How do you stop the break up & make up cycle? How do you settle in to safety? How does whiteness relate to our idea of attachment? And wtf is a baecation? 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 shouldn't need anyone. I should be okay on my own. I should. I should. I should. I should I should. Who says??? Like the way that we're set up, like biologically, we are, we are gravitating towards other people very much. So we're meant to be in community Keely: we're pack animals and Melisa: they made this point too. It's not my own, but if the pandemic hasn't proved that to all of us, then we haven't been paying attention. Hello, every one welcome back to- Queer Relationships, Queer Joy! I had to cut you off Keely. I never get to introduce our title. Keely: Good for you! That's one of the things we actually talked about. Like listeners don't realize this, but I'll at the end when we talk, I'll be like, Hey. Cut each other off more because we're therapists. Jump in there, you know? We're so used to just being like, oh yes. Oh yeah. And how did that make you feel? Oh, and listening attentively and active listening. Take it over. Do it! Do it take over! Melissa takeover. Melisa: Well, I want to start with check-ins because we haven't had an episode in a little minute where it was just you and I, and I know we have a theme in mind, but also maybe we can just check in, let listeners know how we're doing. Keely: Yeah. It's fun getting feedback from listeners actually, because I had someone who, a friend of a friend who had mentioned they'd started listening from the beginning and then all of a sudden they got to like, I don't know if it's episode nine or 10 and they're like, Well, th they broke up with the person or they got broken up with, like, they figured out that I was single because the first couple episodes. So that was fun. Yeah. It was fun. So Well, I mean, I will start with an update since you bring that up still solo trying the dating thing, which I think feeds a lot of. This idea when we're talking about community. Cause we're going to bring that up too. We're going to bring up attachment, we're going to bring up community. Yeah. Doing the thing and had a couple like cute little situations. Like I'm realizing is this time around going a lot slower and really recognizing. Not just what I want as like a person or like what I imagine a person I would date or the people that I would be dating, or even what dynamic, like right now I'm dating. So it's very non-monogamous and I'm not choosing non-monogamy or polyamory or monogamy. I'm just like existing right now in a date, you don't have to choose you're just being. Yeah. So it's obviously then goes into a lot of what you and I will talk about too with mindfulness and just being present. So yeah, I had some good, you know, some fun situations, but as far as like a match, not really casually dating someone. Who's name will not be mentioned, but I do have a person I'm casually dating. All right. All right. So, but yeah, just enjoying life. And so, you know, I'll, I'll do my queer joy at the end, like we always do. So Well, what do you want to tell listeners? What should what should they be updated on with you? I am Melisa: still solo, still solo poly. I'm like, now it's funny. I feel like in the first couple of episodes we're talking about, like, who was more interesting and I'm like, meh, I don't know if my dating life is interesting. I am not dating. I'm on like a app, but I think I may have said this before. I'm on like an app that doesn't prove to have a lot of activity or results. And I think that matches the pace that I'm at right now. I'm open, not closed off to new connections, but not actively seeking out. Connection either with whether that's friends or otherwise, I've taken a little bit of a break from seeing most friends with the exception of a couple who I know who they're leaving the country. So yeah. I want to spend some time in person, but still in relationship with a partner in California. I know things are getting serious with one of their local partners, which has been exciting. And so we are having conversations about how to start integrating because. We've never gotten to meet. Cause I moved so quickly after we started dating. I haven't gotten to meet my metamour. But that's something, I think there's a lot of intention on all sides around, so that'll be virtually for now I don't have plans to travel, you know, anytime soon, but yeah, so that's kind of. Keely: Well, that's a great segue to part of what we're talking about today is attachment and community and bringing those pieces in. So I wondered- I would be- love for you to tell listeners how we start on this topic. Do you remember us talking about this and how it started, like the example that you were giving? Well, I think Melisa: this may or may not be what you're thinking. I'm going to say, but what happened for me was just kind of the stand out moment of the last episode where Alex mentioned secure attachment and that the friendship that we celebrated got to be uh, was a source of secure attachment. That's like where Alex got to experience that for the first time. So the idea of