized), or dart down another aisle when we catch sight of them in the grocery store. They are steadfastly there for us. We humans, on the other hand, never quite seem content. We run away from commitment, chase after the unattainable, and wonder why we aren’t happy. Pets truly make you feel like a wanted companion.
5. Animal lovers aren’t afraid of commitment
Some dogs may live to age 15, cats to 20, pet turtles to 50, and parrots to 80. Making the choice to care for a pet could last longer than our romantic relationships. Our pets may even outlive us!
The joy, purpose, and comfort of an animal companion also includes responsibility and commitment such as financial expenses like vet visits, grooming, pet sitting, boarding, clothes, etc.
If pet lovers don’t shy away from the commitment that comes from taking care of animals, they won’t shy away from the commitment that comes with building a human relationship—the beautiful parts and the challenging parts alike!
Pet lovers are willing to endure more of what it takes to make a relationship work. That doesn’t mean they’ll stay no matter what, but they don’t pick up and leave so easily when things get a little messy.
There are many more qualities that animal lovers possess that make them better partners, as if we needed any more reasons to get swiping!
No matter who you end up matching with, at FetchaDate, you know you already have a great starter foundation: You’re both pet lovers!