By Katy Cable-A 3 min. read

It’s February…THE MONTH OF LOVE! All those jewelry ads on TV and Valentine’s Day looming brings on a lot of pressure. Especially for those desperately searching for the love of their life.

I feel very fortunate that in addition to having a wonderful husband of 22 years, I also have a beloved dog. With that I have learned a thing or two about finding that perfect mate that may completely shock you and change your strategy.

All my single friends think I have it made because I’m happily married. I have what appears to be the “perfect” relationship everyone is trying desperately to find. Not a day goes by when I don’t meet singles hinging all their happiness on finding that perfect someone. While I do consider myself very, VERY, blessed, I want everyone to learn 5 simple truths that may completely shock you and change your entire strategy.

In today’s world (bonus points for living in LA) 22 years of a marriage is pretty much the equivalent of winning an Oscar, or an Olympic gold medal. It takes dedication, focus and hard work. It can be extremely challenging. It’s never equal. There are many times the scales get tipped and one person is doing a lot more of the “work” in the relationship. The first important thing to realize is marriage and love are not about FEELINGS that are right out of a Disney Movie, but two imperfect people choosing to honor their commitment to the relationship! –PERIOD! And even with that, ultimately the marriage is only as good or bad as the people in it!

For those of you feeling hopeless and defeated, striking out with your search to find that “perfect person” why not put on training wheels and start with a dog. Here’s 5 great reasons why:

1. Finding A Perfect Dog Is Much Cheaper And Far Less Time Consuming Than Finding A Perfect Mate. Like many things, it’s a numbers game. The more people you meet, the greater your odds for finding “The One!” Plus, it requires the same diligence, time and priority as anything else you want to succeed in. This means being available for dates, building on-line profiles, searching social media, attending parties, events, mixers and even agreeing to be “set-up!” That’s going to be tough to juggle if not impossible should you be finishing your masters degree or trying to get a promotion at work. Actually, it may be hard to manage with your NORMAL day-to-day demands.

Dogs are easy! Going out of town on business? Send them to boarding camp. Working day and night for tax season or the holidays? Get a dog walker. A new romantic relationship will not blossom nearly as well under extreme schedule demands. A dog on the other hand will be a great partner at the end of a business trip or long, stressful day.

2. You Don’t Have To Deal With The Dating Scene. Whether it’s bars, clubs, set-ups, dating sites, or Tinder swipes, dating can be time consuming, expensive and downright ego crushing. Most people would rather have a root canal than relive an awful date. Not so with a dog! No painful dating required. Dogs just need to get out in the fresh air and walk around. If you’re active, you can find one to run, swim or hike with you. I guarantee they won’t be thinking how you look like a “stuffed sausage” in your workout wear! If your idea of a strenuous day is peeling your sticky body off the leather recliner to grab the remote, a dog will happily flop at your feet and FETCH things for you. Whatever you enjoy, there’s a dog out there that loves that too. Every outing and date can be fun when choosing a dog. If it’s not a good match, there’s plenty more to consider. And even better, you’ll never go home feeling completely discouraged by some dating disaster straight out of a reality show.

3. They Build Your Confidence. When it comes to dating most people lack confidence. Everyone has that nightmare relationship that kicked them to the curb or they remember how horribly they might have treated someone else. Many singles who are knocking it out of the park in every other area of their lives, are shocked to find those credits don’t transfer when it comes to dating. But a dog, that’s a whole different ballgame.

A dog will love you unconditionally whether you have an MBA or dropped out of high school. And a dog’s love never wanes! They’re ALWAYS happy to see you regardless of the fact you’re wearing designer duds or last night’s dinner thanks to the stomach flu. Having a darling creature always want to see you, and be near you is amazing for your self-esteem and happiness. Marriages are give and take and even the strong ones can’t compete with the undying attention of a dog.

4. Finding a perfect dog to love is much easier than finding a perfect spouse. Just make a trip to any animal shelter or any pet store holding an adoption event and watch how fast you fall in love with the loving gaze of an often stinky, shedding, drooling mess, of a dog that’s desperate to go home with you. One look and 3 seconds can have you going from zero-to-psycho over this creature and losing all rationality.

Finding A Marital Spouse Takes Much More Work And Searching. There’s so many deal-breakers and issues to consider beyond if the toilet seat stays up or down. Whether your standards are ridiculously high or you have no standards other than, “Doesn’t live with their parents and has their own Netflix account” It’s tough to find available, suitable mates. On the other hand, when it comes to dogs, chances are probably 100% nearly EVERY SINGLE ONE would love nothing more than to go home and spend forever with you.

5. The VERY BEST REASON: You Will Practice And Learn Unconditional Love. You will naturally become a more loving, kind, compassionate person by partnering up with a dog. You will become healthier and happier having a dog as well! -Not so with a crummy relationship! And, although a dog will one day get their wings and leave you, and it will kick you in the gut the way any major love-loss does, remember…Having your heart broken by a DOG always leaves you in gratitude for having gotten to spend time with them in the first place. Grief WILL NOT be coupled with resentful spinning on what you did or didn’t do or what that new person has that you don’t.

A dog is never going to dump you for another owner! While you’re out living life and enjoying your newfound DOG-MATE, you might just attract an amazing relationship. In the meantime, you’ll be having a lot more FUN!