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Golden Retriever Boyfriend: What Is It & Do You Have One?

Golden retriever boyfriends are all over TikTok - and the trend has spawned a whole host of boyfriend dog types, because nothing is too weird for the internet

A golden retriever seemingly smiling at the camera demonstrating their golden retriever energy
Pexels / Helena Lopes

A golden retriever seemingly smiling at the camera demonstrating their golden retriever energy
Pexels / Helena Lopes

Taylor Swift didn’t just bring us the world-changing Eras tour - she also brought us the concept of the golden retriever boyfriend through her relationship with Travis Kelce

So you might be wondering, what is a golden retriever boyfriend? Don’t worry, we’re here to break it down for you. 

We did all the digging and discovered the golden retriever boyfriend meaning, as well as the concept of the golden retriever boyfriend and black cat girlfriend dynamic. 

Still unsure what we’re on about? Read on, we’ve got you. 

What is a Golden Retriever Boyfriend?

A golden retriever boyfriend is a partner - it doesn’t have to be a boyfriend necessarily, change the term to what suits you! - that is enthusiastically affectionate and supportive. 

They channel the same energy as golden retriever dogs, which have a very friendly and gentle nature, which is what gave the ‘golden retriever boyfriend’ its meaning. 

The term golden retriever boyfriend gained popularity on TikTok as users started sharing examples of their own golden retriever-like partners, in response to commentary around Taylor Swift’s burgeoning relationship with Travis Kelce. 

If you think about the golden retriever boyfriend meaning, you might consider them an ideal partner, as they are openly loving, kind, supportive and generally very happy to be around you.

How to Know if You Have a Golden Retriever Boyfriend

Remember - this term can refer to anyone! So you can have a golden retriever partner in any form. Take this golden retriever boyfriend quiz to see how your partner matches up, compared to the definition of a golden retriever boyfriend. 

If they get three or more, you have a golden retriever partner:

  • They have a goofy, silly nature
  • They are always very excitable and enthusiastic, particularly around you
  • They’re very affectionate
  • They love doing things to help you - such as carrying your bags
  • They are very loyal to you
  • They big you up to others
  • They don’t cause conflict or drama
  • They bring you gifts - even little ones - just because they can
  • They have a luscious golden coat

How many golden retriever boyfriend traits did your partner match up to? There are lots of TikTok videos about golden retriever girlfriends and golden retriever partners too - so check them out if you’re still unsure.

Origins of the Golden Retriever Boyfriend

The term golden retriever bf (or boyfriend) started gaining popularity on TikTok as far back as 2021, but it’s Taylor Swift’s relationship with the very enthusiastic, affectionate Travis Kelce that has sent the term stratospheric.

There are now over 129m views on TikTok videos about golden retriever boyfriends and the meaning of the term. 

If you want to jump on the trend, you need to make a video about your partner and caption it with details of their golden retriever energy, or use it to make commentary about another couple, such as Tom Holland and Zendaya

Black Cat Girlfriend and Golden Retriever Boyfriends

The rise of golden retriever energy gave way to another trend - the golden retriever boyfriend and black cat girlfriend. 

This is used to refer to a partnership where one side is more enthusiastic and over the top, whilst the other is more reserved and poised.

These two energies seem to balance each other out well, and plenty of TikTokkers rushed to name their favourite celebrities as black cat girlfriends and golden retriever boyfriends.

Again, this term can apply to any relationship - switch up the names to suit you and your partner.  

Famous Golden Retriever Boyfriends

Still not sure if you’ve got the idea of golden retriever energy? Here are some famous men who radiate golden retriever boyfriend energy.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling smiling slightly and waving
Gerald Matzka / Getty Images

Ryan Gosling is the ultimate golden retriever - not only did he throw himself into the world of Barbie and pull off a stellar performance, which he has frequently said he did for his daughters, he never misses a moment to celebrate his wife.

He used much of his Barbie press tour to promote his wife, Eva Mendes, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, including wearing a necklace with her initials, a t-shirt promoting her work, and constantly giving her credit for allowing him the time to work. 

Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce grinning with his arm affectionately around taylor swift as she looks up at him adoringly
Patrick Smith / Getty Images

Travis Kelce is the guy who made golden retriever energy mainstream. He is often seen at Taylor Swift's performances, supporting her, and raves about her accomplishments to the press. 

The guy even made her a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it - if that’s not golden retriever coded, we don’t know what is.

Tom Holland

Tom Holland and Zendaya gazing and smiling at each other
Karwai Tang / WireImage / getty

Tom Holland might also fall under the umbrella of a hot rodent boyfriend, but you can be both. It’s clear to see how smitten he is with long-term girlfriend Zendaya, giving strong golden retriever bf vibes. 

Doberman Boyfriends and Other Dog Types

Oh, did you think there was only one type of dog energy for your partner? No, this is the internet so it can never get too weird. 

Doberman Boyfriend

A doberman boyfriend is a partner who is more strong and silent, than goofy and affectionate. They have a ‘protector’ personality and might not be that sociable, but will accompany their partner in order to play ‘bodyguard’. 

Rottweiler Boyfriends

Those with rottweiler energy will be tough-seeming and even appear aggressive, however they let their guard down when alone with their partner and will be sweet and affectionate. 

German Shepherd Boyfriends

If your partner has German shepherd energy, they will be quick to defend you, should the need ever arise. They’re sweet and loyal until tested. 

Black Cat Boyfriends

Obviously not a dog, but this is another partner type according to the kids on TikTok. Black cat energy means you’re a little aloof, very poised and seem somewhat distant. You can enjoy affection, but it’s very much on your terms. 

If you have a golden retriever partner, you've pretty much hit the jackpot - why not start looking at what you need to discuss before marriage?