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Modern Love

New York Times

For 18 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. Each week, host Anna Martin brings you stories and conversations about love in all its glorious permutations, dumb pitfalls and life-changing moments. New episodes every Wednesday.

For 18 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. Each week, host Anna Martin brings you stories and conversations about love in all its glorious permutations, dumb pitfalls and life-changing moments. New episodes every Wednesday.


Boston, MA


For 18 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. Each week, host Anna Martin brings you stories and conversations about love in all its glorious permutations, dumb pitfalls and life-changing moments. New episodes every Wednesday.






Left to Be Found

Yvonne Liu knew from a young age that she was adopted, but she didn’t know the details. All she knew was that she had been left by her birth mother in a busy stairwell in Hong Kong. It wasn’t until she was 30, on the night before a critical surgery, that she was given a handwritten note in Chinese that transformed her understanding of where she had come from. Meanwhile, Lynn Domina had never envisioned herself as a mother — until she met Amy, a spunky 8-year-old who was obsessed with “Harry...


Only With Distance

Nora Johnson had been making weekly visits to older man after he suffered a mild stroke. But he wasn’t just any older man. “We had the worst marriage in the history of human relations,” Nora wrote in her 2014 Modern Love essay. “Dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe it.” During her visits, the memories would coming pouring back: the fights, the vacations, the plunging bank account. But Nora’s ex-husband had forgotten all that. He’d even forgotten her. And this blank slate had...


A Younger Man

Heather von Rohr had moved to Los Angeles with aspirations: to make it as a screenwriter and to fall in love, marry and have a child. In need of a day job, she took an entry-level position at the research library of a prestigious film academy. At the library, she met Nick — who was 13 years younger than she was and in no position to support a family. Today, we also meet Edgar and Beatriz, a couple featured in our Vows column, who tell their own story of letting go of expectations and...


Marriage Classes at Guantánamo

Mansoor Adayfi was only 19 when he arrived at the prison camp at the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Growing up in a tiny village in the mountains of Yemen, “I didn’t know much about the world,” he said. “Now my world was Guantánamo.” For a period during his 14 years there, he and his fellow detainees organized informal classes for one another. There was a cooking class, taught by a former chef. In a marriage class, they learned about love. They shared their views on how men should...


Season Premiere: One Man's Trash

When Mike Rucker and his partner, John, moved in together, they purchased a sofa they affectionately named Miss Bee. “I didn’t just feel grown up buying this sofa, I felt sophisticated,” Mike wrote in his Modern Love essay. Miss Bee had low arms, wooden legs with brass wheels and a white denim slipcover. Miss Bee was not only a provider of comfort, but also the anchor of Mike and John’s home life. For our season premiere, we listen to Mike’s story about the process of saying goodbye to Miss...


A New Season for the Summer

We have exciting news: We’ll be back on Wednesday, June 1, for a new season of stories. In the meantime, we invite you to listen to a mini episode featuring Ariana DeBose, who recently won an Oscar for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of “West Side Story.” A few months ago, Ms. DeBose read a selection of her favorite Tiny Love Stories at a Modern Love virtual event. Today, Anna Martin, host of the podcast, and Miya Lee, editor of Modern Love projects, share two of those...


First Love Mixtape, Side B

What’s the song that taught you about love as a teen? When we asked this question at the start of the season, your anthems came pouring in. We heard from present-day teens, and we heard from listeners who have been with their partners for over 50 years. There were stories of Nat King Cole and One Direction, adrenaline rushes and loneliness, and many lessons in matters of the heart. (“Don’t let your friends choose your boyfriends,” Amy from St. Louis told us.) On our season finale, we share...


A Couple Walks Into City Hall

It’s 2022, the year of matrimania. Roughly 2.5 million weddings are expected (a bump not seen since 1984), and other trends are wildly taking off — ceremonies for pets, weddings on weekdays, a revival of epic poofy dresses. While the business of nuptials is evolving, we revisit Pauline Miller’s essay from 2017 about one tried-and-true approach: tying the knot at City Hall (a decision fueled by Pauline’s desperate need for health care). Then, our host, Anna Martin, and producer Julia Botero...


