Sex isn't everything — and yet, when it peters out in a relationship, most of us can't help but feel like something is wrong. Maybe it's a socially constructed need or maybe it's biological, but whatever the origin, it clearly matters to most modern-day couples. But, for many of us, that crucial aspect gets harder and harder to maintain over time, even as love grows and friendship strengthens.
As Esther Perel explains in this intriguing TED talk, part of the problem is that we want it all. "Give me comfort, give me edge. Give me novelty, give me familiarity. Give me predictability, give me surprise. We think it's a given, and toys and lingerie are going to save us...but the crisis of desire is often a crisis of the imagination." In one of the most interesting videos we've watched in a while, the noted marriage and family therapist explains the reality of how even the most domesticated, familiar relationships can manage to become exciting again.
It's partly about recognizing what you have, noting the moments when you're most attracted to your partner, and taking control of the ability to see your partner in that particularly flattering light. And then there's that elusive temptress: novelty, the thing that makes every new relationship feel so exciting, the thing that clouds our judgment and lures us to stray. Perel touches on things we've never thought of before, and brings up quite a few points that are both problematic and eye-opening. We won't bother summarizing — watch the video for yourself and see if you don't learn something new.
Photo: Courtesy of Esther Perel.