This year has been very upsetting. I have had my trust in others seriously tested. It had been waning in fact since my school years but this year was arguably the most upsetting I've experienced so far where I felt betrayed, lied to and finding someone I once respected was in fact an awful person with genuine evidence backing it up.
This situation started around my school years when I was naive and young, yet to have my innocence ripped away. I was young and wanted to make friends with everyone. As I've written before, I had my trust in others severed when I was bullied behind my back in primary school. It continued into my high school years and it was deeply upsetting.
Now into this year, there was a furry I once respected and was once liked by the fandom. Kero the Wolf would be his name. I've blocked him on Twitter over his lies of being hacked and finding out the horrific chats and legit videos doing the act of sexually harming his own dog to death. Regardless of the fact he was in a zoosadism group, he lied to the entire fandom and me and I felt a horrible feeling of betrayal.
I was devastated that he lied to me and did those horrible acts. He's a YouTube furry who reached 100 thousand subscribers on his channel after appearing on Shane Dawson's channel. Kero claims to be a wildlife advocate but what he did sickens me.
He's since blamed the fandom for his own horrific acts and acts like the victim on his YouTube channel. I hate what he did.
But that's not even the worst of it. His betrayal has left me paranoid and scared of anyone in the fandom. I'm so scared that I could unknowingly be supporting a popular furry who might be hurting people/animals and I would have have no idea they did anything. It's horrible to think that way but I'm just so scared and upset.
I certainly didn't know of what he did when I initially defended him against what I thought were slanderous claims against Kero who I once respected at the time. Plus, anyone can fake evidence nowadays. It's disturbingly easy to do and ruin someone's life.
I know I wasn't aware of anything he did before finding out and being disgusted/horrified. Defending him makes me sound complicit but frankly, I'm angry at him for doing those horrible things that goes against what I stand for as a furry and essentially treating me like I'm nothing.
Most furries care about animals. They like animals so why would they want to hurt them, especially in such a cruel way?
In fact, the #MeToo scandal ruined whatever respect I once had since I was a kid for so many talented celebrities (too many to count) who once inspired me and it made me feel like it was pointless to even be a mere supporter of those kind of people. The fact many of them exploited people sexually and used their talent to hurt others disgusts me.
Then back in 2015, my parents separated without even telling me beforehand. I still don't completely trust them even though they say they love and care about me.
The point I'm trying to make is that I'm rather upset and genuinely scared of who I can look up to or be a mere supporter of. I'm not saying the furries I like have done anything wrong but I don't want to look complicit in anything. I'm so concerned and stressed about all this. I just like supporting others because I believe in being genuinely kind to others and treating them well. I wanna be a good friend that looks out for them.
Sorry for the long letter. I just wanna ask. Is it okay to be supportive of someone or should I just not bother?
I'm very upset that so many people unknowingly left me feeling betrayed and hurt. I don't want to hurt anyone. I'm a ball of anxiety. Scared to offend anyone and I certainly don't wanna hurt any animal or person. This whole situation has nearly made me fall into despair. I'm honestly about to cry.
I'm an emotionally broken dog. I feel so stupid for ever supporting people and not knowing about what they did. It makes me seem complicit anyway.
Why even bother?
-Sam the dog
* * *
Yes, there has been considerable online chatter about Kero lately. I get where you are coming from that what he did is a big letdown. We often set up heroes in our lives, people we admire, and when they do something awful, we feel betrayed. I've felt that a couple times. For example, I was a big fan of Bill Cosby for the longest time. I loved his "Fat Albert" show as a kid, loved "The Cosby Show," and appreciated his outspokenness about the importance of education, especially for young black people. When I learned about his drugging and raping of women, it felt, indeed, like a betrayal, not just to me, of course, but to all the black people he was a role model for. The same thing for O. J. Simpson. He was my favorite player when I was a kid (him and Joe Namath). Some people might believe he is innocent of murder, but I think the trial was a farce and he was guilty and not "some Mexican guy." John Lasseter, the man behind so many movies I adore, has been accused of multiple sexual offenses. Charlie Rose, a man I always respected as an excellent journalist, was fired for sexual misconduct, too. I used to think Roseanne Barr was cool. Then, of course, there's Bill Clinton, and John F. Kennedy was a noted philanderer.
On the other hand, there are some heroes of mine I feel have been unjustly accused, including George Takei and Neil deGrasse Tyson. I feel the charges against Al Franken were blown out of proportion to get him ousted from Congress.
The thing is, these people were not my family or personal friends; they don't even know me, so their moral failures were not a betrayal to me (or a reflection of me) but to themselves and their community. The same goes for Kero. You shouldn't take it personally. Indeed, just as with your parents' divorce, it actually isn't about you. And you shouldn't feel guilty about trying to defend Kero, because once you learned the truth, you withdrew that support. You did the right thing.
The gist of your question is this: "Whom can I trust without fear of looking like a fool or like someone who is complicit in immoral behavior if it comes to light that they are a bad person?" The answer, really, is that you really can't, because all people are imperfect. The good news is that not everyone will let you down the way Kero did for you and many others in the fandom.
So, if you can't be 100% certain that people won't let you down, should you flee from the world, hide in a cave, and never trust anyone again? Absolutely not. Look, there are two kinds of people in your life: there are those who are close to you who are friends and family, and then there are people we hear about in the news such as celebrities, athletes, and politicians. When it comes to the former, people you love, what you do is love them, even if, on occasion, they might let you down a bit. Usually, they don't mean to, and with a little work, you can reconcile your relationship (which is what you need to do with your parents; talk to them about how you feel).
