Experts say dogs have the best relationship skills around. They’re loyal, they’re always themselves and genuine, and they’re good listeners. And here are some more examples from veterinarian Dr. Andy Roark – relationship skills we can learn from dogs:
• They don’t hold grudges. No matter what we humans do – like if we don’t have time to walk them one day – dogs move on as if nothing happened. They don’t say “I’m fine” and silently stew. And studies show that holding a grudge boosts blood pressure, and floods your body with the stress hormone adrenaline. So, next time your partner slip ups – like if they forget to pick something up from the store – let it go.
• Always be happy to see your partner. When you come home from work, your dog isn’t glued to their smartphone or the TV. They race to see you and show you love. Experts say our relationships would benefit if we, humans, behaved the same way. So greet your partner with a kiss and ask how their day was. It shows that they’re important to you. Plus, a Lafayette College study found that kissing releases neurochemicals that makes you feel bonded – and the effects can last for hours.
• Put fun back in your relationship. Dogs are up for anything – from a run to a car ride. And experts say successful couples have that same attitude. Studies show that new activities activate our brain’s love chemicals – like dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. So, when you do new things together, you feel closer and bonded. And a University of Denver study found that laughing and engaging in playful activities are two important components of a happy relationship.
• While dogs love being by your side 24-7, they’re also happy to sunbathe in the back yard alone or play with other dogs. And relationship experts say that alone time is just as important as together time. That way your entire identity isn’t wrapped up in your partner. Plus, by having outside interests and friends, you widen your world – and your partner’s – by sharing your experiences with them.