Modern Romance by Aziz AnsariModern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Modern Romance

byAziz Ansari, Eric Klinenberg

Paperback | June 14, 2016

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The #1 New York Times Bestseller

A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from Aziz Ansari, the star of Master of None and one of this generation’s sharpest comedic voices

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?

Some of our problems are unique to our time. “Why did this guy just text me an emoji of a pizza?” “Should I go out with this girl even though she listed Combos as one of her favorite snack foods? Combos?!” “My girlfriend just got a message from some dude named Nathan. Who’s Nathan? Did he just send her a photo of his penis? Should I check just to be sure?” 

But the transformation of our romantic lives can’t be explained by technology alone. In a short period of time, the whole culture of finding love has changed dramatically. A few decades ago, people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after deciding neither party seemed like a murderer, they would get married and soon have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-four. Today, people marry later than ever and spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate.

For years, Aziz Ansari has been aiming his comic insight at modern romance, but for Modern Romance, the book, he decided he needed to take things to another level. He teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg and designed a massive research project, including hundreds of interviews and focus groups conducted everywhere from Tokyo to Buenos Aires to Wichita. They analyzed behavioral data and surveys and created their own online research forum on Reddit, which drew thousands of messages. They enlisted the world’s leading social scientists, including Andrew Cherlin, Eli Finkel, Helen Fisher, Sheena Iyengar, Barry Schwartz, Sherry Turkle, and Robb Willer. The result is unlike any social science or humor book we’ve seen before.

In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world.
Aziz Ansari is a writer, stand-up comedian, and actor. He currently stars in, writes, and directs his own original series for Netflix--Master of None--winner of the 2016 Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Comedy Series. Ansari is also the winner of a 2016 Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. In 2014, Ansari be...
Title:Modern RomanceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.43 × 5.46 × 0.77 inPublished:June 14, 2016Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0143109251

ISBN - 13:9780143109259


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read for the Dating Scene This book explores the pros and cons of modern dating compared to other more traditional methods. And, since it is written by Aziz Ansari, it is also injected with lots of humor. A really good read for those of us in the dating pool still trying to find The (Elusive) One.
Date published: 2018-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enjoyed it I listened to the audio book and I had no idea what the book was even about before picking it up. It was a surprising read and I loved it very much. It was super informative and funny and I really liked the writing style!
Date published: 2018-08-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny This book was funny from the start. It was entertaining,. Aziz does an excellent job describing what dating has become. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much research and scientific findings were put into this book. I found the last 50 or so pages to be a little redundant but it did not take away too much from the rest of the book.
Date published: 2018-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A real surprise I actually enjoyed this book. I liked how there's quite a bit of humour as well as quite a bit of science to back up certain information. It's a light read with some nice insightful information. Definitely would recommend this. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It's OK Don't read this book if you're expecting a hilarious look into Ansari's dating life. In fact, the anecdotes and jokes are few and far between. Instead, this is a well-researched book about romance in these times of apps, texting and new technology. I was actually surprised by how scientific Ansari was and stayed throughout the book. It's nothing special though. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Look into Romance This book came on recommendation - specifically for the audiobook - from a colleague. I was promised something that was not only entertaining, but that would be a fascinating insight into modern dating and romance. I hadn't, at that point, delved much into the realm of non-fiction audiobooks, so I didn't go into this one with a lot of high expectations.  Maybe it's because of those low expectations, or maybe because it was actually just awesome, but I had such a blast listening to this one. A lot of information gets dropped on you in each chapter, but Ansari has put it all together in such a way that it didn't feel like an info dump, and it wasn't even a little hard to follow. Plus, Ansari adds in his own commentary and jokes, which really takes this book to the next level and makes it such an enjoyable listen. All in all, this book was fantastic, and I'd love to read more of Ansari's research and commentary. If you have any interest in social sciences, love stories, or have messed around with dating apps, you should definitely check out Modern Romance!
Date published: 2018-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I went into it thinking it would be a simple telling of the difficulties of dating from his perspective. I was very wrong, but also pleasantly surprised! The research that went into the book, along with the humorous tone made it a joy to read
Date published: 2018-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suprised I assumed this book was going to be more of a memoir of Aziz but instead discussed a lot of interesting topics reading love and dating. I found the studies referenced very interesting and thought the view of dating in other culture eye opening. I feel like anyone currently out there dating can learn a lot from it!
Date published: 2018-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down! This book is basically my dating life right now! I felt like Aziz read my mind! It was nice to know that I wasn't the only one feeling the things that he did during this generation of online dating! As a dating blogger myself, I am pretty picky about how people write about dating. Aziz nailed it.
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny + Real science As someone in the sciences, I can easily go to a database and read academic articles on a variety of subjects - but that's not really the most fun! I loved that this book was A) A very smooth and easy read, B) Funny (probably helps if you like Aziz Ansari/Master of None), and C) based on real data. I've read and enjoyed both of Mindy Kaling's books, as well as Anna Kendrick's. When I first saw this book, I assumed it was another humourous memoir type deal. I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that it was actually an informative book on how the social science of love and romance has changed over the years. I think that this book would be interesting for both younger and older adult generations, as long as you are okay with the swearing and humour. I highly recommend this book, and have loaned it out to others since buying it. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOL'd For Real I read this book every day while taking transit to work and it took every piece of energy to not laugh out loud in public. This book was a hilarious look at the modern dating world. It was both education and entertainment. It provided a new perspective and gave me new insight into how to be successful in this new uncharted territory. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3/5 I love Aziz, but I didn't love the book. Some parts were good though. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Would've been better as an article. I failed him, I failed Aziz. I'm on page 86 and that's as far as I'll go. Truth be told, the fact that I can't finish this book says a lot because I'm usually a big fan of his work. I think the content of it would make a good article but isn't worth almost 300 pages of statistics that are related but not really connected with some jokes thrown here and there. To me, it gets old rather quickly. The best thing I can compare it with is when you look something up online and fall into the Wikipedia black hole only to come out of it with a bunch of useless information that will never serve a purpose until you run out of things to discuss on a date (How ironic, I know.) Bottom line is, unless you're looking for specifics (and I mean SPECIFICS) regarding the dating world, I'd pass.
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious Very funny -- great voice, hilarious perspective on life
Date published: 2017-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Recommended! Genuinely informative, useful and well researched, funny as expected, casual and a pleasure to read.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious and Insightful I love Aziz Ansari in anything he does, so it was no surprise that I loved this book. Was a quick read. Insightful, hilarious, educational.
Date published: 2017-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable This was a really interesting book! Funny and informative. The biggest thing I learned from this story? Don't get so hung up on texting when you're beginning to date someone. The only complaint I have about this book is that it's pretty much just about heterosexual dating, which I didn't realize until after I had bought it.
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful Not at all what I expected going in, but turned out to be just as great. Not an autobiography, if that's what you're looking for, but instead a hilarious, relatable, and educational study on dating in the internet era.
Date published: 2017-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny, not a biography I started off thinking this was a biography, but it's actually an insightful investigation of modern romance and dating. It's a funny book and you can hear Aziz's voice in the writing. He also shares a lot of his own stories about his romantic life. As a frequent user of dating apps, it was very relatable.
