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  1. Hi all! Would love some advice please on which location to receive my rescue dog coming from overseas due to arrive in a couple of weeks! I am fostering (with the view to adopt) and I had my home-check already and I told the shelter that I don't have direct garden access, I live in a flat and I only have a communal garden, they were fine with that, and said they have re-homed into flats before - I do have a small balcony I could lay out some turf for toilet training, and the dog I chose is one of the more confident ones that are friendly with people so they didn't anticipate lead training to be too challenging. Nonetheless I have had some anxiety over the adjustment period, and I have since found out that my neighbour (3 roads over) has sold his garden flat, and he is looking to rent it out for very cheap until the sale completes (he can guarantee until at least the end of April, which would be one month from when my dog arrives). I went and checked it out and it's perfect for a dog - he actually has a dog himself too so he's made it completely pet friendly, all hardwood floors, a medium sized garden that has high (8 feet fencing) all around. He's happy to rent it to me for a very reasonable / cheap rent for the month of April and I'm very tempted to take it, but I also have some worries: What if the dog likes it so much that he would be sad if we left after a month? What if he gets used to having a garden flat and then finds it hard to adjust and cope without a garden and feels too cooped up when we move to my permanent home? I guess I could introduce him onto my permanent home slowly (as it's only 3 roads over) and gradually get him used to it so we can transition there smoothly, by visiting several times first, spending some hours there and keep increasing the time - but I do just still worry about the dog going from having a nice garden to not having one. Would it be easier for the dog to be at my own flat from day 1? All thoughts and advice are so appreciated, thank you!
  2. Thank you very much everyone for your responses, I had feared it would be answers like these 😞 To shed a bit of light on the last 4 years, as we live very close to one another around 5 minutes walk door-to-door, the sleepovers and having our own space had suited us just fine, plus I was tied into a tenancy agreement until March 2020, so there was never any pressure to move in together --but to be clear we have been in a committed relationship. The moving in together part just always felt like 'something to think about later in life'. But now that 'later' has come, and has been here for a while and still nothing, and that's when I started to worry. I moved out of my flat and back into my parents place in March during the first lockdown, that's when our relationship really started to feel like it was fizzling / fading. I was really spending all my time with my family day & night, which was lovely, and he was living at home on his own with his brother living in the flat upstairs, so they spent all their time together. And it felt like the relationship was really not possible to keep going, like it was on pause for a really long time, and to be honest it didnt bother me to have check-ins every day and just live our lives until things go back to normal. But then November 2020 is when I first raised the fact that we should think about living together, and he said he didn't feel excited enough to do so, and that's when we first had alarm bells ringing, but then we decided to give it a proper go and I would move in with him as a trial and see how it goes. Then I fostered a dog and it was really tough and he couldn't handle it (dog had a lot of behavioural issues which I didn't know about prior), and that really put a further strain on our relationship unfortunately, so I didn't do this at his appartment I did it at my parents place. It's not that he wasn't onboard with it and didn't know about it (I did consult him before doing this), but neither of us knew it was going to be so hard, and it was my thing to deal with, so I had to deal with it before coming back to the relationship again. I did it because my own dog of 10 years passed away in August and I was grief stricken for a while, and it was something I had my heart set on, I really wanted to my grief to mean something, to help another dog. Anyway, now we are where we are. Feels like we're trying to find our way back to each other, but I don't even know if that is possible, and as all you have advised, perhaps I should cut my losses. We have spoken about possibly trying to live together for 1 week rather than 2 weeks, as we'd know pretty quickly whether we're feeling it and don't need quite so long to know how it feels. On the one hand it feels painful to bother even with the one week, but on the other hand I'd hate to walk away always wondering if I really gave it my best shot at working.
