Dating & Pets: Do They Mix?

Name: S.
Age: 29
State: California
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.




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68 Responses to “Dating & Pets: Do They Mix?”

  1. The D-man Says:

    I have a dog and a cat and two great stories of how I came to own them. I’ve never had a date do anything less than squeal with delight when the meet them, especially the dog.

    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      Every woman squeals with delight when she meets the pets of the man she’s dating. A dog is no different than your human best friend. We’re kissing up to them. I wouldn’t take that as a sign that women loooove guys with dogs. Not only that, but that cuteness wears off after a month or so. It doesn’t sound like many of these lucky ladies you procure are in the picture that long.

      • Loveliee Says:

        I’m NOT an animal person and I’ve squealed with delight more times than I can count. Moxie’s right..I just know how to play nice.

      • Speedy Says:

        I will admit, I once let a relationship go on much longer than it should have done mostly because I became very attached to the hound. A Lab/Border Colly cross, so smart, gentle and loyal. The girlfriend only had two thirds of those qualities herself sadly.

      • The D-man Says:

        Huh. I don’t think I was trying to assert cause and effect. Just pointing out that I’ve never seen evidence that having pets is a negative.

        And in any case I have a few exes who take turns watching my pets while I’m on vacation, so evidently they like them even after the first month.

        But that really doesn’t matter. It’s more important to me that I like my pets than some girl.

        • The D-man Says:

          Oh and now that I think about it I did have a recent date tell me she’s not a dog person, but it hasn’t stopped us from seeing each other.

  2. offensivedanrebooted Says:

    I have a cat and most woman enjoy him. When I tell women about him and they want to know why I own a cat, I simply tell them I’m too busy to own a dog. Also, I tell them several geniuses and athlets ahve owned cats such as Einstein, Tesla and Tony LaRussa (former Cardinals manager). If they think I’m creepy because I own a cat screw them. I don’t accomodate any chick over the type of pet I own. (And Moxie is right–there are women who think it’s weird or Un-american for a guy to own a cat). Because at the end of the day, that cat will still appreciate what I give him, will love me and stay with me when the chips are down..The same can’t be said of most broads out there.

    • Eliza Says:

      offensivedan: No need to justify why you have an affinity for cats. Nothing wrong with liking cats. Inspite of what “society sheep” may want you to think. so what? A man has a cat or two. Any woman that judges a guy’s intentions or character on that in a negative way is ignorant. “Unamerican”. Never heard of such idiocy. If you happen to meet someone who is a fellow animal lover, they will relate to your commitment to your pet(s). That simple. People just need to find someone that will compliment their lives and support them for who they are as individuals. From the interests they have, to their line of work to the pets they own. The right person will accept you as you are.

  3. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “Every woman squeals with delight when she meets the pets of the man she’s dating. A dog is no different than your human best friend. We’re kissing up to them.”

    Good insight, I really agree with this. Better get that fucker trademarked before someone steals it.

    By way of example, I knew a girl once who came met us after a date with a guy and told me that she “met” his dog and that the guy told her that “the dog really liked her.” And, she was so thrilled about it. Do I even have to explain why that is ridiculous? Because dogs maintain such high standards and all, etc.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      By the way, while a dog is a chick magnet for men, the reverse isn’t true. A single woman with a dog is generally viewed as a red flag, in my opinion.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Absolutely true. Women treat their dogs like children. Dating a woman with a dog is like dating a single mother.

        • offfensivedanrebooted Says:

          Nah, it’s not true all the time. I know women who are not like that. Of course, you also have those who dress their dog, etc. I recall this one woman, very attractive that was interested in going out with me. I never did for several reasons one of which was how she treated her dog. The dog was this little dog with his own facebook page. Plus, she had a lot of photos of him on her own f/b page. I just could not get over that and–the fact she was an Alabama Crimson Tide fan.

          • Eliza Says:

            Ok. that is a bit much…creating a Facebook page for a dog, or cat. There is apparently a very popular dog called “Boo”–that has a huge number of fans on Facebook. It’s pretty insane…how these pets are being treated. They have clothes, daycare centers, sitters, massage therapist (no kidding!) what will be next? New Yorkers most certainly love their pets. I can see why. It’s hard to find that level of unconditional companionship. But a Facebook page? C’mon! LOL :)

        • The D-man Says:

          I see your point, but I don’t personally see it as a red flag.

