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Modern Love

Author: The New York Times

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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.
303 Episodes
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Your Weirdest Dates

Your Weirdest Dates

2022-12-1423:0916

What’s the most unusual place you’ve ever been on a date? We asked Modern Love listeners and the responses did not disappoint. Rummaging through landfills, listening to cases in night court … the stories get weird. Plus, there’s one that our host, Anna Martin, considers the most bizarre of all (hint: dead bodies).For our last episode of 2022, we start with Dev Aujla’s essay about how he wound up traveling on a cargo ship across the Atlantic ocean with a woman who, weeks earlier, had broken up with him at the advice of her astrologer. Then, we hear from all of you.This is our last episode before the holidays. We’ll see you in 2023!
Brandon Kyle Goodman never knew his father, but he did know his Uncle Ronnie. Uncle Ronnie was Brandon’s godfather, originally his mom’s college bestie — and essentially, her sibling. Uncle Ronnie owned a hair salon, used words like “fabulous” and “honey” and was “the only person who never questioned my effeminate nature,” Brandon said. But when Brandon became an adult, their relationship changed.Today, Brandon reads his essay about the enduring bond with Uncle Ronnie. Then: Franki Kidd tells us about a stranger she met outside a bodega in Queens who changed her life.
No More Hiding

No More Hiding

2022-11-3020:537

An A-student, a striving employee and a loyal friend, Terri Cheney is the sort of person who seems to have it all together. But, beneath her glowing facade, she faced the highs and lows of bipolar disorder. She kept her mental illness separated from her personal and professional lives, but she could not conceal this part of herself when it came to dating.After Terri’s essay, we peek into another story: the romance of Dave and Janelle Funchess. When they met, he knew he wanted to date her. For a while it didn’t happen, because she was with someone else. He was patient and persistent, until she said yes.Today’s stories:“Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am,” Terri Cheney“He Had a ‘Hunch’ They’d Get Hitched,” Judy Mandell
What are the boundaries of an open marriage? What happens to them when your wife’s boyfriend has an accident that puts him in a coma? And what do you tell the kids?Today, we’re revisiting Wayne Scott’s story about his open marriage — and a motorcycle accident that tested its boundaries. Then, we hear from Wayne and his wife, Elizabeth Thielman, about the dynamics of their “creative arrangement” and how their relationship has evolved in the years since.
Rex and Katharine met on a trip in South Dakota. She wanted a baby; he did not. Could he be a sperm donor? No problem. The agreement was simple. They would both get what they wanted: Katharine would raise her baby in California, and Rex would continue his life as a builder and tinker in Michigan.Then, they fell in love.After hearing Katharine’s story, Anna Martin, our host, talks with Rex about changing his mind, unlearning generational lessons and raising a son who is comfortable asking his dad questions.Today’s story:“Seeking a Father for My Child (Relationship Optional),” Katharine Dion
Ari Diaconis knew a bright future lay ahead of him. He was a gifted athlete with a well-paying job at a Wall Street law firm, and a partner, Dunia, with whom he shared a deep connection. But a neurological illness shifted his vision for the path ahead and shined a spotlight on the present — snuggles in bed and time spent in their apartment — a life raft from the city downstairs.In 2018, Ari died. After we hear his story, we chat with Ari’s younger sister, Alix, about their 3,000-mile bike trip across the country and on learning to protect someone who once protected us.Today’s Story:“She Was My World, but We Couldn’t Marry,” Ari DiaconisThis website memorializing Ari Diaconis was made by his sister, Alix Diaconis
Amy Pittman was thrilled about her first pregnancy. She immediately downloaded a pregnancy app, and she was charmed when it showed her baby had grown from the size of a lavender bud to the size of a chocolate chip. When she miscarried, she deleted the app and the chocolate chip avatar, but the internet never caught on. Seven months later, Amy received a sample of baby formula. Although she had deleted the pregnancy app, the baby formula company didn’t know — and thought she was a new mom. She laughed — what else could she do — and loved the idea that her chocolate chip was out there, trolling the internet.After her miscarriage, Amy had a son, Simon. We check in with Amy about life with a preschooler, the lasting impact of grief and the strangeness of an internet that won’t let you let go.
Her whole life, Putsata Reang (Put, for short) was accustomed to exceeding her parents expectations. She excelled in her career, paid for her parents to go on trips together and maintained a tight connection to her siblings and community.Yet a fundamental part of Put – her identity as bisexual – was enough to crack the foundations of their relationship. When Put’s mother did not attend her wedding to the woman of her dreams, she feared she would never close the distance between them.Today, Put shares an update on her relationship with her Ma — and reveals what’s given her the strength to hold on all these years. Putsata tells a longer version of this story in her memoir, “Ma and Me.”
Today, we’re revisiting the story of Bette Ann Moskowitz, who lost her husband of 56 years on the eve of the coronavirus pandemic. When Bette first met her husband, she was taken by his “smoldering looks and banked fires.” He was from Brooklyn; she was from the Bronx. They had little in common and their “prospects were not good,” as Bette put it, but they got married anyway.Bette’s husband died in February 2020, which isolated her just before the rest of the world locked down. On today’s episode, Bette shares the secret to what kept her and her husband together for decades — and how their long love has helped her cope.
When the Music Stopped

