The other day I was in Best Buy with a few friends trying to haggle my way into a good deal on a plasma television. The New Yorker in me does not like to pay retail. So after spending thirty minutes trying to get something for far cheaper than what the man in the blue shirt was trying to get me to pay, I walked out. The art of negotiating the sales deal is being able to walk away. The art of seducing a woman is also exercising the power of walking away.

But this blog is not about how to purchase a plasma television or how to walk away from a woman to turn her on sexually. This is about the conversation we had in my car heading to the Apple store.

Of the three guys in the car, two of them are in relationships and I was recently in a long relationship. We got to talking about the pluses and the minuses of being in a relationship. I love a good relationship, but sometimes we’re not ready for the relationship we’re in — you’re too young, you met her when you were in a weird time in your life when you don’t want a relationship, or whatever the reason might be.

There are a lot of reasons why men and women do not want relationships. Some men want to keep on having fun until they’re ready for a relationship. Some women are the same way.

The bottom line here is this: If you’re not ready for a relationship and you’re in one, you need to start being honest with yourself. Ask yourself a few questions:

? Why are you in this relationship?
? What would it be like if you were single again? (and try not to apply the “grass is always greener” idea here)
? Are you happy sexually?
? Do you and your partner communicate really well?
? Is your partner someone with whom you can picture spending the rest of your life?
? Does your partner allow you to be an individual?
? Does your partner criticize you for not being the person they want you to be?
? Does your partner encourage you to hang with your friends and to enjoy things as an individual?
? Do you and your partner see eye to eye on money issues?
? For those of you who have a kid, do you and your partner see eye to eye on family issues?

Life is short and a relationship takes a lot of work to make happen. There are no perfect relationships. But you need to make sure that you’re with a partner who is everything that you want. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time – yours and theirs- by staying in a relationship that is not what you want.

So we were all talking about this in the car, and I came up with the perfect solution for people who are in a relationship that is not working: Instead of torturing each other and staying in a relationship because of the fear of being alone, you need to get out of the relationship and get yourself a Labrador!

Labradors are loyal. Labradors are fun. They’ll cuddle up with you on the floor while you’re watching television. They’ll sleep next to you in bed. They’ll get your lazy ass out the house and be the best workout partner you’ve ever had. Not only that, but Labradors (especially the black English version), are the prettiest dogs.

So once you get of this relationship and get a Labrador, allow the Labrador to be the best prop you’ve ever had . . . because no one can resist petting a Labrador. For those of you who are in co-dependent relationships and need to get out, I’ve just given you an escape plan.

It’s time to break up and get yourself a Labrador. If you’re in need of the name of a good breeder, email me. I know quite a few good Labrador breeders.

And if you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a five year-old Labrador. Her name is Daphne, and she totally kicks ass! She’s not a substitute relationship, but the energy you get from a dog will make you feel far less lonely than you think you would after you end a relationship.