It's Me Or The Cat! Why Ultimatums are Uncool

I was asked to pen reviews on popular dating sites for a company I write for and while on this assignment, I came across a profile that rose my dander a bit.

The man was part of a well known matchmaking service and was attractive looking if his picture was to be believed, but the thing that peeved me was his date headline which read "It's me or the cat!" While many would see the comment as funny as innocuous, I have been in enough disastrous relationships to know a red flag when I see one.

While most of us would agree that relationships are about sacrifice and compromise, we have to acknowledge what is reasonable for a potential mate to ask and where we should draw a line in the sand. In regards to the tongue in cheek cat comment, I have to say that this dude should find women who do not have cats as pets if this is something that bothers him enough to place it in his matchmaker headline.

In the end, how unfair is it to ask an individual to sever an important emotional relationship just because you came on the scene?
Gogus olculeri

Now, don't get me wrong, I am not a big PETA activist or avid animal lover. I adore animals and would never advocate any innocent creature being harmed for any reason (unless it of course attacks or kills a human being). I am just not one of those folks who thinks animals should be "personified" as it is far better to respect their animal nature. Personally, I think people who carry critters around in purses or put clothes on something that already has fur on it are few bricks short of a load.

However, I can understand how an animal can become a beloved part of the family, and how that relationship should be respected.

If I were still in the dating game and happened to fall for a guy who had a dog, I wouldn't tell him Rex had to go if he wanted to be with me. How arrogant is that? If it was a situation where I didn't care for the pet, I may mention it, and at that point it is up to him to make that decision.

But to avoid all the drama, if I had a big aversion to pets in general, I would avoid dating someone who had one--there are plenty of attractive people who are too busy to deal with even a fish let alone a cat or dog.

When it comes to individuals and their pets, there is no telling the history the person could have with their pet. What if the cat was a gift given to them by a father who is deceased? What if the dog in question rescued the man and his loved ones from a burning building?

And let's say the person gave their beloved pet away to appease their lover, what would be the next thing you'd have to give up to prove your love? Friends, relatives, favorite activities career goals? Give up enough important aspects of your life often enough and five years from now you could be looking in the mirror wondering what the hell happened to you!

And in a savage twist of irony, that man or woman who asked so much of you could one day leave you on the grounds that "You are not the person I met/married..."
"Evolve & change in ways that are good for both you and the relationship, but never change so much that you lose yourself."

Happened to a wonderful friend o' mine. "For years I tied myself in knots to be what my wife wanted and she left me because she said I wasn't the same." he replied with some self deprecation.

The lesson? Evolve and change in ways that are good for both you and the relationship, but never change so much that you lose yourself. The person who wants to be with you will accept you, cat or not. If your pet becomes an issue then it should be you who makes the choice to let it go, not a demanding, controlling partner.

We have the right to request what we would like in our mates but we should always respect and acknowledge the things that make them who they are and give their individualism due reverence.
It's Me Or The Cat! Why Ultimatums are Uncool
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Most Helpful Guy

  • GoodManDave
    For the most part, I agree. Unfortunately, I am seriously allergic to most animals. That puts me at an uncompromising position. I love animals, but most with fur or feathers could cause me serious trouble.

    Most women, I find are upfront in offering a sort of "backwards" ultimatum. They won't date anyone who can't be around fluffy.

    I understand this, and I try to work around it, but in issues of health, sometimes ultimatums have to happen, or the relationship has to go.

    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • Darkfairie17
    Completely agree! I once dated a guy who hated cats. I made it very clear from the beginning that I loved cats and had a few at home. So I was surprised when he said he would never want an animal around. Why not just be upfront, so we could have moved on from another. I am not about to change my lifestyle for him, but that's what he thought and I had enough. Safe to say we are not together anymore, and I am happier this way :)
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • HopelessAndLost21
    Excellent article. I totally relate in that my ex was constantly trying to change who I was. At first I didn't recognize it as changing me since it started out small. One day he decides that he hates my rats. I know, rats are a strange pet, but they were there for me through the hard time of dealing with my brothers death and are a second family for me. I wasn't about to just give them the boot because 'someone' didn't like the way their tails looked. Pet or not, never give me an ultimatum
  • aliciaxx
    If my boyfriend ever asked me to get rid of my Bella, I would tell him to get over it or get out. He knows how close I am with her so for him to ask me to choose would show that he has no respect for my feelings or connections. You're right about it starting with the pet- what next would he want me to give up? But Bella would be one of the things I would never give up anyway.
  • rainydaydreamaway
    Some men are furry, some women too! But all of them have to wear clothes in public! LOL

    The thing I like most about cats is that I am allergic to them. They seem OK with this.

    As far as the ad goes, he was jokingly weeding out the cat owners before ever having to go on even one date with one, let alone deliver an ultimatum, though I would not use this as my headline ever!

    I've seen people give up pets - and themselves - for relationships that didn't work out... now the pet is gone too. Sad.
  • Kass1964
    Yeah. You shouldn't make someone choose between their pet and you. It's not right. I love my cats (even if they annoy the hell outta me) and if my bf/husband asked me to get rid of them. I'd tell him to screw himself. If he really liked me he wouldn't make me choose.
  • A-R-Norman
    I hear yah dave--but then--if she chooses the cat--did you really want to be with her?

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