What’s the difference between non-monogamy and polyamory? How do you know if you should try non-monogamy? Is cheating different than unethical non-monogamy? And what the heck is WORKING in these relationships?
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: How do you plan together? How do you make, you know, your agreements? How all of that, how do you check ins? There's the logistics? But then there's the self work. Like we can't avoid that. We can't, especially if we have attachment wounding, which most of us do, you know, on some level. And there are things that are going to come up and for me anyway, it's, it's impossible to be non-monogamous and. You do it like, well, maybe it's impossible for me to feel like a healthy non-monogamous person and not doing, be doing my own self work. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to queer relationships. Queer joy. I'm one of your hosts, Melissa. DeSegiurant. Keely: Hey, and I'm Keeley C. Helmick welcome everyone. Melisa: Glad to have you. We're not going to forget introductions today. No, not like we did last time. Where, what at the ending? Like the last five minutes? We're like, oh, Hey, by the way, that's what we get for me starting. I think you're just really good Keely, at knowing all the little components and I'm like, Keely: My virgo brain! , like, I always think in little chunks and think Melisa: ahead, is that what was happening. I was taking a Leo spotlight moment and then like forgot all of the things that we do on podcast. Keely: That's exactly what happened. My Virgo came charging in and your Leo was like, well, why don't you introduce yourself first? Let's let's let's shift it Melisa: there. Sure. So I'm Melisa. I'm a white able-bodied person I'm bisexual polyamorous. Solo poly gender queer, gender fluid. Keely: of Connective Therapy. Collective. I am a white gender fluid. Non-binary femme. Able-bodied ah, solo person practicing non-monogamy while dating. And. Just hanging out and enjoying life and trying not. So for those, I think most of us, most people are listeners, but for anyone who watched the YouTube video, I'm going to have to try so hard. So I got a new haircut and it's so hard not to be looking at myself and like adjusting my hair. I know because it's like, it's a. I don't know how to describe it. I mean, people would say, you know, it's really important to be aware of how we talk about queer-codedness, but it's a very queer-coded haircut. And so couple things Melisa: I'm not one to talk. I'm rocking. Like the side cut that was popular several years ago. Keely: Yeah. My oldest child, the first thing she said was, oh mom, you don't look straight anymore. I'm like, okay. It was interesting. I'm having like this mix of like gender euphoria and also like this like tinge of annoyance. And I don't even know if annoyance is the right word. It's more like, oh my gosh. What I really noticed is that. And the date being back in like the dating world, like really being so conscientious of how I perceive what I think people will be attracted to. Going off of what are one of our last episodes of radical self-love and I'm actually reading the body is not an apology. Is really reconciling with that, of, of this idea that this is a very different haircut than I've ever had. And along with gender, we were talking about gender. I mean, we talk about gender. I mean, include gender and sexual at all the time in this and talking about gender and clothing and all of those pieces of how people perceive us on the outside. It's so fascinating and it's a little scary and weird and uncomfortable. Well, it suits you. So what else? So we're our topic today is polyamory and non-monogamy. And I want to check in though. I just did a little emotional dump, some emotional stuff. Was there anything that you feel like listeners would want? Do we have any updates, any updates from you? Yeah. Melisa: I'm like, yeah. Did my judging my own update before I say it, maybe. You know, I, I don't know. I had a really chill weekend. I did do, I did follow up on some of the cleaning I had talked about in our last episode. I'm very aligned with like our lunar calendar and cycle. We're going into the new moon and a new lunar year. So I've done a lot of, there's just a lot of clearing that needs to happen. And like right now it's physical clearing of like just junk, you know, extra stuff. I was talking to a friend the other night about clearing things and she, she had a really tough year last year as did I. And I was like, yeah, there's still a couple bags in my trunk. I think it's my ex's stuff. And she knew my ex and was like it's pretty safe to say, you can get rid of that now. Like maybe I need to do Keely: that. Yeah. Like how symbolic, but actual, Melisa: right. Like we're we're clearing right now. So it feels really good and, and making space for new, but also still. In this place where I don't know that it feels like I'm supposed to be dating super actively right now. I feel relatively open to it, but I'm just a person who goes largely off of intuition. And for me, when I'm ready for the right connection, I like, I don't mean to say this. Flippant way, but I don't usually have to work really, really hard. Like if I'm finding myself really struggling at the dating thing and trying to get out there, like I'm pushing against something that's like not supposed to happen right now. Oh yeah. If that makes sense. It's notlike, well, I don't have to workk hard. It's more like when it's meant to be, it happens to happen and I don't have to force it. So I think I'm in a place where I'm really not forcing that and realizing there's a lot of rebuilding in my own life that still needs to happen. Keely: Yeah, that's a great recognition recognition of that. I have this theory and I don't know. Y'all please write in or email us, tell us what you think. I have this theory that things are kind of on hold right now. And not as many people are out dating. I'm guessing by like April the dating apps and the dating scene is going to start hopping and like everyone's getting prepared for the summer. And I think people are really just laying low and like how many people are sick right now and not even wanting like it's, whether you're monogamous or non-monogamous in the dating situation right now, it's like even awkward. To like touch. Like if you don't know this person, I mean, the joke is like, by the third date my roommate was talking like, yeah, usually about the third date I put out and like now it's like third date. Have you even kissed the person? Who knows. Melisa: Specifically talking, like you said about non-monogamy, there is such a bigger bubble. Like there's such a chain. I've had clients recently talking about the, like the original L word analysis web, just every time, like our partner has new partner, they're like, ah, like what about your risk profile and who do you live with and who do you see? And so much to consider with COVID and non-monogamy. Keely: There really is. And I think. And in saying that knowing that a lot of folks who practice non-monogamy or polyamorous did choose monogamy at the beginning of this. And I think there's also transition to like, okay, this isn't like going away. So how do we navigate, people wanting to be non-monogamous or polyamorous again, and figuring out how to navigate that within the context of COVID and all of these pieces. Melisa: And then I gotta give a shout out to the people who. , maybe entered COVID in monogamous relationships that like mine, did not last much longer. I'm like, how do I say that nicely? That exploded when COVID happened, Keely: I had one that exploded too. Don't worry. Melisa: Yeah. Right. I mean, you know, it's this pressure cooker that, that we were put into and in some ways just exacerbated things that would've maybe taken another decade to like, come to the surface. But I do know that there's a lot of folks out there that are considering non-monogamy for the very first time right now, you know, starting that skillset. And then, like we said, certainly there's, there's the COVID piece too, that can impact how people feel comfortable doing that. But yeah, there's a lot of movement in this direction. Hey, everyone Cardinal the polyamorous raccoon here. And I found something for you in the dumpster out back. Just kidding. I made it with Kelly and Melissa. It's a worksheet that helps you determine your values while dating during COVID times and otherwise complete it on your own or with a friend or three, download it for free by clicking the worksheet link in the show notes. Okay. Back to the show. Keely: Well, I have to just put in, I'm we gotta put the plug in it for a second. The plugin about our non-monogamy workshop and the eight week closed group we're going to do, because based on my theory now, who knows if it's true or not, but. Yeah, we, said that just exactly for those folks who want to start learning skills and practicing and being an environment where it's supportive. Because so often I hear people talk about are non-monogamous and have been non-monogamous for years, but still don't have that support. Right. And don't have, like, I was talking to a friend and she's non-monogamous and actually one of her other partners, she lives with both partners when she's married to. This dynamic has been there. Well, the person just moved in, but this dynamic's been around for awhile and they're like, well, yeah, I want to meet community. But just because someone else is polyamorous doesn't mean we're going to get along. That one piece. And it's the same as. We all experienced that as queer people. It's like, oh, just because there's that one other queer person in your class or that one other queer person in whatever organization doesn't mean, we're all going to get along with that. Right. So that's the other opportunity we're hoping for and actually starting. And maybe a biweekly or a monthly drop-in group. Yeah. I think, you Melisa: know, like you said, the