Thoughts on Modern Romance By Aziz Ansari

When I first came across Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, I expected the book to be purely comical presentation of things I already know:

  • how dating apps have become a breakthrough in the relationship world
  • how our expectation of the ideal partner have changed dramatically, maybe even unrealisically
  • how more people are invested in their career than finding someone after college

I first knew of Aziz Ansari through Parks and Rec and to say Tom was one of my favorite characters was an understatement. I also enjoyed the first season of Master of None and am the biggest fan of the “Indians on TV” episode! The episode depicted the injustices felt my South Asian actors in the American media industry when trying out for conventional Indian roles. However, instead of going on a tangent why I admire Aziz Ansari, let me tell you why I enjoyed the book.

The book not only made me laugh, because I read the words in Aziz’s voice, but it also taught me so much about perceptions of love among different age groups as well as cultures across the globe. To name a few things I learned:

  • People call you “sleazy” if you post a selfie of yourself on a dating profile in Japan. It would seem you are so full of yourself. Your chances of seeming attractive increase if instead you put a picture of a rice cooker instead. It adds to the mystery, and shows you can cook.~ While this is one example of how perceptions differ overseas than in America, it is entertaining to note that something we find ridiculous such as a rice cooker can actually raise someone’s chances to secure a date.
  • The marriage situation is so bad in Japan that the government subsidizes festivals and gatherings where single folks can meet one another.
  • In Buenos Aires, if you say “no” to someone’s romantic gesture it may as well mean yes. The real way to say no is simply to not say anything at all.
  • Back in the 90s, (a personal takeaway) people attempted video dating through VHS cassettes. You simply enrolled in the program, and VHS cassettes of different suitors would land at your doorsteps. You’d grab the popcorn and choose to your liking.
  • If you’re over 30, 52% of people prefer being asked out through a phone call as opposed to those under 30 where face to face is preferred at 37%. (For those under 30, texting comes at a close second at 32%).
  • For guys, posting pictures in dating profiles while your looking away into the unknown has a higher success rate then a simple selfie. (I always would have thought the opposite?)

Overall, it was an entertaining read that took me only three days to finish. If you’re ever bored definitely check this book out. You’ll be proud of yourself that you finished a 234 page book in only a couple days.


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