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful This is Aziz at his most insightful, definitely a must read for anybody that has had any experience connecting with others in the world of online dating.
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Comical look at Sociological Study If you're a fan of Master of None, you will be a fan of this book. Many ideas/concepts discussed in the book are topics brought up for episodes or that you can see Aziz drew on for his stand-up. Pleasantly surprised to see it unfold as a legit sociological study with research, surveys, and sample groups, but with a comical and relatable spin on it.
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing Interesting and educational. Will make you look at relationships differently.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny truth Just the right amount of funny while delivering the results of a really good study. I love reading published studies, but this was just as much fun.
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! This book is amazing. I love Aziz Ansari and anything to do with him. This book was definitely not what I expected because of how detailed the research behind this book was. It was funny to read and very informative. It makes you evaluate the romances in your life and the lives of people around you. Read it, you won't be disappointed. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from informative I found this book to open up a perspective for me which i did not really pay attention to. A culture in which we are so accustom to.
Date published: 2017-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful and hilarious Aziz Ansari brings his comedy to this surprisingly in-depth sociological study of dating in the 21st century versus the 20th. You can tell he is really passionate about this research project, and I think some of it may have inspired an episode of his Netflix series Master of None. This book was great for a long car ride, it made the time go by really fast.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and interesting Laughed a lot and learned a lot while reading this
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and interesting read I wasn't expecting this book to be so in-depth with the digital world and romance as it was. It is super impressive how thorough Aziz was when researching for this book. It's very interesting to see how the dynamic of the dating world has changed, and it's even better with Aziz Ansari's hilarious comparisons, stories, and opinions added to the mix!
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a definite read for ansari fans! aziz ansari teams up with a sociologist and uses examples of love/dating/romance seen around the world. if you enjoyed him on parks and rec and master of none, add this to your reading list!
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super Interesting and Entertaining Aziz take a cultural practice and really dives into the research behind dating in the 21st century. He then turns his results into a funny and yet interesting book on how young people engage with each other.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great book I was expecting something completely different when I started this book. It's a funny, interesting read
Date published: 2017-07-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Non-Fiction Not a huge fan of non-fictions unless they are funny memoirs but I am a fan of this one. Although the facts were common knowledge, the funny explanations make the book worth reading.
Date published: 2017-06-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent read! I love Aziz and was excited to purchase his book. Although the findings were somewhat common knowledge I still enjoyed the book - would recommend especially if you're a fan.
Date published: 2017-05-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Modern Romance Told in a fun, conversational way, though for the most part it really isn’t saying anything that you couldn’t figure out for yourself. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny and True! This book captures something about our society and articulates it so perfectly.
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Sitting on my bookshelf half-read I thought that this book was going to be hilarious and I anxiously waited for it to come out. I personally didn't find it funny. Unfortunately, it is sitting on my bookshelf and has been for over 8 months now. I will try again eventually but do not know how successful I will be.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprisingly interesting! I was surprised at how interesting this book was when I read it! Easy to read, entertaining and an overall interesting topic.
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Funny but underwhelming Aziz does a great job of narrating his own book; it doesn't sound like he's just reading off the page. I appreciate the effort and research he put into making this book. It was interesting, but not as eye-opening as I expected. I do appreciate the humour in it though.
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good read This is a good book, very down-on-earth...
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny and interesting I like Ansari's comedy and picked up this book to be entertained. It was written in a funny style but I found the topic and research interesting and ended up liking the book for that more than the comedy.
Date published: 2017-03-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Never Finished I got about halfway through this book when I put it down... and never picked it back up. I like Aziz Ansari but was very dissapointed in this book. I also normally find commentary on human behaviour interesting, this... not so much. Read academic articles instead and skip this book.
Date published: 2017-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read Funny and had some pretty interesting messages
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny and real Aziz has always been a favourite, so I was thrilled when I got this book as a Christmas gift. It did not disappoint one bit. Must read!
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great jokes, tremendous insights Great jokes, tremendous insights
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting and unique - but it drags a little The sarcastic humour and hilarious "real-world" observations on our society and mating rituals totally captivated me in the beginning... but by the halfway point the jokes wore off and I felt like I was just waiting to get to the punchline, or that I was reading a college essay on social media and it's effects on modern culture. I was just ready to move on. Still, definitely worth a chuckle or two. #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and unique... but it drags a little I liked the witty premise and sarcastic observations, and was totally captivated in the beginning...but by the halfway point I started to feel like all the good points had been made, and now I was just waiting for the punchline to end. I enjoyed peering into some "real-world" stories and scenarios, but by the end I felt like I was reading a college essay on social media. I was just ready to move on. Still, it was interesting and definitely chuckle-worthy!
Date published: 2017-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing. All I can say is that it's absolutely hilarious! Interesting anecdotes, ideas, messages and overall funny. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-02-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A little bit of everything! Aziz, a comedian, takes a spin on what he normally does and releases a book that has scientific data and study into a huge part of our human existence? Sign me up! Modern Romance brings to light a lot of things you don't notice sometimes in our modern romantic landscape (i.e. ghosting, online profiles, etc) while keeping Aziz's flair for the funny stuff. I've read it twice now, once for fun and again to better understand myself.
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book, lacking a bit of Aziz's classic humour! The book is well-researched and interesting, but comes off more as a research paper. There still is lots of laughable moments and Aziz is generally so likable it's hard to say a negative thing about this book!
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from This Book Makes me Want to Read Other Books Aziz Ansari is super funny and I love that he takes a research-based look at love but, if I am being honest, this is a book that really makes me want to read other books. I have owned Modern Romance for well over a year and I am not saying that it's not worth finishing - it really is - but it's not something that I am ever anxious to pick up.
Date published: 2017-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Must-Read for Everyone This was an amazing book. It was well-written and structured, and flowed solidly from one point to another, providing a sociological examination of today's changing dating landscape that ultimately challenges the reader to take a closer look at their own social interactions and deconstruct accordingly. It's an easily devourable book. Crack it open when you have a spare few hours ahead of you, because it's going to be hard to put it down.
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very, very funny He is so funny, you will find yourself giggling through this. Despite all the ways in which dating and courtship have changed, the section on passionate and companionate love is illuminating. People mistakenly want the spike of first love all the time but there is beauty in when it mellows and becomes something more solid and secure. And I agree, new technologies don't banish love, human beings find ways around those things. Cultural comparisons were helpful as well. If we don't take these differences into account, we're setting ourselves up for a lot of confusion and misunderstanding. Although I should note that 'no' does not me 'yes' to me or that I'm playing hard to get. Maybe this is why the only thing that has worked for me is to not answer anymore when I genuinely don't want to continue the online relationship. hmmmm.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have never read anything like it and that is what made it most interesting! Aziz has truly amazed me with his research and effort that he has put into this book! Would read again.
Date published: 2017-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative and Entertaining! I was expecting this book to just be funny, but it is also very interesting. Aziz shares a lot of research that I found to be quite interesting. His stories are funny and definitely relatable. He made me feel better about my strange online dating experiences!
