I haven't ever really cared about being with anyone I've always just kind of accepted I'll be alone however these last few years I've been feeling really alone I really want to be married.
Now there's someone I really like and he likes me but right now it's to soon he has a lot of stress going on in his life with his ex and he doesn't want to upset his family by telling them he's bi and the stress that I add by trying to make us a couple to fast he's also requested an open relationship and I don't know how I'll react to that I don't want to restrict him so much that he starts to resent me but i feel like I might lose him to someone else.
I guess my questions are how long should you wait for someone? And how do you make an open relationship work when you want a monogamous one?
Zoey (age 29)
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Oh, this one is easy: if you want monogamy and he wants an open relationship, and neither of you want to change your mind, then that's it; you're done. That relationship will not work. Monogamous relationships can work fine; open relationships can work fine. But for either to work, BOTH parties MUST be in agreement.
As for the it's-not-the-right-time-for-him thing: in my experience, when a love interest says stuff like "there's too much going on in my life right now" or "I need time before I make a commitment" or "I can't upset my family" then you are on a path to nowhere. This is called "leading you on." I've seen it happen to people over and over and over again. This happens either because the other person is really not all that into you and doesn't want to "hurt your feelings" by forthrightly saying "go away," OR! They want to have their cake and eat it too, meaning they don't want to upset their current status quo but they also want you to be the "something on the side" when it is convenient for them and only them. If you accept either of these things, you are allowing yourself to be a tool.
Have a little self-respect and don't allow yourself to be used. Dump this guy. You are only allowing him to pull this crap because you are becoming desperate for marriage. And another thing: don't be in love with the idea of marriage; be in love with a person. Many people marry because they don't want to be alone, but if you leap into a marriage because you like the idea of being married more than you like your choice for a partner, then that marriage will end in heartache and disappointment.
Zoey, I'm glad you wrote to me. You need to stop and reflect on your life and your motivation. You need to work on your self-respect and also not be afraid of being alone. When you are confident, have self-respect, and can be independent and not need to lean on others just to get by, that is when you will exude attractiveness and that will bring love to your door.
If someone truly loves you, they won't make you wait.
Hello again, Papabear,
I’ll get to the point. Within my years in the fandom, I realize I sometimes gravitate to furs a bit older than me. I do have plenty of friends my own age, and I’ve made sure not to put myself in a compromising situation (any con or furry meetup I’ve gone to my mom has gone with me, and I of course follow safety rules on the internet). I find that I sort of seek out these older figures; but I don’t quite know why. I have a good relationship with both my parents, and they’ve both been there for me. So why do I want to seek out these relationships? (never romantic mind you).
Galaxy (age 16)
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As you know, much has been going on in the world and it has been affecting my life, so sorry for the slow reply. I have a question or two first: Do you gravitate toward older males, females, or both? Are these furries a LOT older than you or just a little older? Is this attraction physical or more intellectual or emotional?
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Worry not, the virus has affected many, many people including my own family. Hope you’re safe! And to answer those questions, I find I tend to gravitate towards male furs (though that could be partially due to the surplus of male population in this fandom), however I have found some older female friends in the past. These furs tend to be in their early 20s (which I realize is the most common age for furries), though l I’ve met a few who are older mostly online. When I do form a bond, I tend to see them as an older sibling sort of figure in simplest terms.
Hope that clears some stuff, if you have any other questions I’m ready to answer.
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Well, it could just be that you find older furries more interesting (or, at least, just as interesting) as those your age. Older people tend to have more experience, wider interests, more things to say about the world and life in general, and so your being fascinated in them probably is evidence that you have a bigger, more expansive menu of things about the world that you find compelling, too. So, I would say that your attraction for friendship with older people speaks well of who you are and that you have a wide range of things that you like to think about, talk about, and do. Good for you! Nothing wrong with that!
My name is Marco and I have been vocally active in the furry for 3 years. Ever since then, I have learned no so many good things, but have tried to stay strong. It's just that I feel like a lot of the groups I'm interested in really grind against my values as a normal person. For one, I am really into roleplaying and talking about silly cartoon stuff a lot, but I still cannot really find my footing in feeling like I belong. I just feel like all the searching has done has only increased my sin of assuming things about others, and I dunno if I'm necessarily right about being that way. I really just want people that aren't all in crazy about a specific fetish or are not too far gone in themselves. I'm sorry if I am a bit self-centered about this myself, I really just want help that isn't so neutral and just want people see myself as who I actually am.
