I was crowned one of Tinder’s most eligible men but I can’t find love

I ALWAYS thought that by the time I was 32, I’d have settled down. That I’d have a wife, two kids and a nice big house in Surrey. But life didn’t quite go that way.

It was nearly a decade ago when a work friend told me about the dating app Tinder. I was working in Harrods in London at the time and I’d never had any trouble meeting women. My colleague said Tinder was fun and that I’d do well on it, so I signed up and soon got addicted.

By 2017, I’d had 14,600 right-swipes and received an email from Tinder saying I was on a shortlist of the 30 most-fancied people in the UK.

I did an interview and photoshoot with them to celebrate, and a few months later I was told I was the most popular man on Tinder. That’s when things went crazy. I got more than 1,000 messages a day. I tried to answer as many as I could but didn’t have the time to open half of them.

I remember being on a train from London to Kent to visit my mum soon after and everyone had their phones and newspapers out, reading about me being crowned Mr Tinder. When I got off the train, people asked me for selfies.

I loved the attention and being ‘famous’ – it was so exciting, especially because the girls at school who had never paid me any attention started popping up in Messenger, wanting to be friends.

Suddenly I was all over the internet and started getting asked to go on dating shows including Celebs Go Dating and, most recently, Written In The Stars. The programmes were great for my modelling career but I really hoped they would help me find love.

While it was amazing to be crowned Mr Tinder, I had no clue about what would come with it. And it’s funny because what people often don’t realise is that I’ve struggled with confidence.

My hair started receding at the age of 22, and that was really hard. I tried everything – I used my mum’s eyebrow pencil to draw in the lines. I even tried a wig for a while.

It wasn’t until I recently got a hair transplant at Dr Heal in Turkey that I can say I finally feel happy with myself. I went to Portugal afterwards and it was the first time in years I could jump into the pool without worrying about my hair.

Now I’m discovering that it’s hard for girls to see me for who I am. They like the idea of me but they don’t realise what my lifestyle entails. Having the name Mr Tinder isn’t ideal for a girl who’s looking for Mr Right.

When you get involved in a relationship with me, you get all the perks, the glitz and glamour – the fancy restaurants, the nice holidays and the Insta-fame – but there’s a fine line between work and personal life. I try to keep them separate but it doesn’t always work.

I’ve dated a few celebrities because, unless you’re in this industry, you don’t really understand what it’s like. Girls who have normal jobs can be overwhelmed – the lifestyle involves a lot of travelling, and I’m also papped, which can cause arguments. When I’m out and about, I get recognised and have a lot of pictures taken with other people, because I’m a nice guy. That can cause jealousy.

Some weeks I’m out every night – there’ll be premieres three times a week, dinners and other events. Or I’ll be at the gym in the evening, so it’s pretty full-on. That’s all outside my actual job of running my talent and marketing agency, Blue Tick Marketing, which I’ve just set up.

I don’t have much time for a night in with Netflix or making a meal. There can be quiet weeks but there are also days when I don’t have the time to eat, and that can be a big adjustment for any women who come into my life. In the past, things have faltered because of that.

I’ve had two serious relationships since becoming Mr Tinder and I’ve been in love. But sometimes things don’t work out. I still want to meet that special someone. I’ve had lots of fun but it can be a lonely world. I want to be part of a team, to have someone to share experiences with.

I’m ready for something serious. I want to settle down and concentrate on having a family. I want someone I can share the big experiences and little moments with – someone to wake up next to and to cook a meal for or go for a walk with.

Am I single now? Past experiences have taught me not to say too much. But I’m happy, having lots of fun and I’m hopeful for the future.

While it was amazing to be named Mr Tinder, I had no clue about what would come with it. People don’t realise I’ve struggled with my confidence.

As told to Sarah Ingram.

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