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A few months ago, there was rumination over whether the Singapore woman is good marriage material. Both brickbats and bouquets have been thrown at her. An article in a local newspaper had explored a report from an international dating agency’s statistics on marriageable maidens from Merlion-land. It produced comments that were snarky and heated.
“Materialistic”, “fussy” and “overly independent” are some of the slightly contradictory remarks often thrown at the fairer sex of our country by a portion of – dare I say – spurned and burnt male members of the population. To be fair, nine out of 10 local lads I know have found “matching” local life partners in their secondary school or varsity sweethearts, church mates and friends of friends. I am also acquainted with a few local girls who have married expatriates, and guys who’ve returned from their overseas studies or work with a foreign girlfriend or bride in tow.
So, the question on everyone’s lips is: Are Singapore women a perfect catch or not? But is that really the crux of the issue? Perhaps the more important questions are: Who makes the perfect wife or husband for a son or daughter of this island’s soil? And what characteristics must he or she possess to qualify for “perfect spouse” status?
One thing is definitely for sure: You cannot call nationality into question. It’s just too easy to generalise and come up with something like local men are boring and local girls are whiny. For every materialistic, fussy, independent – heck, even ugly – local girl, I’m certain you can find a counterpart in another country near or far. Not all Latinas are hot, just as not all Frenchmen are romantic and not all Italians are passionate stallions.
What no one seems to be willing to explore is the very idea of perfection beyond a laundry list of ideal must-haves in a partner. To the man who is struggling financially, a woman of style with a high-flying career and meticulous taste may be well beyond his social reach and, thus, not appealing on the surface.
But would this conclusion be arrived at after he takes a chance to have a conversation with her, and discover that they both share an abiding love fortasty street food, the smell of fresh laundry and Radiohead? I’m not saying that the situation does not apply the other way as well. Girls are guilty as charged and have been known to pass over dudes who fall two sprinkles short of dazzling them with just the right amount of sparkle.
So there is the rub: The people who have yet to find “the one” are the ones who have actually closed themselves off to finding love in any other type of people – except those they have stubbornly decided for themselves as “perfect”. The irony is that such an attitude limits them to finding the perfect person in the first place.
So, is there such a thing as the perfect wife or girlfriend, or husband or boyfriend, in the first place? Sure there is. The thing is, there’s truth in the age-old saying: “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Ever so often, what’s perfect for one person may be someone who’s totally wrong for another.
I guess the secret to finding the perfect one is to really be brave enough to totally let go of that very desire for perfection. Then, who knows? You may find the one meant just for you – in your own neighbourhood. (But not if she finds you first.)