When I first heard about Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari I thought it was just another comedian’s memoir. That is to say, I was intrigued but not overly interested in reading it. After seeing about six coworkers reading it though, I finally asked what it was about and found out that there is an immense amount of research that went into creating this book. I also found out that although it does occasionally pull from Ansari’s life it is actually all about dating and relationships in the modern age.
This is one of my favourite quotes from Aziz Ansari about trying to actually schedule plans with someone you’ve just met and are romantically interested in.
I have to say that I really enjoyed reading Modern Romance. There was a lot of information in the beginning of the book that I’m sure most of us already recognize, but as I read more of the book it delved into topics I knew very little about. Ansari talks about dating website and dating apps like OkCupid and Tinder and he was able to pull data from both and even get in-person feedback from focus groups he held about how people realistically use these sites and apps to meet people. I enjoyed that Ansari not only referenced modern day dating aspects, but also compared them to how dating has evolved. In relation to dating website that we have presently he talked about how people use to write personals in newspapers to find partners and in the 80s (and this is one of my favourite things that I learned in this book) people created videos of themselves to find partners. I feel like this is so wonderful and insanely awkward that everyone should see it, which is why I’ve linked it in my post.
The sections that I found the most interesting were probably those on dating in different areas of the world. Ansari went to a few different parts of the world researching the cities beforehand and held focus groups in each city to discuss the different way in which that city dates, compared to the average North American city. Tokyo’s dating and relationship scene was particularly weird and fascinating to read about. You should honestly read this book even if it’s only to hear about the oddity that is Japan’s current romantic struggle.
Overall the book was interesting, funny, easy to read, and fast-paced. I honestly just wish there had been even more information and that it gone into more detail and history on the different cities that Ansari went to visit. There is no explanation as to perhaps why these cities date in the ways that they do and with the amount of research done I feel like Ansari could have expanded these sections a bit more.
I would give it: 4.5/5