Six love stories we love

As chosen by publication editors on Medium

Jon Gluck
The Medium Blog
3 min readFeb 13, 2024

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To the cynic, Valentine’s Day is a crass, over-commercialized Hallmark holiday on which Americans shell out some $25 billion every year, plunging fully three in ten of us into debt for the privilege.

To the romantic, Valentine’s Day is all Instagram hearts and “Luv U” candies. Nearly 250 million roses are grown annually for the occasion, and roughly six million people choose it as their day to get engaged.

Call us softies, but we here at Medium are partial to the warm-hearted take. It’s one day, people! We have 364 others to be gimlet-eyed.

Because the calendar will read February 14 on Wednesday, we asked the editors and publishers of a handful of publications on Medium that regularly run essays about love and relationships to share their favorite stories about those subjects. Publications are an essential element of our platform’s ecosystem. Whether they cover programming or poetry, they’re run by passionate experts in their fields who help bring you the sort of authoritative information and original points of view that make Medium what it is.

Note that for these purposes we’re defining “love” not just in romantic terms, but in the broadest sense. The themes of the chosen pieces range from adoption to grief to the inspirational power of a one-eyed, songless bird.

So if conventional romantic love isn’t the unifying idea of the pieces, what is? They are all “stories about the power of human connection,” as my colleague Ariel Meadow Stallings put it.

We love that.

Here, the editors’ choices:

“The Slut Gene,” by

The divine Peeler examines her “slut gene” and how she stopped searching for perfection in love. Reading this post is like talking to your best friend: lofty topics sculpted into forthright, meaningful specificity, plus laughs. Sometimes we can be the last to know we’re queer and poly and that’s okay — because the road to self-discovery means looking for love in all the right places.

, editor of Human Parts

“I Don’t Want to Fall in Love Again,” by

Jackson writes many compelling pieces about love and dating but this one will resonate in particular with those who are terrified of having their hearts broken, as much as they want to find a partner at the same time. Its poetic vulnerability is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

, editor of Heart Affairs

“My Daughter’s Nephew Is Also Her Brother,” by

Gerard tells the story of adopting her grandson after several long years trying to make it all work. You feel like you are there with her watching her grandson dance in the courtroom during the proceedings. You can feel the joy in her voice; the love she feels for him comes through.

, editor on The Memoirist

“Winter, When he Died,” by

A beautiful expression of both love and grief, this piece is well-written, poetic in its imagery, and speaks to the everlasting pull of true love.

, editor on The Wind Phone

“The One-Eyed Bird That Never Sang,” by

Sparkles works at a home for people with disabilities. There, she finds a poor bird abandoned and uncared for. She’s the hero in this one. It’s one of our readers’ all-time favorites and a story we come back to again and again.

, publisher of The Narrative Arc

Life Changes Are Coming When a Goddess Claims You,” by

Petit’s essay explores her journey of self-discovery through the lens of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, goddess of love, fertility, and protector of women. It’s a story of love rekindled and the mystical ways the universe conspires to bring us to where we belong.

, editor of Age of Empathy

Do you have a love story you’d like to share? Post it on Medium.

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Jon Gluck
The Medium Blog

Jon Gluck is the Editorial Director of Special Projects at Medium. Previously, he held senior editorial positions at New York Magazine, Vogue, and Hearst.