You would think that in the era of dating apps, finding a boyfriend would be as easy as ordering Uber Eats. There are all these single people out there on apps and dating sites, so why aren’t we coupling up – especially when survey results have shown that most of us actually want to settle down?
There’s this scene in Sex and the City, where a particularly hungover Charlotte had a meltdown over brunch.
While my dating history doesn’t span as far back as Charlotte’s, I have been single for a little over a year now. And let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of Charlotte-level meltdowns in front of my girlfriends, loudly proclaiming to the entire bar that I might very possibly die sad and alone.
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You would think that with the proliferation of dating apps, it would be easier to find The One. Or at least, The One I Can Settle Down With. But after a year of swiping on Tinder, Bumble, Bite, Coffee Meets Bagel and going on dates, I’ve realised I’m no closer to getting into any sort of relationship. Hookups? Oh yeah, these apps will definitely connect you to the nearest available D faster than you can order McD’s. But getting a boyfriend? Like Charlotte, I’m exhausted. Where is he?
2016’s Marriage and Parenthood survey commissioned by the National Population and Talent Division found that a vast majority of Singaporean singletons – we’re talking 83 percent here – actually do want to get married.
But what’s confusing is that in the same survey, six in 10 single respondents said that they’re not dating seriously, and four in 10 of them said they’ve never dated seriously before.
So let me get this straight: statistically speaking, most of us do want to settle down. But we’re not dating seriously either. Something just doesn’t add up here.
Expectations vs Reality
When asked to explain this discrepancy, Rishma Petraglia, founder and head matchmaker at The Heart Whispers, says that single Singaporeans our age actually love the idea of marriage. We’re die-hard romantics who believe that fate or destiny will let us cross paths with our life partner eventually… And that is problematic.
We want to believe that we would lock eyes with someone from across the room somewhere, and in that instant, we’d know that he is The One.
Or maybe he’d literally bump into us on the street, accidentally spilling his drink on our shirt. First he’d apologise, then we’d strike up a conversation, and Happily Ever After will follow shortly. Unfortunately, real life doesn’t work that way. And for some strange reason, we just don’t want to believe that we can swipe right on The One.
“What ends up happening then is that a lot of singles just sit back and relax when it comes to dating. They like the idea of being in love and married, but don’t like the idea of going on dates to find The One,” says Rishma. It’s the romantic equivalent to wanting a toned body, but not being able to commit to the diet or a gym plan.