These singles may be earning a good income but
they do not see why they have to pay a premium
for dating services.
They ba...
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20101029 New Ways to Find Love- Urban - Pg18-19


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20101029 New Ways to Find Love- Urban - Pg18-19

  1. 1. These singles may be earning a good income but they do not see why they have to pay a premium for dating services. They baulk at paying more than $30, the government-subsidised rate that the Social Development Network (SDN) usually charges for dating events. Ms Joan Ong, co-founder of dating agency Champagne JSG, says some singles even think that dating service providers are “social workers who should live simply and earn just enough to get by”. “They will question the cost of the events and say that we shouldn’t even be charging them because matchmaking is a social service,” she adds. “They think that the Government pays us to do what we do.” Singles on a budget can try these solutions: GO FOR SDN-RELATED EVENTS A host of dating services and events from accredited agencies like Singles Mingle and Champagne JSG are available for $25 under the SDN Trust Dating Treats promotion. Visit SDN’s, website, for details. The promotion ends on Sunday. NETWORK AT MASS EVENTS Get to meet at least 80 other singles at this networking event. Connecting People, Linking Hearts By: My Perfect Link Date: Early January Cost: $10 Sign up: You have to be a member of My Perfect Link to attend the event. Membership is free. Visit for more information. DATE ONLINE Look for potential partners online and follow up with dates at your own cost. Eteract Cost: A one-month membership costs $24, while one that is valid for a year costs $88. Singapore Lovelinks Cost: Membership is free, but if you and the party you wish to contact are on a free membership plan, you will have to upgrade to a Gold membership before you can send a message. A one-month gold membership costs $29.99, while a one-year membership costs $119.99. If not for their long working hours and erratic schedules, this lot of singles would be extremely eligible. They are high-fliers with good jobs in the finance industry or are senior executives in MNCs. They have engaging social skills and enough life experiences to make good conversation. But they are so busy that they spend whatever free time they have catching up on their sleep. “They don’t plan their weekends. When they are free, they will call up old friends for coffee,” says Ms Lydia Gan, founder of Clique Wise. “They hardly make any new friends.” Furthermore, they are frequently out of town and are unable to maintain personal relationships, notes Mr Andrew Chow, founder of Table For Six. Ms Gan relates the story of a client who always put his career first and assumed that men had a longer shelf-life on the dating scene. By the time he wanted to settle down at 42, he found himself lacking the time, energy level and dating skills. The younger women he wanted to date were in their early 30s and found him too old for their tastes. Here are some solutions for the busy bee single: CUT TO THE CHASE Find out quickly if your date’s character suits yours in this class. It shows you how to use the Enneagram, a system that teaches you about the habits and quirks of different personalities. Are you my type? By: Table For Six Date: Feb 5, 2 to 5pm Cost: $48 Sign up: E-mail your name, mobile number, gender and date of birth to USE YOUR GEOGRAPHICAL ADVANTAGE Find singles who work around you through this website that matches singles based on their office location. Now you will know who is working as late as you and would like to grab supper. Who Works Around You ( Cost: Membership is free until further notice. GO FOR ONE-ON-ONE MATCHMAKING Since you do not have time to socialise, make use of dating services that will set you up on dates with people you might click with. Visit the Registry of Dating Agencies ( for a list of accredited dating agencies that provide matchmaking services. M arketing manager Ezen Ho has been looking for love for the last three years. The 28-year-old attends events for singles at least once every two months. She has gone to teas, taken part in driving rallies and even gone on blind dates organised by her friends. She is also searching on and Singapore Lovelinks. The business management graduate from Singapore Management University has herself organised two singles’ events – a canoe polo session and a four-day white water rafting holiday to Malaysia – to “kill many birds with one stone”. “Even if I don’t find anyone who is suitable for me, they might be suitable for my friends,” she says. The longest relationship she has had in three years lasted four months. It ended because of “communication problems”. Ms Ho began going to dating events at 25 because