Living Modern Romance

How a comedian got me to feel better about singledom by using science.

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You know that game/question you ask people sometimes that goes “if you were having a dinner party and could invite any three (or however many) people to it, who would come?”

Well, I have to change an answer. President Obama and Louis C.K., you guys get to stay. Sorry, Morgan Freeman, but you’ve been bumped. I have to invite Aziz Ansari at this point.*

*Some people go dead or alive on this one, and if that’s the case then it’s Obama, JFK & Da Vinci + Da Vinci’s translator, I’m assuming.

I finished re-reading Modern Romance  by Aziz, because I promised on here a week ago that I’d actually read a book for once. Between this, his standup, Master of None and Parks & Rec, I think Aziz might be my best friend that I actually don’t know.

Anyways, onto the book. Modern Romance is incredible and insightful. It covers just so many topics in dating and relationships. From the change in cultures in America and across the globe around dating, to the difficulties of monogamy, to how smartphones are changing the way dating and relationships exist, it covers the full spread of what it is like to be young and in love or in search of love.

In the book, he covers how young singles are delaying marriage and are able to connect with so many more young singles today than ever before. This creates the desire to have the best partner, and try to eventually settle down without settling. He is right. There is more opportunity to meet people you’d never meet than ever before.

Today on a whim I downloaded an app called Hater. It’s Tinder, but you’re given compatibility ratings with people based on the things you hate, dislike, like and love. You get a little percentage, saying how you match up with these folks. No longer do you need to wait for the first date to learn this person’s opinion on hot yoga and Garfield. It’s right there.

I could find the love of my life tomorrow based on the fact we both said we hate the word moist.

This app (combined with the many more people actually use) creates a difficult world where sometimes for single folks it can be overwhelming. There are so many people to meet, awkward first dates to have and terrible nights out at bars to endure. It can be tiring, especially if your timeline is full of happy engagement shoots where the new couple is both grinning while their foreheads are touching. That or wedding photos with adorable hashtags.

Seeing that can get exhausting or deflating because your brain wants that fulfilment that the people getting married in barns with twinkle lights clearly feel. To those of my friends who are married, engaged, in long term relationships, or thinking about popping the question, this isn’t an attack on you. I love you and the love you get to share. I will gladly third wheel dinner dates to sushi restaurants. I will enjoy your wedding, like your photos and likely drink a lot of scotch if invited to your nuptials.

At the end of the book, Aziz has some final thoughts. Here is one that landed with me about this:

“Historically, we are at a unique moment. No one has ever been presented with more options in romance and expected to make a decision where the expectations are so astronomically high. And with all these choices, how can anyone be possibly sure that they’ve made the right one?

Get over it! You can’t! So you just have to power through and have hope that as you grow and mature, you’ll eventually learn to navigate this new romantic world and find someone who does feel right for you.”

It’s like getting real talk from a close friend at two a.m when the party has died down and you’re both on your last drink before you have to steal from the host. Wise words about trusting the process.

To those who have found someone right, a cheers to you. You give the rest of us something to look to. I guess the rest of us just have time to go, and there’s nothing wrong with that. #ShootYourShot, or something like that.

P.S. I feel like by this point, I should have some sort of job on Aziz Ansari’s PR team. I wonder if he’s hiring.

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