Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] Things I Miss About Being Single – Deborah Tan

Obviously, I have to be utterly sure and comfortable about my current relationship to write something like this. I’m confident that my boyfriend wouldn’t take offense in this article and he wouldn’t see it as me saying, “I really hate being with you.” No. This isn’t about regrets and making the wrong choices. It’s more about looking back into the past and picking out the things you loved best and still occasionally miss.

Being in a relationship is fun, especially when you enjoy the company of the person you’re with. But

Yep. There are a couple of things about being single that I miss sorely. You have to admit that sharing your space and life with another person can be trying and it is an exercise that requires practice and patience. As a singleton, you only have yourself to account to. As a couple, obviously there are decisions you need to make together. Although you may say, “Well, we pretty much lead our own lives,” you cannot deny that there exists – even a teensy weensy bit – in you the need to consider the other person whenever you make an important decision. This I-live-for-only-myself part is just one of the things I miss most about being single …

Enjoy your single life!

Enjoy your single life!

I miss … keeping a horrible diet
I am saying this without a tinge of irony or sarcasm. When I was living on my own, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, no matter how appalling or how nutritionally-impoverished. As someone who hates eating by herself, I’d ignore my hunger till I could no longer do so. Then, I would cook myself a bowl of instant noodles. As a singleton, I was perfectly content calling chicken wings and beer dinner.

There was a feeling of laissez faire to that; that you are not hampered or tied down by a schedule, and you could eat whenever and whatever you fancy. Breakfast at 5pm? Sure!

I miss … being left alone
I think every coupled up person will agree with me on this. Some days, I just want to be left alone to “rot” on the bed and not have to feel “obliged” to get up and behave like a “useful” person. Do you also feel that living with someone else forces to you assume the facade of being “normal”? Even little quirks and bad behavior should be seen as an occasional joke and not something of a more chronic nature?

I miss … doing things my way and …
… not have to hear any protests or consider other suggestions. When I lived by myself, my shelves were always closed, my sinks were always wiped dry after use (okay, it is not a mark of psychosis!), and everything was pretty much left on their own with no one to move them around. Since having to live with someone else, I’ve had to put up with pleas to open the balcony door to “let some fresh air in”, nag at my boyfriend to do the dishes, cry murder if the bathroom is left in a sorry state after he uses them.

Furniture don’t argue back. Unless your house is home to a poltergeist, furniture also pretty much stay where they are! You don’t come home to a messed up couch, a sink filled with dirty dishes … when you are living on your own.

In the words of the part-time help who used to come clean my apartment once a week, “Now that your boyfriend is living with you, I have NO IDEA how to clean your place at all. It’s sooo … messy.” See what I mean?

Relish the time you have with YOU

Relish the time you have with YOU

Many singles fantasize about how life would be better if they have another person to share it with. When I was single, I’d imagine a well-dressed husband waiting for me at home, eager to take me out for a nice dinner. When I was single, I pictured how it would be so wonderful to snuggle up in bed with a guy on a weekend … instead, the reality is so, so far away.

I come home – most frequently – to a boyfriend with a Playstation controller in his hands, and on weekends, instead of wanting to snuggle, I’ve found I prefer to lock myself up in my bedroom just so I can get some quiet time to read.

I think the biggest allure of single life is that there is a POSSIBILITY, a chance that life could become what you imagine it to be. As a single, your life is only as fascinating as your imagination and fantasies, and that in itself makes life just a little bit more romantic. As a single, your life is your own to lead. What you eat, what you do, where you go, what you buy … you rarely have to ask anyone for his/her opinion.

So while I’m not saying I hate my life with Simon, I just want all you singletons out there to take a moment to relish your single life today. Yes, it is wonderful to have someone you love by your side during this year-end holiday season, but what is more wonderful is the realization that you don’t need another person to make your life beautiful – you are enough.

Yes, you alone are enough. Treasure this time you have with YOU and, with this, I wish you a Happy New Year!

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Deborah Tan talks about the trials and tribulations of living together with a partner. Stay tuned for more!

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. She admits that Simon probably feels the same about his single life too. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweet.

[If you like this story, you’ll love]

1. [Love In Lines] Deadline For Love

2. [Love In Lines] Not-So-Common Grounds

3. [Love In Lines] Where Are All The Great Guys?

