“Does a girl have to have hollow bones to get some sugar around here?” Amy Farrah Fowler, The Big Bang Theory
One of the funniest sequences on The Big Bang Theory is when Sheldon becomes attached to a bird. Amy, his girlfriend, is particularly annoyed because the bird’s getting petted while she isn’t getting “any.” Her famous line “Does a girl have to have hollow bones to get some sugar around here?” is telling because it strikes at the very heart of dating these days.
Pets are getting more attention than we are. Don’t laugh. Next to children, which are commonly referred to on dating sites as “Everything to me,” the dog or cat is a close second (possibly first if the kids are in juvie ).
We don’t have big, sad eyes (well, some of us do, but it’s usually alcoholism).
That profile shot of a woman snuggling her Boston Terrier? It isn’t meant to show how affectionate she is. It’s a clear warning she’s sleeping with her dog. Boston Terriers are great because they’re always making goo-goo eyes. You go to sleep, they’re goo-goo eyed. You wake up, they’re goo-goo eyed. Who wouldn’t sleep with someone — or something — that looks at you with that kind of appreciation on a daily basis?
Appreciation is key here. Pets don’t judge you. As long as you keep feeding them and petting them, they’re cool. Partners — or prospective partners — on the other hand, can’t claim the same thing. Everyone’s judging. We all worry about the “thrill disappearing.” Pets only worry about the food disappearing.
This puts animals at a distinct advantage. How cute can we be in our profiles compared to a dog or a cat? Our hair grows unevenly. We don’t have big, sad eyes (well, some of us do, but it’s usually alcoholism). We don’t have shiny coats or catch Frisbees in our teeth or wag our tails at just about anything.
And if you’re saying “Hey, I’m cuter than a dog”—guess what? You’re not. Dogs and cats have you hands down. They’re not only cute, they’re likeable. That counts for a lot in the dating world today.
A survey done by PetSmart and Match.com showed that 66 percent of men and women wouldn’t date someone who didn’t like pets, and 72 percent of single women admitted that a dog is the “hottest pet a guy can own.”
If you’re one of those people, you don’t even have to be on Match.com or OkCupid anymore. The real people — those with affection coming out their yin yangs — are more likely to be on sites like PetPeopleMeet.com or YouMustLoveDogsDating.com.
There’s even what’s known as “pet friendly mixers,” hosted by Match.com and PetSmart where singles can mingle with fellow pet lovers. The mixers include local food trucks and appearances by professional pet trainers.
Those mixers could eventually lead to “leash parties,” a concept similar to the “key parties” of the 50s. Stick a bunch of dog lovers together with a case of wine and you could end up going home with a poodle and their owner. Stranger things have happened in the boudoirs of pet owners.
If her dog is a Doberman with a muzzle and choke chain, either move on to someone else or take along a steak.
Pet love is a very real attraction for both sexes. Eighty percent of Match.com members have or like pets, while nearly half of all women surveyed said they’d judge a date based on how their pet reacts to them. If the dog snarls, it’s game over. If it humps your leg, you’ll probably get to second base before appetizers (with the woman, not the dog — although, hey, the dog has made the first move).
This should be a game-changer for anyone on a dating site. Why worry about fake profiles and hidden flab? People with pets like full shots. That’s so you can see the cute little tail wagging on the owner’s lap. It also lets you judge your date’s aggressiveness. If her dog is a Doberman with a muzzle and choke chain, either move on to someone else or take along a steak.
One woman told me she had a coffee date with a cop at a Tim Horton’s. He suggested they sit in his car (lights, siren, etc.). Turns out, he had his police dog in the back seat. “He kept describing how the dog kills on command,” she said. “Imagine trying to break up with that guy.”
Animals aren’t without their protective qualities. Some dates find it adorable, others, not so much. The woman who says “My dog only attacks assholes,” may end up alone because her dog’s idea of an asshole may include the entire midwest or eastern seaboard.
In any event, it’s good to know where your competition is these days. Forget about the long list of messages women claim they’re getting. Those guys are slugs. The real competition is pets. All the surveys done show that 4 out of 5 people on dating sites are pet lovers. If you can’t stand animals, you’ve narrowed your dating possibilities considerably.
And you sure as hell won’t be invited to “mixers” or “leash parties.”
I’ll leave you with a joke that illustrates how important a dog (or any pet) is in someone’s life:
Two dogs are brought into the pound. While they’re waiting, one asks the other: “What are you in for?” The other replies, “My owner’s cruel. I finally bit him.” The first says, “Boy, you’re gonna be put down for that.” The second dog asks, “What about you?” The first says, “My owner’s gorgeous. One day she was naked in the washroom, bent over the sink. I jumped her.” The second dog exclaims,” Boy, you’re gonna be put down for that.” The first dog replies, “Actually, I’m just here to get my nails clipped.”
Robert Cormack is a freelance copywriter, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press for more details.