Book review: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Professor Eric Klinenberg

m romance

Dating has never been easy and thanks to the emergence of the internet, Facebook, texting and apps like Tinder and Grindr in recent years, the whole process has become more complex than ever.

Fear not though for this funny and very readable look into the modern dating scene, comedian Ansari (of TV’s Parks and Recreation) and sociology Prof Kinsberg have produced a book which is both amusing and interesting.

First, the good news. Internet dating has hugely improved the range of potential dating options for everyone. Whereas our grandparents would usually settle for anyone suitable living within the immediate area (and the statistics really do back this up folks), an ugly man today can date more women in a month than his 1930s equivalent would have in a lifetime.

Top tip: women do best if their photo is a simple selfie especially if they look coyly into the camera. Men bizarrely do better if they look away from the camera as if they have spotted something more interesting out of shot. Who knew?

The bad news? The simple array of choice available to people in the dating arena and elsewhere is actually somewhat overwhelming. Cheating and getting caught are both easier and perhaps with so many alternatives, more likely. It could also be argued, that while 1930s daters often were prepared to settle for less owing to lack of alternatives, today many people’s expectations may be set unrealistically high. Young people in Japan even seem to be going off sex completely to the extent that the government is worried about a decline in the birth-rate.

The book is American and while this effects some of the statistics (in 1932, 20% paired up with people in their own “block” – this wouldn’t apply to the UK) for the most part it doesn’t matter. Modern romance is largely the same on both sides of the Atlantic.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Professor Eric Klinenberg

Published by: Allen Lane.

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