Select the right relationship | Alexandra Redcay | TEDxUpperEastSide


Translator: Nadine Hennig
Reviewer: Gintare Vilkelyte I want everybody to close their eyes. I want you to imagine being in love. Maybe you have been in love, maybe you hope to be in love. What was that like? Your heart starts racing, your stomach gets all weird. You call up your best friend and say: “Oh, my gosh, I think
I just met the love of my life!” In three weeks. We figured that out so quick. We make these very quick decisions. All of our emotion
comes rushing so quickly. But then, what happens down the road? We realize,
“What were we thinking?” 50% of marriages fail. Why? Two of my very good friends
called me within a week of each other and told me that their marriage
of over ten years had failed, even though everyone else
around them knew that they weren’t making
a good decision at the time. You know, my best friend – Her mother and I knew
over ten years ago that the guy that she picked
was kind of controlling; he was dismissive towards women, and he really wanted a woman
that would stay home, cook, clean, and have their child. And my friend was
not at all interested in that, she was singing jazz in New York City. She was very happy to have that life, but that’s not what he was interested in. But somewhere along the way, she fell in love with him, and so she sacrificed for the family, she sacrificed for what she thought
was the right decision. And ten years down the road, she realized she didn’t recognize herself, and then she decided to leave. A women asked me the other day – she was complaining, at 40, saying that there was no good men left. And she said that the only men
that are out there are the Peter Pan guys. The men who, as she described,
don’t want to grow up, that they don’t want to have kids,
they don’t want to get married, they don’t want to settle down. And she spent all her time and energy
trying to ‘un-Peter-Pan’ them. And she asked me, what do I think,
why does this come about, why can’t she find anybody,
and why can’t she fix this situation. So I say to her:
“How honest do you want me to be?” And she said, “Oh, yes, very honest! I’m really serious. I want to fix
this problem. How do I do this?” And I said: “Well, I think
you’re investing all your energy in people that are really happy. They’re totally fine. Why should they get married,
have kids, and settle down? They don’t want to, you do.” So, the issue is your focus,
the issue is your perspective. How are we selecting partners? And why are we trying
to force them to change? Or, why are we ignoring who they are, or the red flags that are
right in front of our face ? I have women all the time, complaining
– in their 30s, 40s, and 50s that they can’t find
the man of their dreams or woman of their dreams. I have men complaining that they feel
that they’re being overlooked because they are the good guy,
the nice guy, the friend, and what they find is that people are dating
the unavailable person, the player, the pathological liar, the person who’s already married. So, we make all these decisions
in our relationships, and we end up two,
three years down the road, ten years down the road, in despair. We struggle to try to find
the relationship that we want, whether that leads to marriage
or just to long term commitment. Why do we repeat this cycle
over and over and over again? And the woman that asked me earlier – that I had talked about, that asked
my advice about why this happens – says: “Oh, no! I don’t date
the Peter Pan guys. I just see them out there. Well, except the last two relationships,
I did date the Peter Pan guy.” “Oh, OK, so, you do date them.
So why do you choose them?” She couldn’t really explain it. And then she just kept coming back and saying: “No, no,
I don’t really date them.” “OK, except the last two.” So, she became really defensive
in this conversation and was denying the truth that everyone else
around her could see – the people that loved her
the most, her friends, her family. So I asked myself: on the path of love,
what happens? What do we do? It starts off beautiful,
wonderful, perfect. You’re totally in love with this person
in a very short period of time. And then, we see
a red flag, but we ignore it because we say: “No, no. It must be us.
We’re crazy. We’re too picky.” But the problem is that
our friends and family see it too. And they are concerned.
They may or may not say anything. And then, what is our response? We attack them. “Well, you will never be happy
if I am happy.” “I finally found someone I love
and you can’t accept it.” “Well, you just don’t know him.
He is different when we are alone.” We tell ourselves this all the time. Then there is a combination of red flags. And we tell ourselves,
“Well, all relationships take work,” which is true, but we tell
ourselves this in a misguided way, so our friends and family
express their concern. And what do we do?
We attack them. We’re defensive. And then we begin to isolate from them. They try to intervene, and they say: “Look, I am really concerned
about this person that you’re dating. And I want you to think about that. I want you to try and pick