community piece and we've been hitting on that more in the most recent episodes and it's, it is so important and especially being new, I mean, either way, whether you're new, like you said, or been doing this for a long time. What I found recently is when you're looking for some resources and like, oh, I know one friend who's, who's tried, non-monogamy. Usually that one friend has, has not that that relationship probably is over. Like their example is probably something painful and that looks dramatic and it looks scary. You know, maybe not like you're really lucky if not. I mean, if somebody had asked me and I was the only spokesperson for non-monogamy while I'm going through my divorce, like people could make interpretations about that. I think it's good to focus on what's working. I will also put out there the idea that just because a relationship ends doesn't mean that relationship didn't work out. Keely: Yeah. I mean, part of that non-monogamy or just the continual whether monogamous or non-monogamous is getting out of this head space of the basis of a relationship working out is based on the amount of time or like the only relationships that work out are the ones where. It lasts 40, 50, 60 years. And then people die. Like that's not the equation of a relationship working out. And in fact, I wonder if we can even get rid of like a relationship quote, unquote, working out. What if we just talk about relationships? It makes me think of that little Like in childhood, we talk about different friendships dying and, and, you know, relationships changing and the changing of the seasons. What if our dialogue was just, we didn't use these terms of valuation, like there's value based on length or how we evaluate a Melisa: relationship or even a success versus a failure. Keely: When I think about when people are coming to us or just talking in general about non-monogamy or polyamory, do you have a working definition that you like to use to differentiate? Again, these are terms that people can have their own definitions, but do you have a working definition that you like to use for non-monogamy and working definition for polyamory? Melisa: Yeah, it's a good question. And I think I do like to start with some rough definition, especially for folks in session who have never encountered these terms before, but with any label, ask somebody what it means to them. I guess the way I conceptualize it is non-monogamy is maybe the broader term, that broader umbrella term and that it is, I mean kind of, I guess it's kind of, self-explanatory, it's a connection that is not monogamous, you know, so there, there's not a dependence on one person for sexual romantic needs. But that may or may not involve emotional connection or different levels of emotional connection. And that's where I think the differentiation comes in with polyamory polyamory, specifically being there is. Available, you know, or there is emotional, deep, emotional connection and, you know, attachment to multiple people. Keely: I noticed that people will sometimes use polyamory as an identifier, like when, like, when we are opening up and talking about ourselves, some people identify as polyamorous. Some people don't. Obviously people get to identify how they want identify. And we're not here to question or judge would be like, you need to tell me exactly how many relationships you're in right now, or wait even better. You need to tell me who you're having sex with, how many people you're having sex with and how much you like that person, Melisa: Yeah! Letting go of some of that control. But you know, you do bring up a good point for some people. This is a relationship style that they are choosing. And for some people it is. Like a identifier, personal identifier. And it's interesting. I think, I think that's probably fluid for some folks over the span of their life. I would say in this moment right now, I see myself and I I've introduced myself this way on the podcast as a polyamorous person. I am just a person who can fall in love with more than one person that is very accessible for me. Um, And I think what's interesting is I could potentially be a polyamorous person in a monogamous relationship. Totally. Yeah. Especially me because here's how we're defining monogamy that you like, you're exclusive with sex and romance. Right. It's all based on sex and romance. So be I could still be someone who's in love with many people and only having sex and building a romantic partnership with one Keely: point of what we're even talking about community. Like it, I mean, when we use the word polyamorous, aren't we all as humans, polyamorous, Melisa: I mean, maybe I'd like our best version, right? Not all this, like. Keely: I mean, I will always love , more than one human because I have two kids. And then all the other, all my friends and the family that I love. And so it's interesting when we deconstruct that. I mean, that's, what's so interesting about language as we deconstruct it. I