Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and on this annual day of love and romance, it is worth considering all our soul mates – the human ones, yes, but the four-legged variety complete with tail, profuse body hair, and distinctly non-human smells, more importantly. Absolutely, there is no substitute for people partnerships or human interaction, but given the choice between going it alone and owning a pet, surely there is no contest?
Granted, the path of pet ownership might not be for everyone, but there are definitely grounds for arguing that pets are in fact better than partners. There must certainly be a reason why the highest percentage of pet owners are in the UK’s divorced, separated, never-married and widowed demographic.
So, without further ado, here are 11 tongue-in-cheek reasons why pets come up trumps against partners:
- You can have more than one – while just the one Homo sapien is usually sufficient for most of us, the same cannot be said when it comes to cohabiting with animals. The umbrella term ‘domestic pets’ extends far beyond commonplace dogs and cats these days, with exotic creatures springing up more and more in the British home. Plus, like us humans, animals get lonely and need their own furry friends to cavort with.
- Pets are great listeners – they might not be able to give a vocal reply to all our grievances, but animals really are the best listeners. Whether it’s a gentle nudge, a head in the lap or a snuggle on the sofa, pets are the truest remedy against a myriad of human woes. Forget the fact you’re clearly eating something yummy, your pet will be at your side long before it’s prompted there.
- Pets are always happy to see you, whatever your mood – we are all prone to getting up on the wrong side of the bed some mornings and, whilst a human companion will make a hasty getaway, our pets will gladly heed a long vigil until the storm passes. No retaliation or criticism here, only the unconditional display of love that comes with owning a pet.
- Your pet is unlikely to stray and return at meal-times – oh, the irony. While those tricksy felines are disposed to so shamelessly using us (they also have a tendency to eat their meals at other people’s houses – the betrayal!), most other domestic animals would stay glued to our sides given half the chance. Dogs really are a man’s best friend and will remain loyal the entirety of their too short lives.
- Pets will never ask you to change – no one’s life is perfect and whilst we might lose our jobs, have relationships break down, or experience some other emotional turbulence, pets will never judge us or ask too much of us. What we wear, how we talk, or what fellow humans we associate with will not lead our beloved pets to form opinions of us in the same way that people would. The unprejudiced and steadfast manner in which our animals regard us is perhaps the truest reflection of how love should be.
- Your parents are guaranteed to approve – meeting the parents for the first time is never a stress-free experience, unless of course, your companion of choice is an animal. Forget asking yourself whether your parents will like them, how could anyone reject the compact cuteness of an adoring pet? If it chooses to dig up or deposit on your parent’s lawn – well, that’s another matter.
- You are never too old for your pets – or too ugly.
- Pets are easier to forgive – whatever their crime, forgiving a pet of a misdemeanour is far easier than forgiving a partner. Whether it’s passing wind, barking during the night, or ruining your best slippers, the guilty tilt of a dog’s head is enough to have you crouching down for an embrace. Likewise, forgiveness comes easier to animals than their human counterparts, and any wrong-doing of our own is quickly forgotten by a furry friend.
- Pets will always show you how much they love and appreciate you – they might not show up at your door with a bouquet of your favourite flowers or demonstrate their culinary skills on your return from work, but they will show unceasing love and loyalty until their passing.
- Pets will never point out when you’re having a bad hair day – or when you’ve worn the same clothes three days running. Or when you’ve not 'found the time’ to tidy the house. Luckily for you, they probably won’t even notice.
- Pets will never use you just for food and board – hmm.
Whatever your thoughts on Valentine's Day, it is the perfect excuse (as if you needed another one!) to show your pets just how much you love them, whatever your relationship status. Please feel free to comment if you think of any reasons we might have missed!
Written by: Hannah Dyball