A dog’s guide to dating – 10 dating lessons we can learn from dogs
Dogs are famous for being ridiculously loveable. It’s earned them the nickname “man’s best friend”. We accept their flaws and cohabitate willingly with this entirely different species.
Dogs do these ten things incredibly well and I think there’s a lesson in each of them we can apply to dating.
1. Dogs are always ‘present’
Dogs live in the moment and we love them for it.
Connection sparks when we’re truly present. If you’re sitting on a date with your internal monologue turned-up high, this will almost certainly throw things off. People can sense when we’re not present and vice-versa.
2. Dogs don’t dwell on rejection
Sometimes my dog will turn on the charm with someone who just doesn’t like dogs. I’ve seen her sidle up to someone, put her butt firmly on their feet with a big smile on her face, enthusiastically panting as she anticipates a good pat. Then… nothing.
When this happens, my dog just walks away, still smiling.
Rejection is an inevitable part of dating. Each rejection only has to become a “set back” if you see it that way.
3. Dogs are social creatures who love ‘play’
Unless the dog is really old, unwell or exhausted from play they’ve just done, they’re always ready to enjoy themselves.
Humans love to find partners that help them see the lighter side or sense of fun. Yes, other things are important too, but what’s a relationship without these things? Keep this in mind on dates. In general, does your date feel lighter or heavier after spending time with you?
4. Dogs are always genuine
”He’s a nice dog but I just got the feeling he wasn’t being himself” – said NOBODY, EVER about a dog.
When we’re “pretending” to be someone we’re not, others sense it. Own whoever you happen to be. This is the best and only way to attract, bond and keep people who love you for you.
5. Dogs pay attention to body language
Dogs notice subtleties in body language and tone of voice. They turn this awareness into powerful insight, helping them bond and communicate with humans.
Something as simple as how we use eye contact can make an enormous difference to how effectively we connect with someone on a date.
6. Dogs don’t sweat the small stuff
Dogs don’t sweat the small stuff and neither should we. Sometimes it’s the tendency to sweat the small stuff and make mountains out of molehills that makes dating exhausting.
7. Dogs show the love they’d like to receive
Dogs are famous for their happy-go-lucky warmth and friendliness. They don’t wait for someone else’s approval before turning on the charm. The charm comes first. They behave in a loveable way and that gets them love.
8. Dogs assert their important needs
If I haven’t fed my dogs by their regular “din dins” time, they’ll start getting all uppity with me. If I haven’t given them enough attention, they don’t sulk – they come over and pat my arm.
Dogs assert their needs without any shame for having them in the first place.
Sometimes we humans are afraid to respectfully assert our needs. Something as simple as “I’d like to see you this weekend if you’re free” seems needlessly hard to say.
9. Dogs don’t “play it cool”
When we’ve been apart for a few hours, my dogs greet me as though I’ve just returned from a year-long voyage. Their tails are wagging, they offer me gifts (usually a soggy toy) and there is NO QUESTION they’re happy to see me.
Whilst there is such a thing as “coming on too strong”, humans LOVE to feel appreciated by others. Playing it too cool can have the opposite of the desired effect a lot of the time.
10. Dogs prioritise self-care
No matter what the day throws at them, dogs prioritise self care. They look after themselves so their tails keep wagging. They eat. They sleep. They relax. Hell, one of my dogs even gives herself a manicure every few days.
Humans are sometimes guilty of forgetting to practice good self-care. Treating yourself well keeps your bucket full and reminds you that you’re important and fosters resilience during the ups and downs that dating can throw at us.
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