Dating and finding love in Singapore: Stories, advice, insights, and funny anecdotes on the Brunch Download
Finding Mr Darcy
Thereʼs an iconic scene in Sex and the City where everyoneʼs favourite love-to-hate character, Carrie Bradshaw, stands in front of her infamous brownstone New York townhouse steps and utters six legendary words to a perplexed Mr. Big:
"Just tell me Iʼm The One."
He looks at her with a combination of distress and inevitability and, of course, he canʼt. Six seasons later, though, on a glorious bridge on a cool Paris night, he swoops her up in his arms and, suddenly, there is no one else but her. Sure, it took him a while, but so does happily ever after, right?
Thatʼs why I write this column.
Much like my favourite overthinking New York fashionista, I, too, am a sucker for the optimistic flame that keeps the possibility of modern love alight. And, also much like Carrie, I, too, stand waiting on the marble-polished steps of my mid-town condo entrance every day, looking out into the horizon of Singapore city, forever-waiting for my Bugis Mr. Big. Maybe Iʼm only on the end of Season 1, 'cause Iʼm starting to wonder where the hell he is and whatʼs taking him so long.
Hey Singapore, my name is Rahat. Iʼm 29, Iʼm an Australian-Indian PR Director by day, and a dating columnist by night. And you know what? Iʼm in love with love. I canʼt explain it. If you asked me when my last great date was, I couldnʼt tell you. If you asked me how many disappointing relationships Iʼve endured, I could send you a list longer than those relationships. If you asked me how many men Iʼve fallen for that are so wrong for me that they couldʼve never been Mr. Right, Iʼd lose count faster than Donald Trump on a cheeseburger calorie tracker. But what the hell, Iʼm still in love, with love.
Ever since Iʼve been a little girl, Iʼve been mesmerised by the idea of meeting The Man of My Dreams, though those dreams have evolved over time. Iʼve sat in front of hours of endless rom-com movies, fantasising about my own Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan moments, only to find that Youʼve Got Mail doesnʼt work when your Indian mother reads your 12-year-old-selfʼs MSN chats and you get a slipper to your head in lieu of a slap in the face by love. But hey, details.
Iʼve kept my eyes and heart open for 29 years, hopeful that every next swipe is the flick-of-the-wrist to end them all. After all, we all have friends who never dated and suddenly swiped right to marry the first guy they chatted to on Tinder. Iʼve sat through dates with guys with pet rocks (5, he rescued them from the beach), malaria (came back from a trek in Papua New Guinea), burial fetishes (he wanted us to be buried inside the bar we had our first date), and even a guy who stood on the table at the bar and rap-serenaded me to the theme song of 'Bananas in Pyjamasʼ. #CoupleGoalz.
And yet, in spite of all these crazy, unbelievable, column-worthy, hope-shattering moments, Iʼve never given up on romance. I know, Iʼm a masochist. Because even though I know people seemed to have forgotten how to type nowadays (sup, u up? R u AwAkE GrLl?), monogamy is out fashion, and sex is trading faster than stock on the New York stock exchange post 'Rona, itʼs really hard to let go of your faith in true love, when you havenʼt found it yet.
Maybe Mr. Big is exactly that, a big illusion. After all, if itʼs toxic non-committal men weʼre hanging on for, I could easily dive into my past and pull out a buffet of options. But maybe, just maybe, thereʼs really a Chris-Noth-esque, cigar-smoking, whisky-drinking, Orchard-apartment-owning dude out there who is looking for me as fervently as Iʼm looking for him. And maybe my Manolos just havenʼt walked in his direction yet or my Gojek just hasnʼt reached its final destination, so why stop believing?
So here we are, now sharing this journey together. In this column, I hope to share with you a smorgasbord of amazing experiences, laughs, stories, insights, advice and tragedies. Every two weeks, Iʼll be answering a key question all about the murky, big, bad world of dating, from first dates to commitment to sex, or the lack thereof. Nothing is off-limits, maybe except anything my Dad canʼt read, because did you read the bit about Indian parents?
Grab a coffee, and wander down love lane with me. Itʼs time for your fortnightly Brunch Download.