Communication

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.

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.

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.

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?

I feel less important to my primary partner now that she is seeing other guys. Help!

Hello. I am a male in a polyamorous relationship with my mate, who is female. The problem I am having in my relationship is that I have been feeling significantly less important to her than her other partners seem to be. When I bring up my feelings to her, she denies that I am any less important to her and tells me that I am overreacting. I still struggle with these feelings, so I would be grateful to any help or insight that you might be able to provide

I'm dating someone I'm attracted to but not in love with. Should we have sex?

Hello, wanted to tell you guys you do an awesome podcast, keep up the good work! I apologize if this is long and ramble-y. My question is this: I sort of entered the ""dating"" phase of an IRL furry relationship. The other person, let's call him John, is less experienced with relationships than me, although we're both nowhere near experts. John is a bit clingy and is self aware of that. We've only been talking for about a week and we already went on our first date. I kind of want to take things a bit slowly emotionally, but I have almost no boundaries physically. We cuddled in the theater while watching Moana for our first date, and I had fun with that. But while we share lots of common interests, I don't really feel a strong emotional attraction, aside from getting super flustered when he says cute things. I would totally have sex with him, but I know he would probably get even clingier, as he gets attached to people very easily. I feel like I'm very close to becoming the jerk that "uses" people, which I have done before and deeply regret. I don't want to hurt him, but this is a rare opportunity for me since I won't be able to have more freedom to search for IRL furry mates until a year and a half from now thanks to my parents. I don't want to end the relationship, but I don't want to hurt John. What should I do so I don't become a jerk that just uses people for an opportunity to have gay cuddles again?

What should I keep in mind when moving in with a mate for the first time?

I'm wondering if you have any tips on how to survive with your first live in partner? I am moving in with my mate, and I've never lived with a romantic partner before. I'm pretty good at resolving conflicts with roommates, but it seems like living with a mate would be different.

How can I befriend a fellow top without making him think I have ulterior motives?

I am a top, and I really want to develop some friendships with other tops. However, whenever I start getting close to one, I feel like they suspect I am trying to get them to bottom for me. How can I remain respectful and cultivate these kinds of friendships?

Are my mate's online RP sessions crossing the line into cheating?

What is the difference between role-play online and an online relationship? My mate and I have fought over this many times. I get upset with him for having lengthy, involved, multi-session online role plays, which to me feel like secondary relationships, but he insists it's just RP, and therefore not cheating. I've asked him if he's told these RP partners he's mated, and he responds that it would be too awkward to tell them, so he usually doesn't. Some of these relationships have been going for months to years. Am I in the wrong for being upset, or is he downplaying these online relationships by calling them "RP"?

In my pack, I always get stuck doing the chores. Help!

Sorry for bothering you, but my mates and I have been having some trouble with delegating responsibilities in our day to day life such as cleaning, taking trash out, dish washing, etc.

I am OCD in having things cleaned up, so my mates and I have different definitions of what is a "mess" and I'm not sure what I should do. We can't seem to figure out a solution that is fair and that everyone is happy with.

I can clean up my own stuff and they clean up theirs, but the problem is, they are willing to let it go a bit more than what I'm comfortable with, and it bothers me. They tell me I'm just being a "neat freak" and that it's no big deal.

For example, it's unfair to me to constantly have to be the one that brings up, "Hey, we should do laundry." When I do bring up this topic, all I receive back are groans followed by procrastination.

For once I'd like to stop always having to be "that guy" that wants to do adult stuff.

Someone who used to be close won't talk to me. What do I do?

So I have been friends with this person for 10 years over the internet. We met on one furry site in a group, and our relationship quickly grew. Soon enough we were mates, then he left the fandom, then he came back and we were mates again, only for me to have to go live in the ghetto. When I came back we were best friends, then he stopped coming around as much. It worried me, and with the onset of my anxiety I had a panic attack and told him I loved him. This was a year and a half ago. Since then he barely even talks to me, and has been spending alot of time with others and short changes me whenever we DO talk, with responses like: Yep. Sure. Uh-huh. And quick to get angry. He is like family to me and I would do anything to get him back, and I know he thinks of me as clingy. What should I do? He is tired of my apologies and any attempt at trying to fix it makes him think I am having a breakdown.

How do I define cheating in my non-monogamous relationship?

I am a 22yo male wolf in a polyamorous triad with two wonderful mates, a 19yo male fox and a 24yo female vixen. We all identify as bisexual. Lately, we’ve dealt with some infidelity problems, and we’ve been able to work through it, but I think we’re all a little confused about expectations given that we are in a non-monogamous relationship. How should we define what cheating is, given that we have more than one mate as it is?

What do I do with my online pets if I find a mate?

So, I have a situation that I wonder how to go about. So I'm a master, purely online at the moment, but me being how I am and enjoying purely monogamous relationships, what would I do with my pets if I found a mate? Would I leave them if my mate didn't like the idea? Or was a non-furry and just found the idea of online roleplays with strangers really off putting. It's alway worried me getting a new pet or two that was sexual because if I got attached and got a mate I'd feel obligated to put all my sexual focus on them. But I wouldn't want to leave my pets hanging there, since they have needs and might have an emotional connection to me as well. I don't want that clash, and luckily I haven't had this happen, but I would have no idea how to go about this whole situation if it did and I imagine others have wondered or been through this as well.