she wanted to start looking for Mr Right early. “I was usually the youngest participant,” she says. “But I’m glad I started young, especially when I see women in their 30s at these events who are still looking for a life partner.” The bubbly extrovert says she takes a proactive approach to dating because she meets mostly women or married men through her work in the beauty industry. “I am at a stage in my life where I know what I want and I’m just waiting for the right candidate.” She wants a man under 35 who is witty, kind and goal-oriented. He must also be as adventurous and spontaneous as she is. Ms Ho has backpacked in South America and gone on road trips in Australia. Last month, she turned a planned trekking holiday to Ladakh into a humanitarian mission when floods hit the region. With five friends, she left for the Himalayas with $3,000 in cash donations and 150 pieces of winter clothing for the victims. So far, she has not clicked with anyone she has met as most were introverts, she says. “Many of them blend with the wallpaper,” she says. “They don’t take the initiative to start a conversation. When I ask them what they do in their free time, the answer is always the same: swim, jog, cycle, sleep. “I do get jaded sometimes and wonder if I should keep going for these events when the men are so similar.” But she keeps hopeful. “My mindset is to make friends with everyone. Anything else I get would be a bonus.” Lacking in grooming skills and social etiquette, the clueless single is the bane of dating event organisers. Mr Andrew Chow, relationship coach and owner of dating agency Table For Six, says some men arrive at events with a smart-casual dress code in T-shirts, baggy jeans and track shoes, while some women turn up without make-up. He says: “If you don’t make a good first impression, others won’t have the patience to get to know you better.” Many clueless singles do not know the first thing about tact either. A man at one of Mr Chow’s dating events asked a woman he was meeting for the first time how much money she had in her CPF account. “He had been told that it was rude to ask about her pay. So he figured out what he thought was a clever way to find out her financial status.” Here are some tips for the clueless single: GET GROOMED Get a style update and find out the colours and kind of clothes that suit you. Make Me Beautiful – Your Colours And You By: Exclusive Match Date: Jan 8 next year, 1 to 4pm Cost: $65 Sign up: E-mail the event title, your name, IC number and mobile number to info@ Call 6227-0307 or visit for details. LEARN SOME ETIQUETTE Get advice on how to develop deeper connections and get out of awkward situations with class. Growing Connections By: Clique Wise Date: Dec 4, 3.30 to 5.30pm Cost: $55 Sign up: E-mail the event title, your name, gender, mobile and IC number to sg. Call 9795-0568 for details. TAKE THINGS TO THE NEXT LEVEL Instead of the usual dinner-and-movie routine, learn to come up with creative and fun dates. Creating Fun Dates By: Clique Wise Date: Nov 28, 3.30 to 5.30pm Cost: $55 Sign up: E-mail the event title, your name, gender, mobile and IC number to sg. Call 9795-0568 for details. CLUELESS SINGLESBUDGET SINGLES BUSY BEE SINGLES Photographer ASHLEIGH SIM; Styling GLADYS CHUNG; Hair & make-up MELISSA YEO (9768-2813) Ms Ezen Ho, a self-professed tomboy, regularly attends dating events. She shares her experiences with GLADYS CHUNG A self-confessed tomboy, Ms Ezen Ho, 28, usually wears jeans, sneakers and a tank top (left) when she goes on dates. She seldom wears make-up. For this Urban makeover (far left), make-up artist Melissa Yeo gave her a feminine and glamorous look with dark eyeshadow, light blush on her cheeks and loose curls that frame her face. Urban dressed the marketing manager in a feminine silk top with ruffles and a silk skirt with pleats. We jazzed up the looks with faux pearl necklaces and strappy heels. All were from Banana Republic. Ms Ho’s response: “I’ve never seen myself look so feminine before. It gives my confidence a boost.” She likes the make-up, “but it’s not something I would do on my own because it takes too much time”. She also loves the hair. “I intend to buy a curler and I’ll use it when I’m getting ready for dates.” Unlike most girls, shopping is not a favourite activity of hers. She shops only once a year and spends about $300 in total. “I never knew that I look good in ruffles and blush colours. I will start looking out for outfits like these,” she says. “But I doubt I will start wearing heels because I just can’t walk in them. They’re too impractical for me.” Blouse, $119; skirt, $119; necklace, $229; bracelet, $99; ring, $89; sandals, $209, all from Banana Republic; Vitra Heart Cone chair by Verner Panton, $5,325, from Space Furniture, Level 2 Millenia Walk LOOKING FOR LOVE FROM TOMBOY TO HOT DATE 18 19