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Looking for a Valentine

valentine_dog_-_grwepr.jpg
grwepr [Flickr]
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I would love to be your Valentine!

If you're single and looking for romance your best friend might just be of assistance in that area, both in meeting people and in helping to determine who may be a good match - for both of you!

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Love is in the air – it must be time for Valentine’s Day! It’s a time to celebrate the romantic relationships in our lives, but what if you don’t have a “special someone”?

A couple of years ago, PetSmart Charities and Match.com launched a joint effort to find out what influence pets might have on the search for the perfect human companion. Match.com statistics show that more than three-fourths of their members are pet lovers, and as the saying goes, “love me, love my dog (or cat)”. So they conducted an online survey to find out how pet ownership might impact a potential relationship.

One important statistic from the survey – two-thirds of those responding were not interested in dating someone who did not like pets. And a majority was more attracted to someone who adopted their pet rather than buying it. Seventy percent would judge a new acquaintance based on their pet’s reaction to that person, and on the person’s reaction to their pet.

I have a friend who had a couple of cats. He was engaged to a woman who did not like cats, and so my friend found himself in the difficult position of trying to find new homes, or preferably one new home, for pets he loved and really didn’t want to part with. Ultimately, he and his fiancée parted ways, and my friend found the woman of his dreams who loves animals as much as he does. They have been happily married for several years and have a son and lots of four-footed family members.

If you’re looking for the love of your life, in addition to Match.com and eHarmony, there are special interest dating websites just for pet people: Leashes-and-Lovers, Must-Love-Pets, Pet-People-Meet are just a few. If cyber-matchmaking is not for you, there are other ways to meet pet lovers. Just taking a dog for a walk can help break the ice and start a conversation.

So if you’re a pet lover, maybe adopting a pet is a good way to find companionship, both the four-legged kind and the two-legged kind. And even if the date doesn’t work out, you’ll still have a buddy to snuggle with on those cold winter nights, when you’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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