Love, Lust & Commitment discussion | Afest


Vishen: So here on stage, I’m Vishen Lakhiani,
founder of Mindvalley. And here on stage we have Esther Perel. Esther Perel is one of the foremost speakers
in relationship and sexuality. Her TED Talks have been watched a combined
17 million times. Esther: Eighteen. Vishen: Sorry? Esther: Eighteen. Vishen: Sorry, guys, stop, stop, 18 million
times. It went up 1 million in the few minutes I
was reading her bio. Amazing. Esther: There’s another TED Talk you don’t
know. Vishen: Dan Savage started out as a columnist
in Seattle. His column got picked up, eventually being
taken to 100 newspapers simply because he spoke about sex the way you guys talk about
sex with your friends. And Dan recently spoke here on the A-Fest
stage, and he was the first guy ever at A-Fest to publicly use this line, “You should be
open to any type of sexual fantasy your partner has. They wanna massage your feet, that’s all good. They want to shit in your mouth, no.” I’ve never heard anybody get on stage at this
fine event and use the phrase “shit in your mouth.” Dan: There’s a little more context, but… Vishen: Okay, let’s take a moment to take
a deep breath and clear the imagery. Energy healers in the room, do your stuff. And, finally, Marisa Peer. So, Marisa… Clear, clear, clear. So Marisa Peer was a sex columnist for about
10 years. Now, she’s a woman who wears many different
hats, but what many people don’t know is before she became the Marisa Peer who won the award
for being Britain’s best coach, before she was in magazines in the UK for being one of
the top 250 doctors in the UK, even though she doesn’t have a degree, she just sounds
sophisticated because of how she talks. Marisa Peer wrote a sex column for 10 years
in 4 different British papers, and received glowing reviews and incredible accolades. So, before we begin, you guys just heard Esther
speak, and before we take questions from the audience, what I wanna do is just ask each
of the speakers, starting with Esther. Esther: No. Start here since I just… Vishen: Okay. I love how Esther takes control of everything. We will start with Marisa and then come back
to Esther. Marisa, so I’m gonna ask each speaker to just
share five minutes, in five minutes, a key insight that they feel everyone here should
integrate and leave the room with. Let’s start with you, Marisa. Marisa: Okay, so I would say don’t wait to
be in the mood for sex. That’s like waiting to exercise. If you wait for motivation to turn up in your
bedroom, it often doesn’t turn up. But if you just do it, what I call JFD, it
actually turns up. It turns up once you begun. And when I was a sex columnist, people go,
“I’m not in the mood, and I’m too tired, and I need to go out,” or, “I need the massage
with the feathers,” and all that stuff others say, and the berry wine, and the candles. And it’s like, “Oh my god, I haven’t got an
hour and a half to do that.” I’m a great believer in JFD, just fucking
do it, because in just doing it, the motivation turns up. And so many women will say, “No, I wasn’t
in the mood, but when you told me I make natural killer cells for cancer and actually orgasms
made me younger that I just do it. I do it for the younger skin, and then I noticed
I quite liked it.” So it’s a big mistake for women especially
to wait until you’re in the mood because you don’t always have that amount of time. But if you focus on nature wants you to have
orgasms, it makes you younger, it fights depression. Actually, prostaglandin and sperm is a natural
antidepressant that when women absorb it, it stops them being depressed. Lots of good reasons for having sex, only
one of them is being in the mood for it. So somebody’s going to do it the other way
around, and then you get in the mood for it. It doesn’t always work, but it works a lot. Vishen: Thank you, Marisa. Dan? Dan: I’m gonna be a lot less sexual right
now with my five minutes than I was last night. There’s something I talked about in the column
a lot, which I call the price of admission, and it’s the price you’re willing to pay to
be with this person. Like if you went in an amusement park, the
price you’re willing to pay to ride a ride. And if you pay a certain amount to ride a
roller coaster and you complain the whole time you’re on the roller coaster about how
much it fucking cost to get on the roller coaster, the price of admission wasn’t worth
it, so don’t ride that ride. But if you’re with somebody, there’s going
to be prices of admission you have to pay to be with this person. You’re not gonna get everything you want. Settling down requires some settling for. And for relationship harmony, if you’ve determined
that to be with this person this is the price of admission that you are willing to pay,
whether it’s never having anal sex, whether it’s not having kids, whether it’s something
about they’re…you know, that they’re a slob, or that they’re a neat freak, or whatever,
there’s certain things about them they’d bring to the table that aren’t going to go away,
or there’s certain things you’re not going to get, you have to decide for yourself, is
that a price of admission I’m willing to pay to be in this relationship? And if it is, you not only pay the price,
you shut the fuck up about how much it cost. You don’t bitch the whole time on the ride
about that price. And the example I always use from my own relationship
is when I started telling, using an example of my own relationship or marriage, people
expect something really dirty, and this is really banal, but my husband make himself
a goddamn ham sandwich and put things away. He opens the mayonnaise, opens the mustard,
opens the meat, opens the bread, leaves it all on the counter, and then eats the sandwich
and gets up and leaves the plate on the table and everything on the counter. And for the first 11 years we were together,
I would go screaming after him to come downstairs and put all this shit away, not…maybe the
first 4 years. And then one day, instead of chasing him after
and nagging him to not do this thing that he’s been doing all his life and will do for
the rest of his life, I just put it away. And it took a lot less time, and it didn’t
generate conflict. And I stood there screwing the cap on the
mayonnaise thinking to myself, “This is the price of admission I’m willing to pay or one
of them to ride this ride.” And now I pick up after him and I, for the
most part, don’t bitch about it all the time because he’s worth that, that that price of
admission is one I’m willing to pay. If he had voted for Donald Trump, not a price
of admission I would have been willing to pay. So you have to be clear about the prices you
are and are not willing to pay. And, you know, people will write me all the
time saying, “How do I fix this? How do I change this?” And at a certain point, you have to stop trying
to change things that are not gonna change and ask yourself whether you can accept them,
pay the price and stay, and if you can’t, then you need to go. Vishen: I see. I see. And, Esther? Esther: So I’m actually gonna start with a
rift on this. I think if you want to change the other, change
yourself, because if you systematically do something different, if you now are not going
after him but you’re taking care of it, then when he comes down, he doesn’t have to go
all defensive and all upset about what you were doing. He gets to change, you have changed his reaction
by changing yours, and that notion of interdependence, that we are interdependent parts of a system
is gold when you think about relationship. The second thing is, whenever you’re not cleaning
up, you actually…one piece is to do it, but the other thing is to realize that there’s
probably a lot of things that you never have to think about because he does. And every time you start to… Dan: No, no, no, there’s no price of admission
he pays to be with me. I’m perfect. Esther: You know, I think that idea that at
the moment you want to bitch you begin to actually think about all the things that you
are relieved of by the presence of the other person in your life, and that creates a whole
different economy in your head. And then when I was listening to Marisa I
thought, “Yes, there are three doors of entry into sex that we primarily look at.” One is desire, and it is today the dominant
one, but it actually is not always the most important one for many people. The other is arousal, the physiological excitement,
and the third one is willingness, and willingness is what you talk about is the ability to be
willing to just say, “Let me see where this will take me.” I’m not in the mood right now. But you know, I’m not in the mood, I already
ate, but I come home and you just prepare something really nice, and it smells good,
and so I kind of sit down next to you and then I say, “Can I taste?” And then before I know it, I took myself a
little plate and then I actually ate the whole thing, I loved it, and the next morning I
still say, “You know, I didn’t really need to eat. I had already eaten.” And that notion that I was willing to participate
because I was tempted, that because I went with the experience rather than I checked
myself and I just say not, sexuality is the only thing by which we have this exceptionalist
view at this point that I have to be completely up for it in order to engage in it. And so I would finish with…there’s a beautiful
line by Marcel Proust that I take a lot with me, which is that the true voyage of discovery
is not about going to new places, but it is about looking with new eyes. Vishen: Beautifully said. So we’re gonna start with a couple of questions
from the audience. So I just wanna remind you, guys, there will
be mic runners, but when you ask your question, what I request is that you ask a question
that, you know, other people would also learn from. So it shouldn’t be purely for a selfish purpose. It should be a question that the tribe here
would all benefit from hearing the answer of. And what I ask the facilitators is, if someone
asks us a question and you wanna answer that question, to make sure that we get to address
as many different topics. The biggest mistake that sometimes happens
on panels is that every facilitator answers the question, and that just means that fewer
people get their questions answered. So if speaker A answers well, speaker B and
C, you can skip and we can take a new question. Cool? So let’s start with a question from the audience. And I’m gonna have the mic runners choose. Woman: If there would be a new relationship
vow like a marriage vow, what would it be? Dan: So that’s an interesting question. Vishen: Rather than the traditional vows of
marriage, if there was a new vow that you would make before going into a relationship
with someone, what do you think should be in that vow? Marisa: I think it should be try harder because
we have this belief that if they give 50% and I give 50%, then we’ll get 100%. But you have to, instead of wait, you have
to give them what you most want to get, so you gotta give 100%. We have this belief that the other half is
going to meet all our needs, then I’m gonna meet half your needs. You have to meet some of your needs yourself,
sometimes even your sexual needs, and then they can meet some of your needs. But when you wait for someone to meet all
your needs, you’re just gonna be disappointed. So you should try harder to meet your needs
and their needs while understanding that no one is ever going to meet all your needs ever. And once you can meet some of their needs
and some of your needs, you show your partner, “Oh, so I can meet some of my needs myself
and some of your needs.” But you don’t expect me to meet every need
you have because you just set yourself up for massive disappointment so try harder while
expecting less. Vishen: Esther again, anything to add? Dan: We will be whores for each other. Vishen: We will be what? Dan: Whores for each other. Esther: W-H-O. Dan: Not horse, not [inaudible 00:12:30]. Just that you will look to each other, and
when you look at each other, you will see why things happen, not why things don’t happen. Even if there are some small things that other
people are allowed to step in and do, still your partner is the reason that that can happen
for you. Esther: I will add one, that I will do things
for you just because it’s you, even though I would never want to do this and that should
be good enough. I don’t have to want what you want in order
to do it. You are a perfectly valid reason for me to
