Why would someone live alone while in a deeply romantic relationship (or several romantic relationships)? What are some tips for voicing insecurities? What is a brain thought?!
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.
This week’s guests are Liana Griebsch and Elizabeth Cunningham.
Liana Griebsch instagram @lianagriebsch
Elizabeth Cunningham instagram @ELZCunningham
Love deeper @love._.deeper
FB & IG: @queer_relationships_queer_joy
Elizabeth: it's been really nice, living on my own and and it is really nice to be like, Hey, like, I need this weekend by myself.
Like, don't come over. and being able to like have this space for myself has been really healing for me.
Melisa: Hi everyone. Welcome back to Queer Relationships Queer Joy. We are so excited to have some guests today, but before we let them introduce themselves, we'll start with our introductions. I am one of your hosts, Melisa DeSegiurant. I am licensed as a marriage and family therapist, and also as a professional counselor.
I am white bisexual. I am able bodied. I am polyamorous and polyunsaturated. And my gender is fluid. I'm using she and they pronouns.
Keely: We really like to emphasize the polysaturated at the moment for Melisa.
Melisa: I've been adding that on with like emphasis.
audioMelisa11538425435: I'm not interested. I'm interested, but I can't.
Keely, introduce yourself. Who are you?
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I am Keely Helmick. I am the, other host and I am the owner of Connective Therapy Collective. I'm a licensed professional counselor, certified sex therapist. I am queer, poly white. not cis hetero. Very, very queer, non-binary. And I, I am feeling very physically. Physically healthy currently and very, very, very excited to feel physical and in fact, maybe going on my first actual bike ride with my little outdoor bike, in the near future. I had a little text date. I haven't another ride my bike in like 10 months cuz of a, a back injury.
And I got a little, little text on my phone today about a potential bike riding date. So that's fun. And I'm not polyunsaturated. I'm not there looking
Elizabeth: I also got that difference here.
Elizabeth: Oh my God, that's amazing. Oh my God. Okay. so my name is Elizabeth Cunningham. Hello. I, I'm a love and life coach. I have been, coaching since 2017 and I have been working inside of, gender and sexual working and studying inside gender and sexuality since 2008. I have a degree in political science and women gender and sexuality with an emphasis in religion with a certificate in service learning.
Elizabeth: Say it five times fast. Say it, do it. Go. but basically, what that means is that I, look through the lens of, gender and sexuality, with an emphasis in how politics and religion play off of that. And then that coupled along with being a certified, having, having certifications in life coaching, having certifications in sex and eroticism, that's just.
The, the lens that I, that I look through, also identifiers, lenses that I look through and or come from. I am from the Midwest. I'm from Nebraska, and I am white and I definitely am cis hetero presenting for sure. 1000%,
If you see me with a partner of mine who all who looks like a cis hetero male, we look like a cis hetero couple. That's, that's a fact. it's not like, why is that? Why is that person with that guy? It's like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. They probably have babies. She's our, she's our insider guys.
I'm infiltrating, I'm infiltrating with this hetero world that's a queer person. but definitely when I came out, no one was surprised. I was surprised at how no one was surprised. let's see, other, other things. I, I'm definitely a, a lot of my identity is passing, so like, I am passing cis hetero, I'm passing able-bodied, I'm passing neurotypical.
so a lot of, a lot of me is definitely, passing. And so one of the things that I get told is, wow, like as people get to know me, they're like, wow, there's like a lot more to you. And I'm like, yeah, I'm very passing. It's very true. and, yeah. Any
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: so curious. I'm gonna wait for this question, but I'm so curious how this whole passing and people assuming things, how that shows up in relationship and sex, but we'll get to that later.
Elizabeth: Oh my God.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Mike, do people assume you're, bottom.
Elizabeth: That's Ask the question.anything else? yeah, I'm polyamorous. I de I came out as polyamorous before I came out as queer, which definitely colors, the lens that I look through as well. And am I poly? I think I'm probably polyunsaturated. I, that would be left up to you.
We'll, we'll probably get into this as well, but like Leanne and I like both, let, relationships kind of form organically. Like neither of us really look for new relationships, so I'm like, am I polys saturated? I don't know. I haven't really met anyone in a while that I'm like, yeah, let's do the thing so I don't, yeah.
The about, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Cool.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I feel like it's not like there's this number of. Of like, this is the ideal amount of partners or.
Elizabeth: Right. It's like so many contextual factors of like, right. And especially in like, as both of like running, I like running a business in and like my mission and what I do like that is my life. All of my partners know that about me. It's like 10 relationships. It's like 10 relationships in one.
It really is like, I have a business, I have a team, I have, clients. I have like, All of this stuff. And then like, and I'm really, I really like to make time for like family and friends and like, all the other people that I care about in my life. And so that's why I'm like, am I poly exaggerated?
Probably like, yeah. Yeah. So probably, probably on this one. Yeah, we have an absolutely. An absolutely not, and maybe so far, yeah.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: So where do you fall in?
Elizabeth: Oh man. All, all Leanna. Alright. Um, my name's Ley whoop. Oh, and I was also gonna say that I use she her pronouns. That's it. Okay, great. Um, My name's Leanna Green. I'm just gonna go and that's all you need to know about me. Okay, great. but, yeah, I am, I am also a relationship coach. and yeah, my, my coaching certifications come from more of like a holistic approach to life, and then I just took tracks of focusing in on relationships, because it's a big factor to your health and wellbeing.
