That... is the question.
By Rebecca Reingold
So, you're feeling a little down in the dumps on that Wednesday night when you're watching Netflix alone with no one to cuddle up next to. Do you really want that dream S.O., or could they possibly be more responsibility than a cute, cuddly puppy? Read through to find out.
You stop, catching their eye and feeling that moment of love at first sight. Did this really just happen?
It could be on the side of the street, in a store, passing by a window. There's this instant connection that is indescribable, like everything in the universe coming together. As if the answer to every question anyone has ever had is described in those three seconds you held uninterrupted eye contact.
If this is the case, you've found the dog you've been searching for your entire life.
You see them out of the corner of your eye, you're just getting your usual coffee. Maybe they'll approach you? Or would it be better if you approached them first? Would it seem like you're coming on too strong? Maybe if you get the same coffee as them, you can spark a conversation.
Ugh! The barista knows your order and totally just called you out for switching your order abruptly to the same thing as the person you think is cute. Should you still follow through with it? OK, pretend to trip in front of them? "Oh, heeeeyyyyy totally didn't see that super obvious step there!"
OK, so they might be the love of your life. But you have a long way to go before you can figure that out. Making the first move is always ballsy, but if an S.O. is what you're looking for, it might be the only way.
Getting To Know Each Other
Getting to know a dog is like getting to know a wall. Simple, sometimes colorful and sometimes pretty basic. Either way, dogs aren't called man's best friend for no reason.
Knowing if you can handle the responsibility of having a dog is, of course, the first step. However, if you can't handle the responsibility of a dog, you surely can't handle the responsibility of a S.O. - was that too blunt?
Anyway, a dog might come into the relationship with a bit of trust issues from previous owners, but all you have to do is assure them once, twice at the most, that you're never going to hurt them and only provide them with love and affection. Unlike an S.O., they will actually believe you and trust you pretty quickly.
(Can you see where our bias lies yet?)
Once you've brushed the dirt off of your shirt from that "horrendous trip" over that step that you "didn't even see," you've probably managed to make a good enough connection for a first date. Here comes the absolute energy-draining game of 20 questions.
This step is pivotal in deciding if you want a S.O., if you both have a lot in common and the connection is definitely there, the next couple of dates should go smoothly. If you're still not sure, the next couple of dates will continue to waste your energy.
Watching A Movie
You're going to watch a movie.
You're probably not going to watch a movie.
No pants necessary, ever, with your dog.
No pants necessary, ever, with your S.O.
Getting Into Fights
There is no worse feeling than looking into those big, puppy dog eyes and feeling all of the pain and sadness coursing through your dog's veins. For the love of God, the agony. How does one cope with such guilt? You've just betrayed the one being who loves you unconditionally. How can you live with yourself?
You're right, they're wrong. But they're right, and you're wrong. Let's fight over who is more right than the other one, then be super stubborn about apologizing, only to exacerbate the conflict if it wasn't dealt with in a timely manner.
Dogs can easily tell what mood you're in and are always there to comfort you and lend a helping paw.
Communicating with your S.O.'s emotions is like trying to understand a West wind. Constantly changing with no warning, strong and scary, calm and serene, you just can't freakin' tell which way it's gonna go. You can't adjust the wind, but you can adjust your sail.
With an S.O., their emotions tend to affect your emotions. So, it is absolutely pivotal to stick with the emotion that suits you best and not be affected. But honestly, good luck with that.
Having a cute dog means you get to show them off and share them with anyone!
Having a cute S.O. means you get to show them off, but if you dare look at them for more than three seconds, there will be problems.
Your dog not only loves the journey, but the destination as well. They are up for any and all adventures, as long as you're by their side the whole time.
Did you seriously not make a reservation for dinner for our first night here? You know, you are so inconsiderate and don't care about anyone but yourself.
The reality is that your dog will no sooner leave you than you will leave it. It is heart wrenching, painful and incredibly difficult to get over.
No, you cannot just "replace" one dog with another dog. Each one has their own form of spunk and pep, one that can never be mimicked. They were there for you when you were down in the dumps, taught you how to love, how to forgive, how to be kind, how to be happy. You will never forget everything they taught and made you feel, unconditionally.
Steve who??? Anyway, I want you to meet this new guy I've been seeing ...
If you're one of the lucky ones and already in a happy and healthy relationship, that's totally awesome. If you're not ready for kids, but are looking for that extra spoonful of happiness, you and your S.O. should consider going down to your local animal shelter and adopting a dog, or a cat, maybe even a bunny! Pets can be such great companions and there are so many that still need loving homes!
This article was originally published at Guest of a Guest. Reprinted with permission from the author.