Benefits of dating in the twentieth century

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.

” he wrote, before adding, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from college.” Turned off, she fired back a text message, politely declining.

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.

“They’re wondering, ‘If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, “carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.” She spent the night at the apartment, which kicked off a cycle of weekly hookups, invariably preceded by a Thursday night text message from him saying, ‘hey babe, what are you up to this weekend?

” (It petered out after four months.) Relationship experts point to technology as another factor in the upending of dating culture.

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