Dating in a recession: the game has (thankfully) changed

The most expensive date I've ever been on involved a hedge fund owner and a nightclub in Manhattan's meatpacking district. To get a table, my date had to pony up cash for a three-bottle minimum. While it was a nice gesture, it was one of the most boring dates I've ever been on. We sat around a small table cluttered with booze, unable to hold a conversation over the obnoxious club music pounding the speaker two inches away. While he might have thought he was proving his manhood by peeling off a grand in cash from a thick money clip, I ended up just feeling guilty about not going on a second date.

The Washington Post recently featured a story on post-apocalyptic dating. Laid-off bankers are feeling the sting as they can no longer take their dates out for $18 martinis and tasting menus. "Inadequacy. I can't harp on that word enough. I just feel inadequate," says laid-off investment banker Niko Papademitriou.