When it comes to celebrities and other famous people, you can admire them for the good things they do that caused you to like them in the first place while acknowledging and not supporting any bad things they do. It doesn't make you a bad person that you supported good deeds. For example, it doesn't make me a bad person for believing that Bill Clinton did a lot of good stuff for this country because I also acknowledge that he often thought too much with his penis. I will go even farther--and probably shock some people--when I say that I feel President Richard Nixon did some good things for the country (space program, relations with China), and that I feel Watergate was a result of his suffering from the mental disorder of severe paranoia. I'll even say that Trump has done a couple good things, although he is 98% bad and completely immoral, which is why I never supported him. However, I do understand how some people were misled by Trump into believing they should vote for him. Of those people, there are some smart enough to admit they made a mistake and who have withdrawn their support for the Orange One, while others continue to be blinded by hate, fear, and prejudice. Of these people, I feel the former were just foolish and ignorant, while the latter are, well, stupid and hateful.
Making a mistake doesn't make you a bad person. If you continued to support Kero, I would say, yeah, there's something amiss with you, but you haven't done that. You're okay.
In summary, support the good acts that you see people doing; condemn the acts you know to be immoral (such as animal abuse, sexual assault). Your own character will be measured by what you do and not by what you say (talk is cheap--truer words have never been spoken). Your character will be measured by the evidence that you live by moral convictions not by which celebrities or popufurs you once felt were cool.
I have a question that I’m a bit worried about. To give context I’ve been in a relationship with this girl for about a year. Her name’s Sadie; she’s a tomboy, and she used to bully me. Now the issue I’m having deals with this lesbian chick refusing to see that my gf is in a relationship with me. So this chick became infatuated with Sadie like 2-3 years ago, but Sadie is straight and thus will most likely never go out with a girl.
In spite of that, Lesbian Chick has constantly tried to convince Sadie that she can’t be straight because of the manly interests that she has and also has told her that she only thinks she likes dudes and will “go full lesbo once you get a taste of that cunt.” She even tried to convince me that I should break up with Sadie cause I was bullied by her because apparently this abusive girl wouldn’t abuse her, too. I don’t know how to get rid of this chick cause she’s a classmate of me and my gf. I haven’t said anything for fear I will be branded a homophobe, but I’m really worried Lesbian Chick might do something to Sadie if I don’t do something. Thank you in advance.
Davis (age 15)
* * *
Interesting. I'd like to start off by noting that your referring to this other girl as "lesbian chick" is highly disrespectful. Similarly, her saying that your girlfriend will “go full lesbo once you get a taste of that cunt” is obnoxious and boorish. Next, I would point out the error of this other young woman's belief that having "manly interests" makes you a lesbian. What, a straight woman can't enjoy construction work or sports or cars? What utter nonsense. I know women who adore sports and cars and so on and are completely turned on by men.
So, how about both of you put your preconceptions and unflattering labels aside and let's just look at the relationships here. I'd be interested in learning how Sadie went from picking on you to being your girlfriend :-) But that's neither here nor there. The point is that she is now your girlfriend, and the other girl's nosing in on your relationship is inappropriate to say the least. Sadie is aware this is happening, you've said. Have you talked to her about it directly? I would say that she is the one who needs to do something just as much or more than you. If I were you, I would get together with Sadie, go over the situation, and discuss what you both think should be done. In other words, when you are in a relationship, Davis, it is a partnership in which important matters should be communicated and a joint decision made, not a unilateral one with you being the action-taker. The good news is that two voices are better than one.
Talk to Sadie. Then both of you talk to the other girl and make it very clear to her that her desire to break you up isn't going to happen and she needs to back off.
Hello Papa Bear,
I had written you a while back, I was the gay pup in a relationship with a woman. I have an update, after revealing to her things that I had been keeping pent up, we are split up. She unleashed hell on me and I know I fully deserve it for wasting the past 6 years. I can't help but feel utterly heartbroken at this, because I do love her as a friend, but I can't even be that any more.
I am awaiting her decision on if she's going to throw me to the streets or let me get my affairs in order and try to find a place to live.
My question is, is there hope for me? She blamed my mental illnesses for my lies and deceptions. I mean it's true I have a few that make relationships a bit extra work. I'm rather unsure what to do or where to go from here. Like I said I lost a good friend.
* * *
I'm sorry for your upset, but you did what had to be done, so I am proud of you for that. I wouldn't place blame on any "mental illnesses," whatever that may be, but rather on the facts that you told me previously, which were that you really liked this woman and didn't want to hurt her, which is why you delayed telling her. That would make anyone hesitate. I went through the exact same thing in spades. I married a wonderful woman in 1988 (at the time, I thought I was straight). I had been married to her going on 20 years when I figured out I was actually gay (long story for another letter). I held on to that secret for over three years because I didn't want to hurt her and because I cared about her. Finally, in a burst of emotion, I couldn't hold it in anymore and confessed to her. Long story short, we got divorced.
Here's the thing, though.
At one point, she asked aloud if all those years had been a waste of time. No, I answered (and she later agreed). We had some wonderful times together and wonderful memories, and we both grew as people with one another's help. Therefore, they most definitely were not a waste of time, and I am forever grateful for the time we had together. We're friends now; last time I was in her area, we went out to dinner, we visited her mother, and as we parted, she said, "I really did enjoy being married to you." I teared up, I must confess. I enjoyed it, too.
I used to think that people never change, but they do. With luck, it is for the better. After the initial pain of this separation you are both undergoing, try, if you can, to not let it be the end of a friendship. Try to not lay blame on one another. That will only cause hurt; it's not helpful nor is it constructive. Instead, merely acknowledge that things didn't work out but that you are grateful for the time and love that was shared. You may not necessarily have "lost a good friend." Don't give up on her just yet. And don't blame yourself for any mistakes--real or perceived--you may have done. No one is perfect.
