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.

Location:

Boston, MA

Description:

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.

Twitter:

@wbur

Language:

English


Episodes

Your Weirdest Dates

12/14/2022
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...

Duration:00:23:38

A Bond Thicker Than Blood

12/7/2022
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...

Duration:00:19:16

No More Hiding

11/30/2022
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....

Duration:00:20:47

Encore: When Two Open Marriages Collide

11/23/2022
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.

Duration:00:22:42

Falling for Your Sperm Donor

11/16/2022
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...

Duration:00:18:00

What to Do With the Time We Get

11/9/2022
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...

Duration:00:20:15

The Internet Still Thinks I'm Pregnant

11/2/2022
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....

Duration:00:15:59

Not the Daughter She Wanted

10/26/2022
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...

Duration:00:19:28

Encore: A Lifetime of Good Loving

10/19/2022
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...

Duration:00:22:17

When the Music Stopped

10/12/2022
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...

Duration:00:17:33

How to Learn My Love Language

10/5/2022
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...

Duration:00:18:50

One Last Haircut

9/28/2022
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...

Duration:00:19:15

How to Feel Yourself

9/21/2022
“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...

Duration:00:19:29

Could I Forgive Him One Last Time?

8/3/2022
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...

Duration:00:20:07

How to Find the One

7/27/2022
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...

Duration:00:18:28

The Shame Game

7/20/2022
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,...

Duration:00:21:43

A Mother's Secret

7/13/2022
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...

Duration:00:18:19

‘Do It, I Dare You.’

7/6/2022
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...

Duration:00:16:48

Left to Be Found

6/29/2022
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...

Duration:00:17:33

Only With Distance

6/22/2022
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...

Duration:00:19:57