Today, many folks consider romance a male versus female thing, assuming it all depends on gender. If men do X and women do Y, then everyone should be blissfully happy, right? Yet, this dichotomy just erects a huge wall between the genders, creating a false container that people think they must inhabit. Moreover, it engenders a ton of unnecessary cultural baggage!
Indeed, most successful relationship skills create joy, freedom and self-expression, meaning you can like whatever you like despite your gender!
Why not consider romance from a cats-versus-dogs perspective of instead of males versus females? A relationship guru may say, “You’re already regressing into dualism so what’s the difference between male versus female if you’re just doing cats versus dogs?”
If you are oriented to romance like a cat, anything seems romantic if it proves your partner was thinking about you before you walked into the room. You feel all warm and fuzzy over forethought; i.e., your lover brings you flowers or perfume, makes dinner reservations or sends a card.
In terms of romance, for people oriented like dogs, anything that says they’re a good dog is romantic. Telling your dog partner that they did something fabulous, you’re proud of them or they made a wise decision, makes them feel loved and opens them up.
Problem: Dogs rarely think about things or people in advance, being very much in the moment. So, they don’t think about those in their lives until they hear the keys in the door. Once they hear that familiar key and doorknob turning, they’re so excited and overjoyed because YOU’RE HOME!!! All they want is for you to say that they’re a good dog and have you play with them and feed them. Yes, dogs are quite simple. However, for cats that’s not very thoughtful. They wonder why you weren’t thinking of them before they arrived.
Solution: Identify whether your partner is more like a cat or dog. Clearly, people are on a continuum, possessing both some cat and dog qualities so focus on their primary orientation. No matter your orientation, if you’re living with a cat, do things for them that prove that you were thinking of them before you saw them. If you’re living with a dog, acknowledge them using affirmations. In other words, tell them they’re a good dog every now and then.
Example A: You’ve got date night, your partner is a cat and you didn’t make reservations. Not because you are unthoughtful, but because in dog terms, what’s going to make you a good dog is if you get you the food that your cat partner wants in that moment. You’re not thinking in advance of making a reservation since you don’t know what your cat partner will be in the mood for, and you want to do a good job.
However, for the cat, frustration and feelings of being uncared for will arise. “Why couldn’t you just pick up the phone and make a reservation? What’s up with that?”
If your partner is a cat, you will win bonus points for making reservations. Whether or not you picked the ideal restaurant is moot.
Example B: Dogs are confused when in the midst of their workday, their cat calls and says, “Hey, I was just thinking about you. How’s it going? I was just calling to tell you that I’m thinking about you.” This is how a cat says that they care.
So cats, if you want to affirm your partner who is a dog, call them at noon and say You know, I was thinking about how awesome you are in our relationship and what a good dog you are.”
The Five basic ways that people show they care and feel cared for are gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time and touch.
Try to identify if your partner is a cat or a dog. Then, figure out how you can adapt two or three different ways to make them feel cared for into either a forethought or affirmation.
- Gifts. Cats: Order several smaller gifts ahead of time and wrap them. Then, give them one at a time to your cat when she least expects it! Dogs: say the gift you got them is a treat for being a ‘good dog’.
- Acts of Service. Cats: Do the dishes when it’s his turn and tell him that you remembered he had an important meeting the next day, and you knew that he needed some down time. Dogs: Do the dishes and tell her that she’s so amazing that you just had to show your gratitude.
- Words of Affirmation. Cats: leave little notes saying how much you appreciate them hidden around the house where they can find them. Dogs: Tell them how wonderful they are in the moment.
- Quality Time. Cats: Tell them ahead that you wish to spend time with them at their favourite restaurant, then make those reservations! Dogs: Gaze deep into their eyes and be present with them while you detail what a great job they did.
- Touch. Cats: When they come home, have scented candles lit, rose petals arranged on the bed while playing soft music in the background. Say you want to give them a sensual relaxation massage. Dogs: Cuddle them and rub their back while you tell them how amazing they are.
Now, you just need to figure out how to create this romantic home run, which will make your partner feel nurtured and seen. Then, they can do the same for you. Clearly, this playful, loving back-and-forth scenario can intensify the nature of your relationship by making it juicier and more nourishing
Recommended Read: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman