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Dog-Phobic Guy Breaks Up With Girlfriend After She Gets Dog Without Discussing It With Him

Woman with her adopted golden retriever
Prostock-Studio/Getty Images

Though it might be hard for us to imagine, not everyone shares the same opinion about having a pet.

Some people abhor the idea of having pets, other people can’t have enough pets, and some other people may love pets but they’re allergic or can’t keep up with the mess or costs.

The important thing to understand is that when two people want to date, they have to agree about their future pet life or pet-free life, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITAH) subReddit.

Redditor sherzad71 was extremely uncomfortable around dogs, to the point that he avoided them whenever he left his house.

When his girlfriend showed up at home with one, without even discussing it with him first, the Original Poster (OP) didn’t know what to do.

He asked the sub:

“AITAH for leaving my girlfriend after she got a dog?”

The OP had an amazing relationship with his girlfriend… until recently.

“I’m 25 (Male), and my girlfriend is 23 (Female). We’ve been together for over a year, and we generally have a great relationship. She’s funny and kind.”


“Yesterday, when I got home, there was a Golden Retriever in our house.”

“When I asked my girlfriend whose dog it was, she smiled and said, ‘Ours.'”

“I wasn’t sure if she was joking or being serious, so I kept asking whose dog it was. She kept smiling and saying, ‘Ours.'”

“She then proceeded to say the dog’s name (I don’t really remember what she said her name was since a lot was going through my mind). She even told the dog to say, ‘Hi Dad.'”

“I told her that she couldn’t be serious right now, and she replied, ‘Why?’ with a big smile.”

“I didn’t say anything else and just left the house and went to a hotel.”

The OP was strongly opposed to dogs.

“At the beginning of our relationship, I had told her that I don’t like dogs and can’t be in the same room with one. Even when I see one in public, I put a good distance between me and the person walking the dog.”

“I told her if she ever wanted a pet, she would have to get a cat or something else that is not a dog.”

“While at the hotel, my girlfriend called me a couple of times, but I didn’t answer. Then she texted me, saying that I was overreacting and that my fear of dogs was ridiculous.”

“She said I should at least give it a try and live with a dog for a while, and that she and the dog would help me overcome my fear.”

“But I never asked to overcome it, and honestly, it never bothered me as long as there were no dogs in my house. I never got bothered by one in public because I always put a good distance between me and the dogs. I have never even petted a dog before and never will.”

The OP was starting to think it was over.

“I ignored her messages and just went to sleep, as I wanted to decide what to do when my head was clearer.”

“I don’t want to be the guy who says it’s either me or the dog. She clearly likes dogs, and I don’t, so I was thinking of just breaking up with her, even though she has been amazing throughout the year.”

“AITAH for wanting to break up with her over this?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some understood and reassured the OP that his boundaries should be respected.

“NTA. Even if you love dogs, she needed to discuss this with you before getting one.” – ProtozoaPatriot

“NTA. I’m a dog lover, but if my husband said that he absolutely was terrified of dogs I wouldn’t bring one home.”

“It’s not even about the dog at this point, it’s the fact that she completely disregarded your feelings/boundaries and basically expects you to suck it up.” – Visual-Lobster6625

“It doesn’t matter if they are both dog lovers. They both need to decide and talk about getting ANY pet. OP, your girlfriend is not a partner. She doesn’t seem to understand that on big decisions. I think it’s fair to say it’s the dog or me. NTA.” – wino12312

“NTA. I’ve got three dogs, the dog did nothing wrong, etc. but none of that matters.”

“What matters here is that you are dating an inconsiderate and immature girl who specifically changed your living scenario to go against your hard line.”

“Dump her and move on. No coming back from that, you can’t just give away a dog (ethically).” – Kiefy-McRiefer

“NTA. She’s trying to bulldoze a hard boundary of yours and this sets a disturbing precedent if you accept it.” – JosKarith

But others challenged the OP to handle the situation in a more constructive way.

“NTA for leaving but YTA for not communicating. It’s not breakup-worthy, in my opinion, and something that can be worked out. It doesn’t sound like she did anything with malicious intent, perhaps selfish and ignorant, but nobody is perfect.”

“You should talk to her and communicate your needs (again) and if she ignores those then perhaps it’s worth discussing the fact that it might result in a breakup with her. Since you’ve had a good year with her, Give her a chance, is all I’ll say.” – ahuss949

“YTA if you keep ghosting her, but not for wanting to break up. It sounds like this will be difficult to reconcile, but if you care for her you should actually talk about it.” – Streetiebird

“YTA but not because you’re mad about her bringing the dog home and need to go think about it.”

“Walking out without saying anything and then not responding at all, even though she’s saying some insensitive (at best) stuff, is completely childish. If you don’t want to talk to her because you need to think, you need to say that because you are an adult in an adult relationship. If your relationship is over, you need to say that because you are an adult in an adult relationship.” – TopperXCP

“YTA. Running away from your problems and ignoring calls isn’t the way to handle the situation.”

