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Sun, Apr 22, 2012
The New Paper
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What women want: To marry up
by Benson Ang

SINGAPORE - There are graduate women in Singapore who are willing to date and eventually marry blue-collar workers.

But they are few, said seven dating agencies.

Mr Matthew Chan, managing director of Love Express Services, said 80 per cent of his graduate female clients want to be matched with someone just as educated, if not more so.

Of his 5,000 clients, 60 per cent are women.

And 80 per cent of these women are degree holders.

"Women generally want to marry 'up'," he said.

"And education is linked to career prospects, salary and the company one keeps.

"While graduate women might be friendly to non-graduate men during events, they would still prefer to date someone of the same social strata.

The subject of graduate women dating blue-collar workers became a hot topic after The New Paper on Sunday (TNPS) featured a rich graduate woman who plans to marry her chicken-rice seller boyfriend.

The report followed a speech by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who had called on Singaporeans to rediscover the pride in blue-collar jobs and regard them as core to the workforce.

Speaking at a ministerial forum organised by the National University of Singapore's Students Political Association on April 4, he said: "We need to be a society where customers treat blue-collar workers with respect and that requires some attitudinal changes."

Since the TNPS report, there has been a lot of debate online over whether women in Singapore are too fussy.

In the report, a straw poll of 50 undergraduate and graduate women was the talking point.

All 50 women said they would not date a blue-collar worker.

Some people are not surprised by the result.

Of the seven dating agencies The New Paper contacted, none said they had a graduate woman client willing to be matched with a blue-collar worker.

Mr Chan of Love Express Services said women who might be open to dating "beneath" them tend to be over the age of 38.

"But it has not come to my knowledge of any successful cases leading to marriages in my three years in the business," he added.

Ms Maggie Lim, director of My Perfect Link, felt a few female graduates may be open to dating a diploma holder.

But none would want to date a blue-collar worker.

"Women who approach an agency already pay a premium to engage the agency's services," she said. "Of course, they have high expectations."

Ms Lydia Gan, co-founder of Clique Wise, was sceptical that such matches would last because of the difference in their background.


She said she has had women clients who married less-educated men while they were in their 20s only to become unhappy a decade later.

By then, the women would be doing well in their careers, but the men would still be holding low-paying jobs.

Said Ms Gan: "These women would ask themselves why their peers can afford caviar, but they cannot. "I'm not saying it's impossible for such relationships to work, but the tendency to compare is always there."

Miss Indranee Rajah, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar GRC, told TNP that she hopes women will choose their potential partners based on how well they can "click" and not just on paper qualifications.

She acknowledged that being of the same educational background can help some couples to gel.

But there can be other sorts of commonalities, like religion, ethnicity or cultural background.

"We are all human and influenced by society," she said.

"But I hope people can see others in their entirety, and not be fixated on labels.

"If couples find it difficult to understand each other because of their differing jobs or educational backgrounds, then fair enough.

"But women should not write somebody off just because he doesn't have a piece of paper."

Unhappy men

Going by the online reaction to the poll results, most Singaporean men were unhappy with the women's responses.

One, Mr Ivan Tan, in his 20s, wrote on Facebook: "The more girls feel this way, the more I am determined to rise up above them and make them stare in awe before me, yet not being able to own and achieve (sic) me."

Business development officer Royston Ang wrote: "I believe those girls being interviewed will not mind being with an uneducated guy who (has) millions.

"With money anyone can be educated easily."

But there were also men who accepted the pragmatism of graduate women as being realistic.

A married man, Mr Zack Kong, 28, posted on Facebook: "Sad but true... Status, money, education are the new currencies in this modern world."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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readers' comments
One vvip once had a dream that graduate should married another graduate in order to up the quality of their genes and DNA. What is wrong now when some women are doing so. Another wrong policy dream. maybe polygamy could be the answer not only to this issue but also to that of our low birthrate.
Posted by singaparadise on Tue, 24 Apr 2012 at 08:29 AM
Why can't & won't these & women in general want to marry down to non-graduates be it blue or white collar males? If they are decent hard working & devoted family guys; these qualities can more than make up for any so-called 'deficiencies' perceived by them. I've witnessed women 'marrying up' to men who hv high salaries & other assets but less than a decade later remain unhappy & even divorced. It's not just abt the 5 Cs, it shld be abt a Man's overall character, his personal values & principles which can withstand the test of time & tribulations that should matter most. For such a 'smart' grp of women, they can be quite dense & prejudiced to their own detriment
Posted by chieftain on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 20:30 PM
i am really amazed a degree holder, quite good looking would marry hawker and even move into a 3 bedroom with his parents.

the issue is here is singapore women is a scarce resource and they know. they are also pampered at home that they expect guys to look after them. but they forgot they have part to play.

every one wants to marry up and have a good life. but lets be realistic, you need to compromise sometimes. if you are not that great looking, better men might be looking at someone prettier.

so lets come back, do you know the essence of love? what does love means to you? is it all money and status and car and condo? or the man or his personality? divorces are very high these days, you need to work hard in a .....
Posted by BenHur007 on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 20:29 PM
"women who might be open to dating "beneath" them tend to be over the age of 38"

Singaporean women, no body, no skills, still want to be so picky. By the time they are 38, they too old, loose and smelly lao, no one wants lao.

10 years ago, I am just a Poly Grad, no one was interested in me. Now I am overseas grad and working in UK, they all suddenly interested. Good thing is my overseas studies opened me up to the world of women from other countries, and they all are better than Singaporean women. They have better bodies and better skills. They are also willing to learn new skills to satisfy unlike Singaporean girls which refuse flatly to do anything new.

Which is why I am marrying my Malaysian girlfriend, which I met while overseas, at .....
Posted by alvinlwh on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 20:15 PM
Hard facts of life that not many dares admit .... its called Survival of the Fittest ... :D

Love is just something that props up when people get some spare money and time after working .... :p

Posted by Small Fly on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 18:15 PM
just my personal opinion and it is not my intention to hurt anyone by my comments below.

since the stone age, it has been widespread knowledge that females would select males that can bring food back to the caves, it was just for survival.

there is no love for us men if we cannot deliver the 'things' required by them. ask yourself this question, you would also select the type of females you want, right? so why penalise the females when they made known their requirements?

also, i think marriage is not a "begin with and end all" thingy. if there is no real love between the 2, the man can bring all the 'things' required by the woman, and the woman can be as screwable by the man, the relationship will not last.

Posted by A_Commoner on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 17:50 PM
Now MP even have to teach us who to marry...looks like singaporeans is really daft!!
Posted by leechron on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 17:03 PM

Like fairy tale stories where they lived happily ever after
Posted by Elements on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 16:15 PM .... wat "good/able men are married and pretty/good girl are still looking" .... there are plentiful of Good, Able and Single 100% Sg men in market waiting for collection .... why choose to be mistress of a married men to degrade yourselves when U can be the princess and queen of your potential hubby .... :p :D

Posted by Small Fly on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 15:46 PM
I think it time to allow polygamy, as good/able men are married and pretty/good girl are still looking. Allowing Polygamy will pair them, therefore pretty/good girl will not expire or wasted; Good gene will also be pass on .
Posted by NaturalAlive on Mon, 23 Apr 2012 at 15:29 PM

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