I cheated. I signed up for Audible.com and downloaded Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. I never listened to an audio book before, but it was a pretty neat experience. The audio book is read by Aziz himself. He throws in some funny commentary, has a small intro and does the closing credits. I felt the commentary was definitely a bonus for getting the audio book. And it is a pretty good alternative to listening to music while working or sitting in traffic.
Besides the convenience, the book itself is pretty interesting. Aziz along with Sociologist Eric Klinenberg take a deep look into our current and past dating cultures. They conducted panels with older folks, young folks and people from all around the globe. They discuss topics such as online dating, texting, the evolution of dating and differences in the dating culture in other modern countries. Although the book is full of facts and data, it is narrated easily enough and with just a perfect touch of humor to let the information soak in and keep you stimulated.
Since this is a work of non-fiction I wanted to just mention a few things that really interested me.
On-line Dating: This form of dating is becoming more and more popular. The topic of online dating made me realize I am not the only one that has the same issues with meeting people. Apparently, people tend to have too much back and forth sending messages that they never even make it to the point of the first date. What was recommended was limiting messaging online and putting more of an emphasis in meeting in person. Another very valid point was made that going on a first date may not be enough. Before giving up on a person you just met, give them at least a few dates before making a decision whether you like them or not. I thought this made a lot of sense. Maybe I will try it in my own life.
Japan: Further along the book, Aziz takes a trip to Tokyo Japan. It was an very interesting chapter. Apparently the modern youth culture in Japan is not as interested in dating. Young men and women are not interested in having romantic or sexual relationships. This is to the point, where even the government has stepped in and has it’s own programs to promote dating. However, there is a whole sub culture in Japan that provides many sexual/suedo sexual services for people such as host clubs where men or women pay for a host to sit,chat and drink with them. For some, these type of services are more convenient and less likely to lead to rejection, which seems to be a big fear factor for Japanese men and woman. There was also a discussion of men living with their parents longer then they used to. I thought this was a funny and similar issue we are now seeing in the states.
Aziz also visits Paris and Buenos Aires. These are fascinating chapters and they give you incite into how other cultures may view dating as more of a casual thing.
Overall I really enjoyed the book. This book is a good read for anyone whether they are in a relationship or not. Of course I was taking mental notes and comparing my love life to those of the people he interviewed, but it is not necessarily a book of advice. It is more of a study and insightful look of how people date, marry, cheat and go about their romantic and sexual lives in this modern era. I highly recommend it. So go read it! Or download the audio book like I did 😉 Of course if you have any comments on dating, the book or just want to say hello…leave a comment!