Now, 40 per cent are divorced and 10 per cent are widowed. But attitudes are hard to change: There is still a lingering sense of embarrassment and conservativism about putting oneself out there, especially for older people in the dating pool here.
The problem seems to be worse online. Ms Yeo, for example, sees a marked contrast between men in Singapore and those from abroad.
33 Best Singapore Dating Sites & Dating Apps By Popularity
When American men sent her online messages via OkCupid, an international dating website, she could find and identify them on Facebook and LinkedIn. Dating in Singapore was far less transparent. Some said on their profiles that they were married but were looking for 'friends'," she says. There are also those who find online dating exhausting, meeting person after person on first date after first date. Take bachelor Benjamin Koh, 36, a consultant in learning and development at a corporate training firm, who three years ago gave up on the Lovestruck app he used to meet people.
I'd think, maybe another girl would be better," he says, which would spur him to get on the dating treadmill again. Having given up on dating apps, he says he still wants to find a wife who shares his Christian faith.
Now he is looking among his church circles. Another common reason that older singletons give about their lack of prospects is their shrinking social circles. As they get older, more of their friends get hitched and start families. The friends have less time to hang out and have fewer new friends to recommend as possible matches. At social events organised by a dating agency, Mr Wong Ying Yuan found himself sitting across women in their 20s. Problem was, he felt like he was talking to his niece, who is Kang, 40, who has never had a relationship, puts it this way: We tend to get 'more single'.
There have always been more women than men in her life. She was from a girls' school and mostly socialised with the same group of friends through secondary school, junior college and university. In her business administration course at the National University of Singapore and at her places of work, women also outnumbered men. Two years ago, she attended events organised by dating agencies, but found it "draining and depressing" when she did not find a suitable match. Life found that men's concerns tend to revolve around appearances and child-bearing abilities of their partners, while women's preoccupations centre on financial stability in their potential husbands.
Singles Dating Meetups in Singapore
Private investor James Foo, 44, who has gone on dates via a dating agency, admits that he is "quite picky in terms of looks". Those he dated tried to suss out, for instance, whether he owned a car by asking if he knew where to park at certain locations.
On the other side of the fence, Ms Eunice H, 43, who lost her husband in a traffic accident three years ago, recently felt ready to look for a new partner on dating websites and agencies. In a first phone conversation, a man rejected her because he said he needed a woman young enough to bear him children.
And sometimes, singletons are too independent and comfortable with their lifestyle to make the effort to find a partner.
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Ms Wee Le Fong, 40, a former air stewardess of 11 years, wonders if she has led the lifestyle of a cabin crew member for too long, and is too used to doing things on her own. She is now an administrative associate at a bank. She does not go clubbing and seldom takes the initiative to meet people, prefering to leave such things to chance. I sometimes spend weekends with my elder brother and sister and their children," she says. For older people who have had past relationships, there might be another factor that complicates dating: Mr Victor Chua, 50, who runs his own tour operations business, lost his wife seven years ago when she was knocked down by a lorry, leaving behind their son, who was just one then.
These days, Mr Chua, who mostly finds dates through work, says anyone he has a relationship with has to understand that "my time will not be spent entirely with her. I find I'm more attracted to divorced women who can handle my kid because they have kids too". We might go on those dates for a simple dinner at a cafe, no pubs or discotheques," he says.
Complete your profile thoroughly. This not only lets your potential dates know you better, but also makes you look more real and trustworthy.
Part 2: 32 Other Popular Singapore Dating Sites & Apps
Upload as many photos as possible. Photos are critical for other members decide whether they want to contact you or not. Login to the site on a regular basis. People who want something right here, right now. Stressed about taking the perfect selfie for your dating profile?
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Then try Blindfold, a local dating app that conceals your photo until you and your match decide to unmask each other. People who just like putting things in categories. If the problem persists, please contact customer care.
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