When I look around these days, my eyes are often met with a sea of glowing faces illuminated by cellphone screens. This sight tends to makes me wonder how anyone meets anybody new anymore. Lucky for me, Aziz Ansari, best known for his sassy representation of Tom Haverford on the show Parks and Recreation, has started to unravel this mystery already. In his first book, Modern Romance, Ansari explores the current dating scene and how it differs from years ago. You may be wondering how much you can really trust a comedian about this type of information, but the more pages I read, the more convinced I became that he knows what he is talking about.
Ansari worked closely with sociologist Eric Klinenberg throughout the writing process to help him understand the sociological implications of technology on romance today. Additionally, he completed research across the globe to see how love and dating vary from country to country. He also spent time interviewing individuals in a retirement home to learn about the relationships they entered before cell phones were in existence. The variety of research and amount of time Ansari put into his writing process ensures that the information he is sharing is legitimate.
This book definitely opens your eyes to how ridiculous some of our current habits are when it comes to finding love. Ansari spends a whole chunk of his book talking about texting. Specifically, he points out the different formulas people have regarding how long to wait before responding to a text. Should you wait twice as long as the person you are responding to waited? Three times? It seems these little details are what we believe will make or break our relationships these days. On the flip side, the majority of the retired individuals Ansari spoke to had married someone who had lived in the same block or building as they had. He sure makes it sound simpler that way.
Filled with Ansari’s hilarious insights as well as real snapshots of unreasonable text conversations, this book will make you rethink the way we go about finding romance in today’s world. It will also open your eyes to ways of dating (or not dating) that you were not even aware existed. Have you ever heard of an ‘herbivore man?’ Neither had I before Ansari explained the bizarre phenomenon currently occurring in Japan in which these so called ‘herbivorous men’ are simply not at all interested in dating or sex.
If you are looking for a light read that will make you laugh, I would highly suggest snagging a copy of Modern Romance. Aziz Ansari’s casual tone and relatable content will have you alternately cracking up and wondering what in the world this generation is thinking.
-book review, Aziz Ansari