Modern Love Podcast: Loving Beyond Borders


When Julissa Arce was 11 years old, she came to the United States on a visa that expires three years later. He lived as an undocumented immigrant for over a decade and was afraid to reveal his secret to anyone. “Every phone call or email I get from human resources freezes my blood,” she wrote in her Modern Love article.

And when it came to love, she would lie to almost any man she dated, fearing exposure and the threat of deportation.

In today’s episode, we hear about Julissa’s search for love and what it teaches her about loneliness and intimacy. Then we hear from two Modern Love listeners who kept their love alive across borders during the pandemic.

Greg Cope White is a screenwriter based in Santa Monica, California; her partner, Bob, lives in Montreal. They have been together for about 15 years.

They were used to spending time apart, usually for a month. But when Covid hit and imposed travel restrictions, they had to be apart for much longer since January 2020.

To stay connected, they practice a daily ritual that becomes their salvation. When it’s 3:30pm for Greg (and 6:30pm for Bob), there’s an elaborate “live Skype cooking show”. They spend the next few hours helping each other, enjoying a meal, watching a movie on the shared screen, and catching up. They have not missed a single day since the beginning of the epidemic.

Credit…Greg Cope White

Was it love at first sight? Probably. Valentina Marinovich and Rafael Pavón De Gregorio met at a crosswalk in New York about four years ago. He is from Chile; He is from spain.

After maintaining a long distance relationship, they were finally ready to live together in early 2020. Then the pandemic struck.

Studying in New York, Valentina returned to Chile while Rafael was in Spain. The two decided to marry so that Rafael could be allowed to enter Chile through the country’s quarantine exceptions.

Since they were not yet in the same country, Valentina had a proxy marriage to an acquaintance who represented Rafael. “We got married in this tiny office while my boyfriend was at the dentist,” Valentina said. “I won’t say it was romantic because it wasn’t.”

By October 2020, Valentina and Rafael were able to reunite in Santiago, Chile. Arrived early during airport hours in anticipation. “Everything came back to me—the smell, the feel of his beard on my cheeks,” he said.


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