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommend whether your online dating or not This book was referred to me by a friend in a long term relationship who has never tried online dating; both of us found the book informative and funny. The amount of research and data put into the book was more than I had assumed. Well-written and interesting. Azziz adds his own stories and the jokes are well placed and of course funny!
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from real slow at times This book was an interesting read. It really shows what romance looks like now days. My only issue is that it gets a bit repetitive and boring at times in the second half of the book.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Aziz An informative, and at times frightening, look at the effect that technology (internet and smartphone) has on romance. Definitely some good tips in there and at least I'm not as hopeless as some of the subjects in the book. Aziz also adds a lot of great humor to the book.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay This book was not what I expected. I was expecting humourous dating stories from Aziz Ansari. Instead I got an in depth look at modern dating practices. It was interesting but was really not what I signed up for. Despite this, if you are looking for something like this, it is really well done and interesting.
Date published: 2016-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting and Entertaining I would definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Funny, real and relateable! I knew from the back cover that I was going to enjoy this book. Aziz Ansari's stand-up comedy is hilarious and on the nose! If you like his material you'll love this book. He doesn't try to be talk any different from how he is on stage-what you see on stage is what you get in this book! Odds are if you thought or wondered if it's just you,. Aziz has got your back
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Where's the funny? I love Aziz as a comedian, as an author.... no. If you have ever watched his stand up, the basis for this book will be known to you. But unlike the live performances, this book isn't funny. I did laugh/chuckle 2 or 3 times. My biggest gripe with the book is it's constant rehashing of information. Yes, there are many options for modern dating, yes, all of those options can make for more problems, or can be a great thing! You'll read that in almost every chapter. So if you are like me and think Aziz is hilarious, just beware you may also not find the book as funny.
Date published: 2016-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilarious, fascinating, and sometimes depressingly relatable A hilarious, fascinating, and sometimes depressingly relatable analysis of sociological and social psychological studies examining how modern technology and culture have drastically altered the experience of looking for love and dating. Texting, online dating, Tinder, the seemingly unlimited romantic options available to us in the digital age and the consequent paradox of choice, the concept of the ever-elusive "soulmate", the stages of love, sexting, cheating, breaking up, and settling down are all scrutinized from a reasonably scientific perspective and lead to some compelling and unexpected conclusions. Recommended for anyone who has ever been in or ever plans on being in a romantic relationship--if you can stomach the abundance of lame jokes and poor editing job, that is.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Smart and Hilarious I loved this book! It was hilarious, I laughed throughout the entire book and I loved the facts and research included. This book is research heavy but hilarious. There's a great balance and I learned a lot. I listened to the audiobook, which I think enhanced the entire experience. I also have the book, which allowed me to experience the visuals. I've read a few comedian books and this is my favourite by far (and the only one that actually made me laugh out loud so many times).
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So funny! This book is really great blend of anecdotes, hard facts, and jokes. You should read this if you have ever tried to navigate modern dating. Very relate-able.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not what i was expecting This book was very informative on the dating scene in the 2000's... I expected it to be funnier than it was only because i find aziz to be hilarious....
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great! I'm pretty sure that Aziz Ansari may have just convinced me to join Tinder, and maybe even enjoy it? This was really a very interesting read. Obviously well researched and very insightful.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well written! Informative yet humourous. Aziz Ansari makes this a book where you can learn and not get bored. He keeps you entertained with his humour and stories and makes you feel like he's a friend you're chatting with! He makes all the statistics fun to learn and relatable!
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved This! This book was wonderfully hilarious, incredibly interesting, and although it was non-fiction, it sparked a wide range of emotions in me. Aziz Ansari is such a funny comedian, and I loved his sense of humour in this book so much, that after I finished reading it, I watched hours of his stand up comedy. I love it! His personality jumped off the page and I laughed out loud multiple times. It was kind of embarrassing when I was reading it on the bus… but moving on… Modern Romance talks about what it is to date and fall in love in the modern age. It covers all kinds of topics, such as comparing love and dating in the present day to fifty years ago. Although fifty years is not a long time, the change has been incredible due to the introduction of technology to our dating lives. In fact, one of the main focuses of this book is the impact of technology on dating and I was transfixed. I don’t know why, but I found this whole topic incredibly interesting! As someone who didn’t really date all that much before I found the guy I’m with now, I was fascinated by the modern dating world. Honestly I was in the middle of wishing I got to explore this world a little more, but ultimately I found myself being incredibly thankful that I’ve found my person, because this new world seems very scary! Even though I gave this book five teacups without hesitation, there was one tiny negative for me, but I know that it is entirely a personal hangup. Near the end of the book, Ansari starts researching and discussing open relationships. It made me kind of uncomfortable because I didn’t like the idea of an open relationship at all! I couldn’t knock any stars off the book for it because it is an aspect of modern romance and it is definitely worth an investigation. Plus it was interesting to read about people who enjoy or have experienced an open relationship. The fact that I wouldn’t want one doesn’t take anything away from this book or my opinion of the people who do agree to open relationships. Now on to more parts that I loved! I really enjoyed reading about online dating, dating in different cultures, and the interviews with the older and younger generations. The interviews in the nursing home were hilarious to read, simply because of Ansari’s account of interacting with the elders. Also, looking at early courting text messages between people made me nostalgic for my own, and I actually went through my early chat logs with my boyfriend. It made me very giddy. One of the major thought-provoking observations Ansari makes is the fact that the modern generation is so obsessed with finding the perfect person, that they often let awesome people slip through their fingertips. The older generation seemed to just marry the first person who came along, and they worked hard, fell in love, and developed strong friendships. With online dating and seeking perfection, we always have that thought in the back of our minds that there could be someone else, someone better, someone who doesn’t leave dirty socks all over the apartment! It was so interesting to realize that slight imperfections could now become deal breakers because, due to online dating, we have a seemingly infinite amount of fish in the sea. As Ansari states, the bigger pool could be a contradictory downfall that seriously hinders us from finding “the one.” One aspect I would have liked to see explored a little bit more was long distance relationships. I (unfortunately) had to suffer a long distance relationship for six months, and I would have liked to see the research, or the impact of technology on those kinds of relationships. I could probably write my own book on that topic. Long distance sucks, and personally, I was eternally grateful for the technology at our fingertips to keep in touch. I would definitely like to read a book about the relationship dynamic and technological impacts of long distance relationships, although it might just drag up some bad memories! So, needless to say I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this book. It is the perfect combination of funny and informative, and it is definitely one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read. This will certainly be one of my favourite books of 2016!
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Balance This book is the perfect mix of humor and research. It's so interesting and the commentary and real world connections really made it worth the read.
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from perfect mix I am such a social science nerd that this was the perfect mix of research and humour. Can't say I would be excited to jump into the dating world as it is now, but I feel like I have a lot more insight than I did before. So glad I picked this book up!
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Educational & Entertaining It's a humorous book but what I really enjoyed was there research aspects. There is a little repetition in some of Aziz Ansari's stand up material in the book but I wasn't disappointed or too surprised by that given that it's great material.