Love can take many forms. The love in this case might not be the type for a marital relationship, but it could be one for a beautiful friendship.
Dear Papa Bear,
Me and my boyfriend have been together for just over 9 months. He is a furry but I'm not. In the beginning it was all engines revving, but lately things in the bedroom have become rather slow/nonexistent. I have tried to talk to him about this but unfortunately it has not helped.
What advice do you have? Do you know anything that really gets a furry hot under the collar?
* * *
Everyone is different concerning their sexual desires and needs. Just because he's a furry doesn't mean all furries want the same thing--not by any stretch of the imagination! What you clearly need to do is have a frank discussion about what both his and your needs are. If he won't talk to you about them, then that is a very serious blockade against your making any progress.
So, first thing's first. You need to get him to open up. Here are some strategies provided by an article in Psychology Today:
Once you get him to open up and find out what his needs are, then you can start trying to fulfill those needs. Remember, though, that your needs are also important. There should be an equal give and take in any relationship that includes a sexual component.
Hope that helps.
Let me start off by saying this weighs heavily on me, and has for a time.
When I was 17 I came out as gay, and through the next couple of years after growing up with my sexuality I started leaning more towards bi, with a strong preference for men.
In 2012 I met my current girlfriend, we met on pounced and had the best conversations. We were, and still are, best friends. But the problem is me still struggling with my sexuality. I guess the way to explain it is I have a strong sexual/romantic attraction to men, while its mostly a romantic attraction to women.
So now my sex life has dwindled to nothing, and I find myself resenting even getting into this relationship in the first place. Which is completely unfair to my mate, but I stay with her either out of being scared of being alone or for the fact I cling to some small hope I can fix it/change myself.
It's worth putting in that we have an open relationship, but when I brought up that I would like to start seeing guys she shot the idea down saying that it was selfish of me to want to date men while our sex life together is near dead. And I completely agree with her that it was selfish for me to consider it. But I might need the help of a little blue pill with her, or even men for that matter, due to my problems.
I'm sorry for spilling that on you and I'm not even sure how to formulate a question out of this, except what do you think I should do? She is a dear and beloved friend, but the problem is that she feels more like a friend than a mate. And that's my fault, since the sex died with my arrousal issues, I put her in the friend category
Kreed (age 29)
* * *
News flash: if she is telling you that you can't see people then you are not in an open relationship. Not sure what her definition of "open relationship" is, but that ain't it. Therefore, you are in a monogamous relationship with a woman and you are not sexually attracted to women, only romantically so. The second thing you have incorrect is that you need "fixing." There is nothing wrong with you and you don't need to fix anything. You are sexually attracted to men and that is how you are. VERY unlikely that will change at the age of 29 and beyond. Finally, you are guilting yourself into staying in this relationship because you don't want to hurt her feelings. Wrong again. You are doing your friend a disservice by giving her false hope that you can force yourself to have sex with her, perhaps even resorting to pills. At the same time, this is causing resentment to build inside you. The longer you keep it inside, the more likely it is that it will explode in a hurtful way to both of you. Not healthy.
It is NOT your fault that you don't want sex with her. What IS your fault is that you are continuing to lead her on in a relationship that is almost certainly going to end in disappointment for you both.
This is a wake-up call for you, Kreed. Take out the garbage that is this guilt of yours and show her that you respect her and care enough about her enough to tell her the truth that a romantic relationship that includes sex is off the table. What you need to do is recognize that this can be a wonderful friendship, but that it ends there. This is not a bad thing. Great friendships are to be cherished, but the longer you string her along, the more resentment will build, and the more likely it is you won't even be friends anymore, and you don't want to lose that, do you?
Tell her the truth of how you feel and do whatever you can to preserve your friendship. Now would be a good time.
The other day, I had a rare day out into the capital with one of my friends and I managed to meet up with a few of hers. One of them took me by surprise as he was an older guy, mid-40’s as a guess, with a nice round tummy. And, I do certainly have a thing for older, round-tummied men.
Once the day out had ended and I was back home, I wrote him a message asking if, because he was single, if he’d ever consider having a male companion. He told me he was cool with me being gay and liked me as a friend, but was only really interested in women. It’s a bit of a blow to discover this is a straight-crush, but that’s besides the point. Even if it never goes romantic, he still seems like he’ll be a great friend to me.
The point is that he’s a smoker. He told me he only does about 3 a day, so it could be a lot worse. But, regardless, smoke is still smoke. I’ve had a highly adverse attitude to smoking for as long as I can remember, partially because of how it’s a key sign of falling for peer pressure, partially because of all the health-risks it imposes (I do actually wander if I have some milder form of asthma, given how easily I get out of breath when I attempt to run or jog, but I’ve never been diagnosed or anything. I also can’t help but think that it can’t taste all that good to kiss someone who smokes. Perhaps that’s something that could be resolved with a good tooth-brushing, but if it tastes as bad as it smells, I’m not all too sure.
All that being said, I did still fancy this guy, despite knowing he smoked. He was friendly and charming and, in my eyes at least, a very good looking fellow. So, I do question if smoking should be something I put to one side when looking for guys. Therefore, I ask, what should I do if I come across another man I fancy and they also turn out to be a smoker? Do I favour my metaphorical heart, or the one that pumps blood around my body? Or, maybe something in-between?
I guess this is the curse of being attracted to rounder guys. They might be better for rubbing and snuggling up against, but they’re rarely the result of a healthy lifestyle.
* * *
Since this fellow is straight then there is no issue about kissing, and since he only smokes three fags a day, I'm sure you can hang out once in a while and avoid the smoke. Put that one aside.
