A recent study in the UK revealed that a staggering number of people would rather dole out more affection to their pet than their romantic partner.
There's something magical about animals that human beings just can't touch. Animals know exactly what they're about. If a snake bites you, you're never really angry at the snake, because that's what they do. Humans though? It's tough to figure them out a lot of times.
We're rarely disappointed with animals, and let's say you have a dog that directly disobeys you and tears up the couch, the guilt that they feel when they scold you is profound. They don't want to be out of your favor and will do anything in their power to make sure that you love them again. Just take a look at any guilty pet compilation and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
But it seems that more and more people are growing to love animals, the ones that they live with anyway, more than the people that they live with. My first thought? It's kind of hard to blame them. I'd wager that lots of people have pets because they genuinely love their company. Significant others? Not so much. I once knew a girl who flipped out on her boyfriend because he was "bad to watch TV with." Much harder to do that with an animal as they're probably the best company.
A population of 1,254 Brits were surveyed by Maguire Family Law, who were interested in delving into the issue when they discovered a constant gripe between couples in the ever-increasing number of divorces they litigated: people were constantly fighting over who got the pet. In fact, it was the greatest point of contention during the proceedings. I'm scared to find out if that includes couples with children.
The news, as sad as it is, probably isn't all that surprising to most people, especially when it comes to dogs. When a dog loves you, there's not a second that goes by during the day that you aren't reminded of that dog's love. It even gets to be a bit much, but you can never really blame them because it's coming from such an honest place.
The poll doesn't just include dogs, however, but all pets. I have to say that if my ex loved our cockatoo over me, I'd definitely start looking at my personality more critically and find ways to enhance it. But if it was a golden retriever, well, I'm just not sure I could really feel too bad about that.
Maguire Family Law did come up with some good advice for couples who shared custody of a pet: sign a "pet-nup":
"We're seeing a growing number of divorce and separation cases where people are arguing over care arrangements of their dogs, cats, horses and other pets," Maguire said.
Even more interesting was the reaction couples had to the suggestion that legal proceedings with their pets should share the same kind of rules and attention that children received.
"Although our survey showed a third of pet owners in relationships think animals should be treated the same as children when it comes to breakups, unfortunately the law doesn't agree. Obviously, the emotional attachment to pets can be huge, which is why we see so much upset over who gets to keep them when a couple breaks up," Maguire Law continued.
In cases where "pet-nups" were signed, Maguire Law says that the proceedings between couples went much more smoothly when it came to custody of the animal:
"People may find if they draw up a pet-nup, there may be issues around its enforceability if there's a dispute, but we find if a couple agrees matters up front they usually stick to this."
And if you want any further evidence of this fact, then just social media. You probably see that your friends' timelines are filled with pictures and selfies with them of their pets. In fact, a whopping 65% of people with pets in relationships have admitted to taking more photos of their animal pal than the person they're supposedly in love with.
This report from Rover.com should have those who are in relationships with people who obsess over taking photos of their animals over them, a bit worried:
"Young Americans ... shower their dogs with attention and splurge on expensive gifts because their dog is their best friend, and they want to be their dog’s best friend too. Dog people are deeply concerned about their dog’s feelings and well-being. And we’re seeing that reflected in everything from how people name their dog to what they feed them, and the type of pet care they prefer," said Brandie Gonzales, a pet lifestyle expert with Rover.
What do you think? Should people divide who their shared pets live with after a break up? People were very concerned with what was going to happen to Piggy Smalls after Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson's break-up. Rest assured, the pig is safe.
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