Make Room For Reading
by Marissa Sappho, LCSW, BCD
As a therapist I spend much of my life listening to the thoughts and feelings of other people. As such, I have a unique advantage to observe common social phenomenon as it occurs during waves of sociological shift. One of the most lamented issues in my office is that of love and romantic partnership. This in itself is nothing new or shocking. Folks were wringing their hands, writing sonnets, and sculpting statues in the name of love, passion and desperation, long before I walked this earth. What has changed, is how we go about finding these partners, how we communicate with them, and the social and emotional repercussions of dating and loving in the tech-centered 21st century world.
If you are among the love-lorn, love-confused, or love-frustrated, I have the book recommendation for you: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. Yes, Aziz Ansari the comedian. Yes, the same one who starred in Parks & Recreation.
Modern Romance is co-authored with NYU Professor and Sociologist Eric Klinenberg. This book is a must-read for anyone dating, especially if you are online dating. Not only does this book offer practical tips, it traces the history and sociological shift of romantic partnerships using scientific data -- yes, there is an actual fact-based reason why dating and getting married is more challenging in today's world. If anything this book will likely make you feel less alone with your experiences, and hopefully will inject some humor and critical awareness into the 21st century dating process.
And if you are feeling ambitious and want to get the relationship gold star, I recommend reading The Art of Loving by the psychoanalyst Erich Fromm. Don't be too quick to dismiss this one. You will learn a great deal about yourself and what makes a good partner by reading this. *Hint...genuine self love is the first step to having a fulfilling partnership!