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

New to Modern Love? These 25 essays should provide a good introduction. You’ll find some of our most read and most shared of all time, and others that really got readers talking (and tweeting, and sharing). We present, in no particular order, the quirky, the profound, the head scratching and the heartbreaking. (A handful of these essays and dozens more of our most memorable columns can also be found in the recently published Modern Love anthology.)

To keep up on all things Modern Love — our weekly essays, podcast episodes and batches of Tiny Love Stories, along with other relationship-based reads from The Times — sign up for Love Letter, a weekly email. And check out the “Modern Love” television series, based on this column, on Amazon Prime Video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The winner of the 2015 Modern Love college essay contest, who was then a sophomore at Columbia University, writes about her generation’s reluctance to define relationships.

“I don’t love you anymore,” my husband said, but I survived the sucker punch.

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

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

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

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

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

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