Looking for love in all the wrong places? Linfield psych professor has a tip

If you’re tired of Match.com, try looking for love at the Humane Society, says Mary Lee Nitschke, a Linfield professor who specializes in human-animal bonds.

Paw Nation, an AOL news affiliate, picked up Nitschke’s comments in an article about love at the dog park, and The Oregonian advised readers to “Love a pet this Valentine’s Day.”

Fido won’t criticize your driving or wake up grumpy, and he’s always up for a long walk on the beach.

He can also be a draw for other singles, says Nitschke, who studies the therapeutic benefits of animals. Someone walking a dog is more likely to have opportunities for social interaction. Pets attract comments, and that opens the door for conversation.

But they’re not just a singles magnet. Pets themselves can provide many of the benefits of stable, nonjudgmental companionship. And they get their owners moving, which is good medicine.

“If you want to feel good about yourself, stroke a cat that really wants to be stroked,” Nitschke says.

And if you can’t adopt a pet? Buy a plant. Human primates have a need to nurture. Even caring for a potted violet can lift your spirits.

Psychology Studies at Linfield

Paw Nation

The Oregonian

Association for Psychological Science