do so. Vishen: Oh, I love that. Beautiful. Let’s take another question. Dan: There’s no aisle. There’s no way… Esther: Can we open the aisle, please? In the front. Thank you. Woman: So, Esther, you mentioned this earlier
about the phone. So if you have a partner that is really addicted
to their phone, you also said that you have to make sure that you look for what they want
rather than what you want. So what do you think about dealing with phones
and someone that’s really distracted on them? Because I feel like a lot of people probably
have one partner that’s more attached than the other. Vishen: So the question is, if you could rephrase
that in one sentence. Woman: How do you deal with someone who’s
attached to their phone when you want them to be present with you? Vishen: Or rather, how would you deal with
someone who is not fully present with you? Dan: Because of their fucking phone. Esther: I would text them. Dan: I think that’s done. Nothing else to say. Vishen: Let’s go. Esther: And what I would text…I mean, I’ve
done a whole talk on this. But one of the things is really you’re a bunch
of entrepreneurs. Everybody here knows that if you were doing
this with your clients, your business wouldn’t be doing too well. Treat me like you treat your client. That’s a good start. Because with your client you’re present, you’re
focused, you look at them in the eyes, you respond, the whole thing. And don’t take me for granted like that, but
that’s not what I would text. What I would text is there’s a woman in the
other room, and she’s been thinking about you, and she was wondering if she could…and
then you continue. And that would be a playful thing in which
I just…because anything…that’s it. The point is, enter the system, be playful
with it, and subvert it. Woman: Yes. Vishen: Beautiful. Next question. Man: If you have got his number. Woman: If you got his number. Woman: Hello. I am curious, to my understanding, all of
you are in serious, committed, long-term relationships. So I wanted to know what is the one thing
that is a current struggle in your relationships and how you’re working to resolve them? Marisa: That’s a good question. Esther: Super, super, very nice. Vishen: Thank you for putting all our speakers
in an uncomfortable spot. We’ll try to make sure she never gets left
into… I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Amazing question. Esther: I think it’s a great question. It’s a great question. Marisa: Why don’t you start it? Esther: Are you looking at me? Dan: So everybody else should go first. Vishen: It’s really hard for Esther because
everything is perfect. Esther: So I actually…I can… You know, I said this morning to Jack. I said, “Jack, they’re asking me questions
about this, about that.” I said, “How would you want me to answer? He says, “You don’t answer.” I said, “Why?” He said…and this is the sentence that he
once gave me a long time ago, which made an enormous amount of sense. He says, “Every one person’s biography is
another person’s betrayal.” Because if I talk about the other person,
I am actually telling a story that I have taken, you know. But here is a difference that we have. I am high energy, one word of my husband is
10 of mine, we are on completely different rhythms, and also in terms of age. And I am into the, “What can I still do right
now until, you know, for the next 10 years?” And he’s into the, “I just want to meditate,
to read, to sit, to paint.” And when we talk now about traveling, it becomes
a very different energy. It’s about…you know, I still want all of
this, and he has done plenty of this. Sorry. Dan: No, no. Esther: And he’s actually much more content
to go and stay put and be inward. And it’s a negotiation we have always had,
but it is a negotiation that is becoming more rigid. Vishen: Thank you, Esther. Dan, would you like to share? Dan: No, but I will. My husband and I, like, cliché conflicts
around money because I am not a person who spends money, and he is a person who spends
money, and that’s a rich source of conflict always in a relationship. But we have the phone problem, and we both
have it, where he’s addicted to Instagram and I’m addicted to Twitter. And he’ll be on his phone and then I’ll get
on my phone because he’s on his phone, and then I’ll put my phone down and say, “Could
you get the fuck off your phone?” and he’ll say, “You were on your phone.” And it becomes this rolling conflict about
who was on the phone first and who was on the phone longer. I really fucking hate phones. There was so much that would happen in our
relationship pre-smartphones that was just we were both there, and we were both bored,
and we looked to each other. And, now, we were both there, we’re both bored,
and we can look to the universe. And we’re having to be much more intentional
about putting our fucking phones down, which is hard in this environment for a news junkie
because every two seconds someone’s getting indicted, or this special prosecutor being
appointed, or the world is burning down and some new [inaudible 00:18:51]. And, for my husband, every two minutes somebody
else has liked his latest nearly naked photograph on Instagram. You have to check in with that right away,
and don’t tweet that. Vishen: Marisa, since your husband is in the
room, let’s make him uncomfortable. Marisa: Yeah. So, I know that for a relationship to work,
you must have best friend chemistry and sexual chemistry. And I was really alarmed when I was a sexual
columnist that 50% of marriages were celibate, really shocking. And in fact, it’s actually more than that
because the other 50%, “I got to do it or he or she might go elsewhere.” So we work very hard to keep the best friend
and the sexual chemistry going. Best friend is easy, and for the sexual chemistry
I think it’s really important to be playful. You know, I always act really girlish around
my husband. He brings the out in me. Sometimes people look at me and “Why are you
sitting on your husband’s knee. How old are you?” But it’s not how old I am, it’s how old I
feel. So be playful, be girly, and keep that going. It’s really, really important because we also
work together. So, you know, occasionally, I wake up and
he’s [inaudible 00:20:02], “Babe, I’ve got a great idea,” and then just when I go to
bed he’s got another great idea and I’m like, “We have to not talk about work all the time.” So remember, in your relation you must have
best friend chemistry, and you play with your best friend, and you must have sexual chemistry,
and you have to have them both. As you said, people go, “Sex is amazing, but
I don’t know if you can like this person, but oh my god, the fireworks,” so [inaudible
00:20:26] because sex is just incredible. Another people will go, “Well, we’re best
friends, we’re going so well. We never touch each other,” and they think
that’s okay, it’s not okay. You need both. Sex is the glue, I think, that makes a relationship
really special. But before you commit to someone, put the
sex to one side and going, “Could this person also be my best friend?” So many people marry people because it’s so
hot and heavy and amazing and that just can’t last. Nature doesn’t want it the last. Okay, you’ve had five years doing it all night,
you must have produced some kids, and I’m gonna shut your sex drive right down so you
can get up and look after these kids you just spent three years making nonstop. And so it’s very hard to keep that passion
going because nature doesn’t want you to. So, best friend chemistry, sexual chemistry,
be playful. Vishen: Thank you, Marisa. Dan: I want to disagree with a little bit. Like, I do think sex is important, but I think
sexual compatibility is hugely important. And there are people out there whose sexual
compatibility really orbits around a disinterest in sex. I think we do a disservice to those who are
in companionate marriages or companionate relationships, where sex isn’t a part of it
or central but it’s intimate, it’s loving, it’s rewarding, and it’s as much a marriage
or relationship I think as one that is cemented by sex. And I say this as someone who’s in a long-term
relationship, a marriage, that is absolutely cemented by sex, that, you know, sometimes
Terry and I joke that if we weren’t fucking, we wouldn’t be talking with each other. And I think that sexual connection is a glue
in our relationship. But I’ve spoken to, and written about, and
met a lot of people who are in loving, compassionate relationships where neither feels that they’re
lacking anything, and they feel very richly rewarded. And we don’t want to put too much emphasis
on sex because some people, that’s the most rewarding relationship for them. And instead of saying, “This is what works
for everyone,” we have to ask people, “What do you need and what works for you?” And if this is working for you, if your sexual
compatibility is around no sex, then that’s as valid as my marriage. Esther: I have another disagreement. Vishen: I love this, guys. We now have our speakers mildly disagreeing
with each other. Let’s see where this goes. Esther? Esther: I will never call my husband my best
friend. I have best friends. He’s my partner. He’s my husband, he’s the man I live my life
with, I share my love with, but I think that this notion of how the spouses became the
best friends is very, very interesting. And I think that there are many things that
I’d rather go to my best friends to that are not necessarily things I should go to him
about, including bitching about him if need be. It’s like this notion that you can contract
everything into one person is really a little much these days. So I understand the metaphor of it, but I
actually think it’s an interesting idea to unpack to not just take it for granted, you
know. Sometimes my husband is not just a hairy woman,
and, you know, I have other people I need to talk to, and it’s not him and he’s not
interested in some of these things. And the notion that then I would say, “I can’t
talk to him, I can’t communicate, it’s not good,” it’s not true. It’s just that we need more than one person,
we need different people about different things, and we have other best friends. And if we…by the way, because we think of
our partner as the best friend, we have invented a whole new concept, which was virtually inexistent
10 years ago, which is emotional infidelity, emotional infidelity, because now I really
can’t even go and confide in somebody else and feel levels of intimacy and connection
with other people. You share so much with the person you make
your life with, that is not just about that intimate thing. There are many more people we can love than
people we can make a life with. Vishen: Beautifully said. Next question. Man: Hi. So there’s evidence that 10,000 years ago,
we did our relationships inside of egalitarian, polyamorous tribes, and then we went to extended
family, and then we went to nuclear families, and then we went to a lot of single and dating
models. So, I’m wondering, is it the container that
we’re doing relationships in that’s creating a lot of the conflict that we’re seeing today? And should we go backwards to where we started? Vishen: That’s a beautiful question, Shy [SP]. Let me rephrase the…let me recap the question. Is the container in which we’re defining relationships
today flawed in some way? And, by that container, we would use words
such as marriage, or monogamy, or the other examples that Shy offered? Who would like to address that? Marisa: Well, we were never designed to stay
with someone for 70 years. That is hard because the person you’re crazy
about at 25, maybe he’s not everything for you when you’re 85. And, you know, to expect your relationship
to go the distance like that, you really gotta pick a lot better. But you can have the marriage you want nowadays. I mean, the boundaries are different. Society doesn’t say anymore, “You’re married,
you can’t be unfaithful, you can’t look at porn, you can’t be unfaithful in your head.” It’s really up to you to choose what works
for you without making other people believe that what… I mean, I have friends who have open marriages,
I have friends who think that looking at someone like that is unfaithful. They all do their own thing. I have friends whose marriages should not
work, and yet they’re some of my friends who’ve got the longest marriages. It’s like it’s broken every rule and it really
works. So forget about what society says and work
out what works for you because the more you try to live up to someone else’s expectation,
