Modern Romance

Modern Romance

Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0143109251

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Now a New York Times Bestseller

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.

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in the way you are so quickly exposed to exciting and beautiful possibilities for your romantic life. To think, just twenty years ago we were buying ads in a fucking newspaper! One gentleman we interviewed told us that he literally could not get off the app, so overwhelmed was he by the enormous number of single women who were suddenly accessible. “I was literally addicted to it,” he recounted. “I had to delete it.” Another woman recalled being so hooked on Tinder that she was on her way to a

tones and were in awe of his confidence. Again, Koji was not some Asian Ryan Gosling figure; he just seemed to be comfortable with himself and not particularly shy. Like most fedora wearers, he had a lot of inexplicable confidence. He and another friend of his wanted to make sure we knew there were some Japanese men who weren’t herbivores and that maybe the media was blowing this out of proportion. “Can I just speak for real? If I don’t have a girlfriend, I can go find someone to have sex with.

that strict. So I tell my granddaughters, ‘Enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself. Then get married.’” Hopefully this doesn’t lead to Amelia’s granddaughters doing a ton of ecstasy and then telling their mom, “Grandma told me to enjoy myself! Leave me alone!!” This sentiment was widely shared. Everyone, including the women who said they were happily married, said they wanted their daughters and granddaughters to approach marriage differently from how they had. They wanted the young women they knew to

so, it’s hard not to follow the trail once you find it. In most relationships, the barriers to our private digital world break down without our realizing it. As a relationship progresses, a couple winds up sharing passwords out of convenience. “Hey, honey, what’s the password on your laptop? I want to listen to that awesome Pitbull song on Spotify!” “My password is ‘Pitbull’!” she replies. “Wow, that’s crazy!” Next thing you know, you’re listening to Pitbull’s hit album Planet Pit. Then a

twenty-five. The girl was ready to move with me to L.A., but it just seemed too much for me to live with another person at that age and especially to have her move cross-country. We eventually ended things after a year and change of trying to do the long-distance thing. I enjoyed being in that relationship, but I was also very happy being mostly single between the ages of twenty-six and thirty-one. Earlier we discussed how having lots of options makes it difficult to settle on the right person.

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