When the Music Stopped

2022-10-1219:378

Growing up in Brooklyn, Sonia Pérez recalled how her father would drink beer, sit on the sofa and lose himself in records from Puerto Rico, where he grew up. One day, he stopped listening. Sonia and her siblings wondered why.  On the other side of the world, in Ireland, Grainne Armstrong recalls the moment she experienced her daughter’s love for the first time, set to a soundtrack of opera and birdsong. Today, two stories about a parent and child longing for a deeper connection – and how music sparked their understanding of one another.
When Ross Showalter turned 18 and began dating hearing men, he found himself communicating with them on their terms: using spoken language. Years of speech lessons and lip-reading practice forced Ross, who is Deaf, to conform to a society that favors sound. All of these men made the same promise: to learn sign language, only to never follow through.Then, on a spring day in the midst of the pandemic, Ross met Will. Will vowed to shatter the pattern of false promises that had haunted Ross’s dating life.Today, we invite you to carefully listen to Ross’s story, read by the Deaf actor Joshua Castille. Then, stick around to hear host Anna Martin catch up with Ross. Ross explains why it’s so powerful for him to communicate in his own language — American Sign Language — and he shares an update on him and Will.To access a transcript of this episode, click here. 
One Last Haircut

One Last Haircut

2022-09-2819:256

They were standing in a Walmart parking lot when William’s wife turned to him and asked, “Are you gay?” Those three words catalyzed the end of their marriage, and the end of a 22-year partnership filled with many joys and rituals, including the haircuts William’s wife gave him. But those words were also an opportunity for growth — and a chance for William to heal.In this episode, William Dameron shares his story of coming out to his wife and daughters. Then our host, Anna Martin, talks to William about what life is like many years later. 
How to Feel Yourself

How to Feel Yourself

2022-09-2119:1215

“Everyone deserves an orgasm” is a fair way to express Diana de Vegh’s attitude toward life. Diana is a firm believer in the pursuit of pleasure — of all sorts — for all people.As we kick off a new season of Modern Love, our host, Anna Martin, gets Diana’s advice on how people can infuse sensuality into their day-to-day lives. (Hint: a chilled beverage, a warm bath and a juicy mango.)We also listen to Diana’s story about seeking help at a sleek sex shop in downtown Manhattan. Why should a legally blind 83-year-old woman have to struggle so much just to get a sex toy?Modern Love is back for a new season! New episodes drop on Wednesdays. Follow the show on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts.
When Victoria Rosner was seven months pregnant, her husband filed for divorce. He “decided that he couldn’t be married anymore, not to me, he said, and probably not to anyone,” Victoria wrote in her Modern Love essay.A couple of years later, while they were living many miles apart, he reached out to her with a request. He had been diagnosed with a cancer that had metastasized to his bones, and he wanted to spend the time he had left with Judah, their young son. Victoria had to make a complicated decision: to forgive her ex and allow him into Judah’s life, or to close the door on Judah’s relationship with his father, possibly forever. On our season finale, we listen to Victoria’s story about forgiveness. Then, our host, Anna Martin, checks in with Judah, who is now 16. Judah reflects on what he remembers about his father — and the impact of the powerful choice his mother made years ago.This is our last episode of the summer. We’re taking a little break, but we’ll be back in the fall with a whole new lineup of stories. We hope you’ll join us.
How to Find the One

How to Find the One

2022-07-2718:2326

When Meher Ahmad first saw the movie “Bend It Like Beckham” as a young girl, she was transfixed. Watching the main character, an Indian woman who looked like her, kiss her white soccer coach, she saw a vision of her own romantic future. While she felt pressure from her family and her culture to be with a Pakistani boy, the movie opened up her lanes of attraction — from white boys to, eventually, “anything but brown men.”As Meher grew older, though, her thinking started to shift. Today, we share her story about how she found “the one.” Then, our host, Anna Martin, discusses a trend that is all over TikTok: romantic manifestation. She speaks with Laura Pitcher, a contributing writer for The New York Times, about how people are manifesting their ideal partners — and why the spiritual practice is so appealing to Gen Z.Hey, Modern Love listeners: What’s the most unusual place you have ever gone on a date? Maybe you crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship, or you wound up at a restaurant after hours. We want to hear your story. Visit nytimes.com/datestory for submission details.
The Shame Game

