How do I find a relationship when I move around so frequently?

Question

Just figured I would send a message about a problem that I've been thinking about for a while and has manifested itself in different ways. The long and short of it is that it is incredibly difficult to pursue my education and relationships at the same time! I'm sure that I'm not the only one with this problem, but let me explain my situation: 

- I'm working on my PhD, so I'll be teaching a few courses, taking a few, and starting to think about dissertation stuff.
- I'm a submissive (preferably pet if I can find the right situation) who prefers monogamous situations though is open to very exclusive/carefully controlled non-monogamous situations. Oh also, if it's relevant, I'm bi so that expands my field a bit.
- I am moving to a new city to start my PhD but will almost certainly move again to find my first full time teaching position (in about 4 years).  I have also moved in order to do my undergrad and master's degree, so this changing location thing seems to be inextricably linked to my career (despite the fact that I hate travel).

Put all these situations together and you've got a fox (me!) who is looking for something rare if not non-existent. I need someone who is willing to move according to the very arbitrary muse of college teaching positions, is willing to engage in a power exchange relationship, is preferably furry, and... obviously... clicks with me.  The intelligent people that I'm looking for tend to have their own agendas and I feel like what I'm looking for is just too specific to match the kind of person that I need. Honestly though, it's the only thing that I want relationship-wise. I need someone who can do this journey with me. I guess I don't need it per se, but it would sure help me a lot as a person.  BTW, they don't need to be glued at the hip to me but they need to be on and committed to the journey to some extent.

I imagine that someone reading this would think that 4 years is a long time and I shouldn't worry so much about the future, just dive into the new city and see where life takes you, but I have to be honest, I have done this process so many times:

1. Settle into a place
2. Finally make connections after about a year
3. A relationship comes in after the connections (with varying success)
4. All of a sudden the time is up and everything that I've built has lost its foundation and I have to start over again or try futilely to hold on to connections that have lost their context.

It feels like a futile exercise unless I build something that has context and permanence beyond these 4 years. How do I take proactive steps toward establishing relationships with this permanence so that the social/relationship progress that I make isn't all for naught again? Any thoughts?

Also, just as a bonus: Do you have any go-to methods for finding furry doms that is better than luck or really ineffective dating sites? I do kink events and furry events so hopefully I'll meet someone, but having a larger pool of doms to meet and talk to would certainly help my odds of finding the very specific person who I'm looking for.

Hopefully this all doesn't come off as too selfish.  It's just as much for my prospective partner as me. I'm looking to make a better commitment to someone so that I can be a better partner to them.

Thanks,
WindishFox
(Received via email)

Answer

Hey there. Thanks much for your question!

I completed a PhD program myself, so I can definitely relate to your plight in this instance.

Unfortunately, I do not have any kind of magic solution for you. While I was focused on school, I really didn't have time to seek or maintain long-term relationships. The entire time I was in college and pursuing my master's degrees, I didn't date much at all and only had sex casually (rarely-satisfying hookups and the occasional friend with benefits). It wasn't until I began my dissertation research that I began to date seriously, and even then, I wasn't necessarily seeking truly long-term commitment.

So, given your situation, I'd say you have a few different options.

Firstly, you could do what I did and simply acknowledge that a long-term relationship likely isn't in the cards for you until you finally settle in a location, and more or less put dating and seeking a romantic partner on hold until your schedule and location allow for it. You will have to grapple with feelings of loneliness if you go this route, but there are good ways to cope with this. For example, you can remind yourself that not dating or seeking romantic connections right now is a choice you made, and not a reflection on whether you are attractive or lovable.

Secondly, you could seek to find more casual, lower-commitment lovers and play partners for the time being. That's not to say you can only have one-off anonymous hookups — you can have regular partners who you get to know well and who you form emotional/romantic attachments to. However, it is to say that you should make clear to these partners that you will be moving eventually and therefore aren't necessarily a great candidate for a long-term relationship unless your prospective partner has locational flexibility.

Thirdly, you could choose to seek long-term partners right now, but with the caveat that you will need to disclose that your living situation is in flux and that you aren't likely to remain in one place for more than a few years for the foreseeable future. If you go this route, you will likely need to become comfortable with the idea that your relation might need to be long-distance for months to years. For more information on online and long-distance relationships, you can consult our podcast episode on the subject, available here.

You also mention that you are looking for a better way to find (ideally) furry doms. There are Telegram groups devoted to Master/pet and other types of D/s relationships, and you might consider dipping into one of these. For a list of Telegram groups that are furry-themed, consult this website: http://www.furry-telegram-groups.net/. You can also consider looking on websites such as FurriesXtreme (https://www.furriesxtreme.org/join.php) Pounced (www.Pounced.org), F-List (https://www.f-list.net/) and Recon (https://www.recon.com/). If you don't have an After-Dark Twitter profile, making one and stating that you're looking for a dom can also be a good way to network.

Hope that helps! As always, we welcome feedback, comments, and follow-up questions. Get in touch with us via our contact page.

Viro the Science Collie

Viro Science Collie is a PhD virologist and medical writer, experienced in teaching, technical communication, and writing for the public. He has been active in the furry community since 2012 and has been happily and ethically non-monogamous for much of that time. His interests include non-traditional relationship structures, technology, biological science, and tennis.