think you, and I could definitely go down a full, you know, dive into this, but I do want to make sure we talk more. Dynamics of non-monogamy and polyamory as well. But I think the other piece is I do just want to say that with polyamory, this idea of fluidity and. That can change throughout our lifetime. Yeah. The person who uh, wrote ethical slut, she very openly. In her book and in her trainings always talks about, had so many different relationships, different sexual partners, very kinky um, Janet Hardy. Um, And she now is in a monogamous relationship and like and obviously that's okay. Melisa: That's valid, very valid. Keely: That doesn't make her any less non-monogamous or any less poly, just like, you know, just when someone's monogamous if they're bisexual or pansexual, if they're a monogamous relationship, they're still just as bisexual. Hey, Hey, it's Cardinal your non-binary pal. The first time I ever saw breast forms and binders was that as you like it in Eugene, they have more than sex toys. They also have gender affirming gear for all flavors of trans as well as books on gender and sexuality. Find them online as you firstname.lastname@example.org and use code CTC therapy, all one word@checkout for ten percent off. That's ctc therapy at as you like it shop.com. Okay. Back to the show, So I wonder, Melissa, I think about, and thinking about this workshop, thing of these groups we're running and just thinking about people in general, what do we tell people? Or can we have a discussion around this idea of when people are trying to figure out if. Keely: Try non-monogamy. If they should be non-monogamous in an already established monogamous relationship. Yeah, Melisa: I think, oh gosh. There's so many things. There's so many things it's more than just one episode it's gotta be. But Keely: it will be Melisa: I was like, I talk about it every time anyway, whether or not you want it, you're all getting it. No, I, I think about. There's two different pieces of it. There's one, there's the logistics of the relationship, the relationships we're in now, what needs to be worked on in that relationship, regardless of the, you know, the. Like formation method or what kind of structure you're in. That's where all the logistics come in, like, okay. How do you plan together? How do you make, you know, your agreements? How all of that, how do you check ins? There's the logistics? But then there's the self work. Like we can't avoid that. We can't, especially if we have attachment wounding, which most of us do, you know, on some level. And there are things that are going to come up and for me anyway, it's, it's impossible to be non-monogamous and. You do it like, well, maybe it's impossible for me to feel like a healthy non-monogamous person and not doing, be doing my own self work. Keely: Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's one of the things that can, you can fall into this rhythm when you are in monogamy. Long-term monogamy. There is that really easy possibility to just fall into a rhythm and not to be doing continued self work or just uh, like taking things for granted. Yeah. Yeah. I, when I think about this, and this is part of the screening you and I haven't talked about doing is checking in with people, like, do they really want to be- try non-monogamy. Do they really want to be polyamorous? Or do they feel like they are going to lose this relationship? If they don't try it? Yeah. Biggest things is really checking in before venturing into this because there's a difference. There are just some people that are very monogamous minded and, and that's okay. And we're not here to convert anyone. And I say that all the time in session, when I have two people coming in, if they're looking to try out non-monogamy or they want to start that lifestyle or adjusting to that, it's like, I'm not here to convert somebody. So if one partner wants it and one partner doesn't. Yeah. And then we sit with that. Yeah. But aside from that, there are some markers that I think of when people are trying, I don't say it quite so bluntly in a session, but I I do like to reflect on this idea of sometimes even subconsciously people who are one person in a relationship may be looking to start non-monogamy. But what they don't realize is they're just looking to have somebody else. To help them get out of the relationship. They don't want to be in that relationship anymore or what we've been Melisa: looking for reasons to get. Yeah. That they can get out of the Keely: relationship and still be okay. They don't want to be alone. They don't want to, you know, we used to call this. I don't know if people still use this term, but like serial monogamous where it's just like a lot of us just say, that's pretty non-monogamous nowadays. We don't say we Because they don't not monogamy. We were like, oh, you mean you found somebody that you could jump into in another relationship before you got out of your other one. That sounds pretty non-monogamous to