Given that Aziz Ansari’s stand-up is filled with jokes about dating in the internet age, it would seem like a safe assumption that his new book Modern Romance would be equally flippant. But Ansari seems to be taking the topic seriously, teaming up with sociology professor Eric Klinenberg to really analyze contemporary courtship. And in an op-ed for the New York Times, Ansari and Klinenberg reunite to offer solid, if slightly familiar, advice about “How To Make Online Dating Work.”
The article tries to remove whatever stigma is still left around online dating, noting that sites like OkCupid, Match, and Tinder should be called “introducing services” since the dating itself still happens in the real world. When it comes to practical advice, Ansari and Klinenberg suggest not filtering people too harshly based on their profiles and giving them more than just a first date because “few people initiate romantic relationships based on first impressions. Instead they fall for each other gradually.” Plus they make a fairly convincing argument that swiping away on Tinder is no more superficial than walking into a bar and deciding which person to talk to based on how they look.
Thankfully, the piece still has some of Ansari’s sense of humor, like when he compiles data on what makes an effective OkCupid photo and offers this advice:
If you are a woman, take a high-angle selfie, with cleavage, while you’re underwater near some buried treasure. If you are a guy, take a shot of yourself spelunking in a dark cave while holding your puppy and looking away from the camera, without smiling.