Indonesian vs Singaporean Guys: What It’s Like to Date in This Part of the World When You’re Not A Crazy Rich Asian

Hello, strangers! 😀

Do you still remember Shi Hui from IreviewUread? Because if you don't recall the name, then I'd suggest you check on a few collaborations that we've done such as on my monthly feature Around The World With The Beauties, as well as the weekly $10 series covering Singapore.

So, in case you don't know, we went to Kranji Memorial Park together on my last trip to Singapore. We were supposed to create something together, but then again the hot weather in the city-state sort of killed the mood so we ended up doing nothing.

However, we keep in touch and voila, after some packed schedule due to Asian Games for me as well as some ‘experiments' Shi Hui had with some Singaporean guys to answer the questions that we've got, finally the answer is here…

I swear to God it's a perfect time as it's finished not so long after Crazy Rich Asian released. We didn't even know about the movie when we planned out this collab. 😉

The culprit behind this shenanigan: Shi Hui and I.

Indonesian vs Singaporean

First of all, even though I am still yet to watch the movie (or even read the novel) Crazy Rich Asian, I think I could understand the hype. We Asian share so many similarities despite the fact that we think we're different from one and another.

The reason why everyone talks about this movie is simply that Asian, they could relate to the movie and its storyline.

However, it's not the movie (or the novel) that inspired us to do the collaborations. Shi Hui and I share the same interest to create contents related to dating scheme. And we figure that maybe we could bring out the topic from that perspective, with the focus on Indonesian guys on my behalf, and Singaporean from hers.

Since we didn't make it to create the content during our trip to Kranji, we did the conventional way through correspondence. Apparently, when I got busy with Asian Games, Shi Hui used it to ask and date around to get more perspective from more Singaporean guys. Attagirl! 😛

Indonesian vs Singaporean Guys: What It's Like to Date in this Part of the World when You're Not A Crazy Rich Asian - The BeauTraveler x IreviewUread

Dating for Singaporean Guys

Pretty much just like you, we understand that the answer may vary. We're not trying to generalize, let alone to give either Singaporean or Indonesian guys a rotten stereotype, it's just what we experimented from dating them.

To create this article, all of our answers are based on our experience to date Indonesians and Singaporeans. And while Shi Hui has dated several Singaporean guys, mostly from Chinese ethnic, she used to date someone from Malay upbringing as well.

I, on the other hand, have gone on a date with both Indonesian and Singaporean guys. In fact, I'm kind of seeing a Singaporean guy right now. But let's forget about that, because I'm here to represent the Indonesian side from this part of the dating world. 😛

Source: Unsplash

The Dating Culture (Online Dating and One Night Stand)

The dating culture in Singapore is quite liberal. People in their 20s are quite open to online dating. For let's face it, nobody really meets in bars anymore. Additionally, dating online is more efficient. Therefore, it is common that most first dates start with a short and quick dinner after work.

If things go well, they'll hang around. If not, either party will use the, “it’s getting late, I’m tired.” excuse and bail.

The first dates are often used to check out if the person they are dating to match up to the person that they were talking to online. Although it does sound very unromantic, it's a very practical approach since many people don’t match up to their online personas.

People here are generally okay with One Night Stands (ONS) and Friends with Benefits (FWB). In fact, some guys do look for ONS and FWB since they feel that the 20s are the best time to play and flirt around.

It's not frowned upon here but most of the guys I talked to, indicated that they would not want to be in a serious relationship with one who constantly practiced those activities.


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Interfaith or Intercultural Relationship, Open or Conservative?

I think people are quite open when comes to dating people of another culture. On the other hand, most of the guys I meet would choose to only date people of their own culture because it makes bilingual communication between the couple easier. Most of the Chinese guys I’ve chatted with and dated before would prefer to date people of their own culture, while other races are more open to an intercultural relationship. Plus, inter-culture marriage is quite common here. As for religion, there are plenty of free-thinkers and atheist here –, especially among the Chinese. They don’t mind dating people that are devoted to a certain religion or have no religion at all. However, their condition is to not drag them to the religious groups or practices frequently.


In general, Chinese guys tend to groom themselves better on their first dates. After that, they're more casual – t-shirt, shorts and slippers kind of casual. Whereas, Malay guys tend to be more dressed up most of the time – feedback from my friend.

Gentlemanliness – Will They Pay for the Date?!

Most Malay guys pay for the dates. Whereas for Chinese guys in their twenties, they tend to pay for the date if the guy has been working for a few months or years. People who just graduated (most guys here graduated at 26, after university), would choose to split the bill. Same goes for those serving the Nation or those who are still studying.


