You’re in love. You’ve found your soulmate and everything is tickety-boo.
Then one of you suggests you take your relationship to the next level. No, not kids, silly! Kids will just complicate your perfect bubble of luuurve. The only thing that could make your relationship even better, even deeper and stronger and more meaningful, is to get a pet together. Of course it will!
Except, it might not. Yes, it might be a great idea to rescue some mewling kitten or vivacious pooch. It might cement those bonds even further, and sharing the responsibility and care for another living being might help you understand and appreciate each other even more.
But make no mistake - investing in a pet together is A Big Deal. It’s a step toward something more permanent, which is the first of many reasons why you should take a little time before heading off to the pet shop or shelter. So before you go any further, take a minute to consider a few things…
1.) Are you both at the same stage in life? Do you both want to settle down, or are you hoping to take off and do some medium- or long-term travelling at some point? If so, what’s to become of your pet? No matter how cute it is, your parents probably don’t to wish to inherit it; if they’d wanted a giant, drooling St Bernard, they would have moved to a bigger house, put away a dedicated savings to pay for its food and bought one.
2.) This is a boring one but perhaps themost important point: Are you financially stable enough to have another mouth to feed? Animals aren’t cheap. Well, unless you get a goldfish, but c’mon, what’s the point of that? Apart from the initial investment of bedding or a crate, bowls, toys, leads and other equipment, there are the regular costs for food and preventative veterinary care. Plus there are the giant, wowza vet bills you’ll incur if Fido swallows a rock (it happens more than you might think) or Fluffy slices open a paw on some broken glass on the pavement. Will you get pet health insurance? Microchips?
3.) On that note, if you rent, are you allowed a pet or will you have to pay an extra security deposit? Is your house suitable for an animal? Is it big enough? Can a cat get out for some fresh air, or do you live in a flat high from the ground? Do you have a garden for the dog or are you near a park or open area where you can walk it?
3.) Who’s going to be responsible for the bulk of the care? You might think you’ll share equally in the house-training or walkies, but chances are one of you will end up doing the majority of the work. Do your schedules enable you to be home enough to adequately look after an animal? While some pets are fairly low-maintenance, it’s still not fair to leave them shut up alone all day.
5.) Do you and your partner agree on what kind of pet you both want? Is he a cat person while you’re a dog lover? Does she want a couple of pet rats that will entertain each other, or a chilled-out lizard, or do unconventional pets make you squeamish?
If you’ve worked through all those points and are still in love with the idea of a cuddly companion, there’s one last thing to discuss, and it’s a tricky one: What happens if you split? It’s a terrible thing to consider and might be the last thing from your mind, but it’s important nonetheless. Have some compassion for the poor pet who might be the subject of a custody battle, or worse yet get turfed out because neither of you could care for it independently. You should at least be able to talk about it in the abstract, and if not it might be a signal that you’re not ready for such a big commitment.Add a comment Add a comment
Hold onto your heartstrings, I’m about to make turn all your romantic notions upside down.
What’s the most romantic day of the year? I’ll give you some clues: it’s not a set date and it doesn’t automatically signal hearts and flowers and rainbows and cupid. But trust me, it’s the Real Deal.
You’ve already ruled out Valentine’s Day (expected, contrived) and Sweetest Day (twee, contrived by hard-up retailers in the doldrums before Christmas.) If you’re in a relationship, you might say your anniversary, and this might be true to some extent.
But easily the most romantic day of the year is Thanksgiving. Yes, that American festival of gluttony and self-congratulatory smugness, the day when people across the United States believe that the triumph of a few bedraggled religious zealots against the elements - thanks to the native people whose way of life they ultimately destroyed - gives them reasonable cause to eat until they explode.
Now bear with me. The best things in life aren’t always the most obvious, and never was that more true than in this case.
But if you think about Thanksgiving at its most basic level, it’s all about sharing the most essential elements in a celebration of life and friendship. And love. What could be more loving than feeding someone with a generous helping of green-bean casserole?
Ok, maybe that’s not the best example. How about pumpkin pie? With whipped cream? Now that caught your attention.
If you’ve never had the excuse to celebrate American, or even Canadian, Thanksgiving, you’re probably still wondering how eating turkey, cranberry sauce and an assortment of carborific side dishes can possibly spell romance - especially on a dreary at the end of November. So I’m going to tell you how it works.
Thanksgiving is all about surrounding yourself with the people you love most, while taking stock of your good fortune. What could be more romantic than being invited to share in such an intimate experience?
Moreover, when you’ve stuffed yourself full of sleep-inducing turkey and all the trimmings, there’s nothing more satisfying than snuggling down for a post-meal nap in the middle of the day. How often does anyone over the age of 5 actually have the excuse to go for a snooze on a weekday afternoon? It’s a luxury, and one to be enjoyed with someone special.
Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Thanksgiving - that’s the beauty of it. All it takes is declaring a day when your significant other, possibly along with other loved ones, should gather to share a meaningful meal and reflect on the good things in life. It’s pretty simple, but easily one of the loveliest excuses for spending time with those most important to you.
It doesn’t have to include turkey or stuffing or candied yams, and it doesn’t even need to be called Thanksgiving. But what better way to brighten a dull and dismal time of year than to start a new tradition?
Then again, I’m probably biased. Ten years ago, after second helpings and lots of laughter with my nearest and dearest, I only went back to my little upstairs flat and got engaged. There was no fanfare, no elaborate pronouncements and we probably smelled of sweetcorn casserole and gravy, but a decade later we’re happily married with lots to be thankful for.
And Thanksgiving, to my thinking, is still the most romantic day of the year.Add a comment Add a comment