Here is the full transcript of Mia Hansson’s TEDx: What is Love? A Journey Through the Heart at TEDxDouglas conference.
Mia Hansson: My parents met against all the odds. My father was born in Sweden, and my mother in the Philippines, and they lived 6,000 miles apart.
They were born during the Second World War. The way they met was that their schools arranged an English exchange for them to learn English through letters and letter writing. They loved sharing their curiosity about the world and about different cultures, and they exchanged photos that they’d made themselves.
After three or four years, they started falling in love without even having met. Dad, as soon as my mother finally made it to Denmark, dad hotfooted it over, after about five years of letter-writing immediately proposed the same day.
My parents have now been happily married for almost 50 years. So I thought love is this easy ideal of a man and a woman meeting and having three healthy children, and everything works out wonderfully because they made it look so easy.
So I spent the next 20 years of my life following this ideal and trying to match it with what I’d seen when I grew up. When I was 17, I put out a pen pal advert because I thought I’d meet somebody in the same way as my parents because that’s obviously the way it works. Unfortunately, all I got in return for the advert was pictures of penises, and an invite to Florida from a middle-aged man that I’d never been in touch with in my life.