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Still in the depths of sleep, I reach out and grab it, knocking a cold cup of coffee over the unread mountain of books on my bedside. I swear loudly, mop up the mess with one hand and look blearily at the message on my screen. And that was the day I deleted Tinder. There is no denying that the pursuit of love in the 21st century has become littered with digital landmines.

There are now more than 91 million people around the world on dating apps — and most of that is thanks to Tinder. The first dating phone app of its kind, Tinder arrived on the scene infirst in US colleges before spreading outwards, nationally and internationally, from Rome and London to Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town.

And finally, make it as simple and addictive as a game.

In January it was reported that Tinder makes 21 million matches and processes 1. But it has also emerged as a place where women regularly have to put up with the kind of sexist, vulgar and aggressive messages that, if said in real life, would see you instantly shunned as a pervert. Entire websites, blogs and even books have sprung up — such as the Instagram accounts tindernightmares.

Even my male friends acknowledge it happening among their peers. Speaking to Oliver, 26, he recounted how he had been sitting with a friend who, flicking through Tinder, had matched with two girls in quick succession. Instantly he sent them both a pornographic message.

If you've ever been on...

What kind of person is he? Why the messages then? According to one developer, this has been perpetuated by the fact that dating sites and apps still make most of their revenue from men. Therefore men have always been the focus, which has just perpetuated the problem.

And the woman leading the charge is not who you might expect. The chatty waiter who comes to take our orders opens with: We are 1, miles away from Los Angeles, the home of Tinder, and 1, miles away from Silicon Valley, but frankly we could be in another world entirely.

Wolfe, 25, lives here partly because it is the home of her oil tycoon boyfriend, but also because it signifies a distance that is both physical and metaphorical between her and her former life.