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 here is one using the using the !

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

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


My Twisted Path to a Meaningful Life

A bad night of partying left my body broken and nearly paralyzed. I let the pain shape me for the better.

A Shattering Secret on the Path to Motherhood

My doctor asked a routine question that led to a marital crisis.

We Didn’t Know It Was the Last Time

My daughter and I looked at a book together, posed for a picture, and then she left. Forever.

When Love Means Being Selfish

I knew I had to hold onto what I needed — even if that meant using a lawyer to get custody (of a dog).

After the Affair, the Reckoning

While I was with our new baby, my husband was with another woman.

The Phone That Tore Us Apart

Our long-distance marriage was hard to sustain — and hard to end.

Putting the Real Me in My Dating Profile

Among the staged photos and silly prompts of online dating, I get one sentence where I get to be my true self.

How I Learned to Trust (Some) Men

When an Italian stranger approached me, I listened to my intuition, and it changed my life forever.

Our Last, Impossible Conversation

When technology offered me the chance to celebrate my dead husband’s 27th birthday, I took it.

Please Stay, Baby. Please?

The grief of miscarriage is largely invisible. And with each loss, the longing multiplies.

My Husband Keeps Leaving Me

A marriage between a soldier and a pacifist strains and changes.

Hey, Stranger, Here’s My Heart

Perhaps what’s making me sick is not the lack of love I have received but the love I have ceased to give.

A Family Dinner With My Wife and Girlfriend

Learning to love two women at once — one living with Alzheimer’s — is a challenge and a blessing.

In Love? Share Screenshots of Your First Digital Exchanges

How did your relationship go from “hey” to heartfelt? We want to see the messages that started it all — and hear about what happened next.

My Husband Is Two Years Older Than My Son

Our 19-year age gap feels treacherous and gossip inducing — and is also the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

This Is Not the Relationship I Ordered

Divorce left me with a surprising realization about who was the love of my life.

A Place Where Heartbreak Feels Good

My boyfriend instilled in me a passion for movies. To heal, that’s where I go.

The Cost of the American Dream? Our Intimacy.

A physical relationship is nearly impossible for a hard-working Bangladeshi taxi driver and his wife, who longed for each other.

My Relationships Have No Clothes

I have no moral objection to infidelity. For me, sex is just sex.

Sharing an Airbnb With My Parents for Seven Weeks

Korea was my parents’ country. They wouldn’t need me there as they did in Canada … right?

My Bad-Times-Only Boyfriend

Why is my long-ago fling suddenly acting as if he’s my husband?


The Secret Sorrow of Hotel Rooms

After losing my husband, I just wanted to feel alive. Then I wanted more.

At 93, Teaching Me About Possibility

When I abandoned “grayspeak” — talking to elders as if they are toddlers — my conversations with my grandmother finally began.

Ask These 11 Money Questions Before Moving In With Your Partner

What would you do if you won the lottery? How do we stop having this same fight about money? And much more.

Was My Boyfriend Financially Controlling? Was My Girlfriend?

The common denominator between the two relationships had not been gender or sexual orientation. It had been me.

How I Learned to Spend Money on Love

I didn’t see the point of investing in candlelit dinners or surprise gifts. Then I met Nicki, who taught me that romance is not an extravagance.

Taboo but True: Readers Share How Money Affects Relationships

Readers share how money affected their relationships

The Devastation of Disinheritance

My father’s decision to cut me out of his will shocked me. Could the damage ever be repaired?

Can Love Overcome the ‘Cost’ of Care?

My disability means I’ll need long-term care. If I pay for more now, will my boyfriend care for me later?

Never Rely on a Man’s Money

Divorce was a shock that led me to a new vow: financial independence.

Were We the ‘Fat Couple’?

If that’s how our friends saw us, I couldn’t bear it.

First My Husband Left, Then My Stuff

Lessons in letting go and embracing a lighter life.

Her Cheese Was So Good That We Had to Break Up

Small gestures can build relationships — and also tear them down.

Nothing Could Happen Between Us

We only had a few weeks together. Why did that allow us to fall so hard so fast?

A Marriage Problem That Can’t Be Solved

My husband and I haven’t spoken in more than a year. It can’t go on like this, but it will.

When a Breakup Is an Act of Love

Single again in midlife, I am learning how to embrace reality over fantasy in a new relationship.

When Your Search History Says What You Can’t

Why was my boyfriend asking Google how to break up with someone?

Jennifer Graham Likes Jennifer Graham

She shared my name. How could we not become friends? And how could I not have gone to see her when it mattered most?

My (Liberating) Secret Shame

I may be unable to have children, and I am relieved.

My 11-Year Relationship That Never Happened

At 50, divorced and suffering from delusions, I experienced the greatest love I had ever known. If only it were real.

Our 34-Year Age Gap Was Showing

When my husband, turning 80, agreed I could see a younger man, we couldn’t predict the surprising way our lives together would unfold.

Pinned Under the Bodies of Men

I thought being sexually bold was a game I was allowed to play. I had no idea of the punishment that awaited me — or the surprising healing to come.

Who Is Trusted to Have a Child?

As a married gay man and an emergency pediatrician, I continue to wrestle with expectations of having a ‘traditional’ family life.

Why I Dress (and Act) Like a Man

Tired of being deferential to men in my relationships, I decided to create my own drag king persona.

Putting All My Eggs in the Boyfriend Basket

As my friends left college for exciting jobs and law school, I went to Mexico for a guy.

Out of the Closet and Into the Garden

My Jamaican mother’s hopes for life in America did not include my being gay. So how would I ever bloom?

Never Give Your Child Five Names

If you do, he may never be able to leave you.

Would Marrying Her Be a Giant Mistake?

I was warned not to marry outside my faith, but when Jillian was asleep in my bed, I would cry, unable to imagine a world without her.

Wanting More Than ‘Thank You, Next!’

Auditioning for romance, friendship and acting roles has a lot in common — especially when it comes to hearing “no.”

Why My Father Called Me Son, Daughter, He, She and It

As my father lost his memory, he began to regard my gender as increasingly fluid.

My Fetish for a Second Skin

As a gay Korean American, I yearned for the privilege of being heterosexual or white. So I began wearing latex, a new skin.

Kissing a Fellow Janitor Amid the Trash

After two assaults, I sought healing on the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth.

Was I Married to a Stranger?

I thought I knew my husband of 20 years. I didn’t — and still don’t.

My Last Shopping List for Him

For exhuming my husband’s bones, I was told to bring a bottle of red wine, chlorine, powdered soap and a white bedsheet.

How My Father and I Drew a New Life

After my mother died, my father had a choice: Give up or reinvent himself.

What if I Hadn’t Been There to Catch Them?

I never thought I’d be experiencing the heartache and joys of raising three small children, alone, at 62.

The Slap That Changed Everything

I kept trying to laugh off and normalize sexual aggression by men. Eventually, it all caught up to me.

‘That’s Why I Picked a Younger Man’

My mother’s second husband wasn’t supposed to die before she did. And neither was I.

My Spectacular Betrayal

We had compromised in our marriages, denied parts of ourselves, often felt lonely, but who didn’t? Weren’t we happy enough?

My Mother, the Stranger

After cutting off all contact with my mother, I tried to let go. Now I’m trying to hold on.

