Should You Get A Boyfriend Or A Dog? A Definitive Guide

There’s one very major factor that no one ever told you about adulthood. Even with a Sex and the City crew, an apartment full of roommates, and your daily dose of coworkers, it’s still entirely possible to feel lonely. For those nights when you definitely don’t feel like going out but aren’t wanting to go down the rabbit hole of Netflix by yourself, you might start wishing for someone warm and cuddly in bed next to you. Whether you’re fantasizing about a smoking hot boyfriend or golden retriever puppy is up to you, but both involve time, money, and lots of feelings. Here’s the definitive guide to whether you should head to the shelter or cave and sign up for OKCupid.

  1. Do you want to up your Instagram game? With a puppy, the opportunities are endless and the likes will likely be in the teens at least. With a boy, there are a lot of mixed emotions. If he’s extra handsome, your exes will certainly be jealous but they won’t be giving you likes to fuel the flames. Even your friends might eventually tire of all the cute couple grams, but dressing your dog up will never get old.
  2. What kind of commitment are you looking to make? Both boyfriends and dogs are serious buzz kills. After all, when you have a boyfriend you have to leave the bar before the real party gets started, and same goes for a dog because you’re in charge of its care and feeding. Luckily some boys are sort of self sufficient, but dogs really do need you constantly (which, for both, is part of the appeal).
  3. Are you trying to meet someone IRL? There are lots of meet cutes in this world, but they’re mostly in the movies. Having an animal forces you to leave the house daily, and you never know who you’ll meet. If you go for a rescue instead of a purse puppy you’re destined to have dudes coming out of the woodwork to hang with you and your dawg.
  4. Is the rest of your life mapped out? If you’re the type of person who can’t commit to a work out class, let alone another living thing, then you might pause on the dog. Dogs live for 10+ years, so if you’re not sure if you’ll still be in your shoebox apartment next month you’re probably not ready to add an animal to the mix. May I suggest Tinder dating or a goldfish?
  5. How many Facebook engagements have you seen this year? If the number is somewhere between 100 and 1 million, you’re probably husband hunting on the down low. That’s totally acceptable, but a dog definitely won’t come with a diamond.
  6. What’s your independence level? If you get a critter, you’ll have to be ready to walk them at all times, whether it’s through sleet, snow, or hurricanes. If you can’t go anywhere without your girlfriends, it might be hard to find the courage to venture out alone in the middle of the night, especially if your neighborhood’s not exactly the safest.
  7. Do you want to travel? If you’re looking to up your gram game by going to far away places, a dog is definitely not for you. While they look amazing on the beach (just check Pinterest for proof), you probably shouldn’t haul a pup to Tulum. You’ll have to pay someone to pup sit and the whole time you’ll be wishing you could skype your dog. In this case, a boyfriend definitely wins.
  8. Are you more jealous of people with adorable dogs or smoking hot significant others? You used to get weirdly aggressive when you saw a super cute couple holding hands. Now you mostly feel that way when someone strolls by with a good dog.
Margaret is a freelance writer who covers pop culture and fashion in New York City and currently writes for Page Six's Style section. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, xoJane, and Racked. She tweets about her crippling caffeine addiction and teen TV obsession here: @margaretabrams