Imagine that. Mm-hmm. And so that's just what I absolutely love and adore. And I've mostly worked in the space of like queer relationship coaching because. I identify as queer, and if you saw me, you would not really doubt that at all. not passing, not, not heterosis passing. What's. There's that,as one of my partners has told me I am severely gay. And so that is, that is the identifier we go with now, and today it is super severely gay. So, yeah. Elizabeth said this right before we hopped on was like, yeah, super severely gay. S s g is the new acronym. So there you go. Add it, add it to the alphabet Mafia.
It's a new thing. but yeah, I've, I, yeah, I knew I was queer since I was a we one. so, I came out when I was a teenager and everything, so, that was, I mean, I've never dated in the, the hetero world. I've always just dated simply in, in, in the queer world. So, that's also just part of my experience and yeah, identify as polyamorous.
I mean, yeah, I'm just like, yeah, I'm poly. Okay, great. Like, I don't really go onto any of like the nitty gritty, like, relationship anarchy or solo poly or anything. I'm just like, I don't know. I just. I do multiple relationships,and, other identifiers. She, her, but like, that also doesn't feel right.
They, them doesn't feel right. He, him feels terrible. Absolutely not.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I need more words to
Elizabeth: we talk about this, I'm just like, woman, no man, no non-binary. No, I don't. I am, I am human. that's just, that's where, that's where I'm at. Youidentify as human.
audioMelisa11538425435: We love that.
Elizabeth: severely gay human human S's your acronym here.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Just severely gay human.
audioMelisa11538425435: I love it.
Elizabeth: Good. So severely gay human.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: There we go.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: gender of the day.
Elizabeth: solving puzzles right now.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: So let's hear, let's I, and you can start from the beginning. You can start from the middle. You can start currently. Tell listeners, tell us all about your relationship. How'd you meet? What's going on?
Elizabeth: How did we meet? Okay, so this is the thing. I was thinking about this before because I was like, we could totally take up the entire. Episode just with our origin story. So I feel like, but I feel like we wanna talk about more than that, and so I feel like We'll, we have like the shortened version. Yeah.
Cliff notes. Cliff note version of our origin story. You go first. Okay, great. All right. Because it does start with me.
so yeah, so we, well we ended up meeting in a business coaching program. but I, when I signed or was on the enrollment call with the coach, he had mentioned Elizabeth's name cuz she was in the program and all that kind of stuff, and was just like, oh, cuz you know, I'm, I'm there for like queer relationship coaching, right?
And he was like, oh yeah, there's this one chick that like, Similar things. He has No, he had no idea what I was doing. We didn't know he didn't. Yeah, like that's what I gathered from that conversation. I love, I love him, I love him. And he, and he absolutely 100% did not wrap his mind around polyamory the whole time that we were coaching
Elizabeth: So it was just like, she got other relationship stuff. Similar, similar things, Yeah. So, and he, so he had used her as like the testimonial of like, oh yeah. Like if you get into the program, like you can, talk, and you, you both work in similar, similar spheres that, I don't know what you do exactly, but and so that was,
Elizabeth: yeah. I was like, that was my first introduction to her. and so it was just like, yeah, check in with Elizabeth. Check in with Elizabeth. And I did go and like find her. I searched through the, all the Elizabeths in the program found her Instagram page, which was the only one with a rainbow emoji, so I assumed it was her.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Flagging Flagging works.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Like detective skills over here?
but yeah, and like I just remember, like I, I looked at her page and like, I just like looked and I was like, Not yet. Like, that was like the, like intuition feel to it. Right? And I was like, not yet.
And I then I'm just totally just looking at her page and being like, oh my God, she's, well, she is queer apparently. And she's polly too. Oh no, I'm done for. Super done for. so, and it was funny cuz I had told my other partner, like when all this, I like told her about it and she was like, oh, not yet. I was like, not yet. and then, yeah, and then like still never reached out to her or anything. And then it wasn't until the second phase of the program. Was when, like that's where she originally was when I had joined the, the first group or whatever.
So when I joined the second part of it, the, the coach again was like, have you talked to Elizabeth yet? Like three, four months later? No, no, I haven't.
audioMelisa11538425435: looked at the profile.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I'm strategizing. There's a strategy. Here.
Elizabeth: I was like, do you understand? Understand this is what you do. You move through the stages of gay panic and then eventually do something, right? Like this is, I'm a queer relationship coach. I know what I'm doing. and then, and so like, and he was like, you should, and I was like, okay, I'm gonna do it this time. Like, I'm gonna reach out to her. And then at the same, like, around the same time, the, one of the other coaches in the program had told Elizabeth like, you should reach out to Leanna. Like, not knowing, like, you're just like, Hey, you should talk with Leanna or whatever.
and so then I, I messaged her and I was like, Hey, You know, been mentioned, we should talk. So I'm like, what's up? What's going on? What's up? What's up, what's up? Yeah. Yeah. Super, super smooth. Super cool. very suave over here. and um, yeah, so then like that was our first conversation and that was also, the last point that I'll say before she can, hop on in here from her perspective, is that that was when I first learned that I must get on Elizabeth's calendar to talk with her.
Cause we talked and was like,
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: have to put on the calendar.
