Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dating Agencies - Marriage - More babies?

Was watching the National Day Rally 2008 last night, after receiving some feedback from V on Sunday that it was something I shld catch. It left me bemused and of course, provided some food for thought as some of what was mentioned will impact me directly.

My mum enthused during the part about raising the number of marriages. How to get more Sporeans married and some of the antedotes which PM Lee provided were amusing. I am glad I've yet to meet any guy who was that clueless on what to do on dates. I esp agreed when he provided a reason as to why Sporean women, esp the graduates, are marrying later and focusing on their careers first. Not to generalise, but most of my gal pals and myself from the Universities are doing just that. Some of us are lucky enough to have met someone in the course of school/internships, but for the rest of us, it just ain't that easy. And when one adds on the clause in keeping their professional and love life strictly separate, aka no office romances, the pool of guys which we come into contact with shrinks dramatically. To put it simply, most gals are married to their jobs (and for some, shopping as well). It's difficult for women to be taken seriously at the workplace sometimes and we put in more effort at work to demonstate our commitment, but this in turns affect other aspects of our lives inevitably. After all, we only have 24 hrs a day and we are already sacrificing beauty sleep juggling our multiple commitments.

Thus, my mum visibly perked up when PM suggest certifed dating agencies playing a bigger role in helping to draw up possible life partners matches - she even offered to pay for my enrolment for the dating agencies! Heh. Personally, I dun have any grouses with matchmaking agencies who are helping to make some Sporeans v happy. However I think that not everyone is dating agency material. Some of us might not do as well in contrived settings - I for one am such an example. But under parental pressure, guess everything's possible yea? :)

Another topic which was brought up was babies and birth rates. Think they realised that money and policies alone wun work. It's also about having a conducive environment to have kids in - economics, political factors all play a part. Something which my grandparents used to laugh off, saying that if one really wants to have kids, the money issue isn't going to stop them. Personally, I think that linking higher marriage rates to higher birth rates isn't a leap in logic. However, there was also another issue which I felt might have been one of the major factors in the low birth rate for Sporean parents - the high divorce rates. Something which struck home for me when I read Sunday's article in Life! by Anthony Yeo - how the high divorce rates seem to be unaddressed for now. Usually couples who get married will give themselves a year or two before trying for a family, and that is also the crucial period for marriages - when most divorces take place for young couples, the first few years. Marriage is one thing, birth rates another and I think too, the divorce rates. Sporean women, being part of the workforce, also understand the sacrifices which one has to make when a baby's here and will usually plan for one - an increasing number of couples I know do not intend to have kids, but rather, have pet dogs instead. A baby isn't seen as a must-have or something which comes naturally with marriage anymore, but rather a committment which pros and cons have to be weighed.

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