When would you feel ready to get a dog with your SO?

posted 2 weeks ago in Relationships
Post # 46
Member
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Geez – as I keep up with this thread and the updates I literally keep thinking 

“Yup, you are definitely the girl who sees getting a pet together as a relationship milestone to prove seriousness in a relationship”

A previous PP mentioned it perfectly, why are you viewing getting a dog as some sort of relationship milestone with him? He is doing the MATURE thing and making sure HE feels as if your relationship is in a good enough place before making another huge life decision together (as if you haven’t done enough big things to enmesh your lives together already as an unmarried couple). 

You keep getting defenses and making up excuses as to why you should get a dog and you would like to have one. HELL YEAH they’re super adorable and comforting to have around and its rewarding to train a dog and whatnot….. but that doesn’t mean you should get one OR convince your boyfriend you should get one at this stage in your life. 

Given your circumstances and what you keep updating, you seem like the type of couple that would benefit from waiting to get a dog until after marriage. 

ETA: My point about you seeing a dog as a relationship milestone (thank you PP for using this term because its what I was trying to say) is especially proven to be true because you have kept track of literally every milestone (it took us X time to makeout for the first time, X dates before we had sex, it was XYZ months before we moved in together). 

Post # 47
Member
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

househippo25 :  okay, so you’re clearly going to ignore everyone else’s advice and concerns.

All I can say is make sure you have a custody arrangement in place if things go sideways. Decide who gets the dog before you get the dog, so you aren’t fighting over it if things ever were to go south.

Post # 48
Member
1112 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I’ll say that I just got married in June after dating for 7.5 years, and am 27. I have been DYING for a dog but it wasn’t good timing. We now own a home but have to replace the fence (and do some traveling) before getting a dog hopefully next year! My husband and I lived together for 5 years (after graduating), and we bought things for the apartment. We would usually split bigger ticket items. And we still haven’t officially combined finances.

Post # 49
Member
6871 posts
Busy Beekeeper

Why ask if you are not at all open to input?

The two of you do not sound ready to take on the decade-plus long responsibility of joint pet ownership. How many dogs have you raised? Because the hard work lasts for longer than 2-4 months–it can be more like 2-4 years depending upon the breed. And it’s expensive!!

I would never make significant purchases with someone I wasn’t at least engaged to, if not married to–just peruse the boards and read through all the challenges of dividing assets once two people don’t like each other any longer. It’s brutal. To put a living thing in the middle of that? Irresponsible. 

A new dog is stressful for couples not dealing with mental, relationship and financial challenges, even more so since he’s not on board. (My BFF just spent $8K at the emergency vet–are you prepared for that?) Since I have a feeling you may ignore him and all of us and do this anyway make it clear and in writing that this is solely your dog, no matter what, and get pet insurance. And don’t be surprised when your Boyfriend or Best Friend decides this unilateral decision demonstrates YOUR lack of care and investment in the relationship. 

Post # 50
Member
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

OP,

your relationship is not a special snowflake. Your boyfriend is not a special snowflake. He is no different than any other guy with his positives and negatives. Everything you listed about him taking forever to do things? They’re all excuses. And lame ones at that. Every single guy I ever dated who I thought deserved more time to decide things, or had “issues” that I should cut him some slack for? Yeah nope, it was all me gaslighting myself. Men do what they want to do when they want to do it. They say what they want to say when they want to say it. If he didn’t say it then you can’t assume it. 

You are incredibly immature and naive. I agree with another poster that you “keeping track” of the time it took you to do x things together is immature and clearly shows you are tracking things to attempt and convince yourself of his level of interest in you and how solid your relationship. You aren’t ready for a dog, or shared finances, or marriage. Your due for a reality check and some serious growing up. You know the last time I acted like you? When I was in highschool. 

Your relationship is not some special exception to the rule, people do differ but their motivations remain the same. Unless your boyfriend point blank tells you that taking x step is deeply meaningful to him and that he thinks it’s a step towards him committing more to you, STOP ASSIGNING MEANING TO THE ORDINARY. 