the harder it is, the more you go, “This works with me, and I don’t have to explain it or
justify it. It works for me.” So I would forget about anyone else’s container
except your own, and if it works for you, then keep making it work. Vishen: Dan? Well, actually, Dan, I want to ask you to
share something you shared with me in a private interview, when you spoke about how we term
things such as divorce a failure, but in actuality there’s a normalcy about it. Dan: Right. You know, we talk about the success of a relationship
or the failure of a relationship. And it’s a kind of perverse definition of
failure, that everybody got out of it alive, it’s a failure. We don’t apply that standard to airplanes,
or restaurants, or cars, but we apply that to relationships that ended at the funeral
home, then you win, your relationship was a success. You’re together 50 years, somebody died, congratulations. And that relationship could have involved
contempt, neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, both partners could have been absolutely
miserable and at each other’s throats for 50 years, successful marriage. Two people are together for 20 years, they
raise a couple of kids, they’re best friends, and they outgrow each other, and they move
on, and it’s amicable, and they can be together, and they don’t, make their children feel pulled
in one direction or another, and there’s still love there, and there’s a mutual acknowledgment
about time well spent together in growth, and they’re on to new relationships, that
marriage was a failure? And I think that’s a bizarre standard. I think we have to redefine what a successful
relationship is, whether it’s a… And we need to…you know, we talk about LTRs
as the gold standard, and the longer the LTR, the more success with the relationship. We should be able to think about, and we should
think about, encourage people to think about having successful STRs, that you can have
a successful short-term relationship, whether that’s a relationship that lasted while you
were in Ibitha, whether it’s a relationship that lasted for a few years, or while you
raised a couple of kids together, or whatever that a relationship can be an LTR and be a
success, or a failure, or an STR and be a success or a failure. That we have to look at the emotional dynamics,
and the growth, and the compassion, and the connection to assess failure and success,
not, “Is somebody dead?” But, you know, we’re not…you know, it sounds
like you read “Sex at Dawn” by Chris Ryan that people still debate and I was a fan of,
I’m quoted on the cover of. And, you know, in some ways, it’s impossible
to extrapolate from bonobos and what was going on 20,000 years ago exactly how we lived. It does seem that there’s something about
human sex and connection that makes us a pair-bonding species, but not a sexually monogamous one. How long those pair bonds last and whether
those pair bonds are sexually or emotionally exclusive, I think, are important conversations
we need to have. Because I agree with Esther that we place
incredible strains on our pair-bonded relationships when we expect everything from them, best
friend, and helpmate, and co-parent, and we need to have other people in our tribe who
love and support us emotionally, and I think sometimes sexually as well. Vishen: Thank you, Dan. Esther? Esther: I mean, if we go less than 10,000
years, you know, there’s only one commandment that is repeated twice in the Bible, once
for doing it, and once just for thinking about it. Did you understand? So somebody understood human nature, somebody
understood that we have often practice a dual reproductive strategy, social monogamy and
sexual promiscuity. And the question that you asedk cannot be
asked outside of the question of what did we expect from relationships or from family,
or from bonding? Do you bond in order to accomplish certain
things, to create stability, to create economic support, to create companionship, to raise
children, to create legacy? Or do you bond with other people in order
to create a new purpose and a sense of meaning and fulfillment for yourself? And if you don’t have that at the beginning
of the question, then the entire conversation about, are we promiscuous or are we pair bonders
is actually not so…it doesn’t reveal enough. It’s only if you…you know, we’ve always
had communal living. Sometimes we’ve done it to extended family,
now we are doing it through non-monogamies, consensual non-monogamies, but the needs are
the same. Fundamental human needs have not changed,
the modes of finding them and communicating about them, those shifts. Dan: And when we talk about monogamy, whether
it’s natural or not is I think we can all agree that it is not natural. We’re not a naturally monogamous species. Whether it’s beneficial or not, whether it’s
a relationship model that works for some folks, even if it’s a struggle, that’s a different
discussion. There are certainly benefits, and I say this
as someone in a non-monogamous relationship, there are benefits to a monogamous commitment
that I should and others like me should be able to recognize around safety, paternal
security for men, emotional security for some, not that it’s a fail-safe protection, but
for some it’s very satisfying, and it makes them feel much more secure in that relationship. And if that’s what they choose, and they find
someone who wants to choose it with them, even recognizing that it’s not…and I think
it’s helpful for that couple who chooses monogamy together to recognize that it is not natural,
that it is going to be a bit of a struggle, so that if there is an error, a mistake, a
slip-up, that there will be some compassionate understanding and ability to forgive. Esther: I think it’s very important not to
become ideological about this and not to try to prove that this model is better than that
model, and here is evolutionary theories to support it and all of that. It’s really what Marisa says. The benefit we have today is that we have
the option, some of us in the West have more than one choice. Let’s exercise that without having to prove
that it is the better choice. Dan: And we who are from the non-monogamous
kind of crowd, one of the things that drives me crazy is a non-monogamous person or…is
monogamous people coming up to me and telling me, “You’re doing love wrong,” and the corrective
for that is not non-monogamous people going up to monogamous people and saying, “You’re
doing love wrong.” That we each get to do love how it works for
us as a couple or as an individual. Esther: Well said. Marisa: Because people tell themselves the
story that my parents [inaudible 00:33:15] for 50 years, and that’s what I want, so I’m
looking for something that really doesn’t probably really exist. Esther: Or my parents [inaudible 00:33:22]. Marisa: Or, my parents divorced, and my aunts
divorced, and so I can never have a relationship because look what I was brought up in. They’re just stories. You know, my parents were crazy, my father
had sex with every old pair we have, my mother had an affair with our next door neighbor
for 11 years, and then my father moved and he moved next to us again, how weird is that? But it was very interesting. My father was a headmaster too. I mean, he was doing everybody. But, you know, I chose monogamy, and I have
lots of friends who didn’t. But, you know, just because you came from
a crazy upbringing or a perfect upbringing, don’t keep telling others, “I can’t have that
because it’s never going to be as good, because my dad cheated so all men cheat and my dad
was secretly gay, so therefore I can’t trust anyone.” Decide what the relationship is that you want,
and then work really hard to find a person that you fit with and have a great relationship. And don’t live by anyone else’s rules because
some people make their rules the most important thing. My rule is you must never walk out when we’re
having a fight. Well, they might have a different rule to
you. You have to understand that just because you
have a rule, the person you’re with has a different rule, and you should at least understand
what their rule is, and then try and flex the rules a bit. Vishen: Thank you. Let’s take another question from the audience. Woman: Hi. I have a question about, you’ve been talking
a lot about communicating with your partner, but sometimes in multicultural relationships,
so when you have like different languages in your brain, it’s a bit hard to express
your feelings. So I want to know if you have any insight
in how to deal when you have a conflict of some sorts and your mind is speaking in one
language and your mouth is speaking another? Dan: I’m monolingual, so I recuse myself on
this one. Esther: I’ll tell you what I think is one
of the most useful and underused modes. That’s writing. I write to my children, I write to my partner,
I advise a lot of the people I work with to write in their particular way of writing. And many of you travel, you have planes, they’re
the best moments, when in suspension. And it’s like, “I’ve been thinking, and as
I’ve been thinking about us, I was noticing that… And when I think about that I realize that
I have…and then I wonder is that something that you feel as well? And I noticed that we’ve actually not spoken
about it in such a long time. And I wondered if you miss that too because
I’ve been missing this a lot. And I would love for us to be able to, on
occasion, talk about this without falling into our regular traps. And I know that the reason we fall in our
traps is because at least one of the things that happens is that I do this and this and
this.” And then when you write, the best thing, if
you can, is to do it handwritten. The Hindus talk about how the writing through
the hand is what conveys the emotion and your first version you toss, you just purge, you
get it out. The second one is the one that you will share. But I think that when you read, and I do a
lot of sessions where the people bring the letter and they read it out loud, I read the
one I received, do I read the one I wrote, and then when you read and you’re alone, you’re
not able to instantly react. You’re actually taking it in, you sit with
this, you go back, sometimes a few times. It slows things down, which is what we often
need. It allows you to put words to shape them to
think about it, to come back to it, to let it sit, and not just to blurt. So many of us pressing that button so fast. Vishen: Esther, that’s a really beautiful,
beautiful, beautiful tip. I’d like to ask a question for the three of
you. If there was a specific practice, or ritual,
or tip that you could give people in relationships, a habit of sorts that you think could really
magnify the essence of their relationship, what would be your advice? So, Esther, you spoke about writing, I’d love
to hear Dan or Marisa have an idea or a tip? Marisa: I think when you’re having a fight
with someone, you always need to say whose need is more important. Like, “I need to go visit my mother. I get it that my mother drives you crazy,
but my need is to visit her.” And, often, instead of fighting, you just
say, you know, “Okay, you need your children. Come and stay the weekend. I kind of need to have a weekend on my own
with you,” but which need is more important in that instance is the children. So whenever you’re fighting, instead of fighting,
you know, try and say which need is more important. It kind of really narrows it down very quickly,
and usually you can see whose need it is, sometimes not yours, sometimes… It just makes it easier because, when people
say, “We’ve been fighting all weekend,” your fight should be over in five minutes if you… Like, your fighting over your history, “[inaudible
00:38:37] last week when I…last year, I didn’t want your daughter to come over and
she came and so why can’t mine come?” You can only fight about now, and if you don’t
make it a history lesson, don’t do the eye rolling, and the contempt, and scorn a mockery
which people find very hard to recover from and just say, “Okay, whose need is more important,
you need to go out, and do you want me to come with you? I don’t need to stay in and have an early
night.” Just try and bring in the need. So, it’s a really great way of ending conflict,
“Even I need to have sex, we have no sex for ages, and you need to go to sleep. But really, we’re talking about four and a
half minutes here.” So often you can then work out the need, and
it’s really good way to do it. So many women write to me and say, “I haven’t