secure attachment has been on my mind. Where it took me was back to the very second episode that we ever did a season one, which was about autonomy and connection. Yeah. I honestly think I'm still grappling with those same concepts. Again, I move slower. In my processing so a year from now, I'll still be thinking about these things. But the reminder that even in secure attachment, like the word attachment is still there. The, so the idea being. Even if we're practicing boundaries and all of that, it's not in this isolated disconnected from connection. Keely: Yes. Yes. Well, and that, that's what interesting is when we think about the attachment itself and how do we manage the emotions? Because something that you were saying had brought up this idea also. How folks can feel really uncomfortable if they're experiencing secure attachment, because if they've never experienced it before, or haven't really experienced it much, especially with a romantic partner or a sexual partner. And I think like you're bringing up with Alex, it was such a great example to hear about what secure attachment feels like, because we can model that possibly if we've never felt it in a romantic relationship. But we can draw from what it feels like in a platonic friendship or with a family member, with a mentor. There's so many examples of, of relationships that we can draw from of the secure attachment. And we focus. I mean, obviously we are relationship counselors. You're an MFT. We do focus on romantic relationships and that that's not the only relationship existing. And so I really thought more. I've been thinking actually this whole weekend been thinking about this idea of how. With trauma. And I don't know, I'm sure there's some work out there or some book or I haven't finished poly secure, so I can't quote, poly secure. Cause I don't know if it's in there, but this idea that especially folks have experienced trauma, any attachment trauma, early childhood is this uh dynamic of either being enmeshed or detaching yeah. Or anxious anxious-avoidant, avoidant. Right, right. And so when we think about this push and pull, sometimes we'll hear this idea of people like people will come in and talk about the relationship and feel this dynamic of this push and pull that can be really intense and kind of exhilarating in a way, but not really healthy. Feels good and bad. Good in the moment, not sustainable- good. That's a good point. Not sustainable, but good in the moment. And so this idea that when those are the two extremes that people are experiencing in the dynamic of their relationship, that secure attachment can feel uncomfortable. Melisa: Yeah. And it's- I'm gonna, I try not to use too many clinical words and then I do. So here's one of those moments, but from a family systems perspective, we have this word homeostasis. roughly meaning the pattern that we've all settled into as members of any kind of unit, not necessarily a family, but a friend group a work, you know, group or whatever. It's the, the. The pattern that we've, maybe non-verbally agreed upon that. Like, okay, I'm the person who does this, your role is to do this. This is how we operate. And so if we've been operating from like our families of origin, May have had all these insecure attachments and different interpersonal traumas and things. Then when we find ourselves in a system where there is secure attachment, it's foreign, this is not the homeostasis we are used to. So even if it's what we're promoting is like the healthy style of relating. It being so different from what we're used to, it can be very jarring and very scary. I've I've had multiple clients come in recently and talking about when's the other shoe gonna drop kind of concept that is teaching our systems that this is another way of relating and being in connection, then it's okay. And yet it does feel really different. Huh? Keely: Well, when you say that, that idea of when is the other shoe going to drop in with folks that have experienced trauma and the central nervous system is on high alert constantly. And so to be this. The feeling of a possible secure attachment is alarming because you're supposed to be on high alert. And so when you sink into that, when you attune and sink into a secure attachment, then alarms starts going off going like, wait, when is it in the next shoe going to drop? What I, what do I need to be on high alert? What's going on at all times, I need to be in a Melisa: high alert. And is that related to vulnerability? Is it like, I can't like I have to have my defenses up so that I'm protected when something happens. Keely: Possibly. And then if you feel too, when you're really vulnerable and then you become enmeshed, because then you're also not, that's not sustainable either. I like the word I like when what's the word like what's sustainable, because I think these are patterns that we see that people experience. When they're like, why is, why am I, my relationship not working or the break up, get back together, break up, get back together, break up, get back together. Yeah. Melisa: Yeah. Hey, everyone Cardinal the genuine solution magician here. I've got a free worksheet for you. If