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Is your pet making you single?

Posted by Stephanie St. Martin  January 1, 2013 01:40 PM

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Admit it. You clicked on this story because you were nervous I was talking about you.

Maybe it's because Saturday nights are spent in the apartment since you can't bear to leave your pet alone. You dress yourself and then accessorize your pet to match. You change the channel shed a tear every time those Sarah McLachlan animal commercials come on TV. You have more Facebook friends for your cat than yourself.

It's 2013. Many New Year's resolutions contain finding love. That it's time to stop being a "party of one", and become a "party of two."

And so it begins. Those first few interview sessions dates. The "hellos", the "where are you from?"s, "where'd you go to school?"s, "where do you work?"s, "how many brother and sisters you have?"s

...and of course, the "do you have any pets?"s.

And for me, in the world of dating, I tend to pay extra attention to the latter. The response "I'm allergic to everything" ends the night before it can begin.

Why? Because I'm a pet owner. And maybe this story is actually about me. So relax.

I've been in a relationship with Bailey the Bunny for four years (yes, our anniversary of being a couple is January 6th). And I'm not about to throw that relationship away.

Don't worry - I'm not naive enough to think this is okay. My brain has gathered that I just wrote that I not only know the anniversary of my pet rabbit and I being a "couple," but I also celebrate it. Being single seems...well...fitting. Inevitable. Certain.

I should cut my losses now and start looking to join Fraulein Maria.

Yes, I am dumb enough to show off a picture of Bailey on my cell phone when that last interview question is raised at dinner. Oh you have a dog? (Fumbles through purse to grab cell phone) Well, (finds the Bailey album) this is my baby.

Yes, I refer to Bailey as my baby. My main man. This also might provide insight on why I'm man-less.

Cuddling with Bailey has happened more frequently than cuddling with another human. And Bailey doesn't even like to cuddle! I should hide my face in shame. (crap, it's on this blog. My life continues to fail.)

I tend to get those perplexed looks from guys when I reveal I have a pet rabbit. It's the same look I give when I see a really, big guy carting around a Chihuahua.

By the way, any dog that Gostkowski can kick for three shouldn't be seen with men.

But, does that mean I should remain dateless because I own a pet? Most pet owners have that nurturing quality I look for in a partner. You didn't kill your goldfish and take time to feed him every day? Okay, we can go out on Date #2. You have a snake? Well, Bailey's not going to be dinner.

Remember the Jim Beam commercial about renting a puppy? Many people (myself included) will stop and pet every single dog they see. And if the owner is cute, that's just icing on the cake.

Cat lovers may date an additional cat lover. In fact, there are dating sites devoted to dog and cat lovers. And there's even a list of dog breeds that make you more desirable to the opposite sex. If only there was a rabbit owner dating service. Bunny man?

For most of us, owning a pet should help us find a mate. Hey, it worked for Roger and Anita in 101 Dalmatians, right? But how do you know that you may need to reassess your love for animals?

You call your pet your "child."
Yes, it's adorable to some of us that you call your pet your child. Your date may breathe a sigh relief when he realizes you're talking about your pet. He may even want to meet him. Or, what's more likely: he'll fake food poisoning and run of out of the restaurant. If you need to call your pets your children, save it for later i.e. once you have been married.

You can't take weekend trips or enjoy overnight visits. Your pet has to pee? That takes priority over any late night friskiness.

Your favorite accessory is fur. You can't see the black on your jacket anymore. It snows year round, thanks to your pet. Your date may have to deal with additional fur on your lingerie and that he'll be covered like the Grinch with fur all over your feet when he walks around the house. But it's not like you need to vacuum - a lint brush works just fine.

You will do anything for extra rewards points at Petco and PetSmart.
Spoiling your pets takes priority, especially when you can get five dollars off yet another toy. Your partner? Baby, I'm on a tight budget. We can't go out tonight.

You go out of your way to match your pet. There are salons where pets and owner can be pampered together. Hair, nails - you name it. I have seen women, with dogs, in matching outfits in Boston...and I shudder. Yet, somehow, I think it's okay to put my Superfan shirt on and put Bailey in his (courtesy of a BC teddy bear) and take multiple photos.

It's all becoming clear.

I have no desire to be the crazy cat rabbit lady in my lifetime. So does Bailey the Bunny keep me single? The verdict is still out on that one.

For all you pet lovers out there: Bailey and I wish you, and your pets, all the best in 2013!

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