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not what I was expecting but enjoyed it I was expecting a boom like Mindy Kaling's but it is nothing like that. It presents research and findings on modern romance and I actually found it quite interesting even if it wasn't what I expected.It still had Aziz's humor throughout.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not What a I Expected, But In a Good Way! Was expecting a comedy book, but got a sociology book! But that's good! A lot of research went into this, and it was still funny in a way. A lot of times you just assume love is the same and unchanging but it's different all over the world and from generation to generation and this book points out all the differences. The dating scene has even changed drastically since I was single 4 years ago with the invention of Tinder and it's interesting to see that dynamic explored in this book. Very interesting, I recommend.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not What You Expect Ansari delivers his trademark humour and style throughout his debut novel as you would expect. However, he delivers this all with hours of research backed by scholarly articles. Ansari delivers an deeply informed and well thought out thesis and manages to successfully defend and prove his argument throughout the book. Anyone with an interest in sociology will in particular enjoy this novel.
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Surprise I am a fan of Aziz, and I have to say that this book was not at all what I expected. I expected a funny rhetoric on modern relationships. What I got was a well-researched, very informative, interesting perspective on dating in the modern age. There was a very strong sociological aspect to this book, and I was absolutely intrigued by the information brought forth. Of course, it was peppered throughout with Aziz's dry and witty humour. I have been recommending this book to everyone I talk to!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Surprisingly informative! Recently I've reading all the books of my favourite comedians, and I have to say this one has been my favourite so far. I loved that it wasn't just another autobiographical comedy book. He did real research and added in personal elements. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great first book! This was not exactly the book I was expecting but was great anyways. I found myself reading the book in Aziz Ansari's voice which made it even greater. A huge fan of Aziz as both a comedian and actor and he did not disappoint with first book!
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and insightful Exactly as advertised: Aziz presents his own insights as well as the latest findings in the field of dating and relationships, as well as the results of a sociological study he conducted alongside a social scientist. Very funny. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2015-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Staff Picks Review Modern Romance had me laughing out loud from start to finish and I can only imagine how much funnier the audio book is since Aziz Ansari is the narrator. Regardless of age, if you are navigating the dating world then you will enjoy the research that Ansari and sociologist Eric Klinenberg compiled. You will learn how to work your way through the many avenues of dating - from joining Tinder, to talking to that good-looking stranger at a your friend’s dinner party, to texting someone that you made a connection with at said friend’s dinner party – and, best of all, it won’t feel like work. If you are a fan of being wildly entertained then this is the perfect book for you.
Date published: 2015-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read One of the more enjoyable reads in awhile. I'm a fan of Ansari's humour and if you aren't you probably won't enjoy it as much. Insightful and relevant stuff, with data to bring home his points but not too much that it becomes overly academic.
Date published: 2015-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A hilarious and scientific look at modern day relationships Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari is a hilarious and scientific look at modern day relationships, and how things have changed drastically now due to technology and dating applications. The author (who was also on the TV shows Parks and Rec) works with a sociologist to uncover relationships today. The book is told in a humours way all while remaining very academic and presenting a lot of information and great charts. The illustrations/pictures in this book are great (the text messages actually look like text messages). Aziz tries to use his personal experience as much as possible and when he can’t he makes up “what if” scenarios all while remaining true to his humour. This was a great read.
Date published: 2015-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Staff Picks Review When I first opened this book, I was expecting a memoir, much like all his fellow actors/comedians have done in recent years. If that's what you're expecting from this book, than you will definitely be disappointed. This does not mean you shouldn't read it. What Aziz gave us instead is a smart, funny and in depth look at the world of romance and dating in the 21st century versus older generations. I was impressed with the amount of research he did for this book, having conducted surveys, focus groups and even experienced dating sites himself. It was eye opening to see how the current generation goes about finding love versus how our parents and grandparents did it years before. I would recommend watching his standup before or after reading this book, as he actually tied in some of his research to his live shows. It was a great read, and quite refreshing from your typical actor/comedian book.
Date published: 2015-07-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun and interesting pop science. I actually had a LOT of fun reading Modern Romance. It’s completely unique: it’s pop science (aka interesting, relevant, start-a-conversation-with-your-friends science), but hilariously laid out for you by the brilliant Aziz Ansari. And I did actually learn a few things; my poor bf received a somewhat frantic “we need to do more fun activities together!?!!” phone call after I’d finished a certain chapter, ha. So yes: read this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll likely learn, and it’ll give you something to think and talk about :)
Date published: 2015-06-12

Read from the Book

INTRODUCTIONOH, shit! Thanks for buying my book. That money is MINE. But I worked really hard on this, and I think you’ll enjoy it.First off, a little about this project. When you have success as a stand-up comedian, you quickly get offers to do a humor book. In the past, I always turned these opportunities down, because I thought stand-up was the best medium for me. In my mind, a book wouldn’t be as fun as just using my ideas for stand-up.So why did I decide to write a book about modern romance?A few years ago there was a woman in my life—let’s call her Tanya—and we had hooked up one night in L.A. We’d both attended a birthday party, and when things were winding down, she offered to drop me off at home. We had been chatting and flirting a little the whole night, so I asked her to come in for a drink.At the time, I was subletting a pretty nice house up in the Hollywood Hills. It was kind of like that house De Niro had in Heat, but a little more my vibe than the vibe of a really skilled robber who takes down armored cars.I made us both a nice cocktail and we took turns throwing on records while we chatted and laughed. Eventually we started making out, and it was pretty awesome. I remember drunkenly saying something really dumb when she was leaving, like, “Tanya, you’re a very charming lady . . .” She said, “Aziz, you’re a pretty charming guy too.” The encounter seemed promising, as everyone in the room had agreed: We were both charming people.I wanted to see Tanya again and was faced with a simple conundrum that plagues us all: How and when do I communicate next?Do I call? Do I text? Do I send a Facebook message? Do I send up a smoke signal? How does one do that? Will I set my rented house on fire? How embarrassed will I be when I have to tell the home’s owner, actor James Earl Jones, that I burned his house down trying to send a smoke signal?Oh no, I just revealed whose sick house I’d rented: King Jaffe Joffer himself, the voice of Darth Vader, film legend James Earl Jones.Eventually I decided to text her, because she seemed to be a heavy texter. I waited a few days, so as not to seem overeager. I found out that the band Beach House, which we listened to the night we made out, was playing that week in L.A., so it seemed like the perfect move.Here was my text:A nice, firm ask with a little inside joke thrown in. (Tanya was singing the Drake song “The Motto” at the party and, impressively, knew almost all the lyrics.)I was pretty confident. I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with Tanya, but she seemed really cool and it felt like we had a good connection.As I waited for her response, I started picturing our hypothetical relationship. Perhaps next weekend we would go see a movie at the cool