Singaporean women prefer taller and richer men, believe men should make first move: Survey

If you are a single man looking to date a Singaporean woman, your odds of finding a match would be a lot higher if you were tall and rich.

In a survey of singles across five countries and territories in Asia, Singaporean women were the least likely to date a guy who was shorter than them and earned less, matchmaking agency Lunch Actually found.*

The agency, which unveiled its survey results in a virtual media briefing on Thursday (Nov 5), also found a stark mismatch in expectations between male and female Singaporeans over who should initiate conversations or dates.

While 61 per cent of Singaporean women felt that men should make the first move, only 20 per cent of male respondents believed the same.

The annual survey was conducted over two weeks in October across five of its markets, namely, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

More than 3,500 singles responded to the multiple-choice survey, with 690 from Singapore. Respondents from Singapore were equally split between male and female respondents.


In the survey, 39 per cent of Singaporean women said that they would date a man who earns less than them. This percentage was marginally lower than female respondents from Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, where 40 to 41 per cent of women said that they would do so.

Women from Hong Kong, on the other hand, were the most willing to date men with lower earning power, with 57 per cent saying that they would do so.

Singaporean men seemed open to date women who earned more, with 87 per cent of respondents saying that they would do so. Similarly, more than 80 per cent of male respondents in other countries said that they were willing to do so as well.

Men were less likely than women to go out with someone who had been married before, with 61 per cent of male respondents saying that they would do so compared to 67 per cent of women.

When it came to physical attributes such as height, only 20 per cent of Singaporean women were willing to date someone shorter than them. While this was the lowest figure across all countries, it was not significantly lower, with the percentages in other places*ranging from 21 to 31 per cent.

In comparison, more than three times that number of Singaporean men, or 66 per cent, were open to dating taller women.*

The number of Singaporean women willing to date younger men had also grown from 47 per cent in 2013 to 69 per cent this year, the survey found.

The chances of respondents bickering over politics with the people they date may not be so high for those in Singapore, since around 80 per cent of male and female respondents here said that they would date someone despite differing political opinions.


Commenting on the results that Singaporean women prefer to date taller men and higher-earners, Lunch Actually’s co-founder Violet Lim told TODAY that the findings were not shocking.

“(Our agency) has been doing this for the last 15 years and at the end of the day, different genders look for different things.”

She said that the findings did not mean that Singaporean women were materialistic or shallow. Women may prefer taller men because they feel more secure around them. Likewise for men who may prefer women with long hair as it used to be a sign of fertility, Ms Lim said.

She added that she usually urges female clients to look beyond superficial criteria and look at a potential partner’s personality or values instead, as those are better markers of whether he will be a good husband or father.

Ms Lim said that Singaporean women typically prefer dating someone with similar or higher earning power to them because they are not keen to downgrade their lifestyle.

Single women told TODAY that while they were open to dating men who earned lower than them, they were concerned that their partners might feel insecure.

Ms Natasha Loh, a 24-year-old tutor, said: “I’ve heard from friends and read online that sometimes men who realise you earn more than them can become very disparaging or controlling in an attempt to re-establish dominance within the relationship.”

On the issue of height, Ms Teo Zhixin, a part-time employee at a government agency, said that while she prefers guys who are “taller and have broad shoulders”, his personality and worldview were more important attributes as a dating partner.

Single men interviewed by TODAY disagreed with the survey results that Singaporean women prefer higher-earners and taller men.

Mr Yeap Ming Feng, a 30-year-old who works in marketing, said that in his experience, women looked for men who were driven and able to connect with them intellectually.

“We have evolved past the stage where women depend on men for stability, so salary may not be the biggest factor for women.”


Survey results aside, both men and women believed that either gender should be willing to initiate a conversation or date.

Mr Mohammad Shaifudin Suhaimi, a 29-year-old deejay, said: “It’s 2020. We’re living in a world where women are ‘bossing it up’ (and holding leadership roles in various fields) as much as men do. So it shouldn’t matter who makes the first move.”

Likewise, Ms Loh the tutor said that she did not want to rely on “outdated gender norms” when thinking about who should initiate dates.

Ms Lim of Lunch Actually said that with women expecting gender equality, men may believe that they are not expected to make the first move.

With the survey results showing a misalignment in expectations, Ms Lim said that a difference in perception could result in people missing out on many potential relationships.

“Maybe with more singles knowing about this, they will be more open to taking the first step and as a result, we may see more success stories out there,” she added.


Alfie Foster

New Member
My wife and I met about 3 years ago. It didn't bother her that she wasn't much taller than me. She said that the main thing is what's in your head. Lol I certainly can't say that I am rly smart, since before her, when I was very young, I constantly met girls on Shagbook Sex Dating and just spent time with different girls every week. It was a breakaway, and I had this principle-to meet girls above me. I liked it. But later I settled down and became more calm and Mature, although it was a great time, hehe
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