Things I’m thinking about, tuning into, and working on, myself.

A number of you wrote to say how much you appreciated last week’s blog on relationships, and as a result, I’m going to make it a regular thing on most Fridays.

Self-protection in intimacy is something many of us wrestle with, it seems.  I know I’m all good in dating until something and someone looks like it could be real, and then, well, the wheels start to come off my cart.  Thankfully, I have dear friends who see this and aren’t shy about saying: “Is this fear?”

It was one of those dear friends who, years ago, introduced me to another favorite thinker in the relationship space, Esther Perel.  Speaking nine languages and practicing in five (can you imagine?), she brings a variety of disciplines to her work.  It was her book, Mating in Captivity, that first illuminated for me how some distance in an intimate, romantic relationship can be essential to maintaining a robust connection over the long haul.

Her first TED explores this poetically, and describes our two, fundamental human — and sometimes conflicting– needs for love and desire.

One of the circumstances in which we’re most drawn to our partners, her research shows, is when the other person is in their element, doing their thing – on stage, on the slopes, playing an instrument – and is completely self-sustaining, vital, and independent of us.

As Perel says, “Fire needs air.”