By Melissa Tan
Trade one’s independence for a husband and motherhood?
There are some who may scoff at the idea.
But there are also many single Singaporean women who are looking for love, but haven’t quite found it yet.
So just what do single women want these days?
35 year old Miss Goh says she will keep looking for Mr Right till she turns 40.
Although she has met men whom she has clicked with, Mr Right is yet to come by.
“For me, chemistry is very important. And after chemistry it will be the personality, the financial stability, so on and so forth. But it always turns out that the one I have chemistry with always turns out to be the wrong type of guy, who is not suitable or who is not actually looking to settle down.”
I asked Miss Goh what type of man she is looking for.
” Somebody who is responsible, capable and basically a family man.”
Some may say she is fussy, and to a certain extent, she believes she is.
“I will not get married just to get married. I think I will join and get support from my single friends. I guess friends and career does help.”
35 year old Min Zhen, who is also single, says her perception of what a stable relationship entails has changed over the years.
” At this age, I guess we are more mature, we are also more independent, so our criteria when we are looking for a life partner differs very very hugely from when we are 25. I would say that I would prefer to depend on my man, not the other way round, or at par. So if this gentleman, he has a good heart, a good character and a stable career, then I would look forward to settling down with him. But say if he is not stable in his career for example, then I will not consider.”
A recent survey conducted by dating agency Table for Six, showed that single women are quite often attracted to the wrong men.
23 percent of the respondents felt that way.
But Miss MinZhen and Miss Goh say most of the men they meet and are attracted to are already spoken for.
” Probably at my age, most of the guys who are my age or older are married. This is one of the factors in that sense.”
“And also, talking about men of our same age, 30, 35 or even 38, most of them are already attached, because men don’t believe in marrying late I think.”
But Miss MinZhen adds age should not be a barrier.
” As long as you are not looking to give birth, at that age I think you are fine. And I think there are people, not necessarily local men, there are people who don’t mind getting married at that age, just for companionship.”
Andrew Chow, founder of Table for Six, says his dating agency has always seen a demand for single men above the age of 35.
” But unfortunately we are not always able to find the right match, for the guys in terms of age. Because most guys of this age will be looking for younger women.”
His agency advises the women to revisit their requirements and consider someone younger.
“Because women who are 35, 40, 45, at a certain age they do prefer younger men. Trouble is, we need to find younger men who appreciate older women. I think there is a trend where younger men are going with older women. I see that even in the younger age bracket of between 25 and 30 years old. It seems that the women are now on average two to four years older than their male counterparts.”
The survey also found that 55 percent of single women will give up looking for a life partner by the age of 40.
One reason for this may be they then face less social pressure to get married.
Table for Six’s Andrew.
” Honestly, if you ask me, I think there has been a shift in the last three, four years. I think the pressure to get married is not as strong as say 2005. Nowadays women they have other back up plans, they have lots of other options to keep them gainfully engaged in life, other than a life partner. Women are quite happy, even if they have to stay single. They won’t settle for second best.”
Lydia Gan is the Owner of Clique Wise, a dating agency that runs social events for singles every weekend.
” Nowadays people just accept it that if you don’t get married, then maybe it’s a choice la. But in the past it wasn’t a choice. At least nowadays we still can say oh I haven’t found the right one, I choose to be single… people still respect that.”
The survey showed that 24 percent would look to engage in social work should they not find a life partner.
Another 22 percent said they would probably work past their retirement age, and 13 percent said that would find a companion with no marriage in mind.
So with women becoming more independent financially and otherwise, perhaps it is no surprise that many say that they can find meaningful ways to engage themselves – with or without a married partner.
Just like MinZhen.
“I’m an individual who can earn my own keep. If I can’t find a life partner, then so be it. I have lots and lots of friends. Even the married ones, we do catch up once in a while, so its not a big deal.”
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