"I wrote 63 songs this year. They're all about Jeter." Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls' Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don't forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: July 23, 2014

Submitted by on July 23, 2014 – 9:10 AM36 Comments


Here's a two-for-one special on Vine classics: Pets and dating!

I'm 34 and have been dating online for a few years, so I'm not new to the dating-site experience. As a single lady, I'm used to getting a pretty brisk flow of interest/traffic while I have an active profile. However, I recently made a small tweak to my sales pitch that I believe may actually have doomed the whole operation.

Here's the thing: I don't like animals. I have allergies, but honestly, they're really not the prohibiting factor — I mainly just like my clean, quiet house and the freedom to keep unpredictable hours. I have no desire or capability to be a good pet owner, I recognize that in myself, and I firmly believe that both the animals and I are happier apart.

This has been more of a dealbreaker on the dating scene than you'd expect. I don't bother with the guys who use a picture of a Labrador as their profile shot or have screen names like MrPawz, but not everyone who's pet-obsessed puts it out there so obviously. I've recently ended up dating a guy who wouldn't venture outside a two-block radius of his apartment in case his dog needed him, a guy who brought his dog along on the date and wouldn't speak directly to me, only to the dog ("We like her, don't we, Oscar? We think she's pretty, don't we?"), and a guy who refused to take any steps to prevent his cat from sneaking up while I was sleeping and camping out on my naked body after sex (it took a month for the hives to go away).

I had enough and added one little sentence to my profile: "I'm not an animal person." I figured a calm, neutral, nonjudgmental statement of a personal preference would help the animal lovers screen me out. I thought maybe I might even find some of my own people — I know I'm in the minority by a significant margin, but surely there's at least one single gentleman out there who shares my feelings? Well, I was wrong about that. Since then, it's been crickets, apart from one message from a guy who wrote specifically to tell me that I "sound like Cruella DeVille." Apparently, even the scattershot-technique-employing skeezers who hit up literally every female profile on a site have a line, and I've crossed it.

What gives? I thought "not an animal person" was the most innocuous-but-still-direct way to make the point, but is there an even softer phrase I should be using? Should I just take the stipulation back out and resign myself to the fact that guys who love animals also seem to love me? Should I resign myself to dying alone, since I'm obviously not going to pull a Peggy Olson and get a cat?

Thanks for your help (and the Nation's)!


Dear Zoo,

Youuuuuu MONSTER.

Joking, obvs. Sometimes I think my own pets and I would be better off apart; you have to do you. And anyway, isn't there a dating site that has a pet section as part of its standard profile questionnaire, along with height and movies you like — something like "cat person" / "dog person" / "other" / "allergic"? Because they should all have it, IMO; it's not as important as the kid thing, but it's up there. Similar taste in TV does not matter one whit, and I say this as a TWoP co-founder, but com-pet-ability is a major deal. One of my many perfect-on-paper dates that didn't go anywhere met its demise because the guy very seriously explained to me his N+1 rule, to wit: pets in a household should only exceed the number of humans, N, by one. I was at N+2 at the time. And it's a fine rule — for him — and I was fine with his sharing it, because I have cats plural, I will always have cats plural, and that's not for everyone, but it ain't changing. So I would look at your profile and think, "Cool, thanks for letting me know. [hide]"

People can get weird about no-pets folk in a way they don't about no-kids folk, though — and while I think you want to make it clear eventually that it's not a "I can't have pets, but totes would if I didn't have allergies" situation so much as a "I can't have pets but wouldn't anyway" kind of deal, I also think you can make that distinction after a date or two. It's possible that "I'm not an animal person" is reading as…not controlling, exactly, but maybe it's putting a little bit of exasperation out there in spite of you, a little rigidity. Like, let's say a "I'd rather not meet at a BBQ place" line in my profile. It's true that I'd rather not, because I can't eat anything there; I'd also rather not meet at a Thai place (hate it) or a strip joint (ten-dollar beers, fuck off), but the issue is that it's getting ahead of things just a bit.