Seeking a Lover, Not a Nurse

Disability shouldn’t make someone undesirable or impractical as a romantic partner.

I Had to Stop Asking Why

When my aunt died by suicide at 39, I blamed myself. Strange as it sounds, I needed David Schwimmer to help me heal.

Couples Therapist, Heal Thyself

Sometimes it’s easier to help others face marital conflict than to do it yourself.

How to Fall Out of Love With Yourself

My girlfriend thought I might be a narcissist. Maybe it was time to dial back the self-love?

Uh-Oh, I Seem to Be Dating a Chatbot

David was passionate, courteous and (artificially) intelligent.

When Climate Change Melts Your Relationship

Everything was going great until I told him to dump his kerosene lamp for an LED.

Our Second Date Was Statistically Abnormal

And the ensuing beauty, tragedy and pain have been exquisite.

Here Lie the Bickersons, Side-by-Side for All Eternity

When I bought a burial plot for my almost-ex-husband’s girlfriend, I never guessed who might end up there instead.

‘No Love Is Ever Wasted’

Even when it leads to heartbreak.

I Gave Her My Only Olive

And it was just our second date.

How Could I Deny Him Fatherhood?

He wanted children. I didn’t. What happened next was completely unexpected.

Must We Feel Shame Over Divorce?

In my South Asian community, where ending a marriage is relatively uncommon, the answer seemed to be yes.

The Beauty of Expiration-Date Dating

Falling for someone who’s leaving can be surprisingly liberating (and so much fun).

Two Kisses We Never Talked About

Sometimes you really have to show up for your ex. This was one of those times.

Don’t Call Me by My Real Name

As a sex worker, I had to set boundaries with clients that I sometimes couldn’t abide by myself.

I’ll Get By With a Little Help From My Herd

A single mother, alone with a toddler in a foreign country, finds community during Covid — and then creates one for others.

Date Like a Monk

‘We’re not here to impress each other. We’re here to connect.’

A Web Between Her Body and Mine

For decades we connected nearly every day. One terrible moment changed all that.


Is Something This Good Even Possible?

I kept saying to my friends: “I have no idea why he likes me.”

When a Doorbell’s Ring Means Hope

It was as if someone was saying to us, “You are seen. You are loved.”

Seven Stories of Rage and Regret

Readers share recent moments when an outburst led to embarrassment.

My Stint as the Adulterous Flavor-of-the-Month

I was trying to have an experience and ended up having a life.

‘You Bought the Wrong Nipple Clamps’

Our relationship was impossible, which of course is what made it possible.

‘How Much Was That?’

A family obsessed with the cost of things learns a stark lesson in what’s priceless.

In Praise of the 10-Percent Wrong Relationship

We fear imperfection in our love lives. What if we embrace it instead?

Who’s Afraid of a Lovely Fern?

It’s just a plant — but one that takes me back to the traumatic adolescence I tried so hard to escape.

Failing in Marriage Does Not Mean Failing at Marriage

My wife has kicked me out five times. Another time I left on my own. Why are we still together?

Tell Us About a Moment of Regrettable Rage

In the last few years, have you or a loved one erupted in a surprising outburst of anger? We want to hear about it.

A Throuple’s Tricky Geometry

In a couple, a straight line connects two points. With three people in a relationship, many more configurations emerge.

Young, Gay and Single Among the Nuns and Widows

After graduating from college, I pictured myself scrolling through Grindr, not living with my grandmother.

The Art of Dividing Up a Marriage

It’s impossible to know how you will feel in the aftermath of divorce until you’re experiencing it.

To Find Love, Rub the (Bronze) Bulge

Groping a statue seemed a little odd, but entire tour groups were doing it, so I did too. And voilà!

This Is Not About Sexy Secretary Role-Play

What my therapist called a manipulative bid for control, I called “efficiency activism.”

Why Is My Husband Marrying Her?

He was cute, funny — and totally wrong for me. Or was he?

Please Let Me Do More Laundry and Vacuuming!

For decades, I avoided domestic tasks. My failing vision has made me cherish them.

No Longer Running From My Emotions

At 19, I rejected his romantic gestures because they were too intense. At 27, I relished intensity.

Was This a Meet-Cute or Meet Creep?

While I was living in the basement of my university’s library, he watched me sleep. Then he left a note in my shoe.

Please, God, Help Me Stop Missing Her

As an ultra-Orthodox Jew, I tried to “pray my gay away.” It didn’t work.

The Polygraph Test That Saved My Marriage

What a terrifying relief it was to have to tell the truth about everything.

The Case for Being Touched

As a single, 27-year-old Muslim woman, I had never experienced physical intimacy, not even a kiss. And as a television writer, I needed more experiences to draw from.

Man With Incredible Beard Desperately Needs Kidney

Maybe mine?

Losing the Pregnancy, the Marriage and the Pearls

At 18, I didn’t want to be the captain of my own fate. Fourteen years later, I do, and am.

A Bet She Couldn’t Resist

For $100, could I stop flirting with men when my mother was around? And could she stop talking about my brush with mortality?

This Is How We Talk About Ending Things

First we agree to stop seeing each other. Then we pretend we never had that conversation.

A Texting Lifeline During a Difficult Time

As her father struggled with cancer, a flirtation provided distraction — and then something more.

Singleness Is Not a Stigma

It’s time we stop privileging romantic connections over all others.

Not Every Breakup Is About Being Broken

She was everything I needed — until, with her love, my needs changed.

May We Please Just Date Without Hate?

An Asian American college couple tries to let their young love bloom, but racist incidents keep disrupting their honeymoon phase.

No Longer My Mother’s Daughter

“I am transmasculine, which is to say I understand my body even less than I understand my mother.”

I Bet You Think These Songs Are About You

Millie’s Spotify playlists were dropping hints. Weren’t they?

My Plea for a Sixth Love Language

The winner of our college essay contest explores how for her Syrian family, scattered by war, a WhatsApp group chat — rife with silly videos and often regrettable photos — is everything.

From Russia With Mixed Feelings

I begged my husband to leave Rostov-on-Don. Now I would give anything to be back there with him.

If a Rat Falls Into Your Bed, Call Your Lover’s Boyfriend

Hey, it worked for me!

The Loneliness of the Locked-Down Single Mother

Having a job, a child and no help during a pandemic can take a toll — but also forge a special bond.

Closing Up Shop on a Marriage

When the last thing you share is your pharmacy rewards account.

The Dentist Who Treated My Divorce

When in pain, it helps to know someone who has experience treating it.

The First (and Last) Time She Didn’t Come Home

My sister and I searched for clues in our mother’s desk — and in her life — for why she left us and this world.

On (Not) Wasting My Time With a Younger Man

We had no future together, so why not fall completely in love?

When My Heart Broke, My Father Used Google to Save Me

And soon after, I told both of my parents who I really am.

Becoming a Woman Without Her

In my mother’s absence, I’m learning how to construct a sense of self — and femininity — from fragments, friends, music and memories.

Seeking a Father for My Child (Relationship Optional)

Nearing 40, I decided to separate dating from mating.

‘How Much of My Story Am I Supposed to Share?’

When a former stripper marries a future minister, she goes silent about her past — for a while.

Was It Me? Or My Teeth?

