There’s a fascinating TED talk by the brilliant Esther Perel–the author of ‘Mating in captivity’– where she explores the secret to desire in long term relationships. This of course is the holy grail.
Falling in love is the easy part : “The honeymoon period” — anybody would take that ride. But what happens upon the moment that routine becomes part of your reality? How do you retain that passion, that fire? This is again the mystery of long term desire. Esther Perel went around the world asking couples,”When are you most drawn to your partner?”. And what she found across the board was that everyone said the same thing. They found their partner most attractive when they were able to see their partner as a self-sustaining entity. It’s this idea that they were able to perceive their partner the way that other other people perceive them: A complete individual, a complete self-sustaining person. Not the ‘other half ‘ of you. But as a solid whole.
It’s an idea that attraction requires a kind of distance. Even desire requires a crossing over. I thought that was absolutely brilliant. How can we incorporate that into our own relationships? How can we create space between us and the ones we love so that we can retain that crossing over?How can we can see them as a self sustaining entity and fully appreciate them as the fully rounded, complete being that they are?
I think that she’s onto something. For that reason I think she’s brilliant and everybody should watch that TED talk because if we can hack into the secret of long term desire we could solve all of our problems.