got time,” and, you know, the average man, of course, the men in this room, take four
and a half minutes. And most people have got four and a half minutes
if you don’t have to do all the other stuff. So the need is a great way to resolve conflict. Vishen: Thank you, Marisa. Dan: Can you rephrase the question? Vishen: Well, is there a particular exercise
or ritual of practice that you think one could integrate in their relationship to create
a more enjoyable, beautiful experience? Dan: You do for each other. There are things you’re going to do for each
other, and those should become part of the sort of infrastructure of the relationship. The girders and beams of the relationship
are the ways in which you take care of each other where you’re not expecting when you
perform this task, and I think they’re real-time, real physical tasks. You’re not expecting necessarily acknowledgment
or praise because it’s just one of those things you do for each other, take care of each other,
that then you can rely on. And the relationship itself, the rest of the
sex, and the emotions, and the hanging out, and the conflicts, and everything else is
kept together and supported by that infrastructure of doing for each other. Vishen: So would an example be your partner
putting away…or you putting away the sandwich? Dan: Right. He does the laundry, I do the dishes, you
know. He’ll cook, and I’ll get up and do all the
goddamn dishes. And I don’t complain about it. And there’s no scorekeeping because it kind
of roughly evens out. Well, there’s some complaining about the dishes
because he hasn’t done dishes for 20 years, so he never thinks to how to economize around
the amount of dishes he’s filled making dirty. But sometimes I point out, “You could have
done this with, like, 6 pans instead of 12.” Vishen: Thank you, Dan. Esther, another tip or idea you’d like to
share? Esther: Well, I think there’s a few small
ones. One that I’m trying to do, can’t tell you
I’ve succeeded, is to leave the phones out of the bedroom, to get an alarm clock, and
to wake up in the morning and not have the phone be the alarm clock so that then the
next thing becomes looking at the messages to actually turn to my partner, my husband,
Jack, whatever, I call him Jack, to, you know, just have a minute of checking in with each
other before the rest. Just even a good hug, just a snuggle, just
something before we go into what you call the universe. That’s a big one. I think they’re doing for each other and accompanied
with the, I think, thank you. So a lot of just, you know, not just of doing,
like, sometimes I just leave and I’ve been like, “Man, I’m gonna rush, and I’m late,
and I’m running, I’m just…” and then I’m sitting, you know, in the subway, and then
I just ride a little note just, you know, just acknowledging, “Thank you that you can
handle all of this.” All the stuff that we do with other people,
that’s what’s interesting. We just don’t do enough of that with the person
that we are with. It’s these kinds of rituals I think that make
you feel that you matter, because what is the degradation of a relationship is when
you start to feel that you’ve become a function more than a person. You matter for what you do, you know, and
less for who you are in the life of the other person. And as long as you continue to feel meaningful
that you matter, but not…you actually enjoyed being an actor in that story, otherwise you
start to saying, “Why am I in this story? Who am I in this story? I want to go matter somewhere else a lot more.” Vishen: Thank you, Esther. Marisa: And being grateful, I often find that
not just with my partner, but just imagine your life without them. And that always brings you back to, even when
they’re annoying you, how grateful you are because I find that very effective. Just imagine your life without them, if they
weren’t there, if they died, if they left, if they found someone else. And it does help you to be so appreciative
of the fact that you’ve got… Because whatever your problem is, it’s someone
else’s fantasy. If your husband wants have sex every day,
you’re lucky. Other people would love to have that problem. They make a mess, everybody would love to
have a husband that makes a mess. So when you’re moaning and bitching, just
often go, “Who would love to have this problem? Is my problem someone else’s fantasy dream
come true?” Yeah, it is. It really is, and that helps you stay in gratitude
a lot. Vishen: Thank you. Let’s take another question from the audience. Dan: There’s some question out here. Vishen: And then I’m gonna ask each of our
panelists here to answer the question they wish someone had asked. Esther: Oh, okay. Woman: There’s a lot of people who are here
in relationships, but there is a lot of people who aren’t. And what I’m finding is there’s a lot of available
people, but it doesn’t seem like we’re able to come together. I know beautiful, successful women all here
in this room wanting so badly to be in relationship and all these single handsome men, but we’re
not getting together. And I just wanna understand your idea about
that, is what do we need to do to make that happen besides the party tonight? Marisa: I would say stop fearing rejection. Now, we come on the planet with two needs,
find connection, avoid rejection. It’s how we survive on the planet. I must connect, but also must make sure I
don’t get rejected. And in the world of Tinder where there are
so many other people, we do fear being rejected. I could go and say to that person, “Would
you like to be with me?” They go, “No. Why would I want to be with you?” or, “Would
you have a coffee with me?” “No, no.” And so we’re so scared of being rejected because
we used to die from rejection that we still think that rejection might just kill us, and
be brave. Dan: That we’re so scared that we reject ourselves
in advance. Marisa: Yeah, exactly. Dan: We don’t go up to that person for fear
that they might reject us, so we’ve just rejected ourselves for them. Marisa: We are hardwired to be scared of rejection. But, you know, just remember, nobody can reject
you unless you agree with everything they say. And often the person…you know, thank God,
your first boyfriend or girlfriend rejected you, you’d still be with them. Rejection can be the best thing. I’m so happy. My first boyfriend broke my heart and jumped
all over it because when I met him 10 years later, I was like, “Oh, thank you, God, so
much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for making this guy reject
me because I’d still be with him otherwise. I’m very glad I wasn’t.” So don’t be scared of rejection. Take a leap of faith, ask people out, talk
to them. The very worst thing they can go is no, and
better than find out now early because there will be someone else that will say yes. But a lot of women won’t do that and men too,
that, “Oh, I asked people out that I don’t really wanna even go out with, but that beautiful
person over there, why would they want to be with me?” Why not? Ask people out. Just ask them to…just join something with
them. Dan: That fear of rejection, you know, extends
past getting to yes, you walk up to somebody, you talk to them, and you connect, and maybe
you have got them, if you start dating, but you’re withholding things. You’re not telling them the full truth about
yourself emotionally, you’re not sharing everything you are or want sexually for fear that this
person that you now are invested in and would like to keep around might reject you. And that is a cancer because the longer you
wait to really roll out who you really are, to risk rolling out who you really are, and
that’s really what it’s about, risk fearing rejection. You have to take that risk. The more consequential the rejection is going
to feel, if it comes. You know, if you guys are fundamentally sexually
incompatible, and you didn’t share who you really were sexually for fear that they might
reject you for that reason, you will ultimately get to that rejection. But maybe you’ll have two kids, or maybe you’ll
be like five years into it, and you may have missed opportunities with other people who
you would have been as emotionally connected as you are with this person, but also sexually
compatible. And sexual compatibility is huge especially
if what you want is a sexually exclusive relationship. The letters I get, half of them in a week,
“We are best friends, everyone always says that, we get along great, I love him, he loves
me or she loves me, we agree politically, duh, duh, duh, we can talk all night, but
the sex is terrible, duh, duh, duh, duh. I’ve hung in there hoping that it would get
better, we’ve worked it out, nothing, nothing, nothing.” And my answer is get in a time machine and
break up earlier and sooner because you should have been prioritizing sexual compatibility. It’s as important in a sexually exclusive
relationship, not even in a sexual relationship. It’s as important as emotional, political,
religious compatibility, but a sex negative culture convinces you that you’re a dirty
sex pervert if you prioritize it equally to those other things that you’re prioritizing
when you’re searching for a partner. Marisa: And while you’re fearing rejection
because you’re not perfect, I have many clients who really are perfect, top models, movie
stars, they’re always the unhappiest people. Perfect people tend to be alone because actually
we like people that are flawed because it lets us be flawed. It’s quite nice when you take your clothes
off and knows the other person’s got a little bit of a tummy thing, “Oh, I don’t have to
[inaudible 00:48:34] because they’re flawed too.” It’s actually flawed people can have relationships
with flawed people. People who try to be perfect and sure they’re
perfect, they get left. I mean, you know, Diana got left for Camilla,
and given her and Charles are really happy, she happens to think she’s super hot. She’s got a great personality. She’s got incredibly high self-esteem. She never feared rejection in her life. But people who are perfect get rejected actually
more because nobody wants to hang out with perfect. They make them feel bad about themselves. And flawed people have great relationships
with other people who are flawed. So don’t fear rejection and don’t think, “Oh,
I need to be perfect first, and I won’t be rejected.” Be you because nobody can reject you unless
you give them your permission. And you never, ever have to do that ever. Vishen: Thank you, Melissa. So I’d like to now ask you guys, what would
be a question that you wish someone had asked? Marisa: Why do I keep picking the same types
over, and over, and over again? That’s the question… Vishen: Why do I keep what? Marisa: Picking the same types over and over
again. Vishen: So the question is, why do I keep
picking the same type of man or woman over, and over, and over, and over again? Marisa: And the answer is…well, two things. First of all, the mind loves what is familiar
because familiar makes us safe. And we’re kind of hardwired to go for what’s
familiar because we feel safe. So you meet some guy in a bar that [inaudible
00:50:08] you, you think, “Oh, I feel like I’ve known him all my life.” Well, you have, it’s your dad, and you’re
not supposed to have sex with your dad, or, “I found this really cold, distant woman,
and I just feel comfortable with her,” because that’s your mom. And guess what, you’re not supposed to have
sex with your mom either. So, sometimes… Esther: [inaudible 00:50:24] familiar. Marisa: The familiar, it’s the familiar. The brain loves what is familiar. And we keep attracting the same type until
we decide to make what is familiar unfamiliar, and that’s just a matter of choice. People will say this person is too good for
me, what they’re saying is their behavior is so unfamiliar, I need to run back to people
that treat me badly because that’s familiar, and you have to make a choice. I will make this familiar. I’ll make a nice person, a good person, [inaudible
00:50:52], it was a boring person because I thought excitement and drama was good just
because it’s familiar because I came from a crazy house, just decide to use that word,
“What do I want? Can I make it familiar? Will I make it familiar?” And if you make a decision to make different
behavior familiar, it works. Other thing about the mind which is rather
vexing, apart from its need to keep going to what’s familiar, is it likes to create
the scene you are grown up in and then put a happy ending on it. So women who are hit will often attract a
