A Complete Set
of Modern Loves

It seemed a shame there wasn't a place to see all of the Modern Love columns together. So I created one using the using the .

There is also of course an official archive, official RSS, as well as an official book.

See also: Modern Love columns indexed by subject, Modern Love podcasts.


I Would Have Driven Her Anywhere

Caring for a mother who suffers from dementia was really hard. I wish I could do it again.

Tiny Love Stories: ‘Are You Sure He Was Boring?’

Modern Love in miniature, featuring five reader-submitted stories of no more than 100 words.

Keeping This Fluffy, Fragile Beast Alive

A veterinarian told them that rabbits, under stress, tend to die quickly and easily. They hoped their rabbit — and their new love — would prove more resilient.

Listen: Busy Philipps Reads ‘How to Break Up With a 2-Year-Old’

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, the actor and talk-show host tells the story of a woman’s doubly painful breakup.

Tiny Love Stories: A Highway Kiss and a Rare Connection

Modern Love in miniature, featuring five reader-submitted stories of 100 words or fewer.

On My Wedding Day, Wishing I Looked Like Someone Else

My eyes were too swollen for me to walk down the aisle. It wasn’t from crying.

Listen: Amy Landecker Reads ‘An Ancient Coda to My 21st-Century Divorce’

The “Transparent” star tells a story of unexpected closure years after a divorce.

Tiny Love Stories: Dog Parades, Rowing-Machine Romance and a Hurricane

Modern Love in miniature, featuring five reader-submitted love stories of 100 words or fewer.

How I Fell for an ‘I’m the Man’ Man

Stung by divorce, a high-earning professional tries to recast herself in the dating world as a woman in need of male protection.

‘Get Up. It’s O.K. I’m Right Here With You.’

Modern Love in miniature, featuring five reader-submitted stories of 100 words or fewer.

When Sturdy Love Is What You Need

There is the often facile social media narrative of overcoming adversity in marriage. And then there is the reality.

Listen: John C. Reilly Reads ‘As a Father, I Was Hardly a Perfect Fit’

On this week’s podcast, “The Sisters Brothers” star tells the story of a divorced dad’s desperate quest for a Yankees cap.

We Asked for Epic Love in 100 Words. 3,000 Responded.

For the first Modern Love in miniature, we’re sharing your stories about life-changing burritos, unconventional arrangements, and other romantic gains and losses.

Talking to My Fiancé About My New Girlfriend

After enjoying an open relationship, a couple decides to tie the knot. Just one question: Why must marriage require sexual fidelity for life?

Listen: Kristen Bell Reads ‘The Plain, Unmarked Box Arrived’

“The Good Place” star shares an essay about a couple’s attempt to revitalize their marriage with a $400 sex chair.

Neighbor Bro Smashes My Romantic Fantasy

She hoped her new apartment would lead to a relationship within its walls, not a parade of hookups outside of them.

Listen: Rita Wilson Reads ‘Escaping From a Dire Diagnosis on Match.com’

On this week’s podcast, the actor and singer tells the story of two childhood friends who search for fun and love in an oncology unit.

First I Met My Children, Then My Girlfriend. They’re Related.

A former sperm donor, searching online, finds both offspring and love.

Listen: Olivia Munn Reads ‘A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One’

The “Predator” star tells the story of a remarkable childhood crush.

Pudge Will Keep Us Together

They were headed for a painful breakup. Then a stray dog wandered in.

Listen: Giancarlo Esposito Reads ‘Making a Judgment on Love’

The “Breaking Bad” and “Dear White People” actor reads an essay about a dying man’s final wish and a judge's compassionate decision.

Tell Us Your Love Story. Just Keep It Really Short.

We’re looking for all the emotion that’s fit to print — in 100 words or fewer.

Need to Find Me? Ask My Ham Man

Charcuterie, wine and all kinds of nourishment from a second family in Paris.

Listen: Ethan Hawke Reads ‘Learning Humanity From Dogs’

The actor shares an essay about animals and their endless capacity for love.

He Asked Permission to Touch, but Not to Ghost

A culture of consent, one woman argues, should be less about self-protection and more about genuine care for the other person.

Listen: Michael Shannon, Sarah Silverman and More Read From Modern Love

This week, the Modern Love podcast revisits powerful stories about love and illness.

Honey, I Swept the Floor!

Why do so many husbands feel the need to boast about completing simple household chores? With mine, it’s all about branding.

Listen: Cynthia Nixon, Danielle Brooks and Uma Thurman Read From Modern Love

In a special episode, the Modern Love podcast reprises readings about the secrets we keep.

The Kisses That Paid My Rent

“You need money,” he said to her. “And I need you.”

Listen: Sandra Oh Reads ‘The Secret to Marriage Is Never Getting Married’

The “Killing Eve” star shares a hot tip.

For 13 Days, I Believed Him

Can a relationship built on lies ultimately be good for you?

Listen: Awkwafina Reads ‘Single Woman Seeking Manwich’

The actor and rapper, now in “Crazy Rich Asians,” tells a story about the often dismal online dating scene.

Driving 2,130 Miles for a Haircut

Two years earlier, she rejected the ambitious, Manhattan version of herself. After an ugly breakup, it was time to get her back.

Listen: Ellie Kemper Reads ‘When Mothers Bully Back’

This week on Modern Love: The Podcast, the “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star tells the story of a woman who tests the limits of parental protectiveness.

How I Lost the Fiancé but Won the Honeymoon

“Where is your husband?” people kept asking. “Why isn’t he here?”

Listen: Diane Guerrero Reads ‘GPS for My Lost Identity’

On this week’s podcast, the “Orange Is the New Black” actress tells a story of debit card fraud and self-knowledge.

Taking Marriage Class at Guantánamo

While imprisoned for 14 years, a young Yemeni man learns about love from a fellow detainee — and an iguana.

Listen: Mike Colter Reads ‘Superheroes, Just for Each Other’

The “Luke Cage” star recalls the heroic acts that partners routinely perform for each other on this week’s Modern Love podcast.

Please Take My Son’s Wallet

A life cut short is revealed through reward cards, drink coupons and arcade passes.

Listen: Cameron Esposito Reads ‘A Hiker’s Guide to Healing’

On this week’s podcast, the actress and comedian tells the story of a woman’s 2,650-mile road to recovery after her sexual assault.

What Boxing Taught Me About Love

After being assaulted in a park, a young woman sought refuge in marriage. When that didn’t work, she stepped into the ring.

Listen: Cory Michael Smith Reads ‘Catfishing Strangers to Find Myself’

The “Gotham” actor tells a story of how anonymity can become an addiction.

This Is What Happens When Friends Fall in Love

She hoped their platonic bond would always outshine romantic attraction. Then her friend got a crush on someone else.

Listen: Chloë Grace Moretz Reads ‘My Back-Seat View of a Great Romance’

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, the actress tells Rachel Monroe’s story of true love observed from afar (and up close).

He’s Going Back to His Former Wife. Sort Of.

On his deathbed, my husband shared some surprising burial instructions.

Staying Together by Living Apart (in a Duplex)

One’s a “bad co-sleeper,” the other has bad sponge etiquette. So they moved in together, sort of.

Listen: Jason Alexander Reads ‘The Hunter-Gatherer, Parking Division’

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, the actor tells a story of love and skillful parking.

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me

She encouraged her husband to find new love after she was gone. A year later, he reflects on what her generosity has meant to him.

Listen: Mandy Moore Reads ‘Finding My Own Rescuer’

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, the star of “This Is Us” tells a story of love and balance.

I Wanted to Be Dominated. But Not Quite Like That.

Stung by romantic rejection, a woman finds acceptance and catharsis in a man who leaves her with bite marks and bruises.

Sarah Shahi Reads ‘In My Mother, a Fear Stripped Bare’

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, Sarah Shahi reads the story of an immigrant parent who never shakes her anxieties from back home.

When Neither Male Nor Female Seems to Fit

What happens when a transgender person, who fantasizes about having an androgynous body, falls for a straight man who loves female curves?

Your 13-Word Love Stories, Read by You

Last year, we asked readers to share miniature versions of their romantic histories. Here are some of our favorites, read by their authors.

Love Means Never Having to Say … Anything

A relationship between a young man and woman with similar illnesses presents unusual challenges. For starters, he can’t speak.

Saoirse Ronan Reads ‘Grappling With the Language of Love’

The actress tells the story of a woman whose romantic limits are defined by her vocabulary.

Kim Dickens Reads ‘A Measure of Desire’

This week on Modern Love: The Podcast, the star of “Fear the Walking Dead” reads the story of a couple recovering from the repercussions of rehab.

Motherless, but Growing Toward the Light

Abandoned by her parents as a child, a woman finds an unlikely candidate to help fill the “mother-shaped hole” in her heart.

Rachel Weisz Reads ‘When Eve and Eve Bit the Apple’

On this week’s Modern Love podcast, the “Disobedience” star tells the story of two women who must reconcile their love of God with their love for each other.

Alexa? Please Ignore My Husband

Marriage is long. Sometimes spouses stop listening to each other. Enter the virtual assistant.

Love Forged by the Threat of Deportation

A woman opens her heart to a relationship with a young immigrant from Colombia, despite the likelihood that it can’t last.

Flying Close to Temptation

A newly married woman fears that her impulse to drink and keep it a secret will become a wall of deceit between her and her wife.

When Love Seems Too Easy to Trust

A young woman thought true love would have all the anxiety and insecurity of a romantic comedy. When it didn’t, that was even more worrisome.

What Sleeping With Married Men Taught Me About Infidelity

A divorced woman seeking no-strings-attached liaisons learns a sobering lesson about men and marriage.

For a 30-Year-Old Virgin, It’s Now or Never

A young woman facing a health crisis decides to have sex for the first time, while fearing it may be her last time.

First Try the Pastrami, Then the Polyamory

After three decades of monogamy, a woman starts seeing a man who embraces open relationships.

She Was My World, but We Couldn’t Marry

A young lawyer sidelined by a mystery ailment wishes he could plan a full and lasting life with the woman he loves.

It’s Us Against a Particle of Dust

Parents of children with potentially fatal allergies exist in a state of constant high alert, one that can unify them as a couple.

Am I Gay or Straight? Maybe This Fun Quiz Will Tell Me

A young woman seeks answers to her sexual orientation online, where the endless quizzes she takes deliver whatever label she wants.

A Future Without Him, Aided by Duct Tape

A month into widowhood, a young mother finds herself to be the sole protector of her children — and a trapped bird.

How ‘Lolita’ Freed Me From My Own Humbert

A teenager in distress turned to a famous novel with the hope of normalizing her situation. Instead, it provided a road map for escape.

Just for Tonight, Pretend You Don’t Know Me

For a Valentine’s date, they wanted to go to a bar and act as if they were strangers. Then she sat next to someone else.

When Your Body Tells You What Your Brain Won’t

A woman who had collected stories of others’ marriages and infidelities for years learns a powerful lesson that research alone could never teach.

Are Bitcoins More Real Than Boyfriends?

She believed that loving a person would be a safer bet than investing in a cryptocurrency she could neither touch nor understand.

The Bike That Saved My Life

Saddled with a run-down house, a faltering marriage and a vanishing bank account, a woman takes to her two-wheeler.

For Best Hookup Results, Use Your Words, O.K.?

How physical desire, fake flattery and a vanishing act can make casual sex anything but casual.

How 30 Blocks Became 30 Years

A teenager in a wheelchair forges an unlikely but enduring relationship with the young woman hired to care for his infant half brother.