someone else or just end it.” And we may even admit to ourselves: “Yeah, I probably should end it.
I know this person isn’t good for me.” But we don’t. So then, what happens is – because family or friends, or anyone
in our life, colleges, co-workers, because they conflict
with us, and they say, “Look, there is a problem here,” we feel embarrassed, we feel ashamed. And so, what do we do?
We separate from them. So we don’t go
to the friends’ house anymore because they’re always complaining. Then the family gets angry, then they separate from you;
they stop trying. And eventually, we realize too that we were wrong and they were right. And we hate it. It drives us nuts. Then we despair, and say, “Are we ever
going to find anybody?” And we could have saved
so much time and energy and despair if we would just listen to
the people that are around us and not to be so defensive. Why do we repeat this cycle?
Why do we repeat this? Because we do it all the time. Our brain – I think that the same part
of our brain that controls addiction controls our feelings of love because our feelings of love, that intense connection
that we feel with someone, which is totally irrational – we don’t really know them, we don’t really have
all those things in common but we want to believe that we do – it’s just like being addicted
to drugs or alcohol. It’s an addiction, it is. And for whatever reason,
we’re not wise enough to figure it out. We’re not wise enough because our emotion and our perception,
our feelings of this love controls our brain, our mind, our prefrontal cortex
which is at the front of your brain. The prefrontal cortex
is the part of the brain that’s rational,
it makes rational decisions. It tells the other parts
of the brain, “Knock it off.” When you want to punch
somebody and then you realize: “Nope, that’s my boss,
I can’t do that,” (Laughter) that’s the prefrontal cortex
telling you, “Knock it off.” But we don’t allow the prefrontal cortex to control our heart
and our feelings of love, so that’s how we get in these situations. It could genetics,
it could be role models, maybe we don’t know anyone
that has a happy marriage or happy relationship, things like that. Some people have this idea
that we are drawn to danger. Why do we date the person who we know is historically
unfaithful and a liar? They tell us about their last partner,
and they cheated on them, but somehow we still think that: “Oh, they are going
to be different with us.” Meanwhile, the good person is there, the good guy who is honest,
faithful, trustworthy, loves you, but we ignore them. I have an example; don’t laugh. It’s the bachelorette. Has anyone paid attention
to [The] Bachelor [show] recently? Audience) Yes.
AR: OK, one person, thank you. Des, who is the bachelorette, is down to three guys two of which are madly in love with her. Madly in love with her. They tell her, they’re affectionate,
they write poems, they sing songs, all this wonderful stuff. Who does she fall in love with? The guy that doesn’t love her. And he tells her, he breaks her heart, – I don’t know what’s going to happen,
there is only one show left – but I think this is symbolic of life. We do this all the time, we see
our friends making these decisions. Love rules our mind. It seems like we are addicted to drugs, we’re obsessed, we’re compulsive
with this idea of love; we can’t sleep. Either we can’t eat, or when we do eat it
that cheeseburger, it tastes so delicious because now we’re in love,
everything is amplified. This is my favorite quote here. – It reminds me of the lady who wants
to “un-Peter-Pan” the guys she dates – “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It annoys the pig,
and it wastes your time.” I am not saying that men are pigs – and if they were pigs, women are just as much pigs as they are – but why are constantly trying
to change people? We go into this relationship,
and pigs can’t sing, and yet, we keep trying
to get them to sing, and it’s just – you know, it’s annoying,
and it wastes your time. Meanwhile, you’re in that relationship for two years,
and you’ve wasted all that time when really, there are
so many opportunities out there for you. So, how do we fix this? Short list, but hard. We have to open our heart
to a real self-assessment. The woman who asked for advice
sat in a circle of all of her friends – we were just hanging out
in the backyard having a barbeque – and she refused to listen
to every single one of them, who all said the same thing. We have to open up
our heart to a self-assessment. What is going on with us? What are we doing to contribute
to these relationships? What are we afraid of?
Do we think we are not worth it? Do we think we have to
settle for this person? You have to get healthier, and on the path to being healthier
we have to get to know ourselves. I can’t tell you how many people say – Well, they go out on a date and they go: “Oh, I hope that they’ll like me.” I say: “What?! I hope you like them! Who cares if they like you?” You need to assess
this person to figure out if they’re a good fit for you. If our entire focus in dating