      • krismae Says:

        I don’t get it. Why is that a red flag, but a single man with a cat is not?

        I have a dog, and manage to recognize she is an animal and not my offspring. I also don’t judge a guy for having a cat.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          I don’t think cats are a red flag for either gender.

          A dog and a single person is a red flag (to me) because a dog requires a lot of attention and work and, in my experience, dogs are usually owned by people more as a prop or impulsive (aw so cute!) without much reflection on what it takes to own one. And, because bad dogs are annoying, then other people (like neighbors) are imposed upon and must suffer for these bad decisions. So, dog ownership to me (in adult single people) is an indication of lack of impulse control and lack of consideration for others. For either gender, by the way. The difference is that women looooovvvee men who lack impulse control so they fail to see that it is a red flag.

          Cats don’t require so much work and don’t bother other people so it doesn’t suggest lack of impulse control or consideration to own one.

          • Trisha Says:

            I don’t think my dogs are impulse items. I actually researched the best breed for me and my lifestyle, etc. I am allergic to fur so I have Chinese Crested Hairless dogs. I have had them now for 12 years. They also have a fenced-in yard and a doggie door so they are not a date deterrent, I can, and have, gone away for the weekend leaving them locked in the kitchen with food, water and their doggie door and they survive quite well.

        • Eliza Says:

          I fully agree. Why does a red flag go up merely because a person loves their pet? And chooses to treat them kind. And yes, perhaps they don’t have children, and dote on their pet a little more than the next person. Why is that such a “questionable” trait? People need to start re-examining why red flags should present themselves differently. Like if a person drinks 4 martinis in the course of just one night! Now, that’s something to be concerned about.

          But to label someone negatively based on their affection towards a pet? Geez.

          • SB Says:

            I agree, Eliza, this is ridiculous. I love animals and would love to own a dog. Unfortunately, my current lifestyle prohibits that ( too busy, living in the city makes it very hard to find housing, etc), but dogs are fantastic companions. I certainly dont see it as a lack of “impulse control” or consideration. Really? C’mon, ppl don’t seriously buy a dog on a whim; most adults understand that owning a pet, especially a dog, requires time, money, and effort.

            If I decided that the timing was right to own a dog I would understand that it would be a time investment, a good companion, and something to go on hikes and runs with me. I also am a previous animal trainer, so I know how to train a dog to be quiet, obedient, and to sleep on a floor or in a crate and to stay out of certain rooms (kitchen, roommates rooms).
            The blanket judgment on dog owners seems out of line, but as a personal preference to not want a dog in your life then the decision to not date dog owners is valid. I don’t know any inconsiderate dog owners, and I know a lot of dog owners.

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              Ha your comment actually proves my point. You don’t have a dog? You want one, yes, but for various sensible and practical reasons which you’ve thought through, you don’t own a dog. Even though they’re really cute and fun and lovable. No dog. No red flag. Now, if didn’t go through those calculations or went through them and “decided” to get a dog anyway, then I’d say you might have ann impulse control problem.

              Red flag doesn’t mean dealbreaker. It means “be on the lookout for potential issue.” And, for single dog owners, I stand by it. Be on the lookout for impulse control issues.

              • SB Says:

                ok, fair enough. I see what you are saying. I still stand that it doesn’t really equal an impulse control problem (to me), but I can see your train of thought now and it does make sense; it “could” signal one, and for you IS a red flag.

              • Eliza Says:

                DMN: OK. I can’t see a mature adult exhibiting what you call “impulse control”. A child – walking past a pet shop – yes! You are going to witness that “child” – beg for a puppy or kitten, regardless of what is involved or the cost or commitment? Why? Because they are a child. An adult knows the level of commitment and time and cost that goes into pet ownership. So – any intelligent person is not going to buy a dog on a whim. I do emphasize that word “intelligent”. If anything, having a dog does demonstrate the ability a person has to put their needs second – to their pet at tiimes and it does show that he are capable of caring for something other than themselves. And that’s actually a great quality. It’s show that the person is nurturing and consistently responsible. Now…why are those 2 qualities red flags?