you see yourself in the breakup makeup cycle or you're waiting for the other shoe to drop, or you just want to practice boundaries, that breed connections. Keely and Melissa made a relationship check in worksheet with five exercises to help you determine personal goals from relationship goals, identify possible power dynamics, engage your level of vulnerability in your relationships completed alone, or with your person or persons of choice. Find it at bit dot L Y slash Q R Q J worksheet. Or by clicking the link in the show notes. Okay. Back to the show. Melisa: Boundaries is the word. That's just screaming at me in my head, you know? And we've talked about how can we not. But when that enmeshment happens. It's like, if we're in two bubbles, right. It's like when the bubbles combine and now it's the same, we're all in the big, same, big bubble instead of like having that definitive end to where like I end. And you begin. Keely: Yeah. Well, so I wonder too, if speaking more about boundaries, I would you elaborate? Do you have any more thoughts on when talking about boundaries and if someone is working to have that more secure attachment, because I'm thinking of, I think the more common, I mean, there are people that are just avoidant for sure, but really, I think the pattern that comes up more is. Uh, Enmeshed to avoid- enmeshed to avoidant. That Melisa: pendulum swing. I mean, I will use myself as an example, like highly enmeshed for 10 years. No wonder I don't want to date right now. My system is like, no, I'm owning it. Yeah. I mean, I'll be totally honest and that's something I gently challenged for myself, but without like forcing, you know, I also we've said this before, but like, I don't want, the reason I'm connecting with somebody is like because I'm either avoiding myself or I'm avoiding some work I need to do still like, okay, it's okay to be a little detached right now, but you're right about that pendulum swing. And so not to say that there can't be variations in our closeness or separateness from the people we're in relationship with, but maybe not to such extremes. How can we make that sustainable? And again, boundaries, I guess to me, the way I've been thinking about the recently is they are a well, I guess, being able to set boundaries, that's a tool, it's a tool to be able to stay in relationship with somebody in a way that feels healthy for both of us. Keely: Yes. And then how do those boundaries. Like okay. My Virgo brain, again, I'll just own it because I know this isn't the only way to do it. And so maybe when I give some examples that I've been talking to clients about, you may also have other examples that aren't so scheduled or rigid, but like today I did a post on Tik TOK. Cause I was on the beach, which will being, you know, more on queer joy. But I did a Tik TOK video talking about. How, when you're on vacation with your spouse or your partner or partners, that it's really helpful to plan time away from each other. So that's one of the things when I think about boundaries and I think also part of it is. This can be a dynamic in all lengths of relationships. But I, I think that I also, which I want to be aware of is I tend to think about longer term relationships whether they're monogamous or poly. And so that dynamic of going on vacation or going on break, but that can happen anytime. Like you can. I mean, there's a term now. I think it's called a "baecation" that was sort of the dating. A "baecation" is when you just met somebody and then you go ona vacation. Oh my gosh, no matter what no matter what amount of time you've known someone having that scheduled time. And so then I think to also not just vacation. Anytime is having those. And we've talked about this a little bit, but having specific breaks or being able to, I mean, I hear people talk about having challenges living together and when they're both at home, just doing their separate. Like, like being confused or conscientious, wondering like, okay, should I leave my personal loan or should I go do my own thing? What should I be doing? Like really, really clearly struggling with structure and boundaries at home. And I think a really good example. 'cause. I remember, I, I just started dating somebody not the person now, but I was dating someone and we didn't know each other that well, and we were on vacation and there's a lot of emotions. It was tense, whatever. And that morning I woke up and I'm like, she was kind of in a mood or I don't know what was going on. And I got up and I was like, I'm going to go take a run. I'm going to- cause normally I'd be like, oh, do you want to go on a walk with me? We're at the beach. Do you want to do this? Do you wanna do that? And I was like, no, I'm gonna go on a run. Yeah. And so I went on a run and got back and we're both like, that was good. should have done, but you don't know that if you don't experience that and lean into the uncomfortableness because. You won't know what it feels like the end piece, because doing the right thing, doesn't always feel comfortable, right? Yeah, Melisa: absolutely. Yeah. And it sounds like, say that had gone like poorly for some reason, or you gotten back