outdoor screening series they do at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery? Maybe I could cook Tanya dinner later this week and try out that brick chicken recipe I’d been eager to attempt? Would Tanya and I go vacation in Ojai later in the fall? Who knew what our future would be? This was going to be great!A few minutes went by and the status of my text message changed to “read.”My heart stopped.This was the moment of truth.I braced myself and watched as those little iPhone dots popped up. The ones that tantalizingly tell you someone is typing a response, the smartphone equivalent of the slow trip up to the top of a roller coaster. But then, in a few seconds—they vanished. And there was no response from Tanya.Hmmm . . . What happened?A few more minutes go by and . . .Nothing.No problem, she’s probably just crafting her perfectly witty response. She started a draft, didn’t feel good about it, and wanted to get back to it later. I get it. She also probably didn’t want to seem overeager and be writing back so fast, right?Fifteen minutes go by . . . Nothing.My confidence starts going down and shifting into doubt.An hour goes by . . . Nothing.Two hours go by . . . Nothing.Three hours go by . . . Nothing.A mild panic begins. I start staring at my original text. Once so confident, now I second-guess it all.I’m so stupid! I should have typed “Hey” with two y’s, not just one! I asked too many questions. What the fuck was I thinking? Oh, there I go with another question. Aziz, WHAT’S UP WITH YOU AND THE QUESTIONS?I’m struggling to figure it out but trying to keep calm.Okay, maybe she’s busy with work. No big deal.I’m sure she’ll get back to me as soon as she can. We had a connection, right?A fucking day goes by.A FULL DAY!Now my thoughts get crazier:What has happened?! I know she held my words in her hand!!Did Tanya’s phone fall into a river/trash compactor/volcano?Did Tanya fall into a river/trash compactor/volcano?? Oh no, Tanya has died, and I’m selfishly worried about our date. I’m a bad person.I shared my dilemma with a friend.“Aww, come on, man, it’s fine. She’ll get back to you. She’s probably just busy,” he said optimistically.Then I look on social media. I see her logged onto Facebook Chat. Do I send a message? No! Don’t do that, Aziz. Be cool. Be cool . . .Later I check Instagram, and this clown Tanya is posting a photo of some deer. Too busy to write me back, but she has time to post a photo of some deer she saw on a hike?I’m distraught, but then I have a moment of clarity that every idiot has in this situation.MAYBE SHE DIDN’T GET THE TEXT!Yes, that’s what’s happened, right? There was a glitch in her phone of some sort. Of course.This is when I contemplate a second text, but I’m hesitant due to the fact that this scenario has never happened with my friends:“Hey, Alan. I texted you to go get dinner and you didn’t write back for a full day. What happened?”“Damn! I didn’t see the text. It didn’t go through. Glitch in my phone. Sorry about that. Let’s grab dinner tomorrow.”Back to the Tanya situation. At this point it’s been more than twenty-four hours. It’s Wednesday. The concert is tonight. To not even write back and say no, why would she do that? At least say no so I can take someone else, right? Why, Tanya, why? I start going nuts thinking about it. How can this person be rude on so many levels? I’m not just some bozo. She’s known me for years.I kept debating whether I should send anything, but I felt it would just be too desperate and accepted that she wasn’t interested. I told myself that I wouldn’t want to go out with someone who treats people that way anyway, which was somewhat true, but I was still beyond frustrated and insulted.Then I realized something interesting.The madness I was descending into wouldn’t have even existed twenty or even ten years ago. There I was, maniacally checking my phone every few minutes, going through this tornado of panic and hurt and anger all because this person hadn’t written me a short, stupid message on a dumb little phone.I was really upset, but had Tanya really done anything that rude or malicious? No, she just didn’t send a message in order to avoid an awkward situation. I’d surely done the same thing to someone else and not realized the similar grief I had possibly caused them.I didn’t end up going to the concert that night. Instead I went to a comedy club and started talking about the awful frustration, self-doubt, and rage that this whole “silence” nonsense had provoked in the depths of my being. I got laughs but also something bigger, like the audience and I were connecting on a deeper level.I could tell that every guy and girl in the audience had had their own Tanya in their phone at one point or another, each with their own individual problems and dilemmas. We each sit alone, staring at this black screen with a whole range of emotions. But in a strange way, we are all doing it together, and we should take solace in the fact that no one has a clue what’s going on.I got fascinated by the questions of how and why so many people have become so perplexed by the challenge of doing something that people have always done quite efficiently: finding romance. I started asking people I knew if there was a book that would help me understand the many challenges of looking for love in the digital age. I found some interesting pieces here and there, but not the kind of comprehensive, in-depth sociological investigation I was looking for. That book simply didn’t exist, so I decided to try to write it myself.When I started the project, I thought the big changes in romance were obvious—technological developments like smartphones, online dating, and social media sites. As I dug deeper, however, I realized that the transformation of our romantic lives cannot be explained by technology alone; there’s much more to the story. In a very short period of time, the whole culture of finding love and a mate has radically changed. A century ago people would find a decent person who lived in their neighborhood. Their families would meet and, after they decided neither party seemed like a murderer, the couple would get married and have a kid, all by the time they were twenty-two. Today people spend years of their lives on a quest to find the perfect person, a soul mate. The tools we use on this search are different, but what has really changed is our desires and—even more strikingly—the underlying goals of the search itself. • • • The more I thought about these changes, the more I had to write this book. But I also knew that I, bozo comedian Aziz Ansari, probably couldn’t tackle this topic on my own, and I decided to reach out to some very smart people to guide me. I teamed up with the sociologist Eric Klinenberg, and we designed a massive research project, one that would require more than a year of investigation in cities across the world and involve some of the leading experts on love and romance.Before we get into things, I want to tell you more about our project, so you know what we did—and didn’t—do. The primary source of data for this book is the research that Eric and I did during 2013 and 2014. We conducted focus groups and interviews with hundreds of people in New York City, Los Angeles, Wichita, Monroe (NY), Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Paris, and Doha. These weren’t ordinary interviews. First, we assembled diverse groups of people and wound up having incredibly personal conversations about the intimate details of their romantic lives. Second, and even more intriguing, many of the people who participated in our research volunteered to share their phones with us, so we could track their interactions through text messages, e-mails, online dating sites, and swipe apps like Tinder. This information was revelatory, because we could observe how actual romantic encounters played out in people’s lives and not just hear stories about what people remembered. Since we asked people to share so much personal information, we promised them anonymity. That means all the names of people whose stories we tell here are pseudonyms, as is standard practice in qualitative social science research.To expand our reach beyond just those cities, we created a Modern Romantics subreddit forum on the website Reddit to ask questions and essentially conduct a massive online focus group receiving thousands of responses from around the world. (I want to give huge thanks to everyone who participated in these sessions, as the book would not have been possible without them.) So in the book, when we mention “the subreddit,” this is what we are referring to.We also spent a long time interviewing some incredibly smart people, including eminent sociologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and journalists who have dedicated their careers to studying modern romance—and who were very generous with their time. Here’s a list that I’m terrified I’m going to leave someone off of: danah boyd of Microsoft; Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University; Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College; Pamela Druckerman of the New York Times; Kumiko Endo of the New School, who also assisted us with our research in Tokyo; Eli Finkel of Northwestern University; Helen Fisher of Rutgers University; Jonathan Haidt of