In America, a smile is like a résumé. I was afraid mine wasn’t closing the deal.

Our Bond Was Thicker Than Blood

No matter how hard I prayed, my father never appeared. But my godfather always did.

She Wouldn’t Break Her Heart to Mend Mine

She was a healer, but was I ready to be fixed?

Accepting Applications for a Black Boyfriend

After a lifetime of dating white men, I hoped a new romance could offer a chance at love, and at embracing my own Blackness.

Love Isn’t a Zero-Sum Game

I thought the open relationship was the problem. But it was me.

Beyond Cool, She Was Fly. Her Confidence Gave Me Wings.

I had no example of love, not for girls that looked like me. Until my cousin Tiffany.

What Is Black Love Today?

In a special collaboration between Modern Love and Black History, Continued, we gathered stories that illuminate how Black people live, and love, in this moment.

The Lesbian Writer and Her Flamboyant Gay Husband

Peter taught me to laugh at fate as we lived our dream. At least for a while.

Two Boys on Bicycles, Falling in Love

He gave me a ring. He also punched me in the eye. I learned a lot that summer about how “nice-nasty” the world can be.

Loving Him More When He Walks Out the Door

A daily reminder of mortality can be more gift than burden.

What He Hadn’t Told Me

We met on a dating app, where his profile lacked a few crucial details.

I’m Getting Married, Mom. Please Cry.

Entering marriage as your mother leaves it can create an emotional disconnect.

Our Kinder, Gentler, Nobody-Moves-Out Divorce

When the end of a marriage means living on separate floors of the same house.

The Benefits of Bickering in Marriage

A relationship is a shared story, even if it’s hard to agree on the details.


‘The Nutcracker’ and the Sex Tape

A holiday story about passion and other adhesives (and an ugly Christmas sweater).

A Love Language Spoken With Hands

For a deaf man used to broken promises, a video message delivers a fresh start.

‘I Would Give Anything to Hold Their Hands Again’

A husband and wife find a way to talk to their young sons about an unspeakable event.

Was She Just Another Nicely Packaged Pain Delivery System?

I had been burned too badly to believe in love. And yet, believe I did.

Swimming Upstream in Heels and Skinny Pants

If I were a salmon, I would die for my child. As a human being, I wish I could have.

He Cared About Me, So I Broke Up With Him

When you’re used to the roller-coaster emotions of bad relationships, it can be hard to believe in anything else.

The Manny Diaries

Chapter 1: This job is hard. Chapter 2: Leaving it is harder.

The Curious Tale of Mr. Kale

He was everything I expected and wanted. So why hasn’t he returned to Whole Foods?

A Stranger Looked Like My Twin. That Was Just the Beginning.

How a family secret was unraveled by 23andMe.

Two Wrongs Don’t Make Mr. Right

He wanted to get really serious really fast, which felt good until it didn’t.

How a Missing Sock Changed My Life

Not the sock itself, but a note attached to the sock. (Actually, the guy who wrote the note.)

The One Thing We Couldn’t Talk About

When the bad news finally arrived, neither one of us — dear friends for 60 years — knew what to say.

We Wanted to Split Up. OkCupid Had Other Ideas.

Did we really want to throw away 98 percent compatibility?

Remote Work Gave Us a Life Together. Now What?

When a return to the office threatens a relationship.

Hearing His Voice Changed Everything

I never knew my father. Did he know me?

An Anxious Person Tries to Be Chill

Spoiler: It doesn’t work (until she stops trying).

From a Sale, Lace Undergarments, Never Worn

My mother told me if I didn’t marry by 25, I would end up “on the shelf.” Still single at 36, I’m learning to appreciate the view.

Why My Daughter Got (Temporarily) Married at 13

Having been shamed about my sexuality when I was young, I was determined, as a mother, to celebrate my child’s romantic wishes.

A Marriage Stressed by Obsessions and Compulsions

My husband was kind, honest, supportive and way too protective.

Goodbye, My Fantasy Man

I wasn’t willing to settle for less than kismet. But chasing a romantic illusion nearly kept me from finding love.

When a Summer Hookup Lasts 12 Years, It’s Time to Reassess

Our relationship was supposed to be brief and casual. We never managed to call it off.

It Took Me a Long Time to Come Out as a ‘Plushie’ Lover

As the second wave of coronavirus battered us in India, my partner and I found solace and pride in our stuffed animals.

He Couldn’t Remember That We Broke Up

When my ex injured his brain in a fall and thought we were still together, I had to fill in the gaps.

Some People Flip Real Estate. I Flip Men.

Give me a fixer-upper and I’ll turn him into someone desirable — for someone else.

Why Won’t Anyone Help Me in This Sex Shop?

At 83, and legally blind, I could use some assistance.

Where Are All the Wild Things, Daddy?

A father worries that his favorite children’s books promise his daughter a vibrant natural world that will no longer exist.

He Made Affection Feel Simple

Dating as a transgender woman, in my experience, meant low expectations and casual sex. Then I met Jack.

Oh, Dewey, Where Would You Put Me?

A librarian who identifies as queer wrestles with our tendency to classify both books and people.

She Put Her Unspent Love in a Cardboard Box

And for more than two decades, her daughter has been taking it out.

His Comfort Is Not My Responsibility

A young woman with a prosthetic leg hopes to make the world a more empathetic place. If only she didn’t have to do it on first dates.

The Bear Chased Us. Then We Chased the Bear.

When I was young and new in town, my next-door neighbor became my friend and protector.

Doing ‘The Washing Machine’ With My 84-Year-Old Mother

How a ridiculous dance — several, actually — kept us connected through Covid.

He Delivered for Me

How my UPS man went from annoyance to emotional lifeline.

My Boyfriend Has Two Partners. Should I Be His Third?

My mind could rationalize polyamory, but my heart rebelled.

I Tried to Filter Him Out

As a Pakistani Muslim, I knew that falling for a Hindu Indian would break me. And it did.

My Ridiculous Dating System Totally Works!

There’s just one catch.

My Choice Isn’t Marriage or Loneliness

I thought I had a classic fear of commitment, but it’s more complicated than that.

If I Expect It to End, Will It Hurt Less?

I kept telling myself not to believe in him. And yet, believe I did.

The Dress Promised Me Something the Doctors Couldn’t

My obsessive online shopping wasn’t really about the clothes.

Why I Took a Vow of Celibacy

In my life, sex and love have been twisted up with childhood trauma. Time for a break.

My Two-House, Duffel-Bag Life

When my parents divorced, I lost the link that held our family together. And then I found it.

I Met My Husband on the Maternity Ward

He needed someone to cuddle him.

I Wanted to Love Her, Not Save Her

The first time we spoke, she was so weak she had collapsed. Why did that not alarm me?

Please Go Shelter in Another Place

During lockdown, a 25-year marriage shakes and resettles.

The Day His Journal Went Blank

A daughter races to collect her father’s memories before Alzheimer’s can steal them away.

Feeling Lonely? Wearing Cat Ears May Help

There may be no better time than the present to find love on multiplayer online role-playing games.

My Unlikely Pandemic Dream Partner

We loathed each other quietly, until we made space for grief and good food.

Lockdown Was Our Breaking Point

We needed to marry for our relationship to survive. But “le confinement” was too much.