me. And that's okay. And again, I'm not here to shame that, but it's an awareness of if that's what you're looking to do, there's a lot of hard work being done that. Not maybe not as helpful at this time. Melisa: Yeah. You know what you're talking about relates to a concept that Jessica Fern talks about in Poly Secure; the why. You know, and she talks about coaching clients to figure out what is your why? Number one, so you can be clear about why that's a good idea, like be intentional. But the, the other thing is when it gets difficult and it will. As do monogamous relationships. So will non-monogamous relationships and we don't have a framework. We don't have the community necessarily, you know, built up if we're just starting into this, you know, this kind of a relationship structure. So there's a lot of reasons it could be difficult. But being able to go back to your why. And I will say firsthand that got me through so much when I was first opening up my marriage, because that was really difficult for me. And there was a very different, there's just a different case at which like I want sexual attention from other people. And my ex did. And so I had to sit with a lot of jealousy and a lot of my stuff. Right away. Yeah. And my why was like so valuable for me and it, I can't remember verbatim exactly what it was, but at that point it came down to something around, I don't want myself or my ex to ever feel any shame about a sexual. Like, I'm doing a way with shame about sexuality. And that was my why. And so therefore, yeah, when things were really hard. Okay. But this is okay. You know, this is something that he doesn't have to feel ashamed about. Keely: Oh yeah. Does. So I, I fully admit that is all my. It will be read before we do our workshop and I've read plenty of other books around non-monogamy, but Melisa: I actually recommend it to monogamous people too. Even if I haven't finished the whole book, I know that the last couple of chapters are a little bit more into the relationship structure. Okay. But again, because of what we said, I think that that still could be useful for everyone, but the first three chapters are. Just one of the best overviews of attachment that I've heard in a while I heard cause I did audio books and she does a great job. She does a great job of talking about the attachment styles across the lifetime. So what this could look like in your adult relationships and questions you might be asking yourself if you are an anxiously attached or if you're, you know, all these different things. And then really talks about secure attachment, which is one of the things that I've been really focusing on in my sessions with clients recently, you know, how do we create secure attachment so that we can go out and explore the world and explore other partners and, and still be connected over space and time. Keely: When we look at polyamory and non-monogamy as a broader picture of not just romantic and sexual partners, which we will be focusing on that. But in this, in the light of the secure attachment piece is it's such a great example. When we think about little kids and the whole idea of it's where attachment came from, where you drop off the kiddo and secure attachment is the kiddo's And the kiddo is like, okay, bye Parent! Have fun. And they like go play with all their little friends and that secure attachment. And so. in a Poly dynamic. You're like, oh, bye. Have fun on your date. I'm going to go play with my other friends, my other sex partners, whatever. And that provides. Lots of opportunities for growth and conversation. Melisa: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, to normalize it too, for people who maybe hear that and are like, AHHH! Like for me, I'm like this, when I think about my partner and like my metamor I'm like, oh my God, I think they're going to move in. Like, you know, I'm, the compersion thing. Right. And that may not be how everyone feels in the beginning when they have not built these frameworks. But even remembering that like with secure attachment, those parent figures where people who those needs were. Most of the time, you know? And then when there is this separation, there is, I can't remember the terminology she uses, but something like there's appropriate distress. So there may be like, oh gosh, mom's leaving. Oh, look, toys, fun. Okay. I got Keely: that. I found my shiny distraction Melisa: and that's, you know, hopping over the logistics side of things. That is one of the tools that I had talked to people about is being intentional about your transitions. It's like energetic whiplash to go from one partner to the next partner. It, maybe I should speak for myself. I'm an empath I take in people's energy real easily and strongly. And it's a lot to go from one person that I am deeply in love with, to someone else I'm deeply in love with, with a very different energy and like no time to transition. Yeah. So that's, that's one of those tools, you know, how can you transition? And