updated 12 Jan 2013, 12:43
Login password
Fri, Jun 25, 2010
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
More turn to Internet to find love
by Joy Fang

PROJECT engineer Goh Hui Beng had a dinner date last weekend – with a woman he had never come into contact with before.

He and his date were paired up by a new online dating service, Mr Goh, 31, is among a growing number of Singaporeans using such online services in search of love.

A new regional survey conducted by dating agency Lunch Actually and the Matchmaking Institute (S.E.A) found that 41 per cent of Singapore respondents used online dating services, compared to 26 per cent in a similar study conducted last year.

Some 58 per cent of respondents here said they had gone online – whether using dating services, social-networking sites or visiting chatrooms – to look for love, compared to 45 per cent in Malaysia and 36 per cent in Hong Kong.

One reason why Singapore outdistanced the other two countries was that it had the highest Internet penetration rate, said Ms Violet Lim, founding director of Lunch Actually.

Singapore’s Internet penetration rate is 72.4 per cent, while Malaysia’s is 65.7 per cent and Hong Kong’s is 68.8 per cent.

Other reasons experts offer for the spike in online dating include heavier marketing of such services and Singaporeans being more tech-savvy and seeking more avenues to meet people.

For the survey, over 1,190 singles from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong were polled between early April to late last month – 632 of these, aged at least 21, were from Singapore.

The results were released yesterday at Lunch Actually’s launch of, a personality-based matchmaking platform that matches members online and helps them meet up offline as well.

Traditional online dating sites can be tedious to navigate, with members needing to trawl through thousands of profiles, then engage in a drawn-out communication process before meeting, said Ms Lim. is unique because, after measuring 15 areas of compatibility from personality traits to lifestyles, it sets up a date and even books a restaurant, she added.

It also has measures like screening of applicants, verification of information and marital- status checks, to give singles the confidence to try online dating.
Guest of honour Claire Chiang, co-chairman of The Partner Connection Fund Evaluation Panel, said there is less resistance to online dating now because the virtual realm is not alien to the younger generation.

Mr Shaun Lee, webmaster of online dating site Singles2meet. com, said there has been a 300 per cent hike in business since the site launched two years ago.
Membership has blossomed from 500 to over 2,000.

Lovestruck, an online dating site that matches people based on proximity of workplaces, has seen a 400 per cent growth in members here from a year ago.
As for Mr Goh, his date went well. Cellphone numbers were exchanged.

For more my paper stories click here.

readers' comments

Copyright © 2013 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.