blog Love & Relationship thoughts

To NUS Tinder Man: Singaporean women on Tinder are great conversationalists – sorry, you’re just not.

Very recently, Mothership covered an article on a confession made on NUSWhispers. As someone who has been an avid user of Tinder for over 5 years, I think I should discuss and break down this confession – and also my thoughts on why Sg Tinder Man had such an experience on Tinder.

Paragraphs in the coloured blocks are part of his confession.

I used to think that dateless Singaporean men were just sore losers for criticizing Singaporean women. But after using Tinder, I’m beginning to realize there might be some truth to them. First of all, it is near impossible to meet single females if all your friends are married. This is just the way Singapore works.

I think he is trying to be objective here – starting with a disclaimer that he has arrived at this conclusion from a neutral perspective. But I agree, as a fellow single human being in Singapore, it is really pretty difficult to meet fellow single lads when most of my friends are attached or have settled down.

But think about it – it’s really not that difficult, it is just inconvenient and has the potential for a relationship to be complicated if it’s a mutual friends introduced by your buds.

What I discovered on Tinder was that Singaporean women are either not able to hold conversations, or have a very huge ego. If it is not a huge ego, it is a very fragile one. I thought if I matched with women who were from NUS, they might be more capable of holding conversations.

1. He’s not ready for the competition

What I conclude from this paragraph is that NUS Tinder Man has absolutely no idea what competition he has on Tinder. And yes, you’ve heard me: Tinder is a fucking competitive space! It’s an app readily accessible for all of us on the app. It’s an aggregation of people who are there for one plain objective – find someone; whether it’s just to hookup, make friends, or settle down. The thing is that on Tinder, most people’s intentions are not crystal clear, heck – most of us don’t even know what we’re really doing on Tinder! …Well of course, except for the few who will indicate “DTF” or “just here for fun” right in the bio.

Within this competitive space, you have to be interesting – or at the very least, know how to catch your match’s attention. And for this, I’m referring to both genders. But of course, girls often have it easier on Tinder.

I graduated from NUS, so I know what girls are like, right? Turns out, even the NUS graduates cannot hold conversations. Simple things like,”which movie do you like and why?” A simple answer would do like,”I like Dog of Isles, it is a love letter to Japanese culture.
I give such an answer, and local women struggle to reply me. I feel like my conversations with them must be like,”oh i had dinner with my friends on Saturday, and lunch with my parent on Sunday. Then we watch movie in the night.” If i ask Singaporean women what they think about other women, they say, “I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t want to judge.” I ask Chinese, Malaysian or Vietnamese women the same question, they can tell me a lot. “We come from a village, so we learn to be independent.”

2. He’s plain boring; or just not a good conversationalist

Let’s face it. Who the hell is gonna reply to “I like //Isle of Dogs, it is a love letter to the Japanese culture.” I am certainly not gonna reply to that for many reasons.

  • I am not interested in a movie which only he is interested in.
  • As much as I love dogs, I am really not interested in discussing an animation over text.
  • His choice of words have indicated that should the match reply, it will be a deep discussion. “Why love letter?” “Why Japanese culture?”… And let’s be honest here, nobody is ready for that length of conversations on Tinder.
  • He did not finish his sentence with another question, or another pointer which his match could easily respond to, or express opinion on. And this is crucial.

To make sure a conversation keeps going, always leave room for discussion, or induce a response by asking another question. But I totally get where Tinder Man is coming from – by ending the conversation with “it’s a love letter to Japanese culture“, he is trying to stimulate curiosity in his match and hoping that she’d send another response asking him to explain himself. And in this case, he thinks he’s trying to create a discussion but often we’re really not on Tinder to talk about what some random match thinks about a film and another culture.

And boy, this is basic to holding a conversation. Stop talking about things you like. Start listening and asking questions; questions simple enough for a person to reply on the phone. We’re not talking about face to face conversations right here – we are all used to short and quick conversations on the phone and by starting a conversation discussing heavy topics (film and culture), I’m sorry buddy but most ladies won’t be interested to keep it going. (Refer to point 1).

