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How Pets Make You More Desirable to Date

Single dog owners, rejoice! That furry friend of yours is not only your best friend, but also a great chance to meet a lifelong partner. As a dog owner myself (I have a beagle/chihuahua mix named Misha as well as a beagle puppy named Ellie), I’ve always believed that owning one makes you a more attractive and sensitive human. Now, we have scientific data to back it up.

According to eharmony’s recent Singles & Desirability Study conducted by Harris Interactive, 35% of single daters are specifically looking for a partner who owns a dog. 

This finding isn’t surprising on a psychological level. Dog owners have chosen to parent a dog for reasons that bode well for romantic relationships the dog owners pursue, as well. It’s understood that dogs, in particular, are social animals that require frequent and intensive care. People who have dogs, by definition, are comfortable with an animal depending on them for regular, daily care which shows that they are comfortable with (healthy) dependence. In addition, dog owners tend to be nurturers. Not only do they accept the responsibility of caring for and nurturing a dog, they actually enjoy nurturing them. Dog owners choose dogs, specifically, because they like the physical closeness that dogs seek.

Overall, the traits that are required for successful dog ownership are cornerstones of romantic relationships, too. Healthy, mutual dependence – which is different from codependence or neediness – is crucial in romantic relationships, as is physical affection, reliability and time spent together. Having a dog, of course, does not automatically mean that the dog owner wants or will have a successful, long-term relationship. But having a dog means that the individual already displays some of the most crucial emotional and behavioral characteristics that are required for a happy, successful romantic relationship. 

And, being a dog owner reflects some the most-wanted qualities in a partner, including responsibility, maturity and kindness. Dog owners are also likely to be approachable and outgoing, being more than willing to chat with fellow dog lovers while out on a walk. Also, being pictured on a dating app with your dog provides an easy way for someone to start a conversation with you. So, go update your profile pics and spend quality time with your dog outdoors while the weather is still nice. You never know who you might meet online or in the real world!

Seth Meyers, PhD
Eharmony Relationship Expert & Clinical Psychologist

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