Question: I’ve been doing some online dating. I am a woman who lives alone with pets in a home. I’ve received questions like “so do you live alone” or “who do you live with.” My instinct is to tell them I live with roommates. I feel like it is a red flag that they are asking this question without ever had met in person. I also feel like it is none of their business at this point. Should I trust my instincts or is it a way to find out if I still live with my parents? Thanks for taking my question.
You shouldn’t tell them you live with roommates because that’s one of those lies that, if revealed, will make you look strange or paranoid. You say that you live with pets. Plural. How many are we talking here? Like..2? 3? 12? Maybe you feel uncomfortable about living with a number of pets? I have two cats. Yes, I know. I’m a walking stereotype. I don’t typically tell guys I have 2. I say that I have 1 because I want to avoid giving some guy an asthma attack or allergic reaction once he enters my apartment. I sometimes volunteer with animals so I don’t care if a guy has a dog or cat. Yeah, dating a guy with a dog is a hassle because it interferes with things and makes scheduling things a tad difficult. I love animals so I look past it. But some people don’t.
Guys with cats are often considered creepy by women. Women with cats are often thought of as sad. It’s unfortunate, but even our choice in pets can sometimes work against us. Between allergies to a general dislike, having a pet does lessen your options. (PS? Anybody who says they don’t like dogs or cats is immediately considered suspect to me.)
Some women actually feel threatened by a guy’s relationship with his dog. I’ve heard stories where men and women take their dogs on dates because they want to test their potential mate’s affinity for their canine friends. Don’t get me started about people who take their dogs to the office. There’s such a thing as being too attached to your pet.
I’ll take a cat owner over a dog owner any day because cats are so self-sufficient. No need to cut dates short because they have to get home to walk Fido. You can sleep in without being awoken at 7:30 because his pup needs to pee. Dating someone with a dog really can be difficult if you’re not flexible and they’re unusually dependent on their canine.
All that being covered, let’s address your paranoia.
I’m going to use a word that I hate here:
Either they want to be sure you’re not some gold digger or transitional person
They want to be sure you live alone so you and they can have sexy time without having to worry about your roomies.
People don’t always have an agenda when they ask certain questions. You can’t be worrying that someone is plotting to cook you and eat you. I have to disagree with you that your living situation is none of their business. I always ask men about their living situation. Why? Because I don’t date couch surfers. That’s a red flag right there if a man in his thirties or forties is sleeping on some brah’s couch. I also don’t date men with roommates for reasons I have discussed ad nauseum here. I suspect that many men feel the same. They want a woman who is financially responsible and stable. They don’t want to be someone’s meal ticket.
The next time someone asks you you’re living situation, tell them exactly what you told me. You live alone and have pets. Simple. This really isn’t as dark and nefarious as you’re making it out to be. If their conversations are sexual and then they ask about your living situation, then I can see why your red flags are waving. In a case like that, the guy is angling to get you naked. But again, that’s not as horrible as you think. Big deal. He’s just a guy who wants to get laid. Stop responding and even block him if you have to.