10 dating apps in singapore to make sure you don’t graduate with “bachelor’s” degree

Stress, anxiety và low self-esteem – looking for romance online can be a headabịt. CNA Lifestyle weighs the relationship pros & cons.

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Online dating? It can get pretty stressful. (Art: Chern Ling)


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If you’re a single woman who finds online dating somewhat crazy-making, you’re not alone – and it’s not your fault.

Take the story of Rachel Tan, a 32-year-old single mum who spent a year on dating apps but has now sworn off these for a reason.

 “Since 2015, I had been concentrating on raising my daughter, who’s now five sầu. Then, I purchased my own home page in 2018. Finally, I felt my life had settled down nicely,” recalled the former bank executive.

“So I phối a resolution lớn just go on one date in 20trăng tròn.”

And so she downloaded a few dating apps: Tinder, CMB (Coffee Meets Bagel) & Bumble. As a newbie, it was a steep learning curve sầu. “How khổng lồ filter the fake accounts, sidestep would-be scammers, print-screen the person’s image and bởi a reverse Google tìm kiếm, và adopt a ‘if he looks too good to lớn be true, he probably is’ mindmix,” she shared.


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(Photo: Freepik)

‘FREE-FOR-ALL-BUFFETS’

For Tan, it all felt a bit unusual. “While apps allow me to get out & meet more people, they feel lượt thích free-for-all buffets when you actually prefer a-la-carte dining. You’ve sầu got to lớn sift out the good from the bad. You swipe based just on a few photos và a short introduction, then wonder if perhaps you might have swiped away the right match,” she shared.

“Then you have to lớn filter the ones who are keen. You worry some might be weird or obsessive, based on their texting patterns. After that, you have lớn talk to lớn them for a bit before deciding to meet them in person. Some bachồng away when I tell them I have sầu a kid,” said Tan.

READ: Looking for love sầu on Tinder? Your date might be selling you insurance instead

“No matter how secure you are, you always have it at the bachồng of the mind that the guys you meet could be telling you white lies,” she continued. “In most probability, they’re meeting other people at the same time và khổng lồ be honest, so am I – it’s lượt thích a game of roulette. While out on dates, I notice them texting other women. Some say ‘Oh, I’m only talking lớn you và another lady", or ‘I’ve sầu quit Tinder’, but my friends will skết thúc me screenshots of the guy still being active on the phầm mềm.”

Despite making it clear from the start that she’s looking only for a meaningful và committed relationship with single men, she has encountered men who later discthua trận that they want “friends with benefits” arrangements, who aren’t technically divorced yet, or who’re still married.

Sometimes though, friendships are forged. “I met someone who, lượt thích me, is keen on entrepreneurship. I also met someone with a passion for mixology, so we catch up occasionally for cocktail and spirits tastings,” she shared.

“To me, the best outcome would have been to lớn find someone who really likes you & wants to lớn quit the app with you. However, this hasn’t happened yet. I want khổng lồ set a good example for my daughter by having high standards in terms of the company I choose to keep,” she said.

Having recently started a new job as a private client development partner in the alcohol industry, Tan said: “I’m meeting a lot of new people organically so I’ve stopped the apps for the time being, & hopefully one day I’ll meet someone who’s right for me.”

A GAMIFIED EXPERIENCE

We’re keeping our fingers crossed for her – but have sầu you also thought about the science behind all of these dating apps?

Well, it turns out it really is a bit lượt thích a game, literally. According to lớn the online article The Psychology Of Using Dating Apps by Megan McClintoông xã, dating apps are designed lớn offer a gamified experience, with dễ thương badges to lớn mark usage or membership status, frequent alerts reminding you lớn engage, & so on.


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(Photo: Pexels/Marimãng cầu Abrosimova)

Psychologist Dr Loren Seiro was quoted saying: “Playing games on your phone releases endorphins, your body’s exogenous painkiller. This can reduce your anxiety levels, which feels great, or can even spark the feeling of being ‘high’.”

Furthermore, “matching with someone … floods your brain with adrenaline because you feel like you’ve won something … unpredictable rewards cause more activity in reward regions of the brain. While the neurochemical reward systems can lead to lớn excitement and short-term pleasure, it can also lead khổng lồ addiction, burnout, and feelings of loneliness và isolation”.

Another article, 6 Key Psychological Truths About Dating Apps on Psychologytoday.com, observes that “dating sites are in the business of keeping you swiping, looking at their advertisements, và (often) paying monthly fees, rather than finding you true love sầu.”

And then you’ve got all the lying that’s happening. The same article highlighted a study that revealed 81 per cent of online daters admitted lying in their profiles about their age, height & weight.

READ: Swipe & socialise: Tinder’s CEO shares how COVID-19 changed the dating game

And it’s not even that successful in what it does – only 10 per cent of online matches lead lớn two people actually meeting up.

