Drooling on your pillow, leaving hairs on your jumper, wolfing down food without a second’s thought for who made it… yes, these are all loveable traits that your partner feels helpless to exhibit, and they’re the little things making up the glue of a life together.
Despite suspicions that you’re sometimes dealing with a walking, talking animal, your other half might have learned from the best – they could be crazy about pets, to the extent that human adoration was a foreign concept until you sauntered into view. If their priorities are sometimes torn between you and a furry critter, let us help you fight back, establishing a routine that doesn’t let an animal edge you from the top spot…
Draw battle lines on the sofa
Anyone who’s been single for a while, and happens to own a dog, will have let that poochy pal take over the sofa cushions whenever it likes. You’ll be sitting together, watching an engrossing crime show and moving in for a squeeze, when a heavy lump comes between you, puts its backside in your face, and snuggles into the arms you were just going for.
To let a dog know the new state of affairs, be ruthless with the amount of room you’ll give it on any furniture. We don’t mean pushing it off with a sly “Aww shucks” expression, but definitely reserve a space for you and your beau, one that’ll be totally absent of scuffling paws.
Ignore cries for attention
Pets can often be big babies, even well into old age. If they feel for an instant that they’re being ignored, they’ll whine about it, or chew something, or run around trying to be adorable before the charade wears off.
Furthermore, bedtime is a cat or dog’s ultimate crisis point: they don’t want to be left alone, which is cute occasionally, but not every single night of their lives. To establish a regime change, hold your partner back when that tortured meow floats from the kitchen, and swear that it’s for their own good. You’ll want to be the object of midnight love, not the bystander moping under the covers, feeling a derisory scratch of the toe.
Form a tactical friendship
Knowing the enemy is crucial to bypassing their defences. When your darling is fretting about when to take their pet out, offer to do it instead, alone, for a decent hour or two. Also house-sit when possible, and engineer situations that give you and their four-legged pal some quality time together.
Obviously don’t stare at a cat for days on end, playing a game of ‘who blinks first’. Just subtly, slowly assimilate yourself in its activities, to understand how it thinks. Who knows, you might end up going gaga for an animal more than you thought, and then you’ll be the one craving a tail-cushion in the dead of night.
Puppy love should never be too literal when a romantic evening is on the cards. Although plying a pet with affection can actually be good for our chances of finding a human compatriot – check out this previous piece, if you don’t believe us – there are certainly limits to be set, ensuring no-one (long-haired or otherwise) feels left out.
Our local singles probably have a few experiences of their own on this front. Contact them to swap spurned pet stories, or find a partner that doesn’t leave you with the doggie bag.