Searching for love to escape ourselves | Hayley Quinn | TEDxUniversityofNevada

  • Published on Feb 12, 2016
  • Love, sex and dating are often venerated as 'the ultimate goal of life'. However how much of our quest for love is about avoiding being with ourselves? About facing reality? About creating our own direction? And in running away from ourselves in love, do we ultimately avoid the work needed to return to selfhood that will actually bring us happiness.
    Hayley Quinn is the UK’s leading Dating Expert and has helped 100,000’s of men and women re-think their love lives.

    A graduate in English and Psychoanalysis from UCL Hayley set up her own company as a reaction to encountering the ‘pick up artist’ culture and working as a ghost writer for characters from the New York Times bestseller ‘The Game’.

    An advocate of real life dating skills she’s used her websites ([]), and her online member’s clubs to show people that there’s more to life than meeting someone than Tinder.

    She’s been a featured expert for numerous international TV shows and has had a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary ‘BiCurious Me’ based around her explorations into sexuality and relationships. She has also written for Cosmopolitan, the Independent, the Telegraph and regular provides social experiment vlogs to news sites.

    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 1 114

  • demigodlike
    demigodlike Hour ago

    Typical female..attracted to the 'bad boy' types. 'Nice guys' are too boring and predictable for them. B!tches get dumped, treated in the way they deserve. Zero sympathy from me..

  • Srinidhi Kurella
    Srinidhi Kurella 6 hours ago


  • Kayla Davis
    Kayla Davis 7 hours ago


  • Katie Marle
    Katie Marle 7 hours ago

    This was fAntastic

  • Zahid H Khan
    Zahid H Khan Day ago

    Great words indeed.

  • laarnie ang
    laarnie ang Day ago


  • goosebumps000
    goosebumps000 Day ago

    Playing this on loop after breaking up cause it temporary makes it feel good

  • Ravi Peiris
    Ravi Peiris 2 days ago

    It's about balance. Because she is British isn't a reason to listen to her overanalysis. Being genuinely in love means you have a number of vulnerabilities to be able to connect with another human being. This chick is confusing vulnerabilities with insecurities/addictions.

  • Nokss Shilenge
    Nokss Shilenge 5 days ago

    I need to learn to be happy by myself. I dont think marriage or children can fill that internal void. I feel relationships bring me so much stress and weakness.

  • almonies
    almonies 5 days ago

    I could not disagree more. I am not looking for love to hide, I am looking for someone to share life with. You are never going to be finished with who you are and your personal growth. I just want to have someone to go to the movies with, to talk to, to live with. Humans are not solitary creatures and we do better when we are not alone. You are a very different person to me and your life sound extremely different from mine. I am not and never have gone out partying or been dating more than one person at one time. It's not dating if you are not invested in finding out about a person, If you have more than one person you are "dating" then you really aren't dating you are avoiding loneliness or something other then what I would call dating. Real love for everyone does not exist. Like art, it is all up to the individuals and what they feel. Just like with food or anything. Some people may like lots of time to themselves or they may not like that. The only time someone should say something is when what is perceived is destructive. If you love to party and are happy "dating" several people at once, who am I to say that is not love or true happiness. I would not want that. Yes, I don't want to be lonely and there is nothing wrong with that. I am not going to choose to be with someone who I do not want to be with or someone who does not treat me well just to avoid loneliness. But I don't want to live a lonely life.

  • Veronika Riedl
    Veronika Riedl 5 days ago


  • Luo Ziwei
    Luo Ziwei 8 days ago

    this speech maker is rly another me..I used to seek escapism from love. Now I just want to grow up with my bf together. We read books, share ideas together, we comfort each other, he teachers me a lot about stopping complaints and to accept my flaws and he is influenced by me too.

  • Orvana Dawn
    Orvana Dawn 11 days ago

    Thankyou thankyou !!! I needed this .I always got into relationships that were so wrong like in the first instance I knew they weren't right for me but I got into it saying to myself " I'm just gonna enjoy it for 6 months and I'll go mia." Instead it all ended up with them leaving and me heartbroken crying ....I realised I just want to escape myself so if I have someone I'll be able to wake up ,go out meet them and my life felt complete but all I ever felt was empty at the end of it ...I finally realised I need to refocus myself and if it happens great ifit doesn't well I am kkay with it

  • Catherine Ferguson
    Catherine Ferguson 12 days ago

    thank true...

  • Marcie Salkowski
    Marcie Salkowski 12 days ago

    Its awful....peoples capabilities

  • Thiago Theobald
    Thiago Theobald 13 days ago

    now you got me.

