If you have a pet, chances are you've formed a strong, unique bond with your little fluff ball. Understandably then, when you come across someone who doesn't like your pet, you might consider it a red flag. But sometimes, people just don't respond positively to pets because they've never had one of their own, so they don't understand that bond between pet and owner. If your partner is one of those people, figuring out what to do if your partner doesn't like your pet can be tricky, but it certainly is possible. It may result in some compromise, but that comes with the territory in relationships regardless.
Like you probably do with many things in your relationship, start by talking to your partner. "Communicate how much you love your pet and the important role they play in your life," founder of Blush Life Coaching, Kali Rogers, tells Elite Daily. "The best motivation you can provide isn't to like the pet because they are amazing, perfect, adorable, and sweet — your partner has already decided they do not see eye-to-eye with you on those topics. However, what isn't up for debate is how special your pet is to you. Ideally, if the relationship is strong and built to last, your love for your pet is all the motivation your partner needs to make the pet/human relationship tolerable, or even successful."
While it may seem like your partner not liking your pet is harder on you than it is on them, think about it: "It's tough not being compatible with animals," Rogers points out. "Don't you feel a little sorry for your partner because they are missing out on the amazing relationship with your pet? It sucks, right?" Well, use that empathy and apply it to your conversation with bae. Instead of approaching the topic defensively, consider going about it kindly. "If your partner is genuinely trying, try to offer some helpful suggestions," she recommends. "If your partner simply isn't trying at all — then that's more of an indication on how he [or she] feels about you, not the pet."
If you bring up the fact that you feel like they don't like your pet in an empathetic way, it can make way for compromise, so you don't have to choose between your partner and your precious Floofy. On the other hand, "If you are not able to discuss it without getting defensive, it may be good to talk to someone you know cares for your pet about what some options may be," Nicole Richardson, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. "There is nothing wrong with feeling protective of your fur baby, but it will not help anyone if you can't discuss their issues objectively."
You might've made a commitment to love and care for your pet before your partner even entered your life. So, assess how important the relationship (both with your partner and with your pet) is to you. While it may seem drastic, "if your partner is not willing to compromise, then it might be time to end the relationship," Rogers says. Not necessarily because they don't like your pet, but because "compromise is a necessity for any successful relationship," she explains. If your partner isn't compromising on this, there's no way to tell what else they won't be willing to compromise on in the future. "This won't be the first time you two disagree on something rather crucial to your happiness, and you have to learn how to compromise effectively in order to maneuver all that life throws at you," Rogers says.
Your partner may be willing to meet you halfway when it comes to the time spent with your pet, but it's important for you to do the same. Try to figure out the reason behind why bae doesn't like your pet. "If it's a behavioral issue, training may be an option," Richardson points out. "If it is an allergy issue, there may be air filters or other options you can look into. If it is as simple as your partner does not care for pets, then dividing your time may be the best option." Try to find a happy medium for both of you.
See if the two of you can agree on some sort of schedule that'll increase bonding and patience, Rogers says. "Perhaps some days the pet can go to daycare, and play with other pets in order to relieve your partner of constant pet-time," she elaborates. "Hire a walker or some help to assist with taking care of the pet if you aren't always available." Help bae bond with your pet by going on walks together or teaching your partner how to give your pet commands and treats. "Above all, accept the fact that your partner may not ever love your pet, but as long as they treat your pet with kindness and patience, it's fine," Rogers advises. "Your partner does not have to love everything you love, but they do need to show you [and your pet] respect."