Title: Modern Romance
Author: Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg
Publisher: Penguin Press
Release Date: June 16, 2015
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?
In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.
I appreciate that Aziz did not write a memoir. He picked a topic that interested him and wrote a book about it. Not only that, but he did extensive research with the help of sociologist Eric Klinenberg. In Modern Romance, we tackle topics such as: the search for our soulmates (then vs. now), text etiquette, online dating, sexting, digital snooping, dating in other countries and much, much more.
Aziz makes observations about topics in the realm of dating and backs them up with statistics, graphs, pie charts, etc. When I explain it like this it might sound a bit boring, but you can count on Aziz to throw in his one-of-kind brand of humor. I read the book myself, but I heard the audiobook is pretty great. Aziz narrates it, which I can only imagine adds a kick to the humor of the book. Although the book is not about him, he does sprinkle in some of his own dating experiences.
I’m not going to sit here and say that Modern Romance hits us with mind-blowing revelations. I think a lot of it is things we know on some level, but it’s cool to have it all laid out scientifically. It’s nice to have some kind of scientific explanation for why we do the things we do. All-in-all, it’s a relatable book. I think anyone who has tried dating these days will find themselves nodding along at some point because they’ve been there.
The most interesting section of the book was the look into dating around the world. Aziz went to Japan, France and Buenos Aires and spoke with focus groups in each country. The section on Japan was pretty extensive. It delved into the mindset of singles in Japan and how it factors into the critically low birth-rate there. The only lacking part of the book for me was that I wish we got more time in France and Buenos Aires. The France section mainly talked about their opinions on infidelity, monogamy, open-relationships, etc. The Buenos Aires section mainly touched on the aggressiveness of men in the area.
I found this book to be the right mixture of educational and entertaining. If you are a fan of Aziz’s stand-up or his Netflix show, Master of None, I think you will also like this book.