My search is over, after years and years of looking under every rock, I found the perfect model of the perfect man. He’s not necessarily the most attractive, or the tallest, or the best smelling, but he will give you more affection than you ever dreamed possible. He is loyal to a fault, will love you unconditionally and will make you feel like the most important thing in the world.
He may, however, leave muddy footprints on your new white carpet, leave hair in the sink, occasionally drink from the toilet bowl and will definitely want to hump your leg every chance he gets. Ok, I think by now you’re on to my poor attempt at humor. I’m of course not talking about a human being but a pet; hear me out:
Often, we find it’s easier and less complicated to love our pets than our partners. “Please note: I’m going to use the example of a male dog for this post but this idea is relevant if your partner is female or if you’re a cat, bird, and rock etc. owner as well”. Sure, our dog can be smelly, messy; can have some annoying habits, but doesn’t it seem sometimes like our relationship with our dog is the best one we have?
Why is it so much easier to forgive and love our dogs, despite their bad habits than it is to love our partners’ through theirs? When our dogs behave badly, sure we discipline them when it’s serious but when it’s just an annoying habit, we roll our eyes, laugh and let them back in our beds. We NEVER put our dogs in the “doghouse” like we do our partners for the same offenses.
And the same is true the other way; our dogs love us despite our ‘humanness’ that’s what makes this relationship so perfect. In all seriousness though, when you really think about it; most of us love our dogs unconditionally, no strings attached. And we feel completely and unconditionally loved by them as well. No matter our moods, our dogs love us. They don’t take our bad moods personally.
Let’s say you’re having a bad day, you come home from work and your dog is welcoming you home, wagging his tail, wanting to play. You are miserable and cranky and not in the mood. Your dog won’t be offended. Once your dog realizes you don’t want to play, they will go about the business of being a dog and find something else to do. They will always be happy to running back to you when you feel better and are ready to play. They won’t sulk and they are certainly not hurt or offended.
Dog’s Take Nothing Personally
We need to learn from our pets that we don’t need to take our partner’s bad mood personally. Sometimes they just had a bad day. Sometimes they don’t feel like talking about it and want to be left alone. We don’t have to keep prying and asking what we did wrong or why they are upset.
Sometimes we just have to accept that we cannot help. As humans, we tend to be overly analytical and assume that our partner’s bad mood has to do with us. Sometimes we feel this overwhelming desire to do everything we can to make them feel better and to fix the problem.
I guarantee you that 99% of the time; your partner’s mood has absolutely nothing to do with you. Like our pets, we need to take cues from our ‘humans’ and be alert to the fact they may just need some space instead of us in their face! Always offer an ear but if they don’t want or need it at that moment, go grab a snack or a chew toy and let them come to you when they are ready to talk. Don’t let it bring you down. Sometimes it’s important to remember you can’t control anyone else or their moods. Take care of you and your side of the relationship and let your partner take care of theirs.
The Canine Does Not Opine
Humans tend to take other people’s opinions far too seriously; dogs don’t care what we think of them. We are constantly worried what our partner’s think of us and how they feel about us; to the point of sabotaging the relationship because we’ve misunderstood their behavior toward us.
Humans are funny that way. We are so caught up in our own insecurities and neurosis about ourselves that we assume everyone sees us the way we see ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies and can be horribly critical toward ourselves. Often, we believe things we shouldn’t, we misinterpret and it leads to a negative place. Dogs just ‘are’ and just let us ‘be’. It’s a very peaceful and positive place to live.
“Those who teach the most about humanity, aren’t always humans” by Donald L. Hicks
If we could just be more like our dogs and realize that our partner’s behavior comes through their own personal lens; their filter of their life experience. Opinions often have nothing to do with us and everything to do with the person giving them. So, a double whammy with all the perceptions and misinterpretations can get very messy and cause serious trouble. We have ours, they have theirs. No wonder we’re on a constant emotional roller coaster ride in our relationships!
Our pets get it. They come from a pure place of acceptance. We are never worried about what our pets think of us. It’s the complete opposite when we deal with humans. We live in constant fear of what our partners think or expect of us. It’s so relaxing and good for the soul to just hang with your pet. Let’s bring that peace of mind into our human relationships.
The answer is to simply be aware that we all have different perceptions and ways of interpreting the world. When we fully understand this, we can show compassion, acceptance, and selflessness toward our partner and ourselves.
