6:38 pm - 03/04/2014

Aziz Ansari's "Modern Romantics" Subreddit Is Hilarious, Yet Heartwarming

In case you missed it: comedian and star Parks and Recreation Aziz Ansari created a subreddit called Modern Romantics, along with NYU professor Eric Klinenberg, to cull material for a new book he’s writing, which Klinenberg is helping him with. Evidently, Ansari is all about the romance; his last comedy special Buried Alive which he premiered on Netflix, was all about Ansari turning 30 and feelin’ the pressures of finding love “at his age,” “as a millennial,” etc.

Created Tuesday morning, the subreddit is already generating a lot of thoughtful responses and not as many “humanity has failed us” responses as most subreddits are wont to do. Maybe it’s because Ansari seems to attract a certain type of fan to his funny, thoughtful comedy. Ansari’s last special used a lot of audience participation, and his new subreddit is just more proof that he’s just a guy that likes talking to people. If there’s a reason his fans feel particularly connected to him, it’s because Ansari really does make an effort to hear their stories and experiences and incorporate them into his comedy.

It’s an interesting use of the medium; not that Reddit is without its merits, but obviously the fedora-friendly site is often used for evil. I like Ansari’s iteration of it as a public forum to lament (and celebrate!) the state of finding love in a post-Twitter/Tinder world. Some of the questions that Ansari posted as threads include: “If you’ve been single in the smartphone era and the eras before, how have things changed?” and more conventional questions like “What’s the first date you’ve ever been on?” Even though the subreddit only went live Tuesday morning, there are already some quality responses.

In response to “What’s the best first date you’ve ever been on?”

My best first date actually came from okcupid, that bastion of worst ever date experiences. We met up for drinks at my favorite bar and then I somehow got him to come to a Galentine’s day event at a client’s store (there was free drinks and food) where we made felt flowers. Then he came with me to take care of my dogs before we went to karaoke at my favorite place. He sang just as many songs as I did and we did dueling Proud Marys. Then we went back to my place and fell asleep in my bed watching Silence of the Lambs. Perfect, tip to tail.

Gets a little Pinteresty in the middle with the felt flowers, but points regained for Silence of the Lambs.

In response to “Has anyone broken up or gotten into a huge fight with a partner based on something you saw on their phone or computer?”

my boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years and are not friends on any sort of social media. I believe 100% that this is a contributing factor to the success of our relationship. it’s not healthy to know every single thing a person does, significant other or otherwise.

Who is this person and how do they exercise such restraint?

There’s also a really interesting conversation going on in the thread about whether being single is exhausting or not. A lot of redditors came forth and said that actually, being young now, there’s very little time to think about being in a relationship, and they’re just too exhausted trying to improve themselves to even entertain the idea of a relationship. It’s sort of sad but pretty truthful.

You can contribute to Ansari’s Reddit thread, and who knows? You might even end up in his book. Love isn’t dead just yet.


ONTD, how has social media affected your love life?
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sbenner 5th-Mar-2014 02:51 am (UTC)
my boyfriend has never had facebook and tbh i am glad. i'm not the jealous type but i am neurotic as shit and it would just add another realm to that, haha
mrcumberbatch 5th-Mar-2014 04:34 pm (UTC)
lmao your facebook sounds amazing
leopard_legs 5th-Mar-2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
I think I love you
megalixer 5th-Mar-2014 02:58 am (UTC)
It's an interesting idea, but honestly the questions are not that different from what gets posted in r/askreddit on a fairly regular basis, and I don't really like that he's planning on using it as material for his book. Feels a little dishonest to me.
lovefifteen 5th-Mar-2014 03:06 am (UTC)
ia i think crowdsourcing for a book YOU got paid to write is tacky unless he's compensating participants (which i doubt)

aziz actually had a very thoughtful interview w/ the av club on modern love a while back and i think he got the book deal after that, but this doesn't sound too promising...
bizarrre 5th-Mar-2014 03:17 am (UTC)
Agreed. He should have a focus group or something. He's getting paid 3 million to write it. I have a feeling this book doesn't even have a real thesis. It's probably going to be stats from other studies and these quotes from Reddit users. His conclusion will probably be like "online dating as changed the way people date"
tx5mym5 5th-Mar-2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
I don't think he should compensate them because the book seems to be using a few anecdotes to illustrate his theories about modern dating. I don't think he will use people stories but generally say something like " A lot of young people prefer to text because (reasons gleaned from popular comments)."

