As editor of The New York Times’ popular “Modern Love” column, Daniel Jones has sorted through about 50,000 essays that wrestle with, celebrate, despair over and question love. In his book “Love Illuminated,” Jones distills the collected wisdom from those submissions to explore what he sees as the 10 phases of human relationships, from “pursuit” to “wisdom.”

Daniel Jones, author of "Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers)" and editor of The New York Times' Modern Love column

  • William – SF
  • Guest

    Aren’t online dating companies running a scam? Maybe I’m just imagining that but the dating sites do seem chock full of computer generated fake profiles.

  • Amanda Stupi

    Here is the “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage” piece that Michael referenced: http://nyti.ms/1bms3me.

    • Guest

      Treating a loved one like an animal… Hmm that’s not objectification

  • Amanda Stupi

    And here is the piece titled “I Fell for a Man Who Wore an Electronic Ankle Bracelet” http://nyti.ms/1dgT1dL

    • Guest

      Without reading the article I have to wonder if this is not just yet more evidence that women go for men who are jerks.

  • Dominick Elias Kaufman Simonet

    why is it that people are getting married such later in life marriage use to be a way to take the next step in life to officially be an adult it seems like people my age I’m 21 by the way look at marriage as the way they get trapped

    • geraldfnord

      Now that marriage and children are seen (in First World places) as products of conscious and relatively free, and in so morally non-vacuous, decisions, we feel the anxiety of feeling fully responsible for them and how they turn out, much as is the case with our careers. The smithy’s son pressed into service at six years of age might hate being a smithy, but he never felt that he were to blame for it (unless he lived in a place where stupid versions of reïncarnation and karma were important, and likely not then—blacksmiths tend toward materialism); my grandparents’ arranged marriages had their hard points, but their parents gave them the best wedding present ever: someone else to blame…and parents usually avoided feeling compelled to micro-manage their children back when ‘the kids just came along’.

      I don’t think it was better—I am a modern boy formed in modern times, my hatred for Noah Webster’s boorish ‘reforms’ and modern prose’s fatuogenic tersity notwithstanding—and much prefer things as they are…but that shouldn’t keep one from seeing how the old ways had their advantages.

  • geraldfnord

    Having experienced the intense rush of young first love and the steady, dependable, resource of long-married but very real love, I have to say that the former were better. I’m not going to go-off looking for such, as it would hurt me (and more importantly) my wife, but (as a cold-blooded romantic and an autist) I think it silly and offensive to lie for the sake of accepting the world as it is…if I could with mutual consent push a button to recover our former high spirits and sexual frequency, I should do so in an heart-beat.

    (Your figurative mileage may vary.)

    ‘Making the best of it’ is orders of magnitude better than not doing so when there were no better probable alternative, but let’s don’t pretend that it were better than effortlessly enjoying that which were already closer to optimal.

    • Mrs. Eccentric

      hullo mr. Fnord! as a fellow regular reader of these websites and commenter, i’m glad you took the time to share this with us. steph

    • geraldfnord

      That’s ‘autist’, Mr Krasny, certified by an human doctor and not an Interweb quiz…no offence taken.

  • Jon Gold

    I’m not in a love relationship now…however, when I was in relationships, successfully twice for 7 years each, I had this 4 point ‘system’ I would share as; 1) remembering you like each other & why, 2) having things in common, activities, beliefs, etc., 3) nurturing the relationship as it’s own entity, and 4) giving up your personal time for the other.

  • Sari

    My husband of 15 years claims that he knew I was the woman for him within 5 minutes of meeting me. It took me 2 months to even agree to give him a chance. I have heard similar stories from other couples. Are men better or quicker at assessing compatibility in a prostective partner?

    • Mrs. Eccentric

      hi! nah, i don’t think so as i’ve known some women who’ve known “the one” from first sight as well. a fascinating phenomenon, for sure.

      when i met my husband (both volunteering at lindsay wildlife museum) i had just ended a long relationship and was NOT interested in dating. He asked me to go birding, we did, and when he whipped out a pair of champagne flutes and mimosa as we sat in his car after our walk, i gave him the whole ‘we can be friends, but not, blah blah blah…..’ speech.

      So he asked me out to dinner and a play over in SF, and i said yes. Fun play, fun food in North Beach, walking around the city at midnite (this from a lady who is adamant about her 9pm bedtime!)…..

      i came home and realized i made a BIG mistake. Fortunately, my husband (obviously) was not deterred. Going on 15 married years and he has stuck with me thru some really awful medical issues and is a sweetheart to all my folks. steph

  • elizabeth gioumousis

    Does it howl like a hungry Alsation,
    Or boom like a military band?
    Could on give a first-rate imitation
    On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
    Is its singing at parties a riot?
    Does it only like Classical stuff?
    Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
    O tell me the truth about love.
    W.H. Auden

  • geraldfnord

    We both deprecate love—we generally have little respect for those who wind up with formally-unsuitable partners or careers for love’s sake alone—and think too much of it: we think it can solve _everything_, be it poverty or annoying quirks or the habit of smashing our face.

    I am a cold-blooded romantic: live can be woderful, about the best thing in this our only existence…but like any technology it has its domain of usefulness. It’s especially important that those of us not worshipping nonexistent gods not substitute capital-L Love instead—worshipping is the opposite of seeing and evaluating.

  • Jon Gold

    love is a place & through this place of love move (with brightness of peace) all places yes is a world & in this world of yes live (skillfully curled) all worlds -e.e. cumming’s

  • Orlando

    My wife and I have two kids. She does not want a divorce. We are intimate, but she says she does it as an obligation to meet my needs. Should I still push for divorce. Or should I endure for my kids.

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