Owning a pet could damage your love life but hamsters and guinea-pigs are safest choice More than half of single women would feel less inclined to date someone who owned a spider
If you”ve spent the last few years wondering why you find it so hard to hold down a partner, it might be time to ditch the pet spider.
A YouGov poll has revealed that owning a pet could seriously damage your love life, particularly if it is a snake, rat, ferret or spider.
On the other hand, hamsters or guinea-pigs will do the least harm to a man or woman”s romantic prospects – if you really have to have a pet.
Most acceptable pet: Only 10 per cent of women and 13 per cent of men would run a mile if they knew their potential love interest owned a hamster
Parrots – despite their squawky reputation – are the next best choice.
YouGov questioned 513 people on their dating preferences for craigslist.com, a listings and dating website.
They found that the dating advantage of owning a hamster or guinea-pig compared to, for example, cats or dogs, is significant – particularly so for women.
Almost three times as many men (28 per cent) would “feel less inclined to date” someone who they learnt was a dog-owner as the number (10 per cent) who would feel the same about a hamster or guinea-pig-owner.
One in four men (25 per cent) would have reservations about dating a cat-owner.
Singletons of both sexes should most avoid owning a spider, snake or rat – but men will hurt their dating prospects even more than women by doing so.
Unwelcome friend: Spiders and snakes are the two pets that are most likely to turn-off love matches
Girls, it seems, seldom make passes at men who own spiders. More than half of single women (53 per cent) would feel less inclined to date someone who they learnt had an eight-legged friend.
Almost as many women would cool at the thought of dating someone who owned a snake (46 per cent), a rat (44 per cent) or even a ferret (34 per cent).
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These pets are the most likely to be dealbreakers in a relationship (in order):
Men held similar attitudes towards owners of these pets, only to a lesser degree.
“Who knew”, says Jim Buckmaster, CEO of craigslist. “These are the type of findings that only independent research could unearth.”
The findings are clear, says Buckmaster. “Single folks who want to own a pet, but deter the fewest potential dates, should opt for a hamster or guinea-pig.”
Respondents chose from a list of ten kinds of pets and were asked to predict whether they would feel less inclined to date the owner of each kind.
Of course, to stand the best chance of finding a partner it might be worth ditching pets altogether.
Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of those questioned said animals would make a difference to whether or not they dated someone.