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It’s a Tug of War Over the Dog

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Hi Ellis.

My girlfriend is putting me in the awful position of picking between her and my dog. To be honest, it’s breaking my heart.

We’ve been together for about a year and we’re at the point where we’re ready to take our relationship to the next level and move in together, but she absolutely despises my dog. 

It’s putting me in a really tough spot. I love her but I love my dog too and I really don’t think I can choose between them. It would mean giving up one of the beings I love most in this world. The thought of rehoming my dog is heartbreaking, but so is the thought of losing my girl.

Any advice for this situation?

~Must Love Dogs

Ask Ellis

Must Love Dogs:

This is a challenging situation and I would really consider whether you’re willing to give up your dog for someone who would put you in a situation where you must choose between them and the dog. And if you love dogs, do you really want to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t share this affection?

A relationship is about give and take. It’s about making concessions and compromises, especially when the situation has such a profound impact on the other person’s life.

Assuming there are no health issues involved, such as allergies, it’s very selfish of your girlfriend to ask you to pick between her and the dog. Does she understand how much you love your dog and how difficult it would be for you to give him up?

I would also discuss what it is that she dislikes about your dog. Virtually all issues can be resolved with training or other measures.

If you’re forced to choose, I would pick the dog.

At best, your girlfriend will realize how much the dog means to you and she’ll work with you to arrive at an arrangement that works. At worst, she’ll let you walk away, in which case it’s probably for the best because you don’t want to be with someone who would be so dismissive of your feelings.

Ask Ellis is authored by LGBT advice columnist Ellis Keller. Click here to follow Ask Ellis on Facebook or submit your Ask Ellis question here.

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