Yes, smoking is a bad habit and I, too, avoid smokers. My parents were horrible smokers. I would come home from school and there would be fog banks of smoke in the house and the walls turned yellow with tar. I am convinced, too, that this was the source of all the earaches and infections I got as a child, which eventually led to a burst abscess in my ear and partial deafness. I despise smoking, especially cigarettes. I do admit, though, that I love the smell of a good pipe. It's weird that I find pipes sexy and attractive, but cigarettes make me retch. And it's not just the mouth of the smoker that is affected. Most smokers' clothes also smell of smoke, as do their homes. So, yeah, blech.
I wouldn't necessarily call smoking a moral failure, however. My mother started smoking after she gave birth to my sister and gained weight. This was back in 1962, and her doctor recommended she take up smoking to lose weight. There are still people today who smoke as a way to keep from eating too much. Also, cigarette companies fill the tobacco with nicotine to deliberately get people addicted, so there's that. As for older guys with tummies being unhealthy.... Hehe, well, when you get a bit older and your metabolism slows down it becomes more and more difficult to keep yourself thin. Back when I was in my twenties I could eat about anything and my weight was 140 lbs (63 kg). Today, I give a sideways glance at a brownie and gain three pounds. It is even harder for women than men to lose weight because of their physiology being designed to maintain fat to sustain producing children. Another thing, too, can be medications. My fiance is overweight because the medications he takes for various problems stemming from his military service cause him to gain and maintain pounds. There are a number of drugs out there that do this, and you can't do much about it if you have to take the medicine to survive. So lets' not be too judgmental, shall we?
As for falling in love with a chubby smoker.... Fall in love with the person, not the appearance, when it comes to weight. Habits are a different matter. Sometimes, if you fall in love with someone who, say, smokes, you can convince them to stop and help them to do so. (BTW, furs, vaping is bad for you, too; don't be fooled.)
Same with more difficult things such as alcohol and illicit drugs. It can be a tough row to hoe, though, and you really have to love them deeply to commit to that kind of stress. If you are just meeting someone like that for the first time it might be best to say, "Thanks, but no thanks."
Take it on a case-by-case basis. There is no catch-all answer that applies to everyone.
Dear Papa Bear,
Hello! My name is Coffee, and I am in my first relationship. I don't really know if it is a very official relationship. It was a bit sudden. It started when in a discord vc we got married as a joke and it was all fun and stuff. The day after he asked me if I would like to go on a date and date him. I had never really dated anyone before, I mean you could count kindergarten dates but I don't, and so I was pretty stunned that this would happen. He's a nice guy and he cares about me, but I don't know. I'm not sure if I like him as much or in the same way he likes me. The guy, let's call him Jake, I think likes me quite a bit. The problem is we live quite far apart. We have 13 hours between us, and so it can be a bit difficult keeping up with each other. This is not to say we haven't tried like working it out I guess, we had our date (we went on a movie night) and are planning to go on another one. However I don't whether this is fair for him, or I guess myself. He deserves being with someone that cares about him as much as he cares about them, and I guess I do too, which I think is a bit selfish. I'm not sure what to do. I kind of want to break up with him because I'm not as into the relationship as I would want to be, but I really don't know how to go about it. Do I vc him? Text him? I feel like it would be best to do it over vc but I don't know if I'm up to it. If I was given more time with him to really get to know him maybe I'd like him more but IDK. I apologize for this brain dump, I realize it might be all over the place but that's just how my mind is working through this problem right now.
Coffee (age 17)
I submitted a question about my relationship situation around a week ago and I wanted to remind you of it. I also wanted to tell you of some recent developments! I got some advice from a friend of mine that the next time my boyfriend (?) (I forgot what I called him in the last letter so I'll call him Wolfie) and I had a date that I should see how I feel after the date and break it to him. I'm grateful for her advice, and I trusted that she had my best intentions in mind. We have been friends for a couple of years now and we've helped each other through some hard times. Well, Wolfie and I were having a doodling date that night, so I made myself some coffee and put a little liquid courage in it before heading up and getting on VC. 40 minutes into the date he started kinda asking questions, and I told him how I felt. It might have been the extra ingredient in my coffee or my guilt but what I had struggled to tell him in previous conversations just spilled out. He understood where I was coming from and, albeit close to tears, told me that it was alright and that he would be willing to wait for as long as I needed. I thought, and still think, that Wolfie has a heart of gold and everything and that he loves me, but I guess this is the same problem as the one you discussed in your latest "He Wants to Hear I Love You Back" letter, but in the opposite person's view. I haven't felt a spark and we haven't spent much time together, and so I'm really not sure how to go about this. I've only ever had 2 crushes in my life, both of which were because the guy was extremely cute/handsome and neither of which were romantic. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I explained to Wolfie that I felt guilty in keeping him from finding someone who loved him like he loves me, but he insisted that he could be patient.
I hadn't really thought about it, but this new development has kinda made me question my romantic orientation. Am I demi? Am I aro? I've tried to read up on the romantic spectrum, and a lot of the aromantic stuff says that aromantics don't have an instinctual want for a romantic relationship, so I don't think I'm aro because I still feel the need to be held and still have some want for a relationship maybe way down the line. But at the same time, I'm not sure if I'm demi simply because my thoughts around relationships always were centered around the question of sexuality, and not so much romanticism.
I hope that this information will maybe help you keep a clearer picture of my situation.
* * *
You're overthinking this with regard to your sexual/romantic orientation. The reason you're having a hard time connecting romantically to Wolfie/Jake is simple: distance. You are 13 hours apart, right? Your relationship is mostly via the phone and the computer. This is a fairly new development in human relationships, so there is still much debate on social media and among sociologists and psychologists as to how feasible and practical LDRs really are. If you want Papabear's opinion, a relationship with little or no physical contact is lacking an essential ingredient that will leave both parties wanting. They simply are not satisfying.
