There are loads of books out there about relationships and love, to inspire you to have a better relationship. The thing is though that books take time to read and if you wish to speed up the process, I’ve chosen the 7 best (in my opinion, anyway) TED Talks about relationships and love.
A TED Talk is a brief, knowledge-packed lecture made by people who are some of the world’s leading experts within their field.
TED Talks lasts about 10-20 minutes and they don’t much about; they get to the point. This is knowledge that’ll inspire the heck out of you and your relationship.
I’ve very much enjoyed listening to all of these and so I figured I’d share them with you as well.
Maj – Clinical Sexologist and Couple’s Therapist with own private clinic since 2006
Esther Perel: Can we truly desire something we already have?
In this TED Talk, Esther Perel shares how to maintain our desire in longer relationships by the use of our erotic intelligence.
Paradoxical as it is, a good sex life requires two opposing needs: our need for safety as well as our need for adventure. We find the safety in the love we share with our partner, whereas the desire is found in what’s ‘new’ and ‘undiscovered’.
By using our ‘erotic intelligence’, human beings are capable of transforming the sexuality by fantasizing and that’s why Perel believes that our ‘desire crisis point’ is often a ‘fantasy crisis’. This basically means that it’s our imagination and our mind triggering the desire and not actually our partner’s action (which is what we tend to believe it is).
Perel states that in her studies it has showed that we’re often attracted to a partner who’s unaccessible to us.
“When I look at my partner from a comfortable distance (…) things are once again quite magical (…) In this space between me and my partner, that’s where we find our erotic excitement”, and this is how Perel concludes that our desire is really found in our ability to imagine things and as soon as we start to utilize this skill, we have the opportunity to maintain a passionate sex life; even after we’ve established its opposite: safe intimacy and security.
Dr. Keith Witt: How to land your dream relationship
If you’re looking for a simple guide to have the relationship you’ve always wanted, psychotherapist Dr. Keith Witt’s ’Five Star Practice’ will help you along quite nicely.
This guide consists of five questions to all bring you closer to knowing whether the person you’re standing across from could be the very someone who sends you to cloud nine.
Dr. Witt asks us all the ask ourselves these questions so often so that eventually our brain will automatically run through them every time we come across a potential partner. There’s no need to worry about whether it’s actually possible to answer these five questions about someone we’ve only just met. Our brains have these mirror neurons and these are incredibly fast at reading people we don’t know all that well.
Dr. Witt’s ’Five Star Practice’ looks like this:
1. Is there a sexual attraction?
2. Does this person have a good health both mentally and physically?
3. Is this person capable of loving and willing to love?
4. Would this person make a good parent?
5. Is this person driven by something admirable?
There’s no need to despair if you’re already in a relationship and find that you can’t answer ‘yes’ to all of these questions.
If you’re willing to, you can alter the state of things.
Carlyle Jansen: Redefine your relationship
”How would you live your life, if you only had one week with your partner?” is what Carlyle Jansen asks us in this TED Talk.
In the beginning of a relationship we take a lot more risks both sexually and emotionally. We have deep talks and show ourselves a lot more than after we have children and other commitments and responsibilities.
All of a sudden we’re afraid to ‘gamble’ because we’re afraid of being judged or rejected and this is why it’s easier to just ‘remain the same’ rather than actually being your true self.
Jansen states that we believe that the spark will just happen and that love is enough to make us happy and horny but unfortunately, this is rarely how things go.
If we want the spark, we need to let go of the fear and show our partner who we truly are.
We need to get out of the closet, tell them our secrets and be honest with both our partner and ourselves. Instead of celebrating us ‘getting through’ things together, we need to start focusing on what to do next: where we’re at right now, where we’re going and what we want/need to explore.
Commitment in a relationship should, according to Jansen, first and foremost be about celebrating the freedom, the authenticity and the ‘now’ with your partner.
The question is:
What type of commitment is the most satisfying to you?
Billy Ward: How to love and be loved
Life is really all about love. People always choose between love and something else. When people choose love, they always choose right.
Billy Ward, a Licensed Professional Counselor, believes that the light that’s inside us can shine and it’s through this light that our love can illuminate our relationships. The most important relationship that we’ll ever have is the relationship we have with our self and share it with one another.
Love is light.
He does a guided meditation about the sun. The sun shows up everyday, unconditionally, sharing its warmth. Picture someone who makes you feel the same way.
Think about a person who is also like a lighthouse to you; the person who guides you home to your authentic self. Is there someone in your life that’s like a disco ball who is fun, lively, full of energy that inspires you on how to live your life?
Be free to be yourself. It’s hard but choose to love and be loved. He believes that the toughest guy in the room is not the football guy, it’s the loving guy.
Love is a team sport. A team that we are all a part of. He shares a story about his student named Daniel, who showed up in his life as a disco ball, reflecting so much energy and loving vibe to the people around him which greatly impacted how he sees love around him.
