“Life is passing by and I really need to step up my efforts to find a husband” said 32 year old Diana, a Singaporean. Elsewhere in Taiwan is Hui Xan who regularly takes up classes like pottery in the hope that she will meet her soul mate soon.
Diana and Hui Xan typify a rapidly growing group of singles in Asia. Their life is full of activities so they can interact with other singles of the opposite sex and they leave no stone unturned. Dance classes, language courses, home parties, jogging clubs and even church activities are explored with great enthusiasm.
While waiting to encounter ‘The One’, these women work hard to fulfil their desire for career success. In their free time they indulge themselves with branded products, spas and high teas with friends to talk some more about strategies to find men.
Dilemmas confront these women and they are making important trade offs which influence their lives
- Should I focus more on my career or spend less time at work and spend more on my efforts to find someone?
- Should I prepare myself to lead a single life and think about how to ensure my financial and emotional security as an unmarried woman?
- Do branded products fill in the emotional void in my life or should I look for something else? And what could that be?
- How do I enrich the bonds with my families, my parents, siblings, my nephews and nieces, my only family?
This has not just social but economic impact. The custom these singles make will have long term impact on the economies of the world. When Singles marry and set up homes, begins the consumption cycle and hence the importance of getting these Singles married.
These Singles are under tremendous social pressure to find someone. “ If you do not have a partner, people think of you as a loser. Society pressurizes you. Society sees us as a problem”.
And so they continue their efforts diffidently, asking friends to organise blind dates, joining a mushrooming dating agencies and more activities.
Yet all of it seems a bit forced. “People think a relationship is an end rather than a process to be enjoyed” says May Ling.
Some Singaporean Singles seem to have struck upon the right chord. A BBQ inviting all Singles to come along with another Single friend (opposite sex) whom they are not in a relationship with. With over 40 people already on the lists and still more to come, this self organizing style of marriage making that celebrates Singlehood may have the best chance yet. Let the celebrations begin!