NYU; Sheena Iyengar of Columbia University; Dan Savage; Natasha Schüll of MIT; Barry Schwartz of Swarthmore College; Clay Shirky of NYU; Sherry Turkle of MIT; and Robb Willer of Stanford, who also helped us design some research questions and analyze our data.In addition to these interviews, we got access to some amazing quantitative data that we use extensively here. For the past five years, has sponsored the largest survey of American singles around, a nationally representative sample of about five thousand people with questions about all kinds of fascinating behaviors and preferences. Match generously shared it with us, and we, in turn, will share our analysis of it with you. We’ve also benefited from the goodwill of Christian Rudder and OkCupid, which has collected a treasure trove of data on how its users behave. This information has been incredibly useful, because it allows us to distinguish between what people say they want and what people actually do.Another great source of data was Michael Rosenfeld at Stanford University, who shared material from the “How Couples Meet and Stay Together” survey, a nationally representative survey of 4,002 English-literate adults, three quarters of whom had a spouse or romantic partner. Rosenfeld, as well as another researcher, Jonathan Haidt of NYU, gave us permission to use charts that they’d developed in this book. Big thanks to them both.With the help of all these people, Eric and I managed to cover a vast set of issues related to modern romance, but we didn’t cover everything. One thing that I definitely want you to know up front is that this book is primarily about heterosexual relationships. Early in the process Eric and I realized that if we tried to write about how all the different aspects of romance we address applied to LGBT relationships, we simply wouldn’t be able to do the topic justice without writing an entirely separate book. We do cover some issues relating to love and romance among gays and lesbians, but not at all exhaustively.The other thing I want to say here is that most of the research we did involved speaking with middle-class people, folks who had gone to college and put off having kids until their late twenties or thirties and now have quite intense and intimate relationships with their expensive smartphones. I know that love and romance work differently in very poor and very rich communities, both in the United States and in the other countries we visited for our research. But again, Eric and I felt that studying all the variations related to class would overwhelm us, so that’s not in the book. • • • Okay, that’s pretty much what you need to know by way of introduction. But before we begin, I do want to give a sincere thanks to you—the reader.You could have bought any book in the world if you wanted. You could have picked up a copy of Unruly: The Highs and Lows of Becoming a Man by Ja Rule. You could have bought Rich Dad, Poor Dad. You could have even bought Rich Ja, Poor Ja: Ja Rule’s Guide to Sensible Finance.You could have bought all of those books (and maybe you did!), except for the last one, which, despite my repeated e-mails, Ja Rule continues to refuse to write.But you also bought mine. And for that I thank you.Now, let’s begin our journey into the world of . . . modern romance!CHAPTER 1SEARCHING FOR YOUR SOUL MATEMany of the frustrations experienced by today’s singles seem like problems unique to our time and technological setting: not hearing back on a text. Agonizing over what really is your favorite movie for your online dating profile. Wondering whether you should teleport over some roses to that girl you had dinner with last night. (REALLY SKEPTICAL THAT THEY WILL FIGURE OUT TELEPORTATION BY BOOK RELEASE IN JUNE 2015 AS I WAS TOLD BY MY SCIENCE ADVISERS. EDITOR, PLEASE REMOVE IF TELEPORTATION KINKS HAVEN’T BEEN WORKED OUT.)These kinds of quirks are definitely new to the romantic world, but as I investigated and interviewed for this book, I found that the changes in romance and love are much deeper and bigger in scale than I realized.Right now I’m one of millions of young people who are in a similar place. We are meeting people, dating, getting into and out of relationships, all with the hope of finding someone we truly love and with whom we share a deep connection. We may even want to get married and start a family too.This journey seems fairly standard now, but it’s wildly different from what people did even just decades ago. To be specific, I now see that our ideas about two things—“searching” and “the right person”—are completely different from what they used to be. Which means our expectations about how courtship works are too.DOUGHNUTS FOR INTERVIEWS:A VISIT TO A NEW YORK RETIREMENT COMMUNITYIf I wanted to see how things have changed over time, I figured that I should start by learning about the experiences of the older generations still around today. And that meant talking to some old folks.To be honest, I tend to romanticize the past, and though I appreciate all the conveniences of modern life, sometimes I yearn for simpler times. Wouldn’t it be cool to be single in a bygone era? I take a girl to a drive-in movie, we go have a cheeseburger and a malt at the diner, and then we make out under the stars in my old-timey convertible. Granted, this might have been tough in the fifties given my brown skin tone and racial tensions at the time, but in my fantasy, racial harmony is also part of the deal.So, to learn about romance in this era, Eric and I went down to a retirement community on the Lower East Side of New York City to interview some seniors.We came armed with a big box of Dunkin’ Donuts and some coffee, tools that the staff had said would be key to convincing the old folks to speak with us. Sure enough, when the seniors caught a whiff of doughnuts, they were quick to pull up chairs and start answering our questions.One eighty-eight-year-old man named Alfredo took to the doughnuts very quickly. About ten minutes into the discussion, to which he’d contributed nothing but his age and name, he looked at me with a confused expression, threw up his doughnut-covered hands, and left.When we came back a few days later to do more interviews, Alfredo was back. The staff explained that Alfredo had misunderstood the purpose of the previous meeting—he thought we wanted to talk to him about his time in the war—but he was now fully prepared to answer questions about his own experiences in love and marriage. Once again, he was pretty quick to take down a doughnut, and then, faster than you could wipe the last few crumbs of a French cruller off your upper lip, Alfredo was gone-zo.I can only hope that a similarly easy way to scheme free doughnuts presents itself to me when I go into retirement.Thankfully, others were more informative. Victoria, age sixty-eight, grew up in New York City. She got married when she was twenty-one—to a man who lived in the same apartment complex, one floor above her.“I was standing in front of my building with some friends and he approached me,” Victoria said. “He told me he liked me very much and asked if I’d like to go out with him. I didn’t say anything. He asked me two or three more times before I agreed to go out with him.”It was Victoria’s first date. They went to a movie and had dinner at her mom’s house afterward. He soon became her boyfriend and, after a year of dating, her husband.They’ve been married for forty-eight years.When Victoria first told me her story, it had aspects I expected to be common among the group—she married very young, her parents met her boyfriend almost immediately, and they shifted into marriage fairly quickly.I figured that the part about marrying someone who lived in her same building was kind of random.But then the next woman we spoke with, Sandra, seventy-eight, said she got married to a guy who lived just across the street.Stevie, sixty-nine, married a woman who lived down the hall.Jose, seventy-five, married a woman who lived one street over.Alfredo married someone from across the street (probably the daughter of the neighborhood doughnut shop owner).It was remarkable. In total, fourteen of the thirty-six seniors I spoke with had ended up marrying someone who lived within walking distance of their childhood home. People were marrying neighbors who lived on the same street, in the same neighborhood, and even in the same building. It seemed a bit bizarre.