As I sift through the masses of "eligible" bachelors on dating mediums like Tinder and OKCupid, there is a lot to take in. The science behind what specifically attracts our eye to another is complicated in general, let alone when that eye is looking through a screen. Nevertheless, scientists are making the attempt.
Research conducted by Khalid Khan and Sameer Chaudhry translated the perfect face-to-face meet into — you guessed it — the perfect online dating profile. They looked at usernames, bios and photos.
All of this research is well and good, and it's definitely an interesting read for the work day lunch. My selection process, however, is a bit simpler. It really boils down to: Are you a pup dad?
I'd trade any profile picture of a six-pack on the beach for one of a guy hanging out with his golden retriever. Wait, is that two golden retrievers I see? Wife me up!
Despite what it may seem, this isn't a naive, 8-year-old dating strategy (even though a lot of times, I do end up reverting to the, "A boy likes me? Ew!" mindset). I'm also not working off repressed childhood desire for puppies that were later denied to me. It's reading between the lines, ladies.
Here are the reasons you should always swipe in favor of the pup dad:
1. They are prepared for anything.
He practically dons his dog's accessories on a tool belt when heading to the park because, you know, "stuff" happens. He has plastic bags, water canteens, peanut butter and other treats at the ready.
But, that's not where the preparation ends. He'll even remember to pack you a snack for that long IKEA trip because he knows how badly you make decisions on an empty stomach.
2. They are forgiving.
He's had his couch peed on, his tables chewed on and his favorite sweater destroyed just like that "Weezer" song. You mistakenly forgetting your dinner plans with him is low on his list of annoyances.
Though you may have to turn on the cute similarly to the way his dog does after it goes through the trash in the house, he'll take you back with a quick reprimand and a snuggle.
3. They are present.
Dogs are well-known for their therapeutic qualities, and despite any destruction that happens while Dad's away, a pup dad possesses major "ohm" on the daily because of his furry friend. If he can be in the moment with his pooch, there is no doubt he will give you his full attention when you come home and need to vent about the daily banter with your cubicle neighbor from work.
4. They are active.
This one practically goes without saying, but dogs are always on the go. Ergo, so is your beau.
Whether it be to the park, the beach or running laps around the yard after a crazy terrier, this guy is in svelte shape for anything you throw at him (like carrying your future human babies, for example).
5. They understand relationship growth.
From a few months to one year, he has seen it all with his trusted canine companion. It wasn't always easy, but with patience and understanding, he weathered the storm and instilled confidence in his pup, which eventually got them out of that "piddle on the house guest" phase.
A pup dad will not expect perfection from you or the relationship in those awkward, beginning stages of dating. He is willing to put the work in and train the relationship to the point of maturity with you.
6. They always come home.
Forget about the never-ending guy's night. This guy has a pup to feed, take outside to go potty and put to bed. You'll never have to wonder why he ended up at Joe's the next morning because he'll already be on kibble breakfast duty in his own humble abode.
And what's that? He's making you some pancakes, too. Work it, girl.
A grounded, loyal man and a puppy? Bow wow.