Online dating in Singapore: 12 types of men you meet on Tinder, Bumble, and other matchmaking apps
The Brunch Download
Welcome back this week's download. Some of you reached out to me last week and asked for the column, and you were right to notice, there wasn't one. Last week was one of the most profound and moving in our modern history — certainly in my lifetime — and I know I was moved greatly. The protests and coverage around the #BlackLivesMatter movement has had a fundamentally positive impact on educating people worldwide on a topic that is so pertinent and important and it did not feel right to post a column in a week where I really wanted every ounce of coverage to be about the cause being championed. I am and have always been a huge proponent of equality be it men, women, race, caste, creed, and I passionately support #BlackLivesMatter. So as a sign of respect, the column took a break. I highly encourage everyone to research, read and participate positively in this movement and better understand the historic and future implications of the cause and how we can all play a role. If you need any guidance on resources, please feel free to reach out to me via my Instagram handle.
With that said, I also know many of you look forward to these weekly reads and your doses of painful romance-oriented laughter, so I have returned this week with a doozy. Late this past Monday night, I received a DM on Instagram from an old, old friend who I probably haven't spoken to in three years or more. She told me she'd stumbled across my column from the social media pushes (I hound you, but it's worth it!) and was having the worst-ever time online dating during COVID. She kept describing a number of weird characters she'd run into and a pattern she was observing, and so much of what she was describing felt like my own experiences and stories. It was like all of us knew these personas people put on when they hop on for online dating. And no matter where you are in the world (she lives in Australia), they seem to be exactly the same. She asked me if I could write a piece on the different types of characters you find online dating and I figured, why not? Everyone deserves some cathartic release. So this is one of a two part series.
Part one: The 12 types of guys you meet online dating
1. Mr 6'4
This is the guy who has all but one line on his profile description and it usually starts and ends with his height. This is so you can extrapolate that number out from Tinder and mentally calculate (not to mention incorrectly) just how much he has to *cough* offer. He's only on the app for one thing and it ain't meaningful conversation. He seems to think that women make decisions on who they want to date and sleep with based purely on a man's physical capabilities and that is why this guy is usually dumb as a brick with the personality of concrete. He will also be most likely to make a sexually inappropriate comment less than 30 seconds into the conversation and wonder why you're offended.
Opening line: 'What you wearing sexy?'
2. The Gym Junkie
Much like Mr. 6'4, this guy is all about the physical and has no room in his life for a girlfriend because he's already dating the gym. His profile description lists his hobbies as 'fitness, sport, keeping fit and gyming', which he fails to realise are all just synonyms for the same thing: obsessed with looking like a Michelin-cloud-thing man. He's normally looking for a Victoria's Secret model who will stand and watch him workout to the sound of her applause. He also specialises in the 'Mirror Selfie', with his biceps flexed, shirtless with shorts so tight they could be mistaken for body paint.
Opening line: 'Do you even lift girl?'
3. The Guy with the Girls in His Photos
This one baffles me and also makes me believe in Darwin's natural selection theory. What kind of dude goes on a dating app to find women only to put photos of themselves swarming in chicks? This guy, that's who. No doubt, he was misled by some 'bro' who told him the best way to pull chicks is to show how many you already have, because what woman can resist a man whose profile picture is of another woman planting a kiss on his cheek?! I mean, what a catch. This guy will usually have three to four photos, of which at least two will have more than one girl in the photo in some sort of suggestive pose. Maybe he thinks he's showing he's interacted with women before and that's why he can be trusted, in which case he's an even bigger moron than we thought. This is the worst possible way to shoot yourself in the foot online unless you are attempting to be with those looking for an open relationship. Just no.
Opening line: 'Hey, do you need a new friend?'
4. The Corporate Bro
He's a Lawyer, a Consultant, a Banker, an Ad Exec, and usually a corporate bro. You can recognise him because his photos are all shot in slick suits, hair coiffed and gelled, expensive watch, shiny shoes and you can practically smell his Hugo Boss cologne through the screen. This guy makes the moolah and he knows that one day, he'll have a picket fence and the black Mercedes. Unfortunately for now, all he has is a crap attitude and a demeanour so arrogant, Donald Trump would look like Mother Teresa. The Corporate Bro thinks he has to work just that little bit less because he's got an inkling of having it together. This unravels quickly at the use of the word 'commitment'. The only advantage of conversing with him and potentially going on a date, is that he can usually string more than one sentence together, which can be refreshing online.
Opening line: 'Hey, I'm [Insert Name] and I work in Finance.'
5. The Science Nerd
This is the Eugene of online dating. He's really too nice and lost to be on the apps, but because he needs to gain some confidence and be seen as one of the guys, so he puts himself out there. He's usually painfully shy, heavily into Science/Engineering/Space and his profile reads like an excerpt from that physics textbook you now use to elevate your laptop on when you watch TV in the bath. His profile pictures are generally him in some awkward pose, hair swept over his face in a '70s hairstyle. The good news is, the Science Nerd is usually incredibly polite and interesting to talk to, even if you don't get any of his Star Wars references. Plus with the right makeover, he's got potential.
Opening line: 'Hey, what are you doing atom-moment?'