Post # 51
Member
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Oh and guess what? My husband is the type to like lots of time to think over decisions and wants time to adjust to things, so he says. We were engaged and married and pregnant in under 2 years. Excuses are like assholes, everyone has one. 

Post # 53
Member
449 posts
Helper bee

“seriously, yesterday after my boyfriend said he was going to catch up with some old roommates this week my mind started worrying about him moving to California in a matter of seconds…. I have no idea where that came from!!”

Then why would you even think about getting a dog or joining bank accounts if youre not even sure hes going to be around next week? You seem to be rationalizing a lot here.

Related to your question – my kids and I wanted a dog for 6 years but we were still renting a home. I would not get a dog until we owned a home because I didnt want to ever be in a position where I couldnt find a place to live that would take a dog. So we WAITED. Then when we bought our house, we got our dog.

Being an adult means making rational decisions, even when they are contrary to your emotions. You really need to work on that.

Post # 54
Member
538 posts
Busy bee

Before getting married most of our purchases were like you buy the bed and I’ll buy the TV type deals, also we both had our own furniture which we kept prior to moving in, only things we bought were TV which he bought and mattress which I bought. We did buy a dog when we were bf/gf but the dog was mine, she was under my name, he helped with medical bills but we had an understanding that the dog belonged to me and the cat belonged to him. I would recommend all young people not to get a dog. I love my dog, she is my child but she does limit us and right now is optimal time for travel for us but we don’t travel a lot because we can’t stand to leave her with strangers. 

Post # 55
Member
526 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

fourthnoel :  Omg! I’ve never heard of this teeenager stage, I’ve only had 1 puppy in my life, my others were adopted adults. I’m going to give my 15 year old girl an extra treat bc she was an angel, although potty training did take a loooong time! 

Post # 56
Member
1022 posts
Bumble bee

Dogs can live 16 ish years. It takes 18 years to raise a child.  So basically when you’re committed enough know you’ll be with that person for the next 16–18+ years,  then you’re ready for dogs – and kids.

 

For most people, they have that level of commitment and confidence somewhere between engagement and the first few years of marriage. Honestly. I would not get a dog until you’re BOTH at that point. He is clearly telling you he is not there yet so don’t waste energy on the issue. Go volunteer with a dog rescue org or shelter or become a dog walker / pet sitter if you need a good puppy fix before he’s ready, too.

Post # 57
Member
1629 posts
Bumble bee

ashleyroo :  I agree that often younger people should not get dogs. Honestly, I look at adopting a dog like having a child. You have to get a sitter if you are gone for any length of time, there are medical bills, there are toys, food, etc. You are seriously limited in what you can do. Dogs require a lot of love and attention and it can be difficult to juggle all of that. Cats are also a serious commitment, but a bit easier because they can be left for a bit longer…but even then, cats can be extremely loving and have difficulty when left alone for long periods so that’s not great either. 

Post # 58
Member
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

househippo25 :  It doesn’t matter if averages count or not, what matters is that he told you he wants to feel stable in the relationship for a longer time. You should first respect that and then once you reach that stability, then you think of everything else. Sorry, I don’t mean to be harsh, but wanting to be more stable in the relationship is something to be taken very very very seriously. He is being very honest with you on that – be thankful because not every man is ready to admit it.

Post # 59
Member
53 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

Also, OP, to answer your question: we got our first cat together at the ages of 30 and 38, together for 6 years, living together for 3, knowing a ring would arrive within the year (he proposed after 5 months) and with our TTC already planned out for the following year after the wedding. 

Any earlier than that I would have felt very insecure, it wouldn’t have been right for the cat and it would have been just an excuse for me to say – hey look at us progressing in our relationship and adopting a pet -. 

P.S. Raising your family dog is not the same as raising your OWN dog. Different dog, different behaviours, different issues. 

Post # 60
Member
5124 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

If you get a dog expect it to be his dog in case you ever break up. It would be too hard for me not to get emotionally attached to an animal when living together while dating and it just carries too much risk as a whole for me. Enjoy your relationship, work on yourself and your bond but do not get anymore pets until a firmer committment. 

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