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Can Pets Improve Your Love Life?

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Can Pets Improve Your Love Life?

A study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that having a pet can help to diminish feelings of loneliness, particularly for women living alone, and compensate for the absence of human companionship. However, owning a pet doesn’t have to disallow meeting a human mate. In the British study cited above, 5 percent of dog owners have been on a date with someone they met walking their dog, with 1.5 percent still dating that person. I am in the U.S. and am amongst those who have been on a date with someone I met while walking my dog (while not being in the 1.5 percent still dating that person.)  I have been known to fall in love with a Golden Retriever in a heartbeat, and it may have been possible that I confused who my attraction was for when I looked up at the other end of the leash.

Online dating continues to grow in popularity, and dating sites for pet owners is no exception. and are two examples. On the latter, I read a success story from a woman who met her match when she fell in love with a man who also rescues dogs. Yet, once in a human relationship, people often state they crave the kind of unconditional love they receive from their pets. Can Pets Improve your Relationship?, an article by Dr. Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, states that all the qualities we often want in our mate appear similar to those we experience with our pets. Her reports show that a person in a relationship often wants to be spoken to with the same affection shown to their pet.

Even though I’ve been single for over 15 years, I’m finding dating in middle age quite a bit different than in my younger years. While most people my age have a lot of baggage, I’m coming to realize that it’s not how much baggage someone has that affects a new relationship, it’s how the baggage is carried. Does it weigh them down and keep them in the past? Or is it light enough that they are able to be present in their lives?

I’m not a relationship expert, I’m a canine music expert and a concert pianist. But, I was sharing my above thoughts with my wonderful women’s group, dear friends that have known me for years. One asked what my baggage was, and I said, “my dogs.” Another disagreed, “Your dogs aren’t your baggage, they are part of your package. They would only be baggage to a man who didn’t accept them as part of you. But, the right man would freely welcome them and consider them to be a huge benefit to your relationship together.” It was an interesting perspective and after careful thought, I agreed.

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Dating, Dogs, Love, Pets, Relationships, , , ,

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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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1:25AM PDT on Apr 19, 2015

How fortuitous to read this article today!

Last night I was feeling low. My foster dog wouldn't settle, despite being told multiple times to go to his clean and comfy bed. Finally he got up on my bed and snuggled down. Now I don't normally allow dogs on the bed, after a horrible incident when my greyhound leapt off the bed and injured her cruciate ligament. However, as I'll only have this boy for a few more days, I decided to make an exception to the rule.

It's always nice to have a special someone who cares about how you are feeling. Sometimes that someone is a dog!

8:55AM PDT on Mar 8, 2015

A girlfriend once confided to me that she'd set her sights on me as a partner after seeing how I hugged my cats. What goes around....

10:33PM PST on Jan 25, 2015

thanks for sharing :)

10:17AM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

Thanks for the article. Dogs do attract people, they can be so welcoming to a stranger. We can learn from them. May have to take my dog Ziva to a park :)

6:48PM PDT on Mar 19, 2014

An adorable puppy is a huge chick/guy magnets.

6:21PM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

Thanks for the article.

5:03AM PDT on Mar 18, 2014


6:28AM PDT on Mar 16, 2014


4:44PM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

My cat does help relieve feelings of loneliness.

3:47AM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

Take a dog to the park ... your love life will improve. (I used to borrow my nephew for this purpose, too. Worked like a charm. Though he couldn't catch a Frisbee.)

Take a dog to Denmark ... you'll be the subject of a petition on this site.

I'll take the park, thanks.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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