In our brand new series — Love Island Singapore — Mothership brings you on an exploration of different aspects of love as it is expressed and felt by folks on our sunny island.
You will find authentic anecdotes of love and relationships, as told to our writers by Singaporeans.
This month, in the second story of our series, we bring you 12 anecdotes about the moment Singaporeans decided "thanks, but no thanks".
Going on a date with someone, there are always two possible outcomes.
The first is to decide "I like this person enough to go on another date," which may then lead to yet another date, and so on.
Otherwise, you decide the person isn't for you and that you probably don't want to see them again.
In the stories you're about to read, it seems clear that the second outcome is often decided in a split second.
One moment is all that is required for our brains — and perhaps our hearts — to figure out that this person isn't for us.
From an off-the-cuff comment, to different taste in movies, and even a hairstyle that didn't feel right, here are 12 authentic moments that might seem arbitrary, but were so decisive for those involved.
As told to Mothership by "Kate"
It was the second date and we grabbed dinner at Collin’s at Cineleisure. After getting seated and ordering I had to go to the toilet, so I excused myself.
Once I got back the first thing he said was, “how’s the shit?”
I was a bit taken back. “Err, it wasn’t a shit,” I told him.
“Don’t lie, it’s okay if it was,” he replied.
Yeah, just a weird and uncomfortable experience.
As told to Mothership by "Emily"
I matched with this guy on a dating app a few years ago, but despite chatting a bit here and there we never connected or went on a date.
Fast forward two years, and we matched again on a different app. Finally we decided to actually meet.
When I saw him in person, my first thought was that he looked a little different from his pictures, but it wasn’t that big a deal to me I guess.
It really went downhill when I asked him if he’d been on a date recently.
He said “yeah last night.”
I know it's really lame considering how online dating is, but somehow suddenly I felt not very special anymore.
A mass departure of interest
As told to Mothership by "John"
We decided to go watch a movie, but hadn’t decided which one.
Once we looked at the movie timings, I was pretty keen on watching “Interstellar”, the Christopher Nolan masterpiece.
But she was adamant about watching the new Christian Bale movie “Exodus: Gods and Kings”.
Even though it had gotten abysmal ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, I was a gentleman and I gave in.
We went on a few more dates after that, but the relationship never really recovered.
Profit and loss
As told to Mothership by "Shirley"
Basically, I was on a date with this guy who works in the finance sector. More specifically, in a bank.
Pretty early on, it became clear that he was everything you would associate with a corporate sellout.
The real game-over moment was when he kept talking trash about the company that I worked for, which was in a completely different industry from the one he was in.
He was acting like he was an expert in my job and essentially saying that it wasn’t right for people in my industry to profit off our work.
I was just thinking: “Hello!! Who are you to talk about profit when you work in a bank!”
As told to Mothership by "Desmond"
It was the second date I was going on with this girl.
The first went quite alright actually; we had a quite a good time bar hopping.
This time we decided to have a sober experience, so we went to a museum and then grabbed some dinner.
Somehow the second time around, I wasn’t really feeling the vibe.
Halfway through dinner — that’s when it really hit me.
She was going on and on about her job and I couldn’t help but think how uninteresting it all was to me.
Sweet girl, but it just wasn’t going to work.
Thanks, but no thanks.
A quiet place
As told to Mothership by "David"
We bought tickets to go watch a movie that was showing two hours later, and so we went to find somewhere to sit down and chill.
I thought it’d be a good time to get to know him better so I tried initiating a conversation but only got one-word replies.
And when I wasn’t saying anything, it was just silence.
Eventually I just gave up and started using my phone. We pretty much just sat in silence for two freaking hours.
After the movie, I made up an excuse and promptly left.
I didn’t think I’d ever hear from him again since the whole experience was so awkward. But afterwards he texted me.
“Please give me another chance. I was too shy,” he wrote.
In my heart I was like “I am so sorry, I can’t.”
As told to Mothership by "Farid"
I met this girl one night when I went out drinking with my friends.
She knew someone in the group and hung out with us.
We seemed to hit it off and so we exchanged numbers and started texting back and forth over a few days, flirting and all.
Then all of a sudden she sent me a voice note.
At first I was kinda excited to listen to it, but soon it got weird.
She asked me if I would be willing to cut myself for her, like with a razor.
Suffice to say I wasn’t willing.
The top knot
As told to Mothership by "Cheryl"
We matched on a dating app and he seemed pretty decent actually, so after a week or so of texting back and forth, we agreed to go on a date.
I remember he showed up in a pretty hypebeast kinda getup and a baseball cap.
Dinner was going alright — the conversation wasn’t too bad, like it wasn’t awkward or anything.
But then at one point he lifted his cap to, I dunno, scratch his head or something.
Beneath it was a top knot; like he had the shaved-back-and-sides-with-the-man-bun-on-top kinda hair.
I’m sorry but I just couldn’t handle it.
In the dark
As told to Mothership by "Jessica"
I was on a date with a guy to watch the Thai film “The Con-heartist” and we were trying to find our seats, with the movie already starting.
Because it was dark I struggled a little bit, and stumbled over the legs of some of the other movie-goers.
Obviously, just being polite, I apologised to them: “Oops sorry, sorry. I couldn’t see.”
When we were finally seated, my date turned to me and he was like, “you couldn’t see cause they’re Indians right?”
Tips on how to combat the heat
As told to Mothership by "Tiffany"
So I met up with this dude after talking on a dating app for about a week.
He was polite, and the conversation was interesting enough, so I thought I’d meet him in real life to see if we would hit it off.
Due to our mutual interest in politics, we ended up talking about various issues that were widely reported during that time, like Trump and the U.S. elections.
I learned that we had vastly-differing political views, which is alright, but I must admit that my enthusiasm really dropped by quite a bit.
However, I think the worst part was really later on in the date.
While he had started off asking a few questions here and there, it wasn’t long before he dropped all pretence that he was interested to hear what I thought.
In fact he kept talking for almost two hours, without asking me anything.
Maybe if I found what he was talking about remotely interesting, I would have gladly given him more of my time. But he was talking about things I found quite mundane — like the fact that he wears a Uniqlo undershirt to combat the Singapore heat.
It was quite torturous simply sitting there.
As told to Mothership by "Henry"
The moment I realised she wasn't for me was when a foreign guy showed up to our date and joined in.
At least I thought it was a date, but she evidently saw it as more of a get-together to meet more than one guy.
Anyways we got to talking and I realised that the foreign guy was a tourist and had many interesting stories to tell of his travels around South Korea and the Philippines
In the end, I asked for his number because I wanted to keep in touch with him.
Too much, too fast
As told to Mothership by "Daphne"
We met at a New Year’s Eve countdown party when I was pretty tipsy.
He asked for my number, and I thought “why not?”
Eventually after talking for a bit, he asked me out and on the day of the date he picked me up on his motorbike.
The whole time we were on the road I was so scared; he was driving so fast!
I couldn’t help but imagine myself falling and scraping my skin on the road.
Before we even got to our destination, I was already questioning why I even agreed to this date.
It also made me realise that I hate motorbikes.
This was the second story in our series Love Island Singapore. Read the first story — on the feeling of relief while navigating the initial stages of online dating — here.
If you would like to share a story about love or relationships, write in to us at [email protected] with the subject line “Love Island Singapore”.
Top image made from a photo by Onesave/day via Unsplash