Dating Singaporean Men…

Was with a group of Malaysians girls and guys the other day, dwelling on the topic of love and dating and with patriotism running high, the focus inevitably transcends to how Singaporean men are not very good daters.

It is quite sad really, because not only the Malaysians are complaining. The Singaporean girls themselves are complaining about the Singaporean men.

They are too weak. They are not chivalrous enough. They make poor conversationalists. They are not gentlemanly.

A buzz phrase you hear among single Singaporean women is, All the good Singaporean men are either attached, married or gay!

That got me thinking actually. By the way, before I proceed any further, let me just state at this point that I am Malaysian, with a Singaporean PR. And I love my adopted country as much as I love my home country.

Ok, as I was saying, all this talk got me thinking. Is it true that Singaporean men “cannot make it”? Or do they have other redeeming factors?

The truth is, when I was at university, many of my guy friends were Singaporeans. And I was actually quite impressed with them. And many of them are people whom I keep in touch till today.

So, here are some endearing qualities that I find in Singaporean men that I have met…

In the event of war, you are rest assured that they know how to use a gun. Yes, with the compulsory national service of 2 years, they undergo combat training. And to make sure their skills do not turn rusty, they go back every year for “reservist”.

You can always count on them to have tissue paper with them. I am one of those women who never carry tissue paper on me. I can always count on my Singaporean guy friends to have them. Very useful when you are eating katong laksa, and you need tissue to wipe your mouth.

Many of them can cook. I swear. They are fantastic cooks. My girlfriend and I went on a trip with 3 guys. And we did not need to do any cooking. This Singaporean guy prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner and it was absolutely delicious! I don’t know where they learn how to cook… maybe in the jungle while serving NS? ;)

They are really sweet and chivalrous actually. I had this friend who knew the weakling I am, and offered to accompany me to the supermarket whenever I ran out of groceries. He knew for sure I couldn’t carry so much stuff. So he camealong to help me carry stuff. Yeah, yeah, some of you might say that he probably had a crush on you or something. But, seriously, I don’t think so. Think he was just a very thoughtful and nice friend.

And last but not least, you have to respect the “camaraderie” and comradeship. Every Singaporean man would have a group of friends call their “army friends” or their “platoon mates” or their “BMT friends”. Once in a while, they would go out with the boys, and catch up on how they played tricks on each other, or their sergeant or their platoon commander. And when they do that, though I pretend to be bored… it always brings a smile to my face…

Singaporean men might not be as romantic as the French, as passionate as the Spanish, as suave as the Italian, as well-dressed as the Hong Kongers, as good-looking as the Japanese… but they are really quite dateable… once you have taken time to know them better and discover the hidden gems.

After all, I am a trusted authority as I married one. ;)

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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22 Comments

  1. Roy Lim /

    Hi Violet,
    Well said! I’m so sick and tired of hearing that phrase of a good Singaporean man is either ‘Attached, Married or Gay”. Whoever came up with this phrase probably is an overly demanding lady who expects too much from a man. I bet if she’s in Malaysia or HK, she’ll be saying the same about the men there…

    For those who agree with this phrase, what you can do is maybe move out of your current relationship or group of friends… go out and meet new friends (Like Eteract events!). From there you may meet men who are out of your stereotyped category. But you have to have an open heart and mind when attending such events.

    You’re right about Singaporean men whom are great cooks. Surprisingly enough, a lot of women I know don’t cook! So when such things happen, we have to learn to cook ourselves! :)

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  2. Ha ha….I agree. Those who said such phrase are …as you said overly demanding or maybe they cannot meeet the demands of those man. So the man bor chap lor….:-)

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  3. Singaporean man got good looks one…Don’t lar so choosy :-). If God willing…he will send you the most handsomest one and NOT gay…:-)

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  4. Oh yeah and not forgetting the QUALITIES besides the looks. :-)

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  5. Nice article and I have to agree with this perspective on the matter (no doubt I’m a man myself)

    People in SG in general are pretty impatient and demands much (both gentleman and ladies). Sometimes we all really do need to sit down and smell whatever (rose or coffee) and enjoy the companionship that comes along with it.

    But on the extreme side, our ladies in SG do tend to be pretty one-sided in aspects of us “being gentlemanly”. Most times (which I’ve encountered) they tend to demand it and abused it. Guess there’s always two side of a coin.

