I've always found the whole dating scenario to be a bit pretentious. We all put on our mask and present our best image on the proverbial first date. After a few more dates, calls, texts and maybe some intimacy, the person behind the mask emerges, and in the blink of any eye, the romance dies. This person suddenly is nowhere near the person we first met.
What if instead of pretending to be someone we're not, we not only take these masks off, we throw them away, take a lesson from our trusty friend Fido and just date doggy style? Don't get too excited here, I'm not talking bedroom positions.
At least not yet.
I'm writing this as I watch my two dogs run around and play in my friend's backyard, making friends with all the neighborhood pups. It's a Doggy Disneyland here, and they are eager to run around and make new friends, checking each other out, sniffing butts. If they like what they see and smell they'll romp around the yard together -- running, jumping, snorting, yelping, nipping, slobber-swapping, rejoicing and cavorting. Just being who they truly are and having an honest, real connection with another animal.
So if that's the whole point of dating and relationships -- to be yourself, find someone you want to romp around in a field with, have a connection to and just have fun -- here are five tips we can take from Fido:
1. The Butt Sniff Test
I'm not suggesting we go around sniffing butts here. Simply put, just be yourself. No pretending. No masks. No projected images. Just. Be. You. You'll be amazed who comes into your life once you begin to show your authentic self.
2. Game Playing
Games are good. Dog games, not people games. The difference between dogs and humans is that dogs don't let their ego rule their actions. We get caught up in the fear, the wondering and the jealousy and let our ego play out little games to get a desired action. Not good games to play. Dogs like to run, chase squirrels, catch balls and jump over hurdles. These are good games. Remember the difference and engage in good game playing only.
3. Bark What You Mean and Mean What You Bark
As humans, we often say things we think the other person wants to hear. This is probably one of the simplest tips, yet one of the easiest to stray from. Dogs will growl if they don't like something, whine if they're hurt and bark if they're happy, hungry or need to go potty. They are very explicit and impeccable with their communication. Once we learn to do the same, we'll find there is less confusion and miscommunication in all of our relationships.
4. Live in the Moment
Without realizing it, we can eagerly look towards the future, or we can let our past determine our present by staying stuck with old behaviors or mistakes. Dogs do neither. They live for right now. In the moment. Giving it everything they've got. Full-steam ahead. When we put our full attention on what is happening right at this very moment, we'll find we have better relationships, we work better, rest easier and play harder.
5. Take the Leash Off
Dogs spend so much of their time being on leash -- acting the way we want them to act. Once off leash, the dog's personality really comes to life. We see so many rules for dating -- do this, don't do that, wait for this -- the bottom line is we are individuals and there is no generic rule book that will ever give us all the answers. So take your leash off. Stop acting like everyone says you are supposed to act, don't expect to get desired results after reading dating how-to books and listen instead to your inner voice and see what resonates with you. When all else fails, refer to tip #1.