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So, basically, you want the furry experience sans porn and sans people who are too far into themselves. Well, on the latter, that is more of a society issue than a furry one. In this world, you're going to have a rough time finding people who are not preoccupied with their own needs and concerns. That's just the nature of people. I can't really offer you a good solution there other than to pick your friends carefully. There ARE many good people out there, furries and mundanes alike, but you have to be patient in finding them. Don't lose heart just because you run into a lot of trolls, users, and haters along the way. Eventually, if you keep trying, you'll find good people.
As for staying away from fetish stuff, it depends on where you go. You can avoid FurAffinity, or just press the Safe For Work (SFW) link to clean up the site automatically. Stay away from Tumblr and e621.net. SoFurry.com is a pretty clean site. You might also, if you're a Christian, try Christian furry groups. Furry Amino (for your phone) also seems like a fairly safe place when it comes to art, although I have heard complaints about drama and such there. On Facebook, you can try joining Clean Furries (https://www.facebook.com/Clean-furries-162730203792649/).
In short, there really is no simple answer to your question. As with life, you have to sort the wheat from the chaff; you can't just buy a handy bag of wheat off the shelf, unfortunately. This takes time, patience, and understanding on your part. Keep putting yourself out there, keep reaching out. When you run into someone unpleasant, don't be afraid to just block them and avoid them. Then continue on in your quest.
You may remember me emailing you a few months back about this same issue. I guess I've come back to ask for a little more guidance.
I've been struggling with my fetish for about a year now, and it's gotten worse as of late. I've seemingly got rid of my will to stop looking at it, but I feel I need to stop. It consumes my thoughts almost everyday, popping up when I take a math test. Showing up when I'm with my friends. Everyday when I come home, I almost immediately try to look at images of my fetish. It's like clockwork, and it has spiraled into an addiction.
I know that this is something that I can't control, and it may never go away. I fear it's ingrained in me. But, I just feel like I need to get a hold on it and try to maybe phase it out. I just don't know how. Cold Turkey is almost impossible. I've only succeeded for a long period of time once. Every other try just feels shallow and I know I'm going to fail. I'm running out of options. This fetish has consumed me since I was in elementary school, and now I just want it out of my life.
If you can offer any help, I would be happy to hear it.
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I was considering suggesting aversion therapy for you, but then I read an interesting article about sexual fetishes in Psychology Today in which the author of the article said that there really is no cure for a sexual fetish and that, indeed, as long as the fetish isn't harmful (e.g., some kind of violent fetish) we shouldn't treat it as a problem to be "cured" at all. Sexuality is a very diverse preference, and there is such a variety of different things (objects, behaviors, sensations) that turn on certain people that is practically impossible to categorize them all.
The fetish really isn't the problem. The problem might be your being obsessed with it to the point of it interfering with your life. This is like, say, gambling. If you go to a casino every once in a while because you enjoy playing craps or blackjack and you lose a few bucks now and then, it's not really a problem. But, if you become a gambling addict and lose your savings, your job, and your family, then that is a problem.
Here is what I would suggest you do, then. Do not try to eliminate your preference from your life. It is okay to enjoy chubby people. That is nothing to be ashamed of. However, try to gradually lessen the amount of time you spend looking at it and thinking about it so you can concentrate on school and daily life. (One reason you find yourself so focused on sex is because, let's face it, you're 16 and your hormones are raging, which is perfectly normal).
Okay, so how do you lessen the time you think about it? When people go on a diet, one way to make it more tolerable is to occasionally allow yourself a treat. For example, my husband and I are on a low-carb diet now, but once a week we treat ourselves to some carbs, such as pasta at an Italian restaurant. Then you don't feel so deprived. You can do something similar with your chub lust. Schedule times to focus just on your interest. Start with twice a day: once in the morning (common to have morning wood, especially when you are young) spend 10-15 minutes looking at chub porn, and then do so again in the evening for the same amount of time. When you feel that is working for you, reduce this to once a day, then once every two days, then once every three days. Eventually, get yourself down to once or twice a week. This way, you don't feel deprived and can get some release. It is important to schedule these sessions at definite times of the day. Adhering to a schedule will help form a habit, and habits are easier to stick with.
Now, during all those other times when you are not jacking to your favorite images, you need to stay focused on the task at hand, whether that is school, or chores, or socializing with friends. To do this, remove distractions. A BIG one is probably your phone or the Internet on your computer. Keep away from these things while you study for a test and even when going out with friends (I know, people these days hang with friends and look at their phones, but I have always felt this was rude). Pay attention to the people you are with (teachers, colleagues, family) and not the phone. Here is a helpful article on improving your ability to concentrate.
