Dear Aziz Ansari,
Thank you for writing your smart and funny book about MODERN ROMANCE.
One night not too long ago, I was bemoaning my own state of ignorance about dating in the modern world. I had been out of the game for just over 15 years due to a long and less-than-happy marriage, when a friend of mine recommended your book. I was skeptical at first. I suspected it would focus on 20-somethings and wouldn’t have anything relevant for someone of my generation.
She insisted I read it and I am glad I did. A few things surprised me about the book. It is far more than a simple recounting of dates gone bad or the problems with social media. Nor is it a self-help book. It is a clearly written sociological study of the relationships between men and women through time and across several cultures. You did your research. You enlisted experts to help you understand some of the thornier problems. You interviewed a lot of people from all over the world.
This is the type of work that easily could have been boring as dirt, but because it’s narrated in your friendly tone and peppered with jokes and sympathy, it’s engaging from start to finish. As you acknowledged right up front, you couldn’t address every form of romance between people so you focused on heterosexual relationships, which was what you had personal experience with.
I hope you enlist someone in the LGBT community to write a similar book addressing their experiences, because it’s such a relief to know we’re not alone in the world with the type of anxieties–and joys–we experience when we try to engage romantically with others. When people can laugh together over shared experiences and understand why certain things happen, surely that makes people more sympathetic and kinder to one another. We need more books like this.