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Book Review: "Modern Romance", by Aziz Ansari

I want you to notice that at this point we’re 13 months into our marriage.

26.

26 individuals.

I was expecting one, maybe two.

I did not expect 26.

“Raina” discussing her short-lived open marriage, in “Modern Romance” (Penguin Books, 2015, Page 232) by Aziz Ansari

I am not a romantic person. I could include more superlatives. I will not. I am not a romantic person. I have never dated, not in high school or college. I have never been in a relationship, serious or casual. My EQ is in the toilet. I need to make a serious effort to change that, because being a fat fuck who doesn’t know how to please a woman is not on my todo list for life. So I bought myself a ukulele and a knitting set, and some books about romance and being a man. This is early days. So let’s do this.

I thought I was alone in being a loser in this field. After reading Aziz Ansari’s book, “Modern Romance”, I feel less like a loser. Reason being, he never dated until he was 22 or 23, and he’s awesome possums. I think it’s 22, I’m just saying 23 because I don’t remember exactly and because I want to feel less bad about myself.

Aziz started off his journey when he texted a woman friend, “Tanya”, about going out, and experienced hyperventilation after she gave him the silent treatment. Jilted by a possible lover, he went around the world trying to understand why. This book is this story, his story and the stories of many others.

Aziz used a combination of methods. First, he read a bunch of research papers and talked to a lot of smart professors who study this field intensely. Next, he assembled focus groups and asked them to open up about their romantic experiences. Finally, he weaved in his stand-up comedy into this work by asking the audience questions and engaging them with feedback (for example, asking attractive women to present their online dating profiles and text messages, which apparently never fail to elicit groans from all the men in the audience).

Aziz’s conclusions?

  • We have more choice. Choice is hard. It also means if you use it, you’ll end up with somebody you’ll be happier with.
  • Technology is no excuse for making bad plays. Don’t use bad grammar, meet people offline and in person, and exude confidence by being confident in yourself.
  • Invest in people, like the people they are. It just might surprise you.

Overall, highly recommended read (I definitely see why it was a #1 New York Times Bestseller); fun, engaging, and informative.