In the world of dating, it’s a jungle out there. People come and go, in and out of our lives. Some relationships last years, others only last weeks or months. Successful marriages are sacred and special. Then, there’s those of us whose marriages weren’t so fortunate. We move on, and grow from the experience. After years of enduring an unhappy marriage and going on many disappointing dates, I am very happily single and out of the dating rat race. Dates are easy to come by when wanted, but the fork has stuck in me, I’m done. Being independent, the single life is glorious and fulfilling. My world is full of love, and happiness, living with animals instead of humans. I haven’t given up on dating, rather, I’ve had enough of the games and want a kinder and gentler life. It feels good, and finally, there is peace.
Living on a lake, there is nature all around me. Every morning and evening, ducks and egrets come by to see what I’m serving up for them. The guy in the condo next to me has tortoises, whom I feed flowers off my hibiscus plants. They see me and come crawling. When the seagulls come by, they catch any food at all, in midair. Hungry little buggers. It feels good to walk around the lake, and see the wildlife; red-eyed slider turtles big as dinner plates lounging on a log, or baby moorhens following their mother with their big, tennis-racquet feet tripping them as they walk. My camera is loaded full of photos of the different animals I’ve encountered along my walks. It is relaxing not to have to argue with a spouse, or rush home to make dinner. Freedom and peace feel luxurious and wonderful.
Riding horses is rewarding for those of us who are thrill-seekers. My weekly trips to a local barn to ride had to be temporarily stopped as I healed from a herniated disk in my spine. How depressing it was not to be out in the sunshine, galloping and jumping those hyper Thoroughbred horses. Soon, it will be alright to start riding again, and I am ready (in spirit.) Coming to the stall of a favorite horse, and hearing it whinny a greeting is heartening. When I had my horse, he always whinnied at me, and loved to rub his huge head against me for a good itch. The teamwork and comraderie between horse and rider is unique. It isn’t necessary to make good conversation,since the two of you bond with touch and sight, mostly. In high school, my boyfriend had to wait as I went to ride my horse every day. It always came first. High school relationships came and went, but the horse was always there. And he was spoiled rotten, with carrot cakes on birthdays, and daily apple treats. Leaving him to go to college was more painful than when I left my ex-husband.
We value our animals, and it is obvious when you read different stories in newspapers or check out pet-related magazines. Sometimes we hear of people who squabble over who gets custody of the dog or cat. Bird Talk magazine even has a parrot "centerfold" for its bird-loving readers every month. Animals give us love that humans can’t, fully unconditional and without ulterior motives. They don’t pretend, fake or judge. They just love. Nobody gives you dirty looks when you look less than attractive in the morning. This is why animals hold a superior place in my heart to my former relationships. Does your dog or cat wait patiently for you to come home from work? The highlight of many pets’ days are when their masters come home.
When growing up, I hid in my bedroom with my cat to avoid the wrath of my mother. My cat was loving to me even if family had trouble showing love. When love relationships ended, my pets were there for me when friends weren’t able to be. Animals enrich and improve our lives. It is better to have peace and love of a pet than endure an unfulfilling and destructive relationship. My interest in dating has waned, as I work and play with the animals in my life. You don’t have to have a mate to be happy. But the love of a loyal dog or cat sure makes life more fulfilling and pleasant. If you left a relationship and are hurting, reach out and pet your animals. They will gladly lend you a loving ear… and paw.