At its core, love is one of the simplest and most natural things we humans do. And yet, relationships – especially marriage or similar long-term partnerships – can actually get rather complicated. From effective communication to keeping the spark alive, long-term relationships come with a lot of unique challenges that many of us just end up winging it through!
Sometimes, looking at things from a new perspective can make things a little easier. TED talks are an amazing resource for information beyond the obvious on nearly any subject you can think of. Here are 10 of the best TED Talks about marriage and relationships that have the potential to make a positive impact on your life!
The 10 Best TED Talks About Marriage and Relationships
1. Brene Brown – The Power of Vulnerability
Brene Brown’s talk touches on the deep-rooted shame that many of us carry – that can block us from connecting with others and receiving love. Brene studied what people who do experience a high degree of feeling loved and belonging have in common. She found that a sense of worthiness, courage, and the ability to be vulnerable were huge players in the ability to connect – and to be loved.
2. Julian Treasure – 5 Ways to Listen Better
Being heard and understood is something we all crave. And yet, listening has become a lost art these days. Julian Treasure’s talk is short and sweet but gives some thoughtful ideas on how to become a better listener. The value of this skill really can’t be underestimated – especially in our closest relationships.
3. Rachel Terrill – Story Your Way to a Happy Marriage
In this uplifting TEDx talk, Rachel Terrill discusses how powerful our thoughts are. We attract more of what we focus on – including what shows up in our relationship. That’s why Rachel encourages us to pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves about our partner and relationship. This concept truly applies to all aspects and relationships in our life!
4. Fawn Weaver – The Argument Free Marriage
It is possible to have a long-term relationship without fighting and arguing – but many of us find ourselves struggling when disagreements do pop up. Fawn Weaver is the author of The Happy Wives Club and The Argument Free Marriage. In her TEDx talk, she discusses workable and constructive ways to handle conflict in a marriage. Since conflict is bound to arise in any lengthy relationship, this is valuable information to have!
5. Esther Perel – The Secret To Desire In A Long-Term Relationship
I couldn’t do a list like this without including a talk by Esther Perel. The renowned author of Mating in Captivity delivers a very interesting talk here about the delicate balance of our desire for safety and security and our desire for novelty and adventure. The trick to keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship lies in understanding and mindfully managing the balance between the two opposing desires.
6. Mandy Len Catron – Falling In Love Is The Easy Part
Dr. Arthur Aron did a study in 1997, that suggested that we can fall in love with absolutely anyone by asking them a list of 36 progressively more personal questions and then gazing into their eyes for a spell. Mandy Len Catron brings up this study to discuss how we do fall in love. Can we actively choose to fall in love with someone specific? More importantly, can we choose to remain in love with that person we have selected? Mandy leaves us with interesting questions to ponder about falling and staying in love.
7. Jenna McCarthy – What You Don’t Know About Marriage
Jenna McCarthy’s TED talk is a genuinely hilarious take on some interesting statistics that are said to predict happiness in modern marriage. As much a stand-up comedy routine as a discussion, Jenna’s talk includes many interesting marriage facts that most of us have probably never heard before. Please be advised, there is some strong language in this one.
8. George Blair-West – 3 Ways to Build a Happy Marriage and Avoid Divorce
George Blair-West’s insightful talk goes over some of the factors that tend to be true for the long-term couples that “make it.” From what level of life experience we begin our marriages at to the importance of equal power distribution and reliability between members of a couple, George’s talk offers a lot of food for thought.
9. Margaret Heffernan – Dare to Disagree
Margaret Heffernan’s talk is less specifically about marriage but it brings up important ideas about the nature of disagreement – and how it can be treated as a positive – a type of collaborative thinking. All of our relationships can benefit and be strengthened from learning how to work through disagreements constructively. And let’s face it, a little disagreement in long-term partnerships is inevitable, so we may as well learn a thing or two about how to handle it better!
10. Helen Fisher – Why We Love, Why We Cheat
Helen Fisher gives an absolutely fascinating look at the brain chemistry behind falling in love, sexual exclusivity, building long-term attachment, and how those varying hormones and “drives” are different from each other. It’s in those differences where we learn why some people are capable of having affairs even though they still love their spouse. The focus of this talk is less on cheating than the title may suggest. It serves overall as an engaging overview of the amazing workings of our brains “on” love, sex, and attachment.
Whether young or old, newly wed or silver anniversary celebrant, these 10 best TED talks about marriage will help you cultivate a better relationship and understanding of your partner.