In summary: Don't feel ashamed about your sexual interests. There is nothing wrong with you. However, take steps to reduce the amount of time you think about your sexuality by setting up a schedule that gradually reduces your time on this behavior, while not eliminating it entirely, and work on increasing your ability to concentrate on other important aspects of your life. You don't have to ban this sexual interest. It is just part of who you are. You just have to keep it from playing such a dominant role in your life.
Judging from the lovely drawing at the top of your page, I can tell you might also be a fan of coffee. Like a lot of people, I drink it virtually every day.
However, I've started to suspect that this is not a healthy habit for me. Despite being physically active, eating a good diet, and usually getting enough sleep, I frequently feel tired and unmotivated.
That's not good for anyone, but being a college student, it's really not good. There's so many things I need and want to do. I have a history of procrastination that I've failed to shake, and this lack of energy isn't helping. Obviously, not doing your work and meeting deadlines doesn't pass anymore for me, so I keep finding myself in distressful circumstances.
After some self-reflection, all the caffeine I drink (ranging from 1-3 cups a day) seemed to be an obvious suspect. I realized that after drinking coffee, I feel super energized for about 50 minutes, and then feel dead afterwards. So, I experimented with quitting. I found that my energy levels were more stable, but it didn't make that much difference. My energy was stable at a low level. And the draw of caffeine addiction never made my attempts to quit last very long.
(As a side note, I know that certain genetic traits can result in people being more sensitive to caffeine and having their bodies process it differently. I'm probably in that category. Some people aren't, and I feel like they don't take me seriously for that reason because they have a different experience.)
I tried talking to some trustworthy people about this, and they helped me realize that it was more about my fundamental lack of motivation that was the problem. I was trying to substitute caffeine for my lack of focus and motivation. Working on those areas seems to help, but I eventually slide back into the same behaviors--with caffeine crashes there to kick me while I'm down. Realizing that the coffee was a smaller variable than I thought makes it easier to convince myself that it's okay to drink.
This complicated situation has kept me from quitting caffeine permanently. But what do you think? Should I try going all the way, or do I just need to focus on being motivated more?
Murray the Rat (age 20)
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There's nothing inherently bad about drinking coffee, and 1-3 cups is not too much (well, depending on cup size). There are numerous possible causes for your lethargy, both physiological and mental.
It sounds a bit like you are rather unmotivated. How long has this been going on? You're far too young to be feeling so sluggish. Have you seen a doctor? Do you have any other symptoms? Just for an idea, here are some of the things that can cause lethargy:
Since you don't have any serious symptoms like fever or pain, I think we can safely rule out stuff like meningitis and kidney failure. My bear instincts would suspect two more likely possibilities: 1) stress, and 2) sleep apnea or other sleep problems. For the latter, even if you think you are getting in 8 hours of sleep, this might not be sound, restful sleep. Do you know if you snore? Do you wake up feeling tired? You might want to get a sleep study done if you answered yes to either of these. Fortunately these days, sleep tests can be performed at home and you don't have to spend overnight in a hospital.
Stress can also cause feelings of being tired and even unmotivated. Other symptoms of stress can be depression, insomnia, headaches, digestive problems, decrease in libido, changes in appetite, increased heartbeat, and even acne. If you have some or all of these symptoms, it could be stress that is really the problem. The solution is obviously to try to reduce the stress in your life.
Bottom line is this: I don't think coffee is your problem; nor do I think you are just a lazy, unmotivated person. I think there is an underlying, more serious issue here that coffee just provides temporary relief from. Consider some of the above issues and consider talking to a doctor or nurse about your chronic feelings of lethargy.
Wishing you improved health and happiness,
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Hello again, Papabear. I’ve been doing some reflection/trying different things out, and I think I might have found the cause of the lack of energy I told you about. You don’t need to respond to this letter, but I’d thought I should share this because it feels important.
Without going on and on, I think I’m sort of a technology addict. I’ve realized that I have very poor habits/boundaries with my device usage. I check my phone and all my various social media ‘feeds’ way too much, scrolling up and down again looking for something interesting. Then I’ll do the same routine again 10 minutes later. When I’m trying to do work, I’ll also check my phone or open new tabs and get carried away watching YouTube. If I get frustrated, I might look at furry porn and that takes up plenty of time and energy. I can waste hours a day, trapped in this cycle. I think you get the picture.
