So you've found the person of your dreams. They share your hobbies and your values, and they even like the same television shows that you do. However, after a few dates, you find out that they're an animal lover. Not only does he or she own several pets, but they have photos of their furry housemates on their phone. If that's not odd enough, they let their pets sleep with them. On their bed.
You, on the other hand, don't share their affinity for house pets. Maybe you suffer from allergies, maybe you had a bad experience or maybe you believe that your time and money is better spent on something that requires less cleanup. Maybe it's an issue that you don't feel strongly about one way or the other, but their devotion to their pets is off-putting.
When you were filling out your online dating profile or considering the type of man or woman you'd be interested in dating, the topic of pets probably never crossed your mind. Especially if you are not an animal lover, you may not have realized how polarizing this issue can be. Keep reading to learn how to date someone with pets when you're not an animal lover.
What Is Your Objection?
When it comes to your love life, is the issue of pets a deal breaker? It may be, depending on your objection.
Perhaps you simply aren't comfortable around animals. You didn't grow up with a pet, and you don't necessarily feel that you're missing out by not having one now. If that's the case, give it time. You may never fall as deeply in love with your partner's cat or dog as they have, but you may learn to tolerate the fact that they exist and may even make an appearance on an outing or two.
Maybe you don't like certain types of pets because you had a bad experience. The memory of a dog bite or a cat bite can stay with you for a long time. Once again, this might be an issue that resolves itself with time. If your partner's pet is well-behaved and unobtrusive, you may be able to peacefully coexist.
However, if you suffer from allergies or asthma, that is an issue that you will always have to deal with. No matter how much you love your significant other or how well-behaved their pet is, unless your partner decides to make a pretty big sacrifice, you may have to recognize that this is a significant incompatibility. If your allergies prevent you from living with pets comfortably and your partner can't imagine a world without a dog's devotion, you may eventually be forced to deal with resentment, disappointment and an unhappy relationship.
The Game of Give and Take
As long as you don't have any health concerns that are exacerbated by animals, you and your pet-loving partner may be able to enjoy a happy relationship, as long as both of you are willing to make a few sacrifices.
Because the issue of pets is one that is so important to so many people, it may be best to address it early in the relationship. However, when you bring the issue up to your partner, resist the urge to issue an ultimatum. If your partner is a "love me, love my pet" type of person, this approach probably won't go well for you. While you're coming to terms with the fact that your partner is an animal lover, they're probably trying to come to terms with the fact that you aren't, and an ultimatum may very well bring your relationship to a screeching halt. Basically, don't threaten anything that you're not ready to actually follow through with.
When all is said and done, you and your partner may never see eye to eye on the issue of pets. However, as your relationship progresses, you may be able to strike a balance that makes you both happy. Eventually, you may warm up to your partner's pet, and you may even decide that a trip to the park with them is fun every once in a while. Alternately, once your partner finds the companionship they crave in their relationship with you, they may be able to occasionally leave their pet behind in favor a weekend away. But be realistic; your animal-loving partner is unlikely to ever decide that having a pet isn't important to them.
Are you interested in finding someone who will share your lifestyle and preferences? At Love2Date Singles, we offer a great range of lifestyle sites that are designed to make it simple for you to connect with other singles in your area. Signing up is free, so create your profile today.