Elizabeth: Yeah, and it was like, we should talk. And she was like, yeah, let's talk on this day. And then this day come and it was like nothing. I totally forgot about that. Yeah, she forgot. And then she like messaged me a week later and was like, oh my God, I'm so sorry. Let's talk on this day.
And I was like, yeah, for sure. And then that day passes. Then she's like, I'm the worst. Here's my phone number. Tell me what day we're gonna set it up. And like them sent me like, and then I gave her my, my scheduling link and I was like, here, schedule. It's on the calendar. Finally, then like finally had like a, a zoom call cuz she living in Seattle at the time I was li well she still lives in Seattle, but I was living in Boulder at the time in Colorado.
so it was like, oh yeah, let's have a Zoom call to, to talk about business. Talk about business stuff. Obviously business, 100%. And what did we talk about on that first call? Not business. Not business. Not business at all. Like we just like, we had the best time, we had like the best conversation.
We talked for like two hours. It was probably the most that I had laughed, like. In a while, like the, and this was like mid pandemic as well, this was like summer 2021 and,
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah. And like, it was just, we had the most fun. It was amazing. And I was just like, oh my God. Like, like you're super cool. Like all this stuff, this was great. We should do this again. And then it wasn't, and by the way, I totally had a crush on earth so hard, The case word, but I just wanted, I just wanna point that out.
I was like, damnit, she does not have a crush on me. Like, number one, I, cause you can pick that up. And I was like, that's okay. That's a, that's a plight of life as, as a queer human.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Was that true, Elizabeth? Did you, you weren't thinking at all about Leanna in that way.
Elizabeth: No, like the first first call I was just like, oh my God, this was so fun. You're so cool. Like this was so great. And like definitely like friend. Friend status for sure. Yeah. Friend zones, friend zone. but then, but then like I was, so, we're both like creating things on Instagram for like our coaching and, and stuff like that.
And so I was seeing Leanna's face on Instagram like every single day and I was like, oh my God. Like she's hilarious and like, I love her videos and like all this stuff. And then, fast forward, uh, and it was like, I don't know, October of that year and I didn't see her video. On Instagram one day. And I like found myself being like, oh, I wish that I saw Leanna's video.
Like, oh. And I like went and like searched out her page and then I was like, oh my God, do I have a crush on Leanna? And then I was like talking to, I was talking to this guy, who also lived in Colorado as well, and, an hour away from me. An hour, yeah. Hour away from Leanna. and I messaged him and cuz we had our plans were, I was gonna go out to his place in Colorado in December and I messaged him and I was like, oh my God, I think I have a crush on Leanna.
And and, she lives in Colorado too, and he was like, oh yeah, like we should, you should message her and we should all go get dinner. Mm-hmm. And I was like, no, we can't do that. Like,
audioMelisa11538425435: I love already like the poly themes, even in YouTube, like first meeting and like telling other partners and people. That's amazing.
Elizabeth: Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. And I was like, oh, no, no, no. I was like, we can't do that. I was like, I'm, I'm coming out to, to hang out with you and like, I wanna, I wanna hang out with you that weekend. Like, I don't wanna, like I would just rather spend that time with you. Right. well he ended up breaking up with me that weekend.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Meant to be.
Elizabeth: And, but then I was like, I didn't reach out to Leanne and Leanna was like, why didn't you reach out to me? And I was like, what was I supposed to say? Like, Hey, person that I've talked to one time, like I'm just like, my partner just broke up with me and I'm an hour away from you. Let me come over. Like, no, like, yeah, for sure.
Let's, let's go.
audioMelisa11538425435: Like, yes, please.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I think so queer to me though, like, oh, I, the dude's gone now and I have this new other person to check out. Like, okay, cool.
Elizabeth: No. Well, I was, I had been thrown off when she had been in Colorado because she posted on her story like in Colorado or whatever, and I was like, wait, what? You're in co. Like, first of all, I could drive anywhere for a few hours and I could get to like, Colorado's so small, like I grew up in California. I'm not used to that.
Right. I'm like, we drive a few hours, then we're in maybe LA at that point, but like, it's like, but yeah, I just remember seeing this story and I was like, you're in Colorado, like, where are you? She's like, yeah. She sent me, she sent me a message. I was like, you're in Colorado? Was like, wait, where are you?
Like, let's meet up or, and she's like, oh, I leave tomorrow. Sorry. Didn't think I'd have enough time. And I was
Elizabeth: you're an hour away. I could literally get in my car right now and drive. Oh, an hour away.
So anyway, so then fast forward, we get on the calendar again for a call in December, I think, and then, I confessed that I had a crush on her, like on the call, which by the way was super awkward and I was so, I was adorable.
Mad at you was adorable. Yeah, I totally pissed her off I didn't understand what was happening and then when I did understand what was happening, it was nice. Not know what I'm trying to tell you right now. Well, I, I am one of the people that, like, I have gone on dates without knowing it's a date and like, people were like, oh, they like you.
And I'm like, what are you talking about? You know?It was like towards the end of the call and everything and she's just like, it was like, so there's a vibe here, something like that. And I was like, Well, yeah, we just talked for two hours that you like, enjoy spending time with me cuz that would be, that'd be terrible. I like you. Like I have a crush on you. And she's like, oh.
audioMelisa11538425435: That's what vibe meant.
Elizabeth: Said, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. No, like, it literally hit me af like, cause after I said that to her, I was like, well, yeah, like we just bit, and then her face was that of like, and then I was like, wait, why is she giving that face? And I'm a slower processor. So I was like, Oh, oh, oh, wait. No. I was like, you can't, you can't get the like little, the little queer heart, like all excited.