man that hits them because it’s familiar, and then try to make him lovely, and kind,
and a pussycat because the mind wants to create the scene you’ve known all your life, but
change the ending. Life is too short to change the ending. Change the beginning, go for a different type,
make it familiar. I mean, say, “Oh, every boyfriend I’ve had
is an alcoholic. Every woman I met runs off with my friends
or takes all my money.” So you need to ask yourself [inaudible 00:51:51]
ask yourself the question, do they remind you of something? Yes, then move on. So make a decision to make what you want familiar
and what you don’t want unfamiliar and don’t try to change the ending, change the beginning,
then you can have a beautiful relationship. Don’t wait for a guy to ask you out. Go and ask them out. Change it. The change is the decision to change. Decision means to cut off from an old behavior. Cut off from it, and you can have whatever
you want. Vishen: Thank you. Dan and Esther, would you like to go next? Dan: I hate questions like this. It’s like having a noose around your neck. I just [inaudible 00:52:32]. I can’t think of anything. And my mic just went out conveniently enough,
so. Vishen: No, we can hear you. Dan: Oh, really? Marisa: Do you want me to give you a few? Esther: Share what happened. Dan: Yeah. Vishen: Esther, why don’t you give Dan a question
because you are familiar with Dan, correct? Esther: Is it okay to choose or to decide
that being in a partnered relationship is not for me? Dan: Absolutely. Absolutely okay. You know, more and more people are living
alone, and more and more people are single. And a lot of people who are single and living
alone and absolutely content feel like they have to perform misery because we’re all supposed
to want a partner and that’s what good healthy people want is a partnership. And there are good healthy people out there
who are perfectly content who don’t want that, who feel compelled to run around pretending
that they do want it and that the lack of it is immiserating when it is not. Just in the same way that a lot of people
who want non-monogamy will make monogamous commitments because they have it in their
heads, that good people want to be monogamous and that they should try and do this thing
that isn’t the thing that makes them happy. So you know, a sexless relationship, a companionate
marriage, if that makes you happy, that’s great, and you don’t have to feel bad about
it. There’s nothing inadequate about that. Being a single person and having maybe a series
of relationships or connections over the course of your life or not, if that’s what makes
you happy and what makes you content, there is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken, you have to look inside
to figure out what makes you content and what makes you whole and not allow people to assign
that to you from outside. Esther: Do you have one for me or Marisa? Vishen: Oh, Esther, is that question…? Dan: I didn’t come prepared with the questions. Esther: I have a few, but… Marisa: I would have one about…well, obviously
not for you personally, but about learning from your last relationship that didn’t work. So when people say to me, “My first marriage
failed,” I say your first marriage is the start of marriage. Don’t call it failed, call it a start of marriage. What did you learn from it? And they like that, “Oh, it’s just a start
of marriage. Yes.” So I learned stuff, and I’m going to take
that into the real one. So, but what would you say to people who aren’t
learning from their previous relationships, and they just don’t understand that the next
one can be better, that you can learn so much from what went wrong? Vishen: And before you answer, the rest of
you can now leave the room. They’re just going to ask each other questions. Dan: Sit forward. Esther: So I think it’s a fantastic question
because… So, you know, I’m actually literally working
with a woman, and I know the relationship from 20 years ago. So it’s just…and she’s in revisionism. She has decided that he was abusive the whole
time, that he treated her poorly, and he on occasion did, but I remember this. And when I say to her, “You know, what have
you learned?” it’s all about how she won’t let anybody else do this to her again. It’s entirely from a victim perspective, from
what was done to her. And I think the questions I asked people at
the end of a relationship is what do you take with you from this relationship? What are the things that will make you smile
when you think about it? What are the things that, you know, you wish
you had done differently? What do you want your partner, your ex to
take with them from you? How do you want to be remembered? And to make this a lot more complex than just,
you know, here’s the stuff that’s bad that I will make sure not to find, again, the majority…you
know, the rate of divorce in the U.S. for first marriages has now gone down from 50
to 48, but it’s close to 50 still. But the rate of second marriages for divorce
is 65%. So everybody wants to find that, like, why
is it? Has nobody learned anything? Didn’t you do it better? And okay, there is the…we’ve done it the
first time, the children. But the bottom line is that the first time
around people too often think it failed because the other. Marisa: Of course. Esther: And it’s only after they have done
this a few times and they realized that the constant factor is them that they finally
some of them are willing to take a look and say, “What is it that I do? And not just what do I let others do to me?” That’s a piece of it for some, but what is
it that I do? And I love your thing about change the beginning
instead of changing the end. You know, how can I enter in this differently? Who do I want to be in this relationship that
will be different from who I was the time before? And these are very simple questions, and not
such easy answers, or even easy things to think about. And the second piece around this would be
about trust. Did you do…because ultimately, that is,
you know, underneath a lot of what we’re talking about, you know, in what ways did you break
the trust? Especially when somebody says the other person
cheated on me. And I always say, “Betrayal comes in many
forms. What was yours? What are things that you supposedly promised?” To me, one of the hidden secrets in a relationship
and this goes with this question for you two, I always ask people, when you choose that
person, what was the secret bargain that you did with yourself? Underneath every relationship, there is a
deal that I struck with me for which I recruited you, which often you’re not even aware of
and often myself, either. That’s the familiar roles I go back to. And when things break down, the rage that
you get is not only in relation to what’s happening, it’s often in relation to the shattering
of the secret deal that I had done to myself that you’re not fulfilling the way that I
needed it to be. And that story, uncovering that the hidden
truth is really where a lot of the work needs to take place. Vishen: Satisfying. So we have a few minutes left. And I simply would love to ask each of you
to just give a closing word or a closing piece of advice. Marisa: I’m going to say something that I
say to a lot of my clients when they’re having problems, we play the only part we’ve ever
known until that part becomes your own, until someone says, “Fuck that part.” Why don’t you go out and play a different
part? We’re given parts, we have a script in our
childhood, I got to play this part, the kid that no one love, the one who had the great
straight As, the pleaser, the difficult one, the carer. So we do play the only part we’ve ever known. But anytime in your life, you can go, “I’m
ready for a new script now. I think I’d like a new part.” So play the only part we’ve ever known. It’s a bit like, you know, when I go to weddings,
my dad stood in his 60s dance moves, he does the twist and my mom would do all of that. And my dad is never dancing like that, and
my mom isn’t dancing like that because we do the only moves we’ve ever known until his
moves become our dance moves. And then my daughter would be horrified if
her grandmother was doing her dance moves and I’m horrified too. But just like you can change your dance moves,
whatever part you’re playing and you’ve made it your own, it’s never too late ever to play
a different part or decide the part you want to play especially in a marriage or relationship
and the part someone else is going to play. So look at the part you played for a long
time and decide to change it. Remember that little poem because it wakes
you up, I play the only part I’ve ever known, made that part my own. Now it’s time to play a better part. Get a better script, learn it off by heart,
play a better part, and your life will change wonderfully. Vishen: Thanks. Dan? Dan: I just think it’s important for people
to remember that they’re always alone. Even in a relationship, you’re still on your
own. You have a responsibility to yourself, you
have a responsibility to your partner, but you’re still individuals, and you have to
carve out autonomous zones for yourself to preserve your sense of self. And that sounds just like buzzword crap, but
the person that you’re with fell in love with the person that you are, and if you just subsume
the person that you are in them, you become less attractive to them over time. And I think you have to give each other freedom
and give each other zones of autonomy including, and this is not a plug for non-monogamy, open
relationships, including zones of erotic autonomy, because I get so many letters and questions
from people who are threatened by the fact that their partner has desires that they cannot
meet or don’t just focus on them exclusively. And, of course, they do just as you do. You have the same sorts of desires that aren’t
just about your partner necessarily. And being able to celebrate that your partner
has desires and interests that aren’t yours, that you can’t satisfy and yet they choose
to be with you and stay with you, and to take that for the compliment it is rather than
the threat that somebody perceive it to be, makes for a happier and more secure relationship
because then you don’t waste a lot of time policing each other for evidence of what you
should both accept are basic fundamental truths about each other that you’re still individuals. You have a want, and a need, and desire for
each other, but you have wants, and needs, and desires that will never go fulfilled because
you chose each other. And that’s something that we grieve every
day in a relationship and that we should celebrate every day in our relationship. Vishen: Esther? Esther: So I wanna to build on these two things. Every time they speak, I have to think, “Okay,
so that’s been said. Now, I have to think about something else.” So, but, you know, I had three thoughts. Trust is an active engagement with the unknown,
says Rachel Botsman. And I think that notion that trust in itself
is risk-taking, and that it is often a kind of risk-taking that many of us are willing
to take in various other parts of our lives but not in our relationships. I think much of what I see is people who let
their relationships drift. They became lazy, complacent. They forgot how to be willful and intentional. If you listen us, I think one of the things
you hear is that all of us are actually quite diligent. We’re involved with these things that we call
our relationships. Each of us in our own ways, but we, you know,
we are willful, we’re intentional, we are premeditated about it. We don’t just let it happen. Too many relationships really fall in a state
of disrepair just because they just got left to rust. And couples who have an intensity, or a spark,
or a passion and not couples that don’t go through boredom and through intermittent eclipses
like the moon and don’t have their ebbs and flows, they all do the same as every other
relationship. But what they have is differences that they
know how to resuscitate when it goes down. They know what to do when they feel like the
energy has been sucking out to kind of bring back focus, attention, energy, you know, intensity,
creativity. It’s that. It’s not that you have couples who have it
and couples who don’t. Those who have it have everything the other
ones also have, but they just know what to do to get themselves back in gear when it’s
gone again because it comes and goes again and again. Vishen: Thank you, Esther. Thank you to all our panelists. Let’s give them a big round of applause.

