Baby don’t hurt me. Don’t hurt me. No more.
If you watched my November Favourites video you’ll know I’m having a bit of a crisis, specifically a crisis about love. I mostly blame Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, Essays in Love by Alain de Botton and Ansari’s Netflix Show, Master of None.
But this isn’t something that has just happened recently because of two books and one TV show. There were TED Talks and films that set my brain cogs into chaos trying to understand love and more specifically how I feel about love.
To be honest, I’ve never been scarred by love. My parents are still together after 30 years and I was brought up in a stable loving family. My grandparents are also still together after over 50 years and they still like each other enough to travel the world together! I have had my own share of heartache and heartbreak (giving and receiving) but my last serious relationship and the last person I said “I love you” to was 5 years ago now. Also, Facebook just informed me he got married, so cool. I’ve not been in love since but I have been in infatuation (which isn’t healthy fyi) so I’ve had a lot of time to think about love whilst being out of it. Not sure if that makes me more of less qualified.
First of all, Esther Perel…
I think watching her first TED Talk is what fuelled my desire to know more about love and understand relationships. This talk is about long-term relationships but even if you’re not in one it’s so interesting! It’s about that balance between stability and security and mystery and novelty.
Esther’s more recent TED Talk, Why Happy People Cheat, is also fascinating. I’ve never really thought about cheating this way before and I like how she doesn’t shame people who cheat. She just talks very intelligently about the topic and is a straight-forward-no-bullshitter.
I watched her TED talk ages ago. It didn’t have the same epiphany/revelation that I had after watching Esther Perel’s first one but it must have stuck somewhere in my brain because I recognised her name when Aziz Ansari cited her research in his book. Helen Fisher looks at the brain and studies the madness of love.
Romantic love is an obsession, it possesses you, you lose your sense of self, you can’t stop thinking about another human being… And the obsession can get worse when you’ve been rejected.
She talks about her new research into why we fall in love with one person and not another. Then two years ago she did this talk about just that research. She splits people into 4 categories of a driving hormone: dopamine (explorers), serotonin (builders), oestrogen (negotiators) and testosterone (directors). According to her research, explorers and builders are attracted to people like themselves but negotiators and directors are attracted to the opposite. I’m pretty sure I’m an explorer and when I think about the people I’m attracted to they also have explorer tendencies so it makes sense to me. But then I am a sucker for a personality quiz.
Late Night Drunk Texts
Last night I was texting an old university friend and I think he’s also having an existential crisis about love so it’s nice to know I’m not alone. For #relatability I thought I would share with you some of our messages.
I mean I love having freedom right now to do whatever I want, whenever I want. And I think that’s what I crave right now. But at the same time, I love having someone I want to hang out with and so forth.
I want someone to go and see a film with, and someone to go for a meal with. All of the relationship bits but without the deeply romantic notion.
Fucking millennials, am I right?
I would describe myself as a fickle, hopeless romantic commitmentphobe.
See kids, we really can have it all.
500 Days of Summer
I love this film. I think it’s a wonderful deconstruction of the manic pixie dream girl and brilliantly shows how it’s not healthy to base your affections on the idea of someone rather than the actual person. This is something that has particularly been rattling my brain recently. Why is it that when we’re not in love with someone we can see them for who they truly are? But when we’re in love with someone we see them for who we want them to be? WHY?!
And on that note, before I start rocking slowly back and forth, I leave you. What do you think about love? What are you favourite books/films/TV shows/TED talks that get you questioning love? Let me know in the comments.