Why Adopting A Puppy Is Probably Better Than A Rebound Relationship

As someone who loves love, I can understand how and why rebound relationships work for some. But I have never been the rebound or the rebounding party in any type of ‘situationship.’ I know that some people are seemingly unfazed by one relationship and effortlessly blossom in the next. I can’t. It takes me quite a while to get into a relationship and just as long to get over it.

According to Psychology Today, a rebound relationship is “a relationship that is initiated shortly after a romantic breakup — before the feelings about the former relationship have been resolved.” And although “studies indicate that while some rebound relationships can be successful,” it’s also believed that others can cause pain to all parties involved.

I get it. There are instances when old friendships outgrow new lovers, new relationships outlive strained lovers and, with time, there’s the possibility you could wake up next to someone you find to be a complete stranger all of a sudden.

To argue that your happiness should come second to another person’s would be doing yourself a disservice. You can’t be the mascot for happiness and forget you, too, need love and affection. Moreover, allowing your happiness to be contingent upon a “significant other’s” actions is all the more reason to understand when you’re truly ready for a relationship or just looking to avoid loneliness (or worse, your own issues.)

Which is why adopting a puppy is probably better than getting into a rebound relationship. There are so many health benefits that come with caring for an animal, and it’ll probably add value to your life in ways you never even thought.

Here’s why you’re better off getting the puppy (if you’re ready, willing and able):

Love and affection

They love you to death, literally. They’re loyal, affectionate and are at the door waiting to welcome you home— no matter what kind of day you’ve had. Puppies make you feel wanted. They provide consistency. You don’t have to demand that they have these qualities because it’s just in their DNA. You don’t have to teach them how to love you or how to be there for you when you need them.

Responsibility

Because you are the world to them they depend on you for food, shelter and companionship. That’s a lot of responsibility, but that sense of being needed can be comforting. It allows you to care for something — and it’s needs — aside from your own. And you can expect to be tested. Dogs have personalities, too! They might not listen, do what they want to do or piss you off by breaking house rules. But dealing with them appropriately, how you respond to those things, is also a part of taking responsibility. Having a pet can teach you to be patient, mindful and considerate.

Exercise

Those who have pets are more likely to be motivated to exercise. The need to take care of your pup by taking them out for a walk, jog or run encourages  you to lead a healthier lifestyle. And even if working out isn’t your thing, and you’d rather take your pup to the dog park to play with other pups, that’s fine, too. Gain 10 pounds and see if your dog cares. Probably not. A few pounds gained, a few pounds lost, your pup will love you either way.

Other health benefits

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have both conducted heart-related studies on people who have pets. The findings showed that pet owners exhibit decreased blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They’re more likely to be less stressed and easily recover from sickness faster that non-pet owners. Can you say that about any of your exes?

One-sided arguments

When you get to scolding your dog about something they did wrong, he’s not going to yell back. He’ll just look at you with the “are you finished or are you done” face and walk away. And when you realize you ought to laugh at yourself for yelling at your dog when it wasn’t that serious, you’ll indirectly learn to control your emotions. Because sometimes we all get all bent out of shape trying to convince others that their actions upset us, only to later come to the conclusion that scolding and yelling resolves nothing and isn’t a constructive way to communicate.

Photo: WebMD

Great listener

When you just need someone to be there and listen, no judgement, that’s what a puppy can give you. They won’t pretend to listen or flat out ignore you.

Helpful for meeting new people

Having a doggie improves your social skills. When you take your dog to the park, to outdoor cafés or with you to run errands, you can be sure you’ll be paid a compliment or two. Who knows, a simple compliment could lead you to someone who’s datable.

Avoid hurting someone else in the process

Most importantly, getting a puppy and not jumping into a new relationship will keep you from hurting someone else in the process. Great friends make good rebounds, but once that rebound relationship has run its course you’ve also lost yourself a really close friend. And if they were someone who came into your life and instantaneously became your rebound partner, congratulations! You’ve probably come to the realization you didn’t actually like this person, and instead you we’re lonely, comfortable jumping from one emotional attachment to the next.

I’m not saying that rebound relationships don’t serve a purpose, I’m simply saying there are alternatives to jumping out of one relationship and into another. There are many ways to deal with unloading your emotional baggage that don’t include getting other people involved or jeopardizing your integrity.

This article was originally written for Blavity.com by DeJanae Evins.