Veterinarians Share The One Thing They Wish People Understood About Their Pets
Pets can be wonderful companions, reliable helping hands when farming and hunting, or therapeutic presences when people feel gloomy or alone.
Nothing has proved all of this more than life at home during the pandemic.
But before leaping into pet ownership, it's important to think deliberately about that undertaking.
Nobody is more aware of those subtleties than a veterinarian. And lucky for us, plenty of vets use Reddit.
Redditor mrktx21 asked:
"Veterinarians of Reddit: What is one thing you wish people would know/understand about their pet?"
Just Imagine Being Stuck Home All Day Every Day...Oh Wait
"About their pet, the best one I know is one I heard a while ago: You have your life, your job, your friends, your family to provide your social interaction per day. Your dog only has YOU."
"Interact with your dog for more than five minutes per day and maybe your dog will not go out barking every five seconds."
Consistency is Key
"Don't complain about your dog not having boundaries when you're literally feeding them scraps off your plate at dinner time! That's 100% on you." -- SquiliamFancySon95
"It's so tiring trying to get my parents to stop feeding their dog who is highly allergic to all sorts of meat food scraps off the table."
"In their minds, they're being kind and can't help pampering the dog when in reality it just causes her to chew her paw pads off when she has her allergic reactions. It blows my mind." -- takenwithapotato
You Get What You Pay For
"Vaccines you get at the drug store on the corner or the feed and tack shop ARE NOT as good or the same as the ones you get at the vet."
"Just because your dog is scratching its ears does not mean it has ear mites."
"Your cat is not urinating outside the box because its a jerk ( it might be) it probably has an infection."
"Not eating for 3 days while vomiting and having diarrhea is a huge deal! That 5lb chihuahua or even 80lb lab cant lose that many fluids without having any intake and be ok and neither would you."
Do Your Research
"RVT here. Exotic animals (reptiles, birds, small mammals such as rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and rodents) may be easy to acquire and assumingly easier to take care of but most of these animals have very specific housing and dietary needs that need to be met and require enrichment."
"Also, not every veterinarian has experience with exotic animals, and exotic animal medicine is sometimes at a premium but is still necessary."
"I've met a lot of people who get a small mammal or a small bird for like $20 from the pet store and then won't pay for medical care because it costs way more than the pet was purchased for."
Bring the Enthusiasm
"Not a vet but my mom is."
"One thing that really frustrates her is the myth that neutering a cat will make them fat and lazy."
"It reduces the amount of calories they need which means they need less food and/or more exercise to maintain the same weight. Cats generally get less energetic as they get older regardless, but most will still perk up if you make the effort to wave a toy in their face every so often."
The Only Language Pets Have
"I am a vet. I wish people just even had a BASIC understanding of dog or cat body language. Ffs."
"The number of videos posted on reddit of animals in distress and its tagged as 'oh my little fluffster is so cute when he plays!' or whatever makes my blood boil."
"That kind of moronic ignorance is what gets children bit by the pet dog or the cat who is now dying because the owner had no idea of the signs 4 months ago."
To Keep in Mind
"If you see a stray cat with a cleanly clipped ear tip do not take it to a shelter. Either take it home to live with you or leave it on the street."
"Clipped ears mean they were caught, neutered/spayed by the city/county, and released. This is a way to control cat populations and, over time, protect wildlife. They compete for resources with fertile cats without adding to the population."
"In many cities, stray cats are more likely to be adopted from the street than in the shelter. If the cat is taken to a shelter they cannot legally release it because it is now abandoning the animal. That cat will be euthanized, or at best absorbs resources until it finds a home."
Tough, But Significant
"From my former vet tech girlfriend, don't leave your pets to be euthanized without you. It's hard to be there and it's hard to watch, but if you leave them they will die scared and looking for you."
"She had to try and comfort pets whose owner's couldn't bring themselves to stay and it's one of the few things that makes her cry."
One Vet's Take on Love and Stewardship
"If you own a pet and it's not a bird/mammal, it doesn't love you, not the way you're thinking of love. Reptiles, amphibians, and fish don't produce serotonin the way mammals and some birds do."
"They really do not care about you, they don't want to be snuggled, they don't want to be your friend, and it doesn't make a difference to them if you feed them/do their maintenance or someone else does."
"YES, they can learn to recognize you as their primary caregiver (my axolotls all know who I am and swim up to the glass if I'm there, which they don't do with anyone else), and they may come to TRUST you (which is arguably more valuable than love) but we do not know enough about them to say that they can love you."