Like, I was like, wait, I told myself she was never gonna have a crush on me. Like I accepted that fate for myself. Like, I can do that. That's prac. I have practice in that. And then I was like, wait. Hmm. I don't know. Do I, do I dare hold on to this idea.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: The possibility, the queer longing.
Elizabeth: Yes. Oh man. Queer longing was real. And so yeah, then I was like, sick. I have a crush on you too.
audioMelisa11538425435: Yes. We like didn't stop talking from that point in time on. And then we had a vibe check weekend in January and then vibe checked. Yeah, vibe. Vibe was checked. Vibe was checked. Was that like a weekend? Like in per, like how did you check the vibe?
Elizabeth: In person. Yeah. Yeah. I flew out to, I flew out to Seattle for like three or four days. Mm-hmm. and yeah, cuz I, and I, it's funny cuz we, we talk about it now and I, I was just like, I was like, I was like, I don't know. I still don't know, like if she like is interested in me. Well, again, I know, I know.
Either way. Like we're just, I was like, we're gonna be just solid friends, if anything, right? Because we just have so much fun together. And so just like, I'm gonna win at this weekend regardless, cuz we're gonna have a great time and, figure things out from there or whatever.
And so, like, that was like my, my whole thing. I was like, yeah, for like, cuz my, my other partner had driven me to the airport when I flew out and stuff. And she was like,
Elizabeth: Checking the vibe. I was like, we, we checking the vibe and also keeping expectations and hopes low. There was literally no doubt in my mind that this was happening. I was just like, this is a romantic and sexual relationship. I, Already know. I, I wasn't quite there yet. Yeah. So that would've been helpful information. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Vibe was checked and mm-hmm. And just kept doing that until eventually I moved out here, so, yep.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Yeah. So you moved out and the, yeah. I don't know if we mentioned both of you, that you now live together in Seattle, correct.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Oh, where are you?
there. we, we are in Seattle. We are in Seattle. I'm in, I, I have a little house in, I basically live with her. Yeah. Whatever.
Elizabeth: no, I, I, I live in Seattle and Leanna lives in Iqua. Yeah. Which is about 25 ish minutes east. Yeah. I mean, she's here all the time, so
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Well, and I wonder, do you think that the two of you technically living separately, does that help the relationship dynamic?
Elizabeth: . Yes, I think so. And I, and the reason that I say that and is because like, one of the reasons why I live by myself right now is because of, things that happened last year. one of them being that my dad passed away. Um, in 2022 and I was living with a partner and we weren't doing very well.
at the time, just in like, besides the fact that my dad passed away, like our relationship was, was kind of on the rocks. and then my dad passed away and that actually made things a lot worse. And I was just like, I need to like, for my own mental health, like I need to live on my own. Like, I don't think that this is healthy for me anymore to like, Live together.
Mm-hmm. and so, and yeah, that could be a really long story as well. but, but that, but CliffNotes, CliffNotes version is that, yeah, I was just like, I need to live on my own. and so that's why I did, and so when Leanna moved out here was actually when I was moving out of that other living situation.
And so, and it, it has been, really good to just have this space be my own. I think that that would've been way too hard for everyone, including my former partner, obviously. Like if I would've moved in with someone else, if I would've been like, I. I need to live on my own for my own mental health and then moved in with somebody else like that would've been terrible.
And also I didn't want that. Mm-hmm. Either like I wanted to legit, like there wasn't a part of me that was like, oh yeah, I wanna live on my own. And like secretly, like wanted to, just move in with Leanna. Like I really wanted to
audioMelisa11538425435: Yeah, that wasn't the excuse. It's what you really needed.
Elizabeth: Yeah, that's what I really needed. And so it's been really nice, living on my own and and it is really nice to be like, Hey, like, I need this weekend by myself.
Like, don't come over. and being able to like have this space for myself has been really healing for me.
audioMelisa11538425435: It's so cool that you share that. And I, I'm so sorry to hear about your dad. but I, I know a lot, well, I identify a lot with what you're talking about. I also live by myself and for me that was like part of my own grief after divorce and just so much relationship explosion that happened at the beginning of pandemic.
And I have been 10 years in a relationship like. Kind of playing mom to someone unwillingly. It's just, it has given me so much more ability to be present in the relationships I'm in because I'm also taking care of myself. So I appreciate that there's somebody else on the podcast saying this, like, relationship going on, like,
Elizabeth: It's so, it's so true, and it's so needed. And like when I have, and like Ley, I mean, Leanna is like the. the person, the advocate for relationship with self. and so it's also like really nice to be in relationship with her because she really gets it, she's really like, yeah, absolutely.
Like have your alone time. Do your own thing, actually, like in the times, we call them like my wilderness weekends. and, but it always, it always ends up that like, something like this past weekend was supposed to be my wilderness weekend, but that was the weekend of Les Prom and
Elizabeth: And she's like, oh, I always feel like I'm ruining your wilderness Weekends, I feel so bad.