The way these apps seem khổng lồ place limitless dating possibilities at your fingertips, creates a sense of FOMO, while making people casually “discard” a prospect with as much indifference as they would a disposable face mask.

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WOMEN BURNING OUT

For women, this virtual ecosystem has a significant impact on their wellbeing.

One US study by Pew Research in 20đôi mươi found female users experiencing different levels of harassment. Around six in 10 said they continued khổng lồ be contacted after they explicitly mentioned not being interested – and around the same number report receiving a sexually explicit message or image. Elsewhere, they get called an offensive name or even get threatened with bodily harm for the rejection.

No wonder statistics show that women are 54 per cent more likely lớn feel burned out by the whole process.

According lớn one article titled Associations Between Social Anxiety, Depression And Use Of Online Dating Platforms, which came out in October 2020 in peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, And Social Networking, "social anxiety and depression symptoms were positively associated with the extent of participants’ dating ứng dụng use".

THE EFFECTS ON MENTAL HEALTH

Enneagram trainer & relationship coach Cindy Leong, 34, has seen increasing numbers of clients presenting with mental health issues resulting from their use of dating apps.

“In a năm nhâm thìn study, Tinder users were found to have sầu lower self-esteem và more body image issues than non-users. Low self-esteem is a risk factor of a large number of mental health issues, including but not limited khổng lồ depression,” she said.


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(Photo: Freepik)

“Spending too much time on apps may also result in the person not having the real mental capathành phố for real people around them. It can also become addictive; one of my female clients was so addicted that even when she was out for dinner with friends, she spent all her time scrolling through dating apps.”

She added: “If they are scammed online, it"s even more complicated. One of my female clients met a guy, who even had an ‘aunt’ who spoke khổng lồ her over Whatsứng dụng, which made the story more credible. The lady went khổng lồ Australia in an attempt lớn meet the guy, only lớn realise it was a scam.”

Leong’s advice? “To protect your sanity, agree khổng lồ meet within a week of chatting. Reduce the number of hours you spend on dating apps. Don"t take rejection personally. These people don"t even know who you are. It"s really unrealistic for someone lớn reject you only based on looks. There"s more beauty in you than what"s shown in the profile.”

READ: How Tinder và K-dramas changed dating preferences in Singapore

Meanwhile, Tan recalled that when she was “stressed by many baffling (online dating) encounters”, she would meet girlfriends to “bitch và vent over wine”, talk to lớn guy friends or watch videos by dating advice expert
thematthewhussey for male perspectives, & exercise lớn keep fit “because self-love sầu is more important than someone who doesn’t appreciate you”.

Despite the bad press, there’s no denying dating apps are here to stay, having overtaken schools, universities, & offices as the preferred means of meeting potential partners since the early 2010s.

YES, THERE’S ALSO A PLUS SIDE

But it’s not all doom và gloom. Used judiciously, these apps could result in stronger marriages – once people get hitched, of course.

Rachel DeAlto, Match"s “chief dating expert”, told theknot.com: "With these apps, there"s a lot of intentional people coming to lớn them. They really want lớn have sầu a relationship. And when you have that intention và know what you"re looking for, you enter into lớn a relationship in a different way và I think that makes a huge difference.”

Meanwhile, Cecily Gold Moore, Bumble"s director of community experience, added: “When you have the strength & self-love lớn define how you want khổng lồ be treated in a relationship, you can stay true khổng lồ who you are throughout the process. Dating requires clear communication, setting boundaries, intentions, & expectations – & an understanding that if your intentions don"t align, it"s okay to lớn move on."


Ying Ying, a 45-year-old freelance producer who used CMB and Bumble after her divorce, recalled her experience.

“I knew I didn’t wish lớn get remarried và didn’t want kids, but wanted a serious, committed relationship with someone who wanted the same things,” she said.

“I would always ask the guy on a first date to lớn nói qua why he’s single and what he’s looking for, to describe where his life is right now, and his most interesting or horrific experiences on the dating apps. Most didn’t make it past the first or second date.”

Eventually, after six disheartening months of meeting guys from the dating apps, a process which she likens to “trying to lớn find a kim cương in a dumpster”, & where she occasionally despaired that she might be too old, she met her fiance.

“By the fourth enjoyable date where we talked for hours about everything under the sun, I told him I really enjoyed getting to lớn know hlặng better, and said I was looking for a serious relationship – not necessarily with him,” she said.

“In the meantime, for us khổng lồ forge a connection based on trust & honesty that could potentially lead to lớn a relationship, we should both only see each other. Anytime he felt this arrangement wasn’t working out and wanted to lớn date around, all he had khổng lồ vì was say so, & we’d go separate our ways, without tears or drama."

They got engaged và moved in together after dating for a year & a half, và will celebrate their third anniversary in a few months.

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So have they changed their minds about getting remarried?

“Well, after having been together a few years, we’re open lớn tying the knot eventually — lượt thích when we’re 70,” she quipped.


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