If there's one thing that everyone loves, it's love, and what better way to celebrate love than watch TEd Talks about love? Whether you're into the science of love, the mathematics of love, or how love and literature connect, there's sure to be a TED Talk about love for you. Plus, talking about love is particularly salient and important during June, as millions of LGBTQ people all over the world celebrate Pride Month and come together with likeminded people and allies who have historically been denied their right to love.
Besides the love of love, there are several reasons to expand your arsenal of knowledge with these TED Talks. First of all, it's impossible to deny that our culture tends to have some really narrow definitions love: A parent is supposed to love their child; a husband is supposed to love his wife; one person is not supposed to romantically love more than one other person; and so on and so forth. But what if all of these things don't happen as they're "supposed" to? How do we, with our sometimes-narrow understanding of love, understand them?
Enter all the people who give TED Talks: Actors, activists, writers, and thinkers, who urge us to explore our understandings of certain topics in a new way. From jealousy to math, there are all kinds of ways to think about love that might be a little outside the box from what many of us are used to — so without further ado, let's take a look at some of the TED Talks that will have you thinking twice about everything you thought you knew.
1. "An Ode To Envy" by Parul Seghal
It seems impossible to talk about love without talking about jealousy, which is why literary critic Parul Seghal talks so extensively about the proverbial green-eyed monster in her talk "An Ode To Envy." She starts with a particularly touching and illustrative story about jealousy in her childhood and continues to discuss it in terms of literature, and how the long-loved literary representation of jealousy resonates with us all.
2. "The Mathematics of Love" by Hannah Fry
Do you love love and also love math? Then theorist Hannah Fry's TED Talk about the intersection of the two is perfect for you. The best part is when she offers fool-proof tips for finding love from dating apps to divorce, all backed by math!
3. "Love, No Matter What" by Andrew Solomon
In this well-reported and researched talk, writer Andrew Solomon talks about a kind of love we often take for granted and rarely discuss: The love between a parent and child — specifically, the love between a parent and child when the two people are fundamentally different. Solomon talks about his own relationship with his mother and how love came into question when he came out to her as gay, and then transitions into a discussion about hearing parents and their deaf children.
4. "Rethinking Infidelity" by Esther Perel
In one of my favorite TED Talks of all time, psychoanalyst Esther Perel addresses why people cheat, why extramarital affairs hurt so much, and why monogamy might be at the root of some of the problems associated with cheating. She's funny and observant, presenting ideas in her talk that most people don't even stop to consider in their entire lifetime (Why are we monogamous? Why do affairs hurt us so much?). If you only have time to watch one talk in this list, I would highly recommend this one.
5. "Falling In Love Is The Easy Part" by Mandy Len Catron
You may have heard of falling in love with someone if you make eye contact long enough, but have you heard of falling in love with someone just by asking them 36 questions? Writer Mandy Len Catron tried this experiment out, and her TED Talk discusses whether or not it worked, whether love based on a handful of questions can last, and ultimately, what it means to love anyway.
Image: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle