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Gen Y Speaks: Why I nearly swiped left on dating

When I was first introduced to the world of dating applications several years ago, my friends promised me a plethora of men outside of our social circle. However, what they failed to mention was that I would be signing up for what seemed like endless rounds of job interviews.

"I have reached a point in my life where dating feels like a chore," says the author.

"I have reached a point in my life where dating feels like a chore," says the author.

I am tired of dating.

When I was first introduced to the world of dating applications several years ago, my friends promised me a plethora of men outside of our social circle. One of these men, they said, would be “the one”.

However, what they failed to mention was that I would be signing up for what seemed like endless rounds of job interviews.

First, you send your resume, also known as your profile, to your preferred options through a swipe.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get matched with a few men, following which you can proceed to have the same exact conversation with all of them at the same time:

Him: Hey!

Me: Heyy! (to show enthusiasm)

Him: How’s it going?

Me: It’s going good. How about you?

Him: I’m good. What do you work as?

Me: I’m a journalist. How about you?

Him: Oh, that’s cool! I’m a software engineer. So what do you like to do in your free time?

Me: Oh, there are some shows I’m following on Netflix. But I do like to travel, I just came back from *insert name of place that is exotic but common enough that he does not have to Google it*

And if it goes well enough, out of the five guys you have applied to, at least one will call you back for a second face-to-face interview, also known as the “first date”.

Things get tougher at this point, as you have to make the best first impression to get a call back.

Not only do you have to look good, you have to pick some place with the right ambience and prepare notes to avoid awkward silences.

When you do get a call back for that second date, you start thinking about whether this is something you are ready to commit to for the long run.

And after a month or so, you may be told “it’s not you, it’s me” or “I need to focus on work right now”. Or worse, you may simply be ghosted.

Then the application process repeats itself all over again.

It is a tiring process involving a large investment of time on top of work, family and friends.

Most days, all I really want to do after a hard day’s work is to relax at home and spend some quiet time with family or friends.

When weekends come around, it is a mad rush to squeeze all that you haven’t had the time to do over the work week, while finding some downtime for yourself.

I have reached a point in my life where dating feels like a chore.

But quitting dating is not an option when society constantly reminds me that being single is a failure to both the community and nation.

On one end, there are my aunts who warn me not to be picky on who I marry lest I die alone.

Turning 30 has made this pressure worse. I am apparently sitting on a ticking time bomb called a biological clock.

According to these well-meaning aunts, from 2021 onwards I will no longer be able to have children, and even if I do, I will not have the energy to raise them.

The Government, too, constantly reminds me that as a single woman, I have failed in my national duty — raising the total fertility rate.

As punishment, I am doomed to live under my parents’ roof forever (okay, at least until I am 35 and rich).

The physical exhaustion coupled with the emotional pressure of having to find someone before my time “runs out” has sucked the joy out of meeting new people.

It is no longer as easy to just enjoy someone’s company when you are constantly assessing if he is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with.

Apparently, this feeling is not uncommon among my peers.

Several have told me that they take “breaks” in between several months of dating because the search for their significant other constantly leads to disappointment despite them setting aside time in their busy schedules.

I find it ironic that we have reached a point where we need “downtime” from dating — an activity that should be fun, exciting and romantic.

I am envious of friends who were able to find their significant other in their younger days, without the pressure of time.

And then there are also the rare friends who have agreed to be set up by their parents. They believe that with a lifetime ahead, one can grow to love another after marriage.

Unfortunately for me, I chose not to date when I was younger. I did not feel the urgency or need to date.

Regrettably, I was  also “guai” (colloquial term for obedient) enough to follow my parents’ instructions to focus on studies and secure a job first.

However, travelling back in time is not an option.

Furthermore, with my parents making most of the important decisions in my life thus far, I am not ready to let them take the reins on what is possibly the most important one yet.

So I guess it is back to swiping for me.

“Heyy! How’s it going?”

 

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Navene Elangovan is a senior journalist at TODAY covering the education and environment beats.

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dating millennial Gen Y Speaks online dating marriage love

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