When does love addiction become pathological? What's the recipe for addressing love addiction? What's the difference between love addiction and codependency? Who are you when it is just you?
Hear it all on this episode of the Queer Joy Podcast; where two relationship therapists explore what it looks like to see joy in queer relationships.
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Melisa: I mean, there's lots of, there's lots of different ways to define love addiction. I also wanna let people know in terms of the research, what's interesting is every researcher defines it differently. And then they have different ideas about what is considered, like, you know, when does it become pathological versus not.
Hi everyone. Welcome back to Queer Relationships, Queer Joy.
Keely: Yay. On a bright, sunny day in Portland, Oregon.
Melisa: Woohoo. I can deal with these sunny, I deal with the cold when it's sunny like this.
Keely: So did yesterday.
Melisa: It did, it did.
Keely: Talk about some joy. I had fun anyway. I had fun with the snow. It was like the perfect situation where there was snow on like the grass and there was, it was snowing, but the streets didn't ever get mushy and
Melisa: It didn't stick enough to cause like transportation problems.
Keely: Which for folks who don't live in Portland, Oregon, don't understand. We have really bad, bad ways that we handle snow in the streets and traffic and all, Ugh, all the things. So Melisa, do you have updates you wanna give? What, what's going on in your life?
Melisa: Of course. Should we do our formal introductions before we dive in? Do we wanna like tell new people who we are?
Melisa: Well, I'm Melisa DeSegiurant and I'm licensed as a marriage and family therapist and a professional counselor, and I work at Connective Therapy Collective in Portland, Oregon. I am white, I am able bodied, I'm bisexual. I am a polyamorous person and I use she and they pronouns. I identify as gender fluid.
Keely: And I am Keely C. Helmick. I am a licensed professional counselor. I am certified as a sex therapist. I'm the owner of Connective Therapy Collective. I am white, non-binary queer. Still dealing as I keep saying, every week with a back injury and practicing non-monogamy, solo monogamy or solopol-, sorry. Solo polyamory, solo non monogamy, but that's more of like where I'm at versus claiming that title, like that's who I am. That's the structure that I wanna be in. It's more explained the structure. I currently am in.
Melisa: When you said solo monogamy, there's a part of me that was like, oh, that sounds great. Isn't that just like-
Keely: Does that exist? Are there solo monogamous?
Melisa: I don't know that they would use that terminology, but I kind of love it.
Keely: Well, and I think it's interesting, you know, speaking of our topic, and we'll go into updates, but I was, that just made me think about how that term, someone just used it recently on a podcast, the term of serial monogamy. And going into uh, the topic of, and trying to find a different word, but we're talking about love addiction, but, and it fits very well with my update. But Melisa, do you wanna update folks about Yeah, what's going on in your life?
Melisa: Well, if you are a frequent listener, you will know I don't do a lot in the winter. It is an introversion time for me, so there's not a ton to. There's not like a ton of especially on the relationship front, like active changes to report every single week, which is great, and I'm really enjoying the consistency in that part of my life right now. It feels good that that is continuing to progress, but just going as it's going one thing that's not new, but in the spirit of what we're talking about today and just in the spirit of being, I guess, a little bit more transparent here I'm, I'm very much in love. I've been in love for many, many months. Again, this is not new, and I do use this language with the person I am in love with. But I haven't named it here, and it, it has been just so amazing for me. So healing and the pace at which that relationship has developed. And that does, I think, kind of mirror some of what we'll talk about in today's discussion. It has felt so slow and balanced and healthy and because of our non monogamy dynamics, there really hasn't been room for co-dependency, which is something I may have gravitated towards in the past. So I'm in love and it feels really, really great. And it, it, it still feels. I would say all consuming in a way, but in a, in a positive way. Where I'm kind of uplifted every day. I can do all the other parts of my life that are unrelated with more energy, not in the all consuming way where I can't think about anything else. I'm losing sleep, I'm not eating, I'm not right. Like, so it's maybe I should say like, It's prevalent versus the word consuming is a little problematic, but-
Yeah. So that's my update and you know, it's felt really good to be vocal with that person. It's also felt good. This, I, I was in love and was naming that with my partner before I even met the person that I am now dating who lives at town. And so to make a new connection and tell someone like flat out like, yeah, I'm seeing this person. I'm completely in love with them. Like that felt really healthy to be able to invite new people in. With real understanding of where my emotions were, so.
Keely: Oh, that's lovely.
Melisa: Hey, love.
Keely: Yay, love. Yeah. We're not talking anti love here, we're just how, what does love look like? I wanna give, before I do my update, I had f