100 Comments

  1. Jeff Newtown said:

    I’m a gay man who doesn’t want to be in an open relationship. Is that possible? Everyone I know is in an open relationship. It’s Fucking gross. Where did real romance go?

    January 20, 2019
    Reply
  2. Mai Mohamed said:

    WOW, so helpful thank you✨👌

    January 22, 2019
    Reply
  3. Nathan Weaver said:

    Aids

    January 23, 2019
    Reply
  4. Kira S. said:

    I love their answers & their discussion so much! 🙂 Excellent panel.

    One minor criticism I have is not with the three wonderful speakers, but with the host's need to "rephrase" the audience's questions for some reason. I feel like all the speakers totally understood and responded to what the audience's questions were… there was no need for Vishen to "condense" the questions in any way.

    January 27, 2019
    Reply
  5. Amanda Brisbane said:

    My vow has always been that I endeavour to speak honestly.

    January 28, 2019
    Reply
  6. ChocolateEarth said:

    Esther has great arms!

    January 28, 2019
    Reply
  7. Lisa Barker said:

    omg Marisa is unbelievably annoying and unskilled.

    January 31, 2019
    Reply
  8. lisaandtheword said:

    Paranormal part right after 4:48 orbs or specks of light beings? and then at 4:50 is winged looking shape of moving light.

    February 1, 2019
    Reply
  9. Monna said:

    Hairy woman. 😂 😂 😂

    February 4, 2019
    Reply
  10. Moni said:

    Esther is a genius!! “I will text them” but what she’s said about the new vow is exactly why I have decided to accept my mother in law living with us..

    February 5, 2019
    Reply
  11. Moni said:

    Marisa made a great point! Your problem is someone else’s fantasy. Keeps you in gratitude..

    February 5, 2019
    Reply
  12. Tiffany Gnaly said:

    This is so freaking good! THANK YOU. It helped me grow a lot as a Dating Coach for women ✊🏾

    February 9, 2019
    Reply
  13. Jahronimo Emaneual Ellis said:

    23:05 all disagreeing… best thing this convo could ever have done. perspectives.

    February 10, 2019
    Reply
  14. Jordy Mcnab said:

    9:55 people to caught up trying to process what she said to clap. I put Esther Perel on the level of Jordan Peterson. I would love to see a conversation between them.

    February 11, 2019
    Reply
  15. Chas'n Liberty said:

    Outstanding speakers with wonderful points!!!!

    February 17, 2019
    Reply
  16. Gabriela Pataro said:

    WOW! It's so obvious that Esther Perel doesn't like interacting with Marisa Peer, her body language is so deliberate – both women really.

    February 19, 2019
    Reply
  17. Sunisha Pamnani said:

    So, what Esther says beginning at 8:44 about willingness is very intriguing in the context of the metoo movement and makes one wonder whether consent is/can be manufactured with or without the awareness of the one consenting, or if it is not essential as she is alluding to here. It also could include what Dan said about the price of admission of a ride, with regards to some of the celebrities being victims of the metoo movement and why sexual harassment is as omnipresent and perpetuated as it is, whether some of them were and still are willing to pay that price for the ride of lifelong fame, influence, celebrity and riches. Should they be given that platform to bitch about it unless they themselves acknowledge they would rewrite their past and erase the harassment if it meant that they wouldn't be as big of a celebrity, or seriously do something(instead of only telling stories and seeking revenge that neither lasts long nor works to change the industry or the individuals in question) to form an industry where you don't have to pay that price?

