“Modern Romance,” by Aziz Ansair


Modern Romance CoverModern Romance Cartoon 2

'You said you lived in a gated community.'
‘You said you lived in a gated community.’










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?

1) While Modern Romance is humorous, it contains a surprising amount of information on the changing nature of dating and including the substantial increase in the geographical reach of dating. Ansari writes, “A century ago people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after they decided neither party was a murderer, the couple would get married and have a kid, all by the time they were 22. Today, people spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.” Yet, there are so many people who are frustrated.”

Marrying for happiness and love is relatively new. Do you think we are better off today utilizing the tools available to us in a search for the perfect soul mate whilst in the past practicalities made us much more willing to settle?

Does are search for the perfect match cause us to disregard people who may, over time, grow into a wonderful life partner?

2) Ansari asserts that online dating (including Tinder) should only be used as an introductory service. Data also finds that less people are meeting their partners in “traditional” ways such as through friends, college, church, family etc and more people are meeting their partners at bars and online. Previous generations essentially married someone that lived in their town or someone they knew because they had fewer options.

Are people different on-line than in person?

On page 91-93 of the book, Anzari describes the expericence of Arpan who became despondent with the tedium of on-line dating.  If on-line dating enhances dating prospects, why does it fell like a second job to so many?

Anzari states that we should view on-line services as an introductory, rather than dating service. Do you agree with Anzari’s on-line dating advice?
3) Aziz talks a lot about “bozos” and how a lot of guys send dud texts like “Watsup” or texts that sound awkward. Ansari also spends some time trying to decipher the “waiting” phenomenon, which is pretty complicated. He writes, “All the psychological principles seem to point to waiting being a strategy that works for singles who are trying to build attraction … When you are texting someone less frequently, you are, in effect, creating a scarcity of you and making yourself more attractive.”

What do you think of the millenials’ preference for texting rather than actually talking on the phone?

What do you think about texting etiquette?

Is it appropriate to use texting shortcuts such as “U 2″?

It is fair to judge someone based on the quality of their texts?

What do you think about the waiting game and are you surprised there is actual science behind the decision to wait before replying?

4. Aziz does some on-site research on love in other countries including Japan (Chapter Five: International Investigations of Love). Japan is suffering from a general societal withdraw from ideas of romance and sex, e.g., 45% of women aged sixteen to twenty-four “were not interested or despised sexual contact.”

What could lead a society to this point?

What, if anything, could be done to fix it?

Alternatively, some countries are more sexualized, such as Argentina. Does the existence of this wide cultural gulfs surprise? What, if anything, should be done from a governmental social engineering perspective?

5. Toward the end, Aziz says the “main thing I’ve learned from this research is that we’re all in it together.” That we should never forget that the person at the end of your cell phone is a leaving, breathing human being.

Do you agree with Aziz’s final points?

What advice would you offer those in the dating world?



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