          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            I think the people DMN are referring to, which unfortunately make up a good chunk of the single dog owner population, are the ones who get pets to fill a void or use to to attract/meet the opposite sex or get attention. Those people end up being weirdly attached to their dogs. Like, the ones who bring their dogs to work or on dates or..remember this one?…leave them in the car while they go to networking events. Dogs don’t belong in offices, restaurants and stores. But people bring them to these places because they can’t afford a dog walker, like to get attention, etc. That shows poor judgment. The people who insist upon bringing their dogs to inappropriate places also display a considerable amount of self-absorption.

            Knowing a dog owner isn’t the same as dating a dog owner. I know a lot of dog owners, too. It’s because I know a lot of dog owners that I am hesitant to date a dog owner. It is a tremendous amount of work and responsibility and money. Much like when you have a child, having a dog means your time isn’t your own anymore.

            A lot of people end up with dogs as part of a split, and have to adjust to rearing the dog on their own. Which isn’t easy.

            Like if a person drinks 4 martinis in the course of just one night! Now, that’s something to be concerned about.

            To you, maybe. But not to most people. But see? You have a bias which to most just makes you sound boring and annoying. Just like the people you consider silly for not wanting to date dog owners. We all have our biases. Not sure why your bias is any less ridiculous.

  4. mari Says:

    Totally agree, and dating a guy with a dog is like dating a single father..dogs require a lot of attention and never leave for college. I agree with Moxie, just say you live alone and have some pets (curious about what sort of pets and how many) as this may make people reconsider (not the living alone part, that is a plus, the pet part). For myself, I don’t really like animals – except in theory – am really allergic to cats and not a big fan of I don’t date people who have pets which is limiting but my choice..

  5. Zammo Says:

    When it comes to women and dogs, there needs to be a distinction made ‘twixt small dogs and big dogs. A youngish woman with a tiny terrier in a tote is batshit crazy. A woman over a certain age with a big ol’ lab or retriever is cool.

    But as a dog own myself, dating other dog owners presents a new challenge – Will the dogs get along? This is a serious issue because if the dogs don’t get along then dating gets to be problematic. I once booted a dame from my place because my dog was being unruly towards her dog. Yeah, I blame my bitch. And my dog is ugly, to boot.

  6. myself Says:

    My pets have always been my barometer as to whether someone is worth me dating or not. My dogs (who love just about everyone) don’t love you, you’re out. Don’t like animals (being involved in rescue I have many), then dude is done in my books.

    And guys with cats are fine.

    • Eliza Says:

      Myself: Exactly….animals have great instincts…they do know the good from the bad. Some inherent thing. An animal can just sniff it out. Cats are very smart. They can sense if a person likes them too. They smell fear so quickly. People who don’t love animals I find are a bit on the cold side. Don’t care for people who don’t love animals or wildlife in general.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        So true, so true. I can tell when my dog really likes someone because he wags his tail a lot and slobbers extra hard. I can read dogs’ minds that’s how I know. And I know a girl is right for me if my dog “really likes” her. Other things my dog “really likes” are drinking from the toilet, smelling other dogs butts, eating out of the garbage can and rolling around in his own feces. So, yeah, not only great instincts but superb judgment. Hell, I’m going to let my dog make all decisions from now on.

        PS everything happens for a reason.

      • ming on mongo Says:

        The notion of someone letting their pet pick their human relationships is creepy right from the get-go (not to mention what it says about the owner’s poor judgment)! And if animals always have such infallible judgment, then why do they still do things like get jealous, stay with abusive owners, run into traffic, attack the mailman, and bite innocent children?