"We just know that they can't love you the way you love them. They're biologically incapable of it, and that's not a bad thing, just different."
Trust and Patience
"I'm a vet."
"99% of patients are ok with drop off appointments due to COVID. The number of clients claiming 'my pet has severe anxiety, I can't believe you're making him go in alone!' is quite high. Almost all pets are fine. And the ones who aren't fine, I've allowed owners in the building to help."
"There's been 2 since March who actually were in distress despite people complaining daily about it being an issue."
"Also I think people need to learn more about the medical process in general. Tests are usually required to make a diagnosis. Sometimes even with tests the diagnosis is grey. Sometimes spending all the money will not guarantee success. Many times there's not a magic shot I can give to fix it."
Cute Is Temporary
"Dont buy a dog only because you like the way it looks."
"Huskies and most sorts of shepherds are working dogs. They need lots of activities to be happy and they often turn aggressive if they do not get enough of it!"
"Cute is cute, but there's a lot more to be considered."
Just Like You
"For all idiots out there who think you put a dog on a chain and leave it, get your head out of your a…"
"If you're hot the dog is probably hot. If you need shade, so does the dog."
"If you're not standing outside in the rain, neither should the dog."
"Your dog needs food, shelter, and love just like you do."
Inconvenient To Your Routine? Do It Anyway.
"If we tell you to give your pet meds, give your pet the effin meds, as directed, until told to stop."
"Some owners seem to think this is optional for their sick pets if it is inconvenient to their routine but especially chronic diseases that may be otherwise managed like seizures, renal, heart disease can really deteriorate due to a non-compliant owner."
"An ounce Prevention is really over a pound of cure, and if you end up coming in to our ER we will cost significantly more than your regular vet. It’s not because we’re greedy that extra expense goes directly to our enormous overhead costs to keep our doors open."
"We’re fully staffed and prepped with surgical and monitoring equipment to handle emergency procedures 24/7, we stock an extensive in-house pharmacy to be prepared to care for a wide variety of ill hospitalized patients, we maintain expensive lab equipment to run bedside diagnostics and have test results within mins to hours rather than send to outside labs, multiple oxygen cages, etc."
"We’re not taking advantage of your unfortunate situation, this is simply what is required to have on hand to provide the standard of care required for dealing with lots of very sick patients all the time."
"So give your pet the meds the way you're supposed to and avoid coming to see us."
Mosquitoes Can Fly Indoors
"Just because your dog/cat is indoor does not mean that they can’t get heart worms!"
"Why do people think mosquitoes can’t get inside a house?!??! Their wings don't suddenly stop working once they fly indoors. They aren't suddenly not mosquitoes anymore and will just give up on biting."
"Get the heart worm meds. Use the heart worm meds."
"If you live in the south east yes heartworm prevention is required year round."
"Yes there are mosquitoes. Just because your pet doesn’t go outside doesn’t mean it won’t get fleas if you dont have it on prevention!"
Constraints Up Front
"If you're financially constrained, tell us your budget and goals for the visit up front. I realize it might seem rude but we're happy to work with it."
"In fact the budget part was actually part of my schooling - our clinical reasoning capstone included financial constraints on some of our cases."
"Basically for the class we got a couple cases each week and we had to pick the diagnostic tests we would run and then based on the results we had to outline a treatment plan. The first few were pretty easy with no spending cap so we could do the "gold standard" diagnostic and treatment plan, like a full blood panel and radiographs and ultrasound and endoscopy for chronic vomiting but then they would start introducing things like a $500 budget for a pet with cushings and we have to figure out the minimal diagnostic tests to give us reasonable certainty but also save enough money for treatment."
"Likewise, let them know your goals for the treatment. We would love to 100% fix every pet but sometimes that isn't possible or reasonable."
"If your 11 year old golden retriever comes in with swollen lymph nodes I would love to aspirate it, send a sample off for flow cytommetry, and refer to an oncologist for treatment but sometimes that's not in the budget or the owner doesn't want to put the dog through chemo or chemo wouldn't get them much more time or would reduce the quality of life and palliative care is a completely reasonable alternative."
Individuals Like Us
"That they are individuals, just like us."
"So many owners think that because their previous or other dog was/is a certain way that their new dog will be, too. Nope! they are an individual in their own right and thus have their own personalities."
"There is no cookie-cutter version of a dog where everything turns out the same. Show them some respect and treat them like an individual instead of being disappointed that they don't meet your expectations."
I Don't Care. Also...
"To keep the damn come oh your animals head!"
"I dont care if he's uncomfortable. He's gonna me more uncomfortable when his incision gets infected."
"Also that you can't immediately change a dog/cats food. It takes them 3 months of gradual transitioning if you're going to avoid gastrointestinal issues."
"The worst one to me is the massively successful marketing myth that dog food should follow “human-grade” standards."
"Grain free foods are implicated in serious and sometimes fatal conditions and grain allergies are very rare! The most common allergen in pet food is to the protein and is usually easily fixable by switching to a novel one (eg, salmon and rice purina diet or something)."
"There’s also really no such thing as 'fillers' in pet food. It’s all specifically formulated for optimum nutrient content and macros."
"Look for a brand that has conducted feeding trials and employs board certified veterinary nutritionists (purina, IAMS, etc) vs the boutique brands unless your pet has special dietary needs in pretty much all cases."
"and for the love of god exercise portion control for your critters! Obesity is an epidemic in pets too and it absolutely kills."
This Whole List
"1- Your personal beliefs on diet and religion and gender orientation should NOT be placed on your pet."
"If you wanna be vegan, fine, but it can kill your pet. Just because you don't want to go on birth control because of religion doesn't mean your dog/cat shares that view (and can produce a lot more offspring!), and there's no such thing as a dog/cat being nonbinary (yes we have heard that!)"
"2- SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR GODDAMN PET."
"He has NO emotional attachment to his balls. But he will get REAL sad when they torse, develop cancer, or cause him to become more aggressive and wander away looking for females."
"We see a pyometra every week (that's where your female's uterus will fill with pus leading to sepsis)- that's a $3k+ spay you could have gotten for a few hundred and this with no guarantee they will even survive."
"3- Just because you have a pet does NOT mean you should breed it."
"Breeding is a LOT of HARD, EXPENSIVE work. I have no sympathy for your financial costs with a dystocia. Even worse if you ignore the situation and the female dies in labor (no, sir, the puppies will not survive either). With access to information in this day in age you have NO excuse not to be educated before you do this."
"4- Your dog's ear infection/limp/anxiety/single instance of vomiting/any condition going on for 3 weeks is NOT an emergency."
"If you go to an emergency hospital, do not throw a fit about the costs or the wait time. Just because YOU made a poor decision does NOT mean you have to punish those who are there to help with REAL emergencies (ie seizures, hit by cars, bloat, etc.). Also, emergency vets are ALWAYS going to be more expensive- it costs more to keep skilled nurses and doctors on hand 24/7. We deserve to make a living wage, too!"
"5- HEARTWORM PREVENTION. DO IT."
"Unless you want your dog to die young and share it's intestinal parasites with you, there's no excuse."
"6- Your cat will die faster if you let it outdoors."
"It definitely wont be happier with frequent bite wounds, getting hit by a car, coming home with a difficult ailment we cant diagnose because we dont have a history, etc. Cats who roam freely outdoors have half the life expectancy of indoor cats."
"7- Yelling at veterinary personnel, insulting them, etc. is never ok. Stop it. Don't ever do it."
Like human beings, domestic animals are nuanced and complicated.
They have physical needs that can be costly and time consuming.
They're profoundly social, demanding plenty of attention.
And like all of us, they live somewhere along a spectrum of physical and mental health.
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It's a teacher's job to leave a lasting impression and set a good example for their students.
With this in mind, particularly in this age of viral videos and social media, teachers have to be very careful of what they say during class hours.
Even so, there are very few teachers who haven't said something they've regretted when teaching a class.
Sometimes to control unruly students, other times when they've simply had enough.
Then too, sometimes teachers leave their students baffled and perplexed by what they say in their classroom, well aware of what they were saying.
Always making for a memorable story.
"What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever heard teacher say in class?"
And Anyone With Such Closed Minded Views Shouldn't Be Teaching...
"Had the Head of the Department in college claim in class that anyone who actually needs accommodations for mental health issues should not be in college to begin with."
"This was while we were discussing 'Death of a Salesman' and the discussion had veered over to unhealthy pressure and social standards for success."- RavensQueen502
"My very well-respected Biology teacher in college spent almost an entire lecture telling us that Jamie Lee Curtis was a hermaphrodite."