“Guys,” I said. “You’re in New York City. Did you ever think, Oh, maybe there’s some people outside of my building? Why limit yourself so much? Why not expand your horizons?”They just shrugged and said that it wasn’t what was done.After our interviews we examined whether this spoke to a larger trend. In 1932 a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania named James Bossard looked through five thousand consecutive marriage licenses on file for people who lived in the city of Philadelphia. Whoa: One-third of the couples who got married had lived within a five-block radius of each other before they got married. One out of six had lived within the same block. Most amazingly, one of every eight married couples had lived in the same building before they got married.1Maybe this trend of marrying locally held in big cities but not elsewhere? Well, a lot of sociologists in the 1930s and 1940s were wondering that same thing, and they reported their findings in the leading social science journals of the time. Yep, their findings were remarkably similar to Bossard’s in Philadelphia, with a few variations.For instance, people in smaller towns also married neighbors when they were available. But when they weren’t, because the pool was too small, people expanded their horizons—but only as far as was necessary. As the Yale sociologist John Ellsworth Jr. said after a study of marriage patterns in Simsbury, Connecticut (population 3,941): “People will go as far as they have to to find a mate, but no farther.”2Things are obviously very different today. I found out sociologists don’t even do these sorts of studies on the geography of marriage at the city level anymore. Personally, I can’t think of even one friend who married someone from their neighborhood, and hardly anyone who married a person from their home city. For the most part my friends married people they’d met during their postcollege years, when they were exposed to folks from all over the country and in some cases all over the world.Think about where you grew up as a kid, your apartment building or your neighborhood. Could you imagine being married to one of those clowns?EMERGING ADULTHOOD:WHEN GROWN-UPS GROW UPOne reason it’s so hard to imagine marrying the people we grew up with is that these days we marry much later than people in previous generations.For the generation of people I interviewed in the New York City retirement community, the average age of marriage was around twenty for women and twenty-three for men.Today the average age of first marriage is about twenty-seven for women and twenty-nine for men, and it’s around thirty for both men and women in big cities like New York and Philadelphia.Why has this age of first marriage increased so dramatically in the past few decades? For the young people who got married in the 1950s, getting married was the first step in adulthood. After high school or college, you got married and you left the house. For today’s folks, marriage is usually one of the later stages in adulthood. Now most young people spend their twenties and thirties in another stage of life, where they go to university, start a career, and experience being an adult outside of their parents’ home before marriage.This period isn’t all about finding a mate and getting married. You have other priorities as well: getting educated, trying out different jobs, having a few relationships, and, with luck, becoming a more fully developed person. Sociologists even have a name for this new stage of life: emerging adulthood.During this stage we also wind up greatly expanding our pool of romantic options. Instead of staying in the neighborhood or our building, we move to new cities, spend years meeting people in college and workplaces, and—in the biggest game changer—have the infinite possibilities provided by online dating and other similar technologies.Besides the effects it has on marriage, emerging adulthood also offers young people an exciting, fun period of independence from their parents when they get to enjoy the pleasures of adulthood—before becoming husbands and wives and starting a family.If you’re like me, you couldn’t imagine getting married without going through all this. When I was twenty-three, I knew nothing about what I was going to be as an adult. I was a business and biology major at NYU. Would I have married some girl who lived a few blocks from me in Bennettsville, South Carolina, where I grew up? What was this mysterious “biology business” I planned on setting up, anyway? I have no clue. I was an idiot who definitely wasn’t ready for such huge life decisions.*The seniors we spoke with simply did not have such a life stage, and many seemed to regret the lack of it. This was especially true for the women, who didn’t have much chance to pursue higher education and start careers of their own. Before the 1960s, in most parts of the United States, single women simply didn’t live alone, and many families frowned upon their daughters moving into shared housing for “working girls.” Until they got married, these women were pretty much stuck at home under fairly strict adult supervision and lacked basic adult autonomy. They always had to let their parents know their whereabouts and plans. Even dating had heavy parental involvement: The parents would either have to approve the boy or accompany them on the date.At one point during a focus group with older women, I asked them straight out whether a lot of women their age got married just to get out of the house. Every single woman there nodded. For women in this era, it seemed that marriage was the easiest way of acquiring the basic freedoms of adulthood.Things weren’t a breeze after that, though. Marriage, most women quickly discovered, liberated them from their parents but made them dependent on a man who might or might not treat them well and then saddled them with the responsibilities of homemaking and child rearing. It gave women of this era what was described at the time by Betty Friedan in her best-selling book The Feminine Mystique as “the problem that has no name.”*Once women gained access to the labor market and won the right to divorce, the divorce rate skyrocketed. Some of the older women I met in our focus groups had left their husbands during the height of the divorce revolution, and they told me that they’d always resented missing out on something singular and special: the experience of being a young, unencumbered, single woman.They wanted emerging adulthood.“I think I missed a stage in my life, the stage where you go out with friends,” a woman named Amelia wistfully told us. “I was never allowed to go out with friends. My father wouldn’t allow it. He was that strict. So I tell my granddaughters, ‘Enjoy yourself. Enjoy yourself. Then get married.’” Hopefully this doesn’t lead to Amelia’s granddaughters doing a ton of ecstasy and then telling their mom, “Grandma told me to enjoy myself! Leave me alone!!”This sentiment was widely shared. Everyone, including the women who said they were happily married, said they wanted their daughters and granddaughters to approach marriage differently from how they had. They wanted the young women they knew to date a lot of men and experience different relationships before they took a husband. “My daughter, I told her go out, get an education, get a car, enjoy yourself,” said Amelia. “Then, at the end, choose someone.”Even Victoria, who had been married for forty-eight years to the man who grew up in the apartment above her, agreed. She emphasized that she loved her husband dearly but hinted that, given another chance, she might have done something else.“My husband and I, we understand each other,” she said. “But we’re very different. Sometimes I wonder, if I had married someone who had the same interests as me . . .” She trailed off.Maybe she was interested in doughnuts and was thinking about a life with Alfredo?THE LUXURY OF HAPPINESS:FROM COMPANIONATE TO SOUL MATE MARRIAGEThe shift in when we look for love and marriage has been accompanied by a change in what we look for in a marriage partner. When the older folks I interviewed described the reasons that they dated, got engaged to, and then married their eventual spouses, they’d say things like “He seemed like a pretty good guy,” “She was a nice girl,” “He had a good job,” and “She had access to doughnuts and I like doughnuts.”*When you ask people today why they married someone, the answers are much more dramatic and loving. You hear things along the lines of “She is my other half,” “I can’t imagine experiencing the joys of life without him by my side,” or “Every time I touch her hair, I get a huge boner.”On our subreddit we asked people: If you’ve been married or in a long-term relationship, how did you decide that the person was (or still is) the right person for you? What made this person different from others? The responses were strikingly unlike the ones we got from the older people we met at the senior center.Many were filled with stories that illustrated a very deep connection between the two people that made them feel like they’d found someone unique, not just someone who was pleasant to start a family with.One woman wrote:The first moment I truly remember falling in love with my boyfriend was when I was singing Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All” under my breath to myself while we were studying near each other and then he started singing it at the top of his lungs. And we sang the whole song just laughing and dancing around the room. Moments like those where I feel so free and goofy and loved make me know he is the right person. Also I feel like since we’ve been together, I have become the best version of myself. I push myself to try different things and keep learning even though I’m out of school. It’s so much for myself but having his support in my corner has made all the difference.Another woman wrote:He makes me laugh, and if I don’t feel like laughing, he stops and takes the time to find out why. He makes me feel beautiful and loved in my most ugly and unlovable moments. We also share the same faith, morals, work ethic, love of movies and music, and the desire to travel.And one said:He’s