Chinese New Year Survival Guide for Singles

Hi guys, I’ve been invited as a weekly blogger/columnist for my friend’s dating app Love Out Loud Asia, check them out. This is my second post and you can read it here as well. 

Chinese New Year is in the air (literally, being played in supermarkets and shopping malls) and I can practically smell the bah kwa already. Before you start to dread the inevitable “when are you getting a boyfriend/girlfriend/getting married/having kids” questions, here’s a guide to question sidestepping and ban-luck huating during this festive period(results may vary):

Auntie Interrogation 101

I used to wonder if every year, just before Chinese New Year, aunties would hold secret gatherings around Sheng Siong supermarkets to exchange ideas on ways to grill the “youngsters” with awkward, unanswerable questions in exchange for an angbao. Then, I realised the questions are pretty much standard. In fact, so are the answers:

  • “Got boyfriend/girlfriend already?”
    • “Waiting for you to introduce to me.”
    • “I’m dating someone already, but don’t tell my mom!” Proceed to fantasize with the auntie.
    • “Actually, I’m gay/lesbian…….Just kidding!” (This one’s my favourite, simply because aunties are so homophobic.)
  • “When getting married?”
    • “When you sponsor my wedding lor”
    • “Waiting for baby first, nowadays fashion to shotgun wedding!”
  • “When is the baby coming?”
    • “When you volunteer to babysit. You know childcare costs nowadays…”
    • “I don’t know auntie, the sex is really too good to give up.”

Side note: It is strongly advisable to collect your red packet before using these responses.

Photo credit: The New Paper

Photo credit: The New Paper

You are now entering a Fat-for-Free zone

With once-in-a-year snacks lying around the house, it’s so difficult to resist munching on just one. It always starts with one. Before you let yourself go on those devilish little things, here’s a friendly calorie reminder:

Snack (Portion size) – Calories
Peanut Crackers (3 rolls) – 418
Bak Kwa pork (1 slice) – 370
Pineapple Tarts (3 pieces) – 246
Kueh Lapis (1 slice) – 240
Love Letters (3 rolls) – 168
Yusheng (1 serving) – 145
Roasted nuts salted (1 handful) – 123

Jogging, 2.2m/s, 30 minutes, 60kg person = 200 calories. FYI, jogging at 2.2m/s gets you 18minutes on a 2.4km run. Go figure. (As in, there goes your figure.)

D-Day (or Day 1-15)

To Wear

Being finally able to wear that shirt/dress you’ve been saving since Christmas is another Chinese New Year highlight. Pro-tip: save your better pieces when you’re meeting new people. Your cousins have probably already seen the most unglam side of you.

To Bring

Besides the pair of mandarin oranges and mahjong investment capital, some might forget to bring an ample supply of name cards. Here in Singapore, it’s pretty full-on if a guy asks a lady’s number  a few hours after meeting her, so name cards are a good grey area to play around in. And throw him a lifeline, ladies; give him your name card if you think you might be interested.

Credit: David Coppini

Credit: David Coppini

To Do/Talk

  • Always offer to help the host with serving or cleaning up. A little goes a long way in improving impressions.
  • Be up-to-date with the latest happenings (i.e. Bangkok protests, Li Na and Wawrinka, Woodlands Checkpoint fiasco, Stephanie Koh, Juan Mata)
  • Go easy on the alcohol. The last thing you want to do is get drunk at your friends’ place.
  • Leave your thoughts on Anton Casey at the door.

That’s it for me this Snake Year. <insert generic, boring and narcissistic post about how this year had a lot of ups and downs (no shit, really?!) and hope that the new year will treat you better>

Have a good one, boys and girls.

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Top 10 Lies Singaporean Men Tell Their Women

Hi guys, I’ve been invited as a weekly blogger/columnist for my friend’s dating app Love Out Loud Asia, check them out. This is my inaugural post and you can read it here as well.

1. I’m on the way, but I’m stuck in a MRT delay/massive jam.

This is the male equivalent of the classic “5 more minutes” line. It’s so much easier to blame factors we aren’t in control of, and this excuse gets overused more often than not. Chances were, he lost track of time on his DoTA/FIFA game and left the house at 6.45pm for a 7pm date.

Obviously the best hero in DoTA.

Obviously the best hero in DoTA.

2. Looks aren’t important

Men are visual creatures; we like what we see. Except for that rare, select few of men, most of us are firstly attracted to the looks. Then the character assessment and chemistry might come later. But it’s primarily looks. Besides, it’s nice to have a trophy around the arm.

3. I’m working OT tonight

Another “oh-I-can’t-help-it” lie. This one’s really convenient to use though; there isn’t a set time for him to finish his work (when is work really ever finished anyway?), he has free play on whatever time he wants to end and he doesn’t have to answer any calls or reply any texts. Don’t fret ladies, maybe he’s really working overtime to buy that nice engagement ring?

4. Meeting a “friend”

When he says “I’m meeting a friend” without mentioning the friend’s name or whereabouts, you know something is up. Normally he would say “I’m meeting Jason later” or “I’m catching up with my army buddies”. So what’s with the minimalist approach this time? Although technically it’s not a lie; friends with benefits are friends too, right?

5. No, you don’t look fat in that.

Let’s be realistic: Before both of you started dating, y’all were working your asses off at the gym. So on behalf of the Singaporean male population, allow me to say it: “Yes you look fat in that dress, that’s because you’ve gained weight”. Please don’t kill the messenger.

6. I love you

Guys will say anything to get into your pants ladies. Men don’t take the word love as seriously as women. A lot of us use the word “love” loosely, some of us say it in a moment of flurry, only to regret the commitment later. Pro-tip: Don’t take the first “I love you” too seriously.

7. I’m just friends with her, I practically treat her like a sister.

Really? It’s funny, because I never had a crush on my sister, or brought her out on a romantic date before. It is pretty rare for guys to have close platonic friendships with the opposite sex without initial attraction first. He also wants to avoid all the unnecessary questions about her, so he simply uses a “sister” label.

8. I was in Commandos/Guards/<insert Combat Unit> during National Service, but got injured so I ended up being a clerk.

There’s nothing more important to a man than his pride (or ego). Very few men will openly admit to feigning injury, a.k.a. “chao keng” for an easier life during the NS period. Obviously a man wants to give his woman a sense of physical security and protection, so it’s always convenient to get “injured” in the line of duty for your country. Ah, so patriotic.

9. Nah, that girl’s not that pretty.

This is one of the good lies, or “calamity-avoidance” lies. You’re talking to him about a mutual friend or are with him when both of you see an attractive woman. If the girlfriend asks if he thinks that friend or woman is pretty, there is only one right answer.

10. Oh sorry, I didn’t check my phone/Whatsapp lagged.

When you’re with him, he’s on his phone ALL. THE. TIME. But surprisingly when he’s out drinking with his mates, he forgets to check his phone? Well if it really urgent, I’m sure he can pick up your call. But in the meantime, like most people, he would check his notifications drag down box on his phone to avoid being “online” or “last seen” on Whatsapp.

Before I end this topic, I like to give this humble bit of advice to any lady who is starting to suspect your man:

Action speaks louder than words. Don’t fall prey to his words so easily. See that he really follows up on his words. That way, you can separate the good eggs from the bad ones.

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