This is Part One of a two-part series. Find Part Two here.
Over the years, I’ve figured out that Singapore’s dating culture is unique and flawed in its own special kind of way. Singapore is an Asian-cultured society that is sandwiched between Westernized and Asian values simultaneously. This weird sandwich often results in a clash of values, and beliefs in our dating lives.
I’m a Singaporean male, bred and born from the heartlands in Singapore. I was not born into a privileged family. I stayed in a HDB – a public flat – the majority of my life, and received a typical Singaporean education, and I grew up in a conservative Asian family setting. You know, the typical conservative Asian family. If you don’t get a 101/100 in school, you get disowned and aren’t allowed to come home.
If you are somewhat like me, you probably aren’t equipped to talk about openly about sex, intimacy, and relationships openly.
Singaporean Dating Culture: Shame and Honour
If you were like me, you were brought up to think that good grades equal a good job; a good job equals a nice girlfriend; a good girlfriend or wife equals success in life. You were brought up to be ‘useful’ to society. You had to excel in anything you laid your hands on; rejection and failure meant death.
There’s a reason why the dating-advice community is much smaller in Asia compared to Westernized cultures.
One thing the dating-advice community did right was the concept of self-reliance.
If you take full responsibility for your own behaviour, you can change your love life and not everything is left to fate or genetics.
It’s the most difficult thing to admit to themselves, their families, and other loved ones that they have a problem and need help. The mere acknowledgement of an Asian person having a problem is going against cultural norms because it sends the implicit message to others that you have let them down.