Is it possible that, in the future, the two of you will be living in close proximity? If not, my opinion is that you are better off just being friends and that, in addition, this has no relevance to your romantic orientation. That is something you can only figure out when you've had a couple relationships of a physical nature (not meaning sex necessarily, but human beings need touch, hugs, kisses). If you do plan on living near each other or even with each other at some point, then have patience until that comes along and perhaps don't break it off just yet. Young people are always in such a hurry to make decisions about their lives that really should not be rushed into. You have time.
Hope this helps.
It’s been quite a while since I wrote my first letter, and I never properly thanked you what you’d written me. So, Thank you very much! Your kind words helped me decide to really buckle down. In the year to come, I have chosen to focus my career and school involvement on film. I’m truly excited to see what the future holds for me.
This letter is also focused on the future, or rather, my future with someone. At the start of this year I met a fantastic guy at a furry con. Something struck me about him and inspired me to reach out to him after the convention. The two of us have been talking with each other daily since then, and have met up several times at conventions through the year. On a deeper level we’ve both helped each other through difficult times this past year, the loss of his father, and the animosity I perceived from certain friends. Even more recently we spent a fantastic weekend together; exploring towns, attending a furry pool party, and more.
During that weekend I asked him what he would call us. He expressed that he felt we were very close friends, and followed by asking me if what I felt for him was love.
While holding him in my arms, I told him yes.
It takes me a while to fall in love, He told me the same about himself. He comes from a very strict background and opening up is hard for him. But he wants to open up to me, and he even gave me tips on how to help him with it.
I know that I love him, and knows it too. At every turn he has shown me that it’s okay, and that he truly appreciates my affection. But, he also expressed that he has yet to feel a spark, and seems to genuinely want to.
I want this to be his decision, I don’t want to convince him. I guess my question is,
Is it okay to want things?
At the close of my last relationship, I asked myself the same question. I keep getting close to why I feel it’s not okay for me to want things; I fear that my selfishness will hurt someone. That if it’s meant to be it will be, and if it’s not…. It still hurts.
I wanted this to be a shorter or a simpler problem than last time.… Anything you think may help will always be appreciated.
* * *
Glad to hear that you have some exciting things going on in your life.
Is it okay to want things? Yes and no. On one paw, everyone has wants and desires in life, and feeling guilty about that because you somehow feel selfish or unworthy is something that many misguided people endure.
Let's rephrase your question: Are you worthy of love and happiness? Absolutely, you are. It is not selfish to want to be happy and to have people in our lives to love.
Where we get into problems is when we have clingy, needy, codependent love. Love can be demanding and selfish and one-way. These are unhealthy expressions of love that are often born of low self-esteem and usually end up destroying relationships.
In your case, no, I don't think you are being selfish, clingy, or unreasonable. You are approaching this with caution and creating communication with your love interest that is open and honest. Wonderful! Great job!
The question now becomes: Will he love you back? There's no way I can answer for him, of course. Clearly, he has affection for you, so that is a solid start. Also, the best and most dependable love relationships begin with good friendships. Blessed are they who find love with their best friends!
My advice to you in this case is just take it slowly. Keep the communication open; keep doing things with him and share good times. Don't push him or nag him to answer the question, "Do you love me back?" For some reason, he might not be ready for that just yet, but that doesn't mean he won't ever be.
This will sound very open-ended and inconclusive, but just enjoy what you have now and see where it goes. Live in the moment. It's fine to let him know what you are feeling, but don't press him. When the moment is right and he decides, he will tell you.
Love is a marathon, not a sprint.
I feel absolutely destroyed and need advise from someone outside of my own personal friend circle who can offer insight on my predicament. I was in a relationship and engaged to a wonderful dragon. We rarely argued and when we did we were always able to overcome with patience and compromise. it took a lot of work and effort to get to our level of love/trust and I really thought we were going to make it for the long haul. That's why it was so surprising and painful when it all started slipping. I tried literally everything I could do to save us, but he stopped helping. He started spending all his time on telegram and twitter and started caring much more about his looks and his friends... and the whole time he said he was the bad guy and I was doing nothing wrong when i pointed out how it was hurting the relationship. He stopped talking to me.
I don't understand what happened. He was never very sexually driven. I knew he was Pan sexual and could have a desire for men, but we were open. He could RP online or go play with someone if he wanted I just wanted to keep the love and he agreed. He used to tell me that "This is the best relationship I've ever been in" and "you still give me butterflies". Everything came down in the span of a month. It went from so serene, tender and loving to "I have no love left for you" so quickly. Even worse he says I did nothing wrong. He leaped from loving fiance to I'm only into men and want to uproot my entire life in a Flash. He said he felt guilty so why didn't he try to save us? Why did he totally stone wall me when I was trying to figure out what had happened? Why didn't he mourn or come to me sooner when he started feeling bad? So many whys.
Its been a couple of months now and I'm still so torn up inside. I feel like it didn't matter that I gave him literally everything I had and that I was willing to give the rest of my life to him. It didn't matter that I was patent, loving, flexible, always there when he needed me, and so many other things I thought he deserved out of the relationship... How are you supposed to move on and build up after giving so much? How do I keep it from happening again.. because it felt like a big part of the break up was... because I'm not male. And why do I still love him and want to be with him even after all of this pain and after hes made it abundantly clear that he had nothing for me?
I'm sure time is an answer to this... but I sure would like to feel like I will survive this instead of death by great bleeding heart. Advise on the short term healing or maybe recommendations on long term relationships for next time?
