- Getting a furry companion is a big milestone whether you’re single or not, but a pet can also provide numerous benefits
- As well as aiding your own health and wellbeing, adding a four-pawed member to your family can also help to strengthen your relationship
- Here are the reasons why adopting a fluffy friend might be the right next step for you and your partner
They can help you get a date
It’s a commonly held relationship belief that if you want to see how good a match someone would make, you should look at how they treat others, from their own mother to waiters at a restaurant. However, another indicator that someone would make an excellent partner is how they feel about animals.
Science has proven what people have already theorised: having a pet makes you more attractive – at least if you’re a guy. A study surveying 1,210 individuals registered with Match.com found women paid close attention to how a man interacted with his pet, and were more likely to make a move if a man’s profile showed he had an animal.
Not only that, but a 2017 survey by Elite Singles found that 57% of Brits found people with pets more attractive than those without. 63% of those said they were more attracted to dog owners, in particular, though pet ownership was preferred in general.
In short, if you’re a guy then getting an animal can help your love life even before you get into a relationship – and the benefits don’t stop there!
They make you better at arguments
No one wants to fight in a relationship, but there’s a world of difference between a nasty argument and a healthy disagreement. When fights crop up, a pet can make it easier to navigate the conflict in a measured and civil way, by helping your body to better deal with stress.
According to Psychology Today, a study of 100 couples found that those with animals had lower blood pressure overall, and that when their blood pressure rose in stressful situations, it returned to normal more quickly. In other words, pet owners are less likely to be overwhelmed by their emotions in the heat of the moment, and can calm down quicker than their non-animal-owning counterparts.
It’s not difficult to imagine how this could make you better at dealing with conflict. Having a furry friend around can indirectly stop you from becoming irrationally frustrated by trivial things, thus avoiding unnecessary fights all together. Not only that, but when disagreements are unavoidable, having a pet around can help you to keep your composure throughout.
They improve your communication
Overall, studies have shown that couples with cats and dogs are happier than those who have no animals at all. With their adorable faces and quirky personalities, pets are a great mood booster, often cheering us up even when they do nothing more than twine around our ankles or demand belly scratches.
Without even trying, animals can have a profound effect on the kinds of people we turn out to be, and that in turn can affect a relationship. As veterinary orthopaedic and neurosurgeon Michael Hamilton said when talking to Pet Plan: “Pets have the ability to help strengthen relationships. They help us to be more patient, caring and loving towards one another. The unconditional love you receive from a dog is extremely rewarding. It can influence us to behave in the same uplifting way with our partners.”
Having a pet in the house serves as a constant reminder of what selflessness, joy and playfulness should look like. Not only that, but the act of taking care of a pet requires the kind of patience and dedication when things get ugly or uncomfortable that a long term relationship also needs.
Pets force you to think about the future
It’s important to remember that despite all the benefits inviting a furry friend into your home has, an animal is never a small commitment. Pets require all sorts of resources, from food and healthcare to time and space, and they are also dependent on you for the whole of their lives, no matter how long that may be.
Given these factors, it’s impossible to introduce a pet into the picture when it comes to a relationship, without also discussing the future. Getting a cat with someone might not seem like a huge deal, but it’s a sign that you plan on remaining with them for the foreseeable future. As therapist Katie Leikam put it when speaking to Bustle: “Getting a pet is a sort of pact. You’re agreeing to be there for its entire life span, which could be decades.”
As disastrous as it could be to get a shared pet if neither of you are ready, introducing an animal into the household at the right time can demonstrate your trust and investment in the relationship. It can also bring you closer together, giving you a shared creature to love and care for, that also has the benefit of being super cute.