The Corner

The Costs of a Financial Crisis

Don’t you feel sorry for this guy?

See the tall, gregarious young man in the Eighteenth Street Lounge, moving easily toward a group of receptive women as the floor vibrates with reggae music? He’s dressed in a sharp Hugo Boss suit, and he knows that the minimum for a table is $240.

But he’s not offering to buy the drinks. And the suit? He bought it a year ago, when he had a six-figure salary.

Dating in the time of the pink slip means feeling the squeeze of the drastically reduced paycheck, the sudden sting of the layoff. From investment bankers to real estate developers to construction workers, no job means no buying rounds of $15 martinis for a pretty woman and her girlfriends. No hosting parties in the bachelor loft. And often, no idea how to present one’s new self on the dating market.

“It’s been incredibly stressful for me,” said Neil Welsh, 27, the guy in the suit, who until last year was marketing director for a booming real estate company. “I was so used to using my financial situation to leverage my dating.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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