  • olayinka adeyemi
    olayinka adeyemi 14 days ago

    Damn.... I thought my ex was an a hole.... Wow.

  • Zoe Bernstein
    Zoe Bernstein 15 days ago

    I've been suffering with bipolar depression for most of my life. But sometimes the pain is just to much so I use guys as a distraction. The pain I feel when the so called "guy I was in love with" dumps me or someone I like leaves my message on open takes me away from how lost I feel in this world and even in my own body. This talk has really inspired me to look within myself and find out who I am rather than keep using boys to pretend I'm okay.

  • Adam Forrest
    Adam Forrest 15 days ago

    Thank you very much, im in love, u spoke my mind, im very surprised

  • Mass Extinction
    Mass Extinction 15 days ago

    I loved to kiss, hold, cuddle 👌🤪 everything
    Such her neck and tits 🤮 women hate that

  • Mass Extinction
    Mass Extinction 15 days ago

    Capitalism is filling 👌🤑 just have to try harder for eternity

  • Tee J
    Tee J 15 days ago

    Just be!!!

  • Alfa Minte
    Alfa Minte 15 days ago

    Put simply: That was cool.

  • Theoneandonly
    Theoneandonly 16 days ago

    she looks like Benedict Cumberbatch

  • Xinyu Jiao
    Xinyu Jiao 16 days ago +1

    God tells you to wait for a reason: that is love, be patient

    • G E
      G E 12 days ago

      I’ve been waiting for years now it’s gets pretty lonely 😔

  • Xinyu Jiao
    Xinyu Jiao 16 days ago

    balance authenticity with adaption to the new surroundings; assimilation must come naturally and with purpose and identity

  • Yunnis M
    Yunnis M 17 days ago

    A magnet for chaos:-)

  • Kevin D
    Kevin D 18 days ago

    6 months? Im 27 and never had a lover... What do you think you understand? You know nothing.

  • Revathy M
    Revathy M 20 days ago

    I really wish...all these ted talks had subtitles...please

  • Carøline
    Carøline 21 day ago

    my boyfriend sent me this as a break up video... so cool. :-D :-D :-D

  • Jillian Styles
    Jillian Styles 21 day ago

    You think she’s speaking of idris elba

  • Happy Potter
    Happy Potter 22 days ago

    Who else read the name as "Harley Quinn"?

  • David Anthony
    David Anthony 23 days ago

    I never felt ready or worthy of love, until my late 40s. You have to like each other first, for the love (an act of giving your very best and caring for someone) to last. If your partner is putting on an act and is behaving as a representative of themselves, then loving them for the long term might be difficult, as you learn the truth of their true self and reveal. That's why I believe in living together first, before marriage. I believe the biggest enemy to love are narcissist, the manipulators who only care to love themselves.

  • Rahul Saxena
    Rahul Saxena 23 days ago

    I watch TED talks and try to complete them. I am going to be a absolutely honest about it, that this talk sucked. It did not teach me anything.

  • David F
    David F 23 days ago

    She's cute

  • Shawnay Warren
    Shawnay Warren 26 days ago

    You're looking at a millennial right here.😒

  • M J
    M J 26 days ago

    Her words are SO on point.

  • علي المنصوري

    The content is not supported by any scientific studies. In fact , there is another video on TED about lonelyness that mentions some scientific studies and the gist is :
    - lonelyness increases heart diseases by 29% ( more than obesity)
    - Lonelyness increases strokes by 32%
    - Lonelyness increases Dementia by 100%
    The tittle was "All The Lonely People".

  • Stephen
    Stephen 29 days ago +1

    I always say to people, "If I were to write a book about love, the first chapter would be about loving yourself."

  • Shawn J
    Shawn J 29 days ago

    I feel she is saying - You have to be happy with yourself .

  • Oakheart
    Oakheart Month ago

    Just wanted to see the talk to comment that I know who you would be in the DC Universe.

  • marcus
    marcus Month ago

    have a listen on youtube to vernon howard

  • ModernVince
    ModernVince Month ago

    hot. hooooot. HOT. HOOOOOOOOOOOOT. SHES HOT!!!!!

  • Tactics-MNK
    Tactics-MNK Month ago

    Law of nature. If you don’t respect yourself, you will get no respect. It is within. I’m not religious, but open to the possibility this life is a dream. And not the goal but the “dream” of life is to become lucid. Play with life, don’t believe every thought you have. I’m rambling because I’m drunk, but I believe that’s when I’m more clear. We’re all reaching and we will never stop doing that, unless we try. What ever happens it’s okay. Trust life. Trust and believe. That’s the one thing I, and probably a lot of other people, need to practice and make my own. Trust. Believe. It’s okay. Bless.