Now, I’ve tried ‘detoxing’ from these habits. I’ll alternate between going an entire day without those things, or I’ll set strict boundaries (with the help of airplane mode and this time-locked website blocker). At first, I was afraid missing out on whatever my furry friends were talking about, but I realized it you never miss much.
So far, the results have been pretty impressive.! The tiredness and lack of focus I told you about in my last letter is largely gone when I follow this new approach. The only problems come when I don’t follow it. I don’t know if it will solve all my problems, but I think it was an important step. And as you mentioned, I don’t always get high quality sleep, so that’s my next order of business.
I just wanted to share because I think it seems relevant. I feel like a lot of people are in the same boat I am but aren’t aware of what’s causing it. I mean, the devices provide so much instant gratification that I think it just exhausts your brain of it’s desire to do anything challenging.
I know these things are mostly a benefit and it’s all about ‘responsible’ usage, but I’m almost jealous of people like you who got to grow up without so many devices. :)
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Oh, ho! I see it was indeed a problem other than coffee LOL. Tech addiction has become a serious problem. It used to be just video games, but now with smart- and iPhones and social networking, the problem has exploded. And, yes, it can interfere with work, sleep, school, and, ironically, socializing.
I, myself, have been a bit addicted with Facebook, I fear. When I was banned from it for a week (because I posted something anti-American by calling the government on their mishandling of the virus crisis), I did feel some withdrawal symptoms. That's good, though. It makes me realize I am on there too much.
Things you can do to overcome the addiction:
Good luck! Thanks for writing!
I have an animegao mask and a fursuit. However I usually wear them only on the conventions, and at home for pictures and video chats. Last year though, me, my little brother and my mom did a photoset (I also made him a fursuit head).
However, I want to fursuit more, outside of the conventions. I'm alone, only with a little brother, and I am afraid of exposing my things to children who aren't even aware of what anime or furry is. All they see, is just a group of cute characters, and to them, every animation is a cartoon even if it's South park or Death note - though I don't like them both, and none of my characters are from these shows. They're mostly into Soviet cartoons, and very rarely Disney and Nickelodeon.
Parents would think that I am a professional actor who charges for money for pics, and nothing else. But I am not. I really want to play for free, gently, not rough, just like in Disneyland resort.
That's why conventions to me are more preferred even though nobody understand that kind of cosplay... Conventions are usually attended by the guys who dislike children's entertainment, fandoms portrayed there are usually for adults and teens only. Very rarely you can see kids cosplaying Pokémon, Card captor Sakura etc. Which is what I luv.
Yet my friends and those who call me a stalker, they fursuit in public freely and have fun. They don't need any rationalising. They're using the fact that kids don't care and only see cute characters to the mutual advantage. They just have fun.
I guess I can't have fun anymore. Maybe it's because I took too much Risperidone as a kid/teen, and the mesolimbic pathway just can't let dopamine in, which is something that prevents me from having fun.
Please tell me how come.
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There are opportunities to fursuit in public outside of furcons (and meets), but I would do so in an organized fashion. These days, with parents afraid of stalkers and kidnappers and with the fear of terrorism (you're wearing a mask), there are some restrictions. For example, don't walk into a bank or government office wearing a fursuit LOL. Unless you want to be tackled to the floor by security.
Some public parks can also be restrictive, and some not. I used to go to a park furmeet near San Diego where furries were in suit and everyone was fine with it. On the other hand, I've heard that a fursuiter once got in trouble with police at a park in the San Francisco area (he wasn't arrested, but was told not to do it again). Therefore, one thing I would do is always check.
At public parks, contact the local Parks and Recreation Department and ask them about costuming on their grounds, what their policies are and such. Cosplayers are common in many parks (e.g., Lord of the Rings cosplayers at Griffith Park), but other parks are fearful of them. Check a few parks in your area. Another place is at events such as festivals, the Renaissance Faire, etc. I have often seen furries at Ren Faires, so they are pretty cool with that. I've been thinking about contacting Palm Springs City Hall about fursuiting at the street fair they have weekly (although I have done it before without complaint). I also once had a local business hire me during Halloween to dress up and promote their ice cream shop. Oh, and Halloween and Mardis Gras are great places, too.
You can also do volunteer work. A number of fursuiters I know do that for various charities, especially kids charities. You can also do so at children's hospitals; just contact their Volunteer Service department and inquire as to whether they are looking for entertainers and what their policies are. Doing it for free, of course, is often persuasive to charities. And don't forget things like animal rescue and wildlife conservation societies who could be open to your services.
Hope this gives you some ideas. Happy Fursuiting!
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