While we all seek unconditional love, the place you’re most likely to find it is from your pet. And whether you’re dating online, are single, married, newly divorced, or have kids, the lessons and wisdom you can glean from your pet about love will inspire you and remind you that pets are good for your health (and, therefore, your heart), and that they can teach you a thing or two about how to behave in your love relationship.
1. Be faithful.
Let’s be real: It would hurt your feelings if your pet loved someone more than you, or if someone new came into the picture and your pet suddenly transferred his affection to that someone. Your pet is loyal and faithful, and people in happy relationships are the same. They aren’t looking for better or more or different – they appreciate the person they’re with, are faithful to that person, and have no qualms about showing their affection over and over again.
2. Don’t hold a grudge.
Anger gets you nowhere, and holding a grudge just mires you in quicksand and keeps you in an unhealthy state of stress and anxiety. Withhold a treat from your pet? Make him go to the vet? There is not a drop of resentment to be had in your fuzzy friend. They forgive and forget immediately. For your pet, their good relationship with you is the most important thing. Can you offer up the same kind of selflessness for the one you love?
3. Remember to play.
Some relationships are far too mired in the serious and the drama and the demands of childrearing. Couples easily forget how much fun it is to just let loose and play. Your pet is always up for a run, a walk, a game of fetch, or lounging in the grass to look at the clouds. Allow your pet to remind you to take a break with them and the one you love.
4. Show your loved ones that they make you happy.
When your significant other comes in the door, do you jump up to say hello and offer a quick kiss or hug? Do you say thank you for even the smallest things? Your pet, dogs especially, know how to show you that you make them happy – and doesn’t that affection feel so satisfying? Put your loved one at the front of the line more often and make it clear that you appreciate them and that they make you happy, day in and day out.
5. Love yourself. (And take care of yourself.)
Your golden retriever isn’t wishing for the curls of a poodle, and your corgi isn’t jealous of a greyhound’s limbs. You can’t love someone else – or allow someone else to love you – until you love yourself. So instead of wishing for smaller hips or a different crop of hair, accept yourself for who you are, and trust that the right person will love you for all those reasons too.
6. Go with the flow.
You probably smile when you see a dog sticking his snout out the car window, reveling in the journey to wherever he is going. How often do you rush around with the one you love, focusing on the destination and missing the journey entirely? Instead of saying no to something – or someone – because it doesn’t fit perfectly into your daily, monthly, or lifetime plan, be open to the new, and let go of expectations. And remember, just because you’re a pet owner that doesn’t mean spontaneity is out the window. Pet boarding is easy when you find the right place.
7. Give without expecting anything in return.
Do you only give to your partner when you know you’re going to get something in return? Pets don’t do that, and they don’t ask why you need something done or whine about your requests. They simply do because you’ve asked it of them and they know it will make you happy. Instead of automatically saying no, or sighing heavily, or putting up a fight because your significant other needs something “again,” do the opposite and make like a pet – give of yourself just because you know it will benefit the other person, no strings attached.
You take good care of your pet, but have you ever stopped to think about how they take care of you? Pay attention to the lessons you can learn from your favorite friend. And, when you need fast and comprehensive pet care, visit the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.