We Needed More Significant Others

A cancer diagnosis in the midst of the pandemic led to our improvising a wedding and joining a commune, where our family of two became 14.

My Five-Week-Long First Date

Once I joined him on that ship for the Antarctic, there was no turning back.


How My Father Escaped Jail for Christmas

He got out for good by (almost) dying.

Auditioning for the Role of Boyfriend

When you have been strung along and ghosted by guys who play it cool, how do you handle a man who is adoring and sincere?

He Seduced Me With Bread

An Italian woman, trapped in lockdown, takes daily calls from strangers until she finds one who really knows how to cook.

The Pandemic Arrived. His Text Back Did Not.

Tough times may not bring love, but they do bring clarity.

Junk Food Was Our Love Language

To feel close to my father, a man I never fully knew, I eat chicken nuggets.

She Stood In for My Mother. Could I Do the Same for Her?

When my mother died young, her mother held loss for me. Now I fear losing her, too.

How I Got Caught Up in a Global Romance Scam

Some guy was using my image to con women online, so I messaged him. It didn’t go as expected.

A Man (and Meals) Worth Losing Sleep Over

The cook would arrive after midnight and whip up a Michelin-worthy spread. Which was great, until I could no longer keep my eyes open at work.

The Ghost Was the Least of Our Problems

After spooky things started happening in our new house, a scary thing happened in our marriage.

I Was Done Dating. Then I Joined a Hookup App.

What if the fastest path to a committed relationship is to actively avoid one?

He Married a Sociopath: Me

As a wife and a mother, I have learned how to tell the truth. Which is why I always know when my husband is lying.

My Best Friend Is Gone, and Nothing Feels Right

If grief is the price of love, I am unable to pay.

In My Sari, Kissing the Soccer Coach

“Bend It Like Beckham” gave me a vision of my romantic future. My future had other ideas.

Please, Lord, Let Him Be 27

(Yes, I actually prayed that he not be too young for me.)

‘Humility Is What Drew Me to Him’

I thought my father was the only one with secret desires. Then my mother asked me to go for a walk.

What I Learned From My Instagram Crush

Can anything good come from obsessing over a South Korean bodybuilder on social media?

‘You Should Break Up With Me’

Life can be fleeting. She wanted to make sure he knew the risks of connection.

Will They See Me as a Son, a Daughter or a Stranger?

Thirteen years ago, my parents tried to wish away my gender transition. Now, Alzheimer’s threatens to erase their memory of me altogether.

Pushed Together for 48 Days, Then Pulled Apart for 49

Between a pandemic and military training, so much for college love being casual.

A Glance (and a Rooster) That Changed Everything

After a massive earthquake struck Haiti, a young woman turned in desperation to a Vodou priest. She could not have imagined what happened next.

When Marriage Is Just Another Overhyped Nightclub

Being single in your 30s can feel like waiting to enter a popular club, only to get in and think: What’s the big deal?

Spending My Tenderness on Animals

As a vulnerable girl at a remote commune, I sought solace from horses, goats, even a bear cub. Today’s dark times have sent me their way again.

Why Did She Leave Me There?

A young man returns to the Vietnamese orphanage he had spent 25 years trying to forget.

Trying to Feel Love-Worthy (While Working for a Dating App)

Being awash in romantic complaints has left me — a Black woman who’s had heartache — feeling dismayed but hopeful.

A Glimpse Into My Son’s Magnificent Mind

Our house is a mess of misplaced possessions. I’m grateful for what this — and my son’s autism — has taught me.

In Defense of My Emu Tattoo

Only twice have I felt a connection so strong that self-consciousness fell away. The first time was with an emu.

As He Cut My Hair, I Wept

We barely spoke. He didn’t charge me. I’ll never forget it.

Why Would My Father Not Want to Know Me?

I spent my childhood longing for my father, who disappeared after I was born. Then my mother found him in a brochure.


After months of sheltering at home, 18 cohabitants on what so much togetherness has wrought.

My Quarantine Boyfriend Lost Everything (but Found Me)

If this were real life, I would have ended it. But this was no longer real life.

Why Are All the Exes Texting?

Not since The New York Post said I was dead have so many friends and lovers checked in on me.

Not Saying My Dog Is Cupid, but …

It’s hard to argue with the results.

You Have to Let Go to Move On

She wanted to connect without the cost of connection. Enter the rock climber.

Mothering While Deaf in a Newly Quiet World

A mother who uses sign language sees an expressive upside to the hush that has fallen over the land.

Making Space in Marriage, Even as the Walls Close In

She didn’t want to go to Burning Man (for all the reasons people don’t), but then there she was, dancing naked in the desert, and it was good.

When It’s Either Your Ex, or Nobody, for Months

People have worse problems, but mine is having my boyfriend break up with me at the start of the pandemic.

The End of the Long-Distance Marriage

They liked their separate homes in separate cities until the choice became all-in or all-out.

Widow Walks Into Wall, Finds Hope

After losing her husband on the eve of a pandemic, she anticipated despair but found resilience. Here’s why.

Relationships Move Fast on a Slow Cargo Ship

For our 10th date, we crossed the ocean on a freighter. Turns out isolation can have surprising benefits for new love. (You can’t walk away.)

On the Front Lines of a Pandemic, ‘I Love You’ Can Mean ‘Goodbye’

Separated from family and worried about patients and colleagues, an internist where the U.S. outbreak began counts losses and blessings.

Telling the Truth Wasn’t an Option

As an undocumented immigrant in search of love, I had to lie to nearly every man I dated.

‘We Found Our Groove in Splitting Up’

If my husband and I weren’t going to succeed at marriage, then we were going to excel at divorce.

He Saved His Last Lesson for Me

Company policy forbade her from getting personal with her online students. Whoops.

Life Isn’t Like the Movies (Even if You Write the Movies)

A director of romantic comedies finds herself attending weddings with her ex-husband. Who wrote this script?

Firefighter Chases Woman Down Street

Divided by race, politics and pasts, they found a place with each other … until they didn’t.

How My Worst Date Ever Became My Best

Agreeing to see him again would require a minor miracle. A minor miracle is exactly what happened.

The Unhealthy Math of Skinny + Pretty = Good

A young woman struggling with an eating disorder tries to shift from self-loathing to self-loving.

‘Crushes Thrive in Small Spaces’

If Tinder is about your first impression, working on a cruise ship is about your 15th impression, or 29th.

Love in the Time of Low Expectations

“Never count on a man,” her father had told her. “They will always let you down.” So she didn’t, and they still did.

After Losing My Sight, Struggling to Be Seen

Blindness can make you paranoid in love. Is he looking at another woman? Is she prettier than me?

Two Open Marriages in One Small Room

A motorcycle accident brings together four lives that had been kept intentionally separate.

Trying to Keep Up With Grandma’s Love Life

My grandmother was getting married for the third time — to her former brother-in-law, of all people. I didn’t expect to envy them.


As the Ball Dropped, Our Life Fell Apart

For a struggling mother and daughter, a New Year’s Eve eviction leads to confusion, courage and grace.

The Subway Crush Who Crushed Me

We met on the train, married and had two boys who resembled him. I had no idea how much that resemblance would rebuild me.

It Wasn’t Me He Wanted

He was over 70. I was 22. We both loved Fran Lebowitz. What was I doing on the back of his motorcycle?

