Saturday, 28 May 2016

Oh Romance Wherefore Art Thou?

It's sort of funny when you think about it that there's sort of a new worry, okay maybe not worry, but consideration shall we say about what on earth will happen to romance in the modern age! And by modern age I mean with technology and social media and whatnot. I mean even e-Harmony seems old now (sorry e-Harmony if you're reading) what with Tinder, Facebook and other sites. Side note - I just read the 'Stories' page on the Tinder website and are these real or what? Do people actually marry from meetings on Tinder?! If you have some time to kill you can read it here. Everyone on that page is really attractive for some reason too. Also in learning the prisoner's dilemma theory in uni our lecturer used Tinder as an example scenario - um, should you swipe right or left to get a better outcome? WHAT IS THE DOMINANT STRATEGY?!?!

But moving on, some people have been thinking so much about this topic that they've decided to write books on it! Romance and love in the modern age. So here goes!

MODERN ROMANCE by Aziz Ansari  

"A hilarious, thoughtful, and in-depth exploration of the pleasures and perils of modern romance from 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."

I had the good fortune of reading this one myself and I can say that I did thoroughly enjoy it! It asked some interesting questions and highlighted areas that perhaps are facing a slight battering on some fronts. But it also shares the ways that new romance has been constructed by people with the help of technology and social media. It's not all bad guys! And of course he is hilariously funny too so it's win win really. 

Vanity Fair wrote up an article here.  

And more recently released is:

AVAILABLE by Matteson Perry  

"From a breakout storytelling star at The Moth, a real-life romantic comedy about a guy and a girl—and twenty-nine other girls: a memoir about an unexpected break-up, one self-imposed year of being single, and how a “nice guy” survived dating in the twenty-first century.

Matteson Perry is a Nice Guy. He remembers birthdays, politely averts his eyes on the subway, and enjoys backgammon. A serial monogamist, he’s never asked a stranger out. But when the girl he thought might be The One dumps him, he decides to turn his life around. He comes up with The Plan: 1. Be single for a year. 2. Date a lot of women. 3. Hurt no one’s feelings. He’s not out to get revenge, or to become a pickup artist; he just wants to disrupt his pattern, have some fun, and discover who he is. A quick-witted Everyman, Perry throws himself into the modern world of courtship and digital dating, only to discover that even the best-laid plans won’t necessarily get you laid. Over the course of a year he dated almost thirty different women, including a Swedish tourist, a former high school crush, a born-again virgin, a groupie, an actress, a lesbian, and a biter.

In Available, award-winning storyteller Matteson Perry brings us into the inner sanctum of failed pick-up lines, uncomfortable courtships, awkward texts, and self-discovery, charting the highs and lows of single life and the lessons he learned along the way. Candid, empathetic, and devastatingly funny, Available is the ultimate real-life rom-com about learning to date, finding love, and becoming better at life.

I have not read this book because I only set eyes on it a day or two ago but this definitely looks like something I want to read. And the fact that they used a massive eggplant emoji only makes it more exciting - because I am pretty sure I'm actually a little bit allergic to eggplant. Love, like my allergies, keeps you on your toes. I don't know why because it seems to have only developed relatively recently. But part autobiography, part guide, Available is most likely to have you looking for any available time to read it. Sorry for that.


  1. So exciting to see my books getting noticed so far away. Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Thanks for reading our post! We wish you all the best for your book tour.