This is always the tension in an online profile: how much information you want to include to weed out complete unsuitables, versus getting ahead of yourself with information that might exclude someone who's actually awesome (see: a guy one year outside my stated age range who is now my husband). You just never know, and if it's that important to you not to have to pretend it's faahhhhne that you're prying a carapace of dog hair off your ass after the second date, again, no judgments here. But maybe you make the first-contact face of it a little cheerier and more regretful: "Thanks to allergies, I can't do furry pets. [frowny face]" Because if a likely lad has a turtle you never have to walk or shoo off your cashmere, that's tolerable, yeah? (I mean, not really — turtles reek — but you know what I'm saying.)

Try softening it just a hair and see how you fare; you can get realer later. Either way: a lot of people have pets, and love them like family, and it's not really anything against you. You're not Cruella. It's just not a good fit.

Be Sociable, Share!



  • Mandi says:

    Zoophobe, you and me both! I am also "not an animal person"–I like other people's pets, within reason, by which I mean a brief pat on the head and maybe a little cuddle (preferably from a cat) when I'm in their home. I also just kind of like my clutter left where I left it and also not to be woken up at 2:30 in the morning by yowling. I usually go with "I like animals enough to know I shouldn't have one," but even then sometimes people look at you like you're a serial killer.

    I don't have any answers that Sars didn't, but wanted to let you know there are more like you out there! I'm not allergic, but I'm pretty sure most of the time that everyone is so pet-obsessed I'm going to have to find someone with a severe allergy or fake one myself if I ever want to cohabitate with a guy again.

    That said, if you want to avoid wasting time, maybe mention the pet allergy instead of the pet aversion?

  • attica says:

    I think "not an animal person" may read "kitten videos suuuuck" rather than "physical contact/habitation contraindicated".

    The portion of my brain that squees is intact and I can therefore justify calling myself an 'animal person' even though I won't live with critters. There should be another way to phrase your limitations that puts the onus on your body, not your heart/mind.

    Though, geez, any guy who brought his dog to a date (that wasn't specifically a doggy playdate) would get kicked to the curb so fast. Honestly.

  • Angharad says:

    I think a lot of people unfairly use "likes animals" as a false barometer for "is a nice person." It doesn't make any kind of sense – I know absolute asshats who adore animals and go out of their way to be jerkish to people – but it's a shortcut some use.

    I agree with Sars: Emphasize the allergy part and explain it further only if it gets to that point in any relationship. The no-pet explanation tends to be easier to elucidate in person, too. I have pets, but dating someone who isn't interested in owning a furry demon who begs for food, pukes on the carpet, and swipes a $15 bottle of nail polish onto the bathroom floor (thanks cat, turpentine and broken glass was exactly what I was looking for this morning) isn't out of the question.

  • Jenn says:

    "I love animals, as long as we're separated by a cage, three feet of glass, and a $5 admission fee."

  • pomme de terre says:

    Ha, from my OKC account today: from a guy who travels for work a lot and says "So if you're one of those girls who needs someone to fill an empty void in their life by hanging out every second, I'm not your guy."

    I mean, fair enough, guy's clearly had some bad experiences and I actually AM really independent and would love to have weeknights to myself, but he sounds so cranky and demanding right up front that I won't message him, cute or not.

    But then I wonder if I'm cutting off my nose in spite of my face and eliminating nice people who unfortunately chose some cranky wording in the profiles. I also tend to have a bias towards dudes who list their age range as 10 years younger than themselves up to 1 year older than themselves. It makes me think they have really traditional ideas about gender roles and/or are shallow, but maybe that's not a fair leap.

    Also agree with Angharad that some people equate "likes and is liked by animals" with "is a good person."

  • OneoftheJanes says:

    I think the problem is that dating profiles have a lot in common with bumper stickers–it's not just what's on them, it's the fact that you thought it was worth using that limited public space on this aspect of you. So while I think it's reasonable for you to want to say "I'll pass if you can't leave the house without Fido," your statement is being read as a Defining Characteristic of Your Worldview in a way it's really not. (As Sarah says, if it was just a box to tick it wouldn't be as big a deal.)

    Other parallel: it's information that doesn't belong on the resume. Save it for the interview, i.e., the actual date.