No Hearing Aids? Then No Marriage

After more than five decades together, a lack of conversation leads to a divided house and a “gray divorce.”

A Simple Question That’s Too Hard to Answer

The loss of a loved one can complicate family math.

Face It, Mom and Dad: I’m Not Special

My parents wanted only the best for me. That was the problem.

He’s Never Going to Put Away That Shirt

Sometimes it’s the uneventful stretches of marriage that can be the real stress test.

When a Dad’s Secret Changes Everything

My father’s midlife transition taught me that if life is about change, love is about constancy.

Going Back to China in Search of My Daughter’s Secret Past

As an infant, my child was left on a bridge with a note pinned to her sweater. I thought finding it would provide us both with answers.

The Gift of the Missing Men

A long line of absentee fathers taught me a lesson in love that was hard to undo. It also gave me a powerful tribe of matriarchs.

Wishing the World Could Be More Soft

She expected to give birth on Christmas Day. What happened instead was too hard to explain.

New Hope, New Pain, Same Old Divorce

As a queer woman, I fought for the right to be married. Now I’m fighting for the space to be human.

His Family Had Money. Mine Didn’t.

Could our doomed relationship help explain Brexit?

From ‘Homewrecker’ to Caretaker

When my father left my mother for a woman three decades younger, I couldn’t have known how much my feelings for her would change.

Let’s Meet Again in Five Years

They thought college was too soon for lifelong love, so they scheduled their next date for a little later — 60 months.

She Wanted a Man With a Good Job Who Is Nice to Animals

And I was that man.

Seduced, Then Scorned, by My Work Wife

With my husband checked out of our marriage, I found flirtation at the office. It didn’t go well.

I Had to Know if He Was Seeing Someone Else

As the heartbroken mother of two young girls, I found myself routinely — compulsively — checking up on my ex.

Where I Find Romance in Marriage

It took my mother’s short-term amnesia to make me realize what long-term love is all about.

Don’t Put All Your (Frozen) Eggs in One Basket

With “fertility preservation,” I thought I could have children on my own timeline. I was wrong.

When a Dating Dare Leads to Months of Soul Searching

It had been a glorious first date, but for her there was a big problem: They were both of Asian descent.

The House Where My Husband Doesn’t Exist

Finally, I could be openly gay anywhere — except while visiting a certain relative.

When Is Being Together Worth $5.50 an Hour? Please Solve

Love is an emotional — but also financial — investment, which means the rules of economics may apply.

He’s Your Destiny. Just Be Patient.

A tarot card reader said my ex would come back to me in three years. Until then, I was supposed to have relationships that fail.

My Father Has a Second Family in His Bedroom

A devoted daughter discovers that an eccentric parent’s odd habits — like collecting mannequins — can be inherited.

Preparing My Family for Life Without Me

After eight heart attacks, a young wife and mother with an uncommon condition curates her legacy while decorating a new home.

My Husband Wore Really Tight Shorts to the Eclipse Party

And for me, it was a revelation.

It’s Not You, It’s Men

After two long-term girlfriends broke up with me by coming out, I realized that the straight and narrow life — as I was living it — wasn’t much fun.

With the Birth of My Son, I Stopped Hiding

Fearing judgment of her interracial relationship and mixed-race child, a woman keeps both from her family. Until she doesn’t.

I Had to Do It Without Telling My Beloved

Feeling grateful and able, I donated a kidney to a stranger. The only problem: I made the decision on my own.

It Wasn’t My Wedding Ring. It Was My Only Ring.

Purging my possessions — and some anatomy — revealed what I treasured most.

I Broke Up With Her Because She’s White

When it comes to dating, I’d rather not think about race. But that’s been hard to avoid.

When Chivalry Is More Control Than Care

After a breakup, a woman wonders if traditional romance is a trap, and finds that the ordinary is the most romantic gesture of all.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Break Up?

They have a love story, but love is not the problem.

‘Tell Your Husband to Leave Me Alone’

A woman discovers that understanding infidelity from within can be the key to forgiveness.

The Tallest Man I Ever Loved

When manifesting a boyfriend, maybe don't start with the physical — or date the competition.

How Bibliophiles Flirt

They loved each other, but she harbored a shameful secret: She had stopped reading books.

Modern Love College Essay Contest

Open your heart and laptop and tell us a story.

She Slipped Past My Age Filter

They never would have matched online. Luckily, he had three hours to kill at the airport.

At What Age Is Love Enthralling? 82

A confession of attraction from a man 30 years younger causes an octogenarian to reflect on desire, sensuality and aging.

Want Lasting Love? First, Take This Test

After her marriage unravels, a woman seeks answers in personality testing and the science of compatibility.

Are You My Husband?

A biking accident alters the dynamic of a couple’s marriage, for worse (and for better).

My Relationship Guru Is a 14-Year-Old Girl

As a queer, closeted teenager, I had to learn about romance from the sidelines. A decade later, I’m still struggling to get in the game.

He Had to Leave So I Could Breathe

She liked her love life as it was. So why did this new man make her feel so vulnerable?

Tracking the Demise of My Marriage on Google Maps

Pictures taken from a car-mounted camera can’t reveal what goes on behind closed doors.


The Junk Removers Manhandle My Heart

Meandering through grief, a man tries to replace his sofa. It doesn’t go well.

The Mystery of the Holiday Fruitcake, Solved!

My father resembled a fruitcake. He also sent fruitcakes. Mine never arrived.

Your Dog Has Seen Me Naked

I love Fido, but does he have to be on the bed while we have sex?

When a Boyfriend Joins the Marriage

They agreed she could have sex on the side as long as he didn’t have to know about it. Then she fell in love.

Marooned on ‘Love Island’

When a medical crisis asks a young woman to confront the messier aspects of love, she plunges into a reality TV version of romance.

Destined to Marry the Cute Bartender

Sometimes you’re not meant to be with the guy who is always on time and has already bought the tickets.

I Would Have Driven Her Anywhere

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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

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

Pudge Will Keep Us Together

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

Need to Find Me? Ask My Ham Man

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

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.

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.

The Kisses That Paid My Rent

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

For 13 Days, I Believed Him

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

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.

How I Lost the Fiancé but Won the Honeymoon

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

Taking Marriage Class at Guantánamo

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

Please Take My Son’s Wallet

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Abbi Jacobson Reads ‘Boy, What a Fabulous Baker’

The “Broad City” star tells the story of woman who is wooed by a bread maker.

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?

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.

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?

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.

‘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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

Mary Chapin Carpenter Reads ‘The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap’

The singer and songwriter reads an essay about how new love is young, even after 80.

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.

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.

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.

Judd Apatow Reads ‘At the Hospital, an Interlude of Clarity’

The comedic filmmaker reads an essay about a date that only got better after an E.R. visit.

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.

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‘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.

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.

Try the 36 Questions on the Way to Love

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

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.

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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.

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Love Built on Discord

Comparing your life with an old college roommate’s.

The 10 Best Modern Love Columns Ever

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

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.

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, an older couple has nothing to do but love each other, be happy and go running.

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.

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, or the Math

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.

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.

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.

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?

Sharing the Shame After My Arrest

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

A Little Lint and Suddenly You’re Bridezilla

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

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.

