25 Modern Love Essays to Read if You Want to Laugh, Cringe and Cry


This month celebrates 15 years of the New York Times’ famous Modern Love column. It started in 2004 and has since turned into a fan favorite, now with its own podcast and, as of this week, Amazon Prime show. Its success, I'm sure, has had other papers sitting back saying "Dammit, I wish we would have thought of that!"

Modern Love isn’t a series I search for on a weekly basis, yet it feels like I should. In a rather turbulent world where news largely follows the mantra of "if it bleeds it leads" or "if it involves a unicorn that has some sheisty dealings all we're going to talk about is why the entire startup ecosystem is going to go down in flames", a good love story can offer that respite. As a romantic at heart who always enjoys a good love story (certainly those with happy endings...the sad ones less so), Modern Love offers that warm feeling that reminds me of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series from what feels like forever ago. This paragraph from the Times' review of the show describes the feeling quite well:

“Modern Love,” when it works, provides the kind of soothing comfort supplied by an inviting armchair, a warm fire, or a mug of hot tea on a chilly night. It’s the TV equivalent of a hand-knit cardigan or an Instagrammable latte; a mood of transitory wistfulness appears to be the goal, not some chest-thumping artistic statement about Life. And there’s certainly room for this kind of artisanal woolly sweater on the TV scene: The real world and the headlines it generates are not much fun these days, and when the actors in the best-written “Modern Love” installments are on their A-games, it’s hard to resist the appeal of these amiable, slightly world-weary stories of connection in the big city.

As the days get shorter and nights get darker, if you're looking for that specific kind of "soothing comfort", and are willing to put up with a few cringes here and there, I highly recommend a bit of Modern Love.


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