And I'm like, no, like it's totally fine. Like I'm choosing this. Like, if, if I, if it really didn't work for me, I would say that it didn't work right? And we, and we wouldn't go, but I really wanna go to you You know, Les Prom, so let's do it.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: One of the questions we ask, and I think you're tying into this, is what's working well in the relationship? And what I'm hearing is a theme we talk about a lot, but don't hear it actually happening in the relationship dynamic, which is having that separate time. And Leanna, you really, it seems like you really support that cuz what we get a lot is, and probably two of you hear this as well, you'll have that couple or those people talking about one person really wants time to themselves and the other person has a really hard time with it or like takes it personally.
And so Leanna, I'm curious, I mean, Elizabeth is saying, yeah, she feels very supported.
Elizabeth: It's all a lie.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: It's a lie. You just pretend.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Does your anxious attachment come out?
Elizabeth: Yeah, yeah, yeah. yeah, no, it's not a lie. No. I mean, cause like for myself, like I've lived, by myself for like a few years now. and like I. Like just from, like from my own experience, like that's always just what I had wanted as a kid. But it was like, I mean, it was more driven by the fact that it was like there's safety only being alone.
Right? Like it was, it was more driven by that. It was like an escape. tactic, right? And so like, that's originally what drove me to like, take the alone time and everything. And I've just always just been more in that, like more introverted space and, and all of that. And so, so it's like I, I understand the benefit of it and, and I think.
Even, that's why I'm, I'm very, very supportive of her, like, getting the time that, she needs and everything. and it's, it's, I mean, it's, it's been interesting for me and like we've talked about where it's like, she's in the part where it's like, oh, living by myself and like getting more alone.
I've never lived by myself. Yeah. Like, she hasn't had that. Right. Yeah. And so it's like, and I. And I know, like I, I think everyone should live by themselves for like, at least like six months, I think that would be great. and I, so seeing as like I've, been doing this for a few years now, and so it's like I'm at the part where I'm like more understanding now for myself of like what I actually want and not coming from the space of like the wounded child.
Right. But like more of like, Oh, this is actually what I want. And it's like, for me, it's like I do wanna live with a partner like I do. I love creating that space with, with people, right? And so it's like I'm in that part where it's like, oh, like, ugh, that feels good. And recognizing like, oh yeah, I was driven a lot by like fear and like,
And so like I will sometimes have those like stories in my mind, but she does well to like tell me like, I just need, I need space and, and time and all that kind of stuff. And it's nothing to do with you and, and all the, all the things, right? But it's like, cuz I'm just like, oh, she's trying to escape me like I'm too much.
Right? Because it's like, That's why you want alone time, right? Because it's like, that's what I wanted alone time was to escape. And so it's like, I, I experienced that from time to time and just being like, okay, that's not what's going on here, right. And everything,and that's what just, it helps that we are so open and,our communication is.
Very clear it is. And sharing all the things. Yeah. but yeah, that's definitely just been like my own experience of it and, Yeah, it's just been, it's been interesting to have her like as that mirror for me and like, oh, like she wants the alone time. And it's like, it's not coming from like the wounded space.
Like it's just like coming from like, I've never had this and like the importance of it and being able to recognize that for myself and also recognizing the shift in myself of how much I don't really. Seek out like solitude as much as I used to. and like that being very weird for myself.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Well, Melisa and I talk about this a lot, and with other people about the, how. How we conceptualize alone time and how people have narratives in their head around the time when a partner or somebody requests things they wanna do with someone else or things they just wanna do by themselves.
audioMelisa11538425435: I Think you've demonstrated to Leanna. Like you can both be supportive and still have to like navigate the meaning making that our brains automatically
do.because I have clients feeling like I'm doing it wrong, I'm having this worry, or I'm taking it personally. I'm like, yeah, Uhhuh, we're human now what do you,
Elizabeth: Oh yeah. No. The part of like, I'm like, oh yeah, there's that. Okay, great.
Yeah. That's really great because like we, we have a really good practice of just sharing what we're feeling insecure about. And so even though I know that like she's really supportive of like, in this, in this example of like the alone time, but I feel like we do this, in other areas of our relationship too, where she'll be like, Hey, can you just tell me that,you're not.
Asking for this because you want me to leave or because I'm being too much. Mm-hmm. And I'm just, and I, and I'll say it, I'll just be like, yeah, no, I'm, I, I love you being here. You, I, I don't like, I'm not like waiting and wanting for you to go and you're not too much. I love you and I really need my alone time.
And she's like, all right, great. Perfect. Mm-hmm.
audioMelisa11538425435: What a great practice, I, I have a couple clients recently who've really benefited from saying something like to their partner, owning the personalization or the fear, whatever's coming up and saying something to the effect of, okay, the story I'm telling myself right now is that you're asking for alone time because I'm a terrible person and you know, fill in the blank there .And it's been so helpful for other people to go, okay, I hear that story.
That's not, that's not actually what's happening for me.
Elizabeth: We call them brain thoughts, like, can I share a brain thought with you?
audioMelisa11538425435: Love it.
Elizabeth: And then we get excited. Yeah. It's like, oh my God. Yes. Share your brain thought with me. It is always, it's, it's always just, Hilarious to me of like, we share, like, I share a brain thought and it's like, oh, I'm making it mean this, this and this.
And then she's just like, well, I'm making it mean this. And it's just like, this is like ridiculous. It's like, oh, the thing that, like what we were saying last night, where it was what the, what was the brain thought? I'm like, okay, last night was Sunday. What was it? I know, I dunno. But, but like, what it ended up was just like, it was like the fear that she was having was like, mine was like the other, like the opposite of it, right? Like it was like, We were just like two little kids, like just like looking off like it's me. It's like kind of thing.
