THEY say romance is dead.

I say it’s been decapitated, a stake driven through it, and it’s been burned to ashes in a pizza oven.

Those responsible? Tinder. The internet in general.

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For those not in the know, Tinder is a get-sex-quick app for your phone.

Swipe right if you think they’re hot, swipe left if you don’t.

Some people join the app searching for relationships, and end up getting some very risque propositions.

That’s great if you’re after a like-minded sado-masochist, but not so good if you’re looking forward to a quiet date at the cinema and your date turns up dressed in cling film and wielding a large bullwhip.

Those issues aside, Tinder has demystified the whole magical process of meeting someone and finding them attractive.

Digital dating has desensitised people to real life, real feelings.

Like the endless race against the clock in our lives, we just don’t have time to fall in love anymore. Instant gratification, a transaction agreed on the internet, that’s easy.

This hasn’t ever happened to me, but a female colleague gets propositioned constantly by men on her work Facebook account.

These men are absolutely shameless.

Some send pictures of their genitals. Others ask her to meet with them. She only ever replies to ask why she would ever want to meet a complete stranger having never seen their face - only their penis.

I have a theory that they ask 100 women and one might say yes. It’s an age old strategy.

The get-sex-quick theme was repeated over in Middlesbrough earlier this week, when a mystery man handed out a creepy leaflet to teenage girls.

It read: “I don’t have time to talk right now.

I am not looking for a girlfriend or relationship.

I am looking for a possible private £arrangement. If you understand my meaning.”

The pound sign isn’t an error, but more a suggestion there is money involved. However he says further down the note “I am not making any promises”, before asking for a discreet meeting, then signing off with “have an enchanting day”.

The women involved were handed the letter by a man who immediately disappeared from the scene.

Police are investigating. The letter was excessively creepy, and obviously targeted young females. If it had happened online, they might have just ignored it, but to be physically handed a letter propositioning them must have been even more chilling.

Digital dating is blurring and pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate, what is acceptable, and in this case it seems to have spilled over into real life. Add a sprinkle of male entitlement and you have a recipe for disaster.

We already know our Insta-generation teenage girls are under more pressure than ever to look selfie-perfect and on top of that they are bombarded with constant sexual pressure and obscene pictures from men they don’t know.

It belies a whole stinking attitude towards women which we could really do without.

Romance isn’t actually that important.

Respect, however, is king.