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Modern Love

Author: The New York Times

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For 20 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.

Listen to this podcast in New York Times Audio, our new iOS app for news subscribers. Download now at
354 Episodes
The actor John Magaro is picky about whom he goes to dinner with. Magaro is an adventurous eater. So whether he’s buying offal from the butcher, making stews from the 1800s or falling in love over a plate of rabbit, he says it’s important to him that the people he shares a meal with are willing to be curious. For Magaro, it’s about more than personal preferences. Sharing a meal and connecting with other people, he says, is the bedrock of society.Magaro played Arthur in “Past Lives,” one of our favorite movies last year. His character is constantly working to understand his wife on a deeper level. And Magaro sees that quality in “My Dinners With Andrew,” by Sara Pepitone, a Modern Love essay about food as a love language, and a series of dinners that make, and break, two relationships.
Over the last two decades, Esther Perel has become a world-famous couples therapist by persistently advocating frank conversations about infidelity, sex and intimacy. Today, Perel reads one of the most provocative Modern Love essays ever published: “What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity,” by Karin Jones.In her 2018 essay, Jones wrote about her experience seeking out no-strings-attached flings with married men after her divorce. What she found, to her surprise, was how much the men missed having sex with their own wives, and how afraid they were to tell them.Jones faced a heavy backlash after the essay was published. Perel reflects on why conversations around infidelity are still so difficult and why she thinks Jones deserves more credit.Esther Perel is on tour in the U.S. Her show is called “An Evening With Esther Perel: The Future of Relationships, Love & Desire.” Check her website for more details.
When Maya Hawke’s famous parents got divorced, she was just a little kid trying to navigate their newly separate worlds. Paparazzi aside, Maya’s experience of shuttling between two homes was still more common than the arrangement described in the essay Maya reads: “Our Kinder, Gentler, Nobody-Moves-Out Divorce,” by Jordana Jacobs.By staying under one roof, Jacobs and her ex-husband spared their young son the distress of having to go back and forth. But this “dad upstairs, mom downstairs” arrangement also meant that Jacobs had to overhear her ex falling in love with his new partner.Today, Hawke reflects on the bittersweet family portrait in Jacobs’s essay, and on divorce’s role in Hawke’s own upbringing.Maya’s latest album, “Chaos Angel,” drops May 31.
Penn Badgley has made a career out of playing deeply troubled characters. From his role as Joe Goldberg on the Netflix series “You” to Dan Humphrey on “Gossip Girl,” Badgley has shown many times over how obsession and delusion can destroy love.In his personal life, though, Badgley says he’s not doing too much brooding. He’s a father and a stepfather, and he opens up about the importance of being vulnerable with his kids. Badgley reads “Watching Them Watching Me” by Dean E. Murphy, an essay about a father who can no longer hide his emotions from his sons after they all experience a devastating loss.
The chef Samin Nosrat lives by the idea that food is love. Her Netflix series, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat,” and the James Beard Award-winning cookbook that inspired it, were about using food to build community and forge connections. Since then, all of her creative projects and collaborations have focused on inspiring people to cook, and eat, with their friends and loved ones.After the recent loss of her father, Samin has gained an even deeper understanding of what it means to savor a meal — or even an hour — with loved ones. This week, she reads an essay about exactly that: “You May Want to Marry My Husband” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. It’s one of the most-read Modern Love essays ever.
