Creating Love & Desire in your relationships
Summarizing the good stuff to save you time.
Overall this entire interview was gold, however, I’m only sharing the talking points between 43:44 and 51:05. Basically, love isn’t enough to sustain a relationship; there has to be love AND desire. Many believe that there shouldn’t be effort, and it’s a very dangerous way to think of relationships.
The idea that once you’ve met the right person and settled down, it's all supposed to be effortless after that. When the relationship doesn’t feel great or isn’t working, then there must be something wrong with the other person, and not with yourself. You think: “Ah, it turns out they’re not the one after all. I thought they were, but they’re not. The search continues…”
People often don’t go into relationships with a healthy view of what is required in the long term:
Mathew says: “In relationships, love is the thing that makes me want to get close to you, when I feel things for you, when I want to know your mind, I want to know everything about you, I want to know what you’re thinking, doing tonight, who your friends are, I want to get close to your mum etc.”
That’s love, the desire to become merged.
But desire exists in the ‘space’ between two people; so you feel desire when there is a void, when there’s some mystery, and when you’re getting to know someone.
So desire, ironically, is the thing that ends up creating love, because desire is “I wanna get close to you because I don’t have you.” But when I get close, we feel feelings of love, but not desire.
Reason why relationships fail
For a lot of people it’s not the lack of love, it’s the lack of desire.
We can make ourselves less predictable. We grow, develop new skills, learn new things, develop ourselves in new ways that keep our partner guessing.
This creates desire, because now, they feel like they know you a little less. When someone develops and grows, you go “that’s exciting, I don’t know this side of you.” This sparks attraction again.
Have some space, so that when you come back together, there’s a little mystery to it.
You never know your partner as well as you do.
Clinging together all the time is death to the relationship.
If you really care, and you really ARE a team, you’ll be able to trust each other, and you’ll be able to give each other space to create that desire again.
Esther Perel — notable for exploring the tension between the need for security (love, belonging and closeness) and the need for freedom (erotic desire, adventure and distance) in human relationships.
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