Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Published by Penguin Press
Published on June 16, 2015
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary, Friendship, Humorous, Love & Romance
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A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices
At some point, every one of us embarks on a journey to find love. We meet people, date, get into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone with whom we share a deep connection. This seems standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. Single people today have more romantic options than at any point in human history. With technology, our abilities to connect with and sort through these options are staggering. So why are so many people frustrated?
Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?”
But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.
For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.
In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.
It’s hard to read Modern Romance and not hear the distinguishable voice of Aziz Ansari. Which makes me regret not purchasing the audiobook version, but I probably, and eventually will. Modern Romance is targeted to millennials, formerly known as Gen Y (or so I’m told). We lived in the era of no internet and are currently transitioning into a world where not having a WiFi hotspot is almost blasphemous. Aziz Ansari perfectly captures of struggles and differences of dating now. The book is not a how-to, but mostly just like, here are the facts with great commentary. It does poke fun at our generation’s dating habits, but also sympathizes with it too. Yes, communication is better now, but what are we losing because of it? Sorry, I didn’t mean to get all deep.
I’d like to think of this book as the “Malcolm Gladwell book of understanding dating in the 21st century.” Yes, long, I know…but if you’ve read Gladwell books, you’re left with a sense of understanding the world a bit better. With Modern Romance, it was like understanding why I’m still single (hahahaha….::cries inside::).
Going into the book, I thought it would be a bit more like Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”, or Mindy Kaling’s “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?”. Ansari takes it to another level by making it more of a research project. He and his team research team, science people, and overall observation skills, get new information by interviewing subjects and their experiences in dating the the 21st century. While it might seem a bit boring, it’s quite the opposite. Ansari make the science of it all interesting and entertaining…and educational! He does input his own dating experiences, but to further support the research.
Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“But now—my god. I would really hate to be single nowadays.”
“I hope you aren’t holding an ice cream against your chest, cause your heart just warmed – and your ice cream just melted.”
“Remember: We are no longer the generation of the “good enough” marriage. We are now looking for our “soul mates.”
I think this book is fantastic and you’ll enjoy it, no matter what generation you’re in.
I highly highly highly recommend this book!