  3. I've been with my boyfriend for 4 years, but unfortunately living apart during the lockdowns has caused us to drift apart somewhat. He was saying that he doesn't feel much / miss me much anymore and this was all obviously heartbreaking to hear. I asked if we can try living together for a couple of weeks to see if we can reconnect and actually test the relationship properly, because he's been dancing on the edge of commitment for 4 years, and I personally have also had enough of his resistance to properly committing and trying out living together at least. He said he would be open to try me moving in for a temporary period to see how it goes and if things change and his feelings change. I was fostering a dog in January which caused a huge strain on things further, and we had to post-pone our living together trial until I found the dog a right home. Now that has happened, the dog has found a good home, and I need to figure out how to move forwards with my life and my relationship. I'm now not sure if I should even follow through with our 'living together trial'. Only because I feel hurt and insecure and I don't know if I will just feel worse for trying this, or maybe I'll feel better that we at least gave things a shot before walking away after 4 years. In case anyone is wondering what might change with us living together: i had in mind it would allow us to reconnect properly and bring us closer. My boyfriend is not very emotionally open, and I struggle with connecting to him when we're apart. He also has mood changes due to bipolar and I want to be there for him more. He also tells me he still loves me, so as a foundation love is there which feels important and something I don't want to just give up on. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated, thank you.
  4. Thank you!!! I'll check them out. I appreciate the advice. And to feel that my feelings are valid!
  5. Thank you!! @boltnrun that sounds extreme, but you can relate to that feeling of freedom when you no longer have to try and make the sleep thing work. That's how I feel when I go home to my own bed. It's great. But I end up feeling guilty about it. Not liking his apartment isn't as much of deal breaker, as I like the location and it doesn't have to be permanent as such. But it just doesn't help overall right now. @Batya, thanks for the advice. I confided in one of my friends about this problem and she was criticizing me and saying I seem insane to think sleeping in another bed is a solution and that we're not an elderly married couple and that I need to respect his intimacy needs. I thought she was really harsh and made me feel ashamed. I wasn't always like this. In my early 20s, my dream was to sleep beside my boyfriend and I found it to be the most romantic thing. I could have shared a single bed in university dorms with a guy and sleep soundly. But I feel since my late twenties approached, I'm a completely different person. I am more sensitive and can't deal with little sleep, and can't put romantic ideas over practicality and optimum health! It's certainly frustrating that we have these opposing needs. Perhaps I need to save up for a high quality high king size bed and cross my fingers that it solves our problem.
  6. Hi everyone, I'm exploring transitioning into moving in with my boyfriend as we've been together for 3 years and it's something that keeps coming up: moving in. I'm not in a rush, but he's always asking me to stay over at his place more. I live nearby and he's only ever been a 5 min walk away so it's been easy and great coordinating things and feeling like we have our own space but also shared space, but it's just he wants us to spend more time together and have me stay over more with the view of transition to me moving in with him. But here's the thing: he owns his apartment and I was renting so the idea is I will be moving in with him. But I don't like his apartment very much. It's OK - I try to make the best of it, but I'm used to having a larger and brighter space. His apartment is on the ground floor, and there is not much natural light. It's hard to imagine myself living there full time, as it doesn't feel like home to me, and hasn't in the last 3 years. But he's very proud of it. He's bought expensive furniture and redone the floors and repainted recently to make the place quirky and eclectic, covered the wall with pictures, is re-doing the bathroom in the next few months. Has created plenty of storage space for me so I can put my clothes etc. in places should I wish to move in. So it's hard to tell him, with all he's doing, that the apartment is not to my taste. I am just trying to suck it up until one day in future, hopefully, we will move somewhere bigger and nicer that we can do up together. Right now, it just feels as if I would be moving into HIS home, not our home. The bigger issue here is that I cannot share his bed with him. For so many reasons. And I've tried it so many times, but each time I have tried it, I wake up cranky, exhausted, and miserable from the lack of sleep. I am 31 yrs old and never shared a bed with anyone / lived with a partner, and I simply cannot sleep with someone by my side. I get too hot and uncomfortable. I