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Modern Love

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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. << Show Less
Featured Audio
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 your songs and stories. Then, we fast-forward to an essay about the end of love. After more than 50 years of marriage, Tina Welling decided that she wanted a divorce — a decision that turned out to be liberating.Thank you to our listeners from across the world for sharing your teenage anthems! You can hear all of them on one glorious Spotify playlist. If you’d like to add your song to the playlist, email us at modernlovepodcast@nytimes.com.
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Snippet of Modern Love: Need to Find Me? Ask My Ham Man (with Jenny Slate) Jenny Slate reads Catherine Down's poignant essay on self-love and finding support in unexpected places. Catherine takes a deep dive beyond the surface of her perfect Parisian life and reveals some of her greatest fears— fears that people like her Ham Man have helped her overcome.
Newest Audio
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 your songs and stories. Then, we fast-forward to an essay about the end of love. After more than 50 years of marriage, Tina Welling decided that she wanted a divorce — a decision that turned out to be liberating.Thank you to our listeners from across the world for sharing your teenage anthems! You can hear all of them on one glorious Spotify playlist. If you’d like to add your song to the playlist, email us at modernlovepodcast@nytimes.com.
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 take to City Hall in downtown Manhattan to see it for themselves. They talk to a swirl of people getting married — from a duo who met on Myspace to a divorced couple giving it another go. They also get the scoop on the most unforgettable wedding ever witnessed by the city clerk.
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 York City, and they look at each other’s dating profiles. They celebrate their selfies, admire their use of the “closed-mouth smile” and laugh at their responses to prompts like, “Where to find me at the party.”
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 today’s episode, we listen to Garrett’s essay about missing out on the thrills and challenges of young love — and what he has yet to learn. Then we hear a Tiny Love Story about a sister who longs to become closer to her little brother.
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 was found. Then, we speak to a mother and son from one of our Tiny Love Stories to hear about how they have connected during the pandemic through cooking.
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 and boyfriend.Haili longed for love but also for freedom and autonomy. Today’s episode explores Haili’s journey to nonmonogamy — and how, as a Black woman, she’s navigated the expectations of her family and friends. Then we hear from Haili herself.
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 his 2009 Modern Love essay. Was his relationship with his father as turbulent as he remembered, or had he blinded himself to happier times?In today’s episode, Ariel starts to see his father in a new light, as his son brings them closer together. Then, we hear a Tiny Love Story about a woman who took a DNA test that led to a life-changing discovery (fun fact: coincidentally, she is a geneticist).Join Modern Love for a virtual event on March 9 (RSVP at nytimes.com/morningatnight). And if you’re an undergraduate at an American college or university, submit your story to our college essay contest. Visit nytimes.com/essaycontest for details.
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 all) when it comes to love. Our host, Anna Martin, calls up her friends to ask about their deal breakers. Plus, we get to hear from Hyla and Larry, who’ve now been married for 35 years.Modern Love is hosting its sixth college essay contest this year! If you’re an undergraduate at an American college or university, tell us what love is like for you. Visit nytimes.com/essaycontest for submission details. The deadline is March 27.
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 essay in 2011.According to Andrew’s Muslim American friend, his fears were the result of the “ham sandwich” effect: the feeling of shame when you’re breaking family tradition. Today, we unpack this metaphor — and then we hear from Andrew. He gives us an update about him and Sam (it’s exciting), and he shares advice for others who are struggling to take a bite of their own ham sandwiches.Modern Love has a virtual event coming up: On March 9, we’ll share love stories written by readers and read by the Oscar nominee Ariana DeBose. RSVP at nytimes.com/morningatnight.
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