Romantic relationships in the digital age with Esther Perel
Esther Perel is a couples therapist, speaker, author and specializes in romantic relationships.
Esther is a celebrity across the Atlantic with over 20 million views of these TEDs, sthe conferences fill up in minutes around the world, she was voted best speaker at SXSW 2018. As she steps out his new book on infidelity
Our romantic relationships have been turned upside down in recent years
In the past everything was very well structured, there were many rules whether it was about our professional, love, religious or more broadly social life and everyone respected them until their death.
In the same way, the relations between men and women were decided in advance whether it was to define the person who feeds the child, the one who takes care of the household, the one who decides the sex, the one who brings back the child. household money etc….
But today we areApple-converted-space “> henceforth we also ask him to be the best friend, the confidant, the lover etc… in the end I expect from a single person the anchoring and the stability but also the adventure, the novelty, the surprise etc…. the famousApple-converted-space “> an economic advantage because the idea was obviously to have children who were then helpers for the household. We have obviously completely changed our model,
Therefore, sex is not something that I do but something that I am, it is therefore an element of identity.
In particular, for women, sex was a conjugal duty and nothing more whereas henceforth it is a desire, which implies becoming master of one’s will.
Sex has even gone from a recreational model but in a story despite everything to a co-modified model for certain cases, that is to say that it is practiced voluntarily on both sides without there being any particular story around.
Is digital in romantic relationships a generator of loneliness
As Esther points out, this quest for happiness during her lifetime is a completely new concept.
Previously, life was merciful to be able to access happiness after death in Heaven.
This notion of the pursuit of happiness and that we owe it to ourselves to be happy is quite recent.
Therefore, the survival of the family depends essentially on the happiness of the couple.
And digital is entering at all levels of course.
First in the meeting then in the construction of the couple, in their daily life and finally, perhaps, in the possible deceptions.
According to Esther, there is a difference between people who have experienced romantic relationships without a smartphone and then necessarily younger people who have not had this opportunity.
However, numerous analyzes show that textual communication (What’sApp, Instagram, Messenger, SMS or other) shows that this generates a lot of ambiguities and incomprehension because the tone, the look, the expression, the gestures do not are not there when they represent more than half of the communication.
For their part, dating applications have first really brought something to romantic relationships. In the first years, it allowed her to overcome her shyness, to show other facets of oneself, to write, to go in depth in the exchange before the physical meeting but now, Esther asserts that relationships on Tinder are very poor. and tasteless most of the time.
But more than that, Esther explains that there is an impoverishment in our capacity to feel with the entirety of our senses which is due to digital.
Moreover, the smartphone very often impoverishes romantic relationships because we can be present to each other but ignore each other completely, it is a form of “ambiguous loss” according to Esther.
But this phenomenon is not new since before the smartphone there was the TV which could also be a bulwark to conversation.
However, as she recalls, smartphones but especially social applications are built based on neurosciences to capture our attention to the maximum and therefore, we can find ourselves in situations of solitude for two.
According to Esther, it is the lack of ritual (fall of the religious) that has allowed new rituals (looking at her phone when she wakes up for example) to develop.
Feminism is not just a fight, it has to be a conversation
First, you have to understand the difference between American and French feminism.
In France, in the 70s we defended the difference but a desire to have the same opportunities while in the United States the fight was rather to say that there should not be any difference.
Therefore, in France we have put in place a set of measures such as maternity leave, crèches or other to allow women to have an active life taking into account their difference, that is to say, at least, their ability to give life.
Therefore, no maternity leave in the US, we speak of sick leave more or less like any other.
In the same way nothing is organized so that the woman or the couple can manage the arrival of this birth, no nursery or other.
But “Me too” is an opportunity to re-discuss this power exchange relationship between men and women.
Historically, men have always used their social power to access sexuality.
While women have historically always used their youth, their seduction to gain access to social and public power that was denied and denied to them.
Today this exchange is being corrected.
For 50 years, women have not only been in a fight, they are above all in a conversation in order to redefine the place of women, their identity, their power, their desire …
She needs to define how she finds her voice and her power, but men should have a conversation around vulnerability and not fall for the male programming of the myth of virility.
This myth is extremely powerful, as Elisabeth Badinter reminded us, one is not born a man, one becomes one.
At all times, there have been rites of passage for men and so to pass his name, it was necessary to deserve it.
A fascinating conversation that would undoubtedly deserve several hours of discussion but I invite you to read Esther’s books and watch her videos if you haven’t already done so or to listen his podcast of course.
Gregory Pouy is the founder of LaMercatique, a digital transformation consulting firm focused on the marketing part. Based between New York and Paris, he is a marketing “expert” for FrenchWeb.fr. To follow his writings and discuss with him: