Mr. Lonelyhearts

At a party a couple weeks back, Sean McCusker, a creative marketing director at a magazine, beckoned a young woman he had met only minutes before to allow him to cook her dinner.

“I don’t mind being single,” he said. “Of course, I would like to be in a relationship. I guess. I like going out on dates with women. And if that includes expensive dinners or trips—I enjoy doing that with a chick that I am into somewhat. Even if I’m not in love with her, I just enjoy that female companionship.”

Kimberly, 27, an assistant who lives in the West Village, agreed to a blind date last month. The guy was a friend of a friend, and had noticed her one night at a bar—he subsequently passed word along that he wanted to “court” her.

“Before we even went on our first date,” Kimberly recalled, “he called me three days in a row. Each time, he wanted to talk about feelings, our families, et cetera, which seemed odd, but innocent.” Come date night: “Before I could even take my coat off, he was asking me about my past relationships and what I’m looking for in a boyfriend,” she said. “He was very open and honest about wanting to find ‘the one,’ and said he wanted to date me because our families were on the same ‘level,’ and I was the type of girl he could marry.”

After the date he insisted on walking her home. Passing his car, he reached in and—voilà!—whipped out a bottle of champagne. She didn’t have the heart to reject his offer to have some bubbly at her place. But once the cork had been popped, the fellow insisted on showing her his match.com profile. Then he asked her if he would indulge her in a good-night snuggle.

“SNUGGLE!” Kimberly said. “I laughed and pretended I didn’t hear him, while trying not to vomit.”

Then there is the now-famous case of Patrick Moberg, the lovelorn Web designer who saw a face he liked on the subway, went home and created the Web site nygirlofmydreams.com, drew her picture, and then posted it with the note “I saw the girl of my dreams on the subway tonight. Please help me find her.” What has become of their romance since appearing on Good Morning America is
anybody’s guess.

And what of the melancholy poetry that rock star Ryan Adams has been e-mailing to Gawker? “JJ,” he wrote, referring to his ex-girlfriend, model Jessica Joffe, “blocked my e-mail. If you like, here is a poem to share.”

“When a woman leaves, she leaves, and leaves,” the poem began, continuing on for another 40 lines.

Recently, Neil Strauss, author of The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, has been working with a competitor on the show American Gladiators who has biceps the size of your head.

“I’ve been watching him use this really sweet love talk,” said Mr. Strauss. “Suddenly he’s kind of mushy, cuddly, lonely.”

Some male beasts are bridling at their brethren’s newfound warm fuzzies.

“They take it too far, in that they cease to be men,” said Christopher Nelson, 31, an aspiring screenwriter. “And it’s not the women saying, ‘Hey, cool your jets, don’t go out, don’t get drunk as much.’ They’re censoring themselves. And that’s annoying. And boring.”

Mr. Lonelyhearts