Modern Romance By: Aziz Ansari (Book Review)

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First Impression

Aziz starts off the book in a unique and funny way. Only for the auido listeners though.

He cites some great authors that he worked with in the field of dating. These include Jonathan Haidt, Finkel, Eastwick and others. I cite most of these authors in my thesis “Female Sexual Selection Preferences Across a Biopsychosocial Perspective”. He also traveled the world to see how different cultures view dating. Aziz then goes into his frustration of a girl he met at a party named Tanya. He expresses what happens in this clip here.

This frustration and asking audience members their frustrations with modern dating is what led him to write his book. He was tired of hitting it off with girls at parties, only to be confused and angry after they didn’t want to see him again.
This Book mainly talks about the technological and societal changes and how they effect dating in our current day and age. Abundance of mate choices are everywhere now with all of our social media. This mindset leads us to believe that our “perfect” mate is out there. It wasn’t always like this though. Our parents and grandparents had a vastly different view on romance.

History of Love Past (Maximizers VS. Satisfiers)

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50 years ago most people stayed at the same job and with the same partner their whole life. An alarming amount of people married within their church, work or mutual friends. This close proximity with mates led previous generations to “settle” for what was good enough. The thought of finding your perfect partner was only for lucky bastards and dreamers.

There were clearly defined roles on dating. The man brought home the money and the woman took care of the kids. Aziz says that, “True Love was a luxury”. This generation is known as the “Satisfiers”. Our current generation are known as the “Maximizers”.

As maximizers, we only want the best. This may sound good on the surface, but it may explain the increase in divorce over the years. Couples now give up when things get too hard. When we aren’t happy anymore, there is an alluring thought that someone may be out there better for us. This is why older generations see us as the “selfish generation”.

Texting Game

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Aziz talks about the waiting game. This is when someone will text you in 10 minutes so you respond in 20. Everyone in his focus groups agreed that this power game exist and it just comes with the territory. Nobody likes it, but everyone does it anyways. Aziz brought up his own frustration with being ignored. A lot of guys agreed with how frustrating it can be to text a girl and then get no response when they ask her out. Everyone in his focus groups said that they preferred honesty when being denied, but no one gave it. One woman said she sometimes ignored the guy because she didn’t like purposely hurting them.

Aziz stated that 1/3 of all married couples in the last 5 years met online! That is a huge percentage and it is only rising. This places a lot of importance on how you perceive yourself online and how you talk to the girl. So many girls complain that guys are just too boring online. Women get flooded with literally a hundred messages a day form guys saying, “Hi”, “What’s up?”, “Hey, How are you doing?” etc. Aziz says that you need to stand out a bit and show some uniqueness. Read her profile and comment on it.

The best pictures for guy’s profiles tended to be ones with their shirts off, looking to the side and not smiling, and pictures with cute animals. Who woulda thought?

Negative Side of The Internet

There are many clear sides to the internet, but with every new positive change, there is a negative and scary side. The internet creates an abundant and maximizer mindset. This cause guys and girls alike to believe that they can find the perfect person. This creates what Barry Schwartz claims as a “Paradox of Choice”. It basically means when there are too many choices, we beomce overwhelmed and paralyzed. We don’t choose because by doing so, we eliminate all other options.

Cheating & Internet

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Cheating has become immensely easier with the internet. You can flirt, get to know someone, and set up a time to meet all over your phone. The rate of infidelity for men and women has been increasing over the years. 20-40% of all married men and 25% of all married women have admitted to having an affair in their lifetime. This is quite alarming given that around 84% of people say that infidelity is not okay.

To Be Single or Not To Be Single?

That is really the question so many men face now-a-days. Aziz states the awesome perks of being single. We get to hook-up with as many girls as we want. We have complete freedom and we don’t have to answer to anyone or censor our actions as much.

Although Aziz said he was tired of the same superficial hook-ups and surface encounters. He was tired of coming home at 3am and drunkingly making bagel bites. He wanted to share his life with someone and go to sleep holding someone at night.

Two Types of Love

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There is passionate love and companionate love. Passionate love is that exciting feeling we get when we first fall in love. We get a rush of dopamine and oxytocin into our brains that is similar to the same feeling of being high on heroin or cocaine. This is why we literally consider that person our “drug” and experience withdrawls when we are not with them.

Unfortunately this love fades over time. If couples can make it past the two year mark then they will fall into what is known as companionate love. Companionate love is when your partner is more like a friend. A full attachment bond has been formed. You have a commitment and storng intimacy with each other. Your love is more like a searing coal, rather than a raging fire.
Aziz asked the author Jonathan Haidt why he should fall into companionate love?

Haidt said that, “Passion is great when you are younger, but building a life is about having children. There are rooms in his heart he didn’t know were there. It isn’t productive to constantly fall in love. You are acting like an addict and your drug is love.”

The Future of Relationships moongamish

There is a shift in the idea of what a relationship “should” be. Aziz found that 26% of men and 18% of women have an open relationship. They are most prevalent among people over 40. The new term of “Monogamish” is being used to define this new type of realtionship.

Monogamish relationships can greatly vary. Some allow complete open relationships with other people and others have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. There is also every variation in between.

I found it interesting when Aziz interviewed Dan Savage. Dan believes it goes against our evolutionary drives to be with one person physically for the majority of your life. He also stated that,

“When non-monogamous relationships fail, people blame the non-monogamy. But when monogamous relationships fail, it is never cause of the monogamy.”

Conclusion

This book mixed sicentific studies, focused groups and his own personal story of the modern dating paradigm. I highly recommend you check it out yourself.

Text Version

Audio Version

 

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