Women are more likely to ditch partners than pets says survey - so Ulster men be warned as Valentine’s Day approaches

Interestingly, 56% of people in Northern Ireland are more likely to ditch their partner than a pet, which is not as high as some UK regions, but still shows pet passions run high

By Joanne Savage
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 3:00 pm
Research shows that if Ulster men don't get it right this Valentine's Day they may find themselves alone while their lady love cuddles up to her pet instead
Research shows that if Ulster men don't get it right this Valentine's Day they may find themselves alone while their lady love cuddles up to her pet instead

Men in Northern Ireland are facing a warning to be on their best behaviour on Valentine’s Day or face a visit to the dog house, according to a survey of pet owners and their relationships.

Women are more likely to ditch their partner than their pet, according to a poll for nationwide pet retailer Jollyes.

Asked about their relationship with their partner and their pet and which one they would ditch first, 53 per cent said they would ditch their partner against 47 per cent who would ditch their pet.

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Men were more loyal to their partners, with 63 per cent saying they would ditch their pet and 37 per cent saying they would ditch their partner.

Overall, 45 per cent would ditch their partner first and 55 per cent said the pet would go first.

The survey showed some big differences in attitudes to pets and partners around the UK. 

Interestingly, people in Northern Ireland are 56% more likely to ditch their partner than a pet but this shows a slighter higher valuation of human connection than other parts of the UK - in the North East of England 66% were more likely to ditch their other half in favour of a four-legged friend, 61% in London would do the same while in the South West people put pet love at the bottom with a still notably substantial 47% prepared to call time on their relationship and retain their pooch, cat or other adored domesticated animal.

Dogs (65%) were the most common pet among those surveyed, followed by cats (52%), rabbits (4%)), birds (4%), reptiles (3%) and other (10%).

Owners were asked what they loved most about their pets, with loyalty, unconditional love, their loving nature, the affection they give and a warm heart among the most valued qualities.

But no matter how much love an animal gives, most pet owners (84%), and note well all of you across Northern Ireland who are married or in relationships, would prefer a romantic Valentine’s night with their partner than one spent with their pet.

Of male respondents, 88 per cent chose a night with their partner, compared with 80 per cent of female respondents.

The figures were broadly similar across the country.

Should men be worried that more women prefer pets to wine and romance and heart-covered cards and bunches of red roses?

Among the other popular traits cited by pet owners in NI that are most precious included the fact “they are so loyal and loving. And cute!”; provide “unconditional love and loyalty”; give “comfort when I’m feeling blue”; “and crucially, “doesn’t argue or answer back”.

Others cited that pets won out over partners because they never fail to provide cheer, have, unless you are into snakes, turtles or tarantulas, a “waggy tail and a warm heart” and are blessed with loving natures as well as being there 24/7 when needed.

One respondent said: “Sometimes playful, sometimes cuddly, intelligent, independent, sometimes dangerous. All rather like my partner really.”

Phil Turner-Naylor, head of marketing at Jollyes, said: “We’re known as a nation of animal lovers and this goes to prove it.

“When it comes to relationships, a lot of people would choose their pet over their partner.
“The good news for romantics though is that a big majority choose people over pets.

“What it does show, especially for men, is that partners have to work hard to keep the romance going or they might find themselves in the dog house.”

Northern Irish women, like those across the rest of the UK, are looking for a romantic night with their partner on Valentine’s, but if their men-folk don’t get it right, they had better watch out.

So noble husbands, boyfriends and lotharios of Ulster, you have officially been warned: pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day or you could find yourself out on your ear while your beloved eats chocolates and cuddles up to her preferred pooch, cat, hamster, llama, sheep, goat, parakeet or snake.

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