Valentine’s Day has earned a bit of a bad reputation. Perhaps it’s the chalky conversation hearts, or the swirly foam lattes, or the fairly awful 2010 film of the same name — whatever it is, the holiday has fallen out of favor. (Was it ever in favor? Debatable.) But I find that there’s something charming about it. Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it celebrates something that is — or should be — universal. As much as we kvetch about love, it's fascinating. There is a reason why the Modern Love column is such a success. Hint: Love’s got something to do with it.
Which isn’t to say that love can’t be terrible and devastating. It absolutely can be. When I’m down with love, as Renée Zellweger would say, I turn to podcasts. Meditations on love in the newish medium exist somewhere between absurdly salacious tales on 60 Minutes and the bubblegum proposals you see in feature films and television. Podcasts can capture the mundanity of romantic life. You can listen to a conversation between two lovers and notice the details that bind the conversation. You can hear a recently engaged couple talk through their differences. You can hear a single person explain why they’re so fascinated with their current partner. (I’m already crying.)
As a dedicated podcast listener, I have pulled together the podcast episodes that, in my life, have led me to believe that Love, real Love with a capital "L," truly exists. When I’m looking down the barrel of an empty carton of guacamole, these are the 15-minute (or 60-minute) segments that keep my romantic furnace burning.