WaPo On The End of Big Pimpin’

The Boston Globe recently brought us the story of people “Laid Off And Loving It.” Today, the Washington Post introduces readers (on A1) to some young people who have been laid off and … are not liking it very much at all.

Per the Post:

[T]he market crash has had a particular impact on young adults who developed their dating skills in fat times, the twentysomethings who spent lavishly to show that they could afford the finer things. Now, with national unemployment rates at 8.8 percent for people 25 to 34, they are looking for more creative ways to attract partners — and reassessing what all that big spending really meant.

Formal studies on the matter are hard to find, and Washington area employment rates are still higher than those of many other metropolitan areas. But interviews with young singles in area nightclubs and cafes and at parties reveals that financial stress is affecting the romantic lives of those who have lost sizable disposable incomes.

The real cringing begins when readers begin to hear from some of these “young singles” whom the Post found in “area nightclubs and cafes.” There’s this from a 27-year-old who lost his high-paying job last year: “I was so used to using my financial situation to leverage my dating.” And this from a 26-year-old teacher, who told the Post that

a man doesn’t have to spend a lot, but he has to act like an Alpha male. “Guys should be bold; whether or not they have money doesn’t matter,” she said. But if a guy asks her out, she added, she expects him to pay for dinner.

And there’s the 27-year-old who “became an investment banker with a Cleveland firm soon after he graduated from college,” a job that paid for regular trips to Manhattan “to see his girlfriend and take her to upscale restaurants such as Bond Street and Cafe Gray.”

Since being laid off in November, he has moved back to Alexandria to live with his mother. He now takes the Chinatown bus — for as little as $5 each way — to visit his girlfriend….

It’s been tough on his girlfriend, he said. “She knows that she needs to be this understanding, positive influence in my life. At the same time, there is a lot of fear on her part, knowing that my industry and the one that we had kind of mentally projected ourselves and our way of life on could be over, or at least on pause for a while.”

Also? This guy tells the Post that he “has delayed plans to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring” (informing your girlfriend via the front page of the Post that she won’t be getting a ring anytime soon being, I guess, the recession-era twist on popping the question via jumbotron at a baseball game).

Unfortunately, that “Dating a Banker Anonymous” “support group” that the New York Times wrote about turned out to be, per a Times Editors’ Note today, “a satire.”

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.