Here’s an interesting one, and I hope you don’t mind a novel to set this up. You’ve provided some very good info to me in the past and it’s helped me avoid a few mistakes; perhaps you can help me navigate this particular minefield?
To start, I’m a fur that’s plain sick and tired of dating other furs. The dating pool within the fandom is very shallow due to a few reasons. Firstly, I’m straight and there’s very few single female furs that are local; I don’t do the whole ‘out of state LDR’ stuff that many of my friends resort to. Secondly, the fandom is getting younger and I’m getting older. I turn 32 this year and I’ve started to understand there’s a huge difference between 21 and 31. Finally, most local furs are into heavy drinking and drug use; pot was recently legalized here so that’s the big thing for everyone to do. I’ve never been into any of that junk in the first place and my employer drug tests. I’m not about to risk a career I’ve been dreaming of for years just to party at a furmeet. There’s other reasons in there as well, but those are the primary ones.
That leaves the alternative of dating outside the fandom, in the mundane world so to speak. I ended one of the longer relationships I’ve had about a month ago. I usually spend years in a bitter “Don’t even look at me like you’re attracted to me” mood which generally chases people off, but I’ve decided that’s not a healthy thing to do and put myself out there after a week or so. That’s kinda quick, I know, but the breakup was rather bad and I really should have gotten out of this situation not long after it started. I’ve got a better idea of what I want in a partner, and I’m burnt out on dating furs.
I wasn’t expecting to receive a response that wasn’t a spambot, especially on Craigslist, but I did. She’s a little younger than I am, but not by much. She’s got a career in the same industry I work for, but a completely different job function. There’s a lot of common ground between us, and while she’s not exactly local she’s close enough to visit often (a city about 40 miles away). However, she’s not a fur. I haven’t told her about the fandom. She knows I attend comic conventions and will cosplay at them; she hasn’t been negative about that.
We’re having our first date this weekend but we’ve been emailing and texting rather regularly over the past few weeks. By the time I send this off and get your response that’s probably already happened. I won’t discuss the fandom or my ties to it this early on, but how would I explain this to someone who hasn’t been exposed to it?
I write furry stories, I don’t do artwork or fursuit, but go to the local con sometimes (I’m skipping this year as I’m buying my dream car in a couple of months and am using all available funds for it) and have some more responsible fur friends I hang out with from time to time. This is more of an interest/hobby for me than it is a lifestyle. I’m not willing to keep my interests closeted or ditch them in favor of dating someone “on the outside,” but how can I appropriately handle this?
Heisenwolf (age 31, Colorado)
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Hello, and welcome back. Wow, your fourth letter to me; glad I can help you.
Sounds like you have really developed a good head on your shoulders. Yes, the vast majority of furries are much younger than you, and you’re going to have a problem relating to them (although there is a growing number of greymuzzles these days, too). Good for you, too, for not settling for an LDR where you would rarely, if ever, meet the other person in the real world.
So, you’re not a lifestyler but more of a hobbyist, which actually makes talking about this with your girlfriend even easier. I would approach it the same way you would talking about being a Trekkie and going to Star Trek conventions and such. You already told her you go to comic book conventions, where they dress up, so why is furry such a big stretch? It’s really just another aspect of what she already knows you are into. If I were you, I would invite her to a comic book convention and then do the same with a furry convention. Anyone who has been to a furcon knows they are (at least in the public areas) completely benign and just silly fun.
So, instead of making some “dramatic announcement” that you’re a furry, like you were going to confession and telling a priest in a fit of guilty catharsis, just be cool about it. “Hey, hon, there’s a furry convention I’d like to go to, want to come with? It’s kind of like a comic book convention, only the focus is on anthropomorphic animal characters. It’ll be fun!” Furthermore, don’t hide your furry stories. Work on them, perhaps, while the two of you are spending some time watching TV after dinner. And, when she asks, explain what you’re doing as just one of your many interests.
She sounds like a pretty cool person, and I bet she’ll have no problem with it just like my non-furry mate, Yogi, had no problem when I told him, and I have taken him to a number of furcons since (Biggest Little Furcon is likely our next stop).
Don’t make a big deal about it, because, really, it isn’t a big deal.
Good luck with your new girlfriend!
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