He’s allergic to my cats

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Tomorrow, we'll do updates and a year's Top 10 list.

Send your own letter to [email protected] or use this form. I'd like to close out 2021/start 2022 taking on all of your problems. :)

Hello Love Letters Universe,

I'm seeking wisdom on a matter that feels comical to write about, but is posing a serious threat to the future of my relationship. I have been with my partner for a little over a year now, and I'm absolutely delighted to be with someone with whom I can communicate, problem-solve, and mature with exceptionally well and with ease. I deeply love this man and want our relationship to grow and evolve toward living together. We don't want to rush it, but we know it's a goal we'd like to work toward in the next two years, if not less.

So what's the problem with this wonderful relationship? He's allergic to my cats. And not in a "just take a Benadryl" kind of way. He can't breathe, gets horribly itchy, and overall cannot enjoy being in my space very long because of the allergy. Needless to say, most time spent together is at his place. This leaves me questioning ... will it always have to be like this? Splitting time between cats and my partner?

I adore my cats and I believe it is my responsibility to care for them until they pass. That's what agreeing to pet adoption is. My partner would never ask me to get rid of them; he knows they're important to me. But it does feel like so long as they're in the picture, we can't progress to eventually cohabitating, and he's said as such. There has to be a solution here, no? If anyone has been in a similar situation, I'm here for all the advice. Thanks, Does it have to be him or the cats?

- Allergy Problems

"There has to be a solution here, no?"

The solution is that you live separately until you no longer have cats. Sorry. That's it.

I am very allergic to cats. A Benadryl does very little if I'm in a room with them.

When I visit my friend Rachel's place, she puts a sheet over her couch so I can sit on it. I love her cat, but as soon as I enter that space, I feel like I have a clock on me, even with that sheet. I feel like after an hour or so, I will turn back into a pumpkin, Cinderella-style. I am itchy, can't breathe, etc.

This does not mean I don't want to spend time with Rachel. I very much do! I also adore her cat. From afar.

In your case, you're dealing with a romantic relationship, and the allergy isn't going to change, so ... that's that. There's no magic pill. You want your partner and cats to be comfortable, so let them exist in separate places, sharing your attention.

If you're unwilling to part with the cats (if not, that’s OK!), the plans to live together will have to wait. You can have both if you and your partner are willing to have patience. He sounds pretty patient to me.

– Meredith

Readers? Allergic readers? Thoughts? At least he doesn't hate the cats. We've actually had a lot of cat letters.