Latest Survey Shows That Quite a Number of S’porean Singles Have Never Dated Before

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With every Marriage and Parenthood (M&P) survey, we get to see the societal shifts in perceptions of marriage and parenthood, as well as the concerns involving child-raising, and the current dating environment.

The 2021 M&P survey was conducted from February to June 2021, with respondents comprising 2,848 single and 3,017 married Singapore residents, between the ages of 21 to 45.


Single is defined as persons who have never married.

Singles Who Have Never Dated Before

Out of all the single respondents, 50% of them are not dating.

Within that subset, 38% have never dated before.

Image: National Population and Talent Division

The top five reasons—respondents were allowed to choose more than one option—are as follows:

  • I have a limited social circle (58%)
  • I do not many opportunities to meet potential partners (57%)
  • I prefer to leave dating to chance (48%)
  • I want to concentrate on my job/studies (37%)
  • I find it difficult to form romantic relationships (36%)
Image: National Population and Talent Division

In the 2016 M&P survey, this question was phrased differently, whereby respondents were asked if they had dated seriously or not.

The implication of “dating seriously” seems to be “with the consideration of marriage as the end goal”.

59% of the respondents then had said that they have not dated seriously, and within that group, 69% stated that they have never dated seriously.


When asked why they were not dating, the top two reasons were: I have not met a suitable partner yet (71%) and I prefer leaving dating to chance (42%).

On Dating Methods

The reasons ties in nearly with dating methods, and the increasing acceptance of online platforms to find dating partners.

Compared to the past, the use of dating websites has become more common, with 29% of dating respondents stating that they met their partners through online dating websites and/or apps.

This is an increase from 2016 (13%) and 2012 (7%).

More than half (58%) of single respondents said that they are comfortable with meeting a partner through these online platforms.

However, single platforms still prefer organic, face-to-face meetings with a prospective partner.

According to the survey results, single respondents prefer to meet a potential partner through:

  • Social/Recreational Activities (90%)
  • Friends/Fellow Students (88%)
  • Colleague/Work Acquaintances (82%)
  • Religious Activities/Organisations (66%)
  • Online Dating Websites/Apps (58%)
  • Dating Agencies (44%)
  • Introduction by Parents (39%)
  • Introduction by Relatives (37%)
Image: National Population and Talent Division

Besides the online dating platforms and dating agencies, the other factors either have some form of middleman or a common interest to bring potential partners together.

Maybe it’s because there’s a certain level of trust and/or standards involved when potential partners are introduced through mutuals.

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Featured Image: Akaranan / (Image is for illustration purpose only)