Talking about Love and Chairs

March 9, 2018

On Valentine’s Day, CEU welcomed its alumna Madina Demirbash for a talk on relationships in the atrium of the Nador utca 13 building. Demirbash studied Gender Studies at CEU and has written a book on relationships entitled “The Art of Mature Love.” In her talk, she presented a chair as a metaphor for maturity in a relationship. She’d introduced the idea earlier at a TEDx event and she also created a hashtag for this metaphor: #machairity. Under this hashtag, she welcomes contributions and pictures relating to the topic.

Madina Demirbash presents the #machairity hashtag. Photo: Michael Colello

According to Demirbash , each part of the chair corresponds to a part of relationship maturity. Stiles – that is the two vertical panels of the back of a chair – represent psycho-emotional maturity and taking care of health, respectively, while the smaller panels of the chair can be seen as a metaphor for intellectual maturity and financial maturity. Furthermore, other parts of the chair are related to social maturity, spiritual maturity and appearance. Demirbash took examples from her own personal life providing arguments for her metaphor.

This slightly unusual approach to the topic is quite comprehensive, and it fits different areas of relationships. Through this metaphor, she pointed out how in relationships also things irrelevant to the relationship have to be taken into consideration. According to her, the relationships are like the musical chair game, where music is playing and the participants have to find a seat when the music stops. This part with music playing, she says is the beginning of a relationship. After this the couple in question has to try to share a chair. In the long run, the relationship won’t work this way, and both have to find their own chairs. This also entails that people in a relationship have to find their own hobbies or interests. Demirbash considers this as a major part of a mature relationship.

By  Jani Korhonen, alumni scholarship recipient student in the Nationalism Studies Program at CEU.