Love Calls, and So Does the Priesthood

On a subway platform, she shared a New Year’s Eve kiss with a man planning to be a priest. Could it go any further?

10 Ways to Love Better

This year’s most-read Modern Love columns delivered unexpected kernels of wisdom.

Shooing Carolers Away for a Love That Stays

As Christmas nears, a young woman hospitalized with pediatric leukemia basks in a new romance even as her health fails.

Getting Married Is Better Than Dying, Right?

She was gravely ill. He had a job with health insurance. Nothing like tying the knot on the way to the hospital to make someone believe in love.

He Showed Me His Tiles, So I Showed Him Mine

Nine years of therapy and one board game help a woman understand that love can’t be mastered through hard work and perfectionism.

When Even a Toddler Can Tell You Don’t Belong

An American stepmother feels like an outsider in the British family she joined. Driving the car pool in her bathrobe doesn’t help.

Love to Love You, Baby

Sometimes we fall for a person, sometimes a place. For Jacqueline Woodson, it was disco-drenched New York, where anything, and everything, could happen.

Winning the College Contest Means Everything Is Rosy, Right?

Some of the youngest Modern Love contributors weigh in on the impact of writing and publishing their essays.

An Optimist’s Guide to Divorce

She fell in love with a married man. He told his wife he wanted to split up. How did they all end up as close friends?

Senior Couples Try the 36 Questions That Lead to Love

The questions have led to countless unions. What can they do for pairs who know everything about each other?

17 Million Frozen Sperm Await the Perfect Moment

A woman trying to get pregnant on her own finds connection and hope during a total solar eclipse.

The Secret of Modern Love

Daniel Jones, the editor of Modern Love, takes a look at his teenager.

‘Happiness Is Incomplete’: A Refugee Couple’s Scattered Lives

A family flees Iraq and eventually resettles in Indiana — all except for one, who remained halfway around the world.

Your 13-Word Love Stories

We asked readers to share succinct summaries of their personal lives. Here are some of our favorites.

When Your Uber Driver Brings a Time Machine

A woman is plunged into her tumultuous past when she gets a ride to the airport from a man intimately connected to her divorce.

Don’t Know What the Angular Gyrus Is? Your Heart Does

A University of Chicago neuroscientist is studying how we may reap key rewards from being in love. And her most persuasive evidence may be herself.

An Open Adoption Now Crosses Many Time Zones

Amelia, 5, lives with her Mama and Mimi in Switzerland, Skypes with her birth mother in Seattle and was a flower girl at her birth father’s wedding.

On the Path to Empathy, Some Forks in the Road

What happens when your wife wants to be “unmarried” but still together? Essential oils and trying to butter up a dog, for starters.

Dear David’s Wife, Can You Diagnose My Husband, Too?

Figuring out her husband had Asperger’s meant everything would be fine between them, right? Not so fast, says Kristen Finch.

The 13 Questions That Lead to Divorce

If you were given the chance to bring peace to the Middle East, would you also make that about you?

We Were in Our 20s and We Didn’t Have a Clue

They met at a wedding. She had a husband. It was brief, fiery, and the memory lingers even if the specifics are a little hazy.

The Other Woman Speaks

A memorable essay recounted a man’s chance encounter (and coffee date) with the wife of his wife’s lover. But what did she make of the meeting?

Doc, Help!

A cartoon strip on the signs one man is leaving for his wife. (One placard contains instructions concerning a wet towel.)

What Love Looks Like

We set out to find couples in New York who would be willing to have their photo taken and to answer some personal questions. Here are 10 couples who agreed.

Looking for the ‘Bad Mother?’ She’s Still Here

In one of the most provocative Modern Love columns, Ayelet Waldman dared tease out the nuances of romantic versus maternal love. Then Oprah got involved.

Mom: ‘Is He Jewish?’ Me: ‘No.’ Mom: ‘Is He Smart?’

A playwright’s mother, modern and progressive in much of her life, still has a few old-school tics.

Recognizing What They Had, 20 Years Too Late

A closeted gay woman didn’t know how to have platonic love with a man. Decades later, she wishes she had been brave enough to try.

Is There Something Odd About Being Single?

In a society that rewards marriage, a woman asks why the single life should have to be condemned, even by the Supreme Court, as one of loneliness.

Single, Unemployed and Suddenly Myself

After hooking up with a much younger man, a woman realizes she has been looking for love all wrong.

Prenup Is a Four-Letter Word

A man’s request for a prenuptial agreement roils an engagement, forcing his fiancée to confront her financial choices.

The Secret to Marriage Is Never Getting Married

Rather than making a single, ceremonial commitment, unwedded couples must choose each other every day.

Taking My Ex Back In (for His Own Good)

They loved each other and had a child together, but couldn’t make it work. Twenty years later, could their bond save his life?

Discovering Manhood in Soapy Bubbles

He thought he had left his father’s machismo behind. But when it came time to propose, he didn’t think he was man enough to be anyone’s husband.

My Platonic Romance on the Psych Ward

A patient with mania was told that nobody forms lasting friendships in a psychiatric hospital, but she adored her roommate too much to listen.

Finding God in a Hot Slice of Pizza

After her divorce, a mother and son who had been living by the rules of Orthodox Judaism decide to test (and taste) a new world of possibilities.

Who’s Allowed to Hold Hands?

A Jamaican woman chafes at the reality that expressing affection for her wife can lead to confrontations with her fellow immigrants in New York.

Are You There, Dad? It’s Me, Alice

After a 10-year-old girl tries to contact her recently deceased father by email, an unusual correspondence begins.

Married to a Mystery Man

A woman comes to the conclusion that it’s not a lack of love that ends long-term relationships; it’s a lack of curiosity.

Four Castaways Make a Family

In adopting three foster children, a woman with a fraught past of her own makes “a decision to love.”

Escaping From a Dire Diagnosis on Match.com

To entertain her hospital-bound friend, a divorced woman opens an online dating account so they can scroll through profiles of available men.

During a Night of Casual Sex, Urgent Messages Go Unanswered

On one of the most consequential evenings of his life, a young man still finding himself wishes he had picked up the phone.

The 12-Hour Goodbye That Started Everything

A spurned woman confronts the question: When you lose love, should you even try to get over it?

How to Stop Breaking Up

A writer and artist valued their creative independence too much to stay together. But they couldn’t stay away.

A FaceTime Relationship Turns Face to Face

A woman discovers that in-person love is much more taxing than just holding up a phone.

Seeking the Comfort of an Old Flame: Solitude

After leaving a man she had feared, a woman finds solace in anonymity and separation.

To Stay in Love, Sign on the Dotted Line

They launched their relationship by answering 36 questions. To keep it going, they drew up a contract.

My Body Doesn’t Belong to You

A young woman who finds herself being catcalled, followed and grabbed at wonders why some men seem to think a female body is public property.

A Husband for Home; a Wife for Away

When a couple routinely seek different pleasures, sometimes you need one spouse for travel and another for the everyday.

Making a Marriage Magically Tidy

At her husband’s suggestion (and with the wisdom of Marie Kondo), a recovering slob discovers the sexiness of cleanliness.

2,000 Entries, 5 Winning Essays: Catch Up on the Modern Love College Contest

This year’s standout stories focused on faith, gender, technology and, of course, love.

Wanting Monogamy as 1,946 Men Await My Swipe

They met on Bumble and fell into a fun, one-night-a-week, nonexclusive routine — until she realized she liked him.

Not Friends? Then No Benefits

A woman who feels no sexual attraction without first establishing a deep emotional connection wonders if there is something wrong with her.

White Shirt, Black Name Tag, Big Secret

After spending years abroad trying to convert strangers, two Mormon missionaries realize how little they really knew each other.

My So-Called (Instagram) Life

When the person you’re trying to be on social media takes over the person you are in real life, it can be hard to break character.

The Physics of Forbidden Love

The winning essay from our Modern Love College Essay Contest explores an unlikely romance between a transgender man and an immigrant Indian woman.

To Stay Married, Embrace Change

It’s unrealistic to expect your spouse to forever remain the same person you fell in love with.

A Dose of Empathy From My Syrian Doctor

A woman with a debilitating motor neuron disease finds hope in a man from a war-ravaged country.

From Best Man to Puzzled Woman

A woman discovers surprising complications in navigating her male friendships after transitioning in midlife.

The Accident No One Talked About

When a family tries to sweep tragedy under the rug, the damage is deep and lasting.

Keeping the Boardroom Out of the Bedroom

A hard-charging executive has trouble balancing the power of work with the intimacy of marriage.

Pushed Into the Future When Illness Strikes (in an Unlikely Place)

After contracting a rare case of the mumps as an adult, a man receives bad news about his fertility.

When Mothers Bully Back

A good mother does bad things on behalf of her bullied son. Should she feel triumphant or ashamed?

‘Live for the Moment’: Readers Share Stories of Love and Loss

Readers respond to an essay by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who, after learning she doesn’t have long to live, composed a dating profile for her husband.

You May Want to Marry My Husband

After learning she doesn’t have long to live, a woman composes a dating profile for the man she will leave behind.

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship

A writer seeking solitude in a small town finds himself developing a deep and unlikely bond with his elderly neighbor.

Opening the Heart’s Floodgates, With a Paw

An animal shelter volunteer has a dim view of her fellow man, until she starts playing matchmaker for dogs and people.

After 264 Haircuts, a Marriage Ends

He acknowledged he was gay and left his wife, but he kept returning home for their monthly ritual.

The Secret to Sibling Success

Two brothers and a sister credit a surprising source for their lifelong closeness: their parents’ ugly divorce.

Confronting Race, Religion and Her Heart

After a painful breakup, a young woman finds healing in honesty — with both her former boyfriend and herself.

Boy, What a Fabulous Baker

After a woman swipes right on a man with his own bakery, she falls for both him and his bread.

A Tattoo for the Living

After a young woman’s troubled boyfriend disappears, she scrambles to preserve scraps of his existence.

Can Cuddle Parties Cure Modern Loneliness?

Readers were split on a Modern Love writer’s resolution to seek the touch of strangers.

Refreshing a Mother’s Memory With Love and Stories

An aging woman’s dementia causes her to learn about her family all over again.


In the New Year, More Cuddling

A single woman in need of physical connection pledged to attend a cuddle party.

The Night Girl Finds a Day Boy

For a sleep-disordered woman who works all night and sleeps all day, dating presents challenges.

A Year In, and Still Trying to Say the ‘L’ Word

They had been together for 12 months. She realized that she loved him. Should she say so?

9 Ways to Improve Your Love Life

A guide for having better relationships, culled from 2016’s most popular Modern Love columns.

From Syria, With Love

An Atlanta mother who volunteers to help a refugee family discovers that the need, and the benefit, goes both ways.

After a Breakup, an App to Help Breathe, Then Run

Jilted by her longtime boyfriend, a woman considers trusting intuition over rationale. If only she could figure out what intuition is.

Catfishing Strangers to Find Myself

A young boy in Finland pretends he’s a woman on an online gaming website to get the attention of other players. Then the game changes.

When Eve and Eve Bit the Apple

A Christian woman’s identity is challenged by her love for church and another woman.

Grappling With the Language of Love

For an American woman falling in love with an Iraqi doctor in Syria, Arabic provides both a bridge and a source of frustration.

My U-Turn From Isolation to Intimacy

When her only child outgrows cuddling, a single mother realizes that her daily life is almost entirely without physical affection, or even touch, from anyone.

