Fans who have closely followed former “Parks and Recreation” star Aziz Ansari’s standup career have surely noticed that the comic has taken a serious turn in recent years. Gone are the cute stories about his cousins and the monologues on basic cable dramas. Instead, the 32-year-old NYU grad has been focused on deeper questions: What is love? Is there such thing as a soulmate? And, most important of fall, why hasn’t he or she texted me back?
Co-written with sociology professor Eric Klinenberg, “Modern Romance” explores all of those questions and more in an extensively researched journey that took the pair around the world as they they assessed different dating profiles and wacky online dating messages. (Note to all of the guys out there, first messages that simply say “Yo” or “Hey” aren’t particularly well received.)
We’ve rounded up the three top lessons we learned from Ansari’s travels.
Too many choices really is overwhelming. Unlike a crowded bar, “online there are no lonely corners,” the comedian writes. “Everywhere is filled with people looking to connect.” Despite that, daters everywhere are constantly rejecting people.
The comedian memorably sits down with with a 20-something named Derek who, he notes, “isn’t unattractive… but wouldn’t necessarily turn heads at a party.” Ansari then watches in horror as Derek swipes no on several attractive, interesting women who had messaged him online. “He didn’t strike me as a stud,” he adds, “but wow, when you watched him comb through those profiles, he had a stud mentality.”
Remember the person on the other end is a person. Because so much of the modern search for romantic partners occurs on our phones, it’s easy to forget you are talking to a person with feelings. Ansari is disturbed by how easy it is to completely dismiss someone — especially now as breaking up via text becomes increasingly more common.
The quality of your dates is more important than quantity. Back when Ansari was single in New York a few years ago, he had something of a revelation when it came to his single status. He and his friends “were consistently choosing to meet as many people as possible instead of investing in a relationship.” Because this method obviously wasn’t working for him, he decided to revise his approach to looking for love.
“What I found was that a first date that was a six was usually an eight on a second date,” he writes. “I knew the person better and we kept building a good rapport together.” The lesson here? Maybe next time give that nice guy or girl you met online a second chance. It could change the course of your love life.
Lakshmi Gandhi is Metro's Social Media Manager. Follow her on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.