I don't think he will quote anyone at length (more than a few words with the username).
couturelights 5th-Mar-2014 02:59 am (UTC)
i have a sixth sense for being able to figure out with just a glance who whoever i'm dating has hooked up with.
i once just went on his fb and could tell somehow by just scanning over his friends list which of them he'd had something with.

i like knowing everything bc i dont trust people.
asstsceneeditor 5th-Mar-2014 03:03 am (UTC)
the proposal and dick pic stories during his last tour killed me.

when he came here some girl told him about getting a dick pic with chopsticks holding it up. I was dying.
frklphace 5th-Mar-2014 03:05 am (UTC)
this is the perfect post to end with an op question and for the first time ever there's no op question lol
sweet_heloise 5th-Mar-2014 03:15 am (UTC)
Oops maybe I should add one now
frklphace 5th-Mar-2014 03:22 am (UTC)
aw lol no need, i just expected one for some reason
bizarrre 5th-Mar-2014 03:22 am (UTC)
OP, to answer your recently added question--I went on a Tinder date the other day and the guy was 32 years old, unemployed, lived with his parents and he told me that his mom doesn't allow him to use his computer in his room because he just likes to play video games all day. He told me what anti depressants he was on, kept talking about his ex gf and then said "I dont know why i keep talking about her. I'm totally over her" and he wanted me to go back to his house with him. I told him no thanks and then we sat in a model car for 15 minutes while he excitedly explained EVERYTHING even though i told him i didn't care about cars.

After a while I said i had to leave so he hugged me and was like "k bye" and then got back in the model car and he just texted me asking if i wanted to go on a double date.

So basically, OP, social media has done nothing for my love life and I deleted Tinder.

shalmako 5th-Mar-2014 04:52 am (UTC)
bizarrre 5th-Mar-2014 05:09 am (UTC)
Yikes is right. I thought we were on a television show at one point. It was just too much.
labellavitaaa 5th-Mar-2014 06:39 am (UTC)
Omfg guys that keep talking to you about cars/sports when you tell them you don't care are the worst
thespockingdead 5th-Mar-2014 03:26 am (UTC)
Social media has definitely affected my love life- it shows me just how many girls my former love interests are currently fucking, and it shows me how many people who aren't as pathetic as me have gotten engaged. Thanks Facebook!
thespockingdead 5th-Mar-2014 03:30 am (UTC)
Also, I once caved and made an OKCupid account just to see who I'd get matched with. It matched me with a bunch of racists and a guy who called himself "TDizzle." So no, I will not be trying online dating.
mavis_gary 5th-Mar-2014 03:28 am (UTC)
I've been single for about a year and every now and then I toy with the idea of opening an OKC account and giving online dating the ole college try but then I remember all the horror stories I've read here and heard irl and think "nahh, I'll wait a few more months." I really wasn't in a place to date up until recently but now that I'm ready to, I feel like I have been having trouble. Idk, it's kind of a bummer! I went on an alright date over the weekend but i have a feeling nothing is gonna come of it, and prior to that I thought I had met a guy with potential and we had made loose plans to go out but then nothing ever materialized. I think I need to work on not letting these little things bruise my ego bc I feel like I've been taking these slights super personally and thinking these dudes find me disgusting or crazy or lord knows what...and that's not a good way to feel.
labellavitaaa 5th-Mar-2014 06:40 am (UTC)
nathanandbarry 5th-Mar-2014 07:04 am (UTC)
I've been on tinder and it hasn't been too terrible. My friend got two creeps but I got a date out of it (we didn't mesh well in person) and she's been talking to a guy for a bit now. I just started talking to someone new but I'm just having fun and going with the flow since that date (the date was awesome because of the event but we just didn't have the same chemistry in person as we did over the phone and then he got a dude on me about feminism.) I feel like it's like that in the real world though. You meet some good ones. You meet some creeps. You meet some ok ones. The great thing about the internet though is the block button. In real life it gets scary or awkward as you figure out how the hell to go to the bathroom and never come back.
tx5mym5 5th-Mar-2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Make an account. You remember the horror stories more than the good stuff, and most people don't talk about the "Okay but we didn't click" or "it was boring" dates. I've had more of those than horror stories.
mavis_gary 5th-Mar-2014 07:04 pm (UTC)
This is a really good point.
interrogatives 5th-Mar-2014 05:47 pm (UTC)
for what it's worth, i met my gf on okc
frklphace 5th-Mar-2014 03:32 am (UTC)
aw, ok. well since this is bc of me.

