Now that Valentine’s Day is over, the big question on all our minds is how do we keep that sense of excitement, mystery and attraction going all year round?
This is the big challenge for a lot of us and with the pressures of modern life it can seem more and more complicated by the year.
Esther Perel is a psychotherapist by trade she has worked with many entrepreneurs, and she has fascinating insights into the way our modern lives have changed the model of traditional marriage and partnerships.
These are some of things she taught me that really helped me get a new perspective on love, romance and attraction:
- ALL Relationships Matter
- Keep A Distance
- Be A Disrupter
- All Relationships Matter
We are creatures of meaning. We need connection. We need to know we matter to others. We are alone, but we are never fully alone.
Esther talks about how many of us are driven by a need for a legacy. Our happiness is dependent how many others we impact in the world.
In that sense, she says that we are never truly alone, because our sense of humanity is so linked to the way that others carry us with them, and the way they affect us too.
So it is important not just to seek and nurture your partner, but to treat everyone with love. We literally exist through others, because as Esther says, without them, what is the point of our achievements and hard work.
- Keep a distance
All relationships depend on desire. And desire needs space. We need a bridge to cross, a journey, a sense of achievement.
It is like anything else in life – there needs to be a sense of struggle and victory for it to give us real value. Just like in business or our creative lives, if it isn’t a challenge, we are not interested.
Relationships suffer from this all the time, and it is a paradox. We would normally think that intimacy is the key to a good relationship.
Whether it is being able to see your partner in their passion, in their absence, or with an element of surprise, it all comes down to distance.
Esther says we keep the flame going by retaining a sense of mystery and wonder, and for that you need room to breathe in your partnerships.3. Be An Agent Provocateur
Esther describes herself as being a disrupter before the word became fashionable.
Having heard first hand the experiences of her parents at the hands of Nazi fascism, she says she is naturally driven to challenge any forms of hard dogma and convention.
These things are too tied up with prejudice and violence, so she understands the importance of being disruptive and challenging conventions.
Esther works a lot with tech professionals and entrepreneurs, and she told me that holocaust survivors were models of entrepreneurism.
A weird thing to say maybe, but it makes sense if you think of survivors as people who are constantly out of their comfort zones, constantly adapting, and who have to think creatively to avoid the brutal consequences of rigid conventions and automatic thinking.
This kind of attitude will not only help keep your relationship fresh, it will breathe new life into other aspects of your life, from fitness to business.
If in doubt, challenge the norm, avoid routine for it’s own sake. Be provocative.What challenge are you facing in your relationship right now?
Leave a comment below and let me know what you are struggling with, and how Esther’s advice might help you deal with the problem.