I suspect that this may not be an education level issue. It could be a nation-wide issue. Somehow our local work culture destroys the citizens’ social skills. You might say I must be ugly, and so no one wants to chat with me. But I have been chatting with women from other countries, most of them are prettier than the local women I talk to. Some of them come from business families, with thriving businesses in countries much bigger than Singapore. They are not economically weak women looking for a man to support them. None of them has scammed me or asked me to send them money. It could be that the standard of what is handsome here is different from the rest of Asia.

Unfortunately, Tinder is a superficial platform. Instead of the bios, we are served photos and selfies which take up at least 80% of the screen.

3. Local work culture encourages networking. You just lack the skills.

I beg to differ. I don’t think that the local work culture has destroyed the citizens’ social skills. In fact, I think it has very much encouraged it. Have you actually attended networking events?

Let’s take networking events as an example. Your objective during a business networking conference /event is almost similar to that of when you’re trying to match and get someone to reply you, and eventually go out with you on a dating app.

Networking Event

When you approach someone, you need to understand where they’re representing and if any of that benefits you and your team.

You need to understand your potential partner’s objectives at the event.

You need to then, quickly, think of how your existence can benefit them. And by doing so, you need to lay out a collaborative offer.

To have a good offer, you need to talk about things your match is interested in.


When you match someone, you need to first get them to introduce themselves, and you deduce if that’s for you.

You need to understand your potential partner’s objectives on the app.

You need to then, quickly, think of how your existence can benefit them. And by doing so, you really need to keep their attention.

By keeping their attention, you need to talk about things your match is interested in.

I could go on and on.. But you get the drift. Tinder Man is not ready for this.

I’m not even gonna discuss women across countries. To me it’s all the same – nationality, looks, whatever. What keeps one’s attention is how you are able to entice them to keep coming back to feel good about replying you. If you don’t have the looks, you kinda really need to know how to keep the attention. And maybe what he can offer in terms of conversations are particularly attractive to women overseas? I can’t comment as I’m Singaporean and I don’t know how women of different cultures would feel.

Those who want to comment, I’d ask you to think about what is wrong with our society. Is narcissism a growing issue? Does our work environment kill our social skills?

Please do not spew hate on any gender or sexuality. Someone give me an objective opinion.

Narcissism is one of the key recurring themes in today’s society. Look at everything that has grown massive so rapidly – Facebook, Tinder, Instagram.. It’s all about yourself and how good the app makes you feel. On Facebook, we have all the random memes and videos, as well as news, to entertain us. On Instagram, it’s all about flexing your life and looking good… Or being “so raw it’s real”.

It’s never a gender issue. I think what we need to overcome is to be clear of what your own objective is on the app, and regardless how difficult it is, suck it up and deal with it. Find ways to fight these challenges. As a woman, I also get ghosted by matches but I don’t think it’s a matter of narcissism or them being unable to keep a conversation going – it’s really a matter of personal preference and liking; and sometimes it’s the circumstances. I’m back on Tinder but I probably only use it once a week, and that’s because I’m not in a hurry to go on new dates.

And as for you, Tinder Man, I am not at all offended by the confession. I think there are boring people everywhere and by boring, I’m referring to the lack of motivation to make themselves interesting lol and these could very well be the women you’re referring to as well. Also, I’m writing this because you requested for it and I have a response. For your benefit, I suggest that you read up on ways to keep a woman engaged in short yet meaningful conversations.

I often get people asking me what’s the best method to get a girl to reply to your very first “hi” message after matching. And I have the answer to it.

Solution: Ask a personalised question based on her bio

I’m gonna tell ya, women get matches sooo easily on the app; we aren’t just about to reply every single match we have. Don’t blame us – it’s the algorithm. And even if we wanted to, we couldn’t because it really is time consuming and the results just don’t justify the effort. However, this is a sure-way to get your female match to reply to your first message.

No, not pick-up lines. But take a look at her bio, see the things she has written or the way she sees herself…. Or wants to be seen on the app. Then, ask a question relating to it. #Tinderhacks

Fellow Tinder mates, let me know if this works. 😛

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