"It seemed oddly personal to him."- Urbane_Cowboy
Sad On So Many Levels
"Not heard but my freshmen year high school teacher once pulled a bottle of Jack out of his desk and took a shot during class."
"He was dying so towards the end I think he just stopped caring."- Mangothefello
Can't Take The Heat, Then Stay Out Of The Classroom...
"High school science teacher told my class that a kilometre was longer than a mile."
"Refused to budge when refuted and kicked out several students for doing so."- SupersonicDebris13
"5th grade teacher: 'Mount Whitney in California is the tallest mountain in the world'."
"5th grade me blurts out: 'No it isn't, Mount Everest is."
"Whitney is not even the tallest mountain in the USA, which is Mount McKinley in Alaska'."
"I got in trouble for 'contradicting the teacher'."- gtmattzget out GIFGiphy
It's Not Just Students Who Are Bullies...
"I had a teacher ridicule a fat kid about his lunch choices in front of the whole class."
"He ran out crying as she was making fat guy blimp gestures and telling him he was going to be huge as an adult."- SnooOwls5859
Some Dramatic License It Seems...
"I had a literature teacher who told the class that he didn't believe in dinosaurs, because the universe is only a couple thousand years old."
"The bones were put there by Satan."
"Thank f*ck he wasn't a science or history teacher."- AllBadAnswersof montreal dancing GIF by Polyvinyl RecordsGiphy
Everyone Deserves Nice Acomodations...
"My English teacher told us that he genuinely believes that the Rothchilds own a hotel for aliens in the Bermuda triangle."- TroyLear77
"We had this kid in our 6th-grade class."
"Very dark skinned kid from Africa."
"His name was Tajak."
"Every now and then when we'd line up to go to another class or lunch and the lights would go out some of his friends would go 'where Tajak at?'"
"Anyway one day we had a sub and we we're lining up for lunch, the lights went out and there went the 'where Tajak at?' and the SUBSTITUTE TEACHER who was also black went 'Boy you darker than night'."
"6th grade was f*cking wild."- 11221mikew
"Psych teacher in high school told us that 1 in 10 of the people were friends with in high school would be dead within 5 years of graduating."
"At the time I thought it was hyperbole, but it turns out he was being conservative."
"3 of the people in my high school friend group were dead by the time I was 22."- Reddit
Do They Really Need A Reason?
"'Now girls, don't you let them boys touch your breasts'."
"'It'll give you cancer'."- jondru
Maybe Should Have Checked With The Geography Teacher?
"A teacher in Elementary school claimed during history class that the Colosseum was in Greece, as an Italian kid I was very confused, this was in Mexico."- Spascucci
So Much For Instilling Hope...
"Didn't hear this personally, but read in a book about a guy who recalled his teacher skipping chapters in a textbook and saying 'You will not need to know this when you are down in the mines'."- futanari_kaisa
The mark of a good teacher is that students will take everything they hear from them with them for the rest of their lives.
Though, the less-than-wonderful teachers may also say things their students will never forget.
People Who've Had A Serious Illness Describe The Exact Moment They Knew Something Was Really Wrong
As a kid, I never raised alarm bells even when I started to feel sick. My mom got stressed easily and was busy taking care of my younger brother, so I never wanted to be a burden by making her take me to the doctor only to find out nothing was wrong.
However, in fifth grade, my ears started to hurt and I knew something was wrong. I told my mom, she took me to the doctor, and I found out I had an ear infection.
Now, an ear infection isn't serious at all, and it was easily treatable. Still, I learned something from that experience: no one knows your body better than you. You know if and when you're sick and how serious it is, even if you don't now exactly what is wrong.
Redditors can corroborate this. Many of them have experienced symptoms that told them they were sick in some way -- usually with a very serious illness -- and are ready to share those experiences.
It all started when Redditor thelearner18 asked:
"People who have had a serious disease (cancer, MS, organ failure, etc) when did you realize something was really wrong?"
A Lesson Learned
"Hust found out i have rectal cancer. 42 yrs old. multiple stools per day, not fully emptying, thin poop. so got a colonoscopy. bam! cancer. starting chemo next week. lesson learned for everyone....if your stools or stool schedule changes, go see a doctor"
A Lucky Break
"I had been having a lot of pain in my midsection, and all around my torso for several weeks. I went to the doctor and it was dismissed as gynecological cramping (menopausal?). It remained. After several weeks (6-8) I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to emergency in the middle of the night. I got a CT scan that showed a large kidney stone. They also found a mass on my ovary. The kidney stone lead them to finding a rare ovarian cancer. If not for that stone, I wouldn’t have known about the cancer and might not have caught it in time. I have been in remission since September 2021."
Cause For Concern
"My kid, who was 14 at the time, kept throwing up in the morning and having weird headaches. Her doctor thought it was migraines. She went back a couple of times, but the doctor was not concerned. Then one day she complained of a whooshing noise in her ear. Went to the children’s hospital and found out it was a brain tumor near her cerabellum. She was in ICU for a month, but turned out it was non cancerous and it never grew back. She is doing great now."
"I heard a whooshing noise in my ear a few years ago I only really heard it at night when it was quiet it would sometimes switch ears now I basically never hear it. I'm pretty sure it was just pulsatile tinnitus but still scary."
It Was The Salt
"I have Cystic Fibrosis (terminal lung disease) and it was found out when I didn't sh*t for 3 days after I was born and then my mother gave me a kiss and said I tasted REALLY salty."
"Now I'm on a gene modification drug called Trikafta and this is some serious witch craft a** sh*t because I no longer feel sick to death and I basically feel like a normal person. It's f*cking wild!
"Went from 19% lung function to 87% in 3 months. I no longer cough my a** off or feel like I'm suffocating from mucus. Go science!"
A Funky Optic Nerve
"I was diagnosed with MS when I was 22 after having blurred vision in one eye after a ski trip. I went to the optometrist and they said I had a dry eye probably from not wearing goggles while snow boarding. So they gave me steroid drops. After a week it kept getting worse, so I went back and they told me my eye looked much better so they did a field of view test, which showed I couldn’t see anything out of the lower half of one eye. They sent me straight to the emergency room since nothing was wrong physically wrong with my eye. They did some tests and I was diagnosed with MS and ended up going completely blind in one eye. My vision eventually came back and I got on medication within a month so haven’t really had any symptoms or issues since thankfully. I’m only 29 now though."
Caught It In Time
"This isn't me, but this happened to my best friend VERY recently. Like in the last couple of months."
"Was perfectly fine and healthy one day. Then the next he started feeling a little bit of pain in his kidney. He'd had kidney stones before, so he figured it was that again. Then he started peeing blood. He thought it was still part of the kidney stone thing so let it go for a couple days, but he was still peeing blood and the pain was getting worse."
"That's when he decided to go to the doctor. They did an X-ray and found a mass in his kidney and told him that based on where it was located they can't remove the mass, and they can't do a partial kidney removal, and it's about a 90% chance it's cancerous, but they wouldn't be able to do a biopsy without removing the kidney first. They did the whole insurance dance, but it went fast and within two weeks he was in surgery having his kidney removed."
"He's still recovering at home right now, but they got the biopsy results last week. It was indeed cancerous, but they caught it before it spread."
Happily Ever After
"I couldn’t walk anymore with my crutch I had been using to get by. Had Been on Percocet for 8 months because of the extreme pain. Nobody was finding answers to my pain but I knew something was wrong, badly. After finally having an ultra sound on my hips at the age of 26 I found out I had to undergo a double hip replacement to walk again due to a serious rare disease. I was stage 4 Avascular Nercrosis. Took a year to recover from both. But Happier ending, I’m doing good now. However it was very very upsetting news to get over a phone call at 26."
It Really Sneaks Around
"My wife started getting numbness in her right arm. The breast cancer had spread to her right shoulder and the tumor was crushing the nerves. She has stage four breast cancer in her bones."
A Turn For The Worse
"For me, it started May 14, 2014. I went to work and was having a good morning. Then, at about 9:00 in the morning or so, I started to feel some lower abdominal pain. Not to be crude, but it felt like that cramp you get when you really need to go to the bathroom. I did so, but the pain didn't go away. It got worse. I started to feel chills, was sweating, and felt nauseated. My employer has a clinic on site, so I went there. After some poking and prodding, the nurse asked me if I wanted to go home or if I wanted to go to the emergency room. I decided to go home, and if the pain didn't subside, then I'd go to the emergency room. As I was saying that, though, I noticed that my pain had gotten a LOT worse. They always make you rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain at all and 10 being the worst pain you've ever felt. When I went into the clinic, I was mostly uncomfortable, maybe a high 2 going into a 3. On that very subjective scale, I was now a 6 or a 7."
"I changed my mind and decided to go straight to the nearest emergency room. My boss drove me, and by the time we got there about 15 minutes later, I was now a 10. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. My previous definition of the worst pain I'd ever felt was when I broke 7 bones in my wrist, it was misdiagnosed as a sprain, and I had to have them rebroken 2 weeks later. The pain in my abdomen was now worse than that. The emergency room admitted me and put me in a wheelchair. They wheeled me to a room, I curled up on the bed they put me in, and passed out."
"At some point, a nurse came in and gave me some morphine. Great stuff. No pain at all anymore. A doctor came in and told me they suspected a kidney stone. He wanted me to get a CT scan to confirm it, and I agreed. An orderly wheeled me off to imaging. I got scanned without contrast and was wheeled back to the room. My wife had arrived while I was getting scanned. Shortly later, the doctor who told me he thought it was a kidney stone came into the room. With another doctor. And two nurses. They all crowd around me with solemn looks on their faces."
"The first doctor told me it was a kidney stone. A 2 to 3 mm kidney stone had been lodged in the ureter of my left kidney. That's the tube that goes from the kidney to the bladder. It passed into my bladder when they gave me the morphine, but they could see evidence of it on the CT scan. Then the other doctor said they were more concerned about the 6 cm mass they found on my right kidney. They had my attention."
"They did another CT scan, with contrast this time, and it was impossible to see anything but a tumor in the pictures they showed me. They made an appointment for me with a urologist for the next day, as well as an appointment in a few days time to get it biopsied. It was an after-hours appointment for the urologist, but he was nice enough to stay late to see me. He looked at the CT Scans and cancelled my appointment to get it biopsied. He said there was nothing else it could be but cancer, and the kidney would have to go."
"Two months later, I had the kidney and the tumor removed laparoscopically. I was incredibly lucky. They caught it in stage 1. The doctor said there were signs it was going to start moving soon. I have no idea how doctors can look at a softball sized lump of cancer and tell anything other than 'gross', but that's why they're the doctors and I'm not."
"My recovery was smooth, and I've been cancer-free for 9 years. I was incredibly blessed. I didn't have to deal with chemo, or radiation. While those can save your life, they are also horrible experiences with nasty side effects. I didn't have to deal with any of them. I was bracing myself to have to. They said it was a possibility. But I didn't. I have every respect for those not as fortunate as me, and wish them all the best in recovery."
Reason #5,622 To Start Exercising
"I started jogging again to try and get back into running shape. I kept noticing that just after a mile or so, I'd stop and get REALLY lightheaded. Kept thinking, "oh, I'm really out of shape" and kept going. Went in a few weeks later for my annual physical and doctor said "you ever been told you have a heart murmur?", no. Two months later I spent Christmas of 2017 in the ICU after having a section of my aorta cut out and a new valve put in. Surgeon said it was bad. Said it wouldn't have made it too much longer."
"Edit: for clarification, it was an aortic dissection."
Slow And Steady
"My dad's friend went on a hike with a doctor who knew him and he was winded not far from the car. The doctor clocked it right away and told him to get his heart checked. He had 98% blockage in his heart arteries."
"He tells my dad so my dad gets the test to see how his arteries are doing and they found a massive aneurism on his aorta. He is getting it removed tomorrow. He had no symptoms but the doctors said if he had overdone it he would be dead before anyone would even know what was going on. Crazy how a random friend's hike may have saved his life."
It Takes A Village
"I never did, my teacher and parents did."
"I was seven, usually an active kid and my first grade teacher noticed that rather than running around at recess I sat down and took a nap. It happened a couple more times and after I fell asleep in class (totally out of character), she gave my parents a call, we had been visiting the doc fairly regularly cause I was also complaining of joint pain and frequent ear infections combined with the new symptoms and a new doc at the practice I was finally diagnosed with leukemia."
Thank goodness for that teacher (and of course, the parents)!
When in the beginning stages of dating, it's important to know as much as humanly possible.
The element of surprise is no longer a fun aspect of romance.
Ask the small questions. Ask the hard questions.
Interrogate. Grill. Investigate.
Of course, you should do it with a subtle hand instead of an interrogation lamp.
The truth is all we have.
Redditor RedditPenguin02 wanted to make a list of the best inquiries to make when starting a relationship, so they asked:
"What is a good question to ask before you start dating someone?"
From what I've learned in my past, always ask... "Are you into Buffy the Vampire Slayer? The TV show."
If it's a no, then it's a dealbreaker.
I DoShocked Schitts Creek GIF by CBCGiphy
"Are you married?"
"I would ask that. If they said no, the next question was 'Would your wife agree?'"
"If they laughed, they were telling the truth. If they got indignant and pissed off that I thought they were lying…they were married."
"Worked every time."
"Do you clap when the plane lands?"
"I swear people used to do this all the time when I was a kid (early 2000’s), and I don’t think I’ve heard anyone do it in 5+ years. I guess 9/11 really made people afraid of flying for about 10 years and then most folks decided they didn’t need to applaud when the plane landed safely?"
"Do you want kids in the future? If one person wants kids and the other wants to stay child-free, then they are not compatible. And it is better to try dating someone else."
"It confuses me whenever some couples who disagree on this end up in a conundrum because one expected the other to change their mind. This is something I bring up early cause I see no future with someone who wants kids when I do not."
"You should always put childfree on your dating profile. It's not a small thing. Either you agree on it or not. If I had to date, I would put childfree on my profile too."
Carb it on...
"Do you like bread? That is the extent of my flirting skills."
"Being German, bread is like a frickin' cultural phenomenon here, we have around 300 kinds of bread, there's a bread museum, every time I go on vacation I'm like yeah it's nice here but the bread ain't it yall, never as good as home lol. So yeah, valid question and the only answer to this is an enthusiastic yes."
Room TemperatureFrosty The Snowman Winter GIF by filmeditorGiphy
"What temperature do you set the thermostat to throughout the year?"
"Haha this one always gets me as someone who needs low temps - you can always put on more clothes, I can't peel my skin off to get cooler."
The thermostat is a dealbreaker for me.
It's gonna be 60. Love it or move on.
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"When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
"Opens a window to how they think."
"If that was really early on in the dating I’d think it was a bit of a head-f**k question. I’d probably find that question a red flag, tone dependent, although I agree with the sentiment."
"Aside from major differences about finances, kids, politics, or religion, a big one is; What are your hobbies? If they don’t really have any, you may be the next hobby, which isn’t going to work unless you’ve got that kind of time. If the hobbies are time-consuming ones generally done with a SO."
"But you have no interest in them, that could be an issue as well. If only one of you likes camping, wanted to spend vacation lounging instead of exploring, didn’t like sports, etc either that partner is annoyed or the other feels like they don’t get to enjoy what they love."
"Ask them about their exes. If they think every single one of them is an a**hole... they are likely the real a**hole."
"I have mixed feelings about that - I've been in three previous relationships and all three were emotionally abusive towards me (one wasn't nearly as bad as the other two, though) in various ways. I know this is a common sentiment and it always makes me afraid that people won't believe me or something.
"I mean, I realize in your comment you said 'likely' and not '100% sure' and there's plenty of room for nuance."
"I would try to take care of any dealbreakers. If I find out that she has different political values than I do, it's not going to work out in the long run, so I wouldn't bother. Same thing with other factors (religion, financial values, etc.). I would also ask how much cuddling she likes to engage in, as I prefer a lot."
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"When I was dating my three essential questions were always kids, sex, and money. If you're not on the same wavelength for any of those three things, just don't even try."
"So, how much personal debt do you have?"
"Source: the guy who dated a woman with huge debts and was asked to pay for everything and then some".
"After that, I'd go with, 'Have you ever been diagnosed with borderline, narcissistic, or histrionic personality disorders?"
The questions are basic.
Just ask for the truth.
Do you have any good Qs to add to the queue? Let us know in the comments below.
As much as we always hop for our dating efforts to be worth it and for every relationship to work out, we all know that some relationships are not destined to work out.
But sometimes relationships end for totally valid reasons, and sometimes the reasons are painful, if not devastating.
Redditor overIorded asked:
"What went wrong with your last partner?"
History Repeating Itself
"He cheated on me. And I was glad because that was finally reason enough to allow myself to leave."
"Now I know somebody who's in the same situation. They're trapped. And she's such a gentle and fun person who's afraid to leave him because 'well, it's always been like this, I'm used to it,' and 'I deserve it.'"
"She wants to leave him, she knows she should leave him, but it's so hard to do it, and I know that feeling."
"I'm thinking I should give her my phone number like when the day comes you've had enough, I'll gladly come to help you move out from that s**thole."
Mental Health Struggles
"I'm lost in my own trauma and mental illness and he deserves better than anything I have to offer right now."
"I’ve been on the receiving end of this, and mildly said, it absolutely ruined me. Her trauma and mental problems were BAD, but I still wanted to be with them. So if you ask me, as long as they can give you the space and support you need, and want to be with you, let them make the decision."
"It's also fair and mature to care very much about someone but realize that you only have the emotional bandwidth to take care of yourself right now."
"I'm sure it was very hard for both of you to come to terms with that decision. I don't think it's that he deserves better, I think it's that your attention needs to be on guiding yourself through this thicket of trauma and mental illness before you can be someone else's partner. You can love each other very much but also acknowledge that you don't have the tools to spare for a relationship right now."
"I'm proud of you for focusing on your own mental health and someday, when you have more emotional stability and energy, I hope you find a wonderful partner."
"We disagreed on how many women he was allowed to date. I’m very strong on monogamy and have no interest in someone (in a supposedly committed relationship) that isn’t."
At Least There's That
"Her psychotic brother tried to kill me. Thankfully he has a Stormtrooper's aim..."
"Hate the attempted murder, love the 'Star Wars' reference."
"He wanted a big family, like, six kids, all-natural. Obviously, he wouldn't be birthing them. This was very important to him while I was pretty ambivalent about kids, and the further into my adulthood I've gotten, the more I've realized I just don't want to be pregnant."
"I broke it off so we could both get the lives we wanted. He was also quite a bit more conservative than me, and at the time closeted pansexual person, and some stuff he believed just didn't line up with what I believed. It hurt, but it was amicable."
"Now he has a wife and kids like he wanted, and I am happily partnered and childfree. It worked out for the best."
"She hated that I had a healthy relationship with my family and was trying to find ways to sabotage it."
"Similar aspect to mine, she hated my sister and mother because she had a bad relationship with her sister and mother. She would get mad at me whenever I brought my family up."
"My last boyfriend dumped me because I got mad that he was coming to Dallas after I hadn't seen him for two months, but didn't want to see me."
"He was going to meet up with some friends of his he hadn't seen in a few months. I told him that was fine with me, but I felt he should make time to see me too since we hadn't seen each other in two months and we were supposed to be a couple."
"He responded to my anger by ghosting me. That was two years ago."
Distracted with a Punch
"A girl contacted me about him talking to her. I asked him what was going on, and he sucker-punched me in the face."
"He cheated on me for all six years we were together and then accused me of cheating on him, even though I wasn't allowed to leave the house."
"I'm also pretty sure he slept with my sister-in-law when my brother and I went to pick up dinner."
Children Come First
"He was and still is no father to his kids, has anger issues, and probably has other mental health issues. I tried for years to help him and help the relationship, but he wasn't having it. After seeing how my oldest suffered under him, I had to leave."
"I communicated how I felt about many things in the relationship. He never communicated about anything."
"Oh look, it's the last 14 years of my life..."
"I'm guilty of this, and boy, do I regret not being able to open up about my feelings. It cost me my marriage. But now I'm trying to be more open and share my thoughts and feelings. Just wished I could've done this earlier than later."
"I started drinking again and became a miserable a**hole due to my own depression and my s**tty job. As such, she didn't get the attention she deserved, and had to put up with my s**tty mood all the time... so she left. I don't blame her."
"So, it was me. I don't know if I trust myself with a relationship again, but aside from the shame of knowing I hurt someone who I loved, and loved me back, but I was too self-absorbed and selfish, I am trying to be a better human to everyone."
"And to my ex: You'll find someone again... someone better."
"He wanted to move to Alaska to be with some girl he was 'friends' with before me."
"My ex's early-onset Alzheimers (at the age of 50) and the resulting violence, paranoia, and irrational thinking. I tried to honor my vows, but he was so far out there, I feared for my life."
Different Definitions of Marriage
"She cheated on me after five years total together, the last one of which was while we were engaged. She cheated on me for months, all while I was planning the wedding, working part-time, and going to graduate school so I can support us comfortably in the future."
"I planned on giving her everything I could and sharing the rest of my life with her, and apparently she didn’t care."
This conversation just goes to show that relationships can end for all kinds of reasons. Even in relationships where there is still a lot of love and committment, the relationship can still end, just like how the relationship can end suddenly because of a surprising and devastating realization.