Dogs Accept People For Who They Are
When we’re in a relationship, often times we want to change our partners to fit our ideals. We expect them to make us happy. We want them to read our minds and predict exactly what we what, when we want it and how? We can be super critical of our partner if they don’t make us feel good about ourselves. We tend to come from a place of “What am I getting out of this relationship?”
“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog” by M.K. Klinton
Unconditional love means we can give love freely without expecting anything in return. Sometimes our capacity for showing love is completely dependent and conditional on how our partner is treating us, so true, right?
To give love unconditionally means that we accept our partner completely and we don’t want to change them. We allow our partner to be who they are. We understand that change should only happen if they want it not because we want them to change for us. Loving someone unconditionally is affection without any limitations. It means we care about the happiness of another person without any thought for what we might get for ourselves.
Why can’t we be more like our dog? No matter what, they just love us, pure, simple, true love. Why can’t we just accept and love our partners for who they are? Why are we so critical and demanding? You cannot change other people. It’s impossible and will only bring misery and conflict. You can, however, change you. You can look at love differently; through the eyes of a dog. “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself” by Josh Billings
This all seems obvious in theory and hopefully, after reading this post, I have given you some insight into learning to be happier in relationships by letting go of your insecurities and expectations of your partners. Easier said than done, right?
The hard part is when you find yourself smack dab in the middle of a difficult, emotional situation with your partner. If we are angry, anxious, insecure, resentful, jealous-all those fun negative feelings-we tend to be self-absorbed and victim-like so we can feel better despite what our partner is feeling. It’s human! We all do it. We get stuck in our head and react emotionally.
Instead of getting sucked into the dark, emotional land of fear that makes you do and says things you may regret; try to be alert to what is happening. Pay attention to where it is coming from. I bet it’s less to do with your partner and more to do with your own pain and fear. You can stop at this point and try a new approach. You have the opportunity at this point to break the automatic subconscious pattern.
The next time you find some negative emotions rising, either in you or your partner or both; think “What would my dog do?” And stop yourself from going straight to a place of fear, judgment, and control. See if you can focus instead on showing love, acceptance, and allowance. It can’t hurt. What’s the worst that can happen? I can guarantee you’ll experience a peaceful exchange that has a better chance of leading to a healthy conversation.
Dogs Never Lie About Who They Are and Who They Love
In order to do this, there is a crucial first step. Accept yourself! Believe yourself worthy of love and happiness. Every one of us is. Your dog definitely thinks you’re worthy! And so do me. Never pretend to be someone you’re not. And never apologize to anyone for not being who you think they want you to be. Be yourself. Honor your inner and outer strength and beauty. You are perfect exactly how you are. Believe it!
If you are single; coming from a place of authenticity will increase your chances of finding a good match. You will exude your true loving energy to the right people. If you are in a relationship, knowing yourself and finding love in yourself allows you to be confident in whom you are. You won’t look to your partner for validation because you already have it.
Neediness is the worst; no one needs a partner to feel loved or complete. You already are complete. It is much easier to give and receive love unconditionally if you are a whole person who enjoys and CHOOSES to be in love and in a relationship. If you feel like you are only half a person and you NEED someone to complete you and make you whole, you’ll never be in a truly loving relationship.
The next step is to accept your partner. Let them be who they are. You have no right to judge or decide your partner should be anyone other than who they truly are. If you can’t stop wanting to change someone, they are not a good match for you. Walk away. Let your partner find someone who truly accepts and loves them for who they are.
The next step is to get very clear about what you want and the kind of person that fits your ideals, that’s why accepting who you are first is critical. Once you know and you project that out into the world, it’s easier to attract and find a partner that is aligned with you and who you won’t feel the need to change.
Just follow the three step process:
- Accept and Embrace Who You Are. Never Hide Your Truth.
- Accept Who Your Partner Is Or Let Them Go
- Be Clear What You Are Looking For In A Partner.
If you’re being authentically you, you’ll find the right dog deeper, I mean partner. Who knows, if you really start to embrace who you are and decide what kind of relationship you want, you may realize that you really wanted a cat. Perhaps instead of making your dog start to act like a cat, just get a cat. Because good luck on getting your dog to ‘meow’
If you need some more help getting there, visit www.heartstringstory.com/love-workbook to learn more about an online workbook I created that makes going through the process fun and easy!