  • Katie says:

    I think I'd just emphasize the allergies. Even if the problem is mainly dislike, it's not like you made the allergies up.

    I'm actually amazed at how many guys on online dating seem to be allergic to cats. I've often wondered if some of them are just making it up to mask dislike.

  • sam says:

    I love animals (currently co-habiting with one monster cat and grew up with multiple dogs and cats), and I think bringing a dog on a first date and then only speaking to the dog is freaking weird and off-putting.

    But definitely emphasize the allergies – it puts the blame on the "universe" rather than implying (intentionally or not) anything about you personally.

    and pomme de terre – I can't link to it here, because it's blocked at my office, but have you ever seen the "Nice Guys(TM) of OKCupid"? it's pretty epic from what I recall.

  • Lisa M. says:

    Zoophobe, I didn't think you sounded mean or like Cruella, or unreasonable. And I am a confirmed animal lover. I didn't see the problem with what you said. I do think you've had some real losers contact you though…..I wonder if a change in dating site is in order…is it possible that the site you're using is not being frequented by many adults?

  • Jo says:

    Straight woman here. I think "I'm not an animal person" might come across as … I don't know. Makes you sound kind of uptight, I guess? You don't sound like you ARE uptight from your letter, but just that flat-out statement on a profile might make guys think you're going to be sort of anal about other things. I don't know how to explain exactly what I mean. Full disclosure: I AM an animal person, and I think it's weird when people don't like animals. I understand people who don't want pets, but … it's weird when people just don't like animals at all. I agree that you should try to just emphasize the allergies. Instead of "I'm not an animal person," you could say, "I have severe cat/dog allergies." And then if you meet a guy and it works out past a few dates, you can then say you don't want pets.

    Also: That guy who only talked to his dog on the date has bigger problems than just liking the dog. Between you and him, you aren't the one I would guess might become a serial killer (didn't the Son of Sam claim a dog gave him orders?)

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I'd go with emphasizing the allergy angle as well. You're not lying, and it's not like you wrote "My idea of the perfect date is drowning bunnies and 'Dead Puppies' is my personal theme song." Some people are animal people and some aren't.

    I also agree with the "lazy shorthand for 'good person'" assessment and that it's ridic. That's why saying something along the lines of "sorry, but animal hair and I just don't mix–allergies" is going to be seen as "oh, okay" because to the shortcutting, skimming over the latest posts guy, it's giving a reason. And what we want most are reasons–it gives us a platform, someplace to stand while we make our choice over this or that.

    Too many people, especially in the hurry up, abbreviated world of social media, mistake the foyer for the house–this paint or those pictures aren't what you pictured so NOPE. So slip that reason into the foyer and hopefully they'll be more open to seeing the living room (and if things go well the BEDROOM AW YEAH.)

    (…also, Sars, I am getting the creepy feeling that you and I are slightly imperfect clones or parallel universe twins or something, because I to hate Thai food. And now I must throw on the elaborate disclaimer that it's nothing personal against Thai food and I'm not forming secret, sneering opinions on lovers of Thai food and if you love Thai food go for it–I just hate the spices, they don't jibe with my taste buds. Everybody has something they don't like that other people are going to take personally, it's the nature of the beast.)

  • Lizard says:

    I'm another pet person, and I have to echo the other comments – it sounds like you've dated some guys who aren't weird because of their having pets, but in addition to having pets. (Right, who brings a dog on a date?) And if I had cats, I would still try to keep them from just prowling all over everybody. I live in a world where a lot of people aren't animal lovers, and that's fine – you learn where and when pets are appropriate. I would echo Sars and emphasize allergies while soft pedaling a bit – a lot of my favorite people are not animal lovers, and it makes no difference to me.

  • Claire says:

    I think I'm in the minority on this, but I don't think there's anything controlling/turn-off-ish in saying that you're not an animal person, but it might worth adding "Due to allergies" to the beginning of that statement. I bet there are a lot of people who would see that and say "But I LOVE dogs" even though they don't have one themselves. Bringing up the allergies makes it more about needs vs seeming like a statement of values.