  7. Jeff Says:

    I have a dog, a year & a half into this venture. While I didn’t really want a dog I got her for my kids who are here occasionally. The ex had agreed that once trained the dog could come home with them on the weekends. The dog is trained, the ex bailed on the agreement: I have a dog! The dog can be a PITA at times as she doesn’t always fit into the photo that is my life. Fortunately she is cute as a button, Think all fluffy & white, not exactly an extension of my penis. I have a few neighbors & friends who always come through for me when I need a sitter. I had one g/f who had a pit bull. To this day I have no clue why she dumped me but I think the dog was part of it. The dog’s saving grace is that to this day I have yet to come home & find her sleeping with other dogs! :)

  8. Michael Says:

    A woman having a dog is a God send, because it is a barometer of her nuttiness and / or flakiness. If she is a normal and balanced woman she will have a normal relationship with her dog. I like dating people like that, because dog lovers have a good heart. If, however, she is a weird-o in any way it will quickly manifest in the way she treats her dog. It’s pretty evident in the way they talk about their dog which women think of their dogs as actual life partners and which ones have healthy relationships with their dogs. The ones that project that human like qualitative relationship with their dogs don’t walk away from that chick run – run as fast as you can. As for cats, as long as it’s not more than 3 really who cares ‘ya get nothing out of cat ownership so you really cannot have a relationship with them. But having more than 3 is just weird.

    • Jeff Says:

      Aren’t you generous with 3. I believe cats are solitary animals so 1 is just fine. My limit would be 2.

      • mistori Says:

        Eliza is right! You CAN have relationships with cats. I have had my cat for almost 17 years & he too greets me when I come home. He is very communicative & responsive. He follows me around, stays in the room I’m in, joins me in the kitchen when I eat & looks for me to join him when he eats. He has learned how to get my attention & how to get me to follow him & he tries to get me to follow him out on the deck to keep him company. He sleeps with me, he communicates his other needs to me, he likes to be brushed & petted, he gets upset when I am sad and he has his own daily routines & habits. He understands many words & follows many commands, he comes when I call him & goes to the places that I tell him to go to. He really is very smart & quite amazing!

    • Eliza Says:

      Michael: speak for yourself. Just because you don’t have an affinity for cats….don’t project your beliefs onto othes. Cats, just like any other animals (domestic) or otherwise–are capable of providing great companionship. And yes, you can have a relationship with a cat. I have had my Persian for 17 years already. Not one day goes by that that cat doesn’t come greet me at the door – regardless of what time I do get in. Only a fellow cat owner or true animal lover would understand that. And by the way, my cat is not “solitary”–he happens to be very social…loves people. When I have guests–he is out there and enjoys being pet.

  9. Jonathon Factory Says:

    There’s been a massive sea change over the last 10 – 15 yrs. in pet scenarios. I remember the good ol’ days when guys had dogs and gals had cats. Since I prefer cats, it was great. No more. I feel like every woman I’ve met in the last couple of years has a dog and not just a little rat dog. A big freakin’ jump-on-you dog. Most of them are so poorly trained it’s a deal-breaker. Most people are lousy at training dogs to behave, but women seem to be particularly lax in disciplining their pets.

    Add to it, the dog has been allowed to sleep with her in the bed its entire life. So now you have A.) a filthy bed and B.) competition and / or whining outside the door all night when you shut it outside the room for shenanigans.

    So if you’re hell-bent to have a dog, consider training it to sleep away from the bed and professional training. A poorly trained pet is really a colossal nuisance for all guests, dates or otherwise.

    • Michael Says:

      Yup, exactly what I mean. Chicks with dogs as surrogate humans – nope. Chicks with dogs that love them as pets – yes!

    • Eliza Says:

      JFactory: We can say the same with “human beings”. Some people are so poorly trained–from infancy–that they carry on, and have a horrible sense of entitlement – as bratty little children. They cry at the drop of a hat – if you don’t buy them the next and greatest high-tech gadget! Seriously. Kids today are so spoiled…they grow up to be obnoxious adults! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as many will say. So, it’s not the “pet” – it’s the owner. And it’s the parent that doesn’t set boundaries. Otherwise, animals are quite intelligent and can and will learn from it’s owner and will offer endless companionship and commitment. People just need to spend the time disciplining them from the onset.

  10. Howard Says:

    Pets, children, family, hang out buddies, etc can all get in the way of a relationship, If someone does not have a healthy relationship with any of the above. If one truly wants to have a relationship in the future, one has to have the current people or pets in one’s life be in such a place, that allows that.