    February 19, 2019
    Reply
  18. Jolly V said:

    Play a better part and your life will change❤️❤️

    February 21, 2019
    Reply
  19. Creativedesignsbyappealinglady said:

    Very interesting.

    February 23, 2019
    Reply
  20. Umm Barakah AK said:

    I love unshakable unbeatable merisa peers…amazing lady thank u for all u share with us.

    February 23, 2019
    Reply
  21. ulsy27 said:

    I like them all, particurarly Marisa.

    February 28, 2019
    Reply
  22. Emily B. McCartha said:

    Esther’s comment on best friends/partners is amazing. So insightful

    March 8, 2019
    Reply
  23. Theodora said:

    Esther is just a genius !!! I love her so much . She has the abiliy to make you believe in positivity and change . It gives you a new perspective of a relation . It dosnt fit with the reality we been tought to

    March 9, 2019
    Reply
  24. Arch Barron said:

    Whenever you consider advice from anyone….if the advice resenates with you and it feels right for you…then take it. But you should never take anyones advice just because they are professionals….everyone is different….what works for one, may not work for another.

    March 9, 2019
    Reply
  25. Angela Lopez said:

    Through therapy I learned where my pain came from in my childhood and how I repeated those patterns with others in my adult life, trying to fix or heal those wounds (or so I thought.) But what I never realized, until now, was that over the years I had become, in a way, addicted to unworthiness. I automatically seek out ways to validate my unworthiness and sabotage my relationships. Now that I am aware, I keep catching myself and then stop myself from following through with the negative thought. I was projecting my feelings of unworthiness onto him. Thank goodness I'm married to a truly loving and wonderful man who deserves a wife who actually loves herself too.

    March 11, 2019
    Reply
  26. Rina E Fuentes said:

    I totally agree with the woman. My partner is not my bestfriend. She couldn't have said it better!

    March 11, 2019
    Reply
  27. D.Tilly said:

    I’d hate to be Marissa on that panel, I felt she was brushed aside and her ideas were kinda taken as a hit. I cringed a bit.

    March 11, 2019
    Reply
  28. Ben K said:

    I don’t think I’ve seen Dan in any other shirt since Trump got in office. Did he make a pledge or something?

    March 11, 2019
    Reply
  29. GreenTara2010 said:

    I am so tired of his cursing. He is so negative.

    March 12, 2019
    Reply
  30. Lisa Simpson said:

    All three speakers are brilliant, but Esther's charm and charisma is just unreal!! Great discussion, thanks

    March 12, 2019
    Reply
  31. Fierce Gentleman said:

    35:47 PURE SOLID 100 KARAT GOLD

    March 13, 2019
    Reply
  32. Sandra Carneiro said:

    Marisa Peer is the best speaker here. Ofcourse you need to marry your best friend.

    March 14, 2019
    Reply
  33. philomela said:

    Man, that facilitator is condescending and controlling. Does he think we can't understand the questions being asked as they are? His rigidity does not further the conversation.

    March 14, 2019
    Reply
  34. MyessYallyah Americus said:

    do you know what makes me sad? most of those on youtube and American news are all about to be assassinated along with those imitating them. its a slaughter that will begin and be completed all in one day. when the violence starts they will be given no chance to surrender. they will all of them that are guilty of treason be killed that day as their trial will be completed. they don't even know where the court trial is taking place. they wont here the verdict except the pop of gunpowder that knocks their brains out of their heads. like a rapture for those guilty of high treason. it might come as soon as tomorrow or it could be 4 or five weeks. but know its coming. they are many of them already marked for death. but when all verdicts are complete. then that day within a matter of hours all enemies of the united states will be dead. godfather one ending but across a wide section. not just the heads of five families. but a majority of an entire industry . im the champion of the united states. its strongest member. im the most powerful man who has ever lived on this planet. my enemies are not existant. those who think im their enemy are their own enemies. I only have those I make grow and learn. or they commit suicide by attacking me. the one who gave them more then they ever gave themselves. ive been friend to all. and produced more then all others combined by true pure crearion. I am victor. I own the military equipment. I pay all taxes. those who think they pay their own are getting extra on their checks from me to pay them but I pay them to transfer it just to separate and bring it back together through a more secure channel full nation wide instead of one single mass transfer easy to intercept and steal. my vaults are empty. I spread gold to the people so no one vault could be robbed and all contents gone. over three hundred million people have my vaults contents divided among them so its truly safe. the gold is spread across the nation. the vaults built to hide bodies of those who attack the united states. they are coffins. they are for burial of the disappeared. for those who try to steal my money. I asked for a miniture amount of my wealth. im worth over 50 trillion. me alone. I asked them bring me 8 million cash of it. those who try to get in the way of that transfer will all be buried in my federal reserve vaults. the red blood gold of fort knowx.

    March 15, 2019
    Reply
  35. bmxion said:

    Good job Mindvalley! – Fantastic panel!

    March 15, 2019
    Reply
  36. E Roll said:

    This interviewer is the worst

    March 16, 2019
    Reply
  37. Caz Mataz said:

    5:00 ….Was that the sound of a child in the room?? Why bring a child to a seminar like this? Hope I misheard!😕

    March 16, 2019
    Reply
  38. Sam Mohan said:

    Esther Perel's intelligence level is very high, it is very hard for an average person to understand and practice her ideas. As average is the majority what can we expect? Understanding and practicing real love is the only way to true happiness. Love is simple if really understand, if not it is complicated and you are not lucky.

    March 16, 2019
    Reply
  39. Madame Sabine Balve said:

    "that I will do things for you just because it's you, even so, I would never wanna do this and that should be good enough, I don't have to want what you want in order to do it – you are a perfectly valid reason for me to do so… "

    March 19, 2019
    Reply
  40. Madame Sabine Balve said:

    "There is a woman in the other room, and she is thinking about you and she was wondering if … 🙂

    March 19, 2019
    Reply
  41. Madame Sabine Balve said:

    Trust is active engagement with the unknown, that notion in itself says that trust is about risk-taking

    March 19, 2019
    Reply
  42. Neetu Aulakh said:

    They have mastered it. Loved them all 3.

    March 19, 2019
    Reply
  43. Eyelash extensions artist said:

    I WOULD TEXT THEM! 🤣🤣🤣👍ESTHER IS THE BEST

    March 19, 2019
    Reply
  44. Sun said:

    don´t like "the price you have to pay" in case of relationship

    March 20, 2019
    Reply
  45. Shruthi Jaya Venukumar said:

    😘💚💚💚

    March 22, 2019
    Reply
  46. Rodolfo Monterroso said:

    This was amazing, love Esther's take on relationships, revealing, cleaning up a lot of modern myths!

    March 24, 2019
    Reply
  47. Water colour said:

    Lots of value in this video

    March 25, 2019
    Reply
  48. Gloria Hester said:

    Powerful speakers , Marisa is super confident and never lost it no matter how hard Estr tried to trip her up , she read her like a book , gently but boldly put her in her place .. But all powerful speakes . Good good talk . ⚘

    March 26, 2019
    Reply
  49. i SS said:

    Humans are humans with the same fundamental needs.

    March 29, 2019
    Reply
  50. nanah p said:

    A man who says my husband and I just seem strange to me.

    April 4, 2019
    Reply
  51. Tyra Whitson said:

    Dream team. I wish they were my parents.

    April 4, 2019
    Reply
  52. Marilou Rosal said:

    I love esther you are Damn good

    April 6, 2019
    Reply
  53. Marilou Rosal said:

    Every word you said esther are really good

    April 6, 2019
    Reply
  54. Jody Royee said:

    Marisa has a very calm wisdom , very real and grounded , practical, selfless in a egoless way, love her♥️😘♥️
    the ITMFA guy is quite self absorbed and self righteous, he’s got something to prove. He interrupts a lot and is focusing on the superficial sexual compatibility as if it’s a constant , but as a gay man, yes, That multiple testosterone thing makes them most sexually driven beings . 🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪🤪

    Esther is the quantum philosophical one , she wants to take this whole thing to a cosmic higher level – 🤩🤩🤩

    Are we really just poor stupid sex driven humans who are hormone controlled .

    Until Men- O- Pause 😂👍👍
    💖💖💖💖💖😂💖💖💖💖
    Enough said !

    April 12, 2019
    Reply
  55. Anna Antonino said:

    Marisa Peer is great… wise conversation…

    April 14, 2019
    Reply
  56. Jan Brett said:

    Fantastic

    April 15, 2019
    Reply
  57. About Creativity said:

    Ready! , let her rip.

