You’re meeting your date for the first time, and as you spot them approaching from across the road you like the way they look and what they’re wearing. Having spoken to them online you know a bit about them and know what they’re into. But you still haven’t worked out what they’re like as a person; are they chatty and adventurous extroverts or are they quite content in their own company? Well, if they have a pet, we can tell you a few things about their personality that you probably didn't know.
Whether you’re dating an exotic iguana owner or someone who keeps cats, there’s a lot to be learnt about them as a person. Our resident Dating and Relationship Expert Kate Taylor reveals what your date’s pet says about them and how to win their heart!
Nearly 170,000 match.com members in the UK have a canine companion.
Kate Taylor says: Dog owners crave company and friendship. They particularly appreciate feeling loved. They’re responsible yet playful and are pretty good listeners.
How to win their heart: Their dog will be part of the family, so bring it little gifts. Toys, balls – something quirky and thoughtful. Appreciate that long outdoor walks can be a great date! Use this time to chat and get to know your new partner.
What to avoid? Don’t be jealous of the time and money your partner spends on their pet. Realise that they can’t just abandon the dog to go away for romantic weekends. If getting away is important to you, find dog-friendly cottages, camp, or rent a caravan together.
50,000 match.com members own a cat…and two-thirds of them are women!
Kate Taylor says: Cat-lovers are sociable and popular. They love getting out and about and therefore appreciate the low-maintenance friendship they get from a more independent pet. They can be rather reserved and quiet at first – but once you’ve won their heart, they’ll stay faithful.
How to win their heart: Play it slightly cool, at least at the very start. Don’t confess to your insecurities on early dates, maintain your dignity. Concentrate on having fun together over deep and meaningful conversations by planning active dates like dancing or going to the theatre.
What to avoid: Wanting too much, too soon. Take the first few months light and breezy – when your cat-loving companion is ready for commitment they’ll let you know.
Exotic pets make up the minority of match.com members’ pets with only 3,693 stating they own a big bird, lizard or rare fish on their profile.
Kate Taylor says: Owners of wild and wonderful pets like birds or lizards crave status and recognition. They use their rare breed of animals to tell the world, “I’m important”. They can be vain and ostentatious but inside they’re just little kittens needing love and dependability.
How to win their heart: Compliment them. Let them know how special they are to you. These people want to be recognised as a “rare breed” of person, so acknowledge all their achievements and good points. Don’t hold back on flattery!
What to avoid: Don’t compete for the spotlight. If you’re not the type to love dating an Alpha partner, step away and let them shine alone.
A surprisingly high proportion of members own a horse – over 15,000!
Kate Taylor says: Horse-lovers are romantics at heart. Love, to them, is all-consuming – anything less isn't worth the effort. Women who’ve carried their love of horses from childhood are faithful with a strong sense of responsibility, while male equine-owners are strong-willed, passionate and physical.
How to win their heart: Demonstrate your strength of character. Don’t appear too spinelessly easy-going or malleable; have a PASSION for life. If you can’t ride, learn – it’ll make weekends together much more rewarding and frequent. Horse-owners spend as much time in the saddle as they can.
What to avoid: Seeming meek or mild. If you’re scared of horses, don’t expect patience! Fight your fear or find a different mate.
Whether or not you’re a fan of small, long-tailed pets or not, you might like to know that over 10,000 match.com members have a rodent around the house!
Kate Taylor says: Lovers of small pets like mice, rabbits, guinea-pig and chinchillas are slightly shy, but always kind. They have a gentle nature that is scared of being hurt, and often hide their feelings behind humour and over-tolerance. It takes them a while to trust – take things slowly and always demonstrate your reliability and thoughtfulness.
How to win their heart: Listen to what they say and remember it. Treat their small pets kindly, and show you can be responsible – rodent-owners are often scared that they (and their pet!) might get treated roughly. Learn to make at-home dates fun and companionable.
What to avoid: Appearing brash, careless or crude. Don’t make fun at other people’s expense, and don’t take your rodent-loving date’s easy-going nature for granted or you’ll find yourself suddenly alone.