Modern Love

Modern Love

For 16 years, the Modern Love column has given New York Times readers a glimpse into the complicated love lives of real people. Since its start, the column has evolved into a TV show, three books and a podcast. Now, we are excited to announce a relaunch of the podcast at The Times, hosted by Daniel Jones, the editor and creator of Modern Love, and Miya Lee, editor of Tiny Love Stories and Modern Love projects. Each week, we’ll bring you their favorite stories from the column’s vast archive, conversations with the authors, and a few surprises. New episodes every Wednesday.

Episodes

July 21, 2021 20 min

At age 11, Julissa Arce came to the United States from Mexico on a visa that expired three years later. For more than a decade, she lived as an undocumented immigrant, fearful of revealing her secret to anyone. “Every phone call or email I got from human resources would make my blood run cold,” she wrote in her Modern Love essay. And when it came to love, she would lie to nearly every man she dated, fearing the threat of exposure a...

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What’s the secret to sibling success? Apparently, an ugly divorce. At least, that’s how it went down for Ellen Umansky and her two brothers. Ellen’s parents separated when she was 9. “They loved us deeply, but there were battles to be won — emotional, reputational, financial,” Ellen wrote in her Modern Love essay. 

As Ellen and her brothers were flung into a new reality of parental feuds and convoluted calendar arrangements, her bro...

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July 7, 2021 20 min

It was Great American Eclipse of 2017 — the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire continental United States since 1918. Throngs of spectators gathered along the path to totality, from Oregon to South Carolina, to watch the moon blot out the sun for two-and-a-half minutes and the midday sky plunge into darkness.

When Kerry Egan arrived at a field in South Carolina to witness the spectacle, she was jolted by another sight: her...

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June 30, 2021 20 min

What are the boundaries of an open marriage? And what are the boundaries of an open marriage when your wife’s boyfriend has an accident that puts him in a coma? Do you introduce yourself to the hospital workers as the patient’s girlfriend’s husband?

Wayne Scott and his wife, Elizabeth Thielman, have a “creative arrangement,” as Wayne puts it in his Modern Love essay. They share the children, the cats and the mortgage, but they have ...

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June 23, 2021 19 min

In 2004, the comedian Cameron Esposito sat on the steps of Boston City Hall and watched as some of the first legally married same-sex couples in the United States emerged victoriously as newlyweds. Thirteen years, three boyfriends and 10 girlfriends later, Cameron was ready to marry the woman she assumed she would be with forever.

“I expected to perfectly navigate marriage like some sort of lesbian phoenix that never stops rising,” ...

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June 9, 2021 19 min

“Love life not working out? Health problems? Everything going wrong?” Amisha Patel used to be skeptical of astrological services that offered claims about the future. Her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from India, would make annual trips back to Gujarat. When they returned to their New Jersey home, they would share predictions from Hindu astrologers about the fates of their children. 

“I found my parents’ belief in fate unnervi...

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June 2, 2021 21 min

Last spring, Michael McAllister’s inbox started filling up with messages from heartbroken women. “I thought you were the man,” one wrote. “Embarrassing, but I kinda became obsessed with ‘you,’” another said. Michael discovered that his photos were being used to catfish women on dating apps — from Germany to Brazil to Chicago. 

Today’s story explores a global dating scam (that’s still going on, by the way) and the pandemic-fueled lon...

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May 26, 2021 21 min

Kadine Christie’s birth story is one that has been told to her time and again. She was born in the mountain town of Spalding, Jamaica, in the presence of two women: her mother, Lorna, and a stranger, Lurline, who was going into labor in the same open ward. This is a story that feels like fiction, but is far from it. It has high stakes, unexpected connections and a surprising ending. Something astonishing — even magical — was born i...

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May 19, 2021 23 min

Kacey Vu Shap had no desire to return to the Vietnamese orphanage of his youth. As a child, whenever he told people he was adopted, he would say that he came “premade” — that he spontaneously appeared one day at the Baltimore airport, greeted by a new family bearing flowers and kisses. “It was easier to sanitize my story by speaking only of my life as Kacey, who was loved and wanted, than to tell people of my life as Vu, who was ab...

