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Sat, Jan 09, 2010
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More S'poreans open to dating foreigners
by Victoria Barker

WHEN Ms Wan Xiaoxi started dating her foreign boyfriend in 2007, the two would attract curious stares from strangers in the street.

The 26-year-old Singaporean, who helps out in her family’s frog-farming business, had known Deon Brand, 23, an Australian who works in the offshore industry, since 2004.

He is her first non-Singaporean boyfriend.

Ms Wan told my paper: “My friends also had a few issues and, out of concern for me, would tell me how Deon could have a family in every country he worked in (because he travels a lot for work).

But for Ms Wan, their relationship transcended nationalities.

“I found him to be more open-minded, receptive and better able to communicate thoughts and feelings than the average Singaporean guy,” she said.

More Singaporeans seem to be becoming open to dating foreigners, like Ms Wan.

Three matchmaking services interviewed by my paper have seen the number of its Singaporean members open to dating foreigners rise by up to 30 per cent over the past year.

And as many as seven in 10 Singaporeans are open to, or will not rule out, dating a foreigner, a survey released last week found.

The online survey, conducted by the Association of Dating Agencies and Matchmakers polled 517 Singaporeans – professionals, managers, executives and businessmen – in their 20s to 40s.

It found that only around 25 per cent would not date someone of a different nationality.

Mr Jackiey Kwek, co-founder of consultancy Clique Wise and relationship Web portal, said: “Over the years, we have found that more of our clients don’t mind or even prefer dating foreigners.”

Of Clique Wise’s 8,000 clients, 80 per cent are Singaporeans.

Of these, half would date non-Singaporeans, up from just 20 per cent a year ago.

The company’s foreign clients are mostly from around the region, with Asians from China, Malaysia and Taiwan making up half their foreign client base.

The rest are from Europe, America, Australia and Japan. Ms Violet Lim, the founding director of dating agency Lunch Actually, said that about 30 per cent of its 3,000 members are open to dating non-Singaporeans, compared to just 10 per cent last year.

She, too, has noticed a spike in non-Singaporean Asian clients. “In recent years, we are also seeing more Malaysians, Indonesians, Chinese nationals and Indian nationals,” she said.

And Singaporean singles are more than willing to expand their social circles, region-wise.

“As singles become more exposed to different cultures as they travel and work overseas, they become more receptive and accepting,” she said.

The rising number of foreigners working in Singapore also plays a part.

“Singles realise that it is not so much about the nationality or even the race, but about compatibility and the ability to connect with one another,” she added.

Online dating service’s founder, Mr Matthew Tan, attributed the trend to a change in mindset.

“Before, they would want a local partner they can communicate with more easily, but now they are more open to the cultural differences,” he said.

Business-development manager Ng Sir Liang, 25, is an example. He has been dating Laotian Soytavanh Mienmany, 23, who works in water-resource management, for almost a year.

He said: “I guess our current generation has been exposed to different cultures. Our views may clash at times, but I think that’s what makes it interesting.”

Project executive Noelle Perera, 25, and her boyfriend of 21/2 years, Australian travel consultant Craig Brown, 30, agreed.

Ms Perera said: “What’s important is that we share the same world view...universal values like being kind that have nothing to do with where we come from, but rather just who we are.”


THOSE who wish to look for love with the help of matchmaking services can now determine which agency is the right one for them.

Club Uno – Singapore’s first dating-review website, which was launched last week by the Association of Dating Agencies and Matchmakers Singapore (Adams) – will give singles a forum in which to air their views and experiences with dating services here.

Adams president Violet Lim said: “It will serve as a platform for Net-savvy singles to air their views about dating that others can benefit.”

The website will also have educational articles on dating.

Accountant Catherine Wong, 29, who welcomed it, said: “I don’t have much time to go out and meet new people and I’d like to give a dating agency a try, but I don’t really know where to start.

“Now, I can read what other people have experienced for themselves and make a more informed decision.”

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readers' comments
Mmmmm.. I will settle for a Singaporean nurse...
Posted by Wong Keat Wai on Tue, 1 Dec 2009 at 16:51 PM
I saw many Singaporean dating PRC Chinese mei mei
Posted by amfreeaccess on Tue, 1 Dec 2009 at 08:17 AM
i refer to xinjiapore he is dead wrong white foreignerdoes nbot have longer prick.if you wanted a foreigner withlonger prick try a black from africa the darkest one yes they got the longest prick. fromthe name i gather that these new singaporean are of china origin. yes chines girls would want any prick be it lng or short.problem with white national, they just do not casre yes they would shows their best face whenyou newly know them but in the long term they can be a prick(*******).in a sense whenyou grow old they wil dump you the minutethey fnd someone younger and prettier, divorce forthem are like a rooll oftoilt paper easy come easy go, andimagine yourkids, half pariah,like a bags of rubbish.we chinese have a long history of culture. the white man culture is only maybe at best 50 yers whereelse thechinese have 1 million years of very .....
Posted by ryanmil51 on Tue, 1 Dec 2009 at 07:55 AM
foreigners got longer prick.
Posted by xinjiapore on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 21:21 PM
Like they say "love is Blind". I urge Ms.Wan to listen to her friends. I worked in a similar industry to her boyfriend. I have seen that these folks on the first break they have is to check out the local girls wherever they are and some of these guys are married with different wives all over and have children too.
Posted by Liquidos on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 20:22 PM
Why no pictures of Chinese and Indian???? or Chinese and Malay?? What is the story morning glory???
Posted by working_class on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 19:37 PM
even if we don't need 6-8mil people to fill up this little red dot, i'm sure we don't want 4 million lonely & single people around. love is a freeway, if age is just a number, then "foreigner" is just a word.
Posted by Nobizuka on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 18:28 PM

Whether our population is sufficient or not, I think it is all perceptions....

In the 1st place, why do we need 6-8 millions to fill up this little red dot ???:confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused: :confused:
Posted by Richie999 on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 17:33 PM
I say religion is a more tricky question than nationality. Skin is nothing but colour, what's impt is whether they have the same belief.
Posted by shybunny on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 16:30 PM
It's good that s'poreans are more open to dating foreigners since there are influx of foreigners coming in to sg. Perhaps this could boost our population numbers someday?
Posted by Nobizuka on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 at 12:16 PM

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