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Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

You hear of situations where a book comes to a writer in a torrent. In this talk, writer André Aciman tells such a story about his well-loved novel, “Call Me By Your Name,” published in 2007.

Aciman’s book came to renewed acclaim, and some controversy, when the film adaptation became a phenomenon last year. The acclaim: The movie was nominated for multiple awards and won an Academy Award for screenwriter James Ivory. The controversy: Some raised age-of-consent issues about the relationship between 17 year-old Elio and his lover, 24-year-old Oliver.

KUOW photo/Sonya Harris

Marriage conjures up so many things, but here’s a longish shortlist: union, promise, vow, relationship, interdependence, security, sacrifice, contract, commitment, hard work, choice. Why do people get married? According to a Pew Research Center study, the top three reasons are for love, long-term commitment and companionship.

No one will deny that marriage is hard. In fact, there's evidence it's getting even harder.

Eli Finkel, a social psychologist at Northwestern University, argues that's because our expectations of marriage have increased dramatically in recent decades.

"[A] marriage that would have been acceptable to us in the 1950s is a disappointment to us today because of those high expectations," he says.

Is this the only type of love we should celebrate the week of February 14th?
Flickr Photo/Katy Stoddard (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/dTfeCY

This is the week of high-pressure dinner reservations, overpriced roses and, for the enterprising, discount chocolates on the 15th. Valentine's Day is upon us. 

Whether you're planning the ultimate romantic evening or a night alone in your sweats, this list of podcasting's best love stories are sure to put you in the Valentine's Day mood. Listen to individual episodes on NPR One or wherever you get podcasts.

Love Me, "At a Loss for Words" from CBC

Two travelers fall in love over Google Translate. But, some sentiments just don't easily translate from one language to another. This is all about how they find a common language (of love!).

When John Banvard, 100, met Gerard "Jerry" Nadeau, 72, in 1993, neither of them had been openly gay.

"When we met, we were sort of in the closet, and I'd never had a real relationship. Now, we've been together almost 25 years," Jerry tells John during a StoryCorps interview.

"What would it have been like if you didn't meet me?" Jerry asks John.

"I would have continued being lonely," John says. "I'd been absolutely lost."

My grandma’s first kiss happened in a Chilean prison

Dec 13, 2017
KUOW Photo / Diego Villarroel

September 11, 1973, was the day everything changed for my grandmother, Beatriz Alvarez. She was attending university in Santiago, Chile, on her way to becoming a history teacher.


Being older than 65, single and looking for romance has never been easy, and for women, who outnumber single men, it's especially challenging. The Internet is making it easier for older women, who didn't grow up with the Web, to get outside their social circles for dating and romance, but it can make them more vulnerable to deception.

Kimberly Bodfish, who's single and 65+, has discovered what many people already know about dating online: People are a little generous about themselves in their profiles.

For several years now, couples in Paris have been saying je t'aime by placing a padlock on the city's famed Pont des Arts bridge. And it has begun to weigh on the famous span — to the tune of some 45 tons.

Lovers (mostly tourists, Parisians say) have placed nearly a million padlocks on a fence along the bridge and then thrown the key into the Seine river as a symbol of their undying adoration. But city officials have a less romantic view of it all, blaming the padlocks for "long-term heritage degradation and a risk for visitors' security."

The free dating app Tinder has launched a paid subscription service called Tinder Plus.

The paid tier offers more functions than the free app, but it comes with a catch: users over age 30 are being charged twice as much as younger subscribers for the same service.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson takes a look at Tinder Plus with Jason Bellini of The Wall Street Journal.

This post was updated at 11:10 a.m. ET for clarity.

How would you — or do you — identify on online dating sites? Gay? Straight? Bisexual? Well you're about to have many more options on OkCupid, one of the most popular sites for people seeking love and connection.

OkCupid has about 4 million users, and within the next few weeks the site will give all of them brand-new options for specifying their gender and sexual orientation — options like androgynous, asexual, genderqueer and questioning.

RadioActive Goes 'Deeper Than The Butterflies' In Search Of Love

Jul 31, 2014
KUOW Photo / Esa Tilija

Join RadioActive's love gurus Meghan O'Kelley and Esa Tilija as they explore the deeper intricacies and meaning behind love. Today's podcast will include a range of activities from watching classic romantic scenes to discussing love and relationship advice.

