Arnaetha

Therian and Non-Therian Relationship: Learning, Understanding, and Steps Taken

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(They/Them)

Hi there!

I saw there was a blog area so I figured I would sort of log my general thoughts, learning process, and steps taken to understand and create a more comfortable space for my s/o who defines as a Therian.

When he came out to me initially a bit ago I admittedly did not know basically anything about Therians as a whole but had heard about similar things such as Otherkin. I was taken aback for a second as I totally did not expect this from him ,but it was not a negative reaction, more so of a internally shocked expression. Thankfully this did not seem to come across in any way as later he told me that I "Didn't even blink" when he told me. As he talked I began to understand a bit more of what he meant. I could tell that he was extremely nervous as he said he was not planning to ever mention it to anyone else again, but he did not plan on basically the entirety of our relationship occurring in the first place (who knew it would take a pandemic for me to land a boyfriend? : P). though he decided to tell me due to our plans to get married soon. He didn't feel right hiding it from me and I'm glad he felt I was trustworthy enough to open up to about it.

He told me about how he originally came across Therianthropy and how he identified with it. The process and a bit of the struggles with coming to understand it as a whole and figuring out how it fit him and how he fit within its definition. As he continued to describe his experiences and such and the specifics of his definition and how he aligned with certain things I came to the realization of my experience coming to the conclusion of my Non-binary gender identity. While I can't relate exactly to the Therian perspective I can draw parallels between the Therian perspective and my non-binary gender perspective. I feel like that really helped me quickly grasp the situation and approach it in a proper mindset of understanding and learning. The worry about acceptance and having to hide it internally without being able to discuss it with those closest to him are big things I was able to connect with. After we talked he pointed me in the direction of this here website and Therian Guide as a means of giving me places of research and discussion. As I have read the information available I've tried to get specifics of it all in relation to how he defines. What terms apply to him, His experiences, what his specific community is/was like, if there was a pronoun change, and what he wishes to go by. For the most part my view of him has not changed much at all other than my mental image of him taking on the aspects of what he has described in his personal definition. I have taken steps to include discussion in our every day such as asking him how his day was in regards to his Therian experience, Using his name (though he specified its only as much as I wish to and never in front of others), Including his definition in relationship nicknames, and bringing up certain aspects when flirting with him to help him feel more at ease. I want to make sure he knows that I'm here to support him and that I will do anything to make him feel comfortable and safe. I feel like I've started off decently but I hope to continue to make efforts to improve my understanding and to allow him a space to truly be who he is.

So I ask these question:
1. Is there anything I can do better?

2. Is there any advice you have to give me overall to understand, being as I am Non-Therian?

3. What is something you wish your s/o would do to help you feel more comfortable if you currently are in a relationship or hope to be in one in the future?

4. Are there any other places to gather information and resources you could inform me of?

5. Did I do anything that might come off as offensive in regards to my language, my reactions, and adjustments I have made so far?

Thank you if you took the time to read this, and if you took the time to reply as well.

It is greatly appreciated!

Take care and stay healthy!

Comments

  1. KaraWolfDragon's Avatar
    Hello! Welcome to the werelist You seem like a wonderful partner and I'm sure your bf is very grateful to have someone so accepting. Not a lot of people would try this hard to understand otherkin, so it's really a blessing to us. Keep doing what you're doing!

    To answer your questions as best I can:
    1. It really comes down to the individual. Just keep asking him what he likes/dislikes/etc. Every therian/otherkin/alterhuman person is unique in their own way. None of us can give you better advice on what he likes than your bf himself.

    2. Therians are basically just people who identify as animals. We are completely aware we're human! Therianthropy is supposed to be harmless, so if someone ever shows signs of wanting to do extreme things to be more "animal" or believing they can shapeshift, etc, it's probably best to suggest they get help. Also, if you later on decide you don't want to be with a therian, or don't like the level of nonhuman your partner is, you are absolutely allowed to break up with someone you're not completely happy with. This doesn't mean you hate therians or anything, some people are just not compatible and that's okay. Do what it comfortable for you and your partner equally. Some therians may see their therianthropy as a small, personal thing, and some see it as something that affects their entire lifestyle.

    Also, species dysphoria is a thing. Dysphoria is a medical term- it doesn't belong to the trans community. Species dysphoria obviously isn't the same as gender dysphoria, but generally it can range from feeling mildly uncomfortable with one's species/lack of animal body parts/characteristics to full on hating their body. Some don't even experience species dysphoria at all. If someone does experience extreme dysphoria of any kind, I would urge them to at least try out professional help, or at the very least, look up tips on how to deal with species dysphoria. It may take some time to figure out what works best, and that's okay. I hope someday species dysphoria is able to be professionally dealt with by any therapist.

    3. I'm dating someone who isn't kin and while he's very accepting, I have anxiety so personally I wish he'd initiate kin things more, like sometimes he barks at me or pets me or something, and it makes my heart flutter. Again, it really depends on the individual! But that's just me haha

    4. Kinmunity is another forum! While therian guide has some great resources, I'm not sure I'd suggest making friends there. There are also twitter accounts, tumblr accounts, and discord servers. If you want any of those, I can link you some!

    5. Nope! You sound like you're trying your best to understand, and I really respect that.

    You mentioned pronouns and I just wanted to say that while therianthropy itself has nothing to do with lgbt+ or pronouns, some therians/kin do find comfort in xenopronouns/xenogender identities, typically if they're neurodivergent. It really depends on the individual.

    Thank you for understanding. I hope you have a lovely day!
  2. Lupus Ferox's Avatar
    Why do you think Therian Guide is not a good place to make friends? I have never had many issues concerning that. @KaraWolfDragon

    Well, therianthropy isn't completely harmless. Mentally, it can be a challenge to accept that you're different from regular folks, though some have more issues with it than others. Over the years, I've seen that some conditions found in regular folks make their reappearance in therians as well, such as autism and anxiety, but most of them seem to indicate that these conditions don't have anything to do with their therianthropy. So, in a way, it is indeed harmless. It can cause loneliness, though, and a sense of detachment from other people. I've found that therians respect people who are honest with them, and that breaking their trust can be too much for them. Not that I want to instill fear in your relationship, but that's what I've noticed over the long time I participated.

    I find that they are kind-hearted, open-minded but still very uncertain of themselves. Like you said, they don't open up about their beliefs so regularly to other people because of the delicateness of their experiences. Some have had a difficult childhood, while others haven't. I, for one, have never had many issues in my childhood, but I did get the feeling of not belonging. I shied away from talking about it and therefore kept the secret to myself until I joined the community around the start of the millennium.
    I think therians are a very clever kind of people, who like to keep things simple however. Some may need time of their own from time to time, because of the impulses other people give them. In general, therianthropes are a blending pot of different ideas and belief systems, so conflicts may happen in the community on an interpersonal level.
    There's a lot of misinformation about therianthropy, such as physical shifting and the notion that every therian should have powers. That, however, is not the case.
    Therianthropy is a very personal subject and therefore you won't see any kind of story twice. Because of misinformation, it is quite logical that there is a lot of bias from outsiders regarding that personal story, which prevents them from opening up about it.

    This is just my personal stance on the phenomenon, but it has existed on the internet since 1993, I believe, and really flourished over the years. Of course, they have always existed, but it is thanks to the internet that therian people could get in touch with one another. What else? I can't think of anything else right now that hasn't been said already, but if you have any further questions, please forward them along.