7 Essential Love Stories From “This American Life”

As chosen by Ira Glass.

Illustration by Jordan Bruner/ jordanbruner.net. Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed.

This American Life is, quite simply, the best radio show in the history of the world. For Valentine’s Day, we asked host Ira Glass to share his favorite love (and anti-love) stories from the show.

1. Need help saying something that’s hard to say? Videos 4 U can help.

Last September, This American Life producers issued a call for listeners who needed to tell someone something but were having trouble saying it. A woman named Maia submitted her request: she’d been with her boyfriend Alex for eight years, but neither one had ever said “I love you.”

This video by This American Life’s amazing Bianca Giaever is Maia’s way of finally saying those three little words.

2. “21 Chump Street”

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A high school kid falls for his fellow student—who turns out to be an undercover cop. Link

Illustration by Jordan Bruner/ jordanbruner.net. / Via thisamericanlife.org

3. “Best Laid Plans”

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A couple opens their relationship—and never closes it. Link

Illustration by Jordan Bruner/ jordanbruner.net. / Via thisamericanlife.org

4. “Not Your Parents’ Parent Trap”

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An arranged marriage ends in divorce, and then restarts as an intentional marriage. Link

Illustration by Jordan Bruner/ jordanbruner.net. / Via thisamericanlife.org

5. “I am Curious Yellow”

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In this story, a man finds a mail-order bride—and, miraculously, they actually fall in love. Link

6. “Without”

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Poet Donald Hall loses his wife to leukemia. Link

Illustration by Jordan Bruner/ jordanbruner.net. / Via thisamericanlife.org

7. “Dr. Phil”

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For those of you NOT happy and in love on Valentine’s Day (which, let’s be honest, is a LOT of us!), Ira has something for you, too. There’s literally no better cure for a recent breakup than this story wherein Starlee Kine asks the king of breakup songs himself, Phil Collins, to help her write the perfect breakup song. Link

Illustration by Jordan Bruner/ jordanbruner.net. / Via thisamericanlife.org

Remember Maia and Alex from the first story? Here’s how Alex reacted after he saw the video.

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