Pets hold many roles for us people. They are best friends, confidantes, and companions. And when it comes to romantic relationships plus pets, they can also be the first child, the tester for more, the band-aid, the dealbreaker, or the thing to fight over once it’s over. I’ve seen many relationships revolve happily around a pet as well as become bitter when trading custody of or it.
I don’t own any animals and I tend to gravitate toward those who don’t either. I have nothing against pets and have had cats, birds, fish, and a dog. However, I seem to have a natural instinct that turns off towards potential mates tied to an animal. When I peruse people’s dating profiles, I admit it, I make snap judgments when it comes to pets. I prefer guys who don’t have cats, I always steer clear of crazy cat ladies in the making, and if there is too much mention of the weight of a dog’s opinion, I will shut it down. In person, men with tiny dogs drop down a notch and anyone with a pitbull gets a second look. Even though I’ve always pictured myself owning a dog at some point, I hesitate a bit when it comes to a potential date having one of their own.
I don’t believe I’m insecure about what the pet will think of me, and if I started sneezing around an animal belonging to someone I really liked, I would still figure out a way to make it work. But beyond initial impressions and stereotypes, pets make an impact. Allergies or strong preferences can be dealbreakers. Some weigh heavily on the pet’s “judgment” of potential mates. And I’ve had friends who have become more attached to the animal than the relationship, which leads to a different type of heartbreak. While I’m not afraid of any of the above, I do realize pets hold a significant role to many and are not to be taken lightly.
After writing this and realizing dating someone with a furry little best friends is not so scary, I may start checking my instincts to avoid them. I will, however, be wary of anyone overusing “we” in reference to the animal + human.
Image Layout: Trina
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