If you want more happiness, get a pet.
In the 80s and 90s, research came out suggesting many benefits from pet ownership. From reduced risk of asthma, allergies, and cardiovascular disease to increased mood and wellbeing.
Some doctors started recommending pet ownership to their patients.
I thought the decision was a no-brainer. It seems fun and the companionship will be great. Once I have enough money, let’s get a pet!
But as scientists became more rigorous with their research, many of the benefits started to disappear.
The average person sees no change to their mood and life satisfaction from having a pet, although there are outliers.
The benefits were overstated while the costs were swept under the rug.
That doesn’t mean I won’t be getting a pet, only that I have to think harder before I make a decision.
Let’s start with something objective.
When I was 16, I had the craziest summer of my life.
I woke up in the middle of the night, my heart pounding and my palms sweating.
Why oh why? Why had she broken up with me? I want her back!
Walking, talking, working, studying – whatever I was doing, she would pop back into my head. I called, texted, and banged on her door. She told me she never wanted to see me again.
I was a
man boy with love spurned. Woe was me. Not.