again, this is a tool that even monogamous people can use and you can use it outside of relationships. Like how many of you do intentional transitioning after work before you go home to your family? Keely: Well, you're taking accountability for your own energy. I mean, I'm thinking about a client that I'm working with. And one of the things I have them start doing, or they requested of their partner is just a basic. Shower like shower and change clothes after being with another person. And I'm thinking even back to, does she talk about any strategies? I feel like a lot of people ask. So the strategy of the transition, or think of the transition, I think about people asking a lot about how to set up agreements and how to talk about. Agreements and expectations. And again, no stating before we'd start talking about it, that this is not a concrete thing that, oh, we talk about it once at the beginning of non-monogamy discussions and then it it's, it's a living document it's constantly updating, changing, rewording. And Melisa: when you're doing check-ins, that's what you're checking in about, you know? Yeah. You know, she probably does, and that's probably the part that I haven't gotten to yet. So this week I will know, because I will read it this week, but what I tend to start people off with is even making a list maybe even individually or together. What kinds of things do you imagine you would want agreements? Yeah, because it's different for everybody. Some people want agreements about like, well, do you go to other people's medical appointments? Do you, do you know, if a partner's in need and needs a ride to the hospital, do you drop, you know, your spouse and on their day and go and attend to them? That might be an agreement for some folks and for others that may not be like, no, of course go do your thing. That's fine. You know, agreements around sex agreements around protected or unprotected sex, you know, there's so many agreements, even about information sharing and how much you want to know or don't want to know. Keely: Yeah. And we will be having. I wish I could say we have it on our website right now, but we don't. But before our workshop on the 25th we're we are starting to piece together some samples of agreements. And I think the thing with even the samples of agreements that you can find online and maybe in the book, I know that shrimp teeth, if y'all are familiar with they're online and they focus on ENM and ethical non-monogamy and they do some have some great worksheets that I have not seen yet. So I think. It's good for people to have guidance. And, and, and, and it's also important for people to have that creative. Like they're, they're thinking about what they want and not just basing the agreements on something- on what something else someone else Melisa: created. Right. You know, as you just said that now I'm like in the past hitting myself for my definition that I don't, I don't know what I said now about non-monogamy. The word that just jumped out at me was like in ENM, the ethical part, like that's VERY important. Like we're either talking about ethical non-monogamy or consensual non-monogamy, that's very different than. Other, not ethical. Non-monogamy called cheating for example. Keely: Well, I was describing that to somebody. I was like, just the other day I was talking about a former partner and we had started off non-monogamous dating and then we became monogamous at some point. And then all of a sudden I found out about them being with somebody else. And I was like, okay, so unethical non-monogamy like, the word is. We use the word cheating on there's. So in our culture, not you and I necessarily, but in our culture, the word cheating is thrown around so much. And I really liked the reclamation of unethical non-monogamy because it really starts reshaping the framework around it. And to be really clear that folks can be non-monogamous and still lie. And that's what cheating is like. Yeah. There's all this, like we wrap this up around. Someone having sex with someone else, someone doing some this and that, and the other was somebody else. But at the end of the day, whether you're monogamous or non-monogamous, we don't own anybody else. I don't get to tell my partner what to do. My partners don't get to tell me what I get to do. It's really about having all of these pieces to where we talk about. And then the ethical part of it is. that we're Telling the truth. Melisa: Right, right. Yeah. That's and the agreements are all about making sure there's consent because that's the way that just puts it, is that all parties are aware of and consenting to all of the relationships that are happening. Keely: Yeah. And I think really clearly, and we've talked about this before, and this will come up again and again, and again, when we're talking about consent and ethical, non-monogamy another piece that's fascinating around agreements is how much we talk about other people and how much we share. Yeah. Melisa: And whether it's like a term to throw out there for people who may not know all the terminology, kitchen table, if it's a kitchen table thing.. You know, don't ask, don't tell. Ugh. We need a different way to say that. Look at our faces! Like, Keely: well, yeah, yeah. Cause hello, we're queer podcasts, we're queer folks, and we're like, Melisa: don't ask, don't tell listeners, do you have any ideas? Like what's the non kitchen table version of like, where I don't really want to know details about your partner as I am aware that you have other partners, but yeah, I don't want to be asked about who I'm seeing and I don't want it. Come to a consensus about a different terminology. Keely: Let's get a different terminology because I don't want to have flashbacks of the nineties and early two thousands and say it without Melisa: making a face Keely: We need new terminology. Please write us in to figure out. So in this, going back to this agreements and how much we talk, it's so fascinating to me also, because again, this applies to all communities, but we're in the context of our queerness and being in the queer community. Yeah. I mean, you know, it's bad, not bad, but it's, it's hard enough as therapists that we hear all this shit and we hold all of this. Yeah. And then our community is so small comparatively and I find all of a sudden I'll be. Dating somebody or like even just casual sexual partner. And then I'm like, wait, what, who you connect with? What, who, huh. And then I'm like, wait, you're telling that person what right. And so it's, it's interesting to me as I'm checking with myself, Because I'm not a don't ask don't tell person, so I'll be like, yeah, I want to be included. Ooh, this is fascinating. Yeah. What are y'all doing? But how much do I want people to be talking about me? Hmm. And so how do I have this reciprocity of consent? And that's for me, the continual discussion around agreements with somebody or with people that I'm in sexual romantic relationships with is how much to disclose and even add adding the layer that we're therapists. It's like, how much do I want people to know about me and how, how do I build trust while also being like, I don't own another person so they can talk about, and it's a nuance and maybe that'll be, I'm going to say this would be a really good topic for one of our group sessions, because I think there's so much nuance to it. Cause we're like all Brene Brown style; vulnerability! Tell your story! Melisa: Well and the thing we have to watch out for too is, and we've said it before, and it, there's not enough time. I don't think in this episode to go in deep to detail, but triangulation is this thing that happens in systems and what that can look like again, regardless of your relationship structure is when there's a conflict between two people. Triangulation is one of those two people, instead of resolving it together, they go find someone else, maybe a therapist therapist. I'm often on that side of it where I'm like, I see what you're doing here. And that is something arguably, because I was, you know, trained as a therapist. So I was looking out for these dynamics, but I noticed that right away in non-monogamy I had a serious girlfriend. I was still with my ex-husband. And I noticed right away when there was this impulse to go vent to my girlfriend and I caught it and went, oh, that's not okay. That's number one. It's not her- like the time spent with her. It's not her job to be my quasi therapist for relationship stuff. Number two, that creates a lot of complications and the whole relationship structure. And like, that's not, that's just not an appropriate use of my partnerships that way. And so that might not be the same as when people are thinking about, you know, I think when we say how much information do you want to disclose or let people were like, I think my mind goes to sex usually like, oh, I don't really want to hear about like the kind of sex you're having. But like also. We also think about the containers and boundaries around what we share in terms of what are our struggles with our current partners. And we really want to be processing them with our other partners. Keely: Then this even gets more complicated because then I'm hearing, I'm hearing all these stories about like people going on each other's Instagram. And on the stories and like checking each other out and then being like, oh, I saw this post and I saw this and it's like, ah, so much complication. So I think these are good things to continue to talk about. I do like the topic of triangulation, and I think, you know, so for this episode, we obviously have plenty more to talk about with ethical non-monogamy Melisa: These are like broad strokes of nonmonogamy. Keely: Yes. But I think that we cleared up, we can say that this was like the first part. We'll dive into non-monogamy more. But for, you know, for this episode, we really got a couple of definitions down. Got some variations of agreements and definitely