Brittany Howard, the five-time Grammy Award-winning singer, makes vibrant, dynamic music about love.As the frontwoman of the band Alabama Shakes, she was celebrated for the power and emotionality of her voice. When she began her solo career in 2019 with “Jaime,” an album named after and dedicated to her older sister, who died at 13, Howard revealed new dimensions of her songwriting and herself.Her latest album, “What Now,” captures the intensity of processing the past and starting anew. Today, Howard reads a Modern Love essay about the courage it takes to fall back in love: “Was She Just Another Nicely Packaged Pain Delivery System?” by Judith Fetterley.
Before Celeste Ng became a best-selling author, she had a side hustle selling miniatures on eBay — dollhouse-size recreations of food were her specialty. Even after the publication of “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Everything I Never Told You,” and, most recently, “Our Missing Hearts,” Celeste still makes tiny things — now, as a hobby. She’s come to realize the parallels between making small things and writing: Both give her a chance to look closely at the world.Today, Celeste kicks off our special podcast series, which celebrates 20 years of the Modern Love column, by reading Betsy MacWhinney’s essay “Bringing a Daughter Back From the Brink With Poems.” She discusses her own deep-rooted relationship to poetry — and the lessons, large and small, that poems can offer parents and children in uncertain times. 
When Daniel Jones started the Modern Love column in 2004, he opened the call for submissions and hoped the idea would catch on. Twenty years later, over a thousand Modern Love essays have been published in The New York Times, and the column is a trove of real-life love stories.Dan has put so much of himself into editing the column over the years, but as he tells our host, Anna Martin, the column has influenced him, too. Today, Dan shares three Modern Love essays that have changed the way he thinks about love and relationships in his own life.Also, Anna announces the beginning of a special series of episodes celebrating Modern Love’s 20th anniversary.The Modern Love essays mentioned in this episode are:One Bouquet of Fleeting Beauty, PleaseNursing a Wound in an Appropriate SettingMy First Lesson in Motherhood
The New York Times’s film critic Alissa Wilkinson has a theory about movies: They’re all about relationships. No matter how big the action, the suspense and tension we experience when watching a film is often really about the feelings between the characters.But romantic relationships often fall back on old tropes, like the long-suffering wife of an ex-cop who can’t resist that one last, risky case. (We all know her; she leaves teary voice messages urging him to be safe.) Some of this year’s Oscar-nominated films give us fresher portraits of love. Alissa and our host, Anna Martin, discuss the relationships that defy convention or easy definition, and push us to reconsider how we think about human connection, in three of those movies: “Poor Things,” “Maestro” and “Past Lives.”
The New York Times political reporter Astead Herndon went speed dating in a swing state to ask daters fun questions like: How early do you tell a prospective date whether you lean red or blue? When do you talk about your stances on issues like abortion or gender equality? It’s hard enough to find someone you click with. Then add election-year tensions into the mix, and things get even more complicated.Today: Our host Anna Martin speaks with Astead Herndon, host of the weekly politics podcast “The Run-Up" about the not-so-distant worlds of politics and dating.
Dave Finch reads his Modern Love essay, “On the Path to Empathy, Some Forks in the Road."To hear our conversation with Dave, listen to the episode: “Un-Marry Me!”
Un-Marry Me!