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  6. I used to have bad impression of local men, because those single ones I have met, they were either too pushy (call you all the time and demand a date and won’t take no for an answer), or they only want one thing from girls and tell you from the start (including all kinds of “dirty” talk).

    This happened a few times, until for a while I almost swore off dating local men altogether as the foreign guys I know seem to be more decent and better conversationalist than just wanting something physical.

    However recently I have met a few local men who are gentlemanly, chivalrous and intellectual, and single! Rather good catch(es) actually, so I’m glad that there are local decent and very normal men.

    At least I’m glad I have not lost hope!

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  7. Roy Lim /

    Keep it up Celia. I always believe if our own Singaporean ladies don’t give chance to our own Singaporean men, then who would? (Actually have lah, China and Vietnam ladies!)

    Foreigners are not at all that ‘good’. Some of them are very good in getting you on the bed, that’s why they appear so nice to the ladies here? I guess we still have a lot to learn. ;P

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  8. Hehe, thank you all for contributing to this article. :)

    Ands yes Celia, there is hope after all. :)

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  9. Souplad /

    Attached, married or Gay? I am quite sure not all attached married and gays are nice XY chromo-creatures

    Come on………we know we cannot simply engage in the one-bamboo-hits-the-entire-boat-of-folks sweeping thoughts

    BTW, got to know this blog from Facebook recommendation.

    Good Job

    Generalisation are dangerous, including this one…..Mark twain

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  10. T_orange /

    To quote one of violet’s article, staying at home to do laundry won’t get one anywhere.

    One thing for true is that respect for what others are is the first step to go. People are what they are.

    I dated some singapore girls before. There were good dates, as well as bad ones. Sometimes, whether one will meet the right much is a combination of guts, luck and fate.

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  11. Souplad-
    Welcome to my blog! :) Yeah, I agree… generalisation and stereotyping is dangerous… but sad to say… a lot of us still do it… e.g. when people hear that someone is an engineer or doing IT, they would not be as open to meeting them as opposed to say bankers…

    T_orange,
    Welcome! :) Thus, to increase our chances, it’s best we meet as many people as possible. :)

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  12. A nerdy male Singaporean /

    Hmm, reading all that…. O btw, I am Singaporean, male, single and definitely not gay :)

    Bcse of workload priorities of new job n personal commitment to be 100% debt-free, i decided to shelve my weekend romantic pursuits until this yr.

    The women who phrase that stereotype “attached, married or gay” shd look at themselves in the mirror…r they expecting too much from SG men first? No wonder “female foreign talents” are making a beeline at their counterparts. And remember once China women knew how to charm men thru so simple task like prawn peeling?

    Just 6-cents thoughts during the weekend :)

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  13. SG Ger /

    Sorry but I’m one very disappointed with SG guys.. Haa
    (1st incident)
    I have met Guy who is so “da nan ren” tt everything I do is wrong n everything he do is right. He will even argue tt he’s right even he’s in the wrong. N worse.. to break or to patch also he call the shot.. It make me seriously wonder who am I to him. He sound more like my master n I’m a helpless pet.. He can also beat me and be super gd to me woh.. depending on his mood or feelings
    (2nd guy)
    Everyday after work go home watch tv. Then everytime tell me he wanna do degree but no $$. Hello.. One seriously keen to study will go to library n borrow books to improve himself. So obviously he’s just talking n got no intent to execute. He don’t like to manage his own finance when he’s 20 over yrs old.. ASk him to manage his own $$ don’t want stress.. Ended up Daddy managing his finance.. I cannot imagine what’s life after marriage.. I gt to get my own husband hardearned $$ from my father-in-law. Say wan to marry when he cannot even find a place to put me.. Then everytime expects me to go find him.. N he don’t come find me.. N gimme the reason cause he don’t drive. N keep on stay at home to slp or watch tv even he’s on leave.
    (End)
    If u were in my shoes… what do u think of SGeans guys?? Mainly of my guy frds.. their dream is to find a job n work for the rest of their life. studying n improving or upgrading themself is totally nt inside their plans. Or rather it will be the last thing they will do.. Just ask yourself SG guys.. How many of you seriously go library n make use of engineering or software books to go n try out new stuff?? Society keeps on changing n everyone is improving / upgrading. ALl they do is to pray things don’t change. If u are in SGeans gers shoes.. How r we going to leave our lifetime fate to these types of guys?? Although I may say like this but I seriously don’t kill all hopes of finding just the one tt shares the same view as me.. I, a SG ger, don’t expect too high.. No need to be rich .. juz slightly above average will do.. Small HDB is cosy enough for a small family.. All I need is one tt is willing to change. Change is the hardest among SGean guys. Either they are too EGO or they are too comfortable in their comfort zone. I once went thru NS too. I have seen too many guys. But of course I don’t believe all nice guys are either attached, married or gay. I believe there would be some still left out there. So I’m keeping a lookout too.. Hee

