The year is 2016.
The world is the battle ground.
And it's one of the biggest fights the planet ever seen - the Dating App vs Romance.
The internet is a wonderful tool. Technically, I am working on the internet right now. It opens up the whole world to us. We can connect to anyone, anywhere, at any time. When it comes to dating - this is the problem.
I am a single, gay man, living in London and telling my little dick jokes for a living. What an exciting time to be alive. Anything is possible. Except when it comes to finding that someone special. Now, I know it's the 21st Century and that I am a strong Puerto Rican princess that doesn't need a man - but I would like one. Eventually.
I am not afraid of dying alone - in fact, I've even rephrased it. I'll die independently.
I would much rather die independently than die having lived 30 years with some chump I settled for.
I remember before dating apps, there was a little show called Sex and the City. I don't need to dissect the show; we know what happened. We know who we loved and who was a knob but there was a quote in this show: some people are settling down, some people are settling, and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.
This has always stuck in my mind so profoundly. I've had all those relationships - the one full of passion, the one that doesn't quite fit but you flog it til it's dead and your friends are fed up of hearing about it.
Now, I just want to find someone with something to say and who has kind eyes and a full set of chops. That's quite easy right? WRONG.
I've done all the apps - I've swiped left and I've swiped right. I've matched and unmatched (that hurts) and I've paid POF money to find out who's not interested.
I've also spent HOURS completing chemistry questions so they can successfully match me to someone a six-hour drive away.
Dating apps may have made us accessible to more people but this accessibility has also made us more disposable.
We can all be messaging ten people at a time, getting to know them over the internet and then it turns out they are 57-year-old Bernard, who wants to slit my throat.
At this point, I should point out that there are numerous of people who have met online and it has really worked. But for me, at this point it feels like a needle in a haystack.
People have sent me a picture of their penis before they've asked what I do for living or if I'd like to go for a #cheekynandos. And listen, I'm not that much of a romantic that I've never had a one night stand. I've had them before (Sorry mum!) But I guess, what I'm saying is a picture? That's like sending someone a picture of a bunch of flowers. I want to be able to hold it and smell it for myself, thank you.
I think the main concern for me, and I've chatted endlessly with friends in a Wetherspoons over a jug of woo-woo, is that I never feel it when I meet a guy online. I almost feel like I know them or because they are not good over a message, I've written them off. DO you guys ever get this? (Please comment below!). Like, I feel when you meet someone in a bar or through a friend you know exactly what they look like, sound like - there's that dance. You remember the dance right?
There's part of me that also thinks people are lazy when you've met them on an app or there's less effort because there's always tomorrow's first date from Happn.
My friend went on an online date with someone. She knew there was a physical attraction but wasn't sure about what else. They'd been chatting for about four weeks and they finally set a date. She chose to drive in case she needed a quick escape and she offered to pick him up. So she did, and neither of them had thought of what to do. She asked him was there anything he wanted to do, there wasn't. So she asked if there was anything he needed to do. He said he needed to sort out his tan. So she drove him to the tanning salon, he had a sunbed and then she dropped him home - like an Uber.
Is our new found laziness, killing romance?
I like romance.
I heard about this thing they used to do in the old days that couples would do. It's a funny word. What was it.... Oh, yes - CONVERSATION! I think we have lost the art of conversation. We lost the art of engaging with each other on a human level because we are using to doing it over machines (okay, that's the gran in me). Now, if you introduce yourself to someone in a bar - they get the mace out! It's creepier to introduce yourself to someone in bar than it is to send someone you don't know a picture of your penis.
I'd like to bring romance back! OR at least old school dating - I'll take a White Lightning and a finger on the park. AS long as it's face to face - how exciting.
I have parents, who have been together forever. They talk to each other. They laugh at each other (mum said Spain was in France the other day - it was a moment) and they don't know how to work their phones. They sit in their hoodies, mum farts, it makes dad laugh. Then they'll discuss it in the pub with their pals! You can't google that - and that's what I want.
So Cupid, get your bow and arrow out of the cupboard - you are back in business!