Broken Hearted Blue (age 26)
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Dear Broken Hearted,
I'm sorry you are going through this. I might be able to give you some insight into this because I am familiar with what I think is his side of it from a personal level. Not sure if you read much of my bio in this column over the years, but I was married to a lovely woman for 22 years. I went into the marriage honestly believing I was straight, but when I was forty I figured out I wasn't (long story short, I had a sheltered childhood and though all gay men were effeminate, which didn't appeal to me, but later I discovered the bear community and instantly identified with it). Anyway, after four long years trying to deny it to myself and to her, I came out to her. We both cried and, of course, this led to her divorcing me. The good news is that we remain friends and I still have a lot of love for her, but we could never be married again.
It might be that your dragon experienced something similar, only that he initially felt he was pansexual and later it dawned on him that he was only into men. Such revelations can come over time, or they can come quite abruptly, as seems to have happened with him.
Now, this only has to do with sexuality. There's a difference, as you know, between sexuality and love. What rather disturbs me about what he said to you (if I am understanding this correctly) is that not only does he no longer have a sexual interest in you, but he also no longer loves you. If, to him, sex is the same as love, then that speaks poorly of this young man. If, on the other hand, he is saying "I don't love you anymore" as a way of, perhaps, breaking things off more cleanly and permanently so as not to lead you on in any way, then that is still a rather cruel thing to do, but a little more understandable.
Either way, he has hurt you, and to be that cold to someone you professed to love is a dark path to walk. It makes me not like him very much, but then I don't have to.
Answering your questions: 1) Yes, you will survive this. You are 26. Every young person goes through heartbreak at one time or another. It is part of life and part of learning about relationships. Learn from the experience and take your new wisdom into the next relationship you have, but also don't sell the good memories short; it's okay to have fond memories of someone you are no longer with—good memories can make us stronger just as surviving bad ones can. 2) On the short term, the best thing for you to do is spend a little time focusing on you as an individual and not as half of a relationship. Remember, what happened (and he said this himself!) is not because of something wrong with you but, rather, something amiss with him. Spend the next few months contemplating who you are as a person, what you want out of life, and how to achieve it. Do this in terms of only yourself and not as a partner or spouse. 3) In the long term, it will help immensely if you become—from this experience and its aftermath—someone who knows who they are and what they want out of life; someone who is self-assured and confident in themselves; someone who has love in their heart but is not codependent or seeking a codependent relationship just to get by. Such people are immensely attractive. It's the ones who reek of desperation or neediness that chase potential suitors away. Then, as this confident person (not arrogant, confident), you will be much more likely to find someone who is better mate material. No guarantees, but that's life!
I honestly never told anyone this and I feel you want understand unless you know the whole story. I went to college out of state for a year then transferred back due to a family emergency (which is solved now, yay!). Please bear (no puns? ok..) with me this is a quite a story. Every freshmen who with a certain scholarship had to participate in certain event, when its complete they scan your student ID and you're marked for going. The very first event was "Meet the Greeks" In all honesty I was dreading for it to be over before it started (don't get me wrong at the prior to the event I thought Greek great. I just knew that me being in one is almost lying to myself). When we walked down stairs to the basement I saw they guys, they looked exactly how I thought they would, except one (yes, its one of those ridiculous cute guy moments, and I'm honestly cringing and feeling mixed emotions while I type his description) dark blue cap with a white outline, deep blue shirt, dark blue track pants, and red running shoes (Now that I think about it, just from his description he sounds like a douche or is it just me?) like myself you can tell he didn't want to be there, they where possibly giving introductions or a name call I don't know I was admiring this tall cutie until he looked at me. Know me I my have glared at him for a brief moment crossed my arms then turned my attention to the door to the kitchen. Although when I decided to look at him again and he was still looking at me (I was really surprised because usually when I do that most guys look away in a instant)that caused my glare to harden a bit and look farther down the room (not to intimidate him mostly angry at myself for getting caught) I bite my lower lip slightly as punishment but not to hard. Once everyone started to move I go towards the opposite direction everyone else went, by that time I already meet two of the guys prior to the event (because they were at our dorm event hosted outside where the residents HAD to go and meet the other residents and also eat free ice cream and I talked to them a bit. They were there for recruitment) I talked to them until all three couches were free, so I took a seat waiting for it to be over. When I scanned the room I was looking at the cute guy talking to other cute guys all I think was 'I'm sure he could get with anyone of them' looked away and just sighed rubbed my face a bit, I would be on my phone but no phones were allowed during the event. So I just sat there chew on my bottom lip tapping my foot thinking about how I may never be able to see him again, let along talk to him while looking at him talk to other guys. Then curse my luck he sat down across from me and spoke (I have no people skills or know how to have a conversation with anyone) even though I can't relate to most people and judging from what I've been watching laughing for the first time (which is important to remember). Fast forwarding I rushed the house and pledge and got to know him better and I'm starting to like him more (Have I mention I've never dated anyone? Also I've only liked 3 people total even now) so one day I got tipsy for the first time (fun fact I speak my mind at that stage) had over 8 or 9 Jell-O shots that night, he was showing me video clips of him playing soccer in high school he was the goalie (a damn good one at that) and I was over flattering him (my first time flirting with someone.. EVER) then later that night he asked was I flirting and said he was scared (he was laughing and started to cover himself I find that really fun when I think about it) of course I said no and left. Later down the like we became what I thought friends, when he got drunk I made sure he was not doing anything to hurt himself (the other guys told me that he's an adult but I tired anyway) when he got a concussion I'd tell him if he need anything let me know, I became a parent in other words I thought if I couldn't be with him then I least want to be a good friend (I didn't have those either, I also spend almost EVERYDAY in his room watching him play video games while I commentate he really enjoyed that). Wanting to distance myself from him because he was pretty