People often form an incredibly close bond with their pets. Understandably then, if someone comes along and doesn’t like their adorable little friend, it can be off-putting and may even be taken personally. So, when it comes to the people you love and their pets, it’s probably best to tread carefully. But that doesn’t mean you have to be as entranced by your loved one’s pets as they are. Figuring out what to do if you don’t like your partner’s pet can be tricky because of that connection they’ve formed with their furry friend over the years. Fret not, however, it is possible to try to find some sort of happy medium for you and bae when it comes to their pet.
"Understanding the bond that your partner has with their pet will be the most important factor in helping you cope," Pricilla Martinez, CEO of Regroop Online Life Coaching, tells Elite Daily. "Given the circumstances, you may be in the position when you’ll have to cope or move on. If your partner considers their pet in the same regard as a child, you will be the one making the majority of the sacrifices to make it work. Asking your partner to give up something they love so much is a bit unfair and may lead to resentment down the line."
As with most issues in a relationship, the first thing you can do is have a conversation with your partner about whatever it is that may be bothering you. But when it comes to talking about how you don’t like their pet, bringing it up to your partner should be a last resort, experts say. "The first steps are seeing the pet through your partners eyes," Martinez says. "What do they love about them? How do they make your partner happy? How does the pet show their love for your partner? Focusing on their shared love will help you find yours for their pet."
Apart from trying to see what it is your partner loves so much about their pet, "try and figure out exactly what it is that you don’t like about the pet, and see if there is a way you can reduce the amount of time you spend with it," relationship and wellbeing coach Shula Melamed MA, MPH, tells Elite Daily. Maybe it has to do with a fear of that particular animal, a severe allergy, or the pet’s funky smell. Whatever it is, discovering what’s actually wrong can help you get to the root of the issue and in turn, find a solution.
"Is the level of annoyance or dislike so high that it is negatively affecting the relationship? Not likely," Chris Armstrong, relationship coach and founder of Maze Of Love, tells Elite Daily. "Is it the pet or is it their partner’s affection and attention towards the pet? The latter is an issue of jealousy with the pet being a symptom, not the real issue. If it is a matter of allergy or phobia, be honest about that with your partner." Being candid may make it easier for your partner to grasp your dislike of their pet, because it’s not something personal against them, Armstrong explains.
"If it is anything else, and you really feel the need to approach your partner, do so by focusing the pet as a symptom to a broader issue," Armstrong recommends. Instead of simply saying, "I hate your pet," it may be better to focus specifically on the things you found you don’t like. "This could be an unhealthy amount of time and energy focused on the pet, or it could be the pet being clingy and the owner not managing that." Make your focus during the conversation with your partner about the root of the issue, he says, not the fact that you "just don’t like" the pet. "When you don’t like something, there’s always a reason why," Martinez reminds us. "Focus on the specific reasons."
If you tell bae how you really feel, "don’t expect them to be super excited that you don’t like their pet," Melamed says. "People form special relationships with their pets and the hope would be that their partner would also be interested in having a similar relationship." As you and bae gets more serious, you’ll probably be spending more time with your partner, which may include their pet from time to time. "You will likely have to grow to respect or at least tolerate the relationship they have with their animal," she says. "Hey, they might even grow on you and become an exception to your non-pet-loving rule." So, keep an open mind. You may find a friend in your partner’s fluffy companion.
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