    If a woman has her pet or kid sleep with her every night, in the bed, then she has created a problem for a future long term relationship. Allowing the pets or current people in one’s life to become too possessive of one’s time and attention is bound to lead to future problems. Even if one doesn’t plan on this happening, things have a way of just happening. So one has to often draw the line in the sand with the people and pets in one’s life. I had to put a so-called female friend in her place about this recently.

    With pets and kids, it all seems cool and cute to allow these relationships to go beyond their healthy limits, but it’s a dangerous thing to do. I met a woman once who introduced me to her 9 year old son as the man of the house. A seemingly benign thing, but loaded with all measures of possible future conflict.

    There is a bigger issue to all this. For relationships to happen, it helps, if one has created a life that someone else can actually seemlessly come into, without too much impediments.

  11. John Says:

    A woman I dated recently had a small, loveable dog. When we would sit on the couch watching TV, the dog would sit there too quietly which was fine. But whenever me and the girl started to make out, the dog would start jumping on us and kissing us. The girl was kissing me on the lips and dog started licking my cheek at the same time. Closest I ever came to a 3some. Would have been better if the dog was a girl.

    But seriously, after a while the girl put the dog in his cage so we could be alone without him interrupting. So this was a case where the dog got annoying but the girl recognized it and did something about it. So she was cool in that regard. But if she didnt do something like that, it would have gotten real old real fast.

    As for Moxie’s comment that a woman with a dog is like a single Mom, I can definitely see that. But its hard enough to meet someone without using “pet owner” as a deal breaker.

  12. LaMotta Says:

    Remember this question was about whether you should “confess” to a new prospect that you live with pets. In my mind the answer is unambiguously “yes”. You shouldn’t lie about something so central to your life. Yes, sometimes this might turn off some prospects, but so what. You can’t get them all. And it will probably attract just as many others.

    I have a cat. I realize that that might dissuade some women. I don’t need those women.

    I like dogs as well but they are too high maintenance for my life.

    The greatest ‘playa’ I ever knew had two cats. So that pretty much dispelled any concerns in my mind. Besides, its not as if you need to treat them like your child. As many people pointed out, the relationship between a single owner and the pet is what’s telling, not the presence of the pet per se.

  13. erine Says:

    Moxie. I love you. I didn’t know you had cats! I hope they are from the shelter.

    My husband and I have three cats, and he is absolutely crazy about them, although generally speaking he is a manly and decisive man. He is so tender with them, it’s just unbelievable.
    As for dating and pets and if they mix. I feel that while it might complicate things a little bit, in general, it’s like with any other situation/complication discussed on here: if a man is truly into a woman and is not just lukewarm, the pets she might have won’t matter. If they do (and he has no allergies) that does not meant pets are a red flag or a huge burden, it just means the man is not really smitten by the woman in question.

    In all fairness, I never dated with cats but I know it wouldn’t have been a problem because some of the “red flags” I may have had in other ways never stopped me from attracting men and being in respectful, wholesome relationships.

  14. erine Says:

    tp avoid all complications and doubts, the best thing is to look at those who are really into us and choose the one we are attracted to the most. Then there would be no headaches, no guessing game, no waiting by the phone, no fearing “oh my God, will he stop calling me because last night I asked if he wants to have kids down the line and we’ve only been out on a few dates”

    A woman that the man is truly interested in can get away with cats and a few “red flags” (well, pale red. I’d say – especially that each and every one of us, especially the more “complex” NYC folk have those flags)

  15. Alan Says:

    “Guys with cats are often considered creepy by women”

    never heard that before. I heart my two kitties. maybe that is why i’m such a loser with women. (or perhaps its just me).

    • Eliza Says:

      Alan: If loving kittens makes you a loser with “some” women …you are better off without those so-called women. Never heard such absurdities. Obviously people who believe that are coldhearted people who don’t care for animals in general. So, it wouldn’t be a good fit anyway.

      Men who are creepy – have a lot more oddities, than owning a cat.

      • The D-man Says:

        “Creepy” is not objective. It’s just a word women use for guys they don’t like.

