TikTok's 'Golden Retriever Boyfriend' Trend Puts Loyalty To The Test

When it comes to dating, everyone has a horror story or two. In this day and age, these types of negative experiences get labeled as some sort of toxic dating trend, or in the case of TikTok, it gets turned into a viral term over which a shared sense of camaraderie is born. But not all dating-related terms and phrases that pop up on TikTok are based on bad experiences with equally bad people. Instead, every once in a while, a term comes about that's actually complimentary, and there's no greater compliment than being called a "golden retriever boyfriend" — a hashtag that currently has over 65 million views on TikTok.


Although all dogs are sweet, precious, and perfect in their own way, the golden retriever takes all those aspects and multiplies them by 1000. Golden retrievers aren't just beautiful dogs, but their loyalty, their love for their humans, and their overall personalities make them one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States — just behind another breed of retrievers, the Labrador. It's because of these factors that having a golden retriever boyfriend (or partner of any gender), is exactly what everyone wants. We're over the bad boys, so bring in the good boys.

Wondering if your partner meets the criteria to be a golden retriever version of a human? Here's how to tell if they fit the bill.


They're goofy, but supportive

One of the best things about golden retrievers is that their puppy ways follow them into adulthood, keeping them forever fun, goofy, and carefree. With a golden retriever boyfriend, that's exactly what you can expect. Granted, just because they know how to have fun, that doesn't mean they don't know how to be serious when they need to be. Golden retriever boyfriends are known to be extremely supportive. It's in their DNA to give those they love unwavering support both in good times and in bad. In the latter, you can expect them to lighten the mood, keep things positive, always look on the bright side of life, and most importantly, never leave your side. 


If you're sick, they'll be there with a joke and a cuddle. If you're sad, they'll listen to you cry and find a way to brighten your mood. With just a look or a few words, they know exactly what to say to make you feel unconditionally loved and hopeful. 

Your friends and family love them

Have you ever met a person who didn't immediately fall in love with a golden retriever? Probably not. It doesn't take much for a golden retriever to win over anyone because they're the sweetest. Literally. These types of partners are generous with their love and will immediately welcome everyone with a hug — and none of it is for show. 


While some people will go out of their way to look like they're nice and manipulate their way into the hearts of those they meet, a golden retriever boyfriend doesn't have any manipulation up their sleeves. They are who they are and don't have to make a show of being all the things we ultimately want in a partner because, well, that's just who they are. When someone is truly a good person to their core, it shows in everything they do and how they interact with those in your life who are most important to you.

They're usually athletic

Don't be fooled by the word "athletic." Golden retriever boyfriends, if you should meet them on an app, aren't the type to post those oh-so-awful gym selfies. In fact, these types of partners are rarely gym rats. The type of athleticism we're talking about means that they love to hike, go for long walks on the beach, and they love a good game of catch. Really. Who doesn't love to toss around a ball, play tennis, or head to the beach for some volleyball?


Golden retriever partners are up for anything all the time. They take adventure to new heights and always have a good time doing so. They love to get out there and explore the world, leaving the map and compass at home. For them, every day offers something new to see and experience, and they want to take you along for the ride. 

They're easy going

If you're an uptight, anxious sort, then a golden retriever partner is exactly what you need in your life to bring you back to your center. Although they know that life can be tough and relationships can be complicated, these kinds of people also realize that sometimes taking everything so seriously does more harm than good. Because of this, they're laid back and easygoing. They instinctively know what needs to be addressed as urgent and what just needs to roll off their — and your — shoulders. 


The world can throw a lot of stuff at us that we are not always prepared for, but a golden retriever partner has learned how to take it all in stride. Just like the dog version of themselves, these partners don't waste their energy on the unnecessary and just naturally go with the flow. It's this way of living life that teaches us to slow down and be in the moment.

They're extremely loyal

All dogs — once they have your heart in their paws — are loyal, and golden retriever partners are no exception. For them, their loyalty knows no bounds and they will prove that again and again. It's a matter of pride for them, and ties into their sense of dignity and self-respect. Someone who respects themselves and values that part of their personality is going to be more loyal than most. 


While this doesn't mean that your golden retriever will never cheat — we are still talking about humans after all — the chances are less likely and, if they do, they're going to be upfront and honest about it. Loyalty comes in all forms and can be conveyed in many ways, but no matter what loyalty looks like, a golden retriever partner has mastered it. In fact, the idea of not being loyal doesn't really exist. Loyalty comes with the territory of who they are and what they bring to the relationship. 

They're affectionate

If you've ever spent any time with a golden retriever, then you already know that they're unbelievably affectionate. When they sit next to you, they lean into you. When you stop petting them, they give you a playful nudge because they don't want you to stop just yet, and they have an adorable little trait where they like to drape one of their front paws over your arm. There's no such thing as close enough for golden retrievers and the same can be said about golden retriever partners. 


It's all about cuddling, spooning, kissing, not being afraid of PDA, and embracing their sensitive side. They're proud to be your partner, both behind closed doors and out in public, so the affection never stops. And why should it? If you love someone and feel the urge to kiss them, no matter who might be around, you should do it. We only come around this way once, and showing love and affection is part of the human condition and one that should be exercised often. 

They're their authentic selves

Golden retrievers don't put on airs and try to be something they're not. It doesn't even cross their mind to not be authentic, because it's simply their nature. They have no need to fake it, to fit into someone else's idea of how they should be, and they may eschew anything that might even suggest that they try to live up to the expectations of others. 


"They are not trying to be what they feel women want and act themselves much like the [golden retriever], they are happy-go-lucky, dependable and affectionate," founder of the Mattr dating app Jamie Johnston told Metro UK.

With a golden retriever partner, it's not a matter of what you see is what you get. It's a matter of what they show you — their authenticity — is what you get. And what you get with them, you never want to let go. 

They want you to be happy

Golden retriever partners live to make others happy. It doesn't matter what it takes, from silliness to cuddles, to being there for you when it feels like the world is against you, these partners prioritize you and your happiness. They truly flourish as human beings when they know that they can be part of whatever is going to lead to your complete happiness — and have a sixth sense as to how to do it too. 


With this need for you to be happy, also comes selflessness. Golden retrievers are selfless in every way. They have no qualms about dropping what they're doing or rearranging their schedule if doing so will result in you feeling safe, happy, and loved. It may not technically be their life's work to be the best possible partner out there, but they just end up being the best by default. They know that one partner's happiness makes for a healthy, happy relationship, so that's another reason why it's their focus.

They're basically perfect

As Charles Schulz, creator of the comic strip "Peanuts" once wrote, "All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a dog." There's definitely something to be said for that. Dogs are extraordinary creatures whose main purpose in life is to love and be loved — can you imagine if that's what your existence was devoted to? With a golden retriever partner, that's exactly what you're going to get: true love and pure devotion. You'll always be able to count on them, trust them, and know they'll be there with a smile and a cuddle in any and all situations. 


Although calling any human being perfect can feel like a stretch, when it comes to golden retriever partners, they're as close as you're going to get. Some may say perfection is overrated, but in a world where toxic dating trends are running rampant and society often feels like it's spinning out of control, a golden retriever partner is exactly what you want. You just might not realize it yet.