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'The world of Tinder has me harking back to simpler times'

PUBLISHED: 15:04 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:04 28 November 2017

Afternoons of Countdown feature highly on Steve Downes' list of loves.

Afternoons of Countdown feature highly on Steve Downes' list of loves.

Steve Downes explains what it's like to be a man playing the dating game in the modern world...

General info – 43; quite tall; rather dull; recovering ginger; on the thick side of thin; eventful history of mental ill-health.

Likes – very long books about murderous 20th century dictators; buying old tat from junk shops; mashed potato with cheese; collecting craft beer cans and making them into house adornments; cycling; collecting beer glasses; collecting beer mats; playing football; crosswords; Countdown; history documentaries.

Dislikes – cats; kittens; poor use of apostrophe’s; The Daily Mail; unbelted trousers; the combination of nuts and chocolate; Steve Wright; chewing food with one’s mouth open; Crocs; Mrs Brown’s Boys; Eastenders.

Looking for – Linda.

So there you have it – my lonely hearts entry or my profile for Tinder/Plenty of Fish/Match.com. Tempted?

I have yet to submit this to any location: partly because the prospect terrifies me, but largely because I fear being overwhelmed by the responses from women who have been waiting all their lives for a cat-hater with an interest in cheesy mash.

Actually, though I am currently single, I am just fine. The mere thought of the dating game – particularly in the form of instant online judgements – makes me quail.

However, it does appear to be the way that things are going, more’s the pity.

Lots of people who I know use dating websites. Some have embarked on strong and lasting relationships after their eyes first met human-to-photo.

I guess it’s not that big a surprise among my generation. For when you find yourself single in your 40s, your options seem pretty narrow – and downright terrifying.

Are you looking for someone without children? Good luck. Is there anybody out there who’s prepared to let you leave your craft beer can collection in the lounge?

What if you meet someone, fall for them, then they decide they want children when you don’t? Awkward.

Then there are the perils of having your duvet nicked after years of being in control, or having to share the TV remote.

And what “baggage” are they carrying? I’ve got enough to fill an airport reclaim carousel.

Never mind all the jibber-jabber about being sexually compatible or finding “that spark”, these are the things that provoke fear and trembling.

The most interesting thing about the search for a partner (or no-strings intimacy) in 2017 is how clinical it has become.

People in their teens and 20s are quite casually seeing Tinder as the number one way to meet someone. What is the world coming to?

For my grandparents’ generation love blossomed in the dance halls and cinemas – so much more romantic than swiping through photos, reading biogs and “liking” somebody.

Romance dwindled a little in my youth, but there was still human interaction. More often than not you met people in pubs, clubs and at work.

Can you imagine the conversations 20 years down the line when a child says: “How did you and Mum meet, Dad?”

“Well, son, I swiped through a load of photos, had a few one-night-stands, then saw a picture of your mother and ‘liked’ her.” It’s not exactly Casablanca.

I like to hope that the cold, rational approach of shopping for a partner online is just a passing phase.

If I find somebody, it’d be nice to meet her in a pub, via a friend or just through an unexpected conversation while standing at a bus stop (do people still talk at bus stops?)

In the meantime, I’ll glory in my poor housekeeping and duvet dominance.

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