        • SB Says:

          Actually, D-man, creepy has been defined. (I mentioned before here that I dance socially, and dancers tend to form a sort-of “community.” Each community has at least one “creep” involved, and leaders of the scenes have painstakingly discussed how to determine a creepy person from a socially clueless person; thus, the definition finally being sussed out or determined).

          A creepy person is one who ignores another’s boundaries (male or female; same-sex or opposite-sex). These can be socially implied boundaries, personal-space boundaries, or declared boundaries (please don’t tough my arm like that as I am ticklish, for example). Any person who disregards another’s boundaries is considered creepy and usually avoided.

          Note that creepiness can include inappropriate staring, inappropriate “following” (also called “stalking” though not the legal definition), raising topics that are inappropriate for the setting, or asking inappropriate questions, being too close physically to a person and not getting the hint when they continue to back away to the preferred amount of space, etc.

          If a person ignores “harmless” boundaries, they will also ignore more important ones such as rape, abuse, actual stalking, etc.

          • Howard Says:

            Actually I dance too. Some of this is correct. But of course it gets taken too far and devolves into total clique type behavior where it’s not just about boundaries, but hang out with a certain group, or go to a certain dance school or all manner of trivialities. All manner of assumptions then carry the day. Assume typically means you are just making an ASS of U and ME.

          • midtempo Says:

            There are many socially awkward people who might have boundary issues but don’t genuinely mean to come across as creepy; they just don’t “get it” as well as other people do. This sounds like “creepy” judgmental behavior to me.

          • LostSailor Says:

            Yes, SB, that should be the proper definition of “creepy”: stalkery and borderline dangerous. But unfortunately, D-man is correct. The “definition” has been stretched by most women to refer to men who interact with them whom they don’t find attractive. It’s a self-serving, ego-soothing palliative that let’s them off the hook for their casual and sometimes callous rejection…

          • The D-man Says:

            Creepiness is just unwanted sexual attention. If you creep out 1,000 woman before finding the one who likes your advances, are you 99.9% creepy or just approaching the wrong women for your demographic?

  16. K Says:

    I love my dog, and he’s gotten me through some bad times in my life, but he really does add difficulty to dating. Having to go home and walk him first before a date sucks, both because getting out of work earlier isn’t always easy and because it gives me less time to do hair and stuff and look nice. Oh and going away for weekends, or just sleepovers, I have to arrange for a sitter – which costs money.

    It would be much easier to date without having a dog. Even if you just have a hookup “buddy” who comes over when you’re single, it adds awkwardness. Fortunately the boyfriends I’ve had have genuinely really liked my dog, like “we’re bros” kind of relationship, but I’m sure they’d rather he wasn’t around at times.

    That said, I still put him in my online dating profile under Pets, because I think if you have pets you have to state that up-front (allergies etc.). And on Match I selected “Live Alone.” So the guys already had the info that I lived alone and had a dog, so they didn’t have to ask. Seems like that solves the problem. If the site you’re on doesn’t let you select those options, then just say you live alone.

    • LaMotta Says:

      See, to me this is telling about the female mindset.

      If you have a pet you DO live alone — such a question pertains to PEOPLE, not ANIMALS.

      If you have to stop and think about this, you MIGHT either (a) antropomorphize your met more than is healthy, or (b) be a little too worried.

      • krismae Says:

        I’m not sure K was saying that she was considering saying something other than that she lived alone because of the dog. I think she was referring to the OP’s question about stating that she lives alone to prospective dates, for fear they are trying to scope her out.

        • K Says:

          Right. You say you live alone if asked, and you put “Live Alone” as your status on Match (not sure if other sites let you do that). And under the Pets option on Match or OKCupid or wherever, you say you “Have cats” or “Have Dogs and Cats.” That way people know before they even contact you that you have pets they may hate or be allergic to, so those people get filtered out.

          You should never lie about your living situation because it makes you look sketchy later when they find out the reality.

          And I agree you shouldn’t say anything like “I have roommates – my pets!” because it makes you sound nutty.