Un-Marry Me!


We’re kicking off our new season this Valentine’s Day with a story from a Modern Love veteran.David Finch has written three Modern Love essays about how hard he has worked to be a good husband to his beloved wife, Kristen. As a man with autism who married a neurotypical woman, he found it especially challenging to navigate being a partner and father. To make things easier, Dave kept a running list of “best practices” to cover every situation that might come up in daily life. His method worked so well that he became a best-selling author and speaker on the topic.But almost 11 years into their marriage Kristen suddenly told him she wanted to be "unmarried." Dave felt blindsided. He didn’t know what that meant, or if he could do it. But Dave wasn’t going to lose Kristen, so he had to give it a try.Valentine’s Day Bonus: How does politics affect your love life? Hear Anna Martin discuss this tomorrow on “The Run-Up,” a weekly politics show from The New York Times. You can search for “The Run-Up” wherever you get your podcasts.
I Married My Subway Crush

I Married My Subway Crush


Zoe Fishman couldn’t stop thinking about the man she called her “subway crush.” For years, she saw Ronen on the train and admired him from afar.When they finally connected, it turned out Ronen felt the same, and they began a blissful life together. But when their story took a devastating turn, Zoe had to grapple with longing for Ronen at a distance again.For the final episode of our season, we hear about the joy and loss that showed up in Zoe’s life, and the remarkable way she learned to live with both of them.Zoe Fishman is the author of several novels, most recently “The Fun Widow’s Book Tour.” 
Zoe Fishman reads her Modern Love essay, “The Subway Crush Who Crushed Me."To hear our conversation with Zoe, listen to the episode: “I Married My Subway Crush.”Zoe Fishman is the author of several novels, most recently “The Fun Widow’s Book Tour.” 
Sonja Falck reads her Modern Love essay, “Our 34-Year Age Gap Was Showing."To hear our conversation with Sonja, listen to the episode: “Our 34-Year Age Gap Didn’t Matter, Until It Did.”
Sonja Falck was immediately attracted to Colin, the professor who was renting her a room. He was intellectual and lively, with bright eyes that drew her in. It was only after they were already dating that Sonja found out Colin’s age: He was 34 years older than her.Their age gap didn’t give them pause. Sonja and Colin got married, had kids and built a fulfilling life together. But when Colin reached his 80s, and Sonja was in her mid-40s, Sonja realized she was craving a level of physical intimacy that Colin could no longer provide.So Sonja and Colin had to make a decision: Could they transform their relationship into something that gave both partners what they wanted? Or had their age gap finally caught up to them?
Eric Darnell Pritchard reads their Modern Love essay, “Two Boys on Bicycles, Falling in Love."To hear our conversation with Eric, listen to the episode: “Two Boys on Bicycles, Falling in Love.”
Eleven-year-old Eric Darnell Pritchard was a solitary kid. They preferred reading romance novels to playing sports, and watching soap operas to hanging out with the neighborhood kids. Although they were obsessed with love, they felt too different to find a romantic connection of their own.Then, a cute boy moved in across the street. To Eric’s surprise, they both “like liked” each other. But when Eric told the wrong person about their new boyfriend, things quickly spun out of control.
Jessica Slice reads her Modern Love essay, “He Cared About Me, So I Broke Up With Him."To hear our conversation with Jessica, listen to the episode: “He Cared About Me, So I Broke Up With Him.”
When Jessica Slice started dating a man named David, there was a lot to like about him. They could nerd out about books and board games, he was thoughtful and kind. But Jessica had a problem. The more caring David was, the more she recoiled. "He’s the greatest!" She texted her sister. "But I doubt I’ll go out with him again." This wasn’t the first time she'd felt like fleeing from affection, but something about David made Jessica hesitate. Was she finally ready for a new kind of love?
Comments (204)


I just started this podcast a couple of days and listening from episode one. just wanted to say: Hi from Iran 😁👋🏻❤

Apr 13th


Wow. This story defines love at its most expansive and generous.

Mar 31st


I'm obsessed with her cooking book😍

Mar 30th

Dorsa Asoudeh

so excited for the celebration that is going to last over this season!

Mar 2nd

Wise Owl

very very good 👍🏻

Feb 28th

Wise Owl

very very nice ❤️

Feb 28th

Kimia T

Such an unexpected ending 🫠❤️

Feb 16th

Luna Felice

I could really relate to this...

Dec 27th


How 😔💔

Dec 21st

Allie Fields

omg, this was the most beautiful love story I've ever heard😭

Dec 15th


Ummm.. just gonna skip this one.

Oct 26th

Olga Leton

.m...ķ6knjtmm okn7i .5. x

Oct 8th
Reply (1)

Hajar razmpa

It was fabulous

Aug 30th

Paz Ibarra-Muñoz

Thank you! I much prefer and appreciate having the full reads back!

Aug 26th

robot dog

straight people don't all get this affection.

May 22nd

zahra shabani

Hi your topic was great. l really enjoyed it.3 experiencesof love failure and a successful remaind that no body is perfect but two suitable people can creat a perfect life when they are together.but some times l think about luck and destiny about having suitale you believe them?

May 20th

mobina *

thanks for sharing your experiences with us, Jay. it was a really interesting story, i learned from it.

May 18th


I wish to see " Tango" part in the Screen please Amazon prime produce another season :)

May 2nd

nasim navaei

I just started this podcast for tracking storyline .. thanks 🥰 it made my day.

Apr 14th

Paz Ibarra-Muñoz

So is this an interview only show now?

Apr 13th
Reply (1)
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