Mr. Lonelyhearts

But the New Romantics say it’s not their fault.

“As a guy who’s dating, I’ve felt a certain pressure to be harder than I really want to be,” said Mr. Phillips. “There’s a sense that a girl will call you a pussy or won’t respect you if you blurt out, ‘I love you.’ If you appear too needy, the women are repelled. And if it’s so uncool in these women’s minds to fall in love, and be head over heels and be like the girl and the guy in A Room With a View, well, where does that leave me?”

When men are citing Merchant Ivory films, times are indeed most strange.

Freelance writer Joshua David Stein, who is currently “giving it a go” with a girlfriend in London—keeping with the new trend among New York males of searching for mates outside the five boroughs—chalks things up to a softening of the male identity.

“I’m talking to my guy friends,” said Mr. Stein, who recently published an article in a national magazine about getting his feelings hurt by a woman. “And they are sentimental.”

He added that after a while, the appeal of one-night stands wears off: “Sex can get to be basically like working out.”

Mr. Strauss, however, injected a note of caution into this flowery fog of dreamy dudes.

“The truth is that this type of man may be even worse, and more dangerous, than a sex-chasing player,” he said. “They may be love addicts—who are way worse than sex addicts.”

—Additional reporting by Leigh Kamping-Carder

Mr. Lonelyhearts