different from everyone because: He’s a one-of-a-kind human being. There is no one in this world like him. He is stunning, and I am amazed by him every single day. He’s made me a better person for having known and loved him. 5 years going strong and I’m still obsessed with him. He is my best friend.All of these people had found someone truly special. From the way they described things, it seemed like their bar for committing to someone was much higher than it had been for the older folks who settled down just a few generations ago.To figure out why people today use such exalted terms when they explain why they committed to their romantic partner, I spoke with Andrew Cherlin, the eminent sociologist of the family and author of the book The Marriage-Go-Round. Up until about fifty years ago, Cherlin said, most people were satisfied with what he calls a “companionate marriage.” In this type of marriage each partner had clearly defined roles. A man was the head of his household and the chief breadwinner, while a woman stayed home, took care of the house, and had kids. Most of the satisfaction you gained in the marriage depended on how well you fulfilled this assigned role. As a man, if you brought home the bacon, you could feel like you were a good husband. As a woman, if you kept a clean house and popped out 2.5 kids, you were a good wife. You loved your spouse, maybe, but not in an “every time I see his mustache, my heart flutters like a butterfly” type of way.You didn’t marry each other because you were madly in love; you married because you could make a family together. While some people said they were getting married for love, the pressure to get married and start a family was such that not every match could be a love match, so instead we had the “good enough marriage.”Waiting for true love was a luxury that many, especially women, could not afford. In the early 1960s, a full 76 percent of women admitted they would be willing to marry someone they didn’t love. However, only 35 percent of the men said they would do the same.3If you were a woman, you had far less time to find a man. True love? This guy has a job and a decent mustache. Lock it down, girl. • • • This gets into a fundamental change in how marriage is viewed. Today we see getting married as finding a life partner. Someone we love. But this whole idea of marrying for happiness and love is relatively new.For most of the history of our species, courtship and marriage weren’t really about two individuals finding love and fulfillment. According to the historian Stephanie Coontz, author of Marriage, a History, until recently a marital union was primarily important for establishing a bond between two families. It was about achieving security—financial, social, and personal. It was about creating conditions that made it possible to survive and reproduce.This is not ancient history. Until the Industrial Revolution, most Americans and Europeans lived on farms, and everybody in the household needed to work. Considerations about whom to marry were primarily practical.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times: "A sprightly, easygoing hybrid of fact, observation, advice and comedy."USA Today: "With topics like online dating apps to serious social science research, the book is sure to have you laughing if not taking a few notes.”  The Guardian:  “Entertaining and illuminating.”  Rolling Stone:  “A hilarious, often unsettling account of what young singles go through as they search for love in the digital age.”  Boston Globe:  “A funny and scholarly examination of the 24-hour romance cycle.”  Paste Magazine:  “The book is an obsessive exploration of what makes hearts flutter and break across the globe, but most importantly, it dissects those ideas through the lens of a right-and-left swiping society. And as a result, Ansari’s final product doesn’t only feel complete—it’s hilariously executed, even without his unmistakable high-register voice belting the punchlines. At 250 pages, Modern Romance is a lean, pithy read that’s perfect to reach the tech-obsessed generation it explores.” Refinery 29:  “An engaging look at the often head-scratching, frequently infuriating mating behaviors that shape our love lives.”VOX: “With his first foray into the literary sphere, Ansari handedly accomplishes what he set out to do. Modern Romance provides insight into what people do to find love. He infuses their stories with his sass and parallels their shame with much of his own. On top of that, Ansari’s advice is easy to follow and backed with science and research. Modern Romance is the pinnacle of romantic guides — at least until a new dating app makes it obsolete.”The A.V. Club:   “It’s hard to think of another celebrity book that also feels like breaking news… Aside from the jokes, the science of Modern Romance holds water, and is absolutely fascinating.”Contexts“This book is awesome.” The  Source:  “This book is essentially an Aziz Ansari standup routine in print form. His unique voice is present throughout the book. One reason that people love Aziz is his outlook on life. He has a funny way of refocusing seemingly ordinary things and zeroing in on very small details that most would not notice. He brings all of that and more to the table with this book. This book is informative, presents a lot of thought provoking topics and discusses them thoroughly. Paired with Aziz’s distinct voice, this book is even more endearing.”  The Daily Beast:  “Funny, informative, and surprisingly earnest.”  The Atlantic:  “Modern Romance reads like a CliffsNotes to relationshipping as it is currently experienced by (mostly middle-class, Ansari admits, and mostly straight) Americans. It’s the familiar stuff of research and sitcomedy, distilled into a funny, and highly readable, summary.”  Bustle:  “You’re not going to find a traditional humor book. And that’s a good thing. Modern Romance is something a bit more unique: a comprehensive, in-depth sociological investigation into the ‘many challenges of looking for love in the digital age.’ Modern Romance gives an impressive overview of how the dating game has changed with the advent of cell phones and the Internet. But there’s also some practical advice peppered in there by Ansari himself.”O, The Oprah Magazine:“Even comedy phenoms get dumped. But when it was this Parks and Recreation star’s turn, he channeled the rejection into an extensive (and riotous) investigation of the current state of dating, going as far as recruiting an NYU sociologist to be his collaborator/wingman.” Bookforum: “A social-science book that’s pleasant to read and a comedy book that actually has something to say.”Kirkus Reviews: “The ever hip and funny comedian and Parks and Recreation star embarks on a surprisingly insightful exploration of the complex realities of dating today…. Ansari’s eminently readable book is successful, in part, because it not only lays out the history, evolution, and pitfalls of dating, it also offers sound advice on how to actually win today’s constantly shifting game of love. Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful.” Natasha Gilmore, Publishers Weekly: “Ansari, a comedian and TV actor, has co-written a book with a legitimate sociologist about what it means to date in the modern era. When technology and instant gratification are changing the landscape of human interactions, dating is weirder than ever, and I'm looking forward to Ansari's sense of humor and cultural criticism on the topic, which he's started to address in his stand-up.” Steven Levitt, coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestselling Freakonomics:“Always-hilarious Aziz Ansari proves you can be smart and funny at the same time. Not only did I laugh my ass off, I really learned stuff. Where was this book when I was 22 years old? ”Jonathan Safran Foer, author of Eating Animals: “Laughing is my second least-favorite thing in the world after thinking. This book was torture.  Not a page passed without an unwanted eruption of giggles or insight. Aziz is funny as hell, and smart as shit.”Sherry Turkle, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author of Reclaiming Conversation:  “It's the voices that will have you reading this remarkable book in one sitting! The voices of old people who married someone who lived in their apartment building or the building next door and the voices of the young people who check out hundreds of romantic possibilities a night, with so much choice that choice becomes impossible. And then there is the voice of Ansari himself, funny, of course, but also deeply compassionate. This book defines serious fun.”Dave Eggers, author of Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?: “Modern Romance is just like Aziz Ansari himself—charming, thoughtful, reasonable, and able to distill the madness of the world into something both sane and wildly funny.”Helen Fisher, Senior Research Fellow, The Kinsey Institute; author of Why Him? Why Her?:  “Ansari and Klinenberg elegantly capture the entirely new ways that singles communicate, court, and find love today. Modern Romance is a captivating read, with deep insight into history, science, and culture, and loads of wit and charm. Along the way, you may even collect some valuable tips for finding a soul mate.”From the Hardcover edition.