Is your relationship with your pet turning your partner into a jealous boyfriend?
When a study came out last year saying one in 10 women love their pet more than there boyfriend… well, I wasn’t surprised at all. I’m also the first to admit that during my common law days my cat took top billing – especially during rough patches in the relationship.
If you’ve got a jealous boyfriend on your hands who gives the stink-eye to your pet at every turn, you’re probably making him feel like a third wheel. For most of us, we don’t even realize we’re doing it: We’re just carrying on with the relationship we’ve had with our pets all along (in other words, pre-boyfriend). But for some, there could be more going on:
“If you truly love your pet more than your partner, I suggest taking a closer look at your relationship,” says Kimberly Moffit, psychotherapist and relationship expert. “Does your partner give you the intellectual stimulation, romantic chemistry, and unconditional support your relationship needs?” If you find you’re turning to your pet for what your relationship isn’t offering, it’s probably not the right relationship.
If you’ve fallen into this rut, it’s nothing to feel bad about. There’s no relationship more uncomplicated or unconditional than that of a pet’s – they never argue with you or point out your shortcomings, and are always excited to see you. Plus, they’re adorable little balls of fluff! Even now, as my cat’s treating his kitty litter like a sandbox, I’m all, “Aw, how much cuter can he get?”
I know, I’m lame. Here’s how to make sure your beau doesn’t turn into a jealous boyfriend (or feel like the third wheel of a bizarre love triangle):
Greet your boyfriend first.
When you get home from work, greet your beau first thing. “If you give your hubby or boyfriend a peck on the lips, and then gush over your pet for five minutes straight, reverse the energy,” says relationship expert April Masini. You can always apologize to your pet later (kidding – sort of).
Include your boyfriend during time with your pet.
Take your dog for walks together, or make snuggling on the couch a family affair. Include him in your “conversations” with your pet: “Talk to your pet about how awesome your partner is, like ‘Doesn’t Jim look so handsome today, Spot?’” suggests Elizabeth Lombardo, psychologist and bestselling author of “A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness.”
Create one-on-one time.
When you and your beau are spending time together and have specifically planned a date night, give him your undivided attention – in other words, don’t talk about Frisky giving you the cold shoulder in a fancy restaurant… unless you’re a fan of dinner for one.
Make your bedroom a no pet zone.
There’s nothing worse than being distracted from your romp in the sack because your pet’s watching your performance. (There were times where I’d pull a Rachel and giggle uncontrollably, even after my cat had been kicked out of the room. Buzz. Kill.) You’re probably going to feel guilty for neglecting your pet at first, but like all habits, building new ones takes time. You’ll both get used to the transition and you’ll have a very happy boyfriend on your hands – always a plus.
Gush over your pet when it’s just the two of you.
When your beau goes out to watch the game, play poker, or takes a business trip, use these opportunities to gush over your pet as you see fit. (You know, just make sure to get it all out of your system before the boyfriend gets home.)
Has your beau ever turned into a jealous boyfriend over your pet?
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Image: Kiki Yang