is “I hope that they like me,” no wonder we make bad decisions. And then you have the person
who always says: “Well, let me just put it out there. I’m just going to tell you
everything that I’m looking for. I want this kind of person who does this,
and who is interested in this.” Well, the unscrupulous person who just kind of wants to land you in bed is going to tell you all of that stuff
that you’ve just told them. So, instead of putting everything
out there and letting them become who you want, temporarily, to get what they want, you need to take a step back and figure out what are
the most important things for you. Think of three questions. If you really want to get married
and have kids, and you’re 35, well, that should be one
of the first questions you ask: Are you interested in getting married? I’m not saying to me,
I’m not saying tomorrow, but is this in your plan? Because there are
many people out there who say: “No way. I am good.
If I never get married, I’ll be happy.” We have to be bolder. We have to know what we want, and be stubborn only about
the really important stuff. I had a friend who said – she didn’t want to date anybody who ever in their entire life
did drugs, including pot, and I said: “Well! Most people have done drugs,
at least once in their life. So, I don’t know…
Is that really important?” I could see if they’re a pothead,
smoking every week, and they’re not going to work
and, all that stuff, I get it. But we have to really be wise
about what we’re looking for. How about “Let’s be stubborn
about honesty?” and “Is the person honest?”; that’s what we want to be stubborn about. The foolish person
seeks happiness in the distance; the wise person seeks it under [his] feet. We have to be happy with ourselves,
we have to be happy with our presence, and happiness will come to us more. If we’re miserable now, .then we’ll just become
more and more miserable as we evaluate our lives. It’s about our perspective. Number one rule – and a lot of people think
this is crazy but I stand by it 100% – your friends and family
must meet your prospect. If you feel uncomfortable and pressured, and:”Oh, my gosh,
they going to think I am crazy,” maybe that’s a problem. You can stage a fake, a setup
(Strikes a pose) (Laughter) like “Oh, we just happened
to go to this restaurant, and oh, look, there is my best friend. Oh, why don’t you join us for dinner?” Because they will tell you
if that person is good for you or not, but the problem is
we have to listen to them, and it has to happen early,
within three to five dates. Why? Because that’s when we fall in love – within the first three or five dates – that’s when we’re already hooked. We might not say it, we may not admit it,
but we know it’s true; that’s when we get hooked,
in those early days, That’s when we become an addict
and our lives become unmanageable. So we have to back that up and just get our first impression
of somebody right from the beginning. And if they say, “Run,” then run. Run! And don’t pay attention
to the one person that says to you: “Oh, whatever makes you happy.
I trust you make a good decision.” No, no, no. Don’t listen to that person. If three out of five of your friends
or two out of three say: “Oh, I don’t know. I’m not feeling it.
I’m not thinking they’re right for you.” Run, run, even if you think: “Oh, but they have so much potential,
and we have so much in common.” No, just run. You have to trust your community
because they are wiser, they are wiser than us
when we’re in the midst of this. Get ongoing advice. Pick your mean friend. Your friend that’s so honest, you’re just
like, “Oh, I don’t want to ask her because I know
she is going to say something bad,” that’s the one you want to go to. Talk to a professional,
a consultant, a therapist, anyone, just talk to someone else to get feedback. Pay attention to red flags every day, and be brave enough to walk away early. Be brave enough to walk away. Real love is possible. It is. The relationship that you’re in
now can be better, too. Don’t get discouraged, don’t get upset. Believe in your ability to analyze, trust
yourself, trust your gut, you can do it. Don’t be afraid to ask
those questions. Don’t be intimidated. If you’re intimidated to ask
that really important question now, what do you think
is going to happen in five years when you’ve never asked it? Be brave, you can do it. Action conquers fear: the more we do it,
the more comfortable we get with it. My wife said on our first date, she thought she was dating
an FBI interrogator because I asked her so many questions. But look what happened.
We got married. She passed my test. Miracles can happen,
and you must believe love is possible. It is possible, if you follow
these steps, if you get advice, if you listen to your friends and family; they love you, they really do,
they only want what’s best for you. Don’t lie to yourself and tell yourself: “Well, they’re just jealous,”
or “They never had a good relationship.” Listen to them,
they love you. It’s possible. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Select the right relationship | Alexandra Redcay | TEDxUpperEastSide”

