- The term golden retriever boyfriend first emerged in 2021 on TikTok and peaked in 2023.
- It describes a friendly, social, and kind boyfriend.
- On TikTok, some women with golden retriever boyfriends identify as black cat girlfriends, meaning they are more introverted and less friendly.
Who doesn't love a golden retriever? These friendly four-legged friends are known for their lustrous golden coat of fur. These beloved companions typically aren't aggressive but are playful and energetic. They're also loyal and patient. It's simply hard to resist the charm of a golden retriever.
But have you ever met someone whose personality and nature mirror that of a golden retriever? Perhaps a male you know.
What is a golden retriever boyfriend?
A golden retriever boyfriend typically refers to "a male significant other that is easygoing and makes it fairly simple to maintain a happy and fulfilling relationship" per an entry on Urban Dictionary.
Other defining traits of being a golden retriever boyfriend include being universally well-liked, good at making friends, great with kids, and having a glass half-full outlook on life. While the term can apply to anyone, there seems to be a surge of women currently dating men who embody this charismatic persona.
The term dates back to 2021 when it first began being referenced in TikTok videos by women who claimed they had golden retriever boyfriends. The term fully peaked in 2023 when Taylor Swift began dating Kansas Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, who many folks consider to be a prime example of a golden retriever boyfriend.
Apparently, golden retriever boyfriends often attract black cat girlfriends.
A TikToker named Shannon Detrick explained in a video that she married a man with a golden retriever personality. And generally speaking, their energy levels don't match.
“I know when we have kids it’s going to be running up and down to see Papa and then when I walk in it’s gonna be like ‘Hi Mom,'" she says.
“But I'm not a golden retriever. I’m more of a cat," Shannon continues. "Some people love me. Some people are dog people. I’m a little sassy. I do things on my own terms. I’m more of an acquired taste."
In the comment section of the video, one user knew exactly what she was thinking about: "So there was this theory about golden retriever type partners matched with black cat type partners.. and honestly yes, that is my Roman Empire."
This black cat persona as Urban Dictionary defines is usually the quieter, and more anti-social one in a relationship. You can think of a golden retriever personality and a black cat girlfriend as opposites.
And as it turns out, there are countless videos of golden retriever boyfriends and black girlfriends on TikTok. Perhaps the old saying is true, opposites do attract.