S'porean women pickier than men when dating with average of 19 requirements: Dating app survey

600 Singaporeans were surveyed on their dating preferences.

Tanya Ong | December 07, 2021, 01:21 PM

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A survey commissioned by dating app Coffee Meets Bagel has found that the average single in Singapore has over 24 dating deal breakers.

In November 2021, 600 Singaporeans were surveyed by Rakuten Insights regarding their dating preferences.

The respondents, who identify as male or female, are aged between 18 to 65 years old with varied relationship statuses (single, in a relationship, married for one to nine years, or married for 10 years or more).

Here are some key highlights of the survey:

Women tend to have more requirements than men

The survey found that women are pickier than men when it comes to dating, with an average of 19 requirements, as compared to men who had 15.

For instance, women tend to prefer taller partners (ranked #2 among women) while men generally go for long hair — a trait consistently ranked among the top five traits for men of all ages.

Top qualities cited by both men and women include fresh breath, good teeth and "a natural look".

Compared to men, women are also two times more likely to search for a financially stable partner. 23 per cent of women preferred for their partners to bring home more money than them, compared to only 3 per cent of men who felt the same way.

Certain professions were also preferred — doctors, teachers and bankers ranked among the most sought-after professions.

On pet peeves, chewing too loudly and oversharing on social media were top-of-mind when it came to unattractive traits listed by both men and women. One in two Singaporeans would also reject a potential partner for being too messy.

Differences across generations

Those aged 26 to 39 placed emphasis on partners who are physically attractive, affectionate and good in bed. A good-looking partner is two times more important for millennial women than female baby boomers (aged 50-65).

Younger millennials also looked for partners that showed more affection, with 50 per cent of millennials identifying it as a top trait, as compared to only 38 per cent of baby boomers.

Compared to the older generation, millennials also preferred partners with "strong chemistry".

Baby boomers cared the most about having a partner who is low maintenance, able to compromise and doesn’t get jealous easily.

Despite generational differences, Singaporeans across all demographics agreed that honesty, loyalty, and mutual respect are the most important characteristics that contribute to a long and happy relationship.

Re-evaluating lists

Despite all the ideal qualities listed, the survey found that 96 per cent of Singaporeans are happily in a relationship with someone who's not what they expected, with 7 out of 10 women in relationships with a partner who only matches half (or even fewer) of the traits listed in their wishlist.

Local dating expert Cherlyn Chong said that instead of being more stringent, Singaporean singles should look for partners embodying values that encourage long-term stability.

"Surprisingly, it usually isn't the person that you hit it off with right away, but the person you get to know gradually and eventually like. Open your mind and date someone who isn't exactly your 'type' but you don't mind getting to know," Chong said.

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Top photo via Kevin Laminto/Unsplash.