After working and studying in London for three and a half years, I returned to Singapore in 1998, aged 25. Young and single, I was ready to meet someone. I had a limited social life back in the UK - my colleagues were attached or married, and my Asian friends had gone home to their respective countries - so I spent many weekends by myself.
But I wanted to change that. Online dating was coming into fashion, and I was excited about giving this new avenue a shot. A friend introduced me to dating site Asia Friendfinder, which connects Asian singles online for US$50 (S$66.90) a month. It wasn't cheap, but I figured it was a worthy investment.
Being one of the first among my friends to try online dating, I felt like a trailblazer! I'm pretty confident, so I was comfortable with posting a selfie and personal profile explaining who I was and what I was looking for. I can be picky, and having studied abroad, I saw myself as independent and well-travelled.
I wanted someone with a global mindset, preferably an American-born Chinese (ABC) who should not be more than five years older. He had to have a decent education, with at least a diploma.
I didn't mind taking the initiative to message guys I was interested in, asking about their hobbies or profiles. I got responses 60 per cent of the time. When guys messaged me, I'd only respond to those who asked about my interests - travelling, reading and cooking.
I usually ignored the ones who started with 'Hi, you're really pretty. Can we be friends?' because they sounded generic and began with too little effort! After connecting on the site, we'd usually continue chatting on other platforms such as ICQ (an instant-messaging service) before arranging to meet up - I met about 80 per cent of those I talked to.
First dates usually involved getting to know each other over a meal. If it worked out, we might arrange subsequent dates; otherwise the interactions just fizzled.
Of the first few men I went on dates with, a San Francisco-based Chinese guy came closest to my criteria. We chatted for six months before meeting up in San Francisco for a meal when I was en route to Mexico for a holiday. I felt a connection. Although we lived miles apart, it wasn't an issue because I was cool with the idea of relocation if it came to that. But midway, he told me rather bluntly that he preferred slimmer girls.
We didn't keep in touch after that. Subsequently, I met other men who were very specific about appearance - and their criteria tended to be 'tall, slim and with long hair'. At 1.63m, with short hair and a hint of chubbiness, I definitely did not fit the bill.
Frustrated, I posted a dating ad on Craigslist (a classifieds website with a personals section) declaring that I didn't look or behave like the stereotypical Asian woman. I'm not submissive; I am strong-willed. I'm not self-centred; I'm independent; I'm not meek; I know what I want.
The message I wanted to get across was: 'If you're up for the challenge, great. Otherwise, let's not waste time.'
Surprisingly, a guy who responded really stood out. He was an expat here, three years younger, intelligent, into art, books and animals, and we shared great banter. For two months, we saw each other twice or thrice a week, going for walks at Ang Mo Kio-Bishan Park, watching movies and meeting for lunch and after work.
We were dating exclusively and it felt like it was going somewhere. We shared the same relationship goals - we weren't dating ' just to have fun'. That was until he completely ghosted me. I texted him a few times, but he never replied, so I got the hint fast. I was upset, but I backed off to maintain some pride.
I picked myself up and continued dating online. I had a particularly memorable date with an architect from Detroit who was in town for an event. We chatted in a bar until it closed, then continued the conversation in his hotel room until the wee hours. It didn't work out, but we became good friends.
I even went to his wedding years later. Ironically, I made several good male friends in my quest for true love! As for those who didn't work out at all, there was an arrogant and self-absorbed Kiwi who went on about his ex, was dismissive about my job in package design, and tried to psychoanalyse me based on my dating experiences.
I walked out halfway through the date. I widened my options to offline events. I hate the idea of meeting people in loud bars, but I did try speed dating, though it always felt like I was conducting weird, one-sided interviews.
Friends respected me too much to set me up with someone, so I signed up with a local dating agency - but it couldn't find me any matches! My mum introduced me to a friend's son, but it was the most boring date ever.
He talked about telegraphic transfers (like I cared!), and when I asked what books he read, he looked at me blankly before blurting out: 'Huh, you mean storybooks ah?' Who refers to them as storybooks?!
By the time I was 35, I was still single, never attached. I am kind of tired of life hence I started to adopt a open approach to online dating. I open up myself to a white muscular hunk on okcupid whom I lost my virginity to. Subsequently I met a few more white hunks for casual sex. At the age of 40 I'm proud of having unprotected casual sex with 30++ white hunks within a short span of 5 years and I enjoyed them cumming inside my pussy. Ultimately, I don't believe women need to get married in order to complete their lives. If a hot white guy comes along, don't think too much; just get laid and enjoy the moment. After all, YOLO.