  1. As a musician, I wouldn't mind someone who was capable of singing Jazz in NYC, (especially if we were both in NYC). I feel I am too much of a "Nice Guy" to succeed at relationships.

    Many people Value Small Talk and as someone on the Autism Spectrum, I am not good at (and am somewhat annoyed with) Small Talk. I am not interested in talking about the weather unless we are having a hurricane (or catastrophic climate change).

    If someone asks me "How I am doing" I get panicky about annoying them with a laundry list of my problems versus telling lying them "I'm Fine!"

    Part or the reason I want to let whoever know what is up with me (whether or not I feel romantically attached to someone or not) is that there is always a chance someone might have a resource I might find helpful.

    One time I was looking for a place to live and was on the phone with someone else and a person who overheard me owned a property with an In-law cottage they were willing to rent me.

    Unfortunately, it seems like intimate relationships are a Luxury Item and I've never been wealthy (perhaps oart of my baggage is being from the Unsuccessful Side of a Wealthy Family and my Grandmother was the Gold Digger who got involved in that family) and America values Wealth and Workaholism Too Much.

  2. Alexandra! You tell people to be honest as the foundation for a relationship and then you create some scheme at 14:47 to run into their friends? And you think a potential friend wouldn't find that EXTREMELY manipulative or insincere? I would doubt and second guess them from then on in.

  3. I don't trust those around me because they have always put me down. They always say negative things to me and make me feel worthless. Also, there is a very limited choice of person to try to make a future with. You don't have a catalogue of wonderful Prince Charmings to choose from. There are one or two men who come to you. You can't go after random strangers; that's what men have to do.

  4. Being brought up with unavailable parents makes us fall for unavailable men too. We feel more comfortable with the lack of emotional closeness and nurturing.

  5. We only get one or two men to choose from! So it's change them or move on and probably stay single for life.

  6. To transform ourselves is difficult because there is no help or support for it. I don't know why being good and strong is made so difficult, whereas it is so easy to be bad and lazy and irresponsible, like men are.

  7. I think nature is against marriage for men. Only strict rules of society/religion/family rules make men conform to enter marriage. That is what religion seeks to do – form and enforce such rules to protect the vulnerable in society i.e women and children. They would be abandoned with illegitimate babies in the olden days, if those rules did not prevent it via marriage. They would die of poverty or have to seek shelter with their father who did not want the financial burden for life.

  8. You would not choose the man your parents would choose for you. You want someone with "more" about them. American dating coaches for men say that women want the Alpha male. That is why nice men finish last, so to speak. I think that is true. Compared to the nice men, women want more physical attractiveness, but most of all more confidence, dynamism and excitement in the experience of dating them and hoping that since they match you in dating form, their behaviour in future of commitment will also match. They are more lively and active than the steady reliable men that do not seem imaginable as a romantic partner. Those are the nice men who complain that women don't want nice men. They see abusers of feelings get women, whereas they are still single, or not treated with much respect when they are dating.

