Modern Love: Tiny Love Stories: ‘Was He Fixated on Race?’

The things I was too scared to say to him in person, I would talk about on my podcast. I knew he’d be listening. My medication? Yes. Sexual history? Sure. Fears? I’d pepper these throughout the episodes. “It’s funny,” he’d say. “I’m learning so much about you. All I have to do is listen to your podcast.” With my lips to the microphone and his earphones at the ready, I thought I was saving us from having to discuss the awkward topics face-to-face, but without that vulnerability, we never stood a chance. Like every episode, the end was inevitable. — Louis Hanson, University of Sydney, Australia

Recording my podcast in my bedroom.Credit

We met on Bumble just before winter break. After a six-hour-long first date, the Harvard boy seemed promising. Frequent texts, plans for dates, a spontaneous trip to his hometown to see him. We both felt like we were understood. Months later, when meeting again in person, he said, “I’m not romantically attracted to you anymore.” I nodded. It happens. Sad but acceptable. Then he said, “By the way, I don’t have an Asian fetish.” Which made me wonder: Did he like the smile on my face or was he fixated on race? — Connie Chung, Boston University


My Bumble profile.Credit

Graduation is a weird thing, not that I have gotten quite there yet. The Canadian snow has almost melted, exam season is upon us and we all have our responses ready for the inevitable question: “So, what are your plans after graduation?” I’ve met hundreds, maybe thousands of people during my time here, but only a few close friends, dear to my heart, who will go to great lengths to guarantee I get the perfect graduation ball photo to post for all my Facebook followers. — Alexandra Yiannoutsos, McGill University


My friend Sam gives me a boost while my other friend Grace photographs.Credit

Was surrounded by my pals, but my mind was on a gal. Her car pulled up and that was it — should’ve put cuffs around my wrists. My heart beat red then flashed blue (felt sad that the party was through). Only time she had my spirits low wasn’t her fault; she simply had to go. I wanted her to come back, kept messaging like a maniac. Four years later, she’s still here, slapping at my hand that nervously tugs at my ear. Grabbing my waist during concerts as if she protects me from monsters. — Joshua Corona, California State University of Northridge


Selfie, with Rebecca wearing the necklace I gave her.Credit

After our first date, he said, “My people will get back to your people for some feedback assessment, and in 5 to 7 business days, I’ll get back to you.” He made me laugh, and I was determined to make him feel just as sunny. Within a few hours, I created and sent a Google form to him (in his favorite color) with questions like, “Did Madison make good eye contact?” “Was the conversation intellectually and/or emotionally stimulating?” “Was she pleasing to the eye?” He filled it out and sent it to me. Had I been stimulating? “Hell yes!” — Madison Catrett, Duke University


The post-introduction survey.Credit

I’ve always wanted to find another girl who had love songs written about her, mostly so I could ask what she did with them after the relationship was over. How did she reconcile being demoted from muse to memory? My ex-boyfriend released his favorite song, about the strength of our love, on Spotify four days before he broke up with me. The song kept being recommended. I forced myself to listen. At first, I felt numb, the song sounding empty. Then it sounded like a sepia-tone photograph, dripping with nostalgia. Now over him, I don’t hear anything anymore. — Julia James, University of Mississippi


A photo he took of me when he thought I looked particularly happy.Credit

The image through the telescope seems tiny, almost inconsequential. I tell this to my boyfriend, who scoffs, “Speak for yourself.” Colin is the kind of person who keeps track of eclipses — it was he who introduced me to the observatory across from where he had worked. Colin is always telling me that the next eclipse won’t appear for another century, yet endless celestial events continue to arise. Sometimes the moments around these are more memorable than the events themselves. I love a natural orange, but the blood moon only felt special when framed by the sunroof of his car. — Jeremy Wolin, Brown/Rhode Island School of Design


Colin in a drive-thru.Credit

Neither of us wanted to tell our parents we met on Tinder, so we spent spring break texting about alternatives. Did we sit together in a crowded dining hall? Too obvious. Blind date that a mutual friend set up? Too improbable. He caught me falling while ice skating? Too cheesy. Maybe I stopped him on his way to fencing practice to ask about his sword? I’m too shy. He joked that we were rewriting the Train song, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” except instead of the ways I left, we would end up with the 50 ways we’d met. — Kelly McKewin, Miami University


We’re both tea fanatics, so the “official” story is that we met in a coffee shop ordering the same kind of tea.Credit
More from the 2019 Modern Love College Contest
Why Can’t Men Say ‘I Love You’ to Each Other?

Tiny Love Stories: I Wanted More From College. Then I Fell for Him.

Years Ago, My Sister Vanished. I See Her Whenever I Want.

See more Tiny Love Stories at

Submit yours at

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