I would like to thank you for providing an advice column to the furry community. It's something that was desperately needed and I would like to thank you for taking time to do this for us. As a grey muzzle I would normally be giving advice, but I have found myself in a situation where I need some advice.
I am in a relationship with someone a few years younger than I—I am in my mid 30s and he's in his late 20s. It's my first 'real' relationship because I was late coming out of the closet, and it is his third. We're both furries and that unfortunately is the only thing that we have in common.
We have been dating for over a year and it has become apparent to me we are not compatible. When he comes over we sit playing on our computers in silence. When we travel he is not focused on the journey or the destination, just what's on his phone. I am very much a conversationalist and he is not.
Last month I asked him if we should be friends instead of mates. In hindsight I should have just told him. Now he is bending over backwards to accommodate me. Asking things like "what do you want to do" and "when do you want me to come over?" He is a very sweet guy and that is why I am struggling with this. He has trouble expressing his needs and thoughts and it is clear he will ignore his needs to try to accommodate mine.
It is becoming more obvious by the day that we are not compatible. It is becoming more like a parent / child relationship instead of a mateship. I do not think there is a future for us as a couple but am having trouble breaking it off.
I am trying to figure out how to proceed from this point. Any advice you can offer will be appreciated.
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I understand your hesitance; you are fretting that you will really hurt your current boyfriend, and you wouldn’t be worried about that if you didn’t care about him. But you and I both know that if you don’t feel he is your match then you cannot continue as mates forever.
You don’t have to break it off, either, though. You said it yourself: you feel more like this is a father/son relationship than a boyfriend/boyfriend one. You don’t have to abandon him, just transition your relationship from the current paradigm to a new paradigm. He clearly likes being with you and wants to please you, so how about you tell him that you have been thinking about your relationship a lot. You care about him (true) and you don’t want to leave him (also true), but the difference in your ages may mean that a different type of relationship could work better. Then ask him if it would be all right if you were his daddy bear instead of his boyfriend.
What would this mean? Well, it's somewhere between being mates and just being friends (something you already proposed). It would mean that the two of you could have a special relationship and do things together, and care and even love each other, but that both of you would be free to find your own mates who, hopefully, are closer to your ages and more compatible.
Even though the two of you are not a match, you care about each other. You should never discard people from your life merely because they are not exactly what you want. You can be just like a little family because, you know, fathers and sons are often very different, but they still love each other.
Hope that helps. Hugs!
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