My Biological Clock Can’t Tick Fast Enough

A woman with no maternal desire wrestles with the expectation that married couples should try to have children.

Cropped Out of My Own Fantasy

A young woman relies on carefully prepared images to present her relationship in the best light, until the picture no longer includes her.

What’s Love? Don’t Ask the Answer Couple

A onetime advice columnist realizes that the more she learns about love, the less she seems to know.

When Trump vs. Clinton Becomes a Family Affair

In midlife, a man quickly forges a tight bond with a sister he never knew he had, until the presidential campaign threatens to pull them apart.

Dear Dad: We’ve Been Gay for a Really Long Time

A brother and sister decide to come out to their 95-year-old Mennonite father in a pair of carefully written letters.

When a Couch Is More Than a Couch

For a young mother with terminal cancer, questions about her own mortality merge with decisions about upholstery and cushion width.

From He to She in First Grade

When a 6-year-old boy wants to wear skirts and dresses to elementary school, his parents grapple with the reality that it’s about more than clothes.

When Love Isn’t as Simple as Standing by Your Man

The stresses of a man’s double lung transplant push his marriage to the brink.

The Internet Thinks I’m Still Pregnant

When a box of formula arrives on the doorstep months after a miscarriage, it becomes clear that the virtual world didn’t get the pregnancy update.

Security in a Bright Yellow Suitcase

An overnight bag becomes a token of hope, signifying someone waiting on the other end.

A Single Mom Escapes the Friend Zone, One Non-Date at a Time

With parenthood dampening her romantic options, a woman changes her strategy.

How a Bird Feeder Revived My Marriage

A wife in India finds that feeding birds nourishes her relationship.

The Shirt Stays On

Four open-heart surgeries by age 15 had left a young man’s chest riddled with disfiguring scars. It’s kind of hard to explain that during a hookup.

Words With (I Wish We Were More Than) Friends

While searching online for a local woman to date, a man finds himself falling instead for a Scrabble-playing stranger on the other side of the world.

A Crash Course in Honeymoon Survival

Lost in the Amazon jungle, a newly married couple finds hope in fantasizing about the future (while clad in underwear and headlamps).

At Sea, and Seeking a Safe Harbor

A woman who escaped the Cambodian genocide as a child hopes her mother can accept her for who she is now.

After a Suicide, a Security Guard for the Heart

A shocking discovery following the loss of a sister becomes an unlikely source of solace.

What Is a Man For?

After a twice-married woman realizes she doesn’t need a man to provide, protect or procreate, she finds herself seriously questioning their purpose.

How the ‘Dining Dead’ Got Talking Again

Passionate conversation brought them together, but after seven years of marriage, they had nothing to say. What to do?

A Path to Fatherhood, With (Shared) Morning Sickness

Their dreams of foreign adventure shelved by a dire diagnosis, a man and his wife decide, instead, to become parents.

Podcast »

Learning Humanity From Dogs

After his marriage unravels, a man is left with a sleeping bag, two 150-pound pets and a lot to figure out about life and love.

Can Tylenol Help Heal a Broken Heart?

When a neuroscience student gets dumped, she finds comfort (and an over-the-counter remedy) in her knowledge of the physiology of romantic rejection.

Putting Love to the Stress Test

When two self-described tech geeks slide into a relationship that seems too easy, they design a monthlong trial to expose its flaws.

No Sound, No Fury, No Marriage

After her peaceful marriage quietly dissolves, a woman comes to appreciate the vitality of conflict and confrontation.

Single Woman Seeking Manwich

Dating, like insanity, is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome.

Just Don’t Call Me Mom

A gay father who chooses to be a stay-at-home parent has some issues with being celebrated on Mother’s Day.

Podcast »

The Entire Netflix History of Us

When a shared account is all that’s left of a relationship, the connection can both comfort and annoy.

All Twisted Up by Gender Bending

A surprising realization about her ex’s new girlfriend makes a writer question what it means to be a woman.

It’s Been a Long Time Coming

When a gay son brings his boyfriend home to meet his parents, it leads to a misunderstanding that lasts for decades.

When Moving Forward Means Stepping Back

After a casual encounter goes terribly wrong, a young woman retreats from love.

On a Serpentine Road, With the Top Down

A widow contemplates letting go and holding on from behind the wheel of her husband’s vintage convertible.

A Field Guide to Male Intimacy

The son of a gay father struggles with stereotypically masculine conversations and rituals.

A Slow-Motion Demise, a Fast-Forward Repair

As her own marriage crumbles, a sister plays matchmaker for her divorced younger brother.

In the Waiting Room of Estranged Spouses

An ex-soldier, rocked by infidelity, finds hope in a chance meeting with a mother and her young son.

Love and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

For a young woman on the road, motorcycles meant autonomy and then togetherness.

Shedding Skins at the Zoo

A young woman learns about love and bravery from snakes, gorillas and cockroaches.

What Luck Means Now

During a health crisis, a woman gains a new appreciation for the terms “husband” and “wife.”

In a Foreign Land With Something to Declare

On a trip to Singapore with his girlfriend, a man waffles over romantic commitment.

A Heart Filled With Love, Not Stuff

A daughter struggles to dispense with meaningful possessions after her mother’s death.

To Text or Not to Text: A Dating Conundrum

The promise of a romance was disrupted by a guy who seemed content to let his fingers do the talking.

Platonic, Until Death Do Us Part

How I reached another level of love and respect by allowing myself to be comfortable in a relationship.

The End of Small Talk

Why can’t we replace trivial conversations with meaningful ones, and ask each other profound questions right from the start?

Sharing a Cab, and My Toes

During a taxi ride home a co-worker makes a surprising request.

Single, and Surrounded by a Wall of Men

At 37, a lawyer half-heartedly attends yet another singles mixer and awaits the dreaded mingling. It was all so deliciously awful, she thought.


One Reason Not to Believe in Santa Claus

A visit from St. Nick nearly turns tragic.

A Culture Gap the Size of an Ocean, Bridged by Facebook

An Italian-American man, 75, leaps across generational and technological chasms to find common ground with a Saudi Muslim woman nearly a half-century younger.

The Heart Said Yes; the Horoscope Said No

Was my fate truly predetermined? The astrologers in India seemed to know pretty well.

Is There a Doctor in the Marriage?

I wanted to support my husband as he pursued his dream career, but I couldn’t help feeling that his work and I were in competition.

When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist

An interviewer encourages a subject not to make the mistake she did and to run to his lost love before it’s too late.

The Five Stages of Ghosting Grief

A woman dives into the confusing vacuum created by an unanswered text.

One Bouquet of Fleeting Beauty, Please

A former florist shares lessons learned from work and a loss of her own.

For a Single Mother, an Alternate Reality

A divorced mother fantasizes about a world in which her daughter has the love of two parents.

A Romance That’s Extra Zesty

What a TED talk about Prego (and consumer choice) taught me about love.

When the Doorman Is Your Main Man

For a single woman in New York and the guy who stands watch in her building, their special bond proves lasting.

On Tinder, Off Sex

Living a life where secondary abstinence isn’t exactly a first choice.

The Original Conscious Uncouplers

A writer senses a change in her divorced parents’ relationship. Her husband points to their wedding day.

Taking a Break for Friendship

A widowed novelist learns that when dating, it pays not to hold a grudge.

From Divorce, a Fractured Beauty

A recently divorced couple manages to have a happy family vacation.

Podcast »

‘Quirkyalone’ Is Still Alone

Singlehood is now being celebrated as a legitimate lifestyle choice, but what if you just can’t find a way to be in a serious relationship?

The Peril of Not Dying for Love

Expressing disappointment at not having found love worth dying for.

My Father’s Last Romance

Older adults have their own rules about marriage and cohabitation.

No One to Rescue Me From My Drinking

Though my ex-boyfriend tried, the only person who could save me from alcoholism was myself.

Overcoming Love Addiction: One Apple Martini at a Time

He said he didn’t like martinis, but she said to trust her. They went down like candy. They danced to the Bee Gees on the jukebox, and he kissed her.

How a Kitten Eased My Partner’s Depression

With a partner battling depression and her own mental state teetering toward perpetual grumpiness, a woman takes it upon herself to introduce a new member into the family.

A Millennial’s Guide to Kissing

After a stranger on an international flight delivers the perfect kiss, a college student weighs the possibilities of romance.

A Kiss Deferred by Civil War

They met at age 12. One was Serbian, the other Croatian. Separated by a civil war, they ultimately found their way back to each other.

Uniting a Mysterious Ring With Its Rightful Owner

When the writer receives the gift by mistake, her attempts to return it take on added significance because of a 25th wedding anniversary and a death.

The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give

A few of the things my newly married friends can look forward to: blame, rage and a desire to be home alone. And yet.

Superheroes, Just for Each Other

I aspired to always be my wife’s rescuer until, in our darkest moment, she rescued me.

Asexual and Happy

When wanting to be with someone romantically has nothing to do with sex.

When an Open Relationship Comes at a Price

If living “freely” was necessary to prove my love for my boyfriend, I was happy to comply. But it wasn’t that simple.

Missing a Father I Hardly Knew

Waiting for a big secret to be revealed provides ample time for insights into a relationship with a guarded parent.

Whimsy Just Doesn’t Show Up on a Spreadsheet

I always felt ashamed of my quantitative deficiencies, just as I felt a need to apologize for my creative side.

Crawling Back From the Ledge

Awakening to the truth that was always there after coming close to losing it all.

After a First Time, Many Second Thoughts

A young woman rejects her religious upbringing’s prohibition against premarital sex and discovers the aftermath isn’t exactly what she anticipated.

Learning to Embrace Sexuality’s Gray Areas

In an era when there is Tinder to find an attractive girl and Grindr to find an attractive boy, love and affection are more accessible than ever.

Swearing Off the Modern Man

No more Twitter games. No more Instagram dissections. No more Facebook predation. I wanted someone mature.

Swiping Right on Tinder, but Staying Put

The promise of Tinder meets the realities of hope and fear.

No Labels, No Drama, Right?

The winner of this year’s Modern Love college essay contest, a sophomore at Columbia University, writes about her generation’s reluctance to define relationships.

The Art of Being Apart

After decades of marriage, a wife and husband learn that their short separations allow them to be their better selves.

A Generous (and Unwanted) Gift

This offer was different, and not just because a house is obviously a big gift.

A Boyfriend Too Good to Be True

Consumed by Alzheimer’s disease, a grandmother invents a life and a family plays along.

A Forbidden Relationship, From the Other Side of the World

I was free to make as many mistakes as I wanted. She lived within the confines of countless restrictions.

An Itemized Marriage Proposal via Voice Mail

After an early romance, a series of chance encounters and an onslaught of mail, a suitor makes an unusual but clear-cut offer.

Together Always, in Darkness and in Light

There is no good way to tell a new guy in your life that you’re going blind.

Podcast »

A Dream, or a Premonition, Leads to a New Beginning

How a nighttime vision shaped lives and love one summer in Richmond, Va.

Finding Equilibrium in Seesawing Libidos

A medication leads to a hypersexualized wife, and a husband puffing to keep up. In time, the mismatch subsides, leaving them partners in a bigger way.

Podcast »

Bringing a Daughter Back From the Brink With Poems

A mother’s project helps remind her daughter that life is worth living.

How Hypochondriacs Say ‘I Love You’

They have their own ways of showing their devotion.

The 36 Questions: An Answer to Their Prayers?