  • ferretrick says:

    Everybody's kind of already answered the question, so I won't rehash, but I do have to ask. Sars, cats plural? Have you gotten another since Hobey passed? And if so, when are we going to meet him?

  • Kristin 2 the Kristin Boogaloo says:

    As a self-proclaimed crazy dog lady, I understand why your statement might be a little off-putting. We pet folks are very protective of our furry homies, and some of us who work with rescues and such have seen lots of nice pets come into shelters because of "my boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't like dogs/cats/rabbits" so may be wary on that level too. But I get that it's important to state – I also have severe cat allergies, so I can't seriously date anyone who has cats.

    I think, as others have suggested, that you can make the statement a little less directive and more self-deprecating, such as "Already have allergies, so can't have pets," so that you're not putting anyone on the defensive so early.

    And I'd like to clarify that when my dog gives me orders, they're usually just of the "feed me" variety, so no need to worry. :-)

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I got a cat a few months ago. Her name is Pearl. To paraphrase the estimable Agnes of "Despicable Me," "SHE! IS! SO! FLUFFAY!" But she's also very hidey, so I don't have good photos of her yet. But she will appear here one day soon.

  • scout1222 says:

    I have to admit, when I saw that you'd put "I'm not an animal person" in your profile, I kind of flinched. And you know what? It bothered me that I did. Here is why:

    I am horribly allergic to both cats and dogs (guess how I found that out – by owning both!) and I made a decision that no amount of inhalers was worth the low quality of life I have when living with a pet. As far as I am concerned, I will never own a cat or a dog.

    In fact, early in the relationship with my now-husband, I had The Talk. He'd had a dog before he met me, and I could tell in the way he spoke about it that he really loved this dog. I was worried that me not wanting to live with a dog would be a dealbreaker. So I made sure he knew pretty quickly that this wasn't something he could have with me, and I would understand if that was a bridge too far.

    Frankly, I was more worried about this conversation than the one we would have about children! (I have always known I don't want children and it is a dealbreaker for me.)

    So anyway, I offer all of that up so that you'll know I'm on your side in not wanting to live with a pet. And still, I would find it off-putting to see that in a profile. I think that what another commenter said up-thread is true – liking animals seems to be a shorthand for being a good person in our society.

    I agree with Sars that having a checkbox for dogs/cats/neither/allergic would be a super nice filter to have. Good luck LW!

  • LW says:

    Hi everyone! Zoophobe here.

    Thanks for taking the time to weigh in and, in many cases, make me laugh! I especially liked those of you who mentioned "likes animals" being shorthand for "good-hearted person" in our culture – my standing joke is that if I were a character in a novel, the author would want you to know that I'm a jerk, and this would be the tell.

    I have played up the allergy angle in the past. The problem is, most people assume that when I say I'm terribly allergic to animals, I mean, "…and it makes me so sad, because so furry and so cute!" (For most people with allergies, they're probably not wrong – again with animal-love being the cultural default!) This is especially true because my allergies are annoying but not life-threatening or even debilitating; I think for a lot of people, the joy a pet brings far outweighs the itchy nose and watery eyes. So if I get involved with someone who has a pet, or who doesn't have a pet now but wants one eventually, the inference tends to be that I'm totally willing to med up or find a hypoallergenic breed or just kind of live with it, and… actually, I'm not. I don't love the idea of deliberately exaggerating the extent of my allergies; it feels drama-queeny, like Carrie in that one episode of Sex and the City, claiming to be allergic to parsley when she really just doesn't like it. This might be one of those "Would you rather be right or happy?" situations, though.

    And I guess that's the bottom line, actually, or a version of it. Is living animal-free so important to me that I'd rather be alone than learn to live with a pet? The answer is yes, but if you're that absolute about anything on the dating market, you're going to narrow the field and you have to be prepared to live with the consequences. I think I'd encounter a lot more respect and support if I were holding firmly to another dealbreaker, like a position on having kids or a certain religion, and that does bum me out a little. But what are you going to do?

  • Clover says:

    What if instead of trying to be clever or cutesy, you just wrote, "no pets, please"?

