There are a surprising number of Singaporeans who claim that they’re staying single because it’s cheaper.
And well, you can’t really blame them. Going out for drinks at a nice bar with a date will set you back at least $40 per couple given the price of alcohol in Singapore. And restaurant meals don’t come cheap either if you’re looking for a place with a nice ambiance.
That’s why Tinder, despite being free to use (except for those who subscribe to the premium service) can actually make you a lot poorer. Tinder’s main advantage is that it gives users the luxury of numbers. If you have a picture that people would actually swipe right on, you could go out every day of the week. Except that you would soon go broke going on that many first dates.
Here’s how you can do it without having to resort to online dating.
Find ways to meet large numbers of people cheaply
If you’re looking for a new paramour, you want to have access to a large number of people—without having to take all of them out on first dates. It’s a lot cheaper in the long run as you won’t need to spend money for one-on-one time with someone until you’re sure there’s potential.
One way is to go for events on things that interest you. For instance, there’s a massive range of events on Meetup.com, mostly free, on a decent range of hobbies and interests, from board games and language learning to beer brewing and dragon boating.
Another thing you can do is to use the “events” tab on Facebook to search for events and parties happening in Singapore. You can also take a class, join a club or google for events related to your latest hobby or obsession. For instance, if you’re into dolling yourself up like an anime character, here’s a list of cosplay events in Singapore. As an added bonus, you’re likely to have at least one interest in common with anyone you meet.
Don’t give up if you don’t meet the love of your life after one single outing. It often takes time and repeat visits to become part of a community.
Take down people’s contact details and follow up
We’ve all had this awkward experience where we meet someone new, perhaps a friend of a friend or a random person at a party/event, and we hit it off.
When the time comes to part ways, there is an awkward moment as you bid each other goodbye, as each one waits to see if the other will ask for their contact details.
Don’t be such so passive. Be the one to ask for the other person’s contact details.
Afterwards, don’t forget to follow up before the relationship totally dies. Sending a Facebook message to say you were pleased to have met them is the easiest way to get a conversation going. You can also try asking them out in a non-threatening way, such as by inviting them to join you and a friend or two on an outing.
Learn how to connect one-on-one with people, and focus on having quality conversations
Even if you’re not super extroverted, you’re not doomed. The life of the party isn’t always the one who gets the most dates.
That’s because connecting with people is usually done through one-on-one interactions, not telling a joke to a group of 10 guffawing friends.
Work on your conversation skills if you have difficulty connecting with people. This costs nothing—borrow books from the library (How to Talk to Anyone, How to Win Friends and Influence People, etc), study and put into practice what you’ve learnt.
Spend time with people you aren’t necessarily thinking of dating
For the many people who complain they can’t find a date, one key problem is that they don’t have an active social life and don’t have many chances to meet new people.
If you turn down every invitation from friends to hang out, don’t be surprised if your supply of potential romantic partners starts to dry up, too.
Conversely, if you’ve got a bustling social life, your chances of meeting someone new rise dramatically. You might get invited to meet some friends-of-friends that you end up hitting it off with. You might go with friends to a party or bar where there are lots of strangers mingling. Heck, just being out and about is better than hiding behind your computer or smartphone screen.
So spend your time with a broad range of people, even if they’re not people you’d necessarily date. Even if you don’t fall in love and live happily ever after, you’ll feel more connected to the friends around you, which is really one of the nicest things about being single.
How can singles meet people cheaply without turning to online dating? Share your suggestions in the comments!