Modern Love: Misconceptions Of Soul Mates

Feb 14, 2014
Daniel Jones' book, "Love Illuminated."

Marcie Sillman talks with Daniel Jones, editor of The New York Times' "Modern Love" column, about his new book, "Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (With The Help Of 50,000 Strangers)," and what he's learned about love from other people's stories.

New York City firefighters Sophy Medina and Thomas Olsen don't work together very often, but their first Valentine's Day as a couple was an exception. They worked the same fire that night — and then ended up at the same hospital with minor injuries.

"There really wasn't much romantic about the night it was," Tommy tells Sophy, now his fiancee, on a visit to StoryCorps. "I kept coming over. I sat in your bed and was talking to you."

File photo.
Flickr Photo/Lis Ferla (CC-BY-NC-ND)

There are a lot of songs about love, but perhaps there are even more songs about loss. That raises a serious scientific question: Why are so many songs written about heartbreak, and what happens to the brains of people who are experiencing a really bad break-up?

Biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher studies what happens in our brains when we are in love and when we are heart broken. She says that Tylenol is helpful, but staring at pictures of your ex and listening to a sad song when your brain is going through massive dopamine withdrawal is not.

Flickr Photo/LollyKnit

Valentine’s Day may be a day filled with flowers, chocolates and a candle-lit dinner, but for relationship experts Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, the lovey-dovey holiday is about reconnecting and showing how you care about your partner.

StoryCorps Love Stories With Dave Isay

Nov 22, 2013
Flickr Photo/las-initially

If there's one tradition that's never faded away in our history as people on this earth, it's storytelling. StoryCorps is a massive oral history project whose mission is to record, preserve and share the stories of Americans from all background and beliefs. It was founded in 2003 by radio documentary producer Dave Isay.

People tell their stories in mobile booths all around the country, and selected stories air nationally on NPR. All of the stories are preserved in the Library of Congress, with the hope that it will one day become a public, searchable database. Isay spoke at Seattle's Town Hall on February 7, 2012.

When Money And Love Collide

Sep 16, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jenifer Correa

It's no surprise that money stress doesn't bode well for romance. For many couples, decisions like marriage, divorce or children hinge on the question: Can we afford it? Marcie Sillman talks with UC Santa Barbara economics professor Shelly Lundberg and couples counselor and director of UC Los Angeles' Sexual Health Program Gail Wyatt about how money impacts our love lives.

Flickr Photo/Paul Joseph

Have you ever gotten an I Saw You or a missed connection? What happened? Did you connect? Psychology Today went through the missed connections on Craigslist, state by state, to see the most common places to be seen but not asked out. Here in Washington, the bus is the number one place to almost find love. In most of the other states it was Wal-Mart where cupid was most likely to draw back his bow. Ross Reynolds surveys the listeners about their thoughts on second chances at love at first sight.

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How Did You Meet Your Valentine?

Feb 14, 2013
Flickr Photo/Pranav Prakash

How did you meet the person you are spending Valentine’s Day with? Did you meet in a grocery store? Were you both at the same movie alone? Maybe it was something more modern like Match.com? To commemorate Valentine's Day, Ross Reynolds talks with listeners about how they met.

Weekday's Annual Valentine's Day Special

Feb 14, 2013
Heart
Flickr Photo/Sean McGrath



Yes, it's Valentine’s Day. Does that make you flush with romance? Cold with regret? Or is it just like any other day, but with slightly more chocolate? Sometimes it takes another person to bring out a piece of ourselves we didn't realize we had before. Tell us about the new you brought about by someone else. Or, tell us the exact moment you knew a relationship was over and done. Share your stories with us at 206.543.5869 or weekday@kuow.org.

The Secret To Being A Happy Couple

Feb 11, 2013
Happy couple
Flickr photo/Rodrigo Vargas

What is “normal” in a romantic relationship? More importantly, what’s “normal” for couples who say they're really happy? UW Sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz teamed up with Harvard sociologist James White and wellness entrepreneur Chrisanna Northrup to answer that question. Together they conducted and analyzed the largest human relationship study ever done. We’ll talk with Dr. Schwartz about the “perfect couple.”