Dating Someone With Exotic Pets: Deal Breaker or Deal Maker?


Some people get freaked out by exotic pets like rodents. By: Firelong

Are spiders, rodents or reptiles ruining your dating life?

Whether you have an exotic pet or are dating someone who does, they’re not always the most, um, magnetic when it comes to romantic relationships. While having a cat or dog is seen as relatively “normal,” not everyone is used to seeing a slithering snake or fuzzy insect hanging out in its habitat on their love interest’s dresser.

But is that the norm? Is dating someone with exotic pets really a deal breaker? A study on how pets affect the relationships of 1,000 people can help us determine the best answer to that.

Dating Someone With Dogs or Cats

To understand the difference between dating someone with dogs or cats versus someone with exotic pets, let’s take a look at how the majority feels when it comes to felines and canines.

Of all 1,000 people in the study, 12 percent wanted a pet but didn’t have one at the time. Out of those people, 71 percent wished they had a dog, and 53 percent wanted a cat.

Exotic pets, which we’ll consider as pets less common than dogs and cats, made up a very small percentage, with rabbits, birds and fish claiming a total of 15 percent.

It doesn’t stop there, though. When it comes to cats — and especially dogs — people actually consider their pets deal makers, not deal breakers. In fact, 21 percent of men in the study claimed to have used their dog to try and get someone’s attention before.

Looking at the study, it’s clear that non-exotic pets, in general, are accepted in the dating world. But while dogs and cats tend to get a thumbs-up in romantic relationships, does that mean exotic pets don’t?

According to the study, it looks that way.

Yeah, this isn’t the most inviting of pets your significant other could keep. By: Pexels

Exotic Pets and Relationships

For some, exotic pets are seen as too “creepy,” with spiders giving the majority of people surveyed the chills. Out of all the men in the study group, 66 percent thought spiders were creepy, with 77 percent of women feeling the same.

Snakes, mice and rats fell just behind spiders in terms of giving romantic partners goosebumps. Some people also claimed hamsters, ferrets and several other exotic animals had the same effect.

Do creepy pets translate to fewer dates, though? For all the exotic pet lovers out there, it’s safe to say yes, unfortunatelyA whopping 55 percent of people claimed they wouldn’t go on a 2nd date with a person who had a pet spider.

Here’s how other exotic pets stacked up:

  • 42 percent wouldn’t date someone with a snake.
  • 32 percent wouldn’t date someone with a rat.
  • 25 percent wouldn’t date someone with ants.
  • 24 percent wouldn’t date someone with bees.
  • 17 percent wouldn’t date someone with a ferret.

The problem is, while exotic pets may be perfectly safe and wonderful to care for, too many of them have a bad rap.

There’s no denying more people would rather squash a creepy-crawly critter than keep it as a pet. And while not all exotic pets have scales or 8 legs, too many people are afraid of them. Those fears might be completely unwarranted, of course, but the fact still remains.

Ruined Relationships

How many relationships really are ruined by pets — exotic or not?

Perhaps to the relief of those with exotic pets, people claimed dogs and cats were the animals that ended the most relationships when it came to pet problems, with 45 percent of dogs and 32 percent of cats sealing those relationships’ fate, respectively.

Whoa. Check out this exotic pet:

The 3rd animal to end the most relationships when it came to pet problems? Snakes.

Of course, those numbers likely correlate with the number of people who have dogs, cats and snakes, but even so, it’s still revealing. It shows us that while exotic animals might be more of an initial turnoff, they’re not the only ones leaving a bad impression in relationships.

The authors of this study have certainly left us with a lot to think about. But to be honest, if you’re at all active in the dating scene — or are happily past it — this might not be news to you.

At the end of the day, your pet is a huge part of your life, no matter what kind of pet that might be. The likelihood that you’d date someone who didn’t feel positively about your pet is slim. My guess is someone who thinks your pet is creepy is as much a turnoff for you as it would be for them.

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