I Don’t Want To Date A Guy With A Dog

An unpleasant opinion — but hear me out…

Photo by me. This is Kaylie. I enjoy her company more than most humans I know. She does not belong to me, much to my dismay.

I didn’t like Breaking Bad. I hate skiing. I don’t order ramen at ramen places. My opinions are often left of center by way of curly fry and I’m okay with that. Some of them are met with indifference (I prefer lemon-flavored dessert), some with vehement, perhaps out of proportion disgust. (I didn’t like Mean Girls. I didn’t!)

I also don’t want to date a guy with a dog. Before you tweet at PETA, I love dogs. I love all animals. If it has four legs and fur I probably like it more than I’ll ever like you. But I want to leave all canine breeds out of my romantic life for the time being.

My argument, as it often does, pertains to logistics, rather than preference. It’s harder to date a guy with a dog than a guy without a dog, or even (be still my heart) a cat. I’m not wrong.

Dogs are high maintenance. I said it. They can’t eat, drink, exercise, or poop without human assistance. Cats can do two out of four. A single person’s after-work life, nights, mornings, and long weekends are all free as dentist’s office brochures until they adopt a dog. After that, their lives are at the behest of a domesticated animal with very bad breath.

Drinks after work? Can’t, have to let the dog out. Wanna spend the night at my place? Can’t, have to feed and let the dog out. Wanna take an evening walk around the park? Can’t, dog doesn’t deal with people, children, other dogs, or mildly scary-looking trash well. (Actually happened and we had to take the dog, and our date, home.) Spontaneous weekend trip upstate? Does the Airbnb allow dogs? Jesus Hermione Christ.

A single woman in New York feels out of control of her dating life enough without four additional legs and floppy ears having a vote at the table. We’re already dealing with it being really, really hard to even meet new friends, much less lovers, we can’t ever confirm the relationship status of anyone on our dating apps, and the older we get, the smaller the pool. The older we get, the less likely it is that we appear in age-range settings. The older we get, the more bitter, jaded, and hard-cased we become once the realities of dating as a grown-up sink their teeth in and release their salty venom. We don’t need your help, Rex, this shit is hard enough.

I should mention that I can’t sleep at a guy’s house. Not for a long, long time. I have difficulty sleeping (much less engaging in any other activity) anywhere that isn’t my bed in Brooklyn and while I understand that this makes me “difficult” and because I somehow feel the need to explain myself on the internet, let me just go ahead and say I have never and will never do any of the following:

  1. be gluten free for no reason
  2. watch, or force anyone else to watch, The Bachelor
  3. ask a man when he plans to propose to me
  4. ask a man’s friends when he plans to propose to me
  5. force a man to look at something on Pinterest
  6. eat something off a man’s plate without asking
  7. forbid a man from bringing an article of clothing or piece of furniture into our home.

Honestly, you could do worse, all I’m asking for is a decent night’s sleep. And I’m not going to get that if a guy has a dog. Every night of our courtship is going to be spent at his place, on his Target sheets, that I can’t confirm the last wash date of, with one sad pillow and no hand towels. My face is aging fast enough without extra dark circles and no shut-eye, I’m all set.

This isn’t about coming in first place from an affection standpoint. Honestly whoever I end up with is going to have a great deal of difficulty competing with my cat for who I’d save first in a fire. It’s about being able to be in charge of my own life. When I start dating someone, I’ll give up a little bit of that in-charge to someone who also has a say in what we do where, when, and how. And that’s okay, it’s all part of compromising. But what’s not okay is giving up even more, quite a bit more, to something that can’t compromise at all. They can’t miss feedings, waterings, or bathroom breaks. They absolutely have to be taken care of 100% of the time. Putting what dogs need in second place is akin to abuse and that can’t happen. So guess what’s in second place? Me. So I don’t want to date a guy with a dog.

Will I date a guy with a dog? Yes. Will I be happy about it? No. In fact since I’m writing this I have no doubt that Fate is about to toss a 6'3 blonde guy with glasses and a massive German Shepherd right in my general direction. But I like my freedom. I like making plans based on what I want to do rather than who needs to pee. I like operating absent a timetable of feedings. I like traveling without special requirements. And I don’t want a dog to dictate when and where I get some tail.