  • Daniel Carvalho Liedke

    This is for sure the best video I have ever seen in RU-clip.

  • K JH
    K JH Month ago

    Hayley loved this. I totally related and am usually having flings for months then time alone for months - it doesnt matter as ive grown in these times and enjoying choosing myself again. Whom ever is meant to stay around will do 😊

  • P Hughes
    P Hughes Month ago

    It sounds like she dated Russell Brand! I wonder why it didn't work out?

  • Anatole Navarro
    Anatole Navarro Month ago

    Thank you I needed this

  • abhishek kumar
    abhishek kumar Month ago

    How can u break up with girl like her?

  • Sade Metsävirta
    Sade Metsävirta Month ago

    guys are so cold....

  • carinnify
    carinnify Month ago

    "When you can just be, I kind of feel like that's real love." The ending really touches my heart :(

  • Stranger By The Minute

    Teenage Mutant Ninja HERO Turtles?
    Girl. No.
    Fantastic talk though! =P

  • Natasha woodward
    Natasha woodward Month ago

    Similar to my sad story

  • Madea Simmons
    Madea Simmons Month ago +1

    You are a child.

  • Madea Simmons
    Madea Simmons Month ago +1

    He left you because you have issues.

  • Madea Simmons
    Madea Simmons Month ago +1

    Was your perfect man poor?

  • Reisnaor Anda
    Reisnaor Anda Month ago

    Thank you so,so much

  • Reisnaor Anda
    Reisnaor Anda Month ago

    Thank you

  • marcelskyy 4
    marcelskyy 4 Month ago

    Thank you

  • Cee Dee
    Cee Dee Month ago

    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill that's real not fake!!!

  • Angelica Gaitan
    Angelica Gaitan Month ago

    This is what I needed!!!!!! Thank you

  • Moni Hollister
    Moni Hollister Month ago

    I’ve worked on myself for years now but still have not found a great match much less a long term relationship. I’m tired of dating and getting disappointed . So frustrating that others can find their person so much easier than me! Lol Tired of living alone- hopefully one day that will change!

  • Bhargavi Dutta
    Bhargavi Dutta Month ago

    I don't know why self confrontation and self awareness comes with a heart break, why doesn't it happen before anything bad happens?

  • dd pp
    dd pp 2 months ago

    Ted talks r bs

  • yellooh
    yellooh 2 months ago

    So many choices

  • Newromantic999
    Newromantic999 2 months ago

    Wrong. Searching for love to share ourselves. Sharing is the most beautiful feeling.

  • Ina Pfitzmann
    Ina Pfitzmann 2 months ago

    wow thank you for sharing

  • xkx
    xkx 2 months ago

    This talk is so raw and beautifully honest. Thank you Hayley for sharing this. I know hundreds of women that are going through the same thing right now who are now more aware of the destruction they are causing to themselves by focusing on love for escapism.

  • faminaexmachina
    faminaexmachina 2 months ago

    This is great. I am a bit awestruck, as these are all things that I’ve been figuring out on my own right now. It feels great to have someone with an audience articulate some of the actualizations, thoughts and feelings I’ve been having this past month. A month in. I am trying this zero dating thing out. Gonna give it at least a year. I already feel so different. It’s horrible and painful but the good days and the light bulb moments make it all worth it.

  • RM Aldueza
    RM Aldueza 2 months ago

    Great message. I love her accent. 😊

  • Lindsay Elliott
    Lindsay Elliott 2 months ago

    I feel like I just love looking for's like a drug I can't get enough your so right it's a form of escapism ..I feign for attention I crave it so that I feel good enough and there's also the fear of being alone

  • Savannah Boyd
    Savannah Boyd 2 months ago

    Not many people want to hear this truth

  • Savannah Boyd
    Savannah Boyd 2 months ago


  • Haley Wilkerson
    Haley Wilkerson 2 months ago

    Very inspirational

  • Muayyad Karadsheh
    Muayyad Karadsheh 2 months ago

    I'm on one-year cold turkey; it feels great. I think it helps to figure out what you like/ not like in a person, and what you want in your life. I actually love the alone time. I don't have to deal with all the drama in a relationship hahah. When she said being okay with a book and cooking soup alone.. I was like ahaha yeah exactly. I feel that and I know what she means.