The Shame Game

2022-07-2021:468

The year was 2006, and Damon Young had just met a woman on MySpace. Their back-and-forth was witty, flirty and easy. They went on a first date at Barnes & Noble, where they browsed books and continued to vibe.Things were going great, Damon thought. That is, until she called off their second date. Damon was confused, but he had a hunch about what fueled her sudden disinterest: his teeth.Damon’s teeth had always been a source of shame and anxiety for him. “I know that in America, good, strong, bright, straight teeth signal good, strong, bright, straight money,” he wrote in his Modern Love essay. “My mouth is a memoir. Of canceled orthodontist appointments when my parents couldn’t afford the premium.”Today, Damon shares his story about his complicated, evolving relationship with his teeth — and his self-worth. Then, we hear a Tiny Love Story about a woman who reflects on her mother’s ritual of doing her hair when she was a child, which she comes to realize was a sign of love.
A Mother's Secret

A Mother's Secret

2022-07-1318:2413

Ayad Akhtar’s parents met in Pakistan in the early ’60s, when they were both medical students and “ridiculously attractive” — or so their friends say. Despite having a love marriage (against the wishes of their parents), theirs was rocky from the start.“By the time I was 4, I already knew my father had ‘other women,’ as my mother used to call them,” Ayad wrote in his Modern Love essay. But it wasn’t until years later, when Ayad was an adult, that his mother shared her own confession with him. Today, Ayad tells his story about seeing his mother in a new light. Then, we listen to a Tiny Love Story about a child who recognizes their parent for the very first time.Ayad Akhtar, who received the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is the author of the novel “Homeland Elegies” and the president of PEN America.
‘Do It, I Dare You.’

‘Do It, I Dare You.’

2022-07-0617:5721

In his early 20s, Kevin Renn moved to New York City with dreams of making it as a playwright. When money got tight, he decided to fall back on a familiar option: babysitting.“The question, though, wasn’t whether I would be a good nanny, but if anyone would let me — as a Black man who is over six feet tall,” Kevin said in his Modern Love essay.Kevin soon became a nanny to Lucas, a 4-year-old boy with a wide smile and stylish parents. Today, Kevin takes us into his secret world with Lucas — their intertwining daily routines, the nights full of spaghetti and meatballs and jazz music, and the times they stood up to strangers with a phrase that became their refrain: “Do it, I dare you.” Then, we get to hear from Lucas, now 7 years old.
Left to Be Found

Left to Be Found

2022-06-2918:319

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 Potter.”On today’s episode, we hear from two women about their adoption journeys and the emotions and discoveries they’ve experienced along the way.
Only With Distance

Only With Distance

2022-06-2220:2714

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 presented an opportunity.Today, we listen to Nora’s story about reconnecting with her ex in spite of their painful past. Then, we meet another couple, Margaret Eginton Carmichael and Greg Carmichael, who learned to date again in their sixties.Nora Johnson died in 2017 at 84. You can find her obituary in The New York Times here. And click here to read her first Modern Love essay, "Age is No Obstacle to Love, or Adventure," which remains one of our most read.
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Comments (173)

Reyhan Mnd

I really like Modern Love

Jan 13th
Reply

Blue Dude

no ducking way

Jan 12th
Reply

_Gungirl_

That was heart breaking and beautiful in the same way. ♥️💔

Dec 22nd
Reply

Parisa Bigdeloo

Such an interesting subject 😀👍

Dec 19th
Reply

Blk Blu

uh my gun!i c so much low at all!

Nov 14th
Reply

Lloyd Higley

Never bothered to ask about his wife, the person who probably suffered the most in the marriage

Sep 30th
Reply

Hanie Naderi

I'm Hanie and I'm from Iran. As an Iranian I'm sorry you had such experience in our country. I wish we could have been a better host.

Sep 11th
Reply

Nillblue

That was amazing , thank you💙

Jul 31st
Reply

EyeSun

that was a pure love and I loved it ❤️🥺

Jul 9th
Reply

Willie Mwaniki

i keep this on repeat I love it

May 28th
Reply

Amiri Samira

I like this podcast 🙃

May 21st
Reply

Anita Ebrahimi

This is so good ❤️🥲

Apr 5th
Reply

Anita Ebrahimi

I adoooore this

Apr 3rd
Reply

Anthony Korte

people suck period, I don't care what your missing as long as your there mentally and physical and emotionally for me, people suck .

Mar 31st
Reply (1)

Mubtasim Shifat

🌹🌹🌹

Mar 8th
Reply

rom

Eating ham sandwich isn’t the accomplishment you think it is….

Feb 17th
Reply

melina mohamadi

that was disgusting😶😶toxic life for a kid

Feb 5th
Reply

Adele

omg !!!! I got goosebumps thousands of times during listening to this !!

Jan 31st
Reply

P J

😓☹️ I dont even know why I'm crying. but men u are not worthless just bcuz you were there

Jan 5th
Reply

Adele

awesome

Jan 4th
Reply
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