From The Straits Times    |

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A recent survey in Singapore showed that 84 percent of singles find dating more challenging than a decade ago. Conducted by Lunch Actually Academy, the date coaching arm of Lunch Actually Group, more than 700 singles were interviewed on key aspects of dating and its challenges, in the face of new technologies and changing lifestyles. The results have been used to develop a date and relationship coaching program to help singles improve their chances of finding and keeping an ideal date.

And technology has contributed the biggest change to the dating scene. Violet Lim, CEO and co-founder of Lunch Actually Group, explains: “In the past to meet five to 10 people of the opposite gender usually took a month or more. Nowadays, with dating apps, one can easily e-swipe and meet five to 10 people in one evening. As a result, dates have become commodities. How this might impact ladies is that guys might not put as much effort into each date. I have even heard of people swiping on dating apps when they are on dates when they thought the other party is not looking!

“Men and women tend to date differently on dating apps. Women tend to be a lot more selective, while men tend to just swipe right. Hence, sometimes, women might think that the guy has indicated interest, but actually he has actually swiped right on most of his matches.”

We spoke to some single women to find out if the survey’s results reflected their experiences.

Survey said: 60 percent of women admit that their dating fear is meeting players and cheaters.

Our interviewees said:

“Meeting players and men who are cheating on their partners. I’ve met both types. It seems to me that men like these are more the rule than the exception these days.” – Natalie, 35, banker

“I’m cautious of meeting men who aren’t serious and on the look out for flings which is why I am generally more sceptical on the first few dates. Having heard several stories of men cheating on their partners, I am afraid of meeting such men too.” – Phua Sze Yee, 31, analyst

“I’ve met men before who I clicked with but were only looking for a good time. So that’s been something that I’m always afraid of – meeting men who aren’t looking for a partner.” – Josie Lee, 32, communications manager

Survey said: The majority of singles find dating a daunting experience.

Our interviewees said:

“No. With the advancement of technology, dating has never been easier. ‘Dating’ can now be done through the cyber world but it’s a double-edged sword. We kind of lose the ‘essence’ of human interaction. I guess the pro to that is that it makes things convenient in terms of finding someone compatible but you’ll never really be sure until your first meet-up.” – Jammy, 24, senior account executive

“Yes. It is becoming increasingly difficult to meet eligible men, and one who is keen on having a serious relationship.” – Natalie, 35, banker

Survey said: While technology has helped singles to expand their social circle easily, it has also made dating more complicated.

Our interviewees said:

“Even with technology, I’m still too reserved to take that first step to indicate an interest. I also believe most dating apps are just there for hookups and I am Asian, my value set is still conservative. I also don’t have time nor energy for trial and error. And don’t want to expose my background and insecurities to strangers.” – Kate Lee, 38, price assessment reporter

“On one hand, dating apps have made it easier and more accessible for men and women to meet new people. Also, technology has made it easier for people to stay connected and it helps people to know each other more. On the other hand, technology has made dating complicated because it is easier for people to cheat. Also, people are pretty engrossed with their phones which affects human interaction.” – Phua Sze Yee, 31, analyst

“I generally don’t trust dating sites or apps as I feel that that only men who are looking for sex go on them. Unfortunately, that’s the easiest way to meet men these days so it makes things difficult when you have to sieve out the genuine ones from the sleazeballs.” – Lorraine Monteiro, 28, designer

Survey said: 79 percent of singles expect instant chemistry on the first date, not knowing that more time is usually needed for two people to get to know each other and develop a connection.

Our interviewees said:

“A natural chemistry. And he must be intelligent. And I must get the vibes that he is a responsible and humble man.” – Kate Lee, 38, price assessment reporter

“I think it’s important to be able to click from the first meeting but I’m not sure if you can actually fall in love or decide right then that this is the man for you. That takes more time.” – Dinah Chen, 30

Survey said: 56 percent of singles get dating advice from their friends

Our interviewees said:

“Mostly friends, and sometimes my parents.” – Jammy, 24, senior account executive

“Best friend and other close friends. Sometimes my older brother.” – Natalie, 35, banker

“I go to my best friends. I do consult a few of my good guy friends so I get opinions from the guy’s side too.” – Phua Sze Yee, 31, analyst

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