I was wondering if I could get some relationship advice. Alas, I think I’ve fallen into the pitfall of online relationships. You see, I enjoy various types of role-play (RP), through which I’ve met many friends who I have friendly, but non-sexual (much of the RP is “baby-fur”) relationships with. I met a guy through a mutual friend about a month and a half ago, and this is where the relationship sort of started. After a few rounds of chatting and whatnot over two weeks or so, he asked if I liked him, and smitten, I replied yes.
My issue now is that after a while, I’m not sure I still feel the “boyfriend-style” love for him. I mean, he’s a great guy and all, but he’s so busy with housework and helping his mother and grandmother around their property that I don’t feel he’s ever available, and when he is, it’s often in a state of such exhaustion that I don’t feel that real connection with him. Compounding this, I have issues with relationships, and am absolutely a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde character within them. I’m utterly afraid of being left, and when I feel like I’m not holding all the cards in the relationship, I assume what I mockingly call my “Christian Grey” persona (From the 50 Shades of Grey character), where I seek to sort of gain that power back through being a powerful dominant. But, doing this also rather pains be, because I tend to be naturally mild and submissive, and I don’t really like to have to be that cold and emotionally detached.
So really, my issue is that he’s not really all that available, and I’m not sure whether or not to just try and detach and “friend-zone” him again (cruel as that seems), go for a straight-up breakup (hypocritically, this bothers me a lot less if I’m the one initiating the break-up), or try and save the relationship. I mean, I really do want to try a committed relationship (my only prior experience was a one-time “friends with benefits” thing that ended after a bout of sex), but I want to get something out the relationship as well. I just don’t feel like I’m a priority for him, and when we talk, it’s sort of friendly small-talk, nothing really intimate. He wants to try the long-term thing, but when he’s not really there, it’s Fox-damned hard not to feel a bit neglected. He promises that he’ll be more available in a year once he heads out to Montana State University (MSU) in the summer (he’s a fellow H.S. senior), but it’s a long ways away and I already see myself with someone else if he’s going to be this unavailable for another year (can’t see him IRL, he’s in upstate main and I’m in Northern Virginia).
I guess for me, absence doesn’t really make love fonder. Is there a course of action you’d suggest I take in this situation, or any relationship advice you might offer? My friends are rather unhelpful on this.
Kit Callaway (Age 17)
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There’s a lot going on here, and you know Papabear’s position on the viability of LDRs. From what you’re saying, there’s not even a possibility of you two being together in the near future. While you can have a virtual relationship in terms of friendship, human beings need to have a physical component for any real mate-bonding to occur. Even without that, you say in the second paragraph that you “don’t feel that real connection with him,” so my question is: why are you obsessing about this in the first place? It’s a non-issue if you don’t feel your heart strings being tugged or pulled.
That aside, what I find more intriguing about your letter (and why I’m posting this on the website instead of just answering you via email) is your psychological approach to relationships in general: your Jekyll vs. Hyde personality, as you call it. You describe yourself as generally meek and mild, but with abandonment issues. Without knowing anything about your parents, Papabear wonders if you come from a broken home or have lost parents to death or, another possibility, if you were adopted. Any of these would create understandable feelings of insecurity. Thus, when you feel a relationship is at risk you become defensive, like a cornered cat—afraid, neck fur bristling, but appearing aggressive with fangs and claws bared. Sound like you?
Therefore, going back to my earlier question as to why you are obsessing about this guy, the answer might be that you feel uncomfortable with any breakup, even if it is with a person you don’t even love that much who lives far away.
Your LDR “boyfriend” is, then, truly irrelevant to your problem (a symptom of a larger issue), though Papabear suggests you stop obsessing about him and find someone local. Downgrade him from BF to F status, but do it kindly. Your focus should instead be on how to get over your relationship insecurities, or else you will likely repeat the experience you are currently undergoing.
Why are you so insecure? Figure that out, and then you can go to the next step of unloading your emotional baggage. And, finally, when you dump that baggage you can forge ahead with confidence into new and healthier relationships.
Please feel free to write again if you wish to discuss this further.
Wishing You Love and Health,
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Since you offered to discuss this further, here's the events in my life I feel relevant to this issue. If you have any questions or desire any additional information (privacy is not an issue), please feel free to shoot me another email.
Note: This is a candid account of the relevant portions of my life, and as such, contains some triggering content and frank discussions of mild sexuality (a fetish)
Your description of me as “a cornered cat—afraid, neck fur bristling, but appearing aggressive with fangs and claws bared” is pretty spot on. A bit of my personal history might be helpful in explaining this dynamic, so forgive me if I’m a bit long-winded. I do have a rather large amount of emotional baggage.
I’ve grown up solidly upper middle class, living in a single-family home in the suburbs, two BMWs in the driveway, all the games and amusements my heart desired.. “The American Dream” and all that. A mother and a father, many friends, high marks in school, everything a guy could want. So not a broken home. I’d say more a home that lacked love.