and there was a negative, like reception to that. Like why did you go out like me? That's an opportunity to, and we've talked about this. So if you haven't listened, go back to season one, the expectations. Like all right. Oh, is there an expectation that we do everything together that we start every day together? What are the expectations we have? And again, those can be built in friendships, romantic relationships, like, I mean, it's good to unpack expectations. I think of any kind of relationship, but it was, I think that was a good example. There wasn't an expectation and you actually both benefited from what happened and we're able to recognize that and be like, cool, Keely: awesome. And throughout that relationship, that's something, we went back to actually, where we would be in situations, whether it was at her house, at my house out doing whatever, we would go back to the example and be like, oh, that was really helpful. And then, and say, okay, I'm going to take a night away from you or even one of those episodes. I think we've even brought up again where different couples would say that they would go on friend vacations, like have this separate time away from their partner. Melisa: . And remembering that just because we're separate doesn't mean we're not in connection. We're not talking, we're still connected to the people. And that's something I've been thinking about too about boundaries, I guess. I think I've recently used and thought about boundaries as ways to keep people out, which like, yeee I don't know about that again, that has this defensive, like. I dunno, feeling to it, but boundaries are a way of, of giving space for the individual processing or whatever needs to happen. But just because I'm not in constant communication with somebody doesn't mean I can't be connected to them and thinking about them and even a respectful of like what they may be needing and not, I guess what I'm trying to talk about here to really distill it down is. This kind of white concept of individualism and individuality and not being in community and the way that boundaries, at least in conversations I've been having. Both my talking about myself and with other white people, it's like this boundary of, of like, no one can mess with me. I'm going to shut the world out and do my own thing. And like, that's, I don't know. I think that's a really unhelpful concept that like we, as white folks need to unpack more and that's not like the cultural standard or norm for our other folks. And that links to me to boundaries because I think boundaries are getting our way to like push people out when really, I think it's more about how we teach people, how to be in Keely: connection with, with us. Well, that's that in between? And I was just, that's what I was going to say is I feel like, I mean, even you and I can kind of debate if you, if you recognizing yourself be more of on a detached avoidant type path right now. And I know my history Just like most people trying to find the balance of the two. I definitely can see I've had moments of enmeshment and thinking that relationship as enmeshment and you know, you and I had just listened to that beautiful episode finding our way. And I love the quote by Prentis Hemphill that talks about. The, that boundaries is the ability to then love myself and love you simultaneously really making boundaries, not about shutting someone out, but about having the duality of like holding both holding space for both. Melisa: Right. And here's the irony. When we can get strong at our boundaries, meaning we're confident in them and we feel comfortable expressing them. And we know the language we want to use to express them. Perhaps it doesn't feel so scary to be in connection with folks because we're not risking enmeshment. If we have that ability to say, oh, actually, no, that's not for me. Keely: And then you actually have to have, you have to take in that time to know what you actually want, or be able to say what you actually want. Yep. There is this, we've heard some yummy things about no, like feeling good about saying no and actually in that interview. So on that podcast episode, the person was interviewing me at Birdsong. And at one point she says saying, when I say no to someone, it's giving them information. They're getting to know me. And that was so cool to think about that when you're building this idea of like, if we're talking about building community and we're talking about boundaries and are having, you know, building secure, attachment, building, secure attachment, in romantic relationships with the idea of a broader community, that when we tell people no about something, that means they get more information about us, which isn't that what we want in connection is people to truly see us and truly know us. Well, how it partner Cardinal the podcast cowboy here to tell you that when I get lonely on the trail, I turned to my trusty air pulse, vibrator from, as you like it, sex toy shop they're eco-conscious to. Find them online at as you like it. shop.com and use code CT seed therapy, all one word at checkout for 10% off that CTC therapy as you like it. shop.com time for me to mosey