For 16 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. Now, we are excited to announce a relaunch of the podcast at The Times, hosted by Daniel Jones, the editor and creator of Modern Love, and Miya Lee, editor of Tiny Love Stories and Modern Love projects.
Each week, we’ll bring you their favorite stories from the column’s vast archive, conversations with the authors, and a few surprises. New episodes every Wednesday.
The Right to Fail at Marriage
In 2004, the comedian Cameron Esposito sat on the steps of Boston City Hall and watched as some of the first legally married same-sex couples in the United States emerged victoriously as newlyweds. Thirteen years, three boyfriends and 10 girlfriends later, Cameron was ready to marry the woman she assumed she would be with forever. “I expected to perfectly navigate marriage like some sort of lesbian phoenix that never stops rising,” Cameron wrote in her 2019 Modern Love essay. But when she found herself alone and knocked down, failing at marriage, she developed a new understanding of the privileges she had long been fighting for.
Was It Me or Our Astrology?
“Love life not working out? Health problems? Everything going wrong?” Amisha Patel used to be skeptical of astrological services that offered claims about the future. Her parents, who immigrated to the U.S. from India, would make annual trips back to Gujarat. When they returned to their New Jersey home, they would share predictions from Hindu astrologers about the fates of their children. “I found my parents’ belief in fate unnerving and un-American,” Amisha wrote in her Modern Love essay. But in her late 20s, she began to embrace the notion of destiny. Could it be that all paths lead to the same ending? We asked Amisha where she stands now.
Trapped in a Romance Scam
Last spring, Michael McAllister’s inbox started filling up with messages from heartbroken women. “I thought you were the man,” one wrote. “Embarrassing, but I kinda became obsessed with ‘you,’” another said. Michael discovered that his photos were being used to catfish women on dating apps — from Germany to Brazil to Chicago.
Today’s story explores a global dating scam (that’s still going on, by the way) and the pandemic-fueled loneliness of digital life. Also, we hear from two women who were duped by Michael’s impostor. One of them shares a trick for determining whether or not a dating prospect is real.
Meet Cute at Zero Years Old
Kadine Christie’s birth story is one that has been told to her time and again. She was born in the mountain town of Spalding, Jamaica, in the presence of two women: her mother, Lorna, and a stranger, Lurline, who was going into labor in the same open ward. This is a story that feels like fiction, but is far from it. It has high stakes, unexpected connections and a surprising ending. Something astonishing — even magical — was born in that maternity ward 40 years ago. Tune in to learn why Kadine’s birth story is also her love story.
“I Met My Husband on the Maternity Ward,” by Kadine Christie
“An Unexpected Sign” by Sarah Reynolds Westin
She Left Me There
Kacey Vu Shap had no desire to return to the Vietnamese orphanage of his youth. As a child, whenever he told people he was adopted, he would say that he came “premade” — that he spontaneously appeared one day at the Baltimore airport, greeted by a new family bearing flowers and kisses. “It was easier to sanitize my story by speaking only of my life as Kacey, who was loved and wanted, than to tell people of my life as Vu, who was abandoned and undesired,” Kacey wrote in his Modern Love essay. Nearly 25 years later, Kacey found himself back at the orphanage with his three best friends and a newfound understanding of what form love can take.
Why Do People Get Married?
Welcome to our season premiere. Seven years into a serious relationship, Jake Maynard got a text from his mother: “Gramma Gert: 3, Jake: 0.” This was her way of telling him that his grandmother, in her 80s, was getting married for the third time, while Jake remained unmarried and childless in his late 20s. His family found this strange. Stranger still, at least in Jake’s view, was his grandmother’s choice of partner. (You’ll have to listen to the episode.) Today, we explore how two generations of the same family — 50 years apart — grapple with identity, tangled kin and the loaded question of marriage.
Love the podcast, hate the edits
I love the podcast. I would love to hear the stories read from the people who wrote them, rather than actors. And yet I am still totally impressed by they way the story is presented by the actor, their connection to/why they chose the piece, the editor’s insights, and finally the postscript of the author. Great job. However, the edits of the commercials (the reason why I wrote this review) are heartbreaking, as they cut into the story, cutting off the ending just when it is coming to resolution, leaving me hanging and inferring the emotional resolve of their unsaid words. For the words of these stories written with such care, this feels like a travesty to be present the stories in this way. I am also (as another reviewer mentioned) listening to the old episodes first and going forward in time. My hopes are that a staff member of Modern Love who has power to do right by these commercial edits can go back and make sure that the edits are done correctly so these stories can be heard in full and aren’t cut off at the climax.
I see everyone agrees!
My sentiments on missing the original host and music is shared here and with everyone I’ve asked. The charm of the original is none existent in the new episodes. Now it’s just the stories that carry the show and you just wish the hosts would stay more invisible. Would be 5 stars- now just a 2. Bring back what was perfect!
Love the podcast - hate the editing
I wanted to listen to the old episodes. I am not sure if the problem exists in the more current episodes. The stories and updates are wonderful, but whoever is cutting in the commercials is doing a horrendous job. They cut off people while they are speaking. It destroys the mood.