  9. Not all parents are the "good parents" and not all friends are real friends. Sometimes it is very complicated when you have not a real support.

  10. Glad I'm not the only one thinking you should be careful with advice from others. They will see things you dont, but they also have a perspective of their own which will color their judgement.

    It's easy to get somebody to fall for you if you know how. It's another thing to keep them happy though. Best thing you can do after going through a bad relationship is to blame yourself, be critical and find out the very root cause that made you be there. So that you can deal with it. Forget blaming your partner even if they were actually the satan incarnate, it's just a waste of time.

    If you know yourself and not the opponent, you lose every second time. If you dont know yourself, you lose every time. By some ancient chinese guy.

  11. This woman on the video doesn't know what's love and she minimizes it as something "irrational"; and that's because she doesn't knoww what love is; she believes that love is a cursi TV serie. So wrong and empty.

  12. This is true, however, a lot of people nowadays have figured out its easier to lie to you about their intentions and what they want in a relationship or at this time in their life so that they can get what THEY want from you. So just because you ask someone if they’re wanting to get married and/or have kids they can say yes if they get the feeling that’s what you want. Just so they can get an opportunity with you for short term.

  13. Get to know yourself first and develop strong opinions and beliefs and find someone to match them. We all learn the hard way. I'm done taking risks on people that might change because think about how hard it is to even change urself.

  14. She didn't tell us up open our eyes. In fact… Mine are still closed… 3 weeks later… It's been a real pain in my job as a surgeon.

  15. The problem is when your family knows nothing about what you really want and only cares about superficial things like how good a job the person has and whether or not they go to the right church

  16. Lol my parents never happy with any girl
    Met a richer girl
    From richer family
    Make more money girl
    Can do chores and household work plus hold professional successful job

  17. Just came here from Femi Ogunjinmi's Ted Talk and the brother was telling me that love is about sacrifice. Now this lady is telling me that I shouldn't be with anyone that I have to make sacrifices for or that has to make sacrifices for me. I'm so confused!

  18. I drag my new friends to my family all the time, they almost never say anything about them lmao so idk

  19. women are so dumb…a good man to them is a genie…that's it. someone who gives them money when they want

  20. Absolutely outstanding. She's a great speaker with easy to remember points. Very reassuring demeanor and voice. A+++++++

  21. As the good guy that's had 3 failed marriages, it goes both ways. I can win the girl who's sick of the game players, but then the lack of drama makes me boring once they are over the pain and they want the dangerous types again.

  22. Right? What if you don’t have friend in the world? Right? Start off a relationship by deceiving the person and setting up a triple date. Right? Ignore the possibility that your friends and family might be horrible judges of character and you might pass on someone who might actually get you. Right?

  23. Seems like there's a simple solution.. Rather than acting like you're 16 for the whole of your 20s, look for a life partner. Waiting til your 40s..50s..really?

    And you're overestimating peoples friends and families. People project, a lot.

  24. When she said somewhere along the lines of " forget the friend that tell you that they trust your decision and just wants to see you happy" , I was like YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. That is not real advice lol

  25. She's a good speaker. Great message. I'm the type of woman she's talking about, and Im glad I'm realizing when Im young.

  26. Much of what she talks about is true. Relationships require certain skills and patience. Don’t forget that you cannot make healthy or wise decisions if you are not aware of who you are first before entering into a relationship with someone else. For instance, some of us came from broken homes or dysfunctional families that change who we are as a person and you have to be willing to work on improving yourself first before expecting someone else to love you and want to commit to you. Love yourself first. In my opinion, you can’t have a healthy sustainable relationship if you are not mentally healthy.

