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10 Singaporean Old Fashioned Dating Habits That Should Be Cool Again

How Our Parents Used To Date



A generation gap can inspire interesting conversations. I was talking to my mother one night when I got curious about how she dated in her time. As expected, we found more differences than similarities, many of which inevitably caused by the advancement of technology and omnipresence of social media.

One would assume that being a Gen Y kid, we will think better of our dating habits with them being more convenient and interactive. However, I was surprised to find myself envious of some of the ways our parents used to date in Singapore.

Hence, I’ve established a list pitting past and present dating habits against each other. Let’s find out which dating habits ought to make a comeback and which dating habits were better left in their era.


1. Main Communication


Past: Calling someone directly
Present: WhatsApp, all day, everyday.

Source: TheRatchetReview

We Prefer: The Present. Calls are good, but WhatsApp is better. Although this means constantly tallying their “Last Seen” to their last reply, we like being connected at all times (:


2. Quality of Dates


Past: You and your date and no one else. (二人世界)
Present: Interconnected with the world.

Source: Giphy

We Prefer: The Past, no doubt about it. A date isn’t really a date when your date, your best friend, your parents, your team mates and your colleagues are all contesting for your attention. 


3. Meeting up


Past: Picking the Lady up from her house, or waiting at an agreed place at an agreed time.

Present: Meeting directly at the destination.

Source: Maddysmaybiebaby

We Prefer: The Present. Whilst the gentlemanly act is admired and the possibility of waiting forever is endearing, it is in reality, totally unnecessary. 


4. Food 


Past: Hawker Hopping 

Present: Cafe Hopping

Source: Reddit

We Prefer: We love food, all types of food. Nuff’ said.


5. A Night of Fun 


Past: 新世界 (The New World)

Present: Zouk

b2ap3_thumbnail_gjeajdnkqkusle8ntoga.jpgSource: Vingle

We Prefer: The Present. Yes we know, this includes the infamous grinding in the dark. But look beyond that! We have the lights, the music, the drinks and the ultimate party atmosphere. Also read our tribute to Zouk and 31 memories every Zouk clubber will remember forever.


6. Expression of Love


Past: Love Letters

Present: Lovey Facebook Posts

Source: Funny-pictures-blog

We Prefer: The Past. Love letters are way more personal and mean more than the number of Likes garnered by a post. Also, I’d much rather see a handwritten “I Love You” than a “ILY” in Sans-Serif Lucida font.


7. Photos


Past: Analogue Cameras, Third Party photographer

Present: Selfies with unlimited light filters available 

b2ap3_thumbnail_1111.jpgSource: Akademifantasia

We Prefer: Both! You’ve got to admit that for the average individual, filters are our best friends. And we are grateful that we have found an excuse for crappy framed portraits a.k.a #selfies.

But using an analogue camera would be a refreshing idea if you ever get bored of heavily edited pictures. There is a certain excitement in not knowing how your picture turns out and don’t forget about the 3rd party photographers who totally miss the point.


8. Mixtapes 


Past: Manual Recording 

Present: URL Links

Source: Giphy

We Prefer: The Past. Just compare the amount of effort and translate that into sincerity, this definitely needs to make a comeback! 


9. Movies 


Past: Drive-in 

Present: Movie Theatres

Source: Giphy

We Prefer: The Present. Being more of a movie fanatic than a romantic, I take the act of watching movies very seriously. We’ve got to do it the right way. Meaning, in the theatres where you get to appreciate your movie with its surround-sound quality speakers and comfy plush seats.


10. Relationship Milestones


Past: If any, Yearly.

Present: Month-saries 

Source: Giphy

We Prefer: The Past. Who’s had it with the month-saries? Firstly, it is costly. Secondly, it gives couples another thing to fight about. Lastly, whilst I truly am happy that you’ve lasted this long, would you please stop testing my math.


Overall Verdict


Although many of us have not experienced dating the way our parents did, you now probably have a better idea of how they used to date in relation to our 21st century dating. While we may have modernised our dating habits, the essence of it remains the same – we just want to spend quality time enjoying ourselves with the other half (:

Note that our preference is not reflective of what is really better. To each his own. So do share with us below your thoughts on Singapore dating past and present.


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