The thing about podcasts and books about of love is that eventually, they end up being a podcast or a book about life. Our romantic relationships with all the problems, learning, growth and joy they bring go straight into the heart of our being. Maybe that’s what makes dating and relationship content so fascinating. That, and the voyeuristic pleasure of listening in on other people’s lives.
The podcasts below are about love, sex and relationships, but they’re also about so much more. This Valentines’, whether you have a partner or you don’t, give one of them a try:
1. Paired by the People
Rengarajan is WeWork’s first director of workplace connection and was once a singles event designer. Of this podcast, Vanity Fair said that “…listening in feels…like having your brain massaged open to new possibilities in regard to the way we could connect with each other, if only we had a little help.”
Format: A new setup duo is introduced each episode. They come with no matchmaking skills, and use just their instincts and personal experiences. Then, a single looking to be set up is introduced. After reading and reviewing their “story profile,” the setup duo discusses and debates who to pair with the single. Lastly, listeners get to hear a conversation between the single and the setup person.
Listen to: The Arranged Set Up.
2. Modern Love
New York Times | Daniel Jones and Miya Lee
The famous New York Times column and podcast truly split open the whole mess of love and laid it out for the world to see. It’s an idea so big that a column, podcast and a TV series simply cannot exhaust the possibilities of its interpretation. Dan Jones created the Modern Love column in 2004, and Miya Lee was a submission reader for the column during her freshman year of college.
Format: Evolved over the years, began with actors reading out the stories from the much loved column, now it also includes conversations between authors of the essays and the people they wrote about.
Listen to: Was it Me or Astrology?
3. Where Should We Begin?
Esther Perel is a Belgian psychotherapist who explores the need for security and the need for freedom in human relationships. Her ideas are groundbreaking and at times, quite radical. “Where Should We Begin?” has been described as “A podcast for anyone who has ever loved”
Note: We covered Perel’s highly recommended book, “Mating in Captivity” in an earlier issue of Seema Magazine
Format: Ranging from quick 20-minute “Esther Calling” episodes to the full hour with an anonymous couple baring the raw, profound and intimate details of their stories and problems.
Listen To: In This Relationship What Is “I” and What is “We”?
4. Sex w/ Emily
Dr. Emily Morse
“Sex w/ Emily” is ranked the #1 Sexuality podcast on iTunes. It challenges cultural taboos and misinformation, and listeners vouch for its role in improving not just their sex lives but also their relationships and marriages as a whole. Fun Fact: Dr. Morse was interviewing people about their sex lives before it was a thing, pioneered podcasting when it wasn’t a thing, and brands paid her money for products she endorsed before it was a thing. Way back in 2005.
Format: Discussions of specific pleasure-related topics either by Dr Morse or by other professionals invited by Dr. Morse.
Listen to: Is Social Media Blocking Your Sex Life?
5. Love Letters
Meredith Goldstein is a YA Romance author and daily advice columnist at the Boston Globe. Her podcast is self-described as “Group therapy, but online” because commenters and listeners often weigh in on the letter writers’ stories themselves.
Format: Each season, Goldstein explores one big theme in love and relationships. The latest season, Season 6, is all about rule-breakers. Hear rich stories, intimate interviews, and confessions from Goldstein’s life.Listen to: A Hollywood Arrangement