COVID-19’s impact on the mental health of singles in Singapore: ‘It’s harder to go on dates’
Feeling isolated, adapting to changing COVID-19 restrictions and not being able to go out as freely has had an impact on those looking for love and marriage in Singapore and the region, a dating survey found.
In its annual dating survey, dating service Lunch Actually found that 40 per cent of the 500 singles polled from Singapore said their mental health had “worsened” this year compared to 2020.
The survey was conducted over two weeks in October and November, and included a total of 2,500 respondents from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Thailand.
In Singapore, 66 per cent of singles said they were “lonely”, “stressed” (62 per cent) and “stuck” (54 per cent).
I am avoiding any social gatherings for now, including dates, because I’m staying with my parents and I worry about them catching the virus.
Close to half (45 per cent) of them said: “I don’t feel confident about myself” and 21 per cent said “I gave up on dating” during the pandemic.
In fact, when asked to answer a series of questions about their mental health, 46 per cent of Singapore women said their mental health had deteriorated because of not being able to go out freely (75 per cent), “COVID fatigue” from the news, changing restrictions (66 per cent) and feeling isolated (50 per cent).
In contrast, 34 per cent of Singapore men said their mental health had been impacted.
According to a Lunch Actually press statement on Wednesday, Nov 10, singles in Singapore aged 35 to 44 years seem to feel the impact of the pandemic more, with close to 50 per cent saying they are “feeling worse” than last year, compared to those aged 25 to 34 (27 per cent).
“HARDER TO MEET SOMEONE NEW”
Out of the Singapore respondents, while 95 per cent expressed interest in wanting a long-term relationship, 45 per cent of single men and women said they had not gone on any physical dates this year.
Meanwhile, 76 per cent of single men and women in Singapore have not had any virtual dates this year.
“This year, we are still seeing rising cases of COVID-19 and singles are experiencing many uncertainties and changes, which affects their dating lives, said Violet Lim, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Lunch Actually.
For instance, J, a healthcare professional in Singapore, who’s single and in her 30s, said in the press statement that she found it even harder now to meet someone new and go on physical dates.
“Previously, I was able to attend more social events and gatherings with friends, but nowadays, due to social distancing measures, I’m mainly staying home and doing activities alone, like taking up online courses and spending time with family,” she said.
“I am avoiding any social gatherings for now, including dates, because I’m staying with my parents and I worry about them catching the virus,” she added.
Her feelings reflect those of other Singapore respondents polled, where 29 per cent admit that worrying about their safety and that of their loved ones made it difficult for them to go on physical dates.
This has led to 65 per cent of Singapore singles feeling nervous about dating again, Lim added in its press statement.
Respondents also said they are now “more intentional” about their dating journey, such as focusing on finding a long-term relationship, and being more upfront about their intentions earlier in the process to not waste time.
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