Rather than just being like, oh, that's what was it? It was so good. Oh my God. I, well, I'm, but what was it about, I don't know. You shared a brain thought and then I shared my brain thought in.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: And I love how you're turning to each other, trying to. Ask what it was.
Elizabeth: I kinda love that the takeaway is more about the brain thoughts than it is in that it is about the context, Yeah. Well, cause and that's, that's kind of what, what, what you find though too, is that like when you share that you just, you hear dating other people. Me dating other people. Oh, nailed it. Remembered it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right. Okay. Okay. Okay. So here's an example. Okay, so concrete example.
Concrete example. So I was like, okay, I've had this brain thought for a while. This is why I said last night. I said, I've had this brain thought for a while, and I've been trying to like, wait until it goes away, or leaves, or like, I've just, it's, I know that it's, I so know that it's not real. but it's just like persistent, right?
And so I was like, my brain thought is that, since our relationship is so healthy and great and like we're so connected and we've just been like falling more in love with each other, my brain thought is that eventually you'll find someone who is. Just as amazing or more amazing than me. And then I will have to give up the, I will have to give up something, like it will be a sacrifice on my part.
And, and, and then the, the spiral of that brain thought is that, oh, maybe we should be monogamous.
Elizabeth: I started laughing and I was like, no. Like, I know like. Right, because like in my heart of hearts I'm like, that is absolutely not what I want at all. Like in any way. But like that's been the thought that's been coming up.
It's like, oh, you know what? The solution to this is being monogamous and I.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Is this, is this Polly panic, like we have queer panic, we have gay panic. This is Polly Panic.
Elizabeth: Yeah. I was like, shut it down, shut it
down, shut it shut.
Elizabeth: Stop, stop, stop, stop. stop.but no, and I was like, and so I like, I know, I know that it's absurd. I know that it's not truly what I want. And then, and then what did you say? What was your Yeah, so like, because I, my brain thought was like, it was along the lines of.
If I, met someone that, yeah, like it was like, oh, I was getting, more time over here or there, and it's like such a good, healthy relation. I'm being like, away from her more and all that kind of stuff. I was like, she probably wants that.
Like she wants me to date. I don't, I don't ever like actively date like that, right? Like how we had mentioned we more organic. But I was like, she probably wants me to actively date. She wants me to go find other people so that I just get out of her hair. She can have more alone time because obviously she wants more alone time.
audioMelisa11538425435: It all makes sense.
Elizabeth: It's all, it's all
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: It all comes together.
Elizabeth: yeah, yeah. And it's like, it's like, oh, she would love it if I found other people where it's like she doesn't have to like be around me as much and all that stuff. Right. And so like that's my brain thought around that specific topic and that.
audioMelisa11538425435: Why it's so important to share these.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: you're feeding each other's fears and making up these. Narratives in your head. And so what was the conclusion? How did this, how did this wrap up?
Elizabeth: The conclusion, the conclusion is that we're hilarious and, and very creative, very creative, very innovative. and, and also the conclusion is, and most of the time, like our conclusion when we share brain thoughts is something along the lines of, We can navigate this together.
Like, thank you for sharing with me. We lo I love that thought. I honor that thought. I honor that fear. I honor that insecurity. I hear you. I see you and kiss. Kiss. We kiss it, we release it. Yeah. Yeah.
Elizabeth: And that, whatever happens that we trust the other one and we trust our relationship and what we, the communication that we have been building.
Mm-hmm. To be able to navigate whatever, whatever that is, and that will do it in a loving and respecting way. So, yeah, because we did talk about that too. Like, I think that was like after or amidst that conversation and we've talked about this. Before and everything of like, oh, if we were ever to break up, like how would we do it?
Like, like in like, oh, it's like, oh yeah, do it in like a loving, like compassionate, where we were like, yeah, it would totally suck and be so heartbreaking. Like, we're like, absolutely. And, but it's like, it's like we even trust each other to actually like be loving towards one another. Even if it was to go down the breakup road, right?
Like it's like. We trust that part. So it's like, well, if we trust that, like we can trust us to actually work with one another, to navigate the challenges as they come up or as they're showing up in these stories and everything. and so it's just being, again, being able to have all these conversations that most people would be like, get away! Do not talk about if you break up. like it's like, but just like, Hey, let's just talk about these fears. Let's talk about these insecurities and like all the things. because yeah, I mean, I know I always feel so much more like connected to her because I'm just like, oh yeah, like you shared with me, I shared with you, and we talked about it and like if we needed anything around it, we asked for it.
Or the other asked like, do you need anything around that? And it's like, no. Yeah, I just need some reassurance or whatever it is, right? Mm-hmm. and so it's, I just need a hug. Yeah. I just need a hug.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: well that, that is such a wonderful, I know you didn't plan that, but that was such a. Wonderful way to show authentically how communication and, and the tool that the two of you use, being relationship coaches that you actually use in your relationship together to build.
Elizabeth: We do.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: great. I love it.
Well, so we like to end on Queer Joy, and I feel like, I mean, that was a queer, this whole episode has been a queer joy. Like let's not
audioMelisa11538425435: It's true.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: be real. but we like to have everyone identify and we as well mention something and end with a queer Joy of the week. But for you, it can be whatever you wanna call a queer joy.
