Molly Lynch: Why I’m steering clear of romance via the internet

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Gold coins of Christmas have been melted down and re-fashioned into chocolate hearts. A mere ‘I Love You’ emblem can transform a teatowel into an acceptable gift.

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us.

For me, the eternal singleton, the countdown to the sickly spectacle has been made even worse by research which reckons half of all new couples will meet on the internet by 2031.

Did you hear that thud? It was the sound of the final nail boring into the coffin of my romantic hopes. You see, I am to online romance what the Luddites were to the power loom.

There are many pitfalls in searching for a partner on a website. One oft-quoted complaint is that online dating profiles don’t paint an accurate picture of potential suitors.

Photos are taken from flattering angles - though for many that would simply involve the classic finger-over-face which died with the non-digital camera - in a clever ruse to make them seem more attractive than they are.

But for me, it’s not the picture that’s the problem. It’s what lies beneath.

Just like a padded-out CV, dating profiles are idealised versions of ourselves.

Trivialities of everyday life such as ‘reading’ suddenly fall under our Hobbies and Interests, regardless of whether daily word consumption is limited to the telly guide and back of a crisp packet. They are also portholes to poor spelling and grammar. If a man gets ‘of’ and ‘off’ mixed up, I know he ain’t marriage material.

And what on earth is with grown men looking for a ‘bit of fun’? Forget a girlfriend, I suggest a trip to Alton Towers, mate. Maybe don’t fasten your seatbelt before that rollercoaster sets off.

It’s not a girl thing either. My brother is well-dressed, has a good job and inherited my mum’s good looks, yet in the past 12 months the closest he’s come to a night with a hot bird is a rotisserie chicken. But he still wouldn’t be seen dead on Tinder (Google it - I had to).

It’s hardly surprising that online dating is increasingly popular in a world where we opt for the shrill ring which comes with an Unexpected Item in Bagging Area over human interaction with a checkout assistant.

The age of technology is already making socially inept monsters of us all. Let’s not let it kill romance.