There's a good reason dogs have earned the title of Man's Best Friend. Our furry friends are awesome at relationships and can teach us a lot about how to improve our own love lives. Here are four lessons about love that we can learn from a dog.
1. Always Excited to See You
It doesn't matter what kind of day your dog had, when you walk through the front door that is the highlight of their day. You're the best part of their day, every day. Dogs don't need to unleash their baggage or grievances of the day on their loved ones.
A dog can be in a deep sleep, yet when you come home, they're wide-awake and excited to greet you. When is the last time you were happy to see the person who just woke you up from a peaceful slumber?
Dogs are always excited to see you and be with you. It doesn't matter if they were sleeping, playing with a toy, or had a lonely day curled up in bed all by themselves.
We often want to unleash the woes of our day on to our significant other as soon as we walk through the door. We want to tell them about the horrible traffic we just encountered or the ludicrous task our boss gave us. And we aren't always so happy to greet the person who just woke us up from a nap! But this is where we can take a cue from our pups. We should be excited to see our significant other at the end of the day. We should be happy to make the most of our time together. We can focus less on complaining and more on what's important now, which is being back together.
2. Never Hold a Grudge
Dogs forgive instantly. You can discipline them and still be their favorite. They aren't overly sensitive. They don't hold onto things we did or ways we've wronged them in the past. They know you love them and that's what sticks with them most of all.
We can learn a lot about forgiveness from dogs. Dogs don't invest energy into harboring bitterness or resentment. We too can choose to invest our time and energy into moving on, which helps build a healthier relationship. A lot of us tend to keep checklists in our heads of ways our partner has hurt us. We harbor resentment. We remember.
Our relationships can improve if we are quicker to forgive. If we focus on the positive traits our significant other has and that they love us, we can move past arguments a lot quicker. See the good in your spouse, just like a dog sees the good in you.
3. Loyal to the Core
Remember Hawkeye? The dog of fallen Navy SEAL Officer Jon Tumilson who refused to leave his owner's casket. Or Hachiko, the Akita dog in Japan who accompanied his master to the train station each morning and waited for him until the end of the day. Even after his owner suddenly died, Hachiko returned to the train station at the same time every day for nine years.
Dogs are born with a deep sense of loyalty. Dogs are fiercely devoted to their owners. They're faithful and committed to the relationship no matter what.
Sadly, our culture tends to value self interest over loyalty. People leave relationships once their spouse is no longer meeting their needs. People have an affair when someone else looks desirable. When relationships get too hard and people just move on.
We can learn so much about loyalty from dogs. We can choose to be fiercely devoted to our partners too, refusing to leave their sides. We can show the same kind of dedication and commitment to one another that dogs do to their masters. Dog owners know their dogs will be there for them. Relationships go to another level when our significant other knows we'll be there for them not matter what.
4. Love Unconditionally
Dogs don't keep a record of wrong or right. Their love doesn't shift based on good looks, financial position, or even how you've treated them that day. They don't have to make a conscious effort to love. They simply do.
To love unconditionally, means to love without conditions or circumstances: to love completely. Love is a choice, so what if we choose to love our significant other all the time, regardless of the situation? What if we took a cue from our loving dogs and didn't love based on how we feel, but rather because we chose to? Choose to love your significant other today regardless of the circumstances. Love them completely. It can drastically change a relationship to love this way.
Wouldn't you want to be in a relationship with someone who was always ecstatic to see you, forgave you quickly, was intensely loyal, and loved you unconditionally?
Dogs are so good at relationships because all they really want is to love you and to receive love. Everything stems from that. And at the end of the day, isn?t that what we all really want in life?