When you are raising children in their late teens and mid-20s, you spend quite a bit of time discussing the finer points of MATE SELECTION. It might arguably be the biggest decision a person ever makes in life and, as such, it warrants thorough examination and discourse. In fact, the topic is on the table so frequently at my house that I decided to simplify it for them: Choosing a mate is just like choosing a dog breed…
Think about what an enormous personal decision it is to choose a dog and what all factors into the decision. There’s so much to contemplate. Big? Small? Hairy or Hairless? Friendly or Anti-Social?
Picking a spouse is EXACTLY the same. You have to consider which qualities resonate with you today and determine which of those qualities will matter to you later on down the road. What can you live with and tolerate for an ENTIRE LIFETIME???
I have had several friends through the years that have complained about a particular character trait their mate possesses and I’m always quick to remind them that most positive qualities generally have a correlative negative quality and vice versa. If you married a Pit Bull, who goes out in the world “Kicking Ass and Taking Names,” you must understand that he probably can’t turn that side of himself off when he is at home (he may snap at you on occasion).
Conversely, if you married a Lap Dog, don’t be surprised if he is a little too “easy-going” at times. And, if you picked your Collie because you were attracted to his genial personality, don’t complain when he licks ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE he comes into contact with up one side and down the other! Dogs, like people, rarely stray too far from their inner nature.
As I was pontificating on this topic with one of my daughters recently, it occurred to me that it’s actually easier to get a “Do-Over” if you pick the wrong spouse, than if you pick the wrong dog. In the court of public opinion, there is simply no such thing as a “No-Fault Doggie-Divorce,” much less “Conscious Un-coupling!”
If You’re not convinced, take this little test:
-Pick 10 friends randomly
-Picture their reaction to you telling them you dumped your spouse
-Now, picture their reaction to you telling them “it just didn’t work out” between you and your dog.
I rest my case.
People are far less judgemental when marriages unravel. We can be pretty understanding when our friends tell us:
“We just grew apart”
“We weren’t right for each other!”
Or my personal favorite, “I thought I could change him…(sigh)”
Unfortunately for me, when it comes to one’s dog, there’s no such thing as “Conscious Uncoupling!” So, I’m stuck with my evil chihuahua.
No matter – Whatever relationship you’re committing to these days, just make sure you’ve shopped around!