recommend Melisa: Poly Secure. And so if you're a podcast person, which I'm hoping you are because you are listening to this right podcast now, please check out Multiamory it's a great podcast it's been going on for years. And that was a huge resource and continues to be one for me. They have so much experience and they also have guests on the show a whole slew of people. Keely: So. Yeah. So what's working is people reading these books, having these continuing conversations around agreements. And the thing that you really said was the why. So like starting off with what's your why and that great Melisa: And if you're monogamous, what's your why for that? Totally why? Keely: Yes. What's your why? It's not a default. We don't want to be like compulsory monogamy, compulsory heterosexuality. Like we're aware let's deconstruct why we're making the choices that we are. So on that note, I'm making choices and what's working well. What's your queer joy for this week? Melisa: Queer Joy! So I, the one that is coming to mind right now is I got to reconnect with a friend yesterday on zoom or FaceTime And it's somebody that I was very close with and have been very close with. And this last year I referenced them earlier that they had a really difficult year with a lot of loss and a lot of trauma. And I went through my own stuff. This person was my, how do I say this? So my ex's best friend, his wife, we were like together and like, oh yeah, it's a queer joy for me because I was introduced to her through, you know, my ex and his friend. And. Really thought we were going to raise families together, right. Alongside each other. Like we were very much family friends. And so the fact that we still share a connection and a bond, even though I'm no longer married, like that means so much to me because so many relationships do fall away, you know, and did a lot, you know, and I'm a person who was working like four jobs, most of them of my marriage. So I have a lot of time to build a lot of relationships outside of the marriage. So. Yeah. I, I, it just was really wonderful to reconnect and to know that we're still there, like, it's just one of those people that could spend six months not talking, and then we have a conversation and it's like, yeah, he was Keely: still like, oh, oh, that's cute. That's sweet. Well, I had some multiple queer joys. I would say. I think the one that's coming to mind right now, my biggest queer joy for now. Was, I was out hanging out, I guess you'd call it a date. And I was with this person and we went to this restaurant and it was like this outside area and the owner. So the person I was hanging out with had met the owner from a previous thing. There's this interconnections like, oh, so-and-so no, Stone's again, super queer. And we're sitting there and the owner is like chatting away and all of a sudden we're sitting and we're all like in our forties reminiscing and talking about Portland from the nineties and two thousands. And it was like, but not just about Portland, but freaking Burnside and how we used to go to like Silverado and. Before the strip got cleaned up and was like all Harvey milk. It was. Just totally boxes. And all the old people who are listening, who are old school Portlanders will know what I'm talking about. So it was the greatest. So we're all chatting away and doing the thing. And then the person I'm hanging out with on a date, they're like, we're like sitting there, we're like, it's the person we're trying to figure out this person's queer or not fun game. And they're even trying to like, add, like they did a good job of trying to ask questions, but the best part was she comes back. And she's like, can I be your friend? She's like, I want to be friends with y'all. And so I gave her my phone and she put her phone and totally like, it was just so lovely. Like what a beautiful moment. I have this little, like, it's so cute. It was so lovely. I love it. Melisa: Spontaneous connections. Keely: Yeah. Yes, yes. And so I will say I will name it. The person is because they, she deserves our support. She has all these great plans that she wants to do. And so it's down in Kenton. I want to say Derby, I kept want to say Darby, Derby Derby on Kenton. Check it out. They have a great out then they have outdoor seating. Yay. And delicious food, vegan and meat. So good compromise. Well, that's it for today. Um, Melissa, should we plug, I guess we have our workshop February 12th. Melisa: Yep. That's the first one coming up on the 12th. That is going to be about queer relationships. Then later a help me out. Keely. When is it? Keely: March 25th, March 25th. Cool. Is our, yeah. Is our polyamory non-monogamy workshops. Melisa: So that'll be a one-off workshop following that is when we will start the closed group. So that will start the first week of April. And it's an eight week. Keely: Awesome. Well, thanks you all for listening again. And I hope everyone has a 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