I'm crushing hard on a guy that my husband is currently flirting with, and I'm having trouble handling it

It's very rare that I have a crush on someone. As such, it took me until 30 to realize that, for me at least, the "love makes you dumb" trope is fairly accurate. 

I'm the kind of person that doesn't friend people I don't know on Facebook. I rarely initiate a conversation with strangers. Hell, I rarely even say "hi" on dating apps on the off chance I might end up having to tell someone it turns out I'm not actually interested in them. Yet for some reason I decided it would be alright to friend a guy on Facebook (partly from the Hubby's suggestion) and, before he responds, initiate a conversation on Scruff. I can't remember most of the content, but I recall it being somewhat awkward and not the most positive interaction. I decided to pull back and not force anything. Within a couple weeks I realized the messages and his Scruff profile were gone. I canceled the Facebook request soon thereafter. Initially I thought he was just blocking/avoiding me, which was disappointing though understandable. But months later I found out he had a boyfriend briefly around the same time that may explain the disappearance from dating apps. That brings us to the present. Half a year later and I've mostly put the idea behind me when I noticed that my husband had started chatting with him, the two seemingly getting along fine. Since that point I've been dealing with a jealousy/envy that I'm not accustomed to. I"m happy that my husband's found a guy he likes, but I don't know if I'll be able to handle if their relationship progresses. It might be easier if I knew for sure that he wasn't interested in me, but since there was never any definite closure I'm just left wondering what if and what might be.

My main optimism for a friend/relationship is from the fact we mutually liked each other on OkCupid. Unfortunately my initial message was sent before I found this out. It was shortly after our brief communication that his profile came up and I starred it, since I was apparently still on my dumb kick. Of course I got the "Congratulations!" pop up. I recall perceiving it as a cruel irony. For all I know that may have hurt my position even more by making me seem stalkerish. 

The main issue is the brief conversation we had is gone thanks to (I assume) him deleting his app profiles. Though even if it were there, I know there wasn't any closure. Still, if I had the chats I would be in a better place to know how to proceed now, but since I'm not clear if I just came on too strong/creeper-like or possibly offended him it's hard to say what direction to take. ltimately I just want to know if there's a possibility. I would just ask, but if he does have a negative association with me, I don't want that to influence his thoughts on my mate. Though at the same rate, should they end up wanting to do more than just chat, I don't know if I'd be able to handle it.

We live in a small community, and I'm seemingly more selective (hesitant?) than most, so it's rare that someone comes along that I'm actually actively interested in. If I knew for sure that he wasn't interested for whatever reason, it would suck, but I could manage and move on. But if he was turned off by my being abnormally forward, or perceived me as stalkerish when my feelings were just giving me a case of the dumbs, I'd hate to pass up something that otherwise seems to have potential.

What is the right thing to do when considering intimacy with someone who might be mated?

Yesterday morning I read an article about a woman who'd enabled a man to cheat on his girlfriend, and when the woman told the girlfriend about it, her reward was to be bitched out for it. On one level, I would say the reaction is somewhat understandable, but at the same time, it's illogical since the woman didn't know the man even had a GF at the time. In any event, the woman has since adopted the perspective that whether the guys she sleeps with are taken is not her business to know; rather, it's their business to tell her. I went in expecting not to be too thrilled with the piece, but ultimately I by and large agree with her conclusions. What do you think about it?

I love the idea of non-monogamy, but jealousy is preventing me from enjoying it

I'm a 22-year-old straight-ish female furry, and I am currently struggling with some jealousy issues. My boyfriend and I have been trying to explore non-monogamy together recently, but I am having some problems with it. Intellectually, I am totally cool with him being with another girl, and I really love the idea of us being able to experience other people sexually during the course of our relationship. However, right now, emotionally, I am having a hard time with it all. The last time my boyfriend and I had a threesome, with another girl we were both into, I enjoyed myself a lot until I saw him put his hands on her and embrace her intimately in a way he usually does with only me, and I just snapped and hated the rest of everything that happened. I didn't really let on that I was no longer comfortable or enjoying myself so as not to ruin their time, but I ended up hating myself both for having that reaction to begin with, when it's something I should be okay with, and for not speaking up for myself. How can I move forward as an ethically non-monogamous person, when that's really what I want, when I am experiencing such crippling jealousy issues?

I have an aversion to being touched, and it is hurting my relationships

I am having difficulty with physical touch and intimacy. How can I overcome this so I can be happy in a romantic relationship and allow my partner to enjoy the cuddles and snuggles and casual touch that so many furs in the fandom seem to love so much? I avoid getting close to people right now because I don't want them to feel rejected when I recoil from their touch. I feel isolated and depressed, because I do want a romantic relationship.