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You hear things along the lines of ‘She is my other half,’ and ‘I can't imagine experiencing the joys of life without him by my side,’ or ‘Every time I touch her hair, I get a huge boner.’”We live, in other words, in a world that is shaped, in ways big and small, by the search for a soul mate.“Younger generations face immense pressure to find the ‘perfect person,’” Ansari notes—a pressure that “simply didn't exist in the past when ‘good enough’ was good enough.” Emerging adulthood, the phase of life between adolescence and marriage (and a phase that didn’t exist for most previous generations of Americans), now doubles as a time when many young people embark not just on a professional career, but on a romantic one.My “other half.” My “significant other.” Pretty much every song lyric ever written by Taylor Swift.Modern coupling, in much of the world, is about much more than mating; it’s about, on some level, soul mating.Love has, accordingly, become a pursuit—something we look for and fight for and treat as a fundamental component of a happy and successful life.

There's the invention of Match and JDate and Farmers Only and e Harmony and Ok Cupid and Hinge and Grindr and Tinder, and all those services’ attendant possibilities and paradoxes of choice.The stuff explored in the book—the gender differences in approaches to online dating, the social effects of ily, with the same light snark he deploys in his standup. But he also gets, he notes, “something bigger, like the audience and I were connecting on a deeper level.” They understand, together, what it feels like—for better, for worse—to soul-mate.(Telling the story of Tim, an older gentleman who asked his future wife on a date in person, right after meeting her, Ansari points out: “That sounds infinitely cooler than texting back and forth with a girl for two weeks only to have her flake on a Sugar Ray concert.”) to relationshipping as it is currently experienced by (mostly middle-class, Ansari admits, and mostly straight) Americans. He never hears from her again (well, not until much, much later). They understood what it means to be looking, with the help of phones and friends and the march of human progress, for one’s lobster.“I could tell that every guy and girl in the audience had had their own Tanya in their phone at one point or another,” Ansari writes, “each with their own individual problems and dilemmas.We can read Christian Rudder's Dataclysm, about the way the Internet is affecting how people meet and date, or Eric Klinenberg’s , or Michael Rosenfeld’s “How Couples Meet and Stay Together”; what those projects can gloss over, though, are the small joys and also the crushing existential anxieties that the new romantic order can provoke in its participants. The “…” that appears during a text exchange, suspending a conversation—and, sometimes, an entire relationship—in a wave of hidden characters.

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