Dating in the modern age can be really difficult, especially with the advent of so many dating apps. People have almost become too disposable. We don't take the time to really get to know someone. Instead, we base a lot of what makes us "swipe right" on looks, and when things get too hard in a relationship, well, we can just re-download the app and start again.
While many aspects of a relationship might seem different in the digital age, many of these difficulties our parents' generation faced too--cheating, arguing, going from friends to lovers, being afraid of rejection, abuse and domestic violence, and issues with sex.
These seven podcasts give an honest and intimate view at the problems each of us face in our relationships. They try to offer the best advice in a sometimes humorous way. Think of it as the older sibling you never had to talk to about your relationship probs.
1. Modern Love
Modern Love is produced by WBUR-FM, Boston’s NPR news station and is based on the New York Times' section Modern Love, where readers submit personal essays about relationship issues in the modern world. What makes it great is that each podcast really focuses on an honest, raw view of relationship issues, but not necessarily just romantic ones. Friendships and familial relationships also make an appearance. Some of the topics of recent podcasts include that weird in-between of friendship and a relationship, how difficult "millennial love" can be, how it feels for the friend you're absolutely in love with not to love you back, and what a family vacation feels like after a divorce.
2. Dear Sugar Radio
Yet another podcast by WBUR-FM, this one is hosted by Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild, and Steve Almond. What makes it great is that the hosts offer real, practical advice, as well as empathy to the questions they get. The questions they get are by no means sugar-coated. Listeners can submit questions to the hosts, and the podcast acts like an advice column where the hosts help answer the question and find a solution. Some of the recent topics they have tackled includes doubting your relationship and its future, the relationship between body image and romance, being addicted to porn, and female breadwinners.
3. Savage Lovecast
This podcast comes from Dan Savage, an author and sex-advice columnist. He tackles questions from listeners about love and sex. The podcast focuses heavily on sexual questions, as well as sexuality. Recent topics include families having difficulties accepting gay family members, sex toy reviews, asexuality, BDSM stuff, and polygamy.
4. The Heart
The Heart is "an audio art project and podcast about intimacy and humanity." It's a very poetic and artistic podcast that focuses a lot on emotions—the way it feels to first be in love, the terror of becoming emotionally close to someone, and other peeks into small, intimate moments between lovers.
5. I Want It That Way
Bustle's quirky podcast focuses on sex and other aspects of relationships that you're probably too embarrassed to tell your mom or even your BFF. Topics include kink-shaming, bachelor parties, getting dumped over the holidays, sex resolutions for the new year, and birth control options.
6. Love is Like a Plant
This podcast focuses on relationships, sex, dating, and heartbreak, and is brought to you by Ellen Huerta, who is the founder of Mend, and Sara May B, a podcaster who does other shows. Topics include looking for red flags when you're dating, how to be single during the holidays, staying in relationships for fear of being alone, and what it's like to be ghosted.
Strangers was created by Lea Thau, who also created The Moth. The storytelling podcast discusses the themes of meeting people, falling in love and having relationships, dealing with the ups and downs of life including the heartbreaks and compassion we encounter. Each episode is "an empathy shot in your arm."
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