Dating & Relationships

10 Things Singaporean Couples Do When They Go Steady That Single Friends Secretly Wanna Call Out

Things Singaporean couples do

Singaporeans are a quicky bunch – we chope tables with tissue paper, use “la” as an exclamation point, and have somehow turned otters into our unofficial national mascot. Then, we have Singaporean couples – who, for some reason, seem to have rather predictable, and oftentimes bizarre, traits of their own.

Hear me out: after going steady with BB, every pair of local lovebirds goes through a rite of passage that includes “soft launching” the relationship and visiting Gardens by the Bay. I can already hear David Attenborough narrating: “and now we have a pair of Singaporean mates in the wild, staring at each other lovingly under the void deck…”.

Feel called out? No worries you aren’t the only one around doing these:

1. Delete Tinder, Bumble, CMB…

Some actual data from a local survey: 1 in 4 Singaporean couples find love on dating apps. Throw a stone into a crowd and you’ll hit someone who’s been on here-for-a-good-time-not-a-long-time Tinder, just-looking-around Bumble, or looking-for-a-serious-relationship Coffee Meets Bagel. 

If you’ve managed to get yourself a boyfie or girlfie, the first thing we all do is purge our phones of all dating apps as a grand gesture of love and fidelity. Sometimes, this results in us ghosting other potential matches on the app – but collateral damage takes a backseat in the lovey-dovey realm of romance. If these dating apps are still on your phone, shame shame!

2. Get matching white Crocs & ADLV tees

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Those who’ve dated in the 2000s may remember the matching rings from Couple’s Lab and “I’m hers/his” printed tees. Fast forward to 2023 and our love for going matchy-matchy is very much still around; and still borderline cringey. Here’s the thing: we couples know it’s crazy corny but we love doing it anyway. 

Image credit:
emelia diaries

Look around – or maybe in a mirror – and you’ll find a couple rocking a pair of white Crocs and matching ADLV tees. Some take it further and get a pair of matching ‘jammies. Is going twinsies actually cool? Well, let’s just say it gives off the same energy as B1 and B2 in Bananas in Pyjamas. But if you’re going bananas for each other, who cares what others think?

3. Post an IG “reveal”, but might as well don’t reveal

Image adapted from: Renae Cheng

Here’s something 99% of us are guilty of: IG “reveals”, where couples announce to the world that they’re dating. These posts are often extremely cryptic with each “reveal” being a little Sherlocks Holmes-like puzzle to unravel. Does this mean they’re officially together? Got heart shape in the caption leh! 

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You’ve gotta make your friends ponder for a few seconds, or maybe head to the comments section filled with congratulatory messages to find the confirmation they need. Don’t forget the unspoken rule – these IG reveals can only go live after you’ve updated all your besties. Your closest BFF has to be the very first person you tell, else, you’ll go to friendship-jail.

4. The holy trinity of dates: Hi-Roller, ASM & cafes

Got yourself a partner? Welcome to struggle town. Every date requires a little bit of brainstorming for activities, and many of us land on the same few date ideas: ArtScience Museum, cafe-hopping, and Hi-Roller. The latter being the perfect excuse to hold BB’s hand.

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Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about Gardens by the Bay, an S-tier date location in its own right. Legend says you’re not a real couple if you haven’t visited GBTB together. Don’t forget to hashtag #gardensbythebae or #gardenswiththebae while you’re there.

If you’re new to dating, we have plenty of guides to save you the headache of finding original date ideas:

5. Pose with a random relative’s baby together

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We all love babies, but just-attached couples seem to love them more than anyone else. During festive seasons like Chinese New Year, you can guarantee that there’ll be a whole lot of couples snapping photos with their young nieces, nephews, relative’s dogs, or any other cute-looking being available. 

P.S. The act of spamming these photos on IGS isn’t necessarily a hint from your other half that they’re ready to start a family – not at this stage of the relationship at least! Rather, your BB is probably just so deep in love that all that affection spills over and smothers everyone nearby. Take it from someone who’s guilty of doing this too.

6. Staycay at some loft hotel as a Bali warm-up

The Warehouse Hotel.

“Get a room!” we say. Couples in Singapore are more than happy to oblige. Since movie theatres simply don’t provide sufficient privacy, going “official” marks the start of staycation galore for lovebirds.

Get your mind out of the gutter – a couples’ staycations isn’t always a naughty affair. For most, it just needs to be an aesthetic getaway where they can spend some quality time with their loved one. Think M Social, Studio M, and Lloyd’s Inn. 

Soon after, couples will work their way up to a sweet vacation to one of the 3 nearby “B”s of Batam, Bintan, or Bali. Just be careful of the Bali curse if you’re the superstitious sort!

7. Use each other as a pole on the MRT

PDA is like coriander – you either love it or you hate it. You’ll know a couple who loves PDA when you see one. They’ll be hugging on the escalators, holding hands when they’re queueing for McDonald’s, or even clinging onto each other on the MRT.

As a passerby, you can’t help but feel a mix bag of thoughts and emotions. For example, “ew”, “omg diabetes”, and “so sweet”.

8. Paktor at HDB void deck with 7-11 snacks

Singaporean void decks serve their purpose, all right. Other than being a great hangout spot for neighbours, they’ve also managed to offer a secondary function – that is, being a meeting point for young love.

You’ve either enjoyed many a free paktor session here in the past, or inadvertently walked past budding romances at one of the many void deck seating areas. Snacking on ready-to-eat 7-Eleven meals during one of these dates is but a rite of passage.

Really, none of us have any issues with these HDB escapades unless said couples head to the stairwells. *Ahem*

9. Meet the pets before meeting the parents

Without a doubt, meeting the parents is an extremely stressful affair. Doing so when you’ve just gotten together is a ticket straight to pressure-ville.

As such, Singaporean couples choose to integrate into the family pet-first. It’s quite a genius plan really – you’ll get to first meet the friendliest member of the family without any stress. And worst comes to worst, the dog/cat/hamster/bird can’t possibly criticise you!

10. Faster chope BTO because must wait long long

Some say romance is dead and the complicated process of BTO is at the forefront of the massacre. Whether or not you agree, it can’t be denied that the practical folks among us start thinking about applying for BTO the moment they become “official”. Chances are, you’ll have to wait extremely long to get a flat anyway. Might as well try first see how.

All the things Singaporean couples are guilty of doing

People in love tend to do the wackiest things and that doesn’t stop the moment things become “official”. If you check off any of the actions in this list, welcome to the club. Stand proud and wear the label of being a quintessentially “Singaporean couple” like a champ. 

Cover image adapted from: @keziasdf, Renae Cheng, Shopee
Originally published on 14th February 2023.

Kezia Tan

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