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

Question

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.

Received via email from IcedxXxWolf

Answer

That's a great question, and a very difficult situation. You're quite right that this situation could be problematic for everyone involved if you wait for it to happen and aren't proactive about it. Fortunately, most of the negative consequences of this situation arising can be avoided if you do some thinking and communicating in advance.

First off, it sounds like what you're currently doing has the potential to not be so ethical. The reason I say so is that it isn't fair to your online pets for you to be seeking an IRL relationship that would result in you cutting ties with them unless they are aware you are doing so. No one's relationship should ever be contingent upon the success or failure of another relationship, or you're on the slippery slope to using people and treating them as replaceable objects rather than people with feelings. Fortunately, it sounds like you're very conflicted about this, and rightly so. I'm really glad you asked how you might be able to do things better.

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There are basically two ways to handle this situation while remaining ethical.

One option is to communicate very carefully with your pets about the fact that what you're doing with them is casual. Tell them that you are looking for an IRL mate, and that if you found one you'd likely have to stop playing with them if your mate were not okay with it. If you go this route, you'll need to remain vigilant against either you or your pets developing feelings. If one of you does develop deeper feelings, you'd need to end the connection to avoid feelings from deepening and either you or them getting badly hurt down the line, or you'd need to shift to option two (described below).

The second option is to be committed to your online pets. In this scenario, you'd need to disclose the existence of your pets to a prospective mate relatively early on in your relationship. Explain to your new mate that you have existing commitments to online partners that you are not able to end simply because you are entering into a committed relationship. In this scenario, you maintaining your connections with your existing online pets would be an accommodation that your new mate would have to make in order to be with you, a cost of admission he or she would have to pay. Now, you could certainly explain to your mate that he or she would be your priority, that you won't be stealing time from him or her to do things with your pets, and that those relationships aren't likely to last forever. In this situation, it would also be quite reasonable for your mate to ask you to take no new pets, allowing your existing relationships to play themselves out and wind down, with a commitment from you that you won't seek outside connections any longer and that your relationship will trend towards closed monogamy. You should of course disclose to your pets the nature of this arrangement so that everyone is on the same page and able to give full, enthusiastic, informed consent to whatever time, energy, and emotions they choose to invest in you.

Hope that helps, and best of luck! Please let us know if you have any further questions by reaching out to 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.