1. Feeling disconnected – even from the person you’re sleeping with.
The opening of the show could not be more real. Aziz’s character, Dev, goes to the pharmacy in the middle of the night to buy Plan B with Rachel (the woman with whom he had a one night stand) after their condom breaks. The awkward, stiff, and cold energy between these two people – who, moments ago, were having sex with each other – perfectly sums up the way dating can feel in the age of Tinder.
2. Trying not to compare your life situation those of your peers.
When Dev attends the birthday party of his friend’s one-year-old son, he can’t help but wonder if his life is all it’s cracked up to be. Throughout the show, he spends much of his time trying to figure out if he’s as happy as his friends who are young parents, if he’s as happy as his friends who are getting married, etc. The show hits the nail on the head when it comes to the fact that we’re all constantly wondering where our level of happiness lines up next to that of our friends.
3. Being overwhelmed with the amount of choices out there.
In both Master of None and his book Modern Romance, Aziz touches on the fact that having so many dating options in today’s world can often make things harder and more complicated than they were in the past. Even when it comes to simply inviting a date to a concert in the episode “Hot Ticket,” Dev panics over who he should ask, what he should do after someone backs out, the pros and cons of texting multiple women in his phone at the same time, etc.
4. The agonizing experience of texting with a potential date.
The entire episode of “Hot Ticket” moves forward with a countdown (“72 Hours To Concert.” “3 Hours To Concert.”) while Dev gets progressively desperate as he waits for responses from the (multiple) women he has invited out. Each time he excitedly reaches for his phone after a ding, each anxious conversation he has with friends while they tell him what to write – you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t experienced this in their dating life.
Most of us have been on both ends of this experience. Denise complains about her attempts to ghost a former flame, Michelle (a.k.a. Princess Love, a.k.a. Lil’ Funyuns) after she can’t take the hint that Denise is not interested. But then Denise ends up meeting up with her anyway because, “I’m more of a Cheetos girl, but whatever.” It’s definitely something we see on a regular basis in our own dating lives and/or those of our friends.
7. Learning that the ‘honeymoon phase’ only lasts for a certain amount of time.
The opening montage in “Mornings” of Dev and Rachel being all doe-eyed and wrapped up in one other is something we’ve all seen in real life and on screen. But what Master of None gets right is what happens after that – when Rachel and Dev move in together and slowly start irritating each other, arguing, and discovering a side of their relationship that is not cute and weightless.
8. The unintentionally racist remarks people often make to mixed-race couples.
In the finale episode, Dev and Rachel attend a wedding and run into the groom’s father, who says, “I love seeing ethnically-mixed couples. You two are beautiful together. Have you ever dated an ethnic man before this, Rachel?” Clearly, this man doesn’t mean any harm. But it’s a subtle reminder that a conversation where someone thinks they’re being harmless can still be awkward and uncomfortable – and unnecessary.
9. Feeling totally lost and overwhelmed about your love life whenever you go to a wedding.
While the bride and groom recite their vows in front of their guests, various couples are shown glancing nervously at each other. Dev eventually envisions his vows with Rachel, and how he’s not sure if they are right together, but he does love her, but how are you supposed to know if you’ve found the one, and when are you supposed to get married? The questions he asks in his daydream are ones that we’ve all thought about while we watched someone else tie the knot.
10. The actual definition of a good relationship.
After Rachel and Dev break up, he consults his actor friend Benjamin, who says, “Long-term relationships are tough. You can’t just expect a big roaring fire right away. You can’t put the big logs in first. You have to start with the small stuff first, the kindlings. That’s a good relationship.” Who would have thought the Can of Vegetables from Wet Hot American Summer could hold so much wisdom.