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29-Oct-2017 12:07

By all accounts, dating culture should be burgeoning in Singapore with the growth of online dating and dating apps such as Tinder.

Moreover, dating agencies in Singapore have also seen a rise in demand from older singles - as well as interest from divorcees and widows.

Complete Me, a dating agency with a 3,000-strong database, set up a personalised matchmaking service for above-35s last year that has since seen a 40 per cent rise in customers.

Ms Anisa Hassan, managing director of It's Just Lunch Asia, which matchmakes professionals over a meal, says: "In the past, people who were married before might have felt that the best years are behind them.

Take bachelor Benjamin Koh, 36, a consultant in learning and development at a corporate training firm, who three years ago gave up on the Lovestruck app he used to meet people.

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She was from a girls' school and mostly socialised with the same group of friends through secondary school, junior college and university.

Older singles Life interviewed say the challenges they faced include ambivalent attitudes towards dating, dwindling social circles, a mismatch in expectations and a self-sufficient lifestyle.

Sometimes I would meet someone who I may not have had any connection with.

Having given up on dating apps, he says he still wants to find a wife who shares his Christian faith. Another common reason that older singletons give about their lack of prospects is their shrinking social circles.

As they get older, more of their friends get hitched and start families. Kang, 40, who has never had a relationship, puts it this way: "As a single, you tend to hang out with singles.One criterion for her partner is that his salary should be similar to hers, that is, at least ,000 a month, an amount she says is "realistic" for someone in his mid- to late-40s.He should also be pleasant looking and have good values."Sometimes I would meet someone who I may not have had any connection with.