Meg Barker: Should we embrace uncertainty when we embrace others?
Warning: one of 14 liveblogged talk notes transcribed in real time during TEDxBrighton 2013, hence prone to error, omission and howling grammatical typos. Posts will be corrected and updated as time allows and this note updated.
Liveblogged notes from a talk at TEDxBrighton 2013
Our culture is in a state of relationship uncertainty. We are moving towards equal marriage, while lifelong monogamy is promoted as the only context for a family.
We’re much more unstable in our lives than we used to be. We don’t believe in Goid, we move jobs and homes – so we look for romantic relationships to replace those things that stability brings in our lives. We’re taught to value self-fulfilment – but we have to do that in a relationship.
Do we cling on to old rules? Do we create new ones? Or do we embrace uncertainty?
There’s been a move – driven by publishing – back to women being traditionally feminine, and men to alpha males roles. The Old Values. Or are they? Research shows that they only really emerged in the 1950s. We’re looking to the same person for the everyday and the passion. This leads to serial monogamy, affairs, or bitter marriages.
In a crab bucket, if one crab tries to escape, the others pull them back in. Anyone trying to do things differently in relationships are treated this way: media tries to drive them back into the mainstream.
What happens when a crab escapes? They scuttle around on their own on the beach. That’s a dangerous place. So we got into a new crab bucket – a gay one, a kinky one, a poly-amourous one. They start creating rules and regulations to create a new, comfy crab bucket.
Imagine that you’re holding a precious object in your hand. You tend to grab it tight – but you can’t see it, and you might get cramp. If you get cramp – you throw it away. So why not just hold it gently? See what they offer, and how they ;limit us. Accept that they will change over time. We could hold all our relationships more gently, we could appreciate them more. People are not objects to figure out and play – everyone is complex in their own right. Appreciate other people’s vulnerability. Be present in their lives – in the present.