Many people in America are dog lovers. We don't love them in that way (at least not hopefully) but we love them like a parent loves a child. They give us affection, they provide us with comfort, and they often entertain us, particularly when they get their head stuck in a jar of peanut butter. But, beside all of that, dogs can also teach us.
When you think about, humans, at least those willing, may actually learn quite a bit from our canine friends. This is especially true when it comes to romance. Whether you are presently in a partnership that has seen better times, or you are trying to mend a relationship that has been broken, having some of your behaviors "go to the dogs" just might help; it might be quite beneficial.
So, throw yourself a bone and consider these following kibbles and bits of wisdom:
Always be happy to see the person you love. Nothing offers quite the ego boost as a dog running up to the front door each time you come home. They bare their soul and let you know that they just can't live without you. It really doesn't matter if you left the house to visit the mailbox or left it to visit your in-laws in Milwaukee, your dogs will be just as enthusiastic no matter how long you were gone. Showing your partner that you are happy to see them is something we all should do. You don't need to get so excited that you pee yourself, or anything, but greet them when they've been away and let them know you've missed them. They might not know, unless you tell them.
Support your partner's hopes and dreams. Dogs offer endless support to their owners. In fact, you can have the dumbest, most outrageous plan ever—you may decide, at the age of 45, to try out for the NBA, for instance—and your dog will act as if your plan is brilliant. This is good...at least usually. There are certain times in a relationship that one partner may come up with a plan that isn't exactly the world's most brilliant idea. Maybe they want to go off and join the circus, take up professional miming, or dedicate their life to looking for the Lochness Monster (whom they always call "Nessie"). During times like these, it's best to discuss your concerns with your partner, rather than supporting them blindly. But, in general, support is something partners need to offer, whether that support involves a career change, a hobby, or something entirely different.
Show affection. Dogs tend to be affectionate, like every waking hour of every day. They cuddle, they lick, the try to pass as 80 pound lap dogs so that they can sit on their owners. They can't tell you that they love you, so they are forced to show it—and show you they do. People can say that they love someone else: we are blessed with the gift of voice. But, saying and doing are two different things. Sometimes, actions really do speak louder than words; that makes it important to show affection in addition to verbalizing your love. The best way to prove your love is through what you say and what you do.
Let them know you need them. Dogs are virtually totally dependent on people. They rely on us to feed them, give them water, walk them, and provide them with a warm and safe place to live. In short, they need us. Many times, they literally can't live without us. You don't need to be as dependent on your partner as a dog is on its owner: If you were, your relationship would have its own set of problems. But, you should need your partner for some things (and they should need you as well). Needing your partner is part of a healthy, satisfying relationship. But, don't hide that you need them: Most people enjoy helping others (especially those they love) and can appreciate being needed.
Only lick yourself when no one is watching. Seriously, nobody else wants to see that.
To learn more about how to have a healthy relationship, click here.
More Relationship Coach advice on YourTango: