How can I be more okay with needing to take space from someone I care about?

I have had a complicated relationship with a guy for over a year now. Without getting into any details, we are now taking space from each other. This is really hard for me because I love being around him and talking to him. Because I can be very emotional, I have said some hurtful things to him that I regret and have apologized for multiple times. I don't know if we'll ever be able to have the same kind of relationship again and that scares me. How can I make myself give him the space and time he needs when I'm worried and just want to talk? Also, how can I make up for the hurtful things I've said?

I'm sick of Being rejected and ghosted on. Should I just give up on dating for now?

I'm having no luck dating, and every opportunity I seem to get doesn't end well. The latest girl has ghosted on me three times, and I think I am ready to cut her off, but I’m not sure. She says she's too busy with school, and that I live too far away, but I think she might just be making excuses. I’ve now made it clear that I will not seek anyone else; I’d rather have them seek me. Maybe I’m just not ready for a relationship, but I’m worried I’ll always just be alone.

My local mate is trying to get with my long-distance mate for the wrong reasons

I’m in a polyamorous relationship with three lovely people, two of whom are monogamous, and two of whom are long-distance relationships for me. My short-distance partner (who is monogamous) has said she is fine with my setup since the start, but I recently went to visit one of my long-distance partners (the polyamorous one) for a week, and honestly, it’s one of the best weeks I’ve had — we fit so well together, and everything was perfect. Now I’m back and my short-distance partner is having tantrums, breakdown after breakdown, and this partner is trying to get into a relationship with my polyamorous long-distance partner, and I am very uncomfortable with that, as I know she isn’t doing it out of love, but out of the fear she has of me doing things without her, and I am worried it will put a strain on the fantastic relationship my polyamorous long-distance partner and I have. I’ve tried talking to her about it, but it doesn’t seem to help, and usually just adds more stress on top of everything. I’m completely for them talking to each other, but the fact that she is going into this with the intention of getting into a relationship really puts me on edge. I’m completely at a loss for what to do. I’d love your input.

I feel like I’m falling behind some of my friends. What can I do to feel better about where I am in my life?

Many of the furries I know are really struggling in their lives right now, especially compared to some of their peers. Is there such a thing as a furry “quarter life crisis?” If so, do you have any tips on how to feel better about one’s place in life?

A polyamorous quad shares their experiences with ethical non-monogamy

Hey, everyone! Viro here. I’ve been busy with travel and running our Open and Polyamorous Furry Relationships 101 panel at Texas Furry Fiesta, so this week we’re featuring a guest column from a happy polyamorous quad who took the time to share their experiences with polyamory with us. I hope you all find this fresh perspective on the polyamorous lifestyle within the fandom to be as interesting and educational as I did!

Guest Column: A Little's advice goes a long way

Hey, everyone! Viro here. I've been away from my column for a bit due to some personal issues I've had to resolve in my own life, but fortunately I have an excellent guest column to offer you all this week — a very personal bit of wisdom from an experienced submissive, learned the hard way (the school of hard knots, anyone?).

Without further adieu — or lame puns — please enjoy Riley Coyote's piece and learn what you can about submissive headspace and how to avoid letting desire for kink drag you into unsavory situations.

My new mate wants me to be more sexual in conversation with him, but I feel awkward

The short and dirty of it is that my new crush wants me to be more sexual in conversations with him; however, I’m currently not in a place where I feel experienced, confident, or natural talking about it. I'm currently in a new-ish (1 month or so) long-distance relationship with someone, and we both like each other. However we're in a weird-ish spot of sort-of-not-really-boyfriends? He's more experienced when it comes to dating, whereas I'm really inexperienced — having only ever dated one other person a good 7 years ago — and am also still a virgin. The issue we’re having is that he wants me to be more sexual in conversations with him; however, I feel that I'm just clueless and have no clue what to talk about. I want to advance our relationship further, but he says that this is important to him in a relationship, and I'm not sure what to do or say in regard to that sort of stuff, so I sort of feel helpless. I don't want to disappoint him, but I also don't want to feel like I'm rushing myself or forcing myself to say something. Any advice on what to say or do? Thanks.

My mate won't text me during the day, but he texts others, help!

Hey quick, question. I've been having some communication issues with my mate recently. We're both furs and live in the same city, and we both work web development. We used to be able to talk online here and there and have a decent conversation, but for the last handful of months he hasn't really been talking to me when I message him.

Guest Column: Think twice before putting sex outside of the “friend zone”

I (Viro) have been traveling extensively for a number of weeks and I’m currently re-adjusting to life stateside, so instead of answering a question this week, I’m posting a guest column on sex within the context of healthy friendships from Soatok, your friendly neighborhood gay dhole (Asiatic wild dog), “cryptografur,” and pun enthusiast. I’ll soon be resuming the usual weekly advice column posting schedule, hopefully beginning next week!

My mate says I shouldn't have feelings for my FWBs, but I can't help it. What do I do?

Hey hey, I have a quick question. So I'm polyamorous, my partner is monogamous, our relationship is open, he has a person I'd call another partner, he sees her often enough, maybe once weekly, but he claims he has no feelings other than sexual there. I think he expects me to cut off any relationships I make it I develop any feelings, but I don't think we have the same definition of feelings. I care for people very easily, if there was someone I met with for sex as often as he does I would bet I'd have some connection with them. Is he lying to himself? Should I downplay it if I get feelings - they wouldn't threaten my relationship with my partner. I get feelings with many of my friends where I just look at them and admire their beauty as they're relaxed and chatting away. It's all so blended together. He's very against polyamory but he has someone he's been seeing for months. He says the difference is that he'd stop seeing her if I asked him to. So is that where I should draw the line for myself?

My mate’s family won’t let me travel with them for holidays and vacations. Help!

Hey, everyone. I have a question about something that has been bothering me with my current relationship. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 9 months now, and things have gotten pretty serious — we’re going to be moving in with each other next month!

Now, as for the problem: I don’t think his family approves of our relationship. His mom’s side is from the south, so they’re pretty conservative. His family likes to travel for holidays, either taking a road trip or flying out. However, his family disallows me from joining them during any of these trips. This really upsets me, because something that's important to me is being able to spend holidays/big events together with my partner. I'm not expecting to go for free — I’ve offered to pay if that's the problem — but that doesn't change anything.

I am discouraged by rejection and considering giving up on romance, help!

I am a single furry, and I very much would like to be in a relationship, but love never seems to come my way. I’m really struggling with trying to keep putting myself out there, after failing so many times. At this point, I feel like it’s pointless to bother, since all I ever get is rejection and disappointment. I’m sure I sound completely pathetic, but I don’t know what to do, and I’d really like to hear your advice on how I can avoid giving up on finding romance altogether.

How do I make enough time for my partner during graduate school?

I am a student who has been engaged in undergraduate research for one semester now. It is something I am passionate about, and definitely a step in the right direction towards my PhD aspirations. However, it is already pretty time-consuming. With full-time classes, homework, research, and volunteer work, it is sometimes hard to find a lot of time to talk to my partner.

I'll note here that I am monogamous and have been in my current long-distance relationship for about a year. We managed a one-month visit last summer and will be doing the same this summer. I might be applying to a few graduate schools somewhere geographically closer to my partner if any faculty in his area are a good fit with my research interests. Fingers crossed!

However, I have heard and I fully expect that the time crunch is only going to get worse in grad school. I have two questions now. First, between taking my own classes, teaching undergraduates, and doing thesis/dissertation research, how will I ever find time to devote to my partner while I'm in graduate school?

Second, how can I properly communicate with him about what I'm studying, now and in the future? My partner and I have aimed for very different levels of educational attainment: my partner has his country's equivalent of a U.S. high school diploma, whereas I am on my way to a Ph.D. I want to be able to talk about my research to him, because it's a big part of my life and it'd be nice to be able to talk with him about the stuff that makes me tick. But it is a daunting task, because there is not that shared foundation of knowledge. He has not taken the years of classes in a specialized subfield that my peers have. For example, I don't know how to express to him my excitement at finding statistically significant results, when those two words (statistical significance) would be enough to get one of my peers excited with me.

Playboy: These Furries Will Change Your Sex Life

Playboy has published an article on furry culture featuring an interview with Feral Attraction co-hosts Metriko and Viro the Science Collie. Author Debra Soh introduces the interview as follows:

"Listening to Feral Attraction each week leaves me wondering what I ever did without Metriko and Viro’s advice in my life. Even if you’re a non-furry (or “mundane”) like me, their podcast and advice column offer a smart, funny, science-based perspective on modern day sex and dating dilemmas."

Check out the interview Viro and Metriko gave Debra Soh for Playboy here:

http://www.playboy.com/articles/these-furries-will-change-your-sex-life

How do I accept my sexuality as a gay religious furry?

I've been trying to accept my sexuality (gay) as a part of me for a while now, and it has had its ups and downs. On one hand, it's not exactly what I had in mind when I started out in life and and unfortunately I have had to give up a lot: A traditional marriage where everyone attends, having biological children with me as the father, etc. On the other hand, I'm eager to accept my sexuality while having to deal with as little bigotry as possible (even though it is inevitable). How does one be religious and gay at the same time?

I am stuck in a relationship with an inexperienced fur who is way too clingy

I am finding myself stuck in a super clingy relationship. Things started off well enough, but when my new boyfriend celebrated our two-week anniversary, I began to worry. At this point, I desperately want out, but this is my boyfriend's first time ever being loved, and I don't want to break his heart. Any idea of how I could go about ending it without doing cheesy stuff like telling him, "It's not you, it's me"? I really don't want to break his heart.

My mate never listens! How can I get him to comfort me better?

When my mate and I talk, it often feels like he and I are looking to get different things out of the conversation. Usually, when I'm feeling bad about something, I just want to tell my mate what I'm feeling bad about and to get some comfort, but my mate always tries to fix what's wrong and solve all my problems for me. I know he means well, but I'm really frustrated, as I don't feel like my emotional needs are currently being met by my mate, even though I really love him and I know he loves me too. What can either of us do to improve this situation?