    I think maybe people wouldn't have such strong reactions to that phrase because it's a phrase that exists in many neutral contexts (apartment rentals, hotels, workplaces, roommate ads, etc.) and it doesn't mean "I hate animals!" It just means "no animals here because that's the rule."

  • MizShrew says:

    LW, I agree that overstating the allergy might invite other problems, but "I am not an animal person" comes off as… hrm, strident, maybe? In my head, I find myself capitalizing the "not" even though you didn't, if that makes any sense. I kinda like the "no pets, please," approach Clover mentions above. It's a bit softer/more neutral, and suggests, at least the sense of "I get it, lots of people have and love pets but I can't" without saying why.

    Might be worthwhile to try a month or two with "no pets, please" and then some time with "Sorry, but pets are a no-go: allergies" and see what responses you get. If you get a bunch of people who try to sell you on antihistamines and furr-less Sphinx cats, then you'll know the allergy angle doesn't help your cause.

    The other option is to go back to your old profile and vet the animal issue in the email exchanges you have before you set up a date? You could probably at least weed out the weird dog dude that way. I've been with my husband for forever, though, so perhaps I'm missing some etiquette on the whole dating-site thing.

  • Kemmi says:

    I feel like "I'm not an animal person" sounds harsher than "I'm not a pet person", so you could go with that.

    One has a feel of "I don't like animals, and would like the world more if they didn't happen" the other is more "in this specific context, I do not want animals around me (but I'm fine with their general existence.)"

  • Emma says:

    How about simply; 'I have allergies, and I can't live with pets'? (Note the careful pussyfooting (heh) – you're not exactly *saying* the allergies are the reason you can't live with pets, but it's not your fault if people read the two clauses as cause and effect.)

    But I agree that you shouldn't be any less definitive or sound regretful about the situation, because as an animal-lover, I would be guilty of interpreting anything less than a flat statement as 'Okay, so we'll just get Labradoodles!'

    (If nothing else, Mr. Dog-on-the-date was saving you a bit of time – at least you knew right away that there was no need to invest further, instead of finding out after three months that 'Oh, and I have a cat, but she's so quiet you barely notice her' or 'I'd want to get a dog as soon as our mutual schedules allow'.)

  • attica says:

    Wee off-topic, and I apologize in advance for what will look like un-asked for proselytizing, but: inhaled steroids have changed my life. They're a huge step up from antihistamines — no drowsiness or other icky side effects, once a day and that's it, and now OTC. Yes, just the word 'steroid' freaks people out (and I notice the new OTC packaging avoids that nomenclature), but it's an effective treatment for allergies' insidious body-wonkitude. I used to have to really constrict my time with friends and fam with pets, and even then, it'd take me days to recover. Now, no prob. Still not gonna live with critters, but they're no longer Furry Missiles of Death.

    Also: corticosteroids =/= anabolic steroids. I still can't hit the long ball.

  • Mingles' Mommy says:

    I'm a vegetarian, cruelty-free product buying, no fur, no leather, no food with a face person who LOOOOVES animals – and even I think the guys you ended up meeting are … well, special. I mean, I wouldn't want a second date with them either. (Talking to the dog instead of you… scaaaaaary.)

    In all honesty, I wouldn't even consider dating someone who didn't feel the same way about animals that I do. I also wouldn't bring my cat on date though.

    You've given me a new perspective, though. You sound like a nice person, and you're being judged on something that, in the big scheme of things, isn't fair. You're not out attacking stray cats or drowning puppies or something.

    I wish I had something to offer that would help. I didn't realize until I read your post how judgmental I can be (and I guess I'm not alone) when it comes to someone who isn't as fond of the "fluffy" as I am.

    I hope you find someone great who appreciates you!

  • pomme de terre says:

    What a nice post, Mingles Mommy! I am not what you'd call an animal lover and I sometimes get frustrated when people draw conclusions about how nice I am based on my lack of animal compatibility.

    I grew up without pets, so I'm not always 100% comfortable around animals. I don't know the difference between a dog that is OK with a nice pat on the head, a dog that wants belly rubs RIGHT NOW and a dog that will take my hand off if I approach it the wrong way.