  27. but theres no perfect relationship but if both can agree to each other than thats all you need. theres no such thing as person of their dreams, a perfect match

  28. How many times can you hit a like button? this transformed me in 17 minutes 🙂 I had to laugh at the mean friend part, because that is me in my group of friends ;')

  29. "Right?" …. "Right?" …Consider the effect on the brain when a speaker slips that into every other thing they say. Felt like she didn't really get that choosing your partner is not really how this goes… If you date like you shop for a good melon at the grocery store, you're gonna be disappointed. That shit's gonna rot over time.

  30. Couple of problems.
    1 I have no family or friends. So I'm not going to be introducing anyone.
    2. All women are infertile over 40. I dont want an old lady. And I'm in shape and stable but I'm over 40.
    3. No pretty women under 40 show any interest in dating me. So I'm screwed.
    So I give up.

  31. If I could watch this video a half year ago I wouldn’t be in that bad relationship. I needed to listen to my honest friend who said that we are not going to be together, there’s no way we could be a happy couple, but I didn’t listen to her and thought that we could make everything right if we want to. But now I realize that I was blinded and fell in love with inappropriate person who just wasted my time and gone. Angry

  32. Nobody purposefully goes out to seek unavailable, emotionally stunted, childish, player-types, “nice,” narcissistic and sadistic people. It’s okay to point out red flags. It’s normal to have people from the outside tell you the red flags they spot. It’s also normal to have those same people validate the red flags pushing you further into the cycle rather than leading you away from what’s not for you. Teach people to do better in their relationship journeys but, don’t blame them for things they didn’t notice or for things they were told not to avoid. Sometimes people on the outside looking in only want to be entertained with the faults of the person their watching. They’re happiest when they see someone else failing even if it means they have to encourage and help that person to fail in the process.

  33. Fake a meeting?
    That’s honest?
    Work out for yourself what you need and will accept and trust your gut, but then let those around you tell you if someone’s right for you??
    This woman is a freak.. oh and not just cause she’s a woman, a man can be just as much a freak?

  34. I so wish I had listened to this a year and a half ago before I got into my last relationship that ended a week ago, I'm still struggling. He was nice, but we were NOT right for each other……

  35. The bit around 6 minutes in to 7 sounds like self projecting or a very specific situation, I've NEVER seen a situation that was even remotely similar where the friends/family all have said stuff like "Yea he/she is not good for you" and the person then going "Yea he's different when we're alone". I've NEVER experienced anything like this

  36. Brilliant!! Thanks for this presentation it has been really helpful and I really love the way you got involved into it.

  37. In my case, I wished I wasn't listening to my community and trust my guts. I spent 14 years of time for a person who wasn't good for me. My guts told me that at the begging but the community associated as as 'two shoes' the mirrowed a perfect match but my guts told me to run away. I wish I should have listen.

  38. marriages fail because women are selfish as she admits here..and women do not keep their promises or follow a sense of duty

  39. The " player " acts more loving n charming ECT….. To keep them as long as possible b4 dumping when they find someone " better ". The players decieve.

  40. I was raised in a traditional Russian family, where it is common practice to convince their children that no matter what, it is their fault that the relationship failed, especially the daughters. Right because of the reasons mentioned — «oh, every relationship needs work», «you should stay with him, who else is going to marry you, if you have kids».
    It pains me that there is a person who advises to blindly trust your friends and family to either choose or not choose your partner. I do get that, while in love, person's judgement can be clouded, but still — giving someone else a responsibility to make such a big a decision — is a bewildering concept to me.
    And also, there could be a reverse story: your potential partner can be super charming while around other people while being a monster in private.

  41. The chosen person may be right for the time, but people change. And we change too. So that could be the end of the marriage and it doesn't mean it was a waste of time.

  42. I love this TED talk and I believe every word. However, what if you know, by self and family assessment, that there is no one close to you who you trust their judgement on the person?

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