My girlfriend is an animal lover. I knew this when I met her but I didn't realize to what extent these furry critters would interfere in our relationship. She insists on bringing her dog everywhere and refuses to go to places that don't tolerate the pooch. She is also a vegetarian and won't include meat in anything she cooks for the two of us. Sometimes I feel she likes animals more than me. How can I turn this around?
You phrased the question with your answer: How can YOU turn this around? Indeed, the solution is in your hands. It is your attitude vis-a-vis the pets that can salvage this relationship. You need to remember they are pets and although the bond with your girlfriend is most certainly strong, you have an advantage in that you can communicate with her on a deeper level and maintain a stronger bond. Don't compete for her affection with animals- it's an exercise in futility. Your girlfriend's belief system is based on animal welfare and you aren't going to change that. You can either accept it and embrace it or move on.
I hope you choose the former as you may come to appreciate the countless benefits of having animals in your life and in your relationship; animals and especially dogs can increase the number of positive social behaviors and make us happier, among other things. In the meanwhile, you can commiserate with others in a similar position on this blog. You will quickly realize that dating your girlfriend and her dog is not such a big dilemma and with the right attitude, it can play in your favor.
PS For all the singles reading this in search of love, I highly recommend adopting a dog as your makeshift matchmaker. Not only do dogs make you more likeable, they also increase your opportunities for social interaction, be it flirting at the dog park or connecting during long walks. I've said it: Dogs are the ultimate matchmakers.
Pet-loving singles? Looking for love and a relationship, long-term commitment or just looking for advice on love, relationships and dating... Give this matchmaker a shout: firstname.lastname@example.org