I don’t have many memories of my childhood. From my (limited) recollections and what’s been told to me over the years, I had little contact with my parents as a young child (0-6 years old). My Mother worked extremely long hours (~80 per week), so I rarely saw her (I mean literally on Saturday, once a week-if that). My Father was an alcoholic, the type that would pass out on the couch after making me dinner. So I really never had a strong bond with either of my parents. My Father overcome his alcoholism in time for my Mother to depart for a one-year tour in Iraq (2003) with her organization, but with my Father’s “hearty” meals, I soon became rather heavy (to the point where I now weigh less than I did in third grade). From this, I developed a rather unhealthy self-consciousness of my weight, as well as an emotional distance to my Mother I’ve never overcome.
During Elementary School, I had few friends, aside from my current best-friend due to shyness stemming partly from my weight and partly from a minor lisp. I found solace and comfort in books, especially “Artemis Fowl” by Eoin Collier. The character of Artemis held great appeal for me, especially his complete and utter unwillingness to depend on anyone, for anything, and to use people for what he needed them for, and nothing more (I disregarded his change of heart in latter novels). At that point (fourth grade), I developed a deep depression which I hid well from my parents (along with mild-self harm tendencies, scratching, head-banging, etc.), and I would console myself by stating (I’ve forgotten the exact wording) something along the lines of “my parents don’t love me. No one loves me. I’m just using them for the things they buy me.” So for the longest time I was an island, a rock alone, invincible. From this came my “Christian Grey” persona, the man that doesn’t need love, because he has all the money and power in the world to fill that hole.
However, this persona is also balanced out by another side of me which developed a bit later, during Middle School. As my sexuality emerged, I developed a rather strong diaper fetish (not exclusive, I’m bisexual, but still quite strong). From this, I gradually developed a fascination with regression fantasies and being babied (I would consider myself a “lifestyle AB” to some extent). So the counterbalance to the rock hardness of the other persona is the persona of the two-ish year old arctic fox kit (hence the pseudonym).. (Note: this is not DID by any stretch, simply varying states of mind). So he’s sort of around to “fill-the-hole” I guess, since I honestly do not remember every enjoying being a kid-I was always the calm, adult outsider.
As best as I can tell from talk-therapy (which I do with a Licensed Clinical Psychologist), most of my security results with never having had a really secure relationship with anyone up until High School. My Mother had once admitted she regretted not having more children (I’m an only child), so I relentlessly strove for excellence. I tried to become the guy everyone envied in order to get love, except...I still feel a deep emptiness. I have abandonment issues primarily because I’ve never felt that anyone loved me for who I am, only what I’ve done and the stuff I have. I’m ordinarily quite passive, but I can’t stand having relationships “break up.” It’s not a rational thing. Simply put, I’m “successful” and conventionally attractive enough that I could probably get a warm body in my bed if I felt so inclined. But...I want more out of relationships, but I’m afraid of appearing vulnerable and admitting weakness because I fear that I’m not good enough. I’ll...never be good enough. I never feel secure enough to invest emotionally with anyone, because I’m so afraid of getting burned. Instead, I just don a mask, being whatever they want, instead of being me. My two personas are the physical manifestation of this, and who I am, genuinely, is somewhere in between. That’s perhaps the root of my insecurity, and I don’t know how to fix it.
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This all makes perfect sense to me. Abandonment doesn't always have to be physical. You were emotionally and psychologically abandoned by both parents. That kind of hole in your childhood will leave life-long marks on your personality because it is during childhood that we learn (preferably from parents and other family) what love and nurturing are, and money and things and status do not fill that hole.
It also explains your interest in baby furs. You want to return to childhood, but not the childhood you had; rather, a real childhood in a nurturing environment. In other words, "if I could wave a magic wand and do it again, I would go back to childhood and have it done right."
What you need to do is find an "abandonment recovery" strategy. If you search on that term, you will find some websites you can research. There are also books such as The Emotionally Absent Mother and Black Swan: The Twelve Lessons of Abandonment Recovery that can really be helpful to you.
I suggest you explore some of these and see if they help.
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I appreciate the advice. Perhaps one of these sites will have what I'm looking for.
All the best,
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So tonight when I attempted to text my 'mate' tonight, I instead reached his mother. Apparently he's been distributing erotic pictures of himself, a minor, naked, to well over twenty different men, ranging in age from 14 to 62 years old. I am absolutely sorry I did not follow your advice and break up with him immediately when I expressed my doubts before. I was used, to both cheat on his real-life boyfriend of one year, and for the erotic role-play I engaged in while 'mated' to him. I would perhaps use this as a warning, that people in online relationships can absolutely not be who they say they are, and that pursuing online-only romantic relationships is utter folly. I'm done with "Tabi", and I'm feeling a bit burnt. Perhaps now is a good time to work on my own issues before pursuing another romantic relationship.
All the best, and thank you for your advice,
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