In a surprising turn of events, single men in Singapore are fast ditching the ‘men age like fine wine’ rhetoric as they race to couple up and tie the knot.
Over the last two weeks, in two separate news features published by The Straits Times, statistics released on the population underscored how Singaporean women are increasingly choosing to stay single. Key factors singled out include long working hours, a love for independence and shifting mindsets on marriage. It was also reported that a similar trend is evident among men, albeit at a lower rate compared to the womenfolk; however, in the rapid move towards a more matriarchal society, the report did not reveal growing sentiments that the men themselves wish to be taken off the shelves at the next opportunity they get.
“The question is, why wouldn’t I? It’s a good time to be a guy. Women are stepping up, breaking glass ceilings and earning a higher income – even more than their male counterparts in some industries,” observed Howard L., 30, who works in finance. “I have been looking for a stronger partner to be able to handle a strong personality like me.”
Apart from the perks of a combined income, he adds that it is also a good time to be a father. “You get two weeks off from work (with paternity leave) and still get paid. Or you can go become a stay at home Dad, work flexible hours and have your spouse be the breadwinner while you kick back in your OSIM chair. I think I’d rather deal with diaper shit than work shit.”
Rapid economic development and higher paper qualifications in Singapore have, in no uncertain terms, contributed to an increasingly competitive fight field. The stress to perform, coupled with long office hours, has left men with an unspoken yearning for long-term female companionship – apart from mothers – as a pillar of emotional support. “See, I get to go home and rant like a girl without being judged, to the one woman who ‘gets’ me,” says Samuel T., a 29-year-old sales manager whom Seriously Man caught up with.
“So what if my friends say being stuck with one person for life becomes boring and sexless? I don’t think I want to be the bugger who has to watch all his friends get married one by one, or that guy who’s still swiping away at 55-years-old and then dying old and alone.”
Another respondent, publisher Alvan K., highlighted the need for family burdens to be shared in an ageing society such as Singapore’s. Costly medical bills and an impending rise in GST have piled on the pressure, along with the manner in which the elderly in his family tend to “pry open” his love life during occasions like Chinese New Year. He says that by getting married, it would solve some of these pressing problems.
“Am I dying to get hitched? You’re not wrong to say that,” Alvan, 33, admits. “Besides, I have a $5,000 Bell & Ross that I bought myself last year. I want to leave a legacy for my children after I kick the bucket next time.”