    And sometimes I do get…miffed that a person who can correctly identify the dog that wants belly rubs and proceeds to give is immediately labeled a wonderful, good person and I'm a heartless jerk for hanging back because I'm not sure what animals like. This is more of an in-person thing than an online thing, and not restricted to dating.

  • Jaybird says:

    I totally agree with Clover, about the "No pets, please" thing. It's concise, it's polite, and it's not exposition-heavy. That phrase just puts it out there, neatly. Done.

    I also agree with the idea that entirely too many people today see "I'm not a pet/animal person" as "I like to drown hamsters in my toilet and make sandwiches out of kitty meat", and…NO. The idea, or any images, of animal abuse, sets my stomach to a rolling boil–and yet I do not have pets and do not want pets and am highly allergic to most animals. My two kids seem either to have picked this up genetically or by example, and I'm not even particularly bothered by that, as long as they always treat animals with kindness.

    Not wanting to commit to a pet emotionally, pay the associated costs, deal with the mess and logistics of boarding at times…those are not good reasons for DUMPING a pet you already have, not ever, but they're totally valid reasons for never getting one in the first place. Liking pets doesn't make you a great person, and not liking them doesn't make you a bad one.

    It's just not feasible to think you're The One Out There Who Won't Deal With Pets. I guarantee there are guys who feel the same way.

  • Rachel says:

    It could be that more people have pets than you realized, and so potential suitors who might have contacted you in the past are no longer contacting you. Because your profile now says, basically, if you have a pet or might someday want a pet, I am not interested. And, if I'm reading your letter correctly, that's what you want.

    I wouldn't worry about the guy who called you Cruella De Vil. I mean, I assume you don't want to go on a date with the kind of guy who insults a complete stranger on a dating site. Normal guys, animal loving or not, don't do that kind of thing.

    It could also be that some people who might be right for you (people who don't have pets and don't want pets but still love animals, people who also are not into animals, etc.) are turned off by the phrase. As the owner of two dogs, I can fully understand people who do not want pets, because pets are indeed a ton of work. I can also understand people who do not want to share their living space or time with animals, because animals need attention and some people would rather pay attention to something else. But "not an animal person" gives me the impression that you don't like animals and don't want to be around them. And, perhaps unfairly, that would lead me to make some assumptions about you. So, if you are worried that you are sending the wrong message, maybe you can say it differently. I like the suggestion above "not a pet person," because then it sounds like you don't want to own a dog or cat, but you don't hate baby seals, etc. Or something like "I'm a people person, but not a pet person," or "I love animals in the wild but not in my home."

  • Jennifer says:

    "I think I'd encounter a lot more respect and support if I were holding firmly to another dealbreaker, like a position on having kids or a certain religion, and that does bum me out a little."

    I think I can assure that in the case of no kids, you would not get any more support or respect on that one. Childfree folks get the same kind of treatment that you do, along with "you'll change your mind!" It is another "you're a jerk" signifier, unfortunately.

    So it sounds like you would rather be alone than live with a pet. That's how dealbreakers work, though. One thing rules you out for most people, and most people are ruled out for you. As you put it, what can you do? Them's the breaks. If saying you have allergies and leaving it at that gets people who insist that you love animals anyway, then I guess you just need to stick with your usual "not an animal lover" and deal with it. Sorry, I can't think of anything more helpful on this one.

  • Rlnpirate says:

    Here's my take, for what it's worth…
    At 34 you know what you want and don't want. Why waste your time on something you don't want? You didn't put, "clubbing baby seals" down as your one of your hobbies, so what's the biggie? My big pet peeve with animal people is when they allow their animals to totally control their home. Now before the big animal lovers start their hate mobile, I have 2 cats and a little dog. I love them and enjoy their company. But they are animals. I don't make costumes for them at Halloween, I don't cook for them, I don't take pictures of them for my Christmas card and they don't go on vacation with me. When my friends come over they are sent to their room. Nothing bugs me more than to go over to someone's house and have a dog or cat jump on me. The friend then makes some noises like, "Oh Spot, get down, be a good dog", but in the meantime, Spot is tearing up my pants and barking in my face. ICK! I love my pets, but I get it. Don't change a word, someone else out there will get it too and appreciate the honesty.

