Only With Distance

Modern Love

Jun 22 2022 • 19 mins


Nora Johnson had been making weekly visits to older man after he suffered a mild stroke. But he wasn’t just any older man. “We had the worst marriage in the history of human relations,” Nora wrote in her 2014 Modern Love essay. “Dysfunctional doesn’t even begin to describe it.”

During her visits, the memories would coming pouring back: the fights, the vacations, the plunging bank account. But Nora’s ex-husband had forgotten all that. He’d even forgotten her. And this blank slate had presented an opportunity.

Today, we listen to Nora’s story about reconnecting with her ex in spite of their painful past. Then, we meet another couple, Margaret Eginton Carmichael and Greg Carmichael, who learned to date again in their sixties.

Nora Johnson died in 2017 at 84. You can find her obituary in The New York Times here. And click here to read her first Modern Love essay, "Age is No Obstacle to Love, or Adventure," which remains one of our most read.