The essay “To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This,” which repeated a psychologist’s 20-year-old experiment, drew 8 million readers who found the combination of romance and science irresistible.

Try the 36 Questions on the Way to Love

Grab a partner — friend, love or stranger — and get intimate with this free mobile app.

How We Write About Love

A closer look at the Modern Love column and its contributors.

Modern Love College Essay Contest

We invited college students nationwide to open their hearts and laptops and write an essay that tells the truth about what love is like for them today.

A Flower Delivery That Brought More Pain Than Pleasure

When a simple gift becomes flowergate.

In Manila, Two Seasons, No Regrets

Coming out of hiding in Manila to risk falling in love.

How I Came to Live in a Chair Emporium

When you collect an inheritance of table and chairs, you realize it’s to help you stay connected to friends.

The 36 Questions That Lead to Love

A series of personal questions used by the psychologist Arthur Aron to explore the idea of fostering closeness through mutual vulnerability.

To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This

What happens if you decide that falling in love is not something that happens to you, but something that you do?

A Craigslist ‘Missed Connection’ Lure

Before social media made it easy to find out about someone, I fell for a mysterious stranger I met via Craiglist.

Podcast »


I Will Be Your Mother Figure

He called me “mother” because I was his former priest. At 71, Ned was in love with a 28-year-old man. And the church was going nuts.

Podcast »

The 10 Best Modern Love Columns Ever

In a decade of columns, these are the ones that readers shared with the widest audiences.

Love Built on Discord

Comparing your life with an old college roommate’s.

An Extra Angel on Top of the Tree

Crawling out from under the covers in time for Christmas.

The Houseboy Wanted to Serve Me. I Tried to Oblige.

I wanted to fulfill Houseboy’s fantasy, but he saw straight through me.

Please Forgive My Spotless Home

His sons want him to play, but housekeeping duties always seem to get in his way.

Reaching Out Between the Bars

Released after two years in an Iranian cell, Joshua Fattal struggled to shed his prison-bound self.

Under the Spell of a Name

Some first names are warning signs that say, “Watch out, here comes heartbreak.”

On the Road to ‘the One,’ Sometimes, a Rest Stop

Love is not a product of waiting, of being patient, but is instead a rest stop, perhaps one of many, where we decide, for however long, to stay.

It Was in Giving That They Received

Two couples, friends, were trying to have a baby. One had the solution for both.

Crossing a Threshold and Not Looking Back

An unpredictable romance of two people separated by 14 years is interrupted by a growth — maybe cancer, maybe not.

Life Was a Roving Party Until I Grew Up

A divorce court can yield a man who is well dressed and good-looking, and available, but then time passes and the carefree days slip away.

In Matters of the Heart, We’re in This Together

In matters of the heart, having a boyfriend who takes care of you is as important as the mending itself.

At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity

For six hours in the hospital, of all places, I was my true self and could enjoy the company of a woman.

One Thousand and One Nights of Laundry

A divorced mother finds an excuse to visit her sons’ father regularly, but she never stays.

Finding My Own Rescuer

An accident at 16 made him a paraplegic, and 24 years later, we were engaged, and I was terrified of losing him.

Sure Enough for the Two of Us

With him I wanted to be the fun girl. Then that all changed.

For Kayden Kross, the Family Business Happens to Be Porn

Her priority is taking care of their baby; the work that her husband does happens to involve sex with other women.

Waiting Patiently for the Wall to Crumble

If we didn’t marry, even after decades together, we could still keep everything light.

‘We Pledge Allegiance ... ’

Sometimes staying together is just about pragmatism.

We Were a Party of Two, but Never Quite Alone

He told me I was the one. What was it in me that couldn’t fully accept that?

In a Balm of Space and Time, Healing

The loss of our friends was a silent stowaway, riding atop our shoulders for a year; but then in writing a book about them, it opened up love, buoyant and uplifting.

Agreeing to Accept and Move On

Releasing expectations and assumptions as a mother and daughter move on.

The Wisdom of the Moving Man

Unlike my boyfriend, Derek promised he would treat me, and my stuff, with respect.

Replaying the Past, to a New Soundtrack

I’m not sure the doctor recognizes me, and he doesn’t know my name. I feel he’s fishing around in his imperfect memory, trying to place me.

Unraveling a Dark Family Secret

At 21, a writer made a discovery that she feared would betray her beloved grandmother.

Taking Marriage One Year at a Time

I had never doubted my fiancé or my love for him, or our three-year relationship. And yet here I was, preparing to say “I do” and terrified that I was about to make a big mistake.

In the Company of Known Strangers

Travails pull a family together for home improvements, on the surface and beneath.

An Empty Heart Is One That Can Be Filled

I had loved and lost plenty of times, but I had never let myself feel it. I numbed up.

We Didn’t Have a Plan, but the Baby Did

Becoming a father took me on an unpredictable and sometimes embarrassing journey.

In a Small Bag, She Packed All Our Hopes

Love doesn’t afford us the luxury of caring, or not caring, only about ourselves.

Podcast »

Let’s Not Pretend to Be Who We Aren’t

Anxiety and an odd imitation derail a couple’s experiment with role-playing and fantasy.

Transference? I’ll Take It

How one shortish, balding Jewish therapist led to another shortish, bald Jewish guy.

My Marriage: A Course in Desert Survival

What happens when a husband is suddenly drawn to new, inhospitable terrain.

Promises That Can Bend Without Breaking

A couple, married for 28 years, considers an uncertain future because of the ravages of dementia.

Healing Sought (Bring Your Own Magic)

Recovering from childhood sexual abuse, I followed a roundabout path to romance.

My Illness, the Third Partner in Our Relationship

Her curiosity was piqued; she became a voyeur, wanting to know where the scar would be.

Is God Just Not That Into Me?

A boyfriend’s makeshift altar on the radiator cover prompts a search for answers.

What the Sea Took Away, a Daughter Restores

I wanted most to spare my daughter the realization that there would always be a black hole in the center of our lives.

His Promise Would Not Be Denied

I spent an entire gestation not looking at Tom, hoping that he wouldn’t see me.

Broken, Not Bound, by an Intimate Tie

I was profoundly changed by what was to be my “adventure’ in the Tanzanian countryside.

Podcast »

An Act of Protection, Even as Things Fell Apart

His small act of kindness could not be forgotten, though the daily dust of the relationship had settled.

A Second Embrace, With Hearts and Eyes Open

Having a disease that tried to kill me did away with our assumptions that the future looks just like the past.

Podcast »

What Lou Reed Taught Me About Love

When another person takes the place of a looking glass to reveal who you really are.

Moving on From Make-Believe

Tyler and I both changed since college. How could he be sure he didn’t love me if he didn’t know who I’d become?

Clinging to Each Other, We Survived the Storm

When life was so unbelievably tenuous, we paid attention to what mattered.

Learning to Silence My Inner Editor

The rules of romance (or romanz) do not have to agree with the rules of grammar.

Did Mother, Maybe, Not Know Best?

She always vehemently insisted that I didn’t need to get married, didn’t need a man.

Good Enough? That’s Great

How couples deal with long-term relationships that inevitably grow short on excitement.

How Hollywood Ruined Me for Romance

It was easy to forget that actresses were professional charmers with a vested interest in making journalists like them.

Adrift Too Long, Searching for a Navigator

Having rejected God and a confining faith, I was alone and making up for lost time.

A Third Ring, Bearing the Most Important Truth

A ring can carry a promise, or sometimes something deeper.

The Hard-Won Lessons of the Solitary Years

Relationships are work, I realize, but so is being single, and I became pretty good at it.


Learning to Measure Time in Love and Loss

Missed opportunities are not the events that define us.

In Marriage, Beware of Big Boxes

Can a marriage survive The Big Surprise gift?

Podcast »

Before the Web, Hearts Grew Silent

Only in the absence of my love was I truly able to appreciate the depth of my feelings.

Podcast »

A Warrior Learns a Different Pose

I wept for an awakening I had given up on, that around the corner I might love again.

Coming Out as a Modern Family

Life partners need not be narrowly defined; they can be exes, children, best friends or lovers.

Podcast »

A Silent Partner to Share the Path of Love

When crisis struck, my only friend in this foreign land did not even speak my language.

Nursing a Wound in an Appropriate Setting

Left by his fiancée, a doctor rebuilds himself in the company of his patients.

After a Parent’s Death, a Rush of Change

A writer goes from being lesbian and not wanting children, to dating men and trying to conceive.

A Wave of Good Indicators

A dangerous flood reveals a couple’s strong connection.

Recalling Painful Lessons in Forgiveness

It is so perilous to love people because eventually you will hurt them.

Learning to Lean In Together

I had found a man who liked taking care of me yet I couldn’t accept his support, opting to lie awake nights crunching numbers in my head.

A Husband Lost, a Daughter Found

Becoming a widow and then a mother, in that order, isn’t how I pictured my 30-something life unfolding.

A Feminist’s Daughter Finds Love in the Kitchen

A child’s expression of admiration for her mother is food for thought.

Rallying to Keep the Game Alive

We still played to win, but now we could feel joy for the other.

The Messy-Kitchen, Parking-Spot War

Not wanting to be like my mother, I let my college-age daughter and her boyfriend live with me without any rules. That was a mistake.

Age Is No Obstacle to Love, or Adventure

What astonished us was that the electricity we generated was as strong and compelling as love had been 50 years before, that it scrambled the brain every bit as much.

Chained to the Hearth or Warmed by It?

My husband, Chris, and I had made a clear agreement regarding child rearing. But reality played out very differently.

Just Holding on Through the Curves

As I became involved with one young woman, I learned how profoundly the child welfare system could fail its teenagers.

Picking Up the Scent on the Road to Bliss

Life lessons that only a four-footed friend can teach.

A Pact to Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

Two 20-somethings try an experiment to refrain from sex for almost a year, and find out more about themselves than they had expected.

A Dollar a Day, for Only 20 Years

Impatience had brought me to Jim; now it was time for me to practice the art of letting go.

Breaking Free From the Nesting Doll

She could rescue him from a dead-end life. But was that a good reason to marry him?

Uh, Honey, That’s Not Your Line

A screenwriter tries and fails to make an actual human girlfriend fit into a tempting cinematic trope.

A Lesson in the Desert

A whirlwind courtship and marriage comes to an abrupt halt.

A Life That Can Fracture a Relationship

Working in the oil fields two weeks at a time isn’t conducive to a long-term relationship, but still men try, talking on their cellphones in their pickup trucks, and avoiding long goodbyes.

An American Dream I Couldn’t Share

When I fell in love with Armando, whom I had hired to fix my deck, I was not the one who shared his history of escape.

The View From the Victim Room

My ex beat me so badly I could not eat, sleep or talk. But my recuperation had unexpected bright spots.

How I Got to Here

It started out as nothing serious, nothing permanent. We were there for the fun.

Podcast »

Do Not Adjust Your Screen or Sound

Forgiveness is a heavy-duty word.

What’s Alikeness Got to Do With It?

A writer reflects on a relationship in which her boyfriend’s instant adulation eclipsed her doubts about how little they knew about each other.

A Choice Not as Easy as It Looked

Hypothetically, donating sperm so friends can have a baby is a simple decision.

Losing a ‘Boyfriend,’ the Best Way Possible

So in addition to rings, our wedding was about sugar. And one less name by which we can refer to one another.

Making a Hard Choice for a Soft Landing

If I had to change — and it was clear that something had to give — I wanted to become someone who could love and be loved, for the long haul.