much getting laid every night and I just decided to give up and use that time to get back in my hobby, photography, so I wanted to be the first person photographer of the Quidditch team my friend Joey was the caption and I asked him and was granted approval. Not know what the sport was he invited me to go to the first practice of the season and aslo about the tournament coming soon, I was excited until he told me the roster (Yup, he was on the team too) I couldn't just back down, he was really happy when I asked. When practice day came he was a clown, at that point he picked up on my speech pattern (also he didn't know what juke was is football until I told him) he would ask me how was that juke every time laughing , I was having fun but wanted to do this to get away not sucked in more. After practice he asked me to come to his room and watch him play a game I never seen before (I was a bit shocked he knew curiosity was my weakness). Tournament day arrived, we had to stay at a hotel there was 4 girls and 4 boys, which means we had to share a bed (oh boy..) and when that time came it was a vote who shares a bed with who and Joey and my other Greek brother called each other name so fast I didn't take a breath which means we share a bed (why me, that's all I thought. At that time I wanted to detach those feelings but the thought of sharing a bed didn't help!). The three of them decided to go somewhere and I wanted to stay, so when they left I went to bed, I woke up and felt wind on my forehead I realized it was him so I turned my back towards him and fell back asleep (That's what I know, but later in the future he told me he was laying on top of me..). Fast forwarding a bit I was trying to accept my feelings but not act on (at this point he SHOWED me what the game red light was. If you don't know its where your opponent puts his hand on your knee and he will go up slowly and will stop when you say red light. I always told him to keep going at your own risk and no he never touched it. But he was close, he was just on the wrong knee, thank goodness. Also, he's been getting VERY noticeable boners, I try not to look but with that size how could I not..) Then I later find out a good friend of mine told me she liked him (that hurt me honesty but what really hurts was when they dated). I was happy about it because she was a sweet girl and she deserved someone like him (I decided to official let these feelings go for good so they can be happy), but there was a slight problem, she was abstinent and he had sex almost every week. He never cheated on her it just made her nervous when she was alone with him and he wanted to "watch a movie" she would come to my room and ask me to join for that reason and I did, I just felt uncomfortable and a bit upset. She was leaning on his chest with her legs on the futon and he sat there stroking her arm then his hand eventually ended on rubbing her butt, not wanting to sit through it I said I had an early class tomorrow (The only think that made it uncomfortable and upset was just being the third-wheel which always happens to me in any situation). During that time she was always in there and the rate of him calling me in there declined quite a bit but he still did (I forgot to mention, we lived on the second floor and he is the first door on the left, across is the bathroom. My room is on the right and four rooms down from his including the bathroom and the water fountain was on the right. And every time he called me I was passing by his door he always singed my name lol). Eventually they broke up and it impacted her heavily and he seemed a bit off about it, he never wanted to talk to me about it (maybe because I was friends with her, but I was honestly sad I thought they were cute together) but I could tell something was off. One night he go drunk (I was staying away from drinks at the time) and he showed that it really affected him, he didn't cry he play a brake up country song and was sing and talking to me. Fast forwarding a bit I was in the process of reminding myself that "He's is pretty much the only real friend I had and I should be thankful for that" (The other people who I said were good friends are but I spent EVERYDAY with this guy so its bound to be different then theirs) at this time I was in the Theater club because on the same night I got drunk and failed flirted with him I ended up agreeing to join the Theater club. I met another nice friend that night, her name is Sage, and so since I had the thought of him being just a friend I started hanging out with her everyday instead of him (I'm honestly cruel for this, I already knew she was emotionally unstable so I just attached myself to someone I knew I could waste my time with.. But I did want to help her overcome all those problem and she did eventually). Though I started to notice changes with him, it start with him would call me to his room to watch him with his regular honest enthusiasm and I tell him I'm going to hangout with Sage and he asked are we going to do it and I'll say no and leave, then really changed when he would call me and ask to watch and I stand there and watch and he ask me to sit down and I'll tell him I'm going with Sage then he would fall silent then when I leave and as I'm walking down the stairs he slams his door (and I mean SLAMS his door, I wanted to check on him but I'd think to myself "I am not his boyfriend" and continue walking, then every time I come back his door would be open and he would watch me walk by (I was getting ready to read an update on my favorite vn's) and once I reach my door his door slams shut, I'd sigh and think that thought again. Guys around the house would be shock to see me somewhere else around the house, it became a theme that if you want to find me go to his room, but eventually I decided to hangout it him. I go in and sit down next to him and ask him what is he playing when it was clearly Madden he told me and he asked me "Not going to Sage?" I can tell he was grumpy and he started raging at the game and I started to chuckle to myself while covering my mouth, he asked me was I laughing and I said with a bit of sarcasm "What? No.." and he started to laugh a bit and said "You can laugh" or "I don't mind you laughing". Fast forwarding a bit and at this point he's yell or ask me "Lets fuck" so many times the whole house knows, one time he asked me calmly and I said no and he asked why not, I don't really remember my response or if I just chuckled and lean on my hand but he did give a quick glance. I've also notice him looking at me from the corner of his eye once (oh and the constant boners never stopped, although the amount of girls he slept with almost to nearly stopped). At that point I finally just accepted the thought of him as a friend (at this point we returned from winter break and I spent it with Sage), but one day I just wanted a break from everyone and I wanted to focus on classes, until a brother asked me can he talked to me and asked did I know why he called me in there and I said yes (That whole week everyone I knew was asking me was I mad at Sage and I'll say no) but that wasn't it. He said there is a rumor that a brother and pledge had sex (Pause. Now bare with me because this may get hairy. The only people in the house who hangout with each other everyday at that point was Group A: How had an openly gay member but he was never here, and there was me and Justin who hangout everyday. And two days prior to this, the same brother questioning me told me before I arrive he said "I want to fuck" and when up stairs and called my name. Then the day before this talk he said what I'm guessing a very lewd comment while going to his room I didn't hear