luckily my bf barely cares about social media even though it's initially how we even started getting to know e/o. i don't feel the need to publicize our relationship although ppl know i'm in a 'ship etc.

okcupid really opened me up to dating tho. i was in a single girl cycle and when i joined okc i was still happy to be single but it really got the ball rolling on me meeting people and dating pretty steadily. i deleted it right after this super cute guy moved to nyc from la... i had met my now bf a few weeks/months earlier (not on okc) and wanted to give it a chance. i always suggest online dating to friends now as a tool to get out there or if they feel stuck in the same old cycle. i started meeting/dating guys irl more often and i think it's bc i was more open to actual dating. idk. maybe i'm making it up and it was "my time" or whatever.
sparkfactory 5th-Mar-2014 03:33 am (UTC)
i love social media b/c i can shove in the face of men who have scorned me how much better+more fun my life is than theirs
gypsy_leerose 5th-Mar-2014 07:03 pm (UTC)
hahaha yes
vivifromff9 5th-Mar-2014 03:35 am (UTC)
vaguely related but i love how aziz ansari calls out fuckers for their racist asshattery on the regular :')

but um to answer the question, social media helped me find out that my ex-bf was cheating? doofus forgot to log out of his facebook on my computer smh but glad it happened, so ty platforms of oversharing.
stellar_ball 5th-Mar-2014 03:39 am (UTC)
there’s very little time to think about being in a relationship, and they’re just too exhausted trying to improve themselves to even entertain the idea of a relationship. It’s sort of sad but pretty truthful.

How is that sad that they're trying to improve themselves instead of worrying about being in a relationship???
mavis_gary 5th-Mar-2014 03:44 am (UTC)
I took that to mean that these people are constantly trying to improve themselves just so that they can entertain the idea of a relationship, not just for the sake of self-improvement.
helethmiel 5th-Mar-2014 03:42 am (UTC)
Well having two exes friended on facebook means that I occasionally see things they post that remind me why the relationships didn't work out. We don't interact on any level (irl or online), so being fb friends seems to be another way of feeling obligated to be polite, whereas without it we wouldn't even have that flimsy semblance of friendship.

My fiance and I have never made our relationship "facebook official". We each have a small circle of friends that we speak to and see on a semi-regular basis that know, so I don't see the point of putting it online for the benefit of people who we'd normally never communicate with.
x_brittacular 5th-Mar-2014 03:55 am (UTC)
my bf said he's "too old" for social media and I'm kinda glad. I think it's ridiculous when people stalk each other's pages, demand their SO's password, etc.
nathanandbarry 5th-Mar-2014 07:05 am (UTC)
I actually read that relationships where either one person or both weren't on Facebook lasted longer.
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