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Stacia and Daniel Folloder met through JDate.com, an online dating service that connects Jewish singles. From the start, it was clear that their dogs, a Labrador/golden retriever mix and a chocolate Labrador, would play a significant role in their romance. The Houston couple, who were married in November, spent their second date at a dog park. “Our dogs hit it off just as well as we had,” says Stacia Folloder. “And if one of us had not been a dog lover, I’m not sure it would have worked.”
Love Me, Love My Dog
When it comes to romance, dog lovers often hope to find someone who loves dogs as well. According to eHarmony, an online relationship community that matches users based on comprehensive questionnaires, a love of dogs carries real weight for many eHarmony users.
“Pet ownership is not factored in to eHarmony’s compatibility matching system,” says eHarmony spokeswoman Whitney Standring-Trueblood. “However, there is an area in the profile called ‘Something to Talk About’ that lets you see things you may have in common with a match -- your shared interests in culture, food, sports, hobbies and entertainment. One of the common interests is pet ownership.” Forty-five percent of eHarmony users select dogs and cats as pets they have or like, and 22 percent select dogs alone.
A shared love of dogs is so critical for some singles that the number of online dating communities designed exclusively for dog lovers or pet owners is growing. Sites such as DateMyPet.com often offer tips about both pets and dating. Sites such as Leashes and Lovers provide an online community for dog owners to create homepages for themselves and/or their pooches and to connect for doggie playdates, human dates and more.
The Dog Lover’s Profile
Jennifer Glen, a current JDate member who also happens to work for the community’s parent company, is head over heels in love … with her dogs Abby and Bella. She frequently posts photos of her furry friends on her dogs’ blog at AbbyBella.blogspot.com.
However, explains Glen, “I don’t necessarily need someone as crazy about dogs as I am.” What she’s looking for is someone who will accept that her dogs play a central role in her everyday life. Although her potential mate needn’t be dog-obsessed, not liking dogs is indeed a deal-breaker, says Glen.
Fall for the Man -- and the Dog
Finding a match online is a bit like playing detective. Daters look for clues in potential matches’ profiles. “When I saw Daniel’s profile online, I did notice he had a dog in his picture, and that was one of my first questions: Does he have a dog, and what kind?” says Stacia Folloder. “I liked that he had pictures of his family and of his dog.”
The Folloders met on JDate in April 2010 and married in November 2011. Sharing their love with their dogs enriches their lives together. These days, they love going to the dog park together to watch the dogs play and swim. “We take them with us wherever they are allowed to go,” says Stacia Folloder.
Couples need to find common interests for relationships to work. For the Folloders, their love for dogs is that bond. “Our love for our dogs is something we share and something we both love about each other,” she says. “I am very happy to say that all four of us are the best of friends.”
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