January 25

Time to man up. Here’s how to find a date in Singapore


On Saturday, I got dumped. The date told me that the dates felt like ‘extended therapy sessions’ and that we would be better off as friends.

The backstory

This was the third date that I found on Coffee Meets Bagel, the dating app.

how to find a date in singapore
And then I got dumped again

I admit. I confessed, at the wrong timing. Earlier that day, I had told her how pissed I was with her that she was late most times when we met.

But this story isn’t about me.

It’s about you.

And how to find a date in Singapore, worth keeping.

Why is it so hard to find love?

You would have thought that it would have been easier in sunny Singapore, where there’s a constant focus on giving families a good start with subsidised HDBs, and great schools.

Yet people are not getting married.

One of the biggest reasons is time.

You simply have no time, and energy

If you think about the prospect of getting a date, the logistics are simply horrible.

  1. You need to find a date.
  2. You need to ask the date.
  3. You need to find a date in your schedule
  4. You need to find a date in her schedule
  5. You need to find a place or something both of you like doing
  6. You need to rinse and repeat until you’re sure you’re a good/bad fit for each other

Here’s how to get a date, worth keeping.

Straight out from my experience counselling others during my time as a social worker, and then later on from my own failures in dating.

No, no don’t do anything silly. Just take it one step at a time

Don’t force it, go organic

There are three main sources of dates.

Fret not. Here’s the cheatsheet
  1. Organic – you meet them in the course of your social gatherings, such as church or university etc.
  2. Referral – someone tries to matchmake you
  3. Inorganic – from dating apps or matchmaking agencies

Organic single mixers – ideal for those who don’t like to be pressured

There are other ‘wholesome’ events that try to bring singles together. These are the ones by the likes of Friendzone (though they repeatedly emphasize that they are not a dating event) or Picpic.

They tend to be conversation-based, and focused on helping you to know the person as fast as possible, in a non-threatening manner.

But there are also others organised by churches.

Two that were recommended to me were:

They organise regular activities for single professionals. Expect lots of interaction, with none of the pressure of trying to know someone.

  • Sacred Companion SG
    They actually have regular events!

    This is one that has a business model around matching Christians together. But beyond that, they also have a page where they have pulled together different events from different faith communities that you can go for.

Inorganic, explicit dating events – for those that prefer to be upfront

Dating has become a national concern. In fact, it’s such a concern that the Social Development Network, which was set up to encourage more couples, and families, gives $100 to singles to go for dating events.

It doesn’t look too bad, eh?

But go for them and you might find the other party having quite a bit of pressure to know you and to decide whether you’re worth spending time with.

Inorganic dating apps – for those that want to see before they ‘buy’

On the advice of a friend, I finally bit the bullet and tried the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel.

And it was a horrible experience.

For one, you’re choosing entirely based on looks. And we know that looks are now filtered to look the best online.

how to find a date in singapore
With so many choices online, how can you possibly find the right one?

And we’ve all known the person who doesn’t look great, but has a great personality.

Secondly, you’re constantly exposed to more and more possible matches. That’s a bad idea. Especially when you’re thinking of settling down. How can you be possibly content, when you’re exposed to more and more people that could look better?

My last date, was arranging 4 other dates per week.


You didn’t read that wrong. 4 dates a week is 16 dates a month and 64 dates since she started.

This is not to reflect poorly on her, but it’s to say one thing.

When you’re on the app, it leads you to the paradox of choice. Where the app constantly reminds you that there’s someone out there, leaving you flummoxed.

Do you accept what’s there in front of you, or go for someone else?

The likelihood is that you will try both at the same time, leaving you equally likely to be more confused, rather than happier.

If you’re in a social group like church, try building an organic relationship from there. Some common social groups include:

  1. Church
  2. Hobby groups like salsa or sports

It may be easier, because you don’t have to deal with the logistics of constantly arranging meetings.

You also get to meet the person in group settings, rather than in a high-pressure, forced situation like a date, where both of you are trying to assess each other’s suitability.

Know what you want, and what you don’t want

For all the people who have said their date was never someone they would have expected to choose, there are the people who do go with dates with a good number of qualities that are on their list.

Have a list.

Write down the qualities you want.

This may sound stupid, but it would help you to stop wasting time with people who aren’t worth your time.


I made a mistake by not keeping to my list. I thought that anyone would be okay, and just tried to match with everyone on the app.

Turns out, it became worse off for me.

I was even more unhappy.

Are you willing to go all the way with your date?

Forget those romcoms.

They just don’t work that way in real life.

In their book ‘The Sorrows of Love,’ The School of Life writes about how we often have this ‘romantic idealism’ towards love, thinking that we would be happy, floating on cloud nine, if we found our ideal date.

But it’s not always like this.

Often, you will be left more pained than happy.

What’s necessary is a willingness to work through problems with your date.

Finding a date is not as hard as keeping one.

Keeping your date is not that easy.

Keeping them involves you knowing what you’re willing to change, and what you’re not. If there are certain things that your date dislikes, but which you see as fundamental to your being, let the date go.

Don’t change yourself just to get a date.

A date would be willing to accept you as you are, and work through the things that she finds hard to accept.

Compress, decompress

Most ladies prefer to sit and chat, whilst men prefer to do activities.

Find activities that you can do together. For example, good ones are:

  1. Movies
  2. Doing a jigsaw puzzle
  3. Taking a walk
  4. Playing a sport
  5. Rock climbing or bouldering
  6. Salsa
how to find a date in singapore
Maybe do something like art together – just don’t end up throwing crayons at each other in anger

These activities force you to focus on the activity, rather than excessively on each other.

It can also be easier for men, especially when you may not be used to the intense, emotional conversations ladies want from you.

27 years without a date taught me this

Finding a date in Singapore isn’t really about finding the perfect person.

Rather its about daring to go all out to try.

Sure, you may be hurt.

But would you rather have tried and failed, than not to have tried at all?

It’s vital to recognise that finding a date first requires and requests that you find yourself.

That you find your masculinity.

As crude as this sounds… your balls.

To go way out of your comfort zone and to ask someone out for coffee, rather than constantly sitting on the app and then swiping and googling for the next pick up line to send to ladies.

And to be comfortable with the discomfort.

That’s what dating is.


But it’s sure worth the trouble.

The question is,

How far would you go, if you had nothing to lose?



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