• Alyson Heisler

Listening In: ‘Modern Love’

Everyone — no matter if you are married, recently broken-hearted, engaged, or hopelessly single — loves to hear a good love story. OK, maybe not everyone, but why not for the sake of Valentine’s Day.

The podcast “Modern Love” gives the listener a sneak peek into the love lives and love stories of people from all walks of life across the world. Based on the popular New York Times column of the same name, each episode features two essays from the archives of submitted stories from the last 16 years.

Each essay is performatively read by a voice actor, and each reading is followed by an updated interview with the author of the featured essay. Celebrities have also narrated essays — including comedian Hasan Minhaj, Tan France of “Queer Eye,” director Greta Gerwig, and actor Jake Gyllenhaal.

The hosts are Daniel Jones, the editor and original creator of “Modern Love,” and Miya Lee, the editor of “Tiny Love Stories” and other “Modern Love” projects. Over 200 episodes have been produced since its beginning in 2016. A re-launch occurred in October of last year, after a four-month hiatus and a return of creative control to the New York Times.

I especially enjoyed the episode titled “A Lifetime of Good Loving,” which included the story of a couple that had been married for 56 years and was told by the wife whose husband had passed away just before the pandemic began. As someone whose grandparents passed away in the last few years, the widow’s story echoed my grandparents’ story. They had been married for 76 years at the time of my grandpa’s death, and their lives revolved around each other.

They taught me what love should look like — how people should care about one another.

I loved hearing the stories of how they met and what they did on vacations together. Over the summer, my mom and I were cleaning out their home and found pictures of them when they were young and letters they wrote to each other, including some written to my grandpa from my grandma when she attended Minot State to get her teacher’s certificate.

The essays remind me of what it feels like to have a good, deep conversation with another person — be it a stranger, family member, or good friend — which can make you laugh, shake your head, or bring tears to your eyes. That’s something we don’t often do and haven’t had the opportunity to do in a while, especially because I believe that good conversation is meant to be had in-person, but sometimes a phone call will do.

If you find yourself aching for a conversation or are feeling lonely on a Thursday afternoon, take a listen to “Modern Love.” You may be inspired to share one of you own love stories — dreamy, complicated, or absolutely embarrassing — with the world. Feel free to send a submission to us at the Red and Green, we could start our very own archive of love connections made at Minot State.

New episodes are posted every Wednesday. “Modern Love” is available to stream and download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever podcasts are available.

Fans of the “Modern Love” podcast may also enjoy the storytelling experience on the TV show, available on Amazon Prime Video, or through several books that have been published.

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