Love: Life's Most Mystifying Subject

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Daniel Jones, the editor of the New York Times' popular "Modern Love" column, talks about love. His new book Love Illuminated: Exploring Life's Most Mystifying Subject (with the Help of 50,000 Strangers) explores ten aspects of love—pursuit, destiny, vulnerability, connection, trust, practicality, monotony, infidelity, loyalty, and wisdom—and creates an enlightening journey through this universal human experience. 


Daniel Jones

Comments [17]

Tina from Queens

Ed from Larchmont, you could not have said it better!

Feb. 26 2014 05:15 AM

this started out interesting ,then went downhill at half time. the author's giddy smugness hijacked the show. could part of it be, that men are not comfortable being seen as taking this subject seriously? i truly wonder.

Feb. 25 2014 04:57 PM

Turns out then you and your fellow shallow cynics are Darwin award material. Cheers, mate. Enjoy your old age in immense peace and quiet.

Feb. 21 2014 12:57 PM
Ed from Larchmont

I had to think about it, the four kinds of love are familial, friendship, married (eros), and sacrificial (agape). We tend to only think of one kind, and it's not the highest kind, agape is.

Feb. 20 2014 04:22 PM
funfzigjahre from USA

Love is one of the most dynamic, irrational emotions that man has. My situation is that after 42 years of marriage(good, not so good, comfortable but not never ending), I emailed my first love from college. The reply is welcoming and within 6 weeks we both felt exactly as we did 50 years ago. How does one explain that? Perhaps that "coup de foudre" doesn't happen to all but when it does it is forever. Now is the problem of what to do and how to do it.

Feb. 20 2014 03:55 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Estelle

Many women do that too, to have sex, get pregnant, and rope some fool into either marriage and/or child support payments. "Love" is a lot more dangerous for men.

Feb. 20 2014 01:03 PM
Estelle from Brooklyn

Who needs statistics to know that men sometimes say "I love you" to get sex? I knew it back in mid fifties.

Feb. 20 2014 12:49 PM
Teresa from CT

I have come to believe that the old saying, "There's somebody for everyone," just is not true. I am just too much of a hybrid person to have a mate out there. My life has been full of organic type problems that I did not create, but that affectedly deeply. I am not today the woman I was at all when I was younger. And men are just not looking to endure or accept a woman who is not the "total package" for them, the way women will take on and accept a man who is part project, part love. I just decided to stop looking and involving myself with men. Although I am sometimes lonely and sometimes sad that I have never had a long term committed relationship, in many ways it is a relief that I don't have to waste my energy trying to be something that will please a man. Men still require women to be thin, pretty, smart--but not too smart, money making--but not too money making, and fulfill something invisible in them that you can never fulfill. I have never been "it" for a good, decent, solid man, and I think I never will. Perhaps it is my calling to be the most fulfilled singer person in history.

Feb. 20 2014 12:44 PM
Steven from Bklyn


I know, I just said that to reassure my cat.

Feb. 20 2014 12:43 PM
jgarbuz from Queens


Oh sure they'll be able to make cute little furry robots that will lick our hands, or purr with big, saucer eyes, but most importantly they won't be producing waste nor requiring long walks.

Feb. 20 2014 12:37 PM
Steven from Bklyn

I can see robots replacing our human companions but never our 4 legged furry ones. At first I thought Modern Love and Fracking in Texas was going to be one program segment.

Feb. 20 2014 12:28 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Does Mr. Jones think the people who send him their stories are self-selecting to some extent? It occurred to me during the part about arranged marriages that the couples whose arranged marriages (unexpectedly?) worked out well might be more likely to write to him than those in arranged marriages that didn't. If so, maybe this applies more widely too?

Feb. 20 2014 12:25 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Ha! My first marriage was conducted by a genuine kabbalistic rabbi, who then gave me my divorce 3 years later. So he made money from both ends. Another racket exposed along the road of life.

Feb. 20 2014 12:21 PM
Asaf soof from Garment District

I read the column every week. I noticed that 90% of published stories are vehicles to promote writers. They all have a book coming up. It is not for Joe Schmoe to publish his/hers story.

This is my experience

Feb. 20 2014 12:21 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Love" is just a biological response. Soon we'll have personal companion robots who will respond to our every physical and intellectual need making both "marriage" and biological pets redundant. It will get rid of a lot of cr@p, both mental and physical.

Feb. 20 2014 12:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

"Love" is just a biological response. Soon we'll have personal companion robots who will respond to our every physical and intellectual need making both "marriage" and biological pets redundant. It will get rid of a lot of cr@p, both mental and physical.

Feb. 20 2014 12:17 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Well, we're made in the image of God, and God is love (the title of a Pope Benedict encyclical, and not the other way around), so love is what we were created for and it's central to our being. How we deal with it in all it's aspects - you probably are discussing eros only - is of central importance. Pope Benedict nicely discusses the different categories of love, one of which is eros, in addition to agape and two others.

Feb. 20 2014 11:50 AM

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