- Singapore’s dating game decoded: apps, sites and events | Honeycombers
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Indeed, the work done by the current Social Development Network SDN and its accredited dating agencies — which include matching singles to potential partners based on their profiles and preferences, enabling them to date online, coordination of physical dates, and provision of courses and information to equip singles with the relationship skills needed to hitch a partner — have enormous potential to foster romantic relationships.
The SDN has also since moved into accrediting dating agencies, leveraging the private sector to solve this public problem. Although we do not have data on how many children or couples got hitched because of SDN, dating agencies accredited by the SDN have reported that more men are participating in these events. But not everyone eligible for the SDN programme is making use of it.
Part of the reason might be the social stigma involved in participation. The pool of singles engaged in the SDN programme inevitably shrinks this way, so that the number of marriages which form as a result of the programme is not as large as it could potentially be.
Singapore’s dating game decoded: apps, sites and events | Honeycombers
Local dating agency CompleteMe held a mass dating event for singles at the York Hotel on Dec 14 last year. The key is therefore to ensure that singles buy-in to the idea of such activities and do not see involvement in these activities as a social stigma. One approach to this is through public education and advertising, to shift mindsets and normalise the search for a life partner, even before people hit the eligibility age of This way, people are less likely to be misinformed by negative stereotypes and will have a more positive picture of what the network can do for them.
Another way SDN can extend its outreach is by not limiting its activities to certain age groups. Currently, some activities stipulate an age restriction. While these age restrictions may be motivated by certain economic considerations and preferences, they are ironic given that they preclude older females, who are the most likely group to be actively seeking a long-term partner. It might be useful for policymakers to undertake a rigorous study that considers behavioural science, economic and social factors to figure out how best to nudge singles, and determine how well our social development programmes have been doing, as well as how the SDN can benefit more singles going forward.
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