The New York Times decided to do its best Carrie Bradshaw impersonation for one trend story today and is alerting ladies and gentlemen, but mostly ladies (we think), to this important fact: dating has changed and it's good news for dudes. Times writer Rachel Swarns has figured out that the days of swooning, flowers and princes are over. And her inspection into the pseudo-science of romance is, umm, delightful? Interesting? Chuckle-inducing. Swarns caught up with women who prescribe the Gaggle method of dating. She explains:

Their advice: Embrace all of the men in your orbit, whether they text or G-Chat, whether they’re hunky or grungy. Savor every connection — the drunken conversation at the bar, the casual sexual fling and the impassioned philosophical debate over pumpkin lattes — without worrying whether any of it will lead to love.

Yes, the words "pumpkin lattes" "orbit" and "hunky" all showed up in that passage. But the basic gist is women have had to abandon that Pretty Woman sense of love and Mr. Right. And that means men (are you listening, men?) you're totally in luck.

There is one thing that worries us about this Gaggle approach. The Swarns-Gaggle theory comes one day after a report from The Scientific American found that it's basically impossible for heterosexual men and women to have purely platonic relationships. More specifically, men are more apt to think there's something there that isn't. Citing a paper from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships which studied 88 pairs of undergraduate friends and 249 non-undergraduate adults, The Scientific American's Adrian Ward, a doctoral candidate in the psychology department at Harvard, wrote: "Men seem to see myriad opportunities for romance in their supposedly platonic opposite-sex friendships. The women in these friendships, however, seem to have a completely different orientation—one that is actually platonic."  He adds: "Although women seem to be genuine in their belief that opposite-sex friendships are platonic, men seem unable to turn off their desire for something more." But hey, that's kind of the point of the Gaggle method ... we think.

Photo by: CREATISTA via Shutterstock.