Romance and Relationship Advice: 7 Insightful Thoughts From Esther Perel

romance and relationship
Esther Perel

Romance and relationship…..


Esther Perel is a renowned Belgian psychotherapist and relationship therapist whose work has majored on elements of romance and relationships that revolve around the conflict between the need for security and the need for freedom in humans. She has given in-depth discussion of topics like love, belonging, erotic desire and adventure.

She is the best-selling author of the book, Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence (2007), which has been translated into over 20 languages. In the book, she explored the concept of Erotic intelligence and in 2015, she gave a talk at TED titled, “Rethinking Infidelity….a talk for anyone who has ever loved”. Since then it has received more than 6.5 million views on the TED website.

Esther Perel, who was born in 1958, is an influential voice on modern romance and relationships. Below are ten insightful quotes from her on relationships:

1. “The extended family, the community, and religion may indeed have limited our freedom, sexual and otherwise, but in return they offered us a much-needed sense of belonging. For generations, these traditional institutions provided order, meaning, continuity, and social support. Dismantling them has left us with more choices and fewer restrictions than ever. We are freer, but also more alone.” (Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, 2007)

2. And contrary to what you may think, affairs are way less about sex, and a lot more about desire: desire for attention, desire to feel special, desire to feel important. And the very structure of an affair, the fact that you can never have your lover, keeps you wanting. That in itself is a desire machine, because the incompleteness, the ambiguity, keeps you wanting that which you can’t have. (“Rethinking Infidelity….a talk for anyone who has ever loved”, Ted Talk, March 2015)

3. “For [erotically intelligent couples], love is a vessel that contains both security and adventure, and commitment offers one of the great luxuries of life: time. Marriage is not the end of romance, it is the beginning. They know that they have years in which to deepen their connection, to experiment, to regress, and even to fail. They see their relationship as something alive and ongoing, not a fait accompli. It’s a story that they are writing together, one with many chapters, and neither partner knows how it will end. There’s always a place they haven’t gone yet, always something about the other still to be discovered.” (Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, 2007)

4. Committed sex is premeditated sex. It’s willful. It’s intentional. It’s focus and presence. (“The secret to desire in a long-term relationship”, Ted Talk, February 2013)

5. Now, there are three ways that I think infidelity hurts differently today. We have a romantic ideal in which we turn to one person to fulfill an endless list of needs: to be my greatest lover, my best friend, the best parent, my trusted confidant, my emotional companion, my intellectual equal. And I am it: I’m chosen, I’m unique, I’m indispensable, I’m irreplaceable, I’m the one. And infidelity tells me I’m not. It is the ultimate betrayal. Infidelity shatters the grand ambition of love. But if throughout history, infidelity has always been painful, today it is often traumatic, because it threatens our sense of self. (“Rethinking Infidelity….a talk for anyone who has ever loved”, Ted Talk, March 2015)

6. “While much has been written about the aggressive manifestations of male sexuality, it is not sufficiently appreciated that the erotic realm also offers men a restorative experience for their more tender side. The body is our original mother tongue, and for a lot of men it remains the only language of closeness that hasn’t been spoiled. Through sex, men can recapture the pure pleasure of connection without having to compress their hard-to-articulate needs into the prison of words.” (Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, 2007)

7. “I look at affairs from a dual perspective: hurt and betrayal on one side, growth and self-discovery on the other — what it did to you, and what it meant for me. And so when a couple comes to me in the aftermath of an affair that has been revealed, I will often tell them this: Today in the West, most of us are going to have two or three relationships or marriages, and some of us are going to do it with the same person. Your first marriage is over. Would you like to create a second one together?” (“Rethinking Infidelity….a talk for anyone who has ever loved”, Ted Talk, March 2015)