          • midtempo Says:

            Thankfully, OKcupid doesn’t have an answer box for one’s living sitation. You’d have to mention that in the text of your profile essay, and most people don’t bother to. If I were on a site like Match that asked that question, I would leave it blank, even if I did live alone. I think the premise of weeding me out on such a question, even if I did live alone, is offensive. That’s why I don’t answer the “has car?” question on PlentyOfFish either. I do happen have a car, but I prefer not to drive it much because I prefer public transporation except during times of light traffic, and I think the idea of weeding me out based upon that is offensive. Meet me first, then ask those questions.

            And yes, I am moving into my own place this January but currently live with roommates. I have lived alone in my own apartment before. It doesn’t matter, the question is offensive.

            • Trisha Says:

              Please remember that not everywhere in NYC. In the suburbs or other sprawling locales having a car is pretty much required. I would never date a man who does not have a car. Ditto for the roommate thing; over a certain age it is a huge dating deterrent to be in a roommate situation because the woman isn’t going to want to sleep there and will get tired of always hosting.

  17. D. Says:

    I have a cat. I said as much in my online dating profile when I did that. I tried dating some allergic women and it didn’t work, even when I bought some air filters (which i still am glad to have, since I have some allergic friends, too). It’s important to state that kind of stuff up front. If someone hates cats or isn’t willing to do anything about their allergies, it ain’t gonna work because I’m not getting rid of my cat for someone. I recognize this, and I’m cool with not dating those people.

    Of the pet owners I’ve dated, most had cats. Only a handful had dogs, and the dogs did indeed make it a burden for them. Impromptu sleepover? Only if you’re ok with a mess on the floor when you get home and/or destroyed stuff because the dog is pissed. Otherwise, “Sorry, I have to get home to let the dog out.”

    That’s ok, and I understand it. As long as the person I’m seeing is making it clear that they genuinely want to be with me, whatever. We’ll figure it out. And while it’s true that dogs eat up a lot of time and suck down a lot of attention from their owners, I tend to think that if the owner is genuinely making a place for you in their life…they’ll find a way to make it work. And if this person is someone you want to be with, you’ll find a way to be accepting of their situation.


    If I were dating a woman who had a dog, I’d have no problem with, say, shifting a date 30-60 minutes later than I would normally (so, 7pm at [place] becomes 8pm at [place]) if it was a pain for her to get home, walk the dog, get changed, and get to the date without showing up out of breath and frazzled. No problem. As long as we’re having a great time on our dates, and I’m getting the sense that she’s also making time for me. Likewise, I’d have no problem with the dog being there and things getting amorous, as long as the dog isn’t hopping on the bed in the midst of things or whining/scratching at the door. (My cat is wise enough to make himself scarce when such things are happening at my place.)

    While pets absolutely add a layer of complication (or can, anyway) to dating, it is by no means fatal….unless the other person just isn’t really making time to date you. You can find ways to work around pets, the same way you can with your friends, or with your family, or with your work. There’s always SOMETHING that can eat up your time if you let it. But showing your interest in the other person and making time for them will likely make them more willing to put up with your rehearsal schedule/big project at work/dog who needs to be let out.

  18. chillybeans Says:

    My dogs actually instigated the breakup of a dysfunctional relationship, for which I am eternally grateful to them. It’s a long story I won’t bother going into but involved one of them being sprayed by a skunk. This unleashed a out of proportion, crazy violent reaction from the Ex BF that I will never forget.
    (sorry for the pun LOL) He never liked what he referred to as my “zoo”, and I should have known better when I caught him flinging his cat across the room once when it was “bothering” him

    Years later, my family and 3years plus BF celebrate the occasion known as “skunk day”! I reflect on that awful relationship and how I learned from it, and celebrate my current relationship with the BF who says, “if I ever meet that skunk, I’m buying him a drink”.

  19. HammersandNails Says:

    I personally love dating a girl with a dog. I wish I had my own dog, but it’s a bit much to take on. It’s more than worth it to make comprises every now and again for a dog that I’m not really responsible for if I get to play with it.

    That being said, I believe the dogs behavior does reflect on the woman. Sleeping with a dog in the bed or letting the dog do whatever it pleases is completely unacceptable.

