This is my second post on Aziz Ansari’s new book, Modern Romance. Check out my previous one on dating profile images.
I finished the book recently, and I enjoyed the experience of reading it. Ansari mixes surprising jokes with a fascinating investigation into the changing behaviors and technology of dating and relationships. It does only dive as deeply as you’d expect a book by a comedian would do, though. Erring on the side of “fun and light” was probably a wise choice.
In the second half of the book, Ansari starts building a case for the dilemma of modern romance: in the age of emerging adulthood, young people have a choice to either enjoy the single life and the highs of romantic love in dating, or to appreciate the slow build of companionate love that comes from settling down into a long-term relationship. He focuses significantly on the “fear of missing out” (FOMO) when marrying one person.
In one of the final chapters, Ansari begins a small discussion on open relationships, which could be one solution to this dilemma. Unfortunately, the scope of the section was small, and the attitude towards it not nearly as welcoming as other developments in modern romance. I found it pretty disappointing.
I’ve been reading Aziz Ansari’s book, Modern Romance, which I heard about from his interview on the Freakonomics podcast. It intrigued me that a comedian would write a book that is not just full of jokes and humor but also solid independent research and references to other literature on the subject. There are graphs, charts, and footnotes to studies noting the changing landscape of the dating world, between all-caps complaints about “Tanya” not texting Ansari back after an important message.
Maybe I’m too much of a fan of The Walking Dead or Left 4 Dead, but the other day I thought of an interesting parallel to the secular(/atheist/skeptical) movement. The parallel is a popular genre and theme today in many forms of media, and while the comparison is silly and outlandish, I keep finding illuminating connections that I just have to share.
Yes, I’m talking about the zombie apocalypse: undead or infected rising from graves or slowly turning, creating chaos and hysteria around the world by trying to eat any human they see. And I’m going to compare that to peaceful atheists and skeptics writing, volunteering, and going to conferences.
Weird, I know. But hear me out!