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  14. SG Ger /

    Haa one thing tt a guy shouldn’t change is the love, commitment n responsibility tt both shared.. but instead 2 person should be with the same vision n goals n work towards the target together.. Contantly changing n upgrading oneself to keep ahead of the society.. Increase our own value not necessary for society.. It maybe for the family too.. Eg.. Cooking.. If both don’t know how to cook.. it’s ok.. 2 go learn cooking together lor.. N go thru the learning process together.. It’s nice lor..

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  15. In the early 40s and have been back on the dating scene 3 years ago. Dated 2 Singaporean men in the late 40s. Both were after money security. The first Singaporean boyfriend was introduced by a shopkeeper and he kept asking me for loan and buy a flat for him. I lost some money and decided to end the relationship. Next, I decided that it is better to pay $2000 and go through a very reputable local dating agency. The Singaporean man introduced by the dating agency was from hell and he kept asking me for loan. Now I decided that it is best to be happy on my own. But then, on reflection, I do not regret as at least I have tried to be back on the dating scene. Some advices though for those in the late 30s and above, ‘Singaporean man who is willing to date us will most likely like us because of financial security. Hence, we should not let romances blind us.’ Take care.

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  16. Quote ‘Singaporean man who is willing to date us will most likely like us because of financial security. Hence, we should not let romances blind us.’

    With out own financial security we got last say ma…No? You be the gungho carrier woman he be the house husband taking care of the kids and parent-in-law lar…I mean this is only an idea. Not suggesting anything on action.

    Quote ‘When people hear that someone is an engineer or doing IT, they would not be as open to meeting them as opposed to say bankers…’ Why? Is it because engineers and IT person are introvert or LOUSY communicator? Then choose Consulting engineers or IT consultant lor….

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  17. I think SG women should not blame SG men for not giving them what they want. It takes two hands to clap. Blame is the easiest way to give away one’s responsibility but it will NEVER bring you happiness.

    I have NEVER considered myself a “stereotypical Singaporean guy”, in fact, I do not know exactly how one looks like. At a young age, I travelled the world to get a glimpse of the world, to understand myself better. I have alot of friends who are foreigners and made friends with people from blue collared joes to high ranking executives. I have hardly done anything which is “stereotypically Singaporean”.

    If ladies have much complaints about the men here, I guess its time for these people who complain to look inside themselve instead of blaming everyone else. I do get offended when ladies plays the “gender” card and tells me how jerky guys here are. Ok, your bad experience with your ex is one issue, do not link me up with everyone else. I get very offended when ladies do that in font of me. Work on yourself. Relying too much on men is a very conservative thoughtform for a country like Singapore.

    I want someone who is able to be in sync with me, sharing the same goals and values, and not nitty picking on this and that.

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  18. Well not all SG women blame SG men for not giving what they want. I don’t expect SG men to gimme what I want coz I seriously like the “kick” of going after what I want. Anything (except a guy) I want is definitely not beyond my reach. But I don’t like men to leech on me..

    If I choose to be together I guess I only gt myself to blame for choosing and being so blind. So I can choose not to choose.

    I personally feel relying on Man no longer exists in country like SG already. Or maybe it only happens for my circle of frds. Like I mention @ the beginning.. ANything I want.. Is not beyond my reach. To me being attached or not is no longer important as I can rely on myself.

    But I got to agree with Peace sharing of the same goals and values is important. Thus 2 person can move in sync. Past experiences tell me differences in these lead to a lot of problems.

    Anyway Peace u don’t have to feel offended. I didn’t say all SG guys are like what I mention above. Quote from my previous posting > Maybe u are one of those still left out there :LOL:

    I’m merely saying most of the SG guys are too comfortable in their comfort zone. Not they are not nice.. I’ve seen a lot of nice guys but they juz too comfortable in their comfort zone. They are so nice tt sometimes I think I’m falling for them but I know things will not work out on because it’s impossible for 1 to be inside comfort zone n 1 outside comfort zone.

