FA 011 Online and Long Distance Relationships

Feral  Attraction
Episode 11 - Online and Long Distance Relationships 03/23

Intro 0:00:40

  • Please take the time to fill out the anonymous survey!

  • Episode is by popular demand

    • Many if not most furry relationships begin as online or long distance relationships

    • Natural enrichment due to furry Diaspora

Topic

Introduction and Definitions 00:03:25

  • Online relationship

    • Relationship in which one has not met his or her partner(s) IRL, but maintains a romantic connection by means of chat, video conversations, and/or roleplay conversations. No intention of it becoming offline in short- to medium-term.

      • Sometimes the first step in a Long-Distance Relationship

      • Not always as much at stake financially or emotionally; typically a casual relationship

  • Long-distance relationship (LDR)

    • Full romantic relationship in which it is not possible to see one’s partner(s) for long periods of time due to expense or impracticality of travel

      • Distance can be ten miles, a hundred miles, or a few thousand miles away (or kilometers if you’re the majority of the world)

      • They can be higher commitment, even more so than a local / offline relationship due to the level of engagement that is required to maintain it

        • Communication and time commitments can be difficult, especially if you work strange hours or are a student

  • Cost of admission for online relationships and LDRs

    • Setting the cost of admission before a LDR/Online Relationship will help ensure the longevity of the relationship

      • Discussing the level of emotional investment you expect will help define the course of the future relationship

      • Being on the same page goes a long way as well

    • LDRs can be expensive as expressed earlier in the episode

Communication in LDRs 00:10:00

  • Keep partners informed of your day-to-day activities

    • Compersion is incredibly important in an LDR, even when monogamous

  • Attempt to have a longer conversation with your partner at least every few days (ideally daily)

    • Set this as part of the cost of admission

    • If this feels like a chore or a problem, then you two need to talk about it. LDR communication can be work at times, but it shouldn’t be a career.

  • Be aware of and accepting of limitations in partners’ lives

    • You may be their first priority, but you are not their only priority

    • Friends, school, and work will need to come first at times

  • Don’t expect instant replies at all hours of the day

    • You will come off as controlling and clingy if you overdo this

    • Let your partner have a life independent of you, even if they do (virtually) come home to you

      • You are partners, not a wish fulfillment machine

        • Allow your partner alone time as needed

      • This will take you dangerously close to codependency

    • If all parties in the relationship are unable to be independent, this is a sign of an underlying issue

  • Be clear when you are in character and when you are yourself

    • Don’t allow someone to fall in love with your fursona if that is not who you really are

    • Don’t fall in love with a hologram-- you are setting yourself up for disappointment

LDR Expectations 00:26:00

  • Beware of expectation creep, particularly in online relationships

    • Don’t be planning the honeymoon when you’ve never even met

    • It’s impossible to truly establish compatibility and sexual attraction without observing someone’s mannerisms and physical presence

  • Don’t write a check online that you cannot cash in person

    • Don’t play up parts of yourself that you know you can not deliver

      • Metriko talks about Grindr, so enjoy that

    • Don’t oversell yourself

    • Don’t lie about your shortcomings

      • Viro and Metriko give advice to virgins about anal and oral here, as well as setting “sexpectations” so definitely enjoy that!

    • Your first time meeting will not be a movie-style awesome time maybe, or a porn, so don’t expect that. Be willing to explore each other without preconceived notions.

  • Don’t move across the country to be with someone you’ve never met

    • Don’t pack more than a suitcase to be with someone you have known  less than 6 months (or even longer) and have met and spent significant amounts of time with in person

    • Visit them in their home environment, not in a con or “holiday” / “vacation” environment. Cons might bring out the best in someone and allow them to gloss over their faults

      • Con compatibility does not equate domestic compatibility

Handling Jealousy and Envy in an LDR 00:41:00

  • Be willing to communicate your feelings and thoughts to your partner(s)

    • Be transparent about how you feel about everything

    • If you are unwilling to share negative feelings, you can stunt the growth of your relationship or sabotage it entirely

  • Accept that you will not be a part of everything your partner(s) do

    • You will have to live with the Fear / Feeling of Missing Out (FOMO) and get over this to make it work

    • Your partners should be able to have fun without you making them feel guilty for abandoning you

  • A lack of immediate response does not equal cheating

    • If this is your first instinct then your relationship might have underlying issues that need to be addressed

    • Be willing and able to take yes for an answer to questions about your relationship

      • Does your partner want to be with you?

      • Does your partner love and care about you?

      • Is your partner committed to the terms of your relationship?

      • If you cannot believe a yes to any of these, your relationship has major trust issues that will interfere with an LDR being successful

Maintaining Intimacy in an LDR 00:52:00

  • Intimacy is not just sexual, but emotional

  • Electronic “date nights”

    • Watch a movie together while ordering the same kind of take out

      • Use Discord or Skype to keep a voice channel open while enjoying media together

    • Play computer or video games together

    • Read to each other books, poems, sexy stories, whatever!

      • Writing a story together can be fun; collaborative storytelling is awesome!

  • You can use text chat RP and video chat to maintain sexual intimacy

  • Visit each other as often as reasonable and affordable

    • Discuss how to split costs

      • Who pays for Food? Travel? Accommodations?

        • If one partner is doing most of the travel, that doesn’t necessarily mean he or she should be paying most of the expenses (unless that’s clearly negotiated)

        • Careful not to allow yourself to be taken advantage of

        • Love is like gambling

          • Don’t put anything up that you aren’t willing to lose

          • Approach with cautious optimism, not reckless abandon

    • Visiting every 2-4 weeks tends to be ideal, but your mileage might vary

LDRs and Polyamory 01:08:00

  • Being a secondary partner to primary mates who are local to each other is a recipe for large amounts of envy and jealousy

    • Be prepared to handle these emotions and own your shit

    • A primary partner and secondary partner can be equals

      • Primary can be someone you are fully committed with long term and live with in person

      • Secondary can be someone you are fully committed with long term, but are in an LDR

      • A tertiary partner is someone who you are not fully committed to (a con boyfriend or girlfriend, perhaps)

  • It is difficult to be co-primary as a long distance partner with partners who live together

    • If you intend to be co-primary, have a game plan for becoming local

  • If you are the hinge in a V with one local or live-in partner and a long-distance partner, make sure local partner is truly okay with your absences to be with the long distance partner

    • You will need to make a special effort to create special events and dates with the local partner, or the local partner will feel like you only do things that are special with the long distance partner

      • The “vacation effect”

  • This can be an effective way for your partner(s) to explore kinks and fetishes that you are not necessarily into

Question(s) 01:28:24

  • Do you need a primary partner to be polyamorous?
    (Anonymous via Twitter)

    • Short answer: No

    • Long answer: No

Closer 01:37:00

  • Next week’s topic: April Fools - Collie’s Follies and Metriko’s Mistakes

    • Bring popcorn-- we’re talking about our fuck ups!

  • Upcoming Con Appearances

    • Furry Weekend Atlanta

      • Non-monogamous Furry Relationships 101 Thurs 10p-12a

    • Fur The More

      • Non-Monogamous Furry Relationships 101, Sat 5p-6:30p

      • Q&A Dinner to follow with Viro and Metriko

    • iew our Events Page for all this information

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Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.