In France, nearly one in two households owns at least one pet. But what effect on the couple? Can a dog or a cat help to seduce or on the contrary break a romantic relationship? What if the animal takes up too much space?
The animal benefits on men are no longer to be proven. Many people say to themselves less stressed and feel less alone in contact with them. In couple relationships, it seems that animals can also work miracles. Nevertheless, they can sometimes monopolize the attention of one of the partners and trigger jealousy on the other, or play the love Kills when they interfere in bed. So it’s about finding the right balance so that relationships are healthy and no one feels wronged.
When the animal brings together and allows the couple to be more united
The animal, a factor of seduction that can facilitate the romantic encounter
According to a survey carried out in 2021 by the magazine Yummypets, 45% of respondents believe that it is easier to approach someone with a pet. Indeed, as the analysis Sébastien Garnero, psychologist and sexologist: “The animal can promote an interaction which passes through a register other than direct seduction”. 36% of respondents also say they are more attracted to people who also have a pet.
A microproject between the lovers
The fact of choose an animal together can quite unite the couple: “The two partners are equal in the investment supporting this project. When it is a couple without children who together choose a pet, it can be like a substitute for the child that we do not yet have. If the animal is already there, then it is necessary to find and make its place ”, underlines the psychologist.
In what cases can the animal separate the couple?
When the pet becomes the companion animal
Over 27% of those surveyed by Yummypets say often or always put their animal before the spouse. The importance of the animal is strong especially for single people, because there is an emotional lack, but it can become more embarrassing when there is a partner: “If there is a overinvestment in animals by one of the members of the couple, this can be a problem, because the animal can then be seen as a rival », Emphasizes our expert. However, one should not exclude the other.
When it encroaches too much on the life of a couple
Nearly 35% of respondents agree that the animal sometimes encroaches on their sentimental life and 29% admit that it is sometimes present in the most intimate moments. Sébastien Garnero, is rather unfavorable to the presence of the animal in the bedroom : “Studies have also revealed that the presence of a dog or a cat in the room was a real ” love Kills ” for some of the couples. ”
When the cat or the dog makes you jealous
In fact, one of the partners can feel excluded and develop a feeling of jealousy towards the animal which attracts all the attention. Not to mention that the latter can himself become jealous if his place is not clearly established, as evidenced by one of the respondents: “My cat prefers my boyfriend to me and is jealous of me when he kisses me under their eyes. ”
Place of the animal in the couple: advice from the shrink to find the right distance
On the master’s side, do not doanthropomorphism (tendency to attribute human feelings to animals):
“We can tend to humanize the animal too much. However, it is preferable to be as close as possible to the specific needs of it. Contact with other animals, socialization, all of this is important to him. If we do not create differentiating benchmarks, the animal can become anxious, aggressive, overfeed, etc. ”
On the other hand, do not make too many personal projections on the animal: “Some may prove to be jealous of the animal. In this case, we must ask ourselves the reasons for this feeling of emotional insecurity. Need for recognition, fear of rivalry, etc. Is there a reminder of family or love experiences? What does this echo? ”
The psychologist advises reserve certain moments only dedicated to the couple and others to the animal : it is essential to find a dialogue between the needs of the couple and those of the animal. Everyone must be able to find their differentiated place in this cohabitation and the couple must know how to do activities without the animal.
Animal and couple’s sex life: 4 questions
If an animal sleeps in the bed, what impact on sexuality?
Our specialist recommends preserve the bedroom and privacy:
“There are places that must be sacred, protected. Desexualization or embarrassment related to the presence of an animal is one of the main libido issues evoked by patients. ”
This also applies to certain places such as a sofa on which the couple has their habits, the shower or the toilet. It is good to determine certain spaces that are not accessible to the animal.
Can we leave the animal in the bedroom when making love?
“I am rather against the presence of the animal in the bedroom. Especially during intimate moments. It’s like with a child: could we imagine making love while he is in the room? », Insists Sébastien Garnero.
What if one is used to having the animal in the room and the other does not want its presence?
The presence of an animal in the bedroom can interfere with desire and, as we will see, also affect the quality of sleep. So if one of the partners does not wish to share this intimate space with an animal, it must be understood and respected by the other.
What if one of the partners does not like the animal?
Almost 80% of those polled by Yummypets agree that they couldn’t be with someone who doesn’t like animals and 70% would even be willing to leave their partner if they didn’t get along with their animal. “The shared affection for animals is an important criterion for choosing a partner, because we will look for people who resemble us. On the other hand, if one of the two has an aversion to the animal, it will be complicated, because the other will not be able to tolerate it, ”confirms our specialist.
What to do with the animal in the event of separation? ““ The parental couple ”can last beyond the break-up and shared custody of the animal can be organized. It depends on the quality of the relationship between the couple. But if there is too much association between the animal and the other, it is sometimes better to leave sole custody to one of the partners. ”
Sharing your bed with an animal: the health risks
According to the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance, sleeping with your pet is a nuisance for sleep in almost three out of ten cases (source 1). In addition, diseases can be transmitted. The fleas, the ticks, bacteria, parasites and the infections that the animal carries can come into contact with our body at night. Not considering some dogs and cats lick their owners in their sleep without them realizing it, or that others can bite them in case of a little too abrupt awakening.
Finally, if you are a female and want a dog, remember to prefer a female over a male. Indeed, mind-blowing as it sounds, you could otherwise develop a semen allergy.
In most cases, the animal is unifying and binding in the couple. In addition, we know that it calms stress, anxiety, gives meaning, etc. So there are plenty of positive things, both on a personal level and in relation to the romantic relationship. However, it is important to clearly define the spaces reserved for it and those who must be protected, not only for the good of the couple, but also for that of the animal.