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Relationships are rarely easy! When it comes to love, many of us feel as though we’re stumbling around in the dark, blindly seeking caring and committed partners. Finding someone, however, is only half of the challenge! Maintaining a healthy relationship can be an even more difficult task.
Many of romance’s riddles have yet to be cracked. These fascinating TED Talks, hosted by a variety of researchers and creative professionals, explore romantic love in greater depth. Open your mind to new ideas by watching these engaging chats on love and romance!
Mandy Len Catron - “Falling in Love is the Easy Part”
In 1997, a psychological research study was performed with a handful of college students. A man and a woman, seated face-to-face, were asked to answer 36 progressively more personal questions. Afterwards, the participants were asked to stare into one another's eyes for four minutes.
Though this experiment was designed to foster camaraderie and friendship, the bonds formed by the study were even stronger than expected. Six months later, two of the study participants were married! After testing the questions out with an acquaintance, writer Mandy Catron unexpectedly fell in love with her partner, too!
Intimate questions and prolonged eye contact might be the trick to sparking a new romance. Can such a love, however, endure the test of time? What makes a relationship last? Catron contemplates these challenging questions and more in this revealing TED Talk.
Yann Dall'Aglio - “Love - You’re Doing it Wrong”
According to philosopher Yann Dall'Aglio, love is the desire of being desired. How can we become desirable and sustain this desirability in long-term relationships? Many of us, Dall'Aglio argues, rely on "seduction capital" like expensive cars and flashy attire to enhance our romantic prospects. Will these materialistic trends lead to an abandonment of romance in favor of pick-up artistry and self-serving narcissism? Will our society instead react against the disparity caused by this divide, reverting to fascism or communism? Or, perhaps, is there another way for us to overcome these egotistical desires?
This quick, thought-provoking chat will leave you contemplating the ways in which your own identity shapes your quest for romance.
Esther Perel - “Rethinking Infidelity: A Talk for Anyone Who Has Ever Loved”
Having traveled the globe and spoken with hundreds of couples in turmoil, psychotherapist Esther Perel is an infidelity expert. In this transformative TED Talk, Perel discusses both the causes and effects of adultery. What constitutes an affair? Why do those in open relationships cheat? Perel's crisp, concise answers to these questions just might surprise you. A need to redefine the self and feel desired often triggers affairs, Perel finds. Cheating often has less to do with dissatisfaction and more to do with the temptation of forbidden fruit.
How can couples move forward after one partner cheats? Perel defines the steps that must be taken in order to heal after infidelity.
Whether you've experienced cheating in past relationships or not, this TED Talk is well worth watching.
Helen Fisher - “The Brain in Love”
As an anthropologist, Helen Fisher has spent years researching love and relationships from a cross-cultural perspective. Did you know, for instance, that anthropologists have never discovered a society that does not experience and express romantic love?
Fascinated by the universality of romantic sorrow and joy, Fisher set out to study the brains of those in love. She discovered, for instance, that in those happily in love, a small, ancient region of the brain is activated, flooding the entire brain with dopamine. When people are dumped by their partners, this area of the brain becomes even more intensely activated, resulting in increased longing and torment.
To learn more about the biochemical addiction we call romance, watch this illuminating lecture on the brain in love.
Alec Soth & Stacey Baker - “This is What Enduring Love Looks Like”
Stacey Baker, a New York Times photo editor, and Alec Soth, a photographer, are visually-oriented people. It’s no surprise, then, that the pair decided to collaborate on a photography project exploring the ways in which couples meet.
First, Alec took photos of Stacey meeting 19 potential love interests at the world's largest speed-dating event. Though none of these encounters sparked a romance, the pictures from the event speak a thousand words.
Alec and Stacey later traveled to Nevada's largest retirement community, photographing older couples and listening to the stories of their lives.
Did the ways in which these couples met define the trajectory of their relationships? Soth and Baker have a few interesting insights to share at the end of this talk.
Whether you’re looking to learn more about romantic love or discover the latest Silicon Valley innovations, there are dozens of TED Talks that are guaranteed to appeal to you! When you’re feeling stuck, consider turning to TED Talks for knowledge and new insights. The information you glean just might transform your relationships and your life!
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