on. , Melisa: I had a client come in who they're, so self-aware, and they've done a lot of their own research around attachment and, and all of these concepts we're talking about And can, it can sometimes, as I do get into like an intellectualized place with it where it's like, we're all up here almost in like with danger of going into like what it should be based on all the theory and all the books I've read and all the podcasts I've listened to. And then we realized like, let's put this in context into where you are in the relationship. This is somebody like, you've just met? It's okay. That you have to say- like name your boundaries. It's actually like expected. I would say that you would have to explain to somebody, some of your boundaries and how you work. Because they don't know you, you know, I think the expectation to watch out from is that everyone you interact with is going to just automatically know how you want to be Keely: treated. Oh my gosh. And, and the, and making assumptions. People want to be treated the same as, as I want to be treated. That's not true. I mean, even like I was just thinking, I don't know if this is a silly example, but even going on dates. And I remember at one point me saying, you know, I'm ready to go now, I'm getting tired. And I, I enjoyed this person and I actually planning to go on another date, but. I was tired. It was a simple boundary, but then they got to know, we had a joke of like finding out that both of us are actually not super late people. I'm a total morning person. And so me saying, Hey, I'm ready to end this. Moment of connection gave them information about me. Oh, you're a morning person. Oh, you need to, but I could, you know, there's other times that just wanting to stay in that connection. Hmm. Could drag it out for hours more and then be tired. And like, what is the point of that? Right. It makes me Melisa: think of what we talked about. A few were just referencing old episodes today, but the meaning being I swear. I'm not that great at like marketing and I'm like, go listen to everything, but these are the same themes, right? That underlie all of this.But the meaning making that we do, you know, and, and that being a caveat, like, you know, this person, could've made some meaning out of like, oh wow, Keeley needs to go home early. That means I'm a bad date. I'm not interesting. I'm not, as we decide based on our own attachment insecurity. That's nothing to do with the other person at all. Keely: Well, and I think, you know, I want to go back to the idea of recognizing. You know, as I'm speaking as a white person and thinking about individuality and how these boundaries are so much about cutting off or like, you know, protection, almost like a castle with a moat, like truly armed, armed up. And one of the other pieces, you know, listening about community was this phrase about how community is like a body. And it's breathing and it has this pulse. And I wonder when we're sitting here talking about connection, we're talking about attachment. We're talking about all these pieces and when, when we're in our bodies and we're tuning. What does that feel like? Or how do we we've talked about, okay, we have all these boundaries or all these ideas, if you tend towards more of the enmeshment. But then if we're looking at it from like a very cultural, white culture, you know, capitalism that patriarchy, I mean the white man that goes off and lives on his own. W what then are the ways when we're wanting to draw ourselves more into community, or if someone is, tends to be more avoidant or not, not as attached or starts getting attached and then pulls the other direction. Yeah. Melisa: Yeah. I think it, at least where my mind immediately goes, as part of it is recognizing the system that we're in. And that, that was something that we have learned and it's been, we've been bred to be. Individualistic. It's almost like this. Like I got to fend for myself to be okay in this world. And then you add on layers of, you know just, just the layers of experience. There's another layer. If you're a queer person, there's another layer. If your skin isn't white, there's all these different layers to which there's these protections kind of built up. Along the lines of the, what you were talking about in that same episode, I really would recommend listeners go find that episode. Again, the podcast is finding our way and the episode is community and belonging, but I, this, this comes up in session all the time. They named shame underlying most trauma is shame, and they even made the point of the shame of meeting other people. Yeah, we are ashamed of needing other people. We, I hear this all the time. Like, I shouldn't need anyone. I should be okay on my own. I should. I should. I should. I should I should. Who says??? Like the way that we're set up, like biologically, we are, we are gravitating towards other people very much. So we're meant to be in community Keely: we're pack animals and Melisa: they made this point too. It's not my own, but if the pandemic hasn't proved that to all of us, then we haven't been paying attention. Right. Those of us who are really struggling, not