6. The Traveling Tony
Traveling Tony is the exotic stranger who's just visiting. He's living up the backpacker lifestyle and just wants to 'meet interesting new people' to complete his spiritual (sexual) journey of travelling the world and educating himself (on sex) about new cultures (sexual positions). His pictures consist of a backpack, sedated tigers, Machu Picchu, faraway destinations, and big star jump poses. His profile describes him as curious and intellectual. Which is all good because he's mysterious, exotic, beautiful, tanned, accented, and irresistible until he shows up and looks like a greasy meerkat and you find out the most travelling he's done is with his hands.
Opening line: 'Bonjourno bella, you are the very beautiful in your Tinder!'
7. The Creepy Lurker
There isn't anyone online who hasn't experienced this guy. He spans from mummifyingly-old to cougarishly young, ridiculously challenged at basic communications, never has a profile description OR has a profile picture that is so up close, you'd think he was here for an eye exam. He's literally there to check out the girls in bikini shots whilst stroking his pet cat. He will match with you then never talk to you. If you unmatch him, he'll find you on some other form of social media and send you another request just to ice you out again. He also may have oiled back hair and a look of general serial-killerness. Creepy, creepy, creepeh.
Opening line: There isn't one. His cat can't type.
8. The Oversharer
Some unsuspecting woman broke this guy's heart and he never got over it. Now he thinks if he shares his tale of tragedy every single time he meets a new woman, he will find love again. He will not. This guy will tell you about his entire family, his addiction to sour worm candies, the lifespan of his goldfish, the number of times he's stubbed his toe, EVERYTHING. In less than 15 minutes of conversation, he thinks he's sucking you in with his intimacy but, really, he's looking for a therapist and not a girlfriend. Tinder is not an app for healing, buddy, take that somewhere else (no really, go get the help, it's out there).
Opening line: 'Have you ever had your heart broken? I have.'
9. The Brooding Musician
He basically thinks he's Kurt Cobain. This guy's profile picture will be dark and broody, guitar in his hand, twinkle in his sad, blue eyes, which you can tell are blue even though the picture is black and white. He'll suck you in with his ghoulish vampire aura. Your 'Save him! Save him!' instincts will kick in and before you know it, you've swiped right. All you want to do is hear him sing "Hey There Delilah" to you over and over, even if your name is Beatrice. The only problem with this guy is that, most of the time, his music is life and that guitar he's holding on to? That's his Bae. Before long, he only writes back in lyrics and when you go see him play, he turns out to sound like a duck being run over by a lawn mower.
Opening line: 'Hey there Delilah (or Beatrice), what's it like in Covid-city?'
10. The Sopping Single Dad
Let me be clear: these are not those single dads who are genuinely out there trying to find love, move forward, and put their lives back together because their last relationship was challenging and didn't work out. No. These are the guys who show up to court every month shouting 'death to alimony!' because they still haven't gotten over the fact that they broke up with their ex and now have to take responsibility for their child. Their profile picture is usually with their child/children with the caption 'My precious angel, if you don't like kids, go die!' followed by a photo of them with their ex with a giant red X across her face. I kid you not, I have seen this. Much like The Oversharer, they are seeking healing over a heart connection and can get mega aggressive even if you accidentally mention his kid. Or you don't. You can't win.
Opening line: 'My son/daughter is my world and if that's not cool with you, you're a horrible person!'
11. Mr. I-Have-No-Idea-How-This-Works
Why is he even on here? This guy signed up to online dating thinking it was yet another food delivery app and found something even tastier than a takeaway pizza. Unfortunately, he still hasn't learned how to use it and it shows in his profile description which consists mostly of:
My name is Bob,,,,not sure how this really workz...lolz....
Can you read this???.
Yes, Bob, we can and we wish we couldn't. Also, there is nothing funny about your grammar so quit lolling. This guy is also the same one who will put up a photo of his cat or dog as their display picture and you'll have to scroll through his 29 photos of random celebrities, graffiti, and possibly pornographic material to find one of his face which will inevitably be cropped weirdly and he will always have a bowl haircut. Even when he matches and messages you (if he ever manages to get there), he'll say something really obscure like 'Hello?' as if someone's trying to hear him on the other end of the line. Avoid Bob, he has no idea what he's doing.
Opening line: 'Um,,,,is this thing on...????'
12. The One in a Million
This is the one. The one who you can never find. He doesn't exist except for once in a blue moon. This guy has a stable job, does not saw people in half for a living (or pleasure...), communicates like he definitely finished High School, responds appropriately, is engaging, fun and charming. He's not as hot as the Gym Junkie or the Corporate Douchebag, but he's a good-looking guy. He seems like a great fit. Unfortunately, he's also the one you end up swiping left on by mistake as you try not to drool and the stupid iPhone screen corrupts (death to you iPhone, you're the worst wingman EVER). And that's why, there's only a one-in-a-million chance you will ever meet this guy on Tinder. I know, try not to weep too hard, otherwise the iPhone might use your tears to swipe left on the barely useful ones left behind.
Opening line: Hey, how have you been finding it on here? It's a bit scary right?
There you have it. The 12 types of men online. Look out in coming columns for the 12 types of women too, because this is not a one-way street people. And Lawd knows, we're also cray cray. But in the time being, avoid Bob and keep an eye out for the one in the million.
Till next week!