You’ve been dating for awhile with mixed results. You’ve been set up by friends, you tried online dating, heck, you even asked out the cute guy at the coffee bar. And just when you think you’re ready to throw in the towel, you meet the guy of your dreams. He’s devilishly handsome, sweet, romantic, and funny, to boot. Not only that, but rather than rushing into things, he wants to take the time to get to know you before it gets serious. Is this guy for real? But of course, into every life a little rain must fall. Just when you think you’re ready to take it to the next level, you bring him home only to discover that he has an aversion to pets. Whoa! Hold the phone! Whether he’s scared of dogs, allergic to dander, or he just doesn’t seem to get along with your best friend, you’ve got a problem. The real question is: how can you love someone who doesn’t love your pets?
The inability of a potential partner to get along with your furry companions can be a deal-breaker in terms of prolonging a romantic relationship. If he can’t abide by your dogs or cats and you are unwilling to throw them to the wolves (so to speak), then you have apparently reached an impasse. Face it: you need someone who loves pets as much as you do. Of course, the problem could also be your pets. Perhaps you’ve met someone who has no problem with your cat, but for some reason she gets all hissy whenever he enter your domicile. This can be an equally frustrating situation since it not only makes your gentleman caller uncomfortable, but it’s also causing Fluffy some undue stress. While either situation can leave you at your wits end, there is almost always a compromise that can be reached to allow you to have your cake and eat it, too.
You’ll need to start by trying to get to the root of the problem. If your man’s fear of dogs comes from a childhood attack, see if he’s willing to undergo counseling to correct the issue, or try to set up a situation where he feels safe interacting with your dog in order to build up his comfort level. If allergies are the culprit, he may have to seek treatment in order to go on seeing you. If, on the other hand, he seems unwilling to take any measures to compromise and insists that it’s him or your pet, you’ll have to show him to the door. Frankly, there’s something wrong with people who don’t like pets and you’re probably well rid of him. As for pets that have issues with the people you bring home, it’s likely that there is training available to help them adjust to new people. Otherwise, you will simply have to put your cat or dog in a room where they feel safe while you have your male friend over for a visit. Over time, they will no doubt become accustomed to his presence (and a few treats administered by him in a non-threatening manner could really help to speed the process).
Jennifer Kardish is a writer for Pick Up Artist where you can find great tips and advice on dating.