being even myself as like introvert, really comfy being alone. Like, yeah, I miss people. I've missed the random conversation. I know that because I'm like chatting up the grocery store clerk for like 10 minutes, just cause I'm like, do you have anything interesting to say to me today? Keely: You know I know those grocery store clerks and like gas station attendants, like. They're almost like their own type of therapist during this pandemic. I Melisa: need it. Like, I need them, I need those like spontaneous, random interactions, but yeah. So like let's unpack that how can we release the shame of, of meeting other people and make that be okay. And also make that again. What are, what's the meaning we're making it doesn't mean that we're weak. It doesn't mean that we're failing. It doesn't mean any of those things. That's what maybe capitalism has taught us or like white American culture has taught us. Keely: Okay. Patriarchy for sure? Yeah. White, white supremacy, patriarchy. Like those all capitalism that all comes together to really create havoc because yeah, if we, you know, that's really like the conceptually like mutual aid as well, and, and when we can help each other and not realize it because the system is broken and so how do we help each other? These attachments are these, these community, this building community, and asking for help and, and talking to each other, then again, supports this more healthy, stable attachment to a romantic partner because you're not just getting your needs met by one person Melisa: Exactly. The stakes. Aren't so high. It's not. Keely: because that idea that we're all that, that this one person's going to fulfill us. And we talk about this so much. The solution though, not an easy one is how do we ask from our community? How do we, you know, we're having a bad day. Or, you know, and I think the asking in this situation, yes. You know, it could be about asking for grabbing something from the grocery stores. And that was one of the stories they told. But really when we're wanting comfort uh, connection through like either going somewhere enjoyable, going for a walk, venting, having a bad day, emotional support. Spreading all of that around and building that connection. So that again, yeah, our romantic partner life partner, whoever is not the only person because that causes issues with attachment that does the opposite. Melisa: One of the things I think that's important. And maybe just a rephrase of the question is how do we allow people to support us? Yeah. How do we allow that to happen? Because oftentimes. There are people reaching out to support like, Hey, let me know if you need anything. No, I'm okay. I don't need it. I'm okay. Right. Or I'm afraid to tell my friends cause they already have their own stuff. I don't want to burden them. Right. When truly, oftentimes when we come together, there's a mutual benefit. Like being able to help someone. It feels really great, at least for me personally. And I know I've heard this from clients too, if I'm really going through something and somebody comes to me and again, we can have consent and boundaries over what I have the bandwidth for, like yay for all of that. But oftentimes if I am put in a position to get to help somebody, it makes me feel better in that moment that we're allowing that to be true, allowing these communities to build by mutually offering, but also receiving support. Keely: So I think there's a continued theme and actually a plug for our uh, upcoming workshop on February 12th, from 12 to 2:00 PM, we will be going more into this because this is not the end of this conversation around building community and having this idea of building community a way to increase secure attachment, to learn what secure attachment feels like. And to really have this balance or this idea of how. Continue to care for ourselves, but also be available and open to caring for others and allowing others to help us as well. So I think it's all it all ties in. And this is not the last time we're going to talk about this. Well, so in, in light of how we started today, Melissa, I think you should go first for queer joy, queer joy, take Melisa: it away. I had a, I had a great weekend. The thing that's coming most to mind for me is I did another solo date and it was maybe a little bit more planned than I usually do that. I was like, you know, I really well, what I haven't done yet that I plan to do is I need to do a clean sweep. I just, since I moved into my newer apartment, my closet, especially, there's like all these clothes that I'm like, I don't know if I wear all of these, like I need to kind of go back through and do some purging. But with that, and with my recent kind of gender exploration, I've been talking about a little bit, I've totally realized we didn't do introductions. I am, I am very gender fluid. I'm using she, they pronouns and exploring different parts of me. And I'm realizing like, my wardrobe really kind of sucks for that. Like, One euphoric outfit for like a certain way that I might be feeling. And like, I just can't wear that shirt every day, especially when we're recording the podcast. I know so many people are just