Sorry, honey: I prefer someone with sloppier kisses and a greater affinity for pig ears.
I choose my dog over you.
Sound familiar? You’d be surprised.
The line is no longer reserved for pet-obsessed crazies. Country star Carrie Underwood recently told Cosmopolitan she couldn’t date a guy who didn’t like her dog.
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In relationships, pets have gained a date-judging power previously reserved for parents and best friends.
Career talk with Dad has taken second place to the skills you demonstrate while cleaning up Fancy’s hairball.
Pets are a barometer for gauging a mate’s patience, affection and willingness to compromise.
If your significant other opts for rawhides rather than romance, well, it’s sometimes your own fault.
Consider the initial introduction: Settle for the average “hey Buddy” and your relationship is doomed to fail.
Instead, greet your girlfriend’s dog with an incoherent chorus of blubbery sounds. Because, as any seasoned dater knows, nothing says “I love you” like “wubba, wubba, poochie boochie.”
Can’t handle that? Tough reality: Things might get worse.
For seemingly “normal” pet owners, life with a four-legged friend can sometimes test the sanity levels you display in social settings.
So if you’re dating someone with a pet, be prepared to have global policy discussions interrupted with a serious, “What would Rover think about that?”
Often, no matter how hard you try to fit in at your significant other’s home, Fido will meet your efforts with nothing but disdain.
Sometimes, the hatred simply reflects the stale slice of bologna in your pocket.
Other times, it’s more justified, marking a sense of canine or feline intuition that strangely ends up being correct.
Either way, daters on the receiving end learn an ominous “woof” or “meow” is sometimes more dooming than the dreaded “we need to talk.”
Even if you and your date’s pet begin on good terms, nothing tests the relationship better than cohabitation.
It’s one thing to tolerate excessive shedding. It’s another thing to live in a home that requires hourly vacuum checks.
Of course, when it comes to pets and relationships, there is certainly room for partners to meet halfway.
Airing your gripes can be difficult, however.
Be too harsh while complaining about the litter box and your girlfriend will respond by playing a Sarah McLachlan song and showing you a slideshow of abandoned animals worldwide.
Who can blame her? Pets boast an unspoken loyalty strong enough to transcend the petty conflicts that often characterize human relationships.
And trust me, Rover’s slobber isn’t nearly as bad as your morning breath.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, 706-571-8516.