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With texts, you are allowing a large space for fantasy to take over.’ The common business of ‘researching’ potential dates on Facebook, Twitter and Google can lead to similar disappointment – especially for a generation like mine, who curate their Facebook pages to PR-worthy standards.One friend furiously edits her Facebook page when a man she likes accepts her friend request.

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We’d made vague plans to see each other that night. Like me, you are probably so used to keeping your options open – and not deciding what you’re doing on a Friday night until about 6.59pm that evening – that the idea of ‘dating’ seems pretty foreign. Increasingly, we ‘hang out’ – and not necessarily as a twosome. The social psychologist Ben Voyer warns that while texting and online messaging are perceived to be easier than face-to-face contact or a telephone conversation, in the medium to long term they can make things more difficult. Your guess is as good as mine.) ‘Face-to-face contact is much richer.

Actually phone someone up to ask them out and agree on a date at some point in the future and put it in my diary? We have more visual and audio cues to help us form an impression of someone.’ Of course endless texting will never offer the same insight into someone’s personality as even a single face-to-face conversation.

‘It felt more like fourth-date territory when we met.

I’m not sure we’d have got together if we’d met randomly in a bar – if I hadn’t already known he was a nice guy, there would have been nothing to separate him from some random bloke trying it on.’ My current problem is less about the new men in my life and more about the men who just won’t leave it.

I might be missing out on love, but I’m never short of intrigue, and right now intrigue seems more fun. In fact, I can’t remember the last night out with my single friends where we all stayed until the end, or where we weren’t joined by a special guest at some point.

Some of this intrigue even becomes actual, real-life, human interaction and perhaps… But mostly I’ve found myself in a perpetual state of limbo – stuck somewhere between first encounter, a hook-up and a full-blown relationship. Twitter, Facebook and Google have turned the dating world upside-down, changing how we meet people, what we know about them before we do – and introducing a new layer of ambiguity into single life that generations before us never had to contend with. ‘Drinks with the girls.’ ‘Want to meet us at my local? I schlepped all the way across the city – only to spend the next three hours with Paul and about six of his friends. And it isn’t simply a case of women being on the receiving end of the latest incarnation of male dating fecklessness. But in the world of endless options, where nothing seems permanent, and you never have to interact with anyone face to face if you don’t want to, me actually picking up the phone, telling someone how I feel about them, or even asking them out for dinner seems like too big a risk.Occasionally, I’ll see someone once or twice, then decide they’re not for me.But instead of politely disappearing off the edge of the earth and never being seen again as in the Olde Days (1996), these men are now my Facebook friends. Strange then, I realised recently, that I have rarely been properly on my own.I haven’t lived with a boyfriend, introduced anyone to my parents, or been on a mini-break.At 29, I’m very happy with my life – it’s fun and fulfilling and I rarely feel lonely.

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