It doesn't have to be from this week, but, or from last week, but,
Elizabeth: Already. Never mind. Already. Never mind. I was like, Ooh, you go first then, because I think I know what yours said.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Do it. Do it.
Elizabeth: I was like, well, queer Joy is obviously Les Prom.
Elizabeth: But I, I mean, like specifically, I mean, for me, just like on an individual level and like, we, we talk about this a lot and like, she even reflected back to me of like how much more, like, I just felt like more fully expressed and like, Felt that energy from me because like, you know, in, in mainstream hetero society, I always have that thought in the back of my mind, right?
Of like, are we safe? Is this okay? Like, are people looking at me like, am I doing, all the things that will run through your mind when you're not, not straight passing and everything. and, and then at Les Prom it's like, All the queer homies are there, right? Like everyone's just having the greatest time.
They're all in their different ages, different races, different, all different styles. All the different things, right? Yeah. And it's like, and we had our queer hippie ferries. We had some like less power suits going.
audioMelisa11538425435: Love it.
Elizabeth: The whole, the whole gamut. God. Oh my God. Everyone, everyone was there, was all there was so good.
And like it's just like, and you just see all, all like queer women, femme, whatever, like it's just like non-binary all. I was just like, oh my God. Like it feels so good. Right? And it was just, Like I didn't have the, the thought in my mind . Cause I'm looking around, I'm like, I see people that all look like me.
This is fantastic. You know? And just being able to like have that experience both like just on an individual level and then to have that with Elizabeth, cuz I. We haven't really had that together. and so like, just to be able, again, we're just having the greatest time and just laughing and doing stupid dances and like we did get told by another couple, they did compliment our dancing, so,
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Yes. Complimented by another queer on your dancing that is like Supreme.
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah, I felt really good about that. Yeah. I was like, oh my God, thank you. I know we're having a great time, but it was just that moment of being able to just like, feel free and like just around, around the people, And, just to have that experience with Elizabeth was, oh, queer Joy Chef's kiss. oh my gosh. You can, you can take it too. Yeah. Well, cause the first, well the first thought that I had was like, is that appropriate to share? Oh. Oh. Actually now you have
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Now we're, we're, our interest is deep. We're like,
audioMelisa11538425435: and I just were like, what?
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: What is it?
Elizabeth: Yeah. Yes. Okay, great. It's appropriate. You have my consent. Yeah. Okay. Well, I figured that I, I was like, what's to happen? Okay, so, after, Les Prom.
Elizabeth: We all know where this is going. This is how, this is how I'll share this. Okay. So, we were in the same building as another Les Prom was in the same building as an, as one of the nightclubs. and so, and I have a friend who is DJing. At the nightclub. And so I was like, oh, we should go watch his set and like dance, like go like after party dance, to my friend's, like DJ set or whatever.
And but as Les Prom ended and we were like leaving, we were both like, We can't wait any longer. Like we have to get home, like right now. Like, I need to rip off all of your clothes. It was, it was like this outfit doing great things needs to go, oh my God. Needs
to go. It needed to happen For World Peace.
For World Peace. Yeah. We had sex, after Les Prom.
Elizabeth: Amazing. Awesome. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing Sex. That was, that was definitely, that was the first thing that I thought of when you were I, the first thing it was les's prom. Then I was like, she's gonna share that. And then the second thing was like, the second thing was like, oh my God, we had amazing sex after Les.
Oh my God. It
audioMelisa11538425435: That's amazing.
audioMelisa11538425435: Oh yeah.
Elizabeth: As someone, the other thing too is that like, as someone who, like I didn't come out until I was, 29. And so mostly like my sexual experience has been with, cis men and, like, so having, more queer relationships, like since I've come out, and. This is just gonna come out the way that it comes out.
But like queer sex is so much better.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I mean, you don't have to convince me. I mean, obvious.
Elizabeth: sell it to you. Right?
You both don't know. And I have had amazing sex with men. I really have. I absolutely have had amazing sex with them. They're fantastic. I love them. It's solid. And I just, queer sex is better, is. It is. Hands down. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I mean, Melisa, I'm sitting here listening. I'm like, we can share our queer joys. And I'm kind of like, that was
audioMelisa11538425435: It's not gonna be as good. I should have gone.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I think I, yeah, I know. I'm like, is this our queer Joy of the week? It just,
audioMelisa11538425435: Firsts is probably more socially exciting than mine was. I mean, I'm legit talking about another solo date. Surprise, surprise. But, do you know your joy or do you want me to go first?
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I know my queer joy is just being, we've, we've had this theme of like cis hetero passing and being in cis hetero spaces and being in queer spaces and how we code. My queer joy is pretty simple this week, and it was, I was at a soccer game for one of my kids, and I mean, soccer game, so gay and so cis-hetero.
And so with like elementary school kids, it's like the, the parents, it's just like so cis-hetero land
Elizabeth: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: and there was this person wearing this handmade. Trans color flag skirt, and I was just like, yay. Like there's, my family is here. I'm not like the, the, the one person in the crowd. Like it's just like so cis hetero.
It's just like all the couples and all the things. So that was my queer joys. Just
seeing. Yeah, it was just beautiful. I'm like, yay, yay. Join us. Join more queer, more queer people at the, at the soccer games so that when the soccer players come out in middle school and high school, like they have support.