listening, but for anyone who's getting the visual on YouTube, like I don't want to be wearing the same exact thing every Keely: day or the clips, Melisa: even if they don't, right? That's true on social media. I went on a, like gender affirming shopping date with myself. And I went through, I went thrifting and for me, gosh, th- it was a very new experience to be shopping in a men's section with like, no, like it all clearly CIS men around and watching their reactions. Everyone was super, like, there was nothing jarring or weird, that happened, but it just was like, like a double-take like where oh, okay. You know? So that was really interesting. It was so, like I said, affirming, I think it's a great self care. I think it's great. Self-love I feel awesome. I now have like a different shirt to wear, so yeah, it was really wonderful queer joy. Keely: Awesome. Well, my, I have multiple queer joys, but I just. My queer joy that I'm going to share is just from going to the beach with a friend and being able to spontaneously, just be in the moment and be in this place in nature that I love. And somehow it's like sunny and. There is this moment. This is like, great moment. We're driving. And. They turn on nineties, like, like a Spotify, nineties. And I'm just like, we're both rocking out and like dancing, like in the car. I mean, moving. Melisa: So you've got all the people driving around you moving to, Keely: and I'm just sitting there being like, and then, you know, we start telling stories about like our high school situations, because this is like music from like the nineties. So I was, you know, as nineties as my high school and college. Not even only part of my college experience. So like high school, partly college. And it's just like, oh, reminiscent and like telling her stories of like, who, you know, just all the queer closeted stuff. It was like, it was just such a beautiful moment. And it was just such a beautiful weekend and it went by so fast, but it was just wonderful. I did have, I do want to mention that though cause there was, you know people can probably relate being on the Oregon coast, I did stop at a gas station, like in Salem and like two bathrooms. One of the bathrooms was closed. There was one that's marked ladies or women. And then it has this handwritten sign that says ladies only. Oh. And I was like, and I wish I had, I didn't even have my phone on me cause I was. It was a really weird, I was like, what the fuck is going on? Like, why does this, what does this even mean? But because the rest of the weekend was so great, I was able to like step away from that, but that was a really. Yeah. Cause I'm like what? I can't use this bathroom. Definitely not a lady. What are you checking our Melisa: genitals? Like how do you define lady? Let's have a conversation about that before I pee.. Keely: I know what is going on here. So that was a weird, strange moment. Really obviously really fucking. Not queer joy, but the rest of the weekend was such queer joy. That it's just like the kind of leave that, leave that at that bathroom and enjoy the rest of the weekend. Melisa: I felt about the shopping situation. Although now that you say it and like what, cause all the racks were labeled women's or men's yeah. Oh yeah. Could we at least. Femme energy, masc energy. Like we just switch it to that for a minute. Keely: That would be amazing if everything labeled by energy, Melisa: gender neutral at like at, you Keely: know, like if you're feeling this today, then here's an outfit for you. Melisa: Or like just not label fucking any of it. And let people pick out their own damn clothes from wherever they are like. Pants. Keely: I just have a size that isn't like, yeah. Can we just have a universal sizing please? Like, just like based on measurements? Yeah. All the things, all the things. Well, I guess we could have a episode one day about clothing. Maybe that's maybe that's a Tik TOK or an Instagram post anyway. Well, thank you all for joining and Melissa, just another. Week of podcasting and interesting topics. The other workshop that's coming up is on March 25th, which is going to be our polyamory workshop. And then after that, we're going to have an eight week beginners course of specifically closed group on polyamory. So really excited, a bunch of things updated. So please, please, please give us your feedback if you uh, Tell us what's going on. Maybe we'll share your story if you want us to share your story. And otherwise I hope you all have a great queer and joyful week. Thanks for listening to Queer Relationships, Queer Joy. A podcast by the Connective Therapy Collective. Hosted by Kelly C Helmick and Melissa DeSegiurant. With the audio edited and produced by me, Cardinal Marking. Intro music is by Bad Snacks. Outro music by Victoria Instrumental. If this episode made you smile or think, tell us about it. If you hated it, tell us about that. Review us on iTunes or Spotify. Yes, you can review on Spotify now. Or send us an email at info at Connective Therapy Collective dot com. For information on our workshops and for more queer joy, visit our website at Connective Therapy Collective dot com. Love ya. Bye