Modern Romance went on my TBR as soon as I heard rumors of its existence. We’re talking about waiting months for this damn thing (and also never being able to track down an ARC) . . .
Quick confession – I never bothered reading the synopsis for this book. I saw Aziz Ansari had a “romance” book coming out and my brain immediately thought it would be something like “Tom Haverford’s Guide to Dating” . . .
If I would have bothered reading the blurb, I would have realized that:
“Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.”
This book was seriously science-y. And not in a bad way either. It was an exploration of how finding a match has morphed from the 1950s to the present – but with an Ansari twist that brought the LOLz:
“Aron published another study, title “Couples’ Shared Participation in Novel and Arousing Activities and Experienced Relationship Quality” (damn, dude, shorten the names or your studies!)”
Modern Romance begins with Ansari admitting that he’s totally a girl. (HA! Just kidding. Bet that got some of you who have accused Mitchell and I of being women haters here on Goodreads all worked up.) Seriously though, Ansari’s introduction includes him picturing his future with a woman he made out with one night, questioning whether a text message came off too desperate or needy, wondering whether the lack of response to said text message is because of him or because some horrible accident befell his potential soulmate, etc. Basically, he proves in three pages that chicks and dudes are TOTALLY THE SAME when it comes to modern day relationships.
Then there was a brief trip on the waybackmachine a lá When Harry Met Sally which included interviews of nursing home residents regarding how/when/where they met their spouse (there was also a lot of talk about how delicious donuts are in this segment. Mmmmmmm, donuts). I confirmed that I could easily be transplanted to the 1950s since I got married when I was a fetus instead of waiting until I was pushing 30 like modern-day women tend to do. *shrug*
The book then fast-forwards through the ages to today and the land of terrifying technology . . .
It covered everything from the mind games of not immediately responding to text messages in order to not appear desperate, to how modern romance works in countries other than ‘Murica, to online dating (I’m telling you, if it gets any easier than Tinder y’all single folks might as well just buy sex robots and save yourself the time and effort of leaving the house), to
and reminded readers that you might not always get a boner every time you touch your beloved’s hair, but that doesn’t mean you’re “settling.”
If you’re looking for a laugh a second book of Ansari’s hits and misses when it comes to the romance game, this probably isn’t the choice for you. However, if you’re interested in a sociological study of how dating has evolved over time with some humor added in to the mix, this one’s a winner. And really – who can pass up getting to know a little more about Aziz Ansari’s outlook on love . . .
Note: I am still holding out hope that Aziz will write a straight-up hilarious autobiography . . .