Moving in together is a big step for any couple. Sharing a space with another person all the time is challenging, no matter how much you love someone.
Soon though, you and your partner may start thinking about adding a third to your little world. Some family members may be begging you to think about a baby, but you guys — like many other couples — may think bringing a pet into the mix is a better idea.
But pets are still a major commitment.
With National Pet Day approaching on April 11, we asked relationship expert Rori Sassoon, the CEO of the elite matchmaking service Platinum Poire, for her tips on bringing a pet into a relationship to help couples determine if they are ready to get a fur baby together.
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Here are Rori’s five signs you and your partner are ready for a pet.
1. You are responsible and have great communication as a team: Loving pets and taking care of them are two completely different things. It takes teamwork and responsibility as you are the pet’s primary caregiver.
2. You are financially ready: Commitment to getting a pet includes financial commitment. Visits to the groomer can be pricey, and your pet may need to undergo costly procedures down the line such as getting their teeth cleaned, or even surgery. Knowing that you are ready to allocate funds is a sign that you are ready.
3. You both have good time management: Time will be a major factor when getting a pet. Who will be home to feed them? When can they be taken out for a walk? Communicate who can allocate time and who will be the primary caregiver. This will save you stress later on with figuring out who is playing what role in regard to your pet. For times that you are both unavailable to walk your pet or stay home with them, it is a good sign if you can agree on who you both trust with your pet. It’s like a babysitter – you have to know who you can trust. Not being on the same page may cause an argument.
4. You are willing to make the pet your top priority and make sacrifices for them: Especially as your pet ages, it is important to understand that it may not be possible to have long vacations or spur-of-the-moment romantic weekend getaways. You may have to give up time in other areas of your social life to be with them.
5. You can handle it when you’re not the favorite: Pets are like humans — they have their favorites! Are you going to get upset that they have a favorite or if your partner seems to love the pet more than you? If so, having a pet may not be for you. Pets provide unconditional love whereas a partner’s love is conditional. If he or she is not bringing home the bacon or is not being nurturing, but the pet is, how will you and your partner react?