Overfed on a Mother’s Affection

My mother fed me so well, there was no room for my wife’s cooking.

Love, Light, Strength (and Glue)

When a mantra no longer helps to put the pieces back together, time and patience do.

Yes, I Really Am Bisexual. Deal With It.

I wasn’t looking to chronicle my romantic escapades. I was clarifying my identity.

From Humiliation to Appreciation

My parents agreed that I tied them together for the rest of their lives. Divorce and all, sex change and all, this would be a loving family of three.

Despite the Losses, So Much Gained

Our relationship was not an obvious one, but neither of us liked the obvious.

A Life Plan for Two, Followed by One

What began as a crush evolved into that peculiar sort of adolescent friendship.

How to Break Up With a 2-Year-Old

Single and 40, I met a man with a child I learned to love as my own. Breaking up was not what we had planned.

Ready in Case the Other Shoe Should Drop

In 30 years of serial monogamy, dodging in and out of serious relationships, I have always planned for the end from the beginning.

Hiding From the Truth

Picking up on the signs of a relationship after being oblivious for so long.

Though Now Apart, We Faced a Common Enemy

After our divorce, we didn’t want to lose the friendship. We still helped each other through the hard times.

Limping Toward the Truth, Wherever It Might Be

In a gratifying reversal of the conventional script, sex had turned into love.

Celebrating the Upside of an Emotional Plunge

A teenager who is drawn to adventure, except in matters of the heart, finds the silver lining in a terrifying accident.

Podcast »

The Gift Was as Flimsy as My Rationale

The parameters for a Valentine’s Day gift seem to have narrowed, making choosing one for someone you love even more challenging.

My Touchstone and a Heart of Gold

Learning that whoever treated the tortoise with love and care was a keeper.

Finally Stepping Out From Behind the Computer

We’d been friends a long time, but it was entirely possible that we’d just guessed what the other person wanted to hear.

The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap

With few outside pressures, we had nothing to do but love each other and be happy.

Labels of Married Life, in a New Light

Marriage-role terminology carried too much baggage of a history I didn’t want. Until my gay friends began using the words.

Friends Without Benefits

Years later, he would confess to having loved me all along. But while I stood waiting for him to happen to me, he was always looking for the next best thing.

Chubby, Skinny, Accepting

I started starving myself in my teens. But when I met Hugh, I stopped thinking about what food would “do” to me.


Three Mothers, One Bond

She said she had picked us, in part, because she had read that lesbians have the longest wait for adoptions of all, and she wanted to right that wrong. How could we not love her?

A Holiday Built on Presence, Not Presents

I loved Christmas so much I had destroyed it; I had choked my precious Yule puppy to death.

A Sister’s Comfort, if Not a Cure

Slowly, I adjusted my thinking. I asked myself, “What are the things in my power I can do to make him happy?”

A Disaster Scenario, Rewritten

My fantasy of being with the one I loved during a disaster came true during Hurricane Sandy — for a while.

Married, but Dancing by Myself

When a marriage starts off without love and only good intentions.

After the Affair

After I got over my shock, my husband’s affair with a younger woman made a perverted sort of sense.

A Role I Was Born to Play

Overnight, I had become that most doting and caricatured of family figures: the gay uncle.

Finding the Courage to Reveal a Fetish

For as long as I remember, I’ve been fairly obsessed with spanking, an obsession that felt impossible to share.

Sleeping With the (Political) Enemy

Two teachers of conflict resolution navigate a marriage straddling the political left and right.

After Years of Silence, a Voice Restored

I couldn’t settle for a yes man, especially a yes man who didn’t appear to read. Could he change?

Changing Two Lives, Then the World

Wanting to change the world, a soldier leaves love behind.

First the Proposal, Then Remodeling

The man I loved asked me to marry him. But first my house needed some work.

It’s Not Just a Mouse That Has to Click

Dating for middle-aged singles may take more than the click of a mouse; it may take in-person matchmaking.

Another Voice Had Come Between Us

The competent voice of the GPS unit in our rental car was a delight for my husband, but I just wanted to throw her out.

He’s Playing Our Song

He told me there was someone loving me all those years. Him.

You May Call It Cheating, but We Don’t

My husband doesn’t object to my wandering eye, allowing me to explore the boundaries of our marriage.

Romance, the Quirky Souvenir

Strangers often seem to carry important information about what is valuable in life, and this makes them incredibly alluring.

An Agnostic’s Guide to Marriage

In a strange way, seeing-eye-to-eye with my husband about religion was making me feel very alone.

Four-Legged Reason to Keep It Together

Some people have wondered if my dog is a wolf, but he is just a quivering, clumsy pet whose response to human troubles is always the same.

A Glass All Empty

After a husband stopped drinking, a writer missed his playing Nick to her Nora Charles.

Sad News Like a Warm Hug Goodbye

Everything around and within me is partly because of his fatherly advice, his example and even the fact that he could get impatient and stubborn.

Untying a Birth Mother’s Hands

We decided to open our daughter’s adoption by hiring a searcher to find the birth mother; we did it because we were told that she loved our daughter very much.

Newly Wed and Quickly Unraveling

How my husband navigated his own dark lake of loss.

When Mom Is on the Scent, and Right

When a mother is a professional profiler and can’t help profiling her daughter’s boyfriends, and ends up being right.

So Much in Common, in Name Only

Our shared surname seemed a valid reason to overthrow any and all objections, including our 13-year age difference.

Welcomed With Open Arms in Mumbai

In the world I had left behind, it was a sin to have heart. After years of tenure in that world, I was finally through.

A Measure of Desire

I waited for my husband with his newly sober eyes to want me with the same abandon he once had.

Missing the Boat: A Case for Marriage

Over the years, he explained, I had convinced him that he didn’t believe in marriage, either. And so we carried on.

A Father, a Son and a Fighting Chance

A father watches his son take up the battle to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples in California.

Learning to Play the Cards She Is Dealt

After the demise of my friend’s long-term relationship, she enlisted a psychic in her search for answers.

Happily Ever, After We Split

My soon-to-be ex turned out to be one of the few people who shared my vision of a better, more connected future — with different partners.

A Visit, and What Really Happened

After 25 years, some things become clearer in love.

Navigating New Trenches After a Breakup

Reorienting after ending an interracial relationship, a writer grapples with her singleness and her whiteness.

Paralysis of the Heart

With my son, Joe, I wasn’t fearless. Quite the opposite, I was petrified by how much I loved him.

A Hiker's Guide to Healing

Feeling shame and needing to be alone, a rape victim walks — and walks — searching for peace.

The Never-to-Be Bride

Ours was a love affair that knew its finest hours on a screen.

Devoted but Dateless

Few men are thrilled by the idea of dating a woman with a child with a disability, particularly one as demanding as autism.

Looking for Signs That It’s Meant to Be

Like many people, the author tends to write a story in her head about the future of any relationship before it has even begun.

A Surrender to War, After an Uneasy Peace

An Army wife, after years of objections, agrees to her husband’s wish to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Getting to That Safe Place

What had I learned? Everything: what I wanted in a husband, a marriage, a life.

A Family Fairy Tale, Twice Told

I had a crush on Mac. But I feared losing my big, ridiculously inexpensive New York apartment with a view.

Moving Through Grief, Chair by Chair

The house where my wife had had a great time decorating — that house belonged to a life that was no longer mine.

What the Psychic Knew

The psychic’s predictions were three-for-three. But what about the most important one?

A World Away, a Wish Answered

Leaving behind her hometown of Medicine Hat in Alberta, the writer took a job in Bangkok, where her wish for love was unexpectedly answered.

A Child of Two Worlds

A child is born — against the odds — to Americans in a Muslim land.

What Might Have Been

My troubled mother gave me up. My adoptive parents fought hard to get me. I was an adult before I learned how lucky I had been.

The Spell of My Father’s Wedding Ring

When a philandering father gives him his wedding ring, a writer revels in its power and what it means for his own life.

Formerly Spouses, Now Step-Siblings

When an ex-husband stays in the family, this time as a stepbrother, a writer tries to navigate shifting dynamics.

Plunging Ahead to Poke the Bear

I’d spent the past couple of years applying myself to my marriage — thinking about marriage, reading about marriage, and trying forms of couples’ therapy.

Watching Them Watching Me

The death of a spouse rewrites the rules of a family in ways I never could have imagined.

Exit Left, Wordlessly

My boyfriend and I spent a happy Christmas together, and then he disappeared, without a word.

A Place to Lay My Heart

Travel offered freedom and meant never having to commit to just one thing, or to one person.

A Forgotten Prayer, Answered

Inviting a child to enter our lives: would he accept? That is the question asked over and over at a fertility temple in Bhutan.


The Magi at 40,000 Feet

“You never know how quickly life can change,” the young mother told me.

Taking a Step Forward

During marital difficulties, a couple turns to dancing — and rhythm — to get back in sync.

What Wasn’t Passed On

After her father’s disinheritance, a daughter finds what her father didn’t mean to leave behind: the gift of clarity.

What a Scale Can’t Measure

In my dating life, most of the men I’ve loved have weighed less than me.

Out of the Darkness

I don’t miss my wife’s illness, but I miss how we talked. About love. About life.

Podcast »

Romance’s New Format

Love today might not even follow the same format as real-life relationships of the past.

A Twist of Fate

A woman learns how to embrace fears of her sexuality, much like her fear of snakes.

In the Clicks of a Mouse, a Betrayal

In the middle of a divorce after her husband’s affair with a woman who answered his ad on Craigslist, the author decides to post an ad of her own.

When the Words Don’t Fit

Sometimes the love stories worthy of poetry don’t make the romances of a lifetime.

Making a Judgment on Love

A judge makes an exception and conducts a rush wedding for a couple of 38 years.

Don’t Give Me What I Want

Among animals, a remarkable gesture of interest wins a mate. In humans, our most useful allure is resistance.

Fuzzy, Purple and Full of Thorns

The Eeyore slippers, looking innocent enough, held the secret of happiness.

Fury Cannot Touch Me

Detaching myself from my son’s marital problems let me find joy in the time I spend with my granddaughter.

Sometimes, It’s Not You

He didn’t care that I was 39 and hadn’t had a serious boyfriend in eight years.

A Brother, Lost and Found

Putting a family back together when a stolen brother returns.

Part of a Whole, but Still Me

Being part of a whole does not mean giving up what you are.

To Keep but Not Be Kept

In Shanghai, my boyfriend, a white American, looked like just another foreigner taking home an Asian woman — me — like a souvenir.

Just the Two of Us, When One Toddles

An essay on being a single mother.

My Husband Is Now My Wife

He took the first step in becoming a woman: surgery to help his face look more feminine.

Downloadable. Unsustainable, Too.

What blogging made possible, real-life concerns ended.

An Ex Blogs. Is it O.K. to Watch?

I felt kind of sick to my stomach, as if I had climbed through his bedroom window and stolen his journal from his dresser drawer.

A Lost Child, but Not Mine

On the third anniversary of my abortion, I found out via MySpace that my ex-boyfriend was having a baby with another woman. I felt a sense of ownership, of responsibility for the child’s well-being.

Ring-Finger Follies

I hated that the absence of a wedding band might cause others to discount the level of our commitment.

Ready to Take a Faithful Leap

A woman reflects on the life lived by her mother and the road ahead.

Podcast »

Wearing Your Heart on Your Skin

What happens when you’re forced to really look at a spouse.

