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Faced with a lingering recession, a stagnant job market, and mountains of student debt, many young people — particularly victims of the “mancession” — simply cannot afford to invest a fancy dinner or show in someone they may or may not click with.Further complicating matters is the changing economic power dynamic between the genders, as reflected by a number of studies in recent years, said Hanna Rosin, author of the recent book “The End of Men.” A much-publicized study by Reach Advisors, a Boston-based market research group, found that the median income for young, single, childless women is higher than it is for men in many of the country’s biggest cities (though men still dominate the highest-income jobs, according to James Chung, the company’s president).Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.“The new date is ‘hanging out,’ ” said Denise Hewett, 24, an associate television producer in Manhattan, who is currently developing a show about this frustrating new romantic landscape.As one male friend recently told her: “I don’t like to take girls out.“Maybe there’s still a sense of a man taking care of a woman, but our ideology is aligning with the reality of our finances,” Ms. As a man, you might “convince yourself that dating is passé, a relic of a paternalistic era, because you can’t afford to take a woman to a restaurant.”Many young men these days have no experience in formal dating and feel the need to be faintly ironic about the process — “to ‘date’ in quotation marks” — because they are “worried that they might offend women by dating in an old-fashioned way,” Ms. “It’s hard to read a woman exactly right these days,” she added.“You don’t know whether, say, choosing the wine without asking her opinion will meet her yearnings for old-fashioned romance or strike her as boorish and macho.”Indeed, being too formal too early can send a message that a man is ready to get serious, which few men in their 20s are ready to do, said Lex Edness, a television writer in Los Angeles.

You can also find Muddy Mississippi Justice on Facebook.I like to have them join in on what I’m doing — going to an event, a concert.” For evidence, look no further than “Girls,” HBO’s cultural weather vane for urban 20-somethings, where none of the main characters paired off in a manner that might count as courtship even a decade ago.In Sunday’s opener for Season 2, Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver), who last season forged a relationship by texting each other nude photos, are shown lying in bed, debating whether being each other’s “main hang” constitutes actual dating.The mass-mailer approach necessitates “cost-cutting, going to bars, meeting for coffee the first time,” he added, “because you only want to invest in a mate you’re going to get more out of.”If online dating sites have accelerated that trend, they are also taking advantage of it.New services like Grouper aren’t so much about matchmaking as they are about group dates, bringing together two sets of friends for informal drinks.

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