In Modern Romance Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg has taken on the ever changing concept of romance in the 21st century with humor and wit and facts. I listened to the audiobook while walking to and from work and had to frequently stop walking to almost double over in laughter (and remembering that I was in public untying and retying my shoe so as to not draw attention to the silent laughs) or walk along with a stupid smile on my face and needing to overcompensate with an almost comical frown.
But, back to the book. In a witty and enjoyable way, Aziz reminds readers that the search for love has always changed society has grown and changed. It’s not a depressing “we are never going to find love in the modern age” take on romance, it often takes the perspective that because our expectations have changed so has the idea of romance. In the first chapter Aziz talking to folks from the “boomer” generation about what romance looked like to them. Many of them got married younger, and often the women married just to leave the house not taking much care as to what home they were leaving to. Now people are waiting longer and longer to get married and aren’t just looking for a way out of the house, but a person to spend their lives with. I didn’t find this entirely unexpected, but it is nice to hear that my own small observations are backed up by some data.
This book isn’t just a list of data and evidence from assorted studies with broad general assumptions pulled from them. Aziz pulls his own narrative of entering a relationship and his current romance through the piece. This adds a sense of closeness to the data, and brings the findings from groups of nameless faces to a real person that people know, or as real as a celebrity can be. Listening to this as an audiobook was a riot like I said at the top doubling over in laughter while walking through downtown Minneapolis was a common occurrence while listening to this.
Recommendation: If you, have no idea how to romance another human in the modern era this book probably isn’t going to help very much, but it’s a nice reminder that none of us know what we are doing and that nobody ever really has. Aziz is an excellent narrator, again just get the audiobook, you’ll be harassed in the beginning about listening to the book instead of reading it, but trust me, it is worth it.