Right Swipes, Big City

Alexandra Capellini has been on the dating apps for about four years. Dating is already a fraught process, but to top it off, Alexandra has to decide if, when and how she should explain that she wears a prosthetic leg. Today, we listen to Alexandra’s essay about navigating the apps — and realizing that it’s not her responsibility to “make other guys more comfortable with meeting me.” Then, our host, Anna Martin, calls up Alexandra. They commiserate over the hopelessness of swiping in New...


Confessions of a Late Bloomer

Garrett Schlichte was exactly twice the age of his sister. When he was 28 and his sister was 14, she would dish to him on the phone about her teenage love life. But the feelings she was experiencing — like electric attraction and aching jealousy — were unfamiliar to Garrett. When he was a queer, closeted teenager, Garrett turned to romantic comedies to grasp the emotions of a real-life relationship. While his sister could revel in her teenage crushes, he had suppressed his like a secret. In...


A Mother’s Wild, Extravagant Love

Genevieve Kingston has carried a cardboard box with her throughout her life, filled with gifts for major milestones — childhood birthdays, her first period, graduation. The gifts are from her mother, who died of cancer just before Ms. Kingston’s 12th birthday. In her final days, she prepared postcards for the future and filled the box with her love. In today’s episode, we listen to Ms. Kingston’s essay about opening the packages in the box, and her reflections on what was lost — and what...


Beyond Girlfriend-Boyfriend

Three months into the pandemic, Haili Blassingame was crafting an email to her boyfriend of five years, Malcolm, with the subject line “My Terms.” She wanted to break up. Haili had met Malcolm in college. At first she was “giddy about the cute guy with the deep voice who looked like Obama,” she wrote in her Modern Love essay. But as they started dating, she found that their identities were intertwining and people were treating them differently just because they called themselves girlfriend...


When You Think You Know Your Parents

Ariel Sabar was visiting his parents in his childhood home in California, when he awoke one morning to high-pitched giggles coming from his parents’ room. He opened the door to a Norman Rockwell-type image: his father, 70, riding his stationary bike in his pajamas; and his 6-year-old son perched on its frame, cheerleading for his grandfather. Ariel was stunned: “As a boy, I’d seen this house as a battlefield, a place where children and parents less often joshed than jousted,” he wrote in...


Married to a Deal Breaker

What are your dating non-negotiables? For Hyla Sabesin Finn, it was smoking — or so she thought. Hyla met Larry in college. She was 17; he was a 21-year-old law student, puffing away outside the library. Hyla had been “indoctrinated by parents whose cocktail parties were littered with ‘no smoking’ signs back when smokers still mingled freely in society,” she wrote in her 2005 Modern Love essay. In spite of this, she was smitten. Today’s episode explores how our standards can evolve (if at...


The ‘Ham Sandwich’ Effect

Before Andrew Limbong went off to college, his mother cautioned him about the dire consequences he would face if he hugged a girl. Andrew grew up in a strict Christian household, and his parents are Indonesian immigrants, so they never spoke about sex at home. When Andrew was 20, he met his first girlfriend, Sam. He felt his cultural and parental influences putting “pressure on my blood vessels, not allowing the blood to go where I oh so desperately wanted it to,” he wrote in his Modern Love...


First Love Mixtape

We’re back for a whole new season of stories. In today’s premiere, we introduce our new host, Anna Martin, who has a question for listeners: What’s the one song that taught you about love when you were a teenager? We listen to “What Lou Reed Taught Me About Love,” an essay about a young woman’s summer romance with a floppy-haired “rocker kid” and the records they would spin. Then, we hear from Times staff members about the songs they were obsessed with in their youth, and the memories —...


Loving Across Borders

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 and deportation. On today’s episode, we hear about an...


The Upside of Our Parents' Divorce

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 brothers became her “one constant and comfort.” Today’s episode...


When His Shorts Are Just Too Tight

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 6-foot-one, 250-pound husband wearing “skintight,...


When Two Open Marriages Collide

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 permission to see other people romantically. Today, we...