Elizabeth: I played softball, so you have to avenue basketball, soccer, softball,
audioMelisa11538425435: Well, yeah, my career joy was me and some flowers. I went for the second year in a row to the wooden shoe tulip farm, and I think it's in Woodburn, Oregon. and it's funny, like I went last year, I saw them, like I, it's not something that I would necessarily need to go to every year, but I just decided I did.
And. I mean the, the, I love being there. I am like that nerd who just is like there with like my glass of wine and I'm crying because the flowers are so pretty.
Elizabeth: Oh my God, I love that so much. Like, oh, this one. This one right with you.
audioMelisa11538425435: Texting people too many pictures. They're like, I really don't care about these, these flowers. And I wasn't even supposed to take pictures cuz last year I legitimately took like 200. It was ba like I, yeah.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: I mean, we all know the symbolism of flowers. I mean, we do know
audioMelisa11538425435: Oh God, yeah. Pretty queer, right? yeah, nature's really big for me. But actually I think part of the queer joy was, My schedule's been really crazy and my local partner's schedule's also crazy. So a lot of stuff is last minute right now. And, just so happened we had spent the night before together and like they had the morning free and I was like, oh, I do, I do not have the morning free.
I have a ticket. And actually it was sold out. Like you can't, you can't even go. And so I, was like, okay, it's been nice, but like you gotta go like, I'm sorry you have time off. I know we don't have a lot of time together, but I gotta date with some flowers. So like, see you
Elizabeth: I love that. Like no, that's, that's a queer joy moment. Absolutely.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: it has been a pleasure. Just an absolute pleasure. I mean, we're not, I'm not just saying this, I mean, I can't say for Melisa, but it's been a gr pleasure for me and we wanna make sure before we wrap up that. You let people know how to get in touch with you and let them know your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all, all the good things, how to contact you and follow you.
Elizabeth: Yeah, you wanna go first? yeah. Mine's super simple. It's my name Leiana Griebsch at lianagreibsch on Instagram. I'm sure you'll have to check the spelling of that. They'll put in all the notes and all that because good luck trying to spell it. I said the same thing to myself when I was a kindergartner, but yeah.
At Liana Griebsch, I'm, I'm just on Instagram. you'll find me on Facebook, but I do not access Facebook. I've been trying to delete it, but Facebook keeps asking me to put my driver's license in and I do not agree with that.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: To delete it.
Elizabeth: yeah, I'm trying to delete it cause I forgot the password. So it's like, oh, to get the pass we had your driver's license.
Like, wait, what? How about send me an email with the code? Like normal websites do we know. So if you like, tried to add me on Facebook and you're like, wow, Leanna's not accepting. It's not because I'm rude, it's because. I'm fighting Facebook. You can also talk with me through the Love Deeper page that we have. love period underscore period, deeper on Instagram. yeah, if you like message in there, I, I checked that one a lot too, but that's like to, to coach with us, which Elizabeth can share more about, but that's also one that you can channel.
Elizabeth: Pretty much all of my handles, are E L Z Cunningham. and yeah, if you are interested in just looking up our content, then Instagram is really great for that. if you're interested in, the like, events, services, coaching, that we offer. My website is probably the best way to do that. So it's Elizabeth Ann Cunningham dot com.
It's also in, if you're, if you're, if you go to my Instagram, e l z Cunningham, it's in my link tree mm-hmm. As well. So website, Elizabeth Ann Cunningham dot com. and yeah, we have, weekly q and as that are for free. we're starting to. Teach classes, instead of just going straight to coaching, we're going to have, classes and it's also a more, affordable and accessible, avenue as well cuz coaching is a little bit more of an investment.
And then our program is called Love Deeper. And so yeah, if you want to know more about that, you can book a call. With us, on, again, via the website, elizabeth and cunningham.com, we would love to hear from you. We would love, like we are constantly like talking with people on messages and, having phone calls with people and like we are absolutely here for you.
So if you have a question in your mind of just like, should I do that? Yes, the answer is yes. Absolutely 100%. Come talk with us, come talk with us and pro we promise you that like if you have a conversation with us about our services and it's not a good fit, we will let you know and we will refer you out to other people that are a better fit than us.
Yeah. Like we are not committed to just like selling you something to sell you something. Okay. Yeah. That's too much energy. That's way too much energy.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: such a good yes. And check out their podcast.
Elizabeth: Oh, podcast. There's, we also have a podcast. We have a podcast called Queer and.
audioMelisa11538425435: All of our listeners, as soon as you finish this episode, get over there and listen to their podcast.
Elizabeth: it's it's full of shenanigans. So, so many shean. The tagline, it's queer and poly. The tag night line is the silly and serious shenanigans of two relationship coaches. It's pretty accurate. It's super accurate.
audioKeelyHelmick31538425435: Awesome. Well, it has been a pleasure. It's been a joy. Thank you so much. We are definitely gonna have you back on very soon and.
Thank you and thank you all for listening, and I hope you all have a queer and joyful week.
Thanks for listening to queer relationships, queer joy, a podcast by the Connective. Therapy collective. Hosted by Keely C. Helmick and Melissa DeSegiurant with audio edited by Ley Supapo Bernido. I'm your producer, Cardinal marking. Intro music is by bad snacks. If this episode made you smile or think, tell us about it. If you hated it, tell us about that. Reviews on iTunes or Spotify. Or send us an email at media at Connective Therapy, Collective dot com. For more queer joy, visit our Instagram at queer underscore relationships. Underscore queer underscore joy.
Love ya. Bye