This is dependent from person to person. People that I’ve dated are usually quite relaxed and open when it comes to PDA. On the streets, you can see many couples showing their affection publicly. From hugging to holding of hands to kissing. There's a wide range of that.


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It varies from people to people. I've met assertive guys and not assertive ones. Most of the time the guys would prefer equality, giving girls the choice. Guys that didn’t have any relationship history before would be less assertive. However, it is all dependent on one’s personality. I think assertiveness while dating, is dependent on their age and their experience. The older guys – in their late 20s – would tend to know what they want and be more stubborn on that. Whereas for the younger guys, they are more flexible since they are still at the age where they are unsure of what they like and what they need. Those with more dating experience would also tend to have an idea of what to do and seemed more ‘assertive’.

Traditional Lifestyle, Marriage, and Filial Piety – Parents Take Care of You When You're Young, Now You Should Take Care of Them

Due to the increased living standards in Singapore, many guys prefer to have both parties working to build the family. Since both parties are working, they don't mind having their mother or mother in law taking care of the kids. With that said, the culture of taking care of our parents when we're older is instilled in us. However, most guys would want to live independently and not have multiple households under one roof. In spite of having many strong independent singles around, societal pressure us to be in a relationship and start finding the person we want to spend our life with, in our 20s. When at the same time, we don’t even know what we want and who we are. Especially with the built-to-order flats*, it is forcing couples that are questioning their relationship status and singles to settle down just so that they can get a place to stay**.


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*These flats take 3 to 5 years to build. It’s a scheme for young, newly wedded couples. It is required that a couple is married before they are able to take the keys. Additionally, the grant will be higher if the couple has no income – that means the couple will be very young for they will either be still a student or unemployed or serving National Service.

**I mean of course singles can buy their own flat at 35 years old but somehow that seemed sad to society.

Gender Roles – Do Guys Still Think that Women Belong to the Kitchen?

Mentioned previously, due to the rising economy, it is ideal that both parents work. They allow their future wife to stay at home. That is assuming if the male counterpart is earning an abundance.

For gender roles, guys do tend to want to be stronger and not show their weaker emotions. Plus, they like the idea of taking care of their female partner. Since most guys cook these days, I don’t think it’s that much of a problem if a girl can’t cook. They are fine with outsourcing the cleaning and maintenance of the home.

Since Singapore is a first world country, education level is not of a concern to the guys. Guys are more concerned if you could hold a conversation rather than your education level.

Exclusivity – Cheating tendencies

Monogamous relationships are the normal thing to do here. You seldom hear people being in an open relationship. In fact, cheating is more common than having an open relationship.

For cheating, younger people would be more inclined to cheat for they are more willing to take the risk. Of course, it’s up to the individual and their personal values.

And that, my friends, is from straights guys and girls' perspective. If you're gay and coming across this post to find out, you might as well want to check out LGBT Guide in Singapore.

What Does It Make Any Difference to Indonesian Guys?

Although we share so many similarities being the sticky rice fellow South East Asian, I think the big difference that we could spot between Singaporean and Indonesian guys is the openness that Indonesian guys lack.

Indonesian guys are not that open to the idea of one night stand, despite the fact that they secretly practice it through online dating sites. I think it also has something to do with Indonesian having more religious upbringing, so there's some pressure for the youngsters to admit this kind of practice openly.

It's less unlikely to see interfaith marriage in Indonesia as well, due to the marriage law currently applied. It states that marriage could only be legal in Indonesia, if it's valid according to each respective religious. And for this, this stops Muslim girls from marrying the non-Muslim guys in the country.


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Even if the family is open to the idea of interfaith marriage, to legalize their companionship they often have to fly overseas for a civil marriage.

To read the details of my answer for all these dating topics on Indonesian guy, you can also check further on IreviewUread.

Got any experience dating either Singaporean or Indonesian guy? Or are you thinking to date one who's also not so crazy rich Asian? Let me know what you think, and cheerio! 😉

In collaboration with Shi Hui from IreviewUread, the girl who is more than just a beauty blogger, less than a Youtuber. IreviewUread is a Singapore-based Beauty, Lifestyle and DIY Blogger-Youtuber pushing the boundaries of life. She reviews beauty and lifestyle products and feature DIY tutorials on her blog.

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9 thoughts on “Indonesian vs Singaporean Guys: What It’s Like to Date in This Part of the World When You’re Not A Crazy Rich Asian”

  1. wow! that’s a lot to think about, but I think interfaith relationships can be complicated in every part of the world… even though I don’t think they should be. and no… I do NOT think the womens place is in the kitchen!

  2. Very interesting compare and contrast post. I haven’t watched or read Crazy Rich Asian, but find the culture so fascinating. It was cool to see the difference between your cultures.

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