If you’re an animal lover, you’re probably no stranger to how animals or pets can bring people closer together – in friendship and in love.
After all, a love for animals isn’t just a casual interest; it’s a way of interacting with the world and a fundamental belief that underpins your values. That’s why animal lovers tend to date other animal lovers, because sharing similar values is crucial to any long-lasting relationship. It’s also more likely that you’ll speak the same love language, which means that you’ll both show and expect affection in similar ways.
If you’re an animal lover or you’re dating one, you might see yourself in these 5 reasons why animal lovers make for ideal romantic partners.
1. An animal lover openly expresses their empathy.
Ever heard how you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat their dog? While this might simply be a popular cultural expression, we know this to be true: that we perceive animals as vulnerable creatures deserving of our empathy. In fact, one recent study found that people are likely to express more empathy towards puppies or fully grown dogs than adult humans facing the same degree of physical injury.
Naturally, it makes sense that animal lovers are people who openly express empathy towards animals. In your relationship with your pet, you probably have a good understanding of what it’s like to give and receive unconditional love. To you, the feeling of relief when you come home from a long, stressful day to cuddle with your pet is deeply felt and familiar.
Being with animals can touch the most intimate parts of ourselves and nurture our ability to provide companionship and love. Chances are you’ll find these very traits in a fellow animal lover, traits which are ideal for any relationship.
2. Your mutual love for animals will overlap with other interests.
It’s not just about having a natural affinity for animals. Often, a love for animals goes hand-in-hand with shared values, like the need to make your pet a priority in your life. Likely, it’ll influence the decisions and choices you make in some way, and you should consider your relationship with your pet as a core value that’s similar to your career choices and lifestyle. Dating a fellow animal lover means being with someone who can understand why you make decisions the way you do, when it comes to your pet.
Beyond sharing the same values, a mutual love for animals can also overlap with common interests that can keep the relationship going. If you’re both cat lovers, for example, you might share a preference for more leisurely activities like reading, gardening, or even yoga (preferably with cats). This can encourage you to explore similar interests together and help establish a deeper connection.
3. When you’re with an animal lover, you get to see how they handle a crisis.
Animals, just like life, can be wildly unpredictable. Your dog might chew on your shoe while you’re away, or your pet bird might suddenly bite hard on your finger out of aggression. Not only do they possess destructive tendencies, pets can also suffer from ill health or get lost. Undoubtedly, such stressful situations are familiar to anyone who has ever owned a pet.
When dating an animal lover, you’ll get to see how your partner responds to a crisis very quickly, which can reveal a lot about them as a person. How they react to stress in a situation with their pet can also translate to how they deal with tough situations in other areas of their life. Seeing your partner in a different light early on in your relationship can pave the way for better understanding and communication, so you can find ways to be supportive when things go awry.
4. An animal lover understands what it’s like to be in a long-term relationship.
Having a pet is always a long-term commitment. A relationship with a pet can last for many years – up to 15 years for a dog or a cat, and even longer for birds, turtles and other animals. Through it all, you’ll have to rise to the occasion to provide undivided care and attention to your companion animal who, as science has proven, truly loves you back. You’ll have to juggle the responsibilities of taking care of your pet and going the distance in spite of frustrations with your pet’s behaviour, sickness, and even grief.
Just like in a romantic relationship, a relationship with your pet also comes imbued with the notion of devotion and a sense of willing commitment. To make any relationship last, you’ll have to invest time and energy, something which all animal lovers understand well.
5. Animal lovers make better parents.
Of course, having a child is not completely the same as having a pet, but it’s easy to see why many consider taking care of a pet as a small glimpse of the future, if you decide to have kids. When you date an animal lover, you’ll get to see the other person in a parental role, which can help facilitate discussions on whether you want to have kids someday and if you share similar views on how you would like to raise them.
Some couples also decide to get pets together in their relationship. By co-parenting a pet together, you might also be able to gauge how well you work together as a team, how responsibilities are shared, and whether it’s working well for you or not. This could open up your conversation to talk about your deeper, more fundamental values, which can also lead to greater intimacy.
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