Each and everyone is perfectly made to love and share belongingness to achieve, freedom, peace and truth that will shift your entire experience. By this realization, you can bring a whole new level of love and experience to our relationships.
Joanne Davila: Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships
Dr. Joanne Davila, a Professor of Psychology and the Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at Stony Brook University, believes that we all know what a good relationship looks like; what we don’t know is what to do on a day-to-day basis to achieve this.
Most marriages struggle and resort to couples therapy but when they finally do, it’s close to being too late because they already have a lot of habits and characteristics that are difficult to change.
Another option is pre-marital education before getting married. However, no amount of pre-marital education on how to build successful relationship could compensate for a bad partner choice.
Dr. Davila presents us with the idea, that the best time to learn the skills that would help any person build a healthy relationship is ‘as early as possible’.
Even before getting into any relationship or as early as during your teen years, it is important to develop the three most effective skills in creating a healthy and meaningful relationship: insight, mutuality, and emotion regulation. These skills will help anyone achieve romantic competence.
Romantic competence is the ability to function adaptively across all aspects of the relationship process: from figuring out what you need; to finding the right person; to building a healthy relationship and to getting out of relationships that are unhealthy.
Insight is one’s ability to know what you really want. Mutuality is being able to understand and communicate that you and your partner may have different sets of values, ideals and standards. Emotional regulation is a person’s ability to stay calm and think decisively even in challenging times.
People who are romantically competent are more optimistic about marriage and actually being in relationships. Research shows that girls who are romantically competent are more trusting, comfortable being around with people, have fewer depressive symptoms and better mental health.
Being romantically competent at a young age brings about better relationships. These 3 crucial skills in building healthy romantic relationship should be something that we start working on as early as possible.
Katy Hutchison: Restorative Practises to Resolve Conflict/Build Relationships
In this TED Talk, Katy Hutchison discusses how we are all connected and therefore the responsibility we all share in cleaning up the mess that inevitably happens in life is joint.
Hutchison shares two personal stories: an anecdote from her childhood and the traumatic and horrific loss of her beloved husband. The childhood anecdote basically sets the foundation for her manifesto of “time-ins” rather than “time-outs” as a way to discipline and well… live.
Talking about the importance of coming together rather than creating distance is key. Basically, Hutchison believes that when things go wrong, we need to come eye to eye with these mistakes and with the impact our actions ultimately have on the people around us.
When the guy who killed her husband is arrested, Hutchison goes to meet with him to somehow try to understand what was going on in his life that lead him to do what he did.
Later on, she learns about the power of restorative justice and its idea of when crime happens in a community, it really is a violation of a relationship.
Three questions are key:
Who was affected?
How can it be made right?
Hutchison wonders what would have happened to the trajectory of her husband’s killer’s life, had he had the opportunity to have a restorative conversation when he was at school and this is exactly where the restorative approach to dealing with things needs to begin.
She argues that if we raise a generation that expect a restorative attitude, and hone these skills while they’re in school, they will take this out into their lives and this is what they will look to. Educating our youth on this restorative approach will teach them empathy, respect, integrity and forgiveness to finally create a greater connection and sense of pride on our communities.
Charnita Arora: The Missing Piece in our Relationships
In this TED Talk, Charnita Arora shares the one thing, which has significantly improved her relationships in all areas of her life.
According to Arora, our complete presence is the key to healthy relationships and that, more often than not, we allow our ‘perpetual business’ to interfere with our interactions with other people. Arora’s argues that our continual desire to multitask is merely hindering healthy relationships to manifest in our lives. We need to ask ourselves this one question: What happens if I make the conscious decision to be with someone completely?
More often than we care to admit or are even aware of, we enter into a relationship to compensate for a self-love deficit. This is how toxic relationships are formed; not just with people but with devices, food and sleep as well. We are more likely to have an unhealthy relationship if we are not comfortable with ourselves.
Arora highlights this ‘being comfortable’ as key. She shares what happened when she slowed down the pace of her own life and how this positively affected her relationships; both with herself and others, underlying her point of when you offer another being your undivided attention, a connection is established.
Offering your complete presence to someone is not as easy as it sounds: that your body will physically resist this; we will feel distractions and we will tell ourselves that the many notifications on our phones are suddenly extremely important to tend to. This is, of course, not true. Arora offers up her solution to this discomfort that arises in these situations: seeking solitude and being gentle with yourself, until you once again feel comfortable enough to offer your complete presence to someone else.
Arora concludes, that in ensuring that our “doing” is not an escape from our “being”, we need to transcend our ego and hereby expand into love. Simply put, the solution lies not in going out but rather in reconnecting with our own self.
If you have a TED Talk, you think belongs to this list, please leve a comment below.
*** Please remember to keep a nice tone. ALL negative comments will be deleted immediately. I wish to create a positive and supporting space where we can support each other, and I therefore have a zero-tolerance policy towards rudeness, condescension, negative inputs and disrespect.