Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dogs and your significant other

It goes without saying that your relationship with your pet can (and probably should!) influence your relationships with other people. Who doesn't utilize the "Do you like animals?" threshold test?--especially when looking for a significant other.

Once you find that significant other, you may get a pet together. Doing so can create bonds (and tensions) not unlike the introduction of a child to the relationship. Similarly, joining in a relationship with a man or woman who already has a pet can complicate (and enrich) the dating experience in ways you might never expect.

The Associated Press has also decided that this age-old issue is worth revisiting, and has done so here. A key quote: "It's important to remember that conflicts over the pets are often a sign of more fundamental differences." We cannot stress our agreement enough without dressing in adorable sailor outfits and waiving semaphore flags around.

Whether these issues relate to finances, physical intimacy, responsibility or displays of affection, your new beau's interaction with your pet can help you understand (and address) your own relationship in a more meaningful way. Do you insist on having the dog in the room while, um, certain intimate activities are taking place? Does your boyfriend/girlfriend object? What does that say about you, and what does that say about him/her? What does that mean in terms of how you are prioritizing -- and why? Are you driven insane by the fact that your girlfriend/boyfriend won't do certain pet-related chores?

There are no right answers to any of these questions, but they should spur on some introspection -- yet one more way in which dogs improve your life!

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