think it's too late for me to try and adjust, yet he keeps insisting that I will "Get used to it". Sometimes when we go on vacation, I manage to sleep just fine, if the hotel has a king size bed for example. But other times, I spend vacations tired and missing having a bed to myself. I have tried everything. He likes to get up close and cuddle in sleep, I've asked him politely not to do that as I feel completely smothered by it, and he agreed, but I still find him disruptive to my sleep, and often feel like he's getting too close. I don't want any contact at all during sleep. He also snores, I have bought earplugs, it helps a little, but it's still hard to switch off sometimes. He often (about 50% of the time) stays up late while I go to bed around midnight or earlier, and he comes in at 2am after passing out on the sofa watching TV. Sometimes this wakes me up. So there's a whole number of reasons: the size of the bed, him wanting to have contact, him snoring sometimes, him coming to bed late. One of these things is enough to be disruptive for me, let alone when all happen at once. The perfect solution however presented itself: He has a spare room that's a study but also has a mattress in it, so I asked if I can try sleeping in there a few nights ago. He said sure. So I did. And it was wonderful. I thought to myself: hurrah! Problem solved. And I thought he understood it's what I needed to function and be happy if we live together and thought he accepted that. But it turns out he has not. He's been pressuring me for the last couple of days to come back and sleep in his bed. I said: "But I really like the mattress in the spare room, it's great and I've been sleeping really well". Well I've tried saying that a couple of times now and this morning he went into a big mood and said he was 'sad' that we can't be like a normal couple. He insists I will get used to it if I keep trying. But I've kept trying for 3 years and i always find it hard. I was really surprised to hear him pressuring me like this. I thought that he understood the differences in our sleep routines meant that this worked for us. Apparently not. It works for me but doesn't work for him. I don't really know what to do now. I suggested maybe it would help if he bought a king size bed, but he says it would be an expensive thing to do and make his room look cramped. He asked if he replaced his mattress to a 'better one' but it were still a double size, if I would try. Just wondering if anyone else has experiences with this and how they overcame this problem? Thank you.
  7. My condolences, so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you at this difficult time.
  8. Thank you... Thank you so much. I wish desperately to feel normal again. As soon as I think to myself, maybe this day can be normal, maybe this day I can be happy, then wave comes over me and I just cry. It feels like I'm constantly holding back a huge wave. Always on the edge of unravelling. I think of the suddenness of her leaving the world, I miss her more than I thought was possible. And I'm hit with tears another day several times a day. My boyfriend is being incredibly sweet and understanding, we are on a mini holiday in the countryside in the UK (I live in London UK). I've taken a week off work and it's the first time we are away together since lockdown etc. I thought this would be a somewhat healing trip, but I guess the feelings are still too raw. I want to be able to enjoy myself but it's hard. I wish my boyfriend could know what I was feeling. I don't wish that he ever experienced this loss or pain, I just wish he could understand. Sometimes I feel there's a gap and just want him to know exactly what this feels like to completely get me. I know that's entirely unreasonable of an ask. I am due to have therapy but the therapist is on vacation until the second week of September. So I'm just holding on until then to see if that will help in processing this. Coming on here to post about this and reading the replies has been a massive help.
  9. I just read your beautiful story on this thread. Thank you so much for sharing. I love the way you write about Blue. She sounds wonderful and you did her justice to write of her in this way. I should do the same and write about Delilah's personality in my journal. So far it's just been like writing a letter to her (which ultimately ends up in my sobbing too much). There are similarities in the timing, at the point where they entered our lives - I couldn't resist Delilah when I saw her in the shelter when i was 21 yrs old so she pretty much has 'marked' my adulthood, up until now. It was always me and her, through all the changes I was experiencing and been through in my life. She was always there, always in my shadow. Always. I didn't get as long with her because she was already 3 yrs old when I met her. She never did tell me what her old life was like, but that didn't matter once we met, she was fully committed and so was I! Thank you again for writing this. I'm supposed to go on vacation with my boyfriend tomorrow, and though he's been as understanding as can be, I've been finding it really hard to get myself in the right mood, and these messages have helped.