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May 12, 2021 24 min

Welcome to our season premiere. Seven years into a serious relationship, Jake Maynard got a text from his mother: “Gramma Gert: 3, Jake: 0.” This was her way of telling him that his grandmother, in her 80s, was getting married for the third time, while Jake remained unmarried and childless in his late 20s. His family found this strange. Stranger still, at least in Jake’s view, was his grandmother’s choice of partner. (You’ll have t...

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The Modern Love podcast will be back for a new season on May 12, with new episodes on Wednesdays. We hope you’ll join us!

You can find more info about the new season here

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December 23, 2020 20 min

When Laura and her husband divorced after two decades of marriage, their “little Colorado mountain town” could barely tell. It was quiet compared to the dramatic natural disasters that were afflicting the area — like flooding and wildfires. There were no raised voices, no feelings of fury.

So why did they split? In the lead-up to their divorce, Laura had a revelation about what good love — the kind that will “survive life” — is supp...

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December 16, 2020 26 min

This holiday season, it’s OK to want more. Paula grew up in foster care, and year after year she would find herself “clobbered by desire” when the holidays rolled around. She longed for a mother and father to rescue her and “make everything better”; she wished for the hip-huggers and games she saw on TV.

When she was 21, she met a man named Jeff who ruptured this annual cycle of desire. He became the inspiration for a hard-earned Ch...

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December 9, 2020 26 min

This episode contains descriptions of domestic violence.

In 2013, Courtney Queeney published an essay about surviving domestic violence and the legal proceedings that followed. She described going to a courthouse every two weeks to renew her emergency protection order against her ex. It was during this period that she found “scattered bright spots” — things to laugh about when everything seemed unfunny. She found comfort in the woma...

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December 2, 2020 24 min

When Bette met her husband, he was leaning against a wall at a party. He had, as she put it, “smoldering looks and banked fires.” He was from Brooklyn; she was from the Bronx. She assumed his silent “bad boy” vibe meant “dangerous love and dramatic heartbreak.”

They got married, and she realized that she’d misread his quiet demeanor: “His eyes were simply beautiful, and his silence wasn’t fierce; he just didn’t have anything to say ...

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November 18, 2020 26 min

Andrew and Sarah met on a dating app. Their first date was just supposed to be coffee, but it lasted nine glorious hours. They talked nonstop across four San Francisco neighborhoods.

But by 2 a.m., Sarah had an admission to make. She told Andrew, who is Asian-American, that his “race might be an issue.” Andrew was shocked. The kicker? Sarah is also Asian-American.

Today, we hear both sides of this story — and find out where Sarah a...

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November 11, 2020 23 min

Sarah and Liz met on a blind date in New York City. Sarah ordered a club soda with a splash of cranberry juice. Liz ordered wine — twice.

A few weeks into dating, while taking a walk together through Chelsea Market, a feeling crystallized for Liz: “I knew in the way seasons change that I would love her before this one ended.”

In order to make this work, Liz knew she could no longer hide from Sarah that she had an unhealthy relationsh...

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November 4, 2020 31 min

Feeling election stress? Today's stories about a man and his dog may help.

Timothy Braun was on a run through the Texas heat. When he stopped at a local animal shelter for a drink of water, he was taken by a dog who stared at him with pointy ears and mismatched eyes — one brown, one blue. He had no intention of adopting a dog, but “out of curiosity, or God knows what” he looked into the dog’s folder. It said that he'd been a...

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October 28, 2020 20 min

In college, Malcolm Conner penned a rambling email intended for his crush. “You have cow eyes,” he wrote. “I know that sounds like a bad thing but have you ever looked into a cow’s eyes? They are so deep and brown and beautiful.”

What he hadn’t disclosed — to his crush or to anyone at school — was that he was transgender and had transitioned at age 15. But he knew he had to tell this “charismatic acquaintance,” for what they had was...

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October 21, 2020 26 min

They disagreed on a lot of things: She was a “bleeding-heart liberal”; he was a “conservative libertarian.” He “came from good Irish Catholic stock”; she called herself a “hopeful agnostic.”

When the firefighter chased her down the street to ask her out, she pinned him as “a bald, white, middle-aged New York City cliché.”

On their first date, no topic was off-limits. Not racism, not abortion, not substance abuse. With each date, anot...

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