Love Delivered, Prematurely

A young woman’s first love opens the door to uncertainty about the future.

A Side Order of Romance, Please

Giving up dress shoes, bookstores and a steady paycheck for unexpected connections to unexpected people.

About That Rustle in the Bushes

He’s 77 and he keeps a binder — though he denies it — of his salvaged details and opinions.

The Radiance, Then the Ashes

He was a relentless tide of optimism. I knew better, yet I let myself hope, too.

Bringing Home the Wrong Race

Seeking familial acceptance in an interracial relationship, and finding boundaries to be prevalent.

What Is Carved in Stone

A season among the petroglyphs makes a young man reconsider all those love-related text messages.

Stuck at the Border Between the Sexes

The ideal of love got lost in the mess of analyzing gender and identity.

A Love for the Ages, but Which One?

Making sense of a courtship set amid 19th-century log cabins and pioneers — in 2008.

Eating the Forbidden Ham Sandwich

To my Indonesian immigrant parents, sex education involved instilling in me a deep fear of rape, jail, pregnancy, God and my mother.

Contest Winner: Even in Real Life, There Were Screens Between Us

College students’ entries in this year’s Modern Love essay contest reveal a shift to technology-enabled emotional intimacy. Here is the winning essay.

Podcast »

Deep in the Past, a Link to Bind Us

A surprising romantic connection laid out over the years and across the miles that linked one couple.

Hearts, and Lives, Out of Step

Where was the “nice boy” who would help me cross over into adulthood, into the world of rings and babies?

A Little Lint and Suddenly You’re Bridezilla

A grand wedding dress can stir up latent longings, even in a modest bride.

Sharing the Shame After My Arrest

When she needs solace during a trying time, a woman heads for her mother’s couch.

Podcast »

Revenge of the Friend

When a good friend’s ex brings his lover to your spin class.

Navigating in a Long-Distance Affair

The 1,200 miles dividing two people takes its toll.

Casting Call: Bit Player, Male

Because of the noticeable absence of men in my family, for years the men in my aunt’s VHS collection were the only men I knew.

A Once-Upon-a-Time Romance

We sought a certain romantic formality in what has become an informal and wholly nonromantic world.

Speaking at Arm’s Length With Music

He considered himself different from the rest of her fans; he felt he understood her better and wanted her more.

Perfect, With Childbearing Hips

After having her own child, a woman looks for a wife to bear another, with the same donor sperm.

GPS on a Path to the Heart

A sampling of intriguing tactics for locating love: familiar oldies that have been dusted off, and modernized, technology-driven alternatives.

The Hardest Lesson to Learn

Reaching an understanding was the challenge.

I Call Your/His Name

Two men, one name, and a vision of a romantic future together that changed in the process.

Saying ‘I Don’t’ to Release the Anger

Ending the marriage freed us from our anger and disappointment.

When a Former Life Beckons

A youthful mark turns out to be a good inoculation against atrophy.

Single, Female, Mormon, Alone

A single 35-year-old virgin makes a visit to Planned Parenthood.

Podcast »

From a Moment of Fear, a Lifetime of Clarity

A mugging exposes the universality of trauma and the glorious imperfections of marriage.


A String of Bulbs Was Our Guiding Star

A road trip to show off a new baby to the family at Christmas takes a detour as darkness falls.

What the Rabbi Said

A woman found herself going to a kabbalist rabbi for a blessing to marry.

A Roomful of Yearning and Regret

Whether you’re in an affair or the victim of one, both experiences take a toll.

Honey, Let’s Get a Little Divorced

There are some benefits to splitting up, but just not enough to actually end your marriage.

We Should Dance While We Can

In our wedding vows, we didn’t actually say for better or for worse, or discuss what we’d do when better became worse.

Alone When the Bedbugs Bite

The worst thing about bedbugs isn’t the bugs themselves, or even the painful bites. It’s the isolating way others react when you give them the news.

The Quiet Side of Being a Soldier’s Other Half

A military wife keeps her fears to herself and lets her husband keep secret his stories of combat.

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Fall in Love

Falling in love with someone in the meditation room happens so often that some Buddhists have a name for it: the Vipassana Romance (V.R., for short).

Keeping Them Company at the End

While waiting for the doctor, we kept his body company with stories of the life-cycle events of a long marriage.

Maternal Wisdom (5 Pounds’ Worth)

Sending my 11-year-old daughter off to school with her “newborn.”

Gifts for the Broken-Hearted

He was 13 years my junior, and I worried that maybe I shouldn’t be playing this game with a heart that would never quite heal.

Sex on the Run? No, We Parked

Knowing where to park is of paramount importance.

Would Hemingway Cry?

Being footloose in life can be costly in love.

Tunneling to the Core of Family

A mother of a gravely ill toddler learns that parental love is layered on, with each layer a shield of denial.

Diving Deep to Reach the Surface

At stake in the relationship were innocent creatures who knew nothing of people and people troubles.

The Anatomy of a Breakup

A partner transitions genders and a relationship changes and breaks.

In Bitter Moments, Reaching for the Sweet

When everything went really wrong, a woman going through divorce reached for the sugary treats that made coping a bit easier.

On the Precipice, Wings Spread

A young woman learns that it’s a risk to love anyone.

My Brother’s Keeper (Assembly Required)

A mother’s death changes the lives of two independent adults.

Is the Husband Going to Be a Problem?

After years of sacrifice in pursuit of two tenured positions, an academic couple faces a “Romeo and Juliet”-like plot twist.

Marry a Man Who Loves His Mother

A tense mother and daughter-in-law relationship takes a surprising turn when they suddenly need each other.

A Kite That Couldn’t Be Tied Down

She, a poet in vintage clothing, was everything I’d dreamed of but never knew existed.

The Accidental Older Woman

She had just turned 40; he was 20. This was harder than learning to ride a motorcycle.

Mom/Not Mom/Aunt

From one generation to the next, bonds that endure.

What Clown Wrote This Script?

A television writer develops a show starring his girlfriend. But the network had a different idea.

The Tangle of Biology and Choice

A father’s message about family, responsibility and his own decisions seems clear, but his daughter’s understanding of it changes over time.

Finding Marriage Without Losing a Self

An ex-heroin addict and escort finds the perfect man. But should she marry him?

Podcast »

Across the Threshold of Fatherhood

Nick Flynn always imagined that one day he would be a father, but mostly it was off his radar.

Competing in My Own Reality Show

I was falling in love with him while matchmakers for a reality TV show were trying to find him a wife.

Affirmation, Etched in Vinyl

A daughter seeks her father’s true voice to replace the memory of the sound of his death.

Our Way of Saying Goodbye

An unconventional relationship, spanning oceans, continents and cultures.

The Triangle’s Sharpest Point

The end of a relationship puts the future of a spirited, angry child at risk.

When the Toast Is: ‘To Your Health’

A wine writer’s relationship is over, but the medical insurance lingers on.

Open Adoption: Not So Simple Math

A choreography of nurturing that is both awkward and rewarding.

Falling Off the World

Jobless we were free — and blind to each other’s faults. Time would change that.

Anchors Don’t Come in Pretty Boxes

I wasn’t special. Surely marriage would change that.

Chatting Up the Trophy Girl, Toddler Style

My son was getting the brush-off from an alluring female he hoped to impress, and I wanted to share some hard-won male insight.

Sweetest at the End

Disease could have turned Bob violent. He had it another way.

A Wallet-Size Photo, a Father’s Double Life

A family comes face to face with their secret second family.

A Life to Live, This Side of the Bars

In the prison visiting room, a fiancé finds brotherhood among other men whose wives are also incarcerated.

The Ex-Husband Who Never Left

A couple’s divorce arrangement makes dating and moving on an awkward challenge.

Holding Fast, Letting Go

A son learns to appreciate his difficult and troubled mother during her battle with Alzheimer’s, and after her passing.

Death Bear Will See You Now

A brokenhearted woman calls on a performance artist to get over a breakup.

A Family Label, Ungarbled

After being branded by her family as cold, a woman finds out what a damaged heart is capable of.

Signs, Wonders and Fates Fulfilled

A novice monk faces two different loves, and is torn between a heavenly and an earthly calling.

Explaining the Irrational: Here Goes ...

The editor of the series attempts to answer some of the prevalent questions about love he has observed Americans asking recently.

How Could I Embrace a Village?

I was in love with a handsome man with whom I shared a love of books, and I wanted to view that as our singular experience. Yet this was not a simple love affair between two people.

Alone on a Path Shared by Many

Turner Syndrome leaves a woman infertile, and forces her to mourn the loss of expectations from family and friends.

Helped to Heal by a Stranger’s Truth

A daughter comes to terms with the unease and silence that has followed her mother’s murder.

When I Was Left to Speak for Both of Us

A wife reflects on the roles played in her marriage while pondering her husband’s epitaph.

How I Earned My Wings Back

Through my scheming search, I’d actually found love, and instead of me getting his flight benefits, he got mine.

Could I Forgive Him One Last Time?

What if my son came to love his father, only to lose him?


When My Mother Called Out the Posse

Once my mother welcomed a horse into her barn, a lifelong commitment began.

A Joint Account That Underwrites Our Marriage

A man looks back on 35 years of marriage and how he and his wife have managed to stay married so long.

Even in English, a Language Gap

Were subtle clues in our relationship getting lost in translation?

Would My Heart Outrun Its Pursuer?

How might a woman love the millstone I believed myself to be?

Podcast »

The Boundaries of a Breakup

If I can snoop on my ex-girlfriend online, then why shouldn’t she be free to befriend my grandpa?

That Delicate Membrane, the Heart

Grappling with a stricken father and his demons.

A Brief Visit From My Soldier Son

Amid anxiety, a family celebrates the wonders of military life with a wedding for a son going off to war.

All I Wanted Was a Hug

A mission experience in Taiwan arouses an intense desire for human connections in a 22-year-old Mormon woman from the United States.

When Madness Is in the Wings

There are two kinds of madness: the kind that strikes suddenly, like a startled bird, and the kind that stalks silently for years, circling round and round until you are fully gathered in its dark wings. Mine was the latter.

To Nurture Again, With Courage

After the death of her daughter, a mother risks her heart again by adopting another child.

For the Boy Who Makes Waves

A father answers his question on what he will do for his son who has special needs.

An Affection Multiplier, With Four Feet and Wet Nose

A couple wonders if a dog can really change the dynamic of their marriage.

My Mother’s Imposed Fast: I Feel Her Hunger

A daughter studies the void in her parents' relationship.

Forget the Men. Pick a Guy.

Want someone to lick chocolate off your belly? You need a guy.

Making Room for My Junk Man

A woman makes room (lots of it) for a pack-rat husband.

Giving Myself Consent to Let Go

A mother is in charge of every fragment of her deceased husband's life, and she's doing right by it.

Once Political, Now Just Practical

For one couple, "wife" was a label that changed meaning in their house, as well as society.

The Leaves Had Fallen. Where Was Spring?

My illness has a purpose, but I didn't know what it was.

Snappish at First, Now All Warm and Fuzzy

A tale of startled dog bites man strengthens a couple's bond.

Dear Birth Mother, Please Hit ‘Reply’

Facebook brings a woman's birth mother and her family just a keystroke away.

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear

"I don't love you anymore," my husband said, but I survived the sucker punch.

Podcast »

My Secret Left Me Unable to Help

A conflict with her daughter has a mother wondering how far can you go to help an adult child.