    If they can move out of their comfort zone and start turning all their hopes into reality. No need guy go after gers.. I will definitely take initiative to go after the guy.

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  19. Hey just to be fair to Singaporean guys, I just finished dating a guy who was a Kiwi and he is very bossy, and male-chauvinistic, and decides when to break or make the relationship. So to be fair, guys like that exists everywhere, no matter Singaporean or foreign. He was a Kiwi who grew up in Australia, and although most Australian guys are the most sensitive guys ever and a softie at heart, this one tends to be very bossy as well.

    All I can say is that Singapore has a “tendency” to build guys in the more conservative, male-chauvinistic mode, but it doesn’t mean all are like that.

    I’m single and looking for someone on the same frequency as me. The last guy I dated (the Kiwi I mentioned, hot and sensitive) almost hit the note, but he was insecure and had to have his own life first.

    But I kept dating the wrong guy – who’s not looking for a serious relationship. I’m feeling a little old now, 29, and dated countless Singaporean and foreign guys, some older, some younger than me, but none serious about me, or secure enough to feel they can be in my life.

    I guess I’m too ambitious and career-minded. I guess a guy for me would have to be confident, secure, and strong enough to accept that I’m not a typical Singaporean girl. And by secure, I mean he feels secure in his own person that he doesn’t have to prove to me that he is a man and can do a whole lot of things better than me; and will regard me as an equal. THAT, I find, is a quality very very hard to get in Singaporean guys, or any guy. The ones I’ve dated are either softies who can’t make up their minds, or chauvinistic guys who think they know better than me and criticise all my ambitions and dreams.

    I guess it’s all a matter of luck and finding the right fit.

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  20. Topguy /

    wow. I was doing some reseach and bum into this page about lousy Sg guy.

    what can I say, they are bad or they are good or half way in between.

    Btw I am in early 40. I am surprise that the younger generation guy are losing so much ground in term of knowing your lady. Perhap it is the comfortable life that they enjoy in having want they want that make them softy and some da nan ren.

    I do agreed partially with SG ger about her comment on SG guy. To be fair this also apply to SG ger. With better education and earning power, they demand more and have higher expectation. which are both good and bad.

    Courtship is like fishing. You must know when to pull and when to release. Pull too hard at the wrong time will break the line. Release too much and they will either run away or seek other ger attention. Most important is patient and hold the line with your heart and open line communication.

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  21. Reading some posts suggesting that Singaporean women may be very demanding, I would like to beg to differ based on my experience as well as my friends whom i know. I have dated 3 local guys whom I met through some social network and outings – as they invited me for a date. I never heard from them anymore after one or two dates. A few of them initiated to have sex with me before he could consider to enter a relationship. In fact I even sms and call them to keep in touch but they never initiate another outing (the reasons I heard were that they were busy, etc etc). I guess I may seem to be quiet and reserved, and can be a little nervous in socialising. But I could hold a good conversation whenever I can. I believe there are a lot of Singaporean women like myself who do not demand much from a guy and would find time for him – I have a career, but this does not mean I will be career-minded. This year, an American man passionately date and contact me – as he sounds sincere with a lot of initiative (there are also a great amount of substance in our communication because the converstations shared were NOT about Sex – and obviously he was more informed about what I know from the global news scene) – after looking into his initiatives and the quality of our communication, I decided to give him a chance to get into a relationship.

    The point of me making this post is: I don’t think Singaporean women would demand alot and they can be very sincere in relationships if they are given a chance to be part of a man’s life. I am 34 this year – I’ve met many nice Singaporean guys whom I can consider as good friends, but when comes to starting a relationship, they are not very proactive to express their feelings/interest to someone they like, and they tend to hold back, or is passive and cautious – somehow this makes them look elusive – Speaking from a perspective of a Singaporean, I am sure most singaporean women would prefer to marry local men but most of the time, they are left wondering if singaporean men prefer more choices (statistics show that the population of local women far exceeds local men in Singapore), or too choosy or ever ever feel ready for a relationship. Pardon me if I may not be on the same frequency with most of you here – but in reality, I have not been fortunate in my search for a local man. I think there are definitely a few or some singaporean women like myself out there waiting for a local man (who can be a good friend) to express their interest and love for them.

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  22. stephanie /

    Hey
    i just need a handsome guy to add joy to my life

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