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Five Modern Love Essays to Read this Monday

Brian Rea

Modern Love, the famous New York Times column, has featured some of the most powerful, heart wrenching, and quirky essays on love and relationships since 2004. Ever since I started reading Modern Love (thanks to my mom), each story I read has left an imprint on my soul and implanted a lesson in my mind.

I now present five Modern Love stories everyone should read in their lifetime. No matter what love you have felt, received, or dreamed of — you will take away something profoundly special from each story.

1. Junk Food Was Our Love Language

Written by C Pam Zhang / Illustrated by Brian Rea

Eight autumns have passed since her father’s death, and like clockwork, chicken nuggets are right by her side.

2. Lockdown Was Our Breaking Point

Written by Monique El-Faizy / Illustrated by Brian Rea

Locked in her Parisian apartment with her two sons and husband of two years — the writing on the wall becomes clear: this mid-life crisis relationship was not meant to last.

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

Written by Katie Heaney / Illustrated by Brian Rea

After years of taking online quizzes to figure out her sexual orientation, a young woman realizes the answers she’s been looking for were in front of her all along.

4. He Married a Sociopath: Me

Written by Patric Gagne / Illustrated by Brian Rea

A sociopath learns a lesson from her husband while accepting all the flaws and perks of who she is.

5. My Best Friend Is Gone, and Nothing Feels Right

Written by Jared Misner / Illustrated by Brian Rea

After a young man’s best friend becomes another body swiped away by the Coronavirus, he realizes he might never love someone again as deeply he did her. And it might not ever be ok, but that is ok.


If you want to stay up to date on all things Modern Love —the weekly essays, podcast episodes, and batches of Tiny Love Stories, paired with other relationship-based reads from The Times — sign up for Love Letter, a weekly email. Make sure to check out the “Modern Love” television series, based on this column, on Amazon Prime Video.

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