A Time to Put Aside the Armor

A father wonders why his son and father are such a pair, while he and his father seem like such a mismatch.

Yes, We Do. Even at Our Age.

Sexually active at the golden age? Does kissing my husband goodnight count?

In My Fantasy, I Caught Up to Reality

In an attempt to distract himself from emptiness, a man begins a one-sided love affair at the gym.

Raising a Princess Single-Handedly

A father makes bumbling attempts at motherly things.

Good Practice for a Tough Fatherhood

Some children are easy to love. Others require more of us.

When Bliss Is a Mutual Fund

Invest when we’re awash in debt? My husband says yes!

First Comes Marriage

A practical arrangement can blossom into a full life.

My View From the Margins

A writer who is paid to write about love still considers it a big mystery.

For Good or Bad, a Lifelong Investment

A son still finds good in a stepfather who had questionable values, but made sure he had decent ones.

Somewhere Inside, a Path to Empathy

A man learns to deal with Asperger's syndrome, with the help of his wife.

The Long Way Home

Tom Waits's music cuts through years of turbulence and strain between a mother and her daughters.

A Dream Deferred

He told me that he could not live without me, and that he would not stop telling me how he felt. And then he disappeared.

‘Maddy’ Just Might Work After All

A transgender parent wonders what kind of men her sons will become.

Podcast »

Down to ‘The Wire’

The realism of a gritty TV program gives a couple joy in their last moments together.

Finding Forgiveness in a Ziploc

A husband's need for complete control unexpectedly ignites his wife's fuse.

Just One Last Swirl Around the Bowl

A man becomes emotionally attached and plays caregiver to his daughter’s dying fish.

My Clock Was Already Ticking

A woman with regrets gets a second chance at a husband, home and a baby, in that order.

A Memory Magically Interrupted

My grandmother's Alzheimer’s healed the family — and her.

Podcast »

A Family That Takes ‘No’ for an Answer

At a shooting party, lessons are learned about death and denial.

Podcast »

In a Charmed Life, a Road Less Traveled

After being crippled in a car accident, a wife bobs peacefully, looking once again like every other person lolling in the sea.

Swapping Fathers, Swiftly

A daughter remembers how trading fathers meant changing not only a parent, but also countries, accents, lives.

My Back-Seat View of a Great Romance

The most passionate thing I was ever a part of didn't involve me.

Kept Together by the Bars Between Us

What happens when a marriage faces parole?

In My Mother, a Fear Stripped Bare

A daughter gets to know a country and a woman that have always been close to her, but that she never really knew.

My Mr. Right, in the Land of Make-Believe

A woman flies halfway around the world to have a drink with a stranger.

A Student of Intimacy, Step by Step

A bad boy with good intentions strives for honesty.

A Guest Star in His Romantic Drama

Freaks, geeks and finding love somewhere in between.

Always a Frog, Now My Prince

Someone you once dismissed as “yucky” in your childhood may, in fact, be the one.

Facing My Obsession, in the Flesh

For many, sex addiction is something to poke fun at, but for others it’s very real and far from a joking matter.


The Kindness, and Xanax, of Strangers

A woman finds support in strangers after she's diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time.

The Accidental Breadwinner

Jackie Onassis told me to never marry or mix your money. I took her point.

Faithful to His Memory, and His Mother

How can you tell when you start dating someone that you’ll end up spending more time with his mother than with him?

Deeply, Truly (but Not Physically) in Love

A wife wonders what to do when familiarity breeds a contempt for sex.

Sexy Ribbon on the Buyout Package

Romance, and backseat sex, in the time of buyouts.

War Weary From a Dangerous Liaison

It was hard to end our long-distance fantasy, even after I married.

Have That Baby, Dear. I’ll Just Watch.

When my daughter was born, it was the begining of the end of my marriage.

The Sea Horse, Our Family Mascot

My transgender twin learns a lesson in sacrifice.

I Measured My Commitment in Carats

It was the family jewel, and I was about to give it away.

The Tiny Hand That Robs the Cradle

Graffiti Girl didn’t know my son the way I knew him, no matter what the bathroom wall proclaimed.

Playing Role Reversal With My Therapist

So maybe that love poem wasn’t his best approach.

Shipping My Insecurities to California

How do you break up if there was never any commitment to start?

Help Wanted: Other Woman

My husband's "mistress" has given notice. I'll miss her.

My First Son, a Pure Memory

I cradled his head, his features peaceful, perfect, blank.

My First Son, a Pure Memory

I cradled his head, his features peaceful, perfect, blank.

Podcast »

So, Tell Me Everything I Know About You

No Googling on the first date, please.

My Very Own Cyberstalker

As a reporter, wasn't I safe from critiques? Not on the Web.

‘You Need to Take My Son to Jail’

He was asking to be an adult, no matter how bad the consequences.

Podcast »

We’ll Marry Each Other as Often as Needed

Gay and unmarried: the new unheard-of.

My Deployment as a War Bride

Unable to rule events, I vowed not to worry (or answer the door).

It Took a Villain to Save Our Marriage

Some couples become swingers; we provoked the nut down the road.

Disassembling My Childhood

A gift for my daughter brings up memories of childhood with my father.

The Breakups That Got Under My Skin

I had a habit of getting a tattoo after a breakup, believing a tattoo was sexy because everyone could see that you opted for pain.

The Wrong Kind of Inheritance

Would my daughter fall victim to our legacy of family anguish?

A Brother as Significant as Any Other

A gay and straight brother are each other's best friends.

A Support Group Is My Higher Power

An agnostic mother hopes a daughter's faith conquers depression.

Rescued by an Israeli Soldier

"Sometimes we have to fight battles even when we don't want to."

How My Husband Won Back My Vote

Does your marriage need work? Hit the campaign trail.

As a Father, I Was Hardly a Perfect Fit

My one slim shot at redemption: learn his hat size.

Let’s Not Get to Know Each Other Better

For my generation, casual is sexy, caring is creepy.

My Dropout Boyfriend Kept Dropping In

It's hard to lose yourself in the woods if you're scared of the dark.

Instant Message, Instant Girlfriend

I used the Internet as a means of communication with women I had already met offline in order to overcome my social awkwardness and forge romantic relationships.

May I Have This Dance?

Owen Powell, a runner-up in the Modern Love college essay contest, writes about his dreams of Natalie Portman, while serving in Iraq.

A Wedding Invitation for a Mom Long Gone

The mother of the bride, there in spirit.

Want to Be My Boyfriend? Please Define

The winner of the Modern Love College Essay contest writes a clear-eyed account of her generation’s often noncommittal dating scene.

Was I on a Date or Baby-Sitting?

I was surprised to hear he was a father. I was 28 then and had never dated a guy with a child. Also, he seemed like sort of a kid himself.

The Joy of Marriage Was Ours, for a While

Over a French dinner, my partner, a doctor now, told me goodbye.

The Plain, Unmarked Box Arrived

The sex chair was perfect terrain for my son's soldiers.

When the Chutney’s Gone

The day the coffee in bed went, so did my insatiable urges.

How We Got From Grief to Pancakes

Part of what I love about him is his late wife.

Mom, It’s Me, Your Son, Finally

She and I had not been alone together in more than 30 years.

The Steep Price of Our Forbidden Kiss

I wanted to love someone who had my disease, and I did.

A Signal in the Sky Said: Marry Her

I had to be as alone as possible to know that we should be together.

Me, My Daughter and Them

Thinking of my perfect life with Sophie, my daughter, I couldn't marry.

The April Fools’ Joke I Played on Myself

My brother sobbed unconvincingly. "She broke up with me."

I Married a Republican: There, I Said It

How many bipartisan couples did I know? Absolutely none.

A Valley of Misery Between Peaks of Joy

Hopeful thoughts, for those of us wriggling in the muck of love.

An Open and Shut Marriage

Married, but still looking, sort of.

Closing Night for My Bit Part

A DVD just can't satisfy a yearning for a previous lover.

G.P.S. for My Lost Identity

Like a first love, Big Sur can make you feel small in its grasp.

Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am

Dating when you're bipolar.

The Blank Space in Our Family Album

In our closets, and our minds, the books, clothes and dreams.


Our Joy Knows No Bounds, or Lanes

A few years ago, my life was roadworthy but lonely.

The Holiday of My Dreams Was Just That

Even an unfulfilled wish list is worth composing.

Divorce and a Haircut, Two Bits

At the barber, I looked into the mirror and saw the end of an era.

My Sorority Pledge? I Swore Off Sisterhood

Once a girl is made to feel dirty, it becomes her lot, in perpetuity.

That’s My Pride Beneath the Love Train

The heart is the engineer, common sense just a passenger.

A Diesel Engine Woke Up Our Marriage

In our 20s, we thought only about the cost of not doing things.

When One of Me Suddenly Became Three

Finding the child I put up for adoption led to a bonus: my grandchild.

The Man I Wish Was Your Father

Repressed feelings of love, fear and sadness about the father who almost was.

Why We Needed a Prenup With Our Contractor

I suspected the worst: he was seeing someone else.

Too Bad for Me That She Was So Well Loved

I wanted the best for a 2-year-old, but even more, I wanted her.

Maturity Was Just Too Messy for Me

An older woman taught a lesson very different from what I expected.

Close Enough to Touch Was Too Far Apart

He was uneasy with beliefs worn on the sleeve, or in my case, on my head.

My Three Years as a Beloved Daughter

Two sets of parents and an East-West emotional divide.

A Painful Reminder of My Ex

The man who once wanted me to have his baby now hangs from hooks. My fault?

How I Turned Into a Stepmonster

I had given up on loving my stepchildren, or their loving.

Passage to India, by Way of an Elevator

A moment of pure glee, which happens before everything changes.

The People on the Bus Say ‘Shame on You’

I asked the Internet, When do you tell dear baby “I love you”?

The Rubble of My Marriage, Hidden by Katrina’s

I didn’t want hugs or cards after my divorce, and thanks to the hurricane, I got none.

As Survivors, We Were Closer Than Lovers

Cancer lets you cut to the chase; time together means more now.

A Friendship Too Tight for Breathing Room

Closer than sisters, we always said. And then, suddenly, it ended.

I Made Him What He Is, but Who Is He?

“This is Anthony. The guy who was your sperm donor. Strange isn’t it?”

The House of No Personal Pronouns

As my boyfriend and his wife await divorce, four of us share one roof.

Would Our Two New Lives Include a Third?

My husband and I moved to Mexico to break into international reporting, but a bigger decision lay ahead.

He Forgot to Call? Oh, No Big Deal.

My therapist dubbed me the Needless Wonder for my doormat ways. So I decided to take some action.

Whereas You Were an Insensitive Fool ...

Being of sound mind and broken foot, I used terms my husband grasped.

My Virginity Went From Choice to Burden

I even posted it on Craigslist, looking for a little humor in my plight.

Ah, to Be Old, Male and Single

When Dad wasn’t dating a divorcee, he was with me, his lonely daughter.

My Husband May Out-Mom Me

He wasn’t good at making money and I was. As a couple we were a whole.

When China Reopened, I Rushed in Too Fast

China confronts a foreign temptress.

In the Dressing Room, Relationships Laid Bare

Sometimes you fail to realize how things fit until it’s too late.

Mr. What-If Is Circling Around My Marriage

Frank seems confident that if he waits long enough, my wife will be his again.

My First Lesson in Motherhood

How would we manage her care? Yet how could we leave her behind?

Podcast »

An Ancient Coda to My 21st-Century Divorce

I thought my gay ex and I had closure: a rabbi knew better.