what was said but everyone just looked and me wide eyed and gapped mouths, I asked what he say and they told me it was nothing). I was shocked and asked who was it and he said he didn't know (He only questioned me and another pledge and he left his door open when he asked him but not with me. He stopped the comments after that but we still hung out). Later he got a girlfriend who he is still with to this day (I was only shocked that they got together so fast) I was a bit happy for him even if he completely shut me out. He was either at her dorm or he was in his with the door closed all day everyday (I felt abandoned, like I was easily forgotten about. Before he go with her he would send me snaps on snapchat, we had a 6 day streak, if you don't know we messaged every single day. When he got with her it just stopped), though one day he crossed my line. One night his girlfriend was storming out saying good night like she was fine, being a good sport I went after her to make sure he was fine but she started crying. Long story short they had an argument and he has a concussion and she asked me could I watch him since I'm the only one he can trust (that was a fact, he trust no one with his credit card but one day he asked me to get something for him). I go to check on him and his door is closed and lock (of course) I text his phone and sent a message on snapchat I asked "where are you?", he replied to the snapchat he said "outside" I run out side and looked around, then ran out back and see his truck gone I hear tire screeches and run to the front and see him driving off fast. I called him and it went right to voicemail after the second ring, I text him (all the text are on snapcaht) to come back and he said no. I texted at least pick me up (I can drive but I have no license, that way I'm not worried about him having an accident) he said he wants be alone, I told him that he can talk to me about it, that's what friends are for. He read it but didn't respond I wait a bit and send "Right" it was on send then he opened it and didn't reply (Ok, I have a history why I don't have friends. In all my school years, all the people who I thought my friends told me that we were never friends this includes high school. I did their homework for them, I've been abused in way that put me in the hospital and if I told anyone those students would be expelled. I may not sound like anything but I've been scared literally and mentally and used, I took all this pain just for one single friend, but in the end I'm told I in my face we were never friends. I swore on my name that as long as I hold a breath in my body it will never happen again. And I not one to break a promise, especially one to myself) I send "Right?" again, he didn't open it for 2 mins then he replied asking me to tell another brother that he is ok (All the emotions that I felt just stopped) I'm just staring at the message trying to comprehend it, then he sends question marks 'Did he just...ignore me...?' that's all I could think then he message me again saying he's messaging him now. I replied "Tell him yourself" he sent more question marks I could bring myself to reply then me message me saying bright lights hurt his eyes and he can't read the messages, I told him to come back before he has an accident and he just read the message and didn't reply (All I could think was him just ignoring me asking are we friends but he can reply to other people and just ignore me.). Later that night he said his girlfriend convinced him to come back, when he go back I texted him should I check on him (I was emotionless, and my heart rate went up) and replied no but thanks. It took two or three days later I had a mental breakdown. I avoided him, ignored him and gave him the cold shoulder for a while, every time someone ask me about him I'd say "Why are you asking me?" (It really hurt, I wasn't mad at him, I was mad at my self for jumping to conclusions like that. When I thought about it we never really talked about anything and there were other brothers he just had a great conversation with while I was just sitting there. I came to the conclusion that he just thought of me as temporary entertainment until he have one of his friends to come by). Fast forwarding to summer break, I had a someone who was going to take me to the train station, as I went around and said goodbye he was my last stop, even though he was on the phone so I just playfully punched his arm and left. The I transferred. Current date, lately we've been having conversations like we use to (on snapchat), I can tell he would message me when he was with her or without her and he replied fast (one day he wanted to make a bet that he will find me. I said $15, then he said "$10 and a really good massage. I just send lol but he asked "deal?" and I just said "Fine deal lol"). Until yesterday, he asked "why no picture?" (he's been snapping pics the whole time and sometime text) I send one of me looking confused with the caption "I don't know..." and then after he reads it he sends "I almost forgot what you look like" with two laughing emoji's. Then he just started to message slow, like 5 hours later slow. Week before his sudden message I've been trying to look for a date lately but I fail every time they see how I look.. Now I'm starting to get a bit depressed because I thought he remembered how I looked and just didn't mind messaging me but now.. Papabear I want to know what do you think of all this? Was I overreacting or did I have any right to feel that way? Please give me you brutality honest opinion, I can handle it I just don't like being deceived.
Mark (age 19)
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My opinion is that this guy, Justin, is conflicted about his sexuality and is not handling it well. His mixed-up emotions are then expressed inappropriately by treating friends badly and insensitively. I don't think you've done anything wrong here; indeed, you're remarkably restrained. I think he needs to get his head together before he can have a healthy relationship of any kind. I don't think he's trying to deceive you so much as he is deceiving himself (lots of sex with women is overcompensating to hide his homosexual feelings). The fact that you've been abused by others in the past (so sorry to hear), makes you vulnerable to misinterpreting his intentions.
So, what to do? The first step is to recognize that Justin is confused and conflicted and that he is not thinking clearly. The second thing is to not take this as an invitation to lecture him or try to correct his behavior. He has to work it out for himself or with a professional counselor. The third thing to do is make sure you don't have sex with him (sounds like you have not, good). Having sex with someone messed up in the head is not a healthy thing for either of you. Sounds like he needs to spend a little less time on sex, sports, fraternity stuff, and video games and a lot more time actually studying and working on his classes (how are his grades?)
Feel free to be supportive and listen to him (just listen, don't offer advice) and keep him out of your pants, of course. Calm down your own libido, too, because it's not helping you or him. Since you're in a different school now, that shouldn't be a problem. As long as you don't see this guy as a potential mate, you should be okay. Also, if this stays on a friendship level, remember that friendships should go both ways. Try this out by asking him to do something (even a very minor thing) for you and see what he says. If he says something like "I don't have time to do that," then you have a pretty good idea that the friendship is bogus, too.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.