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Modern Romance

Texting, sexting and more: How Aziz Ansari sees love in the 21st century

By Aziz Ansari and Erik Klinenberg
  • Read in 10 minutes
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  • Contains 6 key ideas
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Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Erik Klinenberg

The internet and modern technology have revolutionized the way we communicate, learn, work and live. They’ve even revolutionized our concept of love. Modern Romance (2015) explains how our idea of “love” has changed in recent generations, and how you can make the most of today’s technology in your quest to find it.

Key idea 1 of 6

A few generations ago, people married younger, usually to someone who lived near them.

Romance was quite different a few generations ago, for a number of reasons.

For one, people didn’t have mobile phones and there was less access to public transportation. So they were more likely to find love in their immediate surroundings: their city, their neighborhood or even their building. In fact, in 1932, one in every six people in Philadelphia married someone from their own block. One in eight married someone from their building.

Compare that with today. How many married couples do you know who met because they lived close to each other? Probably not many. Planes, trains and smartphones have allowed to us to form and maintain serious relationships with people in other cities, states, countries or even continents.

In the recent past, people also got married at a much younger age – and their parents often had a big say in it!

“Adulthood” was thought to start earlier back then, so people were expected to get married earlier too. In the United States, for example, up until the 1970s the average age of marriage for a man was 23. The average age for a woman was 20.

Women rarely had access to education as they often left their families to go straight into a new family life with their husbands, at an age when their interests and personalities weren’t even fully formed. And their parents often had a big influence on their choice of husband. They sought a man with a respectable job and a good reputation.

So our grandparents and great grandparents cast a smaller net and married younger, but interpersonal aspects of relationships were different too. Read on to find out more.

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