Book Review: Modern Romance By Aziz Ansari

Picking up the book was the easy part. I went to my local Barnes and Noble and enquired if they happened to have a book called Modern Romance in stock. A kind employee looked it up for me and said, “Oh yes. I knew I recognized that one.” She went to the featured section and handed me what I was looking for. The enthusiasm in her voice was clear, as if she knew that this book could have impact on a hapless, dog-hair covered single who strolled in looking for answers, and laughs. If my late-night Netflix experiences have told me anything, it’s that Aziz Ansari usually delivers.

Granted, I am most certainly biased. I have watched all of Aziz’s stand up specials, caught him in as many movies as he is been in (I think), and binged through Parks and Rec in short order. Simply put, I am a fan of the man. That being said, I was very much unsure of what a stand-up comedian and all around funny man could inform me about the dating world.

Whether you are single like I am, in a committed relationship, or somewhere in between, I think Aziz’s insights can help in terms of perspective and goals. While reading Modern Romance, I noticed myself stepping back and questioning what  I’m looking for out there and if I am putting the right vibes out there to get it. That is a revelatory experience, and one that has instilled some invaluable confidence in my direction.

Ansari’s voice and comedic take on things shines through brilliantly. I found myself laughing at least once a page at some short quip or drawn out example he conjured to prove a point. (If you can’t laugh a little, your life probably is not what it should be). Even with a topic as serious as dating and relationships, being able to look at past failures and flops and laugh will improve your outlook on the future. The book is not all laughs, though. The jokes are complemented by a bevy of scholarly research by professors and social scientists that help to legitimize Ansari’s conclusions about the current dating scene.

Modern Romance
By Aziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg

In short, Ansari is out to prove that today’s dating scene and culture is uniquely challenging. Given our multitude of incredible options—phones, Internet, apps, bars or casual space flight (well, at least I’m hoping)—it is no surprise that dating has become a highly frustrating and exhausting effort for many. While there is not one fool proof solution to this laundry list, Ansari gives a ton of insight and suggestions as to how to make the best of searching for your soulmate. Since reading the book, I find myself making a conscious effort to make use of his suggestions in my everyday life. With that, I think I might find a little bit more happiness, or at least laugh more, when my friends ask, “How’s the single life treating you?”