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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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

Take Me as I Am, Whoever I Am

A woman goes public with her bipolar disorder, and assesses how it shaped her love life.

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?

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

Peter Napolitano Modern Love essay on how he, 48-year-old unattached gay man, moved back home with his 81-year-old mother after she broke her hip and even shared her bed because she was so afraid of having another fall during night; drawing (M)

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.

Live Without Me. I’ll Understand.

Katherine Friedman Modern Love essay recalls flying to Mexico with her husband on plane that nearly crashed; drawing (M)

A Housecleaning That Swept Out the Ashes of My Marriage

Dena Crosson Modern Love article describes cleaning her house, physically and metaphorically, after her husband left her; drawing (M)

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?

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

Lisa A Phillips Modern Love article on relationship with man with whom she was obsessed; says she could have been described as stalker and is relieved that she has moved on, but is still haunted by feelings of being driven by desire; drawing (M)

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.

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

Wendy Paris Modern Love article relates her feelings about having two miscarriages after having waited until she was almost 40 to begin to think about starting her family; drawing (M)

Fatherly Memories Scattered to the Wind

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

Fatherly Memories Scattered to the Wind

Victoria Loustalot Modern Love column recalls her father, who lived most of his life as closeted gay man; he died of AIDS, leaving her and her mother with dilemma of how to dispose of his ashes; drawing (M)

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.

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

A Z Cohn Modern Love essay on being happily married but living in her own apartment in Israel to maintain independence; says when war broke out with Hezbollah, she moved in with her husband and discovered that living together turned out to be as e...

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

Lauren Fox article on deciding to marry man she loved, a Potestant-raised, atheist Irishman, even though she deeply wanted to marry a Jew in order to honor members of her family lost to Holocaust; drawing (M)

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

Lindsay Sterling Modern Love essay on her anger at airport security for confiscating frozen gel packs she needed to preserve breast milk; she was accumulating milk on one business trip in order to have enough to leave infant daughter again for ano...

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.

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

Lynne Nugent Modern Love article on her vacillation about having a baby, which her husband would accept, but only to please her; describes how her desire for child sharpened when she saw photograph of her husband as young boy; drawing (M)

Men Don’t Care About Weddings? Groomzilla Is Hurt

Craig Bridger Modern Love essay on turning into Groomzilla while planning his wedding; drawing (M)

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.”

Our Affair Was One Long Lesson in How to Break Up

Suki Kim Modern Love essay on staying in doomed relationship with incompatible man for more than a year; drawing (M)

We Ate and Drank While the Warning Lights Flashed

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

We Ate and Drank While the Warning Lights Flashed

Michelle Wildgen Modern Love essay on ignoring early warning signs of her husband's alcoholism; drawing (M)

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.

When the Thunder Rolls in, My Lie Rolls Out

THE first time I said it, I thought it was the best kind of lie: tender and considerate. My boyfriend and I were lounging in bed as a gust of wind from one of those sweeping Midwestern thunderstorms crashed against the flimsy picture window of...

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

If race doesn't matter, it should.

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

Kim McLarin Modern Love article on being black woman, once married to white man, who learns she cannot date another white man because he does not grapple with issue of race; drawing (M)

Dust to Dust: An Affair Post 9/11

Nikki Stern Modern love article on how her desire to find love again after losing her husband in 9/11 attack on World Trade Center led her into an affair with married man; finds love after 9/11 painful, foolhardy, obsessive, destructive, redemptiv...

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.”

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

Rand Richards Cooper Modern Love article on joy and anxiety of becoming father his mid-40's with full complement of sports injuries; drawing (M)

Mortality Can Be a Powerful Aphrodisiac

Jennifer Glaser Modern Love essay recalls holding on to physical relationship with her boyfriend as he struggled with fatal leukemia, because sex was antithesis of death (M)

Mortality Can Be a Powerful Aphrodisiac

Sex, the antidote to death.

My Husband Survived; the Man I Married Didn’t

Abigail Thomas essay, adapted from her book A Three Dog Life, describes changes in her husband and in their relationship after he suffered traumatic brain injury; drawing (M)

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

A J Kim Modern Love article on how, as new nurse practioner, he prescribed painkillers to addicted woman patient who played on his ego and sympathy and was receiving painkillers from a doctor at same time; drawing (M)

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.

The Semicolon Was Our Blinking Caution Light

Jamie Callan Modern Love article on marrying someone she first met when he was student in writing class she taught; drawing (M)

Married, but Certainly Not to Tradition

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

Married, but Certainly Not to Tradition

Alison Luterman article on wedding of two Catholic men for whom she held the huppah; drawing (M)

Someone to Watch Over Me (on a Google Map)

Theodora Stites Modern Love article discusses how technology dominates her relationships; drawing (M)

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.

Seeing the World Through my Wife's Eyes

Ryan Knighton Modern Love article on how his blindness has created literal blind love for his wife; says he is able to give over his consciousness and let her see for him; says they share rare and unique closeness; drawing (M)

What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

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

What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

Amy Sutherland Modern Love column on using exotic animal training techniques to modify her husband's behavior; says after two years of training she finds her marraige smoother and her husband easier to love; says her husband got to employ techniqu...

What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

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

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.

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

Sophia Raday Modern Love article on being anti-war pacifist married to police officer and Army reservist who is due to be sent to Iraq; drawing (M)

Strung Out on Love and Checked In for Treatment

Rachel Yoder Modern Love article describes her journey from partner in unhealthy addictive relationship to path of self-discovery through therapy and nasty break-up; drawing (M)

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

Linda Dackman Modern Love article describes how prayer to Santa Rita, patron saint of desperate or impossible causes, is answered; finds love in Florence, Italy; drawing (M)

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.

Mom, Dad, Let Me Find My Own Husband

Sarita James Modern Love article on her parents' attempts to find her 'suitable boy' to marry who is both Indian and Catholic; drawing (M)

Changing My Feminist Mind, One Man at a Time

J Courtney Sullivan Modern Love essay on dating and falling in love with man who understands and respects her feminist beliefs; drawing (M)

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

Katherine Ozment Modern Love essay recalls giving birth to son on cold winter's day in Chicago, and her love for him today, three years later in snowless California (M)

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

Michele Herman Modern Love essay on her husband's unerring sense of direction during their world travels, except for one treasured moment for her when he got lost on highway in New Jersey and turned to her for help; drawing (M)

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

Evan Ratliff Modern Love article recalls brief friendship with young Muslim policewoman in Bangladesh; drawing (M)

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.

A Reality Show for Couples Therapy? Sign Us Up

Liv Osthus, sex writer, stripper and musician, describes preliminary interview with producers for reality show that will center around couples therapy; says that sex life with her husband is less prolific than many would think; explores how career...

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.

This Is Where the Dog Comes In

Sheila Kohler Modern Love essay on being cat person who falls in love with dog; notes that she and her second husband got dog to help her bond with her stepsons; drawing (M)

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...

I Was Between Husbands, He Was Between Cupcakes

Margo Howard Modern Love column discusses her relationship with philandering married man; drawing

Rancho Paradise Lost

Sybil Raney Modern Love column on her ill-fated romance with real Texas cowboy; drawing (M)

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

Ronald K Fried Modern Love column on his and his wife's love for their Greenport, NY, home and their love for neighbor's cat and how they all survived propane explosion and fire that destroyed the house; drawing (M)

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.