  10. Thank you so much for this, I really needed to hear this. It feels good to think 'well I should be doing this' rather than to feel I need to make myself be over it and move on, when I find it so hard. Also, your dog throughout your childhood and teen years. I completely get it, they leave a mark on an era of our lives. That's half the trauma. I feel like part of my identity has been lost. For me it was later, and marked my adulthood (I was 21 when I got her), so I feel like I've only ever known my whole adult life to date with her in it. And now I'm feeling really discombobulated. I would like another dog in the future, but I know very well, no dog will ever be her. All dogs are wonderful. But that dog, that bond, will forever be unique and she's the only one I shared that time with. Isn't it odd how we know their lives can't be long enough, and we say we can handle it, yet when it happens it is shatters us to the core?
  11. First of all, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you who took the time to write to me. I am so thankful that I can connect this way. It is so comforting to have this kind sympathy and understanding, and also a big thanks to those of you who have shared stories of your own. I'm so sorry @Cherylyn to hear you lost your Golden Girl in this way too. You have given me hope just to know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that the pain will fade and become easier to manage. Everything you said, I can entirely relate to. The routines, the life you have together, even the cleaning I miss... I too wiped her paws every time we got back in from a walk, one by one...the teeth brushing, grooming her coat. I didn't always make homemade food but about 50% of the time I did - always with the 'goal' of making it 100% of the time one day. I included Delilah in everything too, she came along with me every where and everyone knew it too, even non-dog people had to get on board with that, and have reached out to me since Delilah's passing, despite not getting how it feels, but just knowing how much she meant to me, which I thought was particularly sweet. It's soothing to actually write about her. I tried journalling the other day, but it ended up just me writing to her, as if I were writing her a letter, and I ended up crying often during the process. I just realised I find it easier to write about her, rather than directly to her! I wish more people admit to mourning their dogs more than people! It would make me feel less crazy :) but I really am taking this hard. I have actually spent several nights in a row, up late, having googled what happened to Delilah (trying to get my head around it, as you know, when it happens like that it all just happens so fast you haven't got much time to think), and came across this long word, Hemangiosarcoma - the monster. I so wish she was not taken in this way, although many people have said to me 'you had it lucky, she only suffered a day and then she went peacefully' and 'you didn't want to see her decline over time, it was better this way'. Somehow, I just find it hard to really feel this was better. I found it traumatic. I always did right by her and found this sudden way she left so unbelievable cruel, not just for me, but I also found it hard to watch her suffer, even if it wasn't over a 'long' period of time, it *felt* like a long time even so, even if it was a day. But then again, people say, there's no 'nice' way to go, better for it to be short and quick, better it wasn't drawn out for weeks and weeks. I don't even know anymore what is best as I'm so confused, but I do wish I saw a decline, had a heads up, just so I could come to terms and process it, and my heart drops every time I think of how confused and scared she must have suddenly been. Ugh... the pain. It's interesting your feelings about a new dog. Maybe i am in a 'shock' state still, but I'm desperate to fill the void and can't handle the silence, I wish i could get another dog now and fill this hole, but I know it wouldn't be right - the rational side of me says to wait, wait until I'm in a more emotionally healthy state. In the meantime, I will volunteer at a local shelter (when covid calms down), and just try to come to terms with what has happened. Delilah was a staffordshire mix, I get why you'd become breed biased, I now would love another staffie and have learnt so much about the breed. But then I've also read it's best to go for a different breed when getting another dog so to avoid comparing... but i don't know, I'll give it time and see what happens later down the line. I also love the idea that they pick us, rather than the other way around :)
  12. Hi everyone, I'm posting here because I wonder if there's anyone who can relate, there isn't as much on grieving a pet as there is people, but I've come to realise it's no different. My darling girl Delilah passed away in a dramatic turn of events about 10 days ago and it's shattered my world. I didn't even realise how much it could possibly hurt. Everything seems meaningless and my life is empty without my best friend by my side. I rescued her from a shelter 10 years ago, and we've been joined ever since, and deeply loved each other. Early morning the other week, out of the blue, she started to act sick and started collapsing, long story short we ended up in emergency in the middle of the night, after the day vet's visit didn't do anything at all other than administer diazepam to calm her until the next morning. They scanned her at emergency in the middle of the night and found an huge tumour on either her spleen or liver. She was probably about 13 yrs old, exact age unknown. They told me surgery wouldn't be feasible at her age, as she likely couldn't handle it and all her other organs were shutting down because of the tumour. And they said if it were cancerous which they think it likely was, the surgery wouldn't cure the cancer. This all become known to me in that moment and she was taken from me like a bolt of lightening over night. The day prior, she was running around blissful under the blue sky. I still can't quite believe it. They told me the kindest thing was to put her down. So I held her head as they did it. And the loss I have felt since then has been tremendous. I can't stop breaking down over it. Everything at home reminds me of her, she was everywhere. I miss her habits, our routine together, our bond, everything. I received her ashes yesterday and it set me back to day 1 again, almost like it was a reminder that she is well and truly gone and I have nothing left but a box. And her collar, and leash, all her things... her beds and food bowls. I was wondering if anyone had any wisdom to share on how to cope with all this? Feeling completely inconsolable and wish it wasn't so hard. Thank you.
