Review: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Modern RomanceTitle: Modern Romance

Author: Aziz Ansari

Pages: 253 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from one of this generation’s most popular and 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 neighbourhood. 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 analysed behavioural 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 Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humour book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humour with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.

The Review

Comedian Aziz Ansari takes a anthropological view at romance in the 21st century in his book Modern Romance. He looks at how it has evolved over the last hundred years and how millennials are finding the dating game just so damn hard.

It is almost taboo to admit that you meet someone on the internet. I know a few people who have met their other half via dating apps or swiping right. They have gone on to have lasting relationships and even got married. The problem is that, ironically, it doesn’t seem an organic way to meet someone. The irony is that more modern romancers dating apps are the new organic. It’s not like in the 70s where you had the slow dance part of the evening, or medieval times when a woman would be promised to a man with a dowry and some cattle.

Ansari’s study is really interesting and at times witty. The overall message is that it doesn’t matter how you meet someone as long as they make you feel good then you should pursue the relationship.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari is available now.

For more information regarding Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) please visit www.azizansari.com.

For more information regarding Penguin Books (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

3 Stars

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