Dear Papa Bear,
A few months ago I joined a fur group locally. It has been an experience and I've moved from being a lurker to an active furry. I even have a partial for an alternate fursona and a full one coming up. I picked up drawing again and I enjoy it so much! My problem is before this started up a whirlwind it was because of one fur that I met that I even got to where I am. This wolf completely toss my world around and I have such great friends now and life has been generally a great place. I will admit... I fell hard for this wolf...just being around him...makes my heart beat heavy... long story short he eventually found out how I felt and I have shared a few moments where I could feel a spark between us. The problem being... he has a mate. Now I'm not asking about how do I steal him (even though a fox could try lol) and we've gotten through a lot already. The issue I want to ask you is because of where I live I can't separate myself from him because he's apart of my local fur group and attends many of the events that we plan. I can't remove myself from him completely even if I wanted to... Papa Bear... What does a fox like me do? *cue Chasing Pavements - Adele*
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Since you already know it wouldn’t be right to steal him away from his mate (assuming you could do so)—and it’s a good thing you realize that!—the question becomes, “How can I not get all bewitched, bothered, and bewildered around this wolf every time I see him?”
The answer is simple, but not easy: find someone of your own to love. Then, you will love that person and the wolf will no longer hold a gravitational pull for you. Oh, sure, that interest may take a little while to fade, but if you truly love another then your focus will eventually be on your new love and it will be fine that you and the wolf find yourselves in the same furry circles.
That would be Papabear’s first word on the subject. But you also mentioned that “spark” between the two of you. Was that mutual? or was that just you being hopeful that he returned your amorous feelings? If it really was mutual it is worth investigating further.
So many people who write to Papabear have questions simply because they haven’t spoken directly with the other parties involved in their problems. You know this wolf has a mate, but I have heard the term “mate” thrown around a lot, especially in the fandom, sometimes seriously, sometimes not so much. Is this a real, deep, passionate, exclusive matehood? Is it more casual? Is it new or long-established? Obviously, you don’t want to get in the way of true love, but, to go the other extreme, sometimes people pair up with others just to not be alone, and sometimes people are very unhappy with their current relationship.
You didn’t give Papabear enough information to make a good judgment call on that, so you will have to figure that part on your own. While you and I both know that breaking up a couple who are truly in love and monogamous is flat-out wrong, on the other paw if the relationship isn’t that serious and the two of you could have something more powerful and meaningful, then you have a right to explore that, too.
It’s also possible, as has been mentioned in this column before, that a polyamorous relationship might develop. If everyone consents to that and is open to it, everyone could win, but it can be a difficult row to hoe, as they say.
So, talk to the wolf. Tell him your feelings. The worst that can happen is that you are back where you started; they best is that you find out he actually has stronger feelings for you than for his current mate. You’ll never know unless you ask.
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.