When People In a Relationship Or Single Have Their “Aha” Moments!
Cathy: So Erika you’ve done, you’d been doing the Open Photo Project for a while now and I know you’ve interviewed you said fifty people about couples or pairs or single people as well. But what has come up like you said that we were talking our fighting we’re talking about how some of the “aha” moments when some people would hear themselves interviewed or hear each other interviewed I’d love to hear about that would you be willing to share?
Erika: Yeah absolutely, so one of the people that I interviewed you know and I think this is very common for a lot of folks but she was very self- conscious about hearing her voice afterwards and she said she was a little nervous to listen to that audio of our interview but then she emailed me a little while later that was so sweet because she said you know at listening through things that I said I developed a little crush on myself and how lovely to have crush on oneself.
Cathy: Aww… We could all use that.
Erika: Yeah because she thought it like I guess she you know she liked hearing the way she described her partners and their relationships and just it something about it felt good so I was very pleased about that.
Cathy: That’s wonderful. So what about the people that like I’ve you know that I remember the the family feud where the couples will start fighting like or that the newlyweds were they like no you should know this about me, did you have things like that come up for the couples like if you’re interviewing people that were in open relationships together they’re like what or you know.
Erika: Yeah well one of them was really sweet because it was two people who they didn’t live together or yet maybe now but at that time it sound that they didn’t live together and and I one of the questions that I always ask is what type of language do you use on your relationship so what kind of words do you use to describe your partners or your relationships and this couple sort of got a little bit bashful while they were talking about it because they were at a stage in their relationship where they had said I love you to each other like maybe one for they have start talking about that and so they shared that with me and I’m like well you know I just started I just recently told her that I loved her and you know so we’re sort of you know and then they were giggling and a little bit shy because you know that early stage in their relationship and so it was kind of sweet that that came out in our conversation and then additionally from things that come out you know where I might ask someone like other other things like about their relationship or primary partners for example that that term primary partners is one time two people kind got into a little bit of a debate about if they were primary partners or not.
Cathy: It’s really in the interview.
Erika: It was the interview because you know they agreed on this context and situation and like how they engaged and how they role plays in life but that word primary partners one of them most like no we’re not primary partners I mean you know this is like you don’t have to label it that it’s like well we’re talking about moving in together and I would probably let you tell me if you didn’t want me to see somebody else if that maybe more comfortable that kind of makes me think of you as my primary partner and they’re like oh hmm, why can I have to continue with this conversation often.You know.
Cathy: Yeah. I love that you can see behind that behind the curtains so to speak and to see what what’s really going on because I think it’s really easy to look at other people and think they’ve got it all together. They’ve got it all figured out they know exactly where they’re what their partnership is called and what the relationship agreements are and we’re all evolving all the time there’s always like we’re growing and changing and then so.
Erika: Yeah absolutely and I think a lot of times people that on non-monogamous relationships talk about change a lot because when you might start seeing a new person that that changes may not necessarily in the way that is maybe feared in a lot cases but it changes dynamics it changes logistics, it changes agreements perhaps on things like safe for sex or like sleep overnight your time or you know things shift around and so being able to talk about that change that can be awkward and uncomfortable for it cannot bring people closer together and it comes up.
Cathy: Yeah I know and in getting to see that role model is really powerful and a lot of people don’t want to share that because it is vulnerable so I’d love that you were able to find people that were willing to share that a bit it normalizes and we all get role models like it’s okay not to know it’s okay to ask our partners because if we feel like it’s supposed to be figured out it we may not bring out to our partner hey I don’t really know really what we’re calling ourselves or like where do you see us going or can we have a safer sex conversation and I think that’s always we need to constantly kind a check in with each other to keep it really healthy and vital.
Erika: Totally, I think one of the things that might commonly happen is not not necessarily non-monogamy but I would just say in our culture, is people being nervous to bring up certain check and start certain conversations and it’s like almost if the expectation things just go with the flow and
Erika: You should see on things or something but that’s you know check-ins and just one one person think of as a boyfriend or a girlfriend it’s totally different than what another person thinks of it that it.
Erika: Just you know what does this mean in admitting that you don’t know or admitting that you have a desire or a hope around something it’s really valuable to check in about people with.
Cathy: Yeah no I thank you so much for for bringing that together. If you haven’t checked out https://www.theopenphotoproject.com/ ,I encourage you to go check that out, Erika Keepen thank you so much for being here did I say it right again?
Erika: Yeah. And I thank you.
Cathy: You know I practiced enough times wrong and I keep messing your last name.
Erika: [Inaudible 00:05:41] I think you said it but if you want to look at Open Photo Project it’s https://www.theopenphotoproject.com/ and you’ll see from the photos and interviews and audios and things like that.
Cathy: Yeah and so and I’m Cathy Vartuli from https://www.theintimacydojo.com/ Thank you so much for joining us. Leave comments below let us know what you think of the project and what you think of the people sharing their processing.