Shuddering Souls and Meeting People IRL

Dear Emily,

In your last post, you asked whether or not you were heartless for not being empathetic when a date prioritized his dogs over you, and it kind of made my soul shudder.

Can a pet enrich someone’s life? No doubt. Are dogs cute? Sure. But, let’s do some math here.

If 1 human year is 7-15 dog years, then your date’s 4- and 6-year old dogs are effectively middle aged. If they were humans, they’d drive hybrid minivans, vote Liberal in Canadian federal elections, and be saving up for a cottage on the sunshine coast. You’re telling me they can’t be left alone for a few hours?

In all seriousness, I understand that people love their pets. Loving things is good. But, dating is about making space for new people — maybe, even, at some point, people to love — in our lives. Prioritizing the dogs over seeing you tells me that this guy isn’t ready to make that space yet. Because, you know what? If he is truly worried about the dogs, there are other options: dog sitters, doggy-day cares, neighbours, friends. And, I know that time-sharing pets with ex-partners is fairly common but I have a hard time believing the dogs’ welfare is the driving force behind that arrangement.

Also, as your friend, I want you to want to be prioritized: Emily over Dog every time.

Next topic: meeting people in real life.

I was chatting with a friend this weekend and she asked, a little sadly, whether I thought it was possible to still meet people in real life.  

I wanted to say, “Of course!” I can count twenty friends who met their partners at school or through work.

But, I also think that the landscape of being single in public has changed. Because of online dating, I’m not sure people are looking to connect at coffee shops or bars or house parties like they were ten years ago.

What do you think? How has online dating changed how we meet people in real life? If she isn’t in a romantic comedy, and is unlikely to meet the love of her life by literally running into him on a crowded New York sidewalk, where can she go to find a guy in-person?

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