I Need to Woman Up and Do This on My Own

Asha Bandele Modern Love Column describes falling in love and marrying convicted murderer while he was still in prison; talks about fears and difficulties she encountered when visiting her husband and why she chose to end marriage after she gave b...

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.

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

Catherine Lloyd Burns Modern Love essay on being very different from her husband, who, unlike herself, is capable of solving problems in gradual way, particularly when they involve issues with their infant daughter (M)

A Girl Could Get Cornered in a Tiny House

Xeni Fragakis Modern Love column on brief romance she had with man who lives in house he built himself that is 8 feet by 12 feet; drawing (M)

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

Veronica Chambers Modern Love column says it is all right to be clingy and desperate when dating men who are just not that into you because they are simply preparing you for the one who is into you; drawing (M)

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.

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

Daniel Jones Modern Love column gives overall observations about love, sex and dating in 21st century compiled from many letters and e-mails sent to columnist; drawing (M)

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.

Mélange à Trois: Me, Him ... and the Stuff

Heather Fenby Modern Love column on clutter and chaos her boyfriend brought into her life when she let him move into her tiny apartment; drawing (M)

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.

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.

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

Abby Sher Modern Love column on dating an older man who reminded her of her father; drawing (M)

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 Devotion That Eclipsed the Family

MY sister e-mailed me the death notice from The Seattle Times with just this cryptic note: ''Make sure you read all the way to the bottom.'' The subject was Roy Maus, 75, a former Boeing executive and passionate sports fisherman who had died p...

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.

A Passion for the Movies? Yes, Yes ... Yes!

Lainie Keslin Ettinger describes how solo outings to see romantic comedies reinvigorated her sex life with her husband; drawing (M)

Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)

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

Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)

Terry Martin Hekker, author of book Ever Since Adam and Eve, which touts woman's right to be homemaker, describes what it is like to have your husband leave you and be divorced at age 60; holds that few women of her generation are prepared to ente...


Father and Daughter: One Final Connection

WHEN my father was fairly well along into the dementia of Alzheimer's -- not as far as he was to go, but four or five years in -- he developed a taste for looking attentively at trees. At the time I was not aware that this is a common pleasure for...

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

FOR about a year, for the first time in my life, I was addicted to a Web site. Well, two Web sites actually, both of which did the same thing. They listed beautiful children, tragic children, children whose photographs were displayed in colorful r...

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

IN the bright California sunshine I'm watching a little girl run around the playground. Her wispy blond hair escapes once again from the ponytail one of her fathers carefully formed for her. She is adorable in her pink, black and white dress with ...

A Surrogate Dries Her Tears

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

Mother Must Muzzle the Nuzzle

Linda Baker Modern Love article on strong physical bonds she has with her children and altering hugging and similar behavior as children get older; drawing (M)

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.

LAST spring I broke up with someone perfect. Perfectly, that is. Last spring I broke up with someone perfectly. I set out exactly which aspects of our relationship were lacking and why, meticulously charted our decline, and pared months of frustra...

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

IT'S dark. I lie in bed with my eyes open. The windows are closed, but I can still hear the gentle midnight roar of the New Jersey Turnpike, a mere quarter-mile from the front door of my safe suburban home. Safe, that's a joke. Walk through m...

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.

I Seemed Plucky and Game, Even to Myself

I AM a good, practical girl. I eat my vegetables. I go to bed early. In fact at 31, I'm not just good, I'm also an apprehensive priss -- and I hate it. In an attempt to invent a brave new me I joined an online dating Web site. Something had to...

A Reincarnation, and Just When I Didn't Need One

A WOMAN with a lopsided smile approached me after class the day my marriage ended. She had dark pageboy hair and ever-scanning eyes, as though reading some invisible teleprompter. ''Professor Hemley,'' she said, almost too quietly for me to hear. ...

Love Me, Love My Dog. All Right, Love My Dog.

I WAS married, and feeling the stirrings of loneliness, when I started thinking seriously about getting a dog. In broaching this subject with my husband of a year and a half, I didn't mention the loneliness part. I simply told him I wanted a dog a...

The Third Half of a Couple

IT'S a big morning for me: a breakfast date at my place, and I'm cooking. I've scoured the markets and rounded up the best of everything: oranges for zesting, pears for roasting, balsamic for drizzling, goat cheese for crumbling and, to amp up my ...

Adolescence, Without a Roadmap

''AT least he's good-looking,'' I say to my husband whenever the subject of our oldest son's dating future comes up. And he is good-looking, our son, with his blue eyes, wavy hair, broad shoulders and warm smile. He's also got a deep voice (he wor...

So Handsome, So Clever, So Gone

LOEFFLER was my trophy intellectual. We met at a party, where he hovered around my conversational circle for a while and then came up to me and asked, ''Are you with someone?'' ''Yes,'' I said. I'd come with my office mate, another editor.

Researching Jenna, Discovering Myself

''WHY do you think Jenna left me?'' I asked friends and family, pen and paper in hand. I admit it looked silly, and it felt silly, too. But my psychotherapist had urged me to start writing down my conversations with people about what had happened ...

Something Like Motherhood

I'M driving my niece and nephew to the Museum of Science. At the end of our outing, when I take them home, their father -- my brother John -- will tell them that their mother's latest cancer treatment has failed and that she will die. But for now ...

My Dinners With Andrew

I WAS in my favorite restaurant again, everything in its place except for the empty seat across from me. I never minded eating alone, though I'd long experienced shared meals, especially really great ones, as the ultimate intimacy. Since my br...

DJ's Homeless Mommy

THERE was no guarantee that doing an open adoption would get us a baby any faster than doing a closed or foreign adoption. In fact, our agency warned us that, as a gay male couple, we might be in for a long wait. This point was driven home when bo...

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.

Three Men and a Woman

ANGELINA and I are in an art gallery that doubles as a dance club. A D.J. stands on a sheet of plywood over milk crates playing house music with a heavy bass line. It's still afternoon but already there are a few office workers here loosening thei...

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.

Riding Shotgun and Living Life

I KNOW I'm not the only woman who waits for something. Some of you are waiting for the phone to ring, or for him to kiss you, or propose, or come home. I just have my thumb out, and I never have to wait long. Though I know I cede my power the minu...

Stand by Your (Marlboro) Man

''THAT'S your husband?'' asked a woman I'd just met. I nodded.

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?

A Go-Between Gets Going

I MET Krista after an abrupt breakup with a live-in boyfriend. I needed a new place to live, and responding to an ad, I found refuge in what felt like the Brooklyn Annex for Aging Spinsters, an apartment of three women between 33 and 40, nursing v...

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.

Here's Looking at You, Kid

I woke up happy one morning, not taxed by too much work, not depressed, not sleep deprived. But my brain, forever searching for something to worry about, could not let this placid moment be and quickly started an argument with an imaginary boyfrie...

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?

Out From Under the Influence

MY first date with Julie did not begin well and ended even worse. For starters, I didn't show. It was Saturday evening of Presidents' Day weekend, and I was drinking gin and tonics and watching hoops in the Telephone Bar on Second Avenue, whiling ...

R We D8ting?

