You might fall into one of two camps. You relocated to Singapore as a single person, and you are now looking into the dating scene in the city. Or you may have moved here with a partner (or left one behind) and now you are single and ready to dip a toe in the dating waters. Dating in Singapore is not like it is back home, and whilst it can be really exciting (especially the thought of meeting people from all over the world), it can also be terrifying. What if there are some rules that you didn’t know about and you run the risk of feeling like a fool? So here are some factors to bear in mind as you start dating in Singapore.
Singapore is a transient city
Try not to forget that many expats in Singapore are only here for a limited time. People come and go all the time, so you may find that the person you dated last Friday may already be on a plane back home. Depending on your situation, you might also find that regular dating just doesn’t fit with the time constraints of your time in Singapore. However, this transience coin has two sides. Whilst it can be hard to meet the right person, or at least have them stick around long enough for more than one date, remember that if you don’t hit it off with someone, the chances of bumping into them again are nil. Also, if you are looking for no-strings dating or hookups, then you might find the dating scene works to your advantage.
Choose your hangouts carefully
Whilst you may well meet people through mutual friends and social networks, you may find it easier just to go out and meet people at a bar. Club Street sounds like the obvious choice, as it is rammed with office workers on a Friday night. Boat Quay is the less touristy brother of Clarke Quay and is slightly more laidback. Other recommendations are The Screening Room and it’s rooftop bar, thanks to it’s relaxed atmosphere and the fact it is never crowded. Potato Head and Chijmes are also favourites for singles to hang out and meet people, although bear in mind that at the weekend, it might be a little too busy to really get to know someone.
Apps for meeting people in Singapore
Of course, the whole world and his dog are currently on the internet in the hopes of meeting that special someone. Or to hookup for the weekend. Tinder is an old favorite and is still remarkably popular with singles the world over. However, be prepared to ‘match’ with people who may only be in Singapore for short-term work purposes, which may mean only a weekend in the city. Just keep your wits about you, as it is not unheard of to meet people online who have wives, husbands and children back home, especially those visiting a city like Singapore. If you want to feel a little more control over who you talk to, then try out Bumble. There’s no worry that you’ll end up talking to just one person out of a potential twenty matches, so it might be worth considering Bumble over Tinder.
How to approach a Singaporean for a date
Let’s not just automatically presume that you will be dating other expats, although this may well be in the majority of cases. You might find yourself in the company of a Singaporean local, whom you wish to get to know better. It is quite acceptable to flirt with members of the opposite sex in Singaporean culture and swapping phone numbers is the done thing. However, it is more common that the man would make the first move but it is entirely acceptable for women to do it too. In fact, some men really enjoy this! Just bear in mind that you shouldn’t ask a Singaporean for a date the first time that you speak to them. Most Singaporeans prefer to wait until they know more about the person in question before deciding if this is someone they would like to date. Once you have secured your date, do not be surprised if you turn up and find that you will be meeting up with more than one person. Group dates, involving other couples, are quite common in Singapore as it maintains a safe space for both parties, whilst getting to know each other in a more social and less intimate context.
Physical contact in many South East Asian countries is frowned upon, so tread with caution. If you are on a date with a Singaporean, public displays of affection are often misconstrued as an invasion of privacy or an insult to a person’s modesty. This is especially true in the case of Singaporean women, who have often pursued criminal cases against expat men who have casually touched their backsides. This can be punishable by law and results in a rather large fine, so watch out. Even if you are dating an expat, remember that excessive displays of affection in public can be seen negatively by others so tread carefully and be respectful.