    April 24, 2019
    Reply
  58. Vocal Therapy Success said:

    Esther is awesome. Yes… cheating happens on many levels… even mental! Take responsibility for what you put in and your focus <3

    April 27, 2019
    Reply
  59. Princessa Vanessa said:

    Marissa has helped me so much with her exact advice, she drops the extra unnecessary words to get right to the point… I struggled with all these brilliant speakers.. I would get distracted or forget or get completely lost with too much info… but she gets right to the core..”I am enough” everyday, thank you marissa

    April 30, 2019
    Reply
  60. Anne Bos said:

    You have 1 BEST friend and other GOOD friends. Esther doesn't seem to understand the definition of a best friend here.

    May 7, 2019
    Reply
  61. Joe c said:

    To me non monogamy is kind of funny to try and grasp. Someone is going to come along and be a better option and naturally one partner is going to get hurt. How is this not obvious? Isnt the basis of real love is being able to trust, confide, and rely on someone? Any perspective is welcomed

    May 9, 2019
    Reply
  62. Michelle Simtoco said:

    I love the different perspectives shared by the panel 💕 thanks mindvalley for posting this. I enjoyed the discussion immensely

    May 10, 2019
    Reply
  63. Lola Kathol said:

    Not to show favoritism but , Marisa peer would be my first choice, if I were going in for counseling. She is so calming in how she talks😊❤️

    May 11, 2019
    Reply
  64. svartvist said:

    Stupid woman and the sandwich. All she had to do was scream at her husband that she was ready to have him bang the hell out of her as soon as he put away his mess. He gets what he wants. She gets TWICE what she wants.

    The Inuits should be emulated more. They have customs for treating partnership boredom and maintaining variety.

    May 13, 2019
    Reply
  65. kishori bhardwaj said:

    Wow Esther i love how you broke up that your partner can not be your best friend you have and need other people who are your best friend

    May 14, 2019
    Reply
  66. Xintisous Vrimlisus said:

    It says from the men the moral of the story is for women stop having high double standards…. Otherwise rest Mankind's is f*****😏

    May 15, 2019
    Reply
  67. Katie O'Reilly said:

    lol you can see Dan having a big gay crush on Esther

    May 16, 2019
    Reply
  68. Crow Girl said:

    STR leads to STD

    May 17, 2019
    Reply
  69. Elaine Nilsson said:

    She says treat them like you would your client but that would mean never discussing sex, religion or politics.

    May 19, 2019
    Reply
  70. Meek Money said:

    In summary: If you're not in an abusive relationship. Then if you love the partner you've opted to be with then "Understand that love/commitment takes WORK thus TRY HARDER!"

    May 21, 2019
    Reply
  71. Redpill Mgtow said:

    You lost me with your Trump hating bullshit

    May 21, 2019
    Reply
  72. i SS said:

    Your partner needs to ‘make you feel like you matter’

    May 23, 2019
    Reply
  73. Dr MnM clinic said:

    I don't like to hear a gay talk about sex. gross

    May 24, 2019
    Reply
  74. Lauren Ringer said:

    It's not about which relationship template you choose, it about weather you're ok or not with the opinions others will have on you.

    May 24, 2019
    Reply
  75. Michal Phillip said:

    idiots

    May 29, 2019
    Reply
  76. TRICIA TROTMAN-MARAJ said:

    This ITMFA guy is a quack….

    May 29, 2019
    Reply
  77. Ammar Saeed said:

    Awsome panel . When Esther speaks we all listen 🙏

    May 30, 2019
    Reply
  78. sharon samtur said:

    the question about containers…..a relationship is not two people isolated from society……it i two ;people in the context of their "world" which is why our society is a mess……does the relationship make your world better and do you two make a bigger contribution to this world than two alone….. As far as monogamy…..not natural? we can all agree? baloney. If you cannot commit to another, you cannot commit to yourself either.

    May 31, 2019
    Reply
  79. sharon samtur said:

    Spirituality is not even disussed here, when it is so important. Do these people undertand that when you sleep with someone you are connecting to not only that soul but all the souls connected to them…their ancestors for example. and you are creating an inner bond with worlds beyond yours……do you want to take on that persons karma and their connections. I think they do not realize the seriousness of this….not only for this lifetime….and consequently the importance of sex on levels they are not aware of nor aware of the responsibility they undertake.

    May 31, 2019
    Reply
  80. Johanna’s Skin Care said:

    Great talk! I LOVE all 3 speakers! Thank you 🙏😜

    May 31, 2019
    Reply
  81. Bullshit Busted said:

    Mindvalley Talks
    The Fake gay man likes to swear which is Disgusting behaviour which wasn't tolerated 40 or 50 years ago. There is No Need for that vulgar emotional response. These people Follow Scripts from the 33 degree CONtrol Freakmason Satanic Agenda Cult Clubs. Freakmasonry and it's ass ociated Satanic Agenda Deceitful Cult Clubs have to be Destroyed, they ruin mans Natural progress and Deliberately suppress people.

    June 3, 2019
    Reply
  82. Pino Santilli said:

    Hell yeah you better prioritize sex….

    June 3, 2019
    Reply
  83. Donna Longhurst Jackson said:

    I wont listen to people whose vocabulary is so limited they try to use fuck as a word to stun or surprise. learn to express yourself better. Im willing to bet a lot of money that none of these people are happy.. by happy I mean fulfilled. Happy people give up trying so hard to be eecognised as on the NYT bestseller list. These people are trying too hard. As for the woman who is a coach and is still using Princess Diana Spencers name to get business. she certainly didnt help Diana. Diana consulted various people to help her through a dark time, theres nothing especially unique about this woman. switching off.

    June 7, 2019
    Reply
  84. Gabriel Cobian said:

    I can’t stand the host 😅

    June 16, 2019
    Reply
  85. Eve Mwangi said:

    There are many more people we can love than people we can make a life with.

    June 17, 2019
    Reply
  86. BEN. W. K. said:

    Everyone is copying the "ALPHA TALK OF BLACK MEN/BLACK PEOPLE" like "stop bitching, get the fuck away". This used to be black people's slang / style of communicating to hide the meaning of their message from white people and now everybody is using it like main stream and regular language. Why don't we all just talk to black people about sexual skills, talk and orgasms. On a scale of 💯%, they've 95% proven to come up with some of the best sex. I know some of you may disagree with me about this point for racial reasons but it's the truth and I stand by it. White people over think and over reason getting into unnecessary details and preparations before sex. But black people are like, "let's fuck and it happens". Black people have no political logistics and all those unnecessary minor details. Period.

    July 1, 2019
    Reply
  87. BEN. W. K. said:

    "Marriage is work because we were never designed to stay together for 70/80 years. Forget about what society says" Monogamy is a struggle. It's an indirect violation of nature.

    July 1, 2019
    Reply
  88. SHORTY SQUAD said:

    whos also watching today Jully,03,2019??

    July 3, 2019
    Reply
  89. Jesus morning Wallace domenico Catania said:

    Bye

    July 13, 2019
    Reply
  90. Mindvalley Talks said:

    What is the things you enjoyed most from this panel? Share your thoughts, we'd love to hear them 😃 For more transformational education with the world’s best teachers. Sign up for Mindvalley Mentoring and get access NOW 👉 https://go.mindvalley.com/bCVCuW2e

    August 1, 2019
    Reply
  91. Vivian Joseph Thomas said:

    I grew up in a family of a country where discussion about sex and related aspects are taboo.

    August 4, 2019
    Reply
  92. Vivian Joseph Thomas said:

    sex just lives in thoughts in persons of developing countries.

    August 4, 2019
    Reply
  93. Don't Call Me White said:

    If more people thought of relationships like this panel, the world would likely be a much better place!

    August 6, 2019
    Reply
  94. S R said:

    great video but until the gay ass mentioned about politics. Keep to yourself

    August 6, 2019
    Reply
  95. utubecomment21 said:

    What A Load Of Clichéd Horse Manure!
    I did just over 18 mins and I feel like I should be short listed for the Nobel Peace Prize as recompense.

    August 8, 2019
    Reply
  96. neuroticgypsy said:

    Absolutely wonderful! Thank you!

    August 10, 2019
    Reply
  97. Tom Ciaccio said:

    youtubers drop the f bomb in their videos? it makes them seem angry and small

    August 12, 2019
    Reply
  98. Bianca Transylva said:

    Watch closely and find every reason for not being in a sexual relationship, if You want to have a genuine spiritual life, complete with the ever-new joy and bliss of your own soul…something that Sex cannot ever give You

    August 16, 2019
    Reply
  99. Erin Krock said:

    My favourite part was Dan fangirling over Esther 😍

    I didn't love the host for this panel, however. I can't pinpoint it – his introductions of the experts wasn't great and he didn't structure the questions well

    August 16, 2019
    Reply
  100. N T said:

    Dan Savage, I like! Very unconventional 💕

    August 16, 2019
    Reply

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