  • Kara says:

    I don't like cats or very small dogs (corgis are as small as I'll go) and I've found that limits me too; a lot of dudes have cats. But I don't like them and I won't have them (like pomme de terre, I never had pets growing up so I'm not 100% comfortable around them – I always ask the owner's permission before engaging, etc.) and I recognize that that means some perfectly nice men will – and should – rule me out, and I them. There's a question on OKC that asks if you're a cat or dog person and I answered "Big dogs." I'd be totally into dating a man with a German Shepherd; a chihuahua, not so much. I'm good with that.

  • Sarah in Bishop says:

    I don't have the allergies, but I am still with you on the not wanting pets thing. I especially am not a fan of dogs, which does make me evil in some people's eyes. Luckily for me, even though my husband would love one or more pets, he is understanding that my strong desire not to have them in the house would, in fact, make this a bad house for pets. Also luckily, we have neighbor cats that have adopted us and so we have the best of both worlds: pets that we can give back whenever they cause trouble, no vet bills, but still the chance for some animal companionship on a fairly regular basis. We do help cat-sit from time to time, and watch out for them around the neighborhood (they need corralling at night).

  • pomme de terre says:

    Hee, for Zoophobe and the rest of us who are parsing the precise language of our profiles, at least you're not concluding your otherwise totally normal-seeming OKC profile thusly:

    "You should contact me if:

    If you're bored and want to chat or grab some coffee…

    If you think lawyers can be decent people or are at least open to the possibility.

    You should just do it, as long as you aren't a cunt bag."

    (I'm not even sure Sars will approve this for the language.)

  • janbrady says:

    I am also not an animal person, and I always say that people immediately equate me with a serial killer when they learn that about me, and I'm only half joking, because people really are alarmed when I say that. I purposely hide it even from new friends, and an old friend often says, "I can't believe you're not an animal person. You're so NICE." Frankly, I'm even alarmed that the smart people here admitted they think less-than-nice things about people who don't like animals (though I guess this blog has always been cat-friendly, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised!).

    I also think it sucks that LW should have to hide behind allergies as her reason. Just because we don't like animals doesn't mean we're not nice, lovely people. I've known a lot of assholes who have pets. And of course I'm biased, but people tell me that I'm a generous, kind, loving person (I even volunteer at Planned Parenthood!). The fact is, I didn't grow up with animals in the house, so I'm not used to them, period. I'm allergic to cats but nothing else, and I don't cause a fuss about it–if I'm going to a house with cats in it, I take an allergy pill and deal with it.

    All this said, I am marrying someone who has three cats, and it is about the only bone of contention between us, but we are vowing to make it work. I think he would tell you that I'm as sweet and motherly to his brood as a lady who's horribly allergic to cats can be. I just don't know where this idea that "animal non-liker" = "cold, unfeeling animal abuser" comes from.

  • Sharon says:

    Your online dating profile has to be 100% positive. Nothing negative! Nothing that could even be construed as negative! I go beyond "not a kid person"; I actually hate children and shouldn't be around them. That did not appear anywhere on my profile while I was online dating! If someone with kids contacted me, I thanked them for their interest and said I would prefer to date someone without kids. I also don't like travel, so I just avoided the subject entirely on my profile.

  • Carly says:


    Not a kid person….gasp!? That'll make people look askance, all right. Trust me. I know.
    Back when people thought it was OK to ask questions like, "Don't you want kids?" I used to respond with, "If I want to hear the pitter-patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on the cat."
    And no, Zoophobe, I don't think you sound bad. If anything, it's expedient to cut down the time you spend on people who won't work out.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Back when people thought it was OK to ask questions like, "Don't you want kids?"

    "Back when"? Someone asked me that shit three days ago.

Leave a comment!

Please familiarize yourself with the Tomato Nation commenting policy before posting.
It is in the FAQ. Thanks, friend.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>