4. [Love In Lines] 5 Things Single People Hate

Lifestyle, Love, Relationships

How To Win At Online Dating – Vanessa Tai

material-world-singapore-online dating-top

According to dating agency Lunch Actually’s recent survey results, online dating is on the rise in Singapore. 51 percent of the 788 respondents from Singapore said they used online dating platforms to find a potential mate. This is a huge jump from a mere 26 percent in 2009. Considering how upwardly mobile and tech-savvy society has become, these results don’t come as much of a surprise. However, even with online dating becoming more prevalent, it seems there are many people who haven’t quite figured out how to make it work for them.

Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but my few months of dabbling with OkCupid have given me some insight into the Do’s and Don’ts of online dating.

DO … have an interesting profile.
There are a gazillion profiles out there with same-ish bland introductions that read, “Just a simple guy,” or “I enjoy hanging out with good friends but I’m also comfortable being alone.” Online dating is similar to being at a party … how are you going to stand out if you present yourself to be just like everybody else? You don’t have to go on and on about your likes and dislikes; honesty and a good dose of humour would work better. Here’s a screen shot of what a more interesting profile looks like:

material-world-singapore-ok cupid-1

DON’T … be a creep/be corny.
I once received a message from a guy where the subject header was, “10 reasons why we should be f- buddies.” Just no.

As for being corny, I’m just going to leave this self-explanatory screen shot here:


DO … make the effort to come up with an interesting introductory message.
Too often, people get caught up with “dating being a numbers game,” so they mass-send the same message to scores of profiles, hoping a few will reply. Not only is that insincere, the recipient will know he or she is receiving a mass message and will be less likely to respond. A better idea would be to comment on an interesting point (or photo) on the person’s profile and ask them about it.

DON’T … put all your eggs in one basket.
Online dating is now just not confined to the web. It has gone mobile through different mobile dating apps like Singapore Singles Around Me and Lovestruck. With this added convenience, it’s easy to become addicted to scrolling through the seemingly endless profiles, hoping you’ll click on The One. However, it’s probably healthier to view online dating as just another avenue to get to know new people. If you really want to expand your network, go out and join interest groups, sign up for new classes or attend singles’ parties!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. She loves reading about people’s hilarious online dating fails. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

1. How To Make Friends In Your 20’s And 30’s
2. [Love In Lines] Singlehood and Self-Pity
3. [Infographic] How Social Media Affect Your Chance At Love 

Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] Singlehood and Self-Pity – Vanessa Tai

Single people reading this, when do you feel the most alone? Is it during the festive season when loved-up couples are canoodling under the mistletoe? Or during Valentine’s Day when Orchard Road seems to be spilling over with starry-eyed girls clutching overpriced flowers from their beau? Or is it after a particularly rough day when you grab your phone to call someone and you realise there’s nobody you really want to talk to (or if you’re really honest, nobody who cares enough to listen to you whinge.)

Or is it all of the above?

We all have moments where we feel particularly lonely. For me, I feel my singleness most starkly when I invite a friend out and he/she asks if their partner can come along. Maybe I’m overreacting, but I feel gutted whenever that happens. It makes me wonder if my company is so insufficient that they have to invite their partner along to fill up whatever void it is that I’m unable to fill.

Don’t get me wrong though; I’m not an unreasonable person. I can understand if for some reason or other, my friend doesn’t get to see her boyfriend much so she tries to include him in as many outings as possible. In fact, I encourage it! What I don’t understand is couples who see each other all the time but still insist on being joined at the hip. For some reason, that makes me feel pronouncedly alone. Maybe because it reinforces the fact that there’s nobody (that I know of, anyway) who wants to be joined at my hip.

Lest you think I’m your stereotypical morose single woman gagging to get attached, let me just set the record straight: these moments of self-pitying loneliness are few and far between. However, when they do occur, I’ve discovered a great way to tackle it. Introducing my self-devised 3-Step Process For Snapping Out Of Self-Pity:


Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more! 

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets

[If You Like This Post, You Might Also Like]

1. [Love In Lines] Why You Should Never Play Matchmaker

2. [Love In Lines] Sharing 101

3. Why You Should Make New Friends In Your 20s