  • gentle chimmy
    gentle chimmy 2 months ago

    I literally have never seen/heard a worse audience. Communication regarding speeches/talks includes both the speaker and the audience. This really burns me up for some reason. Lovely and important talk from an intelligent, honest person. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  • Rayan Saad
    Rayan Saad 2 months ago

    If only her name is Harley

  • si si
    si si 2 months ago


  • Athena Onyx
    Athena Onyx 2 months ago

    I was in what many people would consider to be a toxic relationship off and on for the last year, and I learned more about myself from the whirlwind he put through than I could have learned in a decade alone. I really don't see how someone loses themselves in a relationship. I learn more about myself from interacting with other people than I would ever learn just sitting at home. For one thing, you really don't know how you'll feel until the chips are down. You might think you'll respond one way, but the reality is that when its happening to you might feel quite opposite. The biggest thing I learned was I don't need a lot of stuff, if anything stuff was weighting me down.

  • 5HINee property of Lee Taemin

    She absolutely hit the nail on the head 💯 That was awesome, insightful and truthful. She was so funny and interesting. Make such a great friend I bet!

  • Navneet kaur
    Navneet kaur 2 months ago

    Sometimes you feel a need for someone in your life to escape the pain you have in your life rather than facing it...but the best way to escape pain is feel me and us needs to learn to be with yourself when we do so we will find the happiness, we don’t need anyone else to make us happy!

  • D
    D 2 months ago

    It is really hard to go thru life and not want the 'romantic' ideals that are pumped into our brains thru movies, etc... Feeling alone - with a family who doesn't really accept who you are, and dating a closeted bf who get's weirded out when things in the relationship get real and having to relocate for work every few years can ALL catch up to you. I have really had a hard time self -realizing that its not the partner that will complete me or family... soon hopefully tho it will happen.

  • World Of Forms
    World Of Forms 2 months ago

    This helped me a lot, thank you!

  • Sahir Islam
    Sahir Islam 2 months ago


  • konoplin1
    konoplin1 2 months ago

    wow im speechless because everything she said was word for word. When she mentioned "if i reminded you of a shadow" lost me

  • hallo
    hallo 2 months ago

    Thank you! This talk has helped me so much.

  • Animesh Pathak
    Animesh Pathak 2 months ago

    What a bs video. I search for love because i get lonely and when we get lonely we don't like ourselves .

  • Angela Dazen
    Angela Dazen 2 months ago

    Fav TEDtalk yet

  • WingsOfPizza
    WingsOfPizza 2 months ago

    I've been single for the past 20 years (I'm 20 years old). I've been actively trying to get into a relationship with a girl for the past 2 months and still nothing. I feel lonelier than ever. I moved to a new country (I like it here but still). My old friends are almost never available due to the time difference. The girl I've been chatting with that I almost fell in love with just stopped messaging me since 24 hours and my roommate apparently hates this country so much he's leaving back in a few weeks and I have to move out of my apartment and find a new one and move into it all by myself. Meanwhile I have no real good friends and the one girl I though cared about me apparently doesn't. I've never felt physical pain in my chest from loneliness ever before. Until now.

  • nicole elizabeth
    nicole elizabeth 2 months ago

    7:45 and on really hit me

  • Oscar Rodriguez
    Oscar Rodriguez 2 months ago

    I watch one Ted video that says being lonely sucks and then I watch another one that's says being alone is the answer. 🤔

  • Maria
    Maria 3 months ago

    I used to be so addicted to being in love and idealising a person, especially in my teen years and early twenties. I'm 24 now and I've been crush-free for like a year now haha, it's so liberating. Kind of sucks that I still have a lot of growing up to do because I was running away from that for so long though

  • Gayatri P
    Gayatri P 3 months ago

    Is that Pixie Lott at 7:25 ???

  • Sofia._. K
    Sofia._. K 3 months ago

    She reminds me of Effy from skins

  • More13Feen
    More13Feen 3 months ago

    Clicked it cuz I read Harley Quinn 🤣 would be a fitting example mabye

  • Senjuti Swagata
    Senjuti Swagata 3 months ago

    So inspiring! God bless you.

  • CosmicTraveler
    CosmicTraveler 3 months ago

    She is correct - know yourself and you will be happy. This is a very honest talk. Thank you.

  • lilwckd
    lilwckd 3 months ago

    Love is the cure to everything

  • An Actual Chad
    An Actual Chad 3 months ago

    At first I thought I couldn't relate. But then I realized that all the relationships I have online seek to serve a big hole in my life. If one batch of online friends isn't around, I jump to another, pulling them "out of the freezer." I only realize it on day like today when no one is around, no one is replying, and I have to face myself. I used to think I was really good at being alone because I spend a lot of time inside. But in reality I'm rarely alone.

  • Aniket Ghosh
    Aniket Ghosh 3 months ago

    Watching all these videos about modern relationships has really helped me appreciate my parents' otherwise uninteresting relationship