“Exposure therapy is a legitimate form of getting over a fear. Dogs are amazing animals, and it’s your personal problem if you don’t like them, not your girlfriend’s.”

“She should’ve discussed it with you before she got one, though. Maybe you two aren’t compatible. She wants a dog and you don’t like them.” – ToxyFlog

“You’re NTA for being upset with her when she’s made a decision like this without you. You’re NTA for not liking dogs.”

“YTA for moving in with someone who clearly loves dogs and it’s pretty clear you’ve ignored her numerous hints and signs that she would want a dog one day. Sounds like you’ve ignored her hoping this desire will go away. YTA for not having a good reason to despise dogs so much and for never explaining to her why you feel so strongly about them. YTA for not even attempting to work through your fear.”

“While I don’t think her bringing a dog into your home was at all appropriate, it’s kinda ridiculous that you just expect her to never have a dog because you don’t like them. You’re NTA for feeling disrespected, but this is what happens when two adults fail to communicate clearly and don’t care about their partner’s feelings.”

“Personally for me, this is a deal-breaker and you guys aren’t compatible.” – BlackRoseThyme

After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in another post.

“First of all, I want to thank everyone for their feedback and support. After reading many comments from both perspectives (people who were saying I’m NTA and the ones who were saying YTA), I went to see my girlfriend and we talked for a bit.”

“I told her what she did was wrong, but she insisted that I was overreacting and she wasn’t ready to apologize.”

“After talking a bit more, I told her I wanted to break up with her.”

“At first, she didn’t believe me and thought I was trying to hurt her or get revenge on her. Then she started crying, and then she got angry and tried to hit me. I held her until she calmed down.”

“After a while, we talked again and she said, ‘What am I supposed to do?'”

“She mentioned that she couldn’t take care of the dog by herself, so I offered to help her find a new place for the dog. I also offered that if she didn’t want to move out, she could stay at my place and I would find a new place for myself. Additionally, I told her that I would cover her rent for this month. I know I didn’t have to do any of these things, but I couldn’t just leave her like that and I don’t want to see her suffer or have a hard time.”

“She said thanks for the offer and that she would think about it. I could tell that she was still in shock, so I didn’t really know what to say to her and I didn’t want her to feel worse, so I decided to give her some space.”

The OP gave his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend space while she figured everything out.

“For the past couple of days, I have been staying with a friend, and I had him bring some of my stuff over until my ex-girlfriend decided if she wanted to stay there or find a new place for herself. I decided to give her a couple of days to decide.”

“The day after I broke up with her, my friend and I tried to find a new place for the dog, as she couldn’t take care of her. (She told me she took the dog to one of her friend’s houses, but her friend couldn’t help her with finding a permanent place for the dog.)”

“Honestly, none of this is good for my mental health and I have taken a week off work just to solve everything.”

“I can’t leave the dog on the street, and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to do that in the UK, and it would feel awful to do that. Anyways, we had no luck and couldn’t find any place for the dog, so we decided to try again tomorrow.”

“After me and my friend went back to his home, my ex called me. She called to ask for one more chance and she apologized.”

“I said I forgive you, and what’s done is done, but I think it’s better if we go our separate ways.”

“She wasn’t happy with it. I will just skip this conversation here since she was just cursing and saying I will never find someone like her or that I will die single, etc.”

The situation started to work itself out.

“A day later (which was yesterday at the time of making this update): My friend called me saying he got good news; he found someone to take the dog, and we are still waiting for that person to take her.”

“On the same day, around 11:30 PM to 12 AM, my ex started calling me again. It was quite late, so I decided to wait for her to leave a message to see what she wanted, but she just kept calling.”

“When I finally picked it up, she asked me to forgive her again.”

“I told her that I already have, but we’re simply not compatible and I told her, ‘You’re young and beautiful; you will find someone else.’ But she got even more p**sed.”

While not everyone agreed about the OP’s feelings about dogs, everyone could at least agree that getting a pet should have been a thorough discussion before either person moved forward with getting a pet or not.

By ignoring the OP’s fear of dogs, it seemed like she was looking for a way to end the relationship, hoping to prove that her boyfriend was faking his fear, or thought she could just get her way.

But in saying “my way or the highway,” the OP surprisingly chose the latter.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan has been a part of the George Takei family since 2019 when she wrote some of her favorite early pieces: Sesame Street introducing its first character who lived in foster care and Bruce Willis delivering a not-so-Die-Hard opening pitch at a Phillies game. She's gone on to write nearly 3,000 viral and trending stories for George Takei, Comic Sands, Percolately, and ÜberFacts. With an unstoppable love for the written word, she's also an avid reader, poet, and indie novelist.