  20. LostSailor Says:

    To the OP: Moxie’s right, don’t lie about your living situation. If you have any security concerns just tell them that you live alone in your own home with X number of pets and a 9mm Glock.

    As to pets, I love and have owned both dogs and cats (the cats when I was married, we inherited them when friends moved and they came with a free air-conditioner, so who could say no?). That said, I do find single men having cats a bit weird.

    When it comes to dating women with pets, I would prefer cats for their independence. Dogs are okay and are often a good indicator. I’ve found women with medium-sized dogs are usually fine, but I have a problem with women with the little rat-dogs. Or, as I like to call them, punting dogs (they’re up, and they’re good!). Especially women who insist on carrying the little darlings in handbags wherever they go. Sorry, ladies, but that’s a red flag.

    Women with over-sized dogs just creep me out. There was a not-particularly-attractive, large woman who used to walk around my neighborhood with a Great Dane larger than a pony. I try not to contemplate where the animal slept or what kind of “companionship” it provided…

  21. midtempo Says:

    Moxie lives and New York City and won’t date men who have roommates because she feels they are too poor for her and not self-sufficient enough. Well, isn’t that unrealistic? I guess she expects her men to be made of money because, lord knows, being a social worker or a retail manager in New York City affords so many opporurnities to get a nice apartment on one’s own!

    You know, some of us have chosen to live with roommates because we can get a nicer place if we split the rent with others, a nicer place than we’d be able to get on our own. And maybe we haven’t moved into our own place because we’d rather wait till we meet the right woman before we do that. Or maybe we would rather live with roommates because living alone is — I don’t know — lonely? It has nothing to do with maturity or lack of self-sufficiency, and shame on Moxie for thinking so.

    Maybe I’ll just move to Kansas City where I could afford to own a house with my salary. Except I would have to, you know, live in Kansas City.

    • LostSailor Says:

      There are many valid reasons to choose to have roommates, but after a certain age it does send adverse signals to a woman. Sorry, but there it is. Above you say that such questions about your living situation and car-ownership are “offensive” and your comment here smacks of resentment about being “judged” by those criteria. Resentment like this is inherently unattractive. It’s no use complaining about it and is actually counterproductive; you need to toughen up and deal with it or the SMP will eat you alive…

  22. Firedog Says:

    Somebody that gets along with dogs is a requirement for me, as I have a dog and usually a couple of foster dogs, as well. I have been doing rescue work for almost 15 years, so that is not negotiable from my perspective.

    In my area having dogs is pretty normal, so I am not sure if I was screened out of dating by women because I had dogs, but if so I am fine with that.

    Fortunately, my ex and I get along pretty well, so I normally swap the dogs with my ex, so we each have a week with the dogs and a week without the dogs to do other things. Vacations and weekends away work out pretty well, since they can be scheduled and I do not have to worry about the dogs being taken care of in my absence.

    I had one women dump me after saying that my dogs have too much control over my life as I needed to get home after planning to be out for 5 hours or so. That week I had the dogs, and she wanted to change plans and buy dinner after going to the play, but I said that it would be later because of the dogs. At that time, I had older dogs (12 to 14 years old) so I was not going to make it more uncomfortable for them because of a date. A week earlier or later and it would have been no problem since would not have had the dogs to worry about, but since she wanted to do a last minute change of plans, I said no.

    That was my only issue with dating due to having dogs. However, if my date was not somewhat comfortable with bigger dogs (50+ pounds as a rule), then I would not see much of a future with her.

  23. Kurt Says:

    The OP seems nuts. Why is she making such a big deal out of a simple question as to whether she lives alone? That’s the type of question I would ask just to make conversation and there’s really no hidden meaning behind the question. Also, lying about having roommates makes her seem even more crazy and as Moxie stated, really would make most men assume that she is lying about other things.

    • Trisha Says:

      Agreed the OP should not say she has roommates as that looks unstable and/or weird. The OP probably grew up being told that, as a woman, we care never supposed to indicate that we live alone because the bad guys would come and get us. These are the same women who say that “WE’RE not home and WE will call you back” on their answering machine.

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