  13. Hi everyone, I wanted to share something here that I wonder if anyone has opinions on - especially if you're either a therapist or patient in pyschodynamic or pyschoanalytic therapy, it would be great to hear from you. My current experience is that it's not working for me, and I wanted to explore the frustrations I have with it, and find out whether I'm the only one that feels this way or if there's something I'm doing wrong in terms of engagement or if it just needs more time. I have recently started therapy (about 4 months ago), and I don't feel it's been effective. My therapist hardly speaks, there are prolonged silences, I fill them, but I'm left wondering what my therapist thinks of what I said and where it's going, I feel every week things come out, and my therapist makes the odd link, but usually I feel he's really just reaching and taking really big leaps and I often don't agree with what he comes up with. There are very obvious formulaic things he says (relating most things back to my mother), and because I studied a foundation course in psychodynamic therapy, I cringe a little when he does all the formulaic things and the fact he never answers any of my questions ever and as a result comes across as non-human to me. A big part of why I'm frustrated is that I studied the foundation course in the hope that this could possibly be a career move for me, as i absolutely loved the foundation. But now in practice, with myself as patient, I've gotten very disillusioned with it all, and that makes me sad. I could go on with further examples of why I find the approach has not been effective. Most recently, I was disappointed to learn there is no cancellation policy AND that he wouldn't fit me in at another time to make up for it (given he charges anyway, no matter how much notice you give him). He told me (after i told him I was sick a couple of weeks ago) that he has no availability at any other time. Whereas at consultation, when he said he'd charge me anyway even if I'm sick or give notice, I asked as a compromise if we could find another time for the session to take place so my money is not wasted and he said yes. This didn't happen in practice. The following week, I decided to move on from this but he insisted we talk about it as the first time we exchanged text messages. And he was reading a lot into the whole exchange. Really, I was just frustrated that I'd wasted my money. But he was talking about the fact that it might mirror the relationship I have with my boyfriend because I expressed such high disappointed when I felt "Dropped". Is it me, or is this all very absurd?
  14. I don't think the problem is with you here. You sound very independent and balanced and can enjoy your own company and being with your family without needing to be attached to your partner 24-7, which is a healthy way to be. You're probably much better in a relationship because you're so used to your independence that you have more to offer as an individual in your own right. He is overly attached if he can't handle space and it sounds like he really needs to work on insecurities because that's probably what contributes to his controlling side and need to be close at all times. I can't tell you what to do but I can say that if it's only 1 year in and you're questioning so many of his personality traits and finding some so unappealing with such intensity then it doesn't sound like the relationship has longevity, and if I were you I wouldn't waste your time. He may have been the "man of your dreams" at the very beginning, but that's not real life - most people come off at their best in the honeymoon stage before reality kicks in and then later down the line you have to consider whether this person would be a good life partner for you. Your gushy feelings now sound like they've been thoroughly tainted by incompatibilities.
  15. I feel like you're just blaming yourself too much for the situation rather than just accepting it wasn't right and it wasn't necessarily your fault. Sorry but if I really had a hard crush on a guy, for me, he wouldn't blow it by not sleeping with me on a first date, if it was even that. I would be patient and want to see him again and wouldn't leave it all up to the guy. It has to be a two-way street and mutual understanding and effort and patience.
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