How My Plumber Turned Water Into Wine

For helping me jump back into romance, I helped him match wine and women.

An Adopted Child Is a Riddle. Now I Have a Clue.

A meeting with the birth mother provides answers, and also some questions.

La Vie en Rose, the Takeout Version

Lights out on the romantic glow.

A Father on Poster Board Just Won’t Do

Two-dimensional fatherhood doesn’t do. Flat Daddy wasn’t fooling anyone and neither was I.

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers

The story began when I was 5 years old and the F.B.I. came for my father.

If We Met in a Former Life, Maybe He Was Straight Then

He’s gay. She was undeterred. He’s still gay.

My Parents Couldn’t Outlive, or Outrun, Each Other

Their split was not like today’s rational affairs. It began and ended with a butcher knife.

Dreaming of a Life of Privilege, but First...

A heart that just wasn’t in it.

My Triplets Were Inseparable, Whatever the Risks

In a multiple birth, a troubling calculation of the odds.

The Hunter-Gatherer, Parking Division

A mating dance, between car and curb.

‘La Bohème’ Is Romantic, as Long as I’m Not the Star

I had tried to take care of my boyfriends. I never imagined one would take care of me.

Dear Editor, the Secret of Love Is ...

As the editor of the modern love column, Daniel Jones finds one common thread: Wisdom about love is sorely lacking.

She Handed Me a Cup From the Fountain of Youth

She could be my daughter, and we’re having too much fun.

I Saw a Playhouse, My Daughter Saw a Jail

How does a child who spends her early life glued to your hip suddenly turn into a person who seems convinced that you were put on earth simply to frustrate her ambitions and dreams?

Who Is This Child? And What Will He Be Next?

A mystery wrapped in an 8 1/2-year-old boy.

I Fell for a Man Who Wore an Electronic Ankle Bracelet

Putting emotion under house arrest.

Our Story Ended With a Slow Fade to Black

“I have no interest in cancer,” my husband said, “even if it has an interest in me.”


Close Enough for Momma, Too Close for Me

Being just a bell ring away won’t do for a guilt-wielding mother.

Live Without Me. I’ll Understand.

My plane was plunging, but life would go on.

Podcast »

A Housecleaning That Swept Out the Ashes of My Marriage

Burning a card, burying a raw deal in marriage.

I Couldn’t Let Go of Him. Did It Make Me a Stalker?

If my friends heard my story from a man, would they so easily absolve him?

In the Grip of Nature’s Own Form of Birth Control

You get obsessively vigilant when you realize having a baby is not just up to you.

Fatherly Memories Scattered to the Wind

Intimacy we struggled for in my childhood seemed to vanish with his ashes.

Beneath the Modest Alter Ego, I See My Superhero

Pledging much more than his heart.

It Took a War, but I Finally Moved in With My Husband

As Hezbollah and Israel battled, my fight for freedom seemed pointless.

We Lived in the Present, Then the Future Arrived

In the tricky surf of a May-December match, the “best summer ever.”

When a Relationship Carries the Weight of History

An Irish boyfriend competes with the tug of letters from my Jewish great-grandmother.

Nursing My Daughter, and Some Grievances

Is the risk of a milk bomb on a flight really that great?

Will That Child Step Off the Screen and Into Our Lives?

Maternal yearnings, paternal misgivings.

Men Don’t Care About Weddings? Groomzilla Is Hurt

What wears a tuxedo and breathes fire? Groomzilla.

Our Affair Was One Long Lesson in How to Break Up

“When I'm with you,” he said, “I feel incredibly alive, and yet always terrible.”

We Ate and Drank While the Warning Lights Flashed

Now, we live like monks: herbal tea after dinner, the endless seltzer.

When the Thunder Rolls in, My Lie Rolls Out

The storm season tapered off, and with no more tender moments to hold us together, our relationship crumbled.

Race Wasn’t an Issue to Him, Which Was an Issue to Me

If race doesn't matter, it should.

Dust to Dust: An Affair Post 9/11

Events of the day entangled many of us in an emotional lost and found.

Fatherhood, I Now Learn, Is a Young Man’s Game

An older dad wonders: dentures before baby teeth? “I began my great late-in-life adventure with a whimper and a crawl.”

Mortality Can Be a Powerful Aphrodisiac

Sex, the antidote to death.

My Husband Survived; the Man I Married Didn’t

I can be my husband's nurse, but I can't be his jailer.

I Dulled Her Pain, and My Judgment

In she walked, a flattering, dirty-blonde asking me for painkillers. I had been warned: Addicts can be creative, ruthless and even seductive.

The Semicolon Was Our Blinking Caution Light

I should have told him right then to run, to flee, to find another class.

Married, but Certainly Not to Tradition

Put "Catholic" and "gay wedding" together, and you get an extravaganza of rituals.

Someone to Watch Over Me (on a Google Map)

Is that cute avatar checking out my avatar? My virtual heart leaps.

Seeing the World Through My Wife’s Eyes

The morning I turned 18, I was told I was going blind. I would give anything to tell you what my wife looks like, but I can't. A real blind love, the literal kind, is a giving over of consciousness.

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What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

I wanted — needed — to nudge my husband a little closer to perfect.

Diary of a Soldier's Wife: Tie-Dye and Camo Don't Mix

How I mutated from Gandhi Girl to Army Wife.

Strung Out on Love and Checked In for Treatment

In 12-step confessional style, this is what love addiction did to my life: I dropped out of college, quit my job, stopped talking to my family and friends and contemplated suicide.

When You Wish Upon a Saint, Watch What You Ask For

An unmarried Jewish woman makes an offering to Santa Rita in a Roman Catholic cathedral in Italy.

Mom, Dad, Let Me Find My Own Husband

I couldn't let my parents arrange my Indian marriage from Indiana. I would have to find my own suitable boy. Or perhaps even an unsuitable one.

Changing My Feminist Mind, One Man at a Time

I was the girl with a framed photo of Gloria Steinem on her bedroom wall, beside a photo of a young Frank Sinatra.

A Winter of Discontent, Then Along Comes Baby

The part of me that wanted to die simply crawled off into the woods and never came back.

Losing My Way Has Been a Way of Life for Me

I have often joked to friends that I married my husband for his sense of direction. And since I met him, the scope of my travels has expanded greatly.

Now for a Quick Lesson in International Relations

I had come to Bangladesh to try to clean the slate of past relationships. Now I was pursuing the most unlikely possible romance.

A Reality Show for Couples Therapy? Sign Us Up

I'm a stripper with a delectable boyfriend and a rock 'n' roll band. I should be having more sex than anyone.

This Is Where the Dog Comes In

The dog and I fell in love, as humans tend to do with their dogs, and we were the ones who became inseparable.

I Was Between Husbands, He Was Between Cupcakes

I'VE had five husbands. Four were mine; one was someone else's. I would not recommend going the borrowed husband route, but I will admit it was interesting. And instructive. My borrowed husband (B.H.) had many things going for him. One was a lot...

Rancho Paradise Lost

I had a cowboy once. It wasn't like Ennis and Jack, more like Roy and Dale. But it was still hard for me to quit him.

The Day the House Blew Up

Our house was gone, but we were alive, and our love for each other — the love of a married couple who had put up with each other for 20 years — would survive.

I Need to Woman Up and Do This on My Own

In that breakup I felt like I lost my husband, best friend, father and brother all at once. And I didn't just lose him — I banished him.

Figure It Out? Figure It Out? O.K., You Figure It Out!

I think everyone will see things my way if I just explain them properly. So I keep explaining. I keep talking.

A Girl Could Get Cornered in a Tiny House

I liked the idea of being someone's someone else. I didn't like the idea that that someone had a girlfriend.

Now I Need a Place to Hide Away

My daughter was a Beatles fan by the time she was five, and she had already fallen for John.

Loved and Lost? It's O.K., Especially if You Win

It's O.K. to fall deeply for one loser after another. It's O.K. to show up at a guy's house with a dozen roses and declare your undying affection.

You're Not Sick, You're Just In Love

As the editor of this column, sifting through the tales of love, sex, dating and marriage, I offer the following thoughts on the oft-tortured state of modern love.

Mélange à Trois: Me, Him and the Stuff

The bracing truth is that he was living larger than I was, in my place. Everything felt chaotic and alien.

Two Decembers: Loss and Redemption

My mother’s madness seeped in so quietly that my father was able to ignore it, believing that it would get better on its own.

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So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?

He wore gray turtleneck sweaters and smelled like mint aftershave and old books. He reminded me of my father, but his intentions were hardly paternal.

A Devotion That Eclipsed the Family

Roy wanted me to know that he and my father weren't just a couple of guys boozing it up out on the boat.

A Passion for the Movies? Yes, Yes Yes!

Like Ginger Rogers I danced out of the theater with an airy, lightheaded feeling. It was like renewable virginity.

Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)

In the continuing case of Full-Time Homemaker vs. Working Mother, I offer myself as Exhibit A.


Father and Daughter: One Final Connection

Watching my father's illness progress was watching him move inward to some secret, native core.

Online Images Open a Heart, Then a Home

One of those children up for adoption was mine. My kid, misplaced somehow, and determined to find her way home.

A Surrogate Dries Her Tears

For a selfless surrogate mother, the heartbreak that came from leaving was a surprise.

Mother Must Muzzle the Nuzzle

Little has been written about the time when parents are supposed to cut back on the physical contact with their children.

Point 1: We Had Fun. Point 2: It's Over. Point 3: Get Lost.

After months of contemplating breaking up with her boyfriend, the author finally ended the relationship using a PowerPoint presentation.

Sending a Lost Boy to the Wilderness to Find Himself

At 14, our son spiraled out of control. We looked into having him taken away to a wilderness program that would help him.

DJ’s Homeless Mommy

There was no guarantee an open adoption would get us a baby any faster than a closed or foreign adoption, but we decided to try to do it anyway.

Riding Shotgun and Living Life

Though I know I cede my power the minute I get in a car, I feel we're driving on my terms because they're taking me where I want to go.

A Go-Between Gets Going

She wouldn't tell him she still loved him in spite of everything. Did I dare disturb the universe and interfere?

Here's Looking at You, Kid

I think I like young guys, especially guys in their 20's, because, at heart, I am a guy in my 20's.

Out From Under the Influence

Would Julie and I ever have gotten together if I hadn't been a drowning alcoholic in need of her outstretched hand?

The New Nanny Diaries Are Online

When I started to read my nanny's online diary, our entire relationship unraveled.

A Prince Charming for the Prom (Not Ever After, Though)

Dancing a few steps in a beautified gymnasium is the least I could do to thank the girls who helped me become who I am.

Podcast »

Looking at My Father, Inside and Out

My father died from alcoholism, and we're all be survivors of some kind. All I know is he was capable of doing great damage.

Truly, Madly, Guiltily

For a mother, libido, as she once knew it, is gone, replaced by all-consuming maternal desire. Except, that is, for me.

Truly, Madly, Guiltily

For a mother, libido, as she once knew it, is gone, replaced by all-consuming maternal desire. Except, that is, for me.

Witness to a Wedding That Wasn't

"There's not going to be a wedding," the groom's mother said. She laughed. Then she stopped laughing.


Traveling the Too-Much-Information Highway

A self-described emotional exhibitionist, this blogger found herself reaping all of the consequences of a blogging relationship but none of the benefits.

Just Friends? Let Me Read Between the Lines

How can a spurned lover make his case? One writer counts the ways.