Review – Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari

Having read snippets of Modern Romance in the Guardian and Time Magazine, I was eager to get my hands on a copy. The reviews promised a Freaknomics type analysis about trends in 21st century love land covering similar topics to those we’ve blogged about on RinseBeforeUse such as how technology and internet dating is changing the the way we date and why people (like #englishrosiee) often get to the point where they find dating exhausting.

As it’s written from a male-perspective, it also offers some useful insights into the other side of the story. For example, the difficulties guys face in asking our pretty little faces out and basically how the Internet has reduced their fear of rejection. Yup, now I understand why these fools feel they can send me obnoxious messages asking if they were ‘special’ or whether they could pay to ‘sleep’ at my place instead of at the backpackers (yes! really? really ?!?). Apparently, there’s this website called Straight White Boys Texting dedicated to this type of douchery (NB despite the name this site includes messages from douche-men of all ethnic backgrounds).

The most interesting part was how he explored how dating issues vary in different countries. I mean, we’ve got SA, GB and Polski Land covered here at Rinse (and I did ask my folks to set me up so I could do some embedded journalism about arranged marriages in the Indian subcontinent but they just LOL’d and said that no ‘decent’ man would have me) but I wouldn’t complain if I got paid to do ‘field research’ in Paris (where apparently they are very cool with cheating), Argentina (which is a bit of a meat market) and Japan (where the government pay single people mingle with one another – Gosh, I’d be a millionaire).

The book is written by a stand-up comedian (although, #zlotybaby and I think we are also pretty hilarious for non-professional comics), so the reader does get to enjoy some good LOLs (although the constant boning jokes do get a bit tired after 250 pages). But it’s not all fun and games, Aziz interviews lots of experts and academics who’ve carried out serious studies into modern romance (argh, there are people out there actually getting paid to do my dream job) so this does add substance to what some might think are quite trivial issues.

Sadly, Modern Romance isn’t available in South Africa yet and it’s a little on the pricey side at £10 for the Amazon kindle version (remember that’s like R200, which is a lot of booze for us poor souls earning rands, and believe me with the quality of men we are surrounded it we need hard liquor). However, Modern Romance certainly provides some food for thought, on topics most young people can relate too. More importantly, it gives us singletons hope and reminds us that we are not alone in the eternal search for ‘the one’.


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