THE orange message light on my cellphone started blinking as I was getting ready for bed. Barely an hour had passed since our quick kiss goodnight at the subway, and I was surprised to see the screen light up with the initials I'd just entered int...

The New Nanny Diaries Are Online

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

The New Nanny Diaries Are Online

OUR former nanny, a 26-year-old former teacher with excellent references, liked to touch her breasts while reading The New Yorker and often woke her lovers in the night by biting them. She took sleeping pills, joked about offbeat erotic fantasies ...

Froky Doesn't Play Around Here Anymore

I WAS playing with my friend's toddler recently, taunting him with an animal voice: ''Grrrr, get over here. I'm a hungry tiger, and you're one tiny mouse!'' He tumbled and squealed, ''Again!''

A Leap of Faith

A LOT of people think I was brainwashed. How else to explain why I would allow the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church to choose my spouse? Most people regard the choice of a life partner as a deeply personal decision, perhaps the mos...

Misery Loves Fried Chicken, Too

NATE was my breakup buddy. We were introduced at Scruffy Murphy's Irish Bar by a mutual friend who thought we'd like each other. And I liked Nate instantly. With his tight crew cut and animated features, he seemed transplanted from another generat...

Who's That Lady in the Bedroom, Daddy?

I HEAR them before they come in, all thumps and frantic whispers in the hall outside my bedroom. Then the door opens just enough for their shoulders and elbows to jostle through as they compete to be first, followed by the melody of my own persona...

Beyond Divorce and Even Death, a Promise Kept

IT'S done: I've finally finished moving my ex-husband's belongings back into the large, cluttered farmhouse we used to share. He won't be coming back, but his shirts once again weigh down the closet rack, his boxes of household gadgets and financi...

A Bad Case of Puppy Love

ALLY lived in Santa Monica. A mutual friend had fixed us up on a blind date. She said Ally was smart and fun. I said I appreciated the gesture, but I had my hands full. The mutual friend lowered her voice and added, ''She has a terrific body.'' Wi...

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.

Cubicle Cupid: Nothing Personal

THERE'S someone out there for everyone. It makes a charming notion for love. It also happened to make an airtight refund policy for the online dating conglomerate I was working for in Los Angeles. Lovelorn hopefuls paid my employer for the opportu...

Bucking Wedding Conventions ... Except for One

FOR my wedding this July, I won't be writing my own vows. I'll have no readings. There will be no customized ceremony reflecting the uniqueness of my union through programs printed from my own computer. No aria sung in French. No reading of a poem...

Losing Custody of My Hope

I'M a good mother. This is not an idle boast; I have a signed certificate that says so. I earned this de facto mothering license by successfully completing four weeks of court-ordered parent classes. Why did a judge order me to do this? Was I a ch...

Looking at My Father, Inside and Out

IT is nearly midnight when I get home from my waitress job. I've been out of college for two years and have moved back into my mother's home in Islip, N.Y., for the summer to save money for graduate school. When I walk in the back door, my mother ...

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.

Elvis and My Husband Have Left the Building

MY ex-husband is gay, and I knew it when I married him. We were only 23, at the start of our promising careers, but he, alas, was at the end of his student visa. So I married Rickie to keep him from being sent back to his gay-intolerant Muslim hom...

Me? I'm Just Fine (Whimper). Really (Sob).

SINCE I know what it's like to sob on nearly every single form of public transportation in the New York metropolitan area, I can tell you with authority that crying on the subway is the most cathartic. I suppose I'm not a full-fledged expert in lo...

Looking for Love at the Sperm Bank

Linda Dackman Modern Love column discusses inelegant art of choosing sperm donor; drawing; photo (M)

How Could I Tell Him What I Knew? How Could I Not?

Sara Pepitone Modern Love column discusses difficulty of working with significant other and even having information on their upcoming termination; drawing (M)

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.

Two Men, Baby on the Way and Me

Rebecca Eckler Modern Love column discusses being torn between fiance and new male friend, which is complicated by pending birth of fiance's baby; photo (M)

Sleeping With the Guitar Player

Jean Hanff Korelitz Modern Love column discusses stage in some middle-aged men's lives when they take up guitar-playing; drawing (M)

I Gave Him Up at 16. Could We Try Again?

Meredith Hall Modern Hall column discusses difficulty of reuniting with son given up for adoption; drawing (M)

When Mr. Reliable Becomes Mr. Needy

Katherine Tanney Modern Love column discusses marriages that end when one spouse is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease; drawing (M)

His Art Is His Joy. It Just Didn't Fit My Plan.

Cathy Lickteig Makofski Modern Love column discusses difficulty parents face in understanding a son's decision to become a tattoo artist or motorcycle mechanic; drawing (M)

Back From the Front, With Honor, a Warrior's Truth

Helen Gerhardt Modern Love column discusses difficulty of being lesbian in US National Guard; drawing (M)

The Patriots Made a Man of Me, in a Manner of Speaking

Brendan Tapley Modern Love column discusses love of football as viable bridge between homosexual social banter and that of straight men; drawing (M)

His Genes Hold Gifts. Mine Carry Risk.

Bonnie J Rough Modern Love column discusses difficulty of deciding whether or not to have children when one person is carrying genetic disorder that may be passed on; drawing (M)

Like New! (With a Few Broken Parts)

Irene Sherlock Modern Love column discusses dating after two divorces; drawing (M)

Witness to a Wedding That Wasn't

Jennie Yabroff Modern Love column discusses complexities of calling off wedding at last minute; drawing (M)

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.

Sometimes a Model Girlfriend Shouldn't

Kelly McMasters Modern Love column discusses difficulty of dating an artist who paints nude women; drawing (M)


Rich Cohen Modern Love column discusses fatherhood and changes in perspective it engenders; drawing (M)


Hear That Wedding March Often Enough, You Fall in Step

YES, we were on an idyllic rock on a postcard-worthy cove on the New England coast. O.K., I did have a ring -- seven actually, none with diamonds. Fine, there was fumbling and nervousness and the oh-so-slyly stashed champagne in the vegetable draw...

Two Beds in Motel Natchitoches

JACK says I'm behaving like Deirdre. We are facing each other on opposite beds in a motel room in Louisiana. It is after 3 a.m. and all he's wearing are white briefs with upbeat multicolored stripes. This is no Calvin Klein advertisement. This is ...

Our Bodies, Our Imaginations

Jean Braithwaite Modern Love column discusses insecurities about weight that can consume person about to meet date and potential lover for first time; drawing (M)

Dedicated to Two Women, Only One of Them Alive

Brendan Halpin Modern Love column discusses difficulty of dating after death of spouse; drawing (M)

Jill and Jill Live on the Hill, but One Must Boil the Water

Tzivia Gover Modern Love essay on gender-bending life she lives with her lesbian partner; drawing (M)

The Chicken's in the Oven, My Husband's Out the Door

Theo Pauline Nestor Modern Love column on the sudden breakup of her marriage; drawing (M)

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.

Traveling the Too-Much-Information Highway

Heather L Hunter Modern Love essay on discovering that writing daily Web log about a particularly difficult relationship can backfire; drawing (M)

A Body Scarred, a Marriage Healed

Autumn Stephens Modern Love essay on healing her breast cancer and healing her wounded marriage; drawing (M)

Just Friends? Let Me Read Between the Lines

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