Become a
Friend of Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or make a one-off donation

Love & Friendship

Latest Popular

Childhood & Adolescence Cognition & Intelligence Consciousness & Altered States Family Life Gender & Sexuality Life Stages Love & Friendship Memoir Mental Health Mood & Emotion Neurodiversity Neuroscience Personality Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Self-Improvement Sleep & Dreams Social Psychology Spirituality
Classic /Social Psychology

The herd instinct

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud, 1921

With a new introduction and commentary by Elizabeth Lunbeck

Idea/Love & Friendship

Keeping it in the family: why we pick the partners we do

Tamsin Saxton

Video/Love & Friendship

From a 77-year relationship to a first date – a brisk, cheery survey of love

3 minutes


Living with Asperger’s is a delicate balance between external and internal worlds

12 minutes

Essay/Political Philosophy

Join the party of love

Love is not just a feeling given or received, it is an action too. It could be a radical force in politics

Max Harris

Video/Love & Friendship

Meeting your boyfriend’s family is hard. Agata must travel 3,000 miles. And she’s blind

13 minutes


How a hackneyed romantic ideal is used to stigmatise polyamory

Carrie Jenkins

Video/History of Ideas

How did the 20th century’s most glamorous intellectual friendship go wrong?

3 minutes

Video/Gender & Sexuality

On the examined sex life: a meticulous chronicle of desire and self-knowledge

19 minutes

Essay/Love & Friendship

Bad friends

Even the best of friends can fill you with tension and make you sick. Why does friendship so readily turn toxic?

Carlin Flora


Why sexual desire is objectifying – and hence morally wrong

Raja Halwani

Video/Stories & Literature

How E E Cummings’s most famous love poem reaches towards transcendence of self

9 minutes

Video/Love & Friendship

Fighting the tide: a Louisiana bayou couple’s 70 bittersweet years of marriage

13 minutes

Video/Childhood & Adolescence

A monk dedicates himself to giving unwanted children the childhood he never had

40 minutes

Video/War & Conflict

How two enemy soldiers saved each other’s lives decades – and continents – apart

18 minutes

Essay/Mood & Emotion

Only the lonely

Loneliness is hell: debilitating yet formative. Can we avoid the pains of loneliness yet enjoy the pleasures of solitude?

Cody Delistraty

Video/Cultures & Languages

‘Grief bacon’ and other untranslatable words for the highs and lows of love

4 minutes

Video/Technology & the Self

Can you get to know someone through visualisations of their personal data?

3 minutes

Video/Mood & Emotion

Blame lets you blow off steam, but it will rarely help you get at the truth

3 minutes

Idea/Cultures & Languages

Why receiving compliments can feel like a high price to pay

Shivani Radhakrishnan

Video/Old Age & Death

Of humming birds and burgers: how old cans pay for a simple 90th-birthday treat

16 minutes

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations

Smoking with friends

Life can be a lonely journey. But at your local cigar bar, all the guys know your name – or give you a new one altogether

Mark Teich

Idea/Family Life

There is a better way to parent than the nuclear family

Vicki Larson

Video/Love & Friendship

How do polar bears find their love match? Flirty play in the snow till they drop

4 minutes

Essay/Childhood & Adolescence

My secret life

Parents expect to know everything about their children’s lives. They need to remember that secrets are part of growing up

Tiffany Jenkins

Essay/Cognition & Intelligence

Spoken in scent

A hidden sense of smell might account for the mysterious sixth sense and a universe of subtle knowledge about the world

Elizabeth Preston

Video/History of Ideas

Can the problem of induction save Anthony’s dismal dating life?

6 minutes

Video/Mood & Emotion

The candid, surprising stories of a tower block’s residents emerge in the lift

25 minutes

Idea/Love & Friendship

A temporary marriage makes more sense than marriage for life

Vicki Larson

Video/Life Stages

A deaf couple’s candid conversation shows what love looks like

6 minutes