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Less Singapore women willing to date men who earn less: Lunch Actually survey

Image showing a newlywed couple paying at a counter, with a circular inset showing the man tapping his phone on a payment machine. This is to illustrate a story on less Singapore women willing to date men who earn less.
Less Singapore women are willing to date men who earn less. (PHOTO: Getty)

By Sandy Pramuji

SINGAPORE – Some nine in 10 men have no problems dating women who earn more, but only one in five women are happy to date men who earn less.

In a Lunch Actually survey of 500 singles – a 50-50 split between men and women – in Singapore, 92 per cent of single men are okay if their dates earn more, and this has increased from 88 per cent in 2021.

On the contrary, 41 per cent of Singapore women say they would not date men who earn less. This is a decrease from 42 per cent last year.

In a press release on Tuesday (22 November), alongside its announcement of the annual survey results, dating agency Lunch Actually, said that "economic uncertainty could be one of the reasons why women are getting more specific about men's earnings".


In total, 2,390 singles from six territories – Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and Taiwan— completed the survey. It was sent to them through e-mail and social media over two weeks in November 2022.

"Coming out of the pandemic this year, it has been challenging for most of us, as we are now facing financial uncertainty. However, our survey has shown that for most singles in Singapore, price increases have not impacted much on their dating life," said Violet Lim, CEO and co-funder of Lunch Actually.

Go Dutch on a date?

An interesting finding, Lunch Actually said, was that 50 per cent of singles surveyed still believe that the man needs to pay for dates. In comparison, 39 per cent of singles agreed to going Dutch.

With the possibility of a financial winter coming, 52 per cent of singles said it is important to know their partner's financial situation once they get into a relationship.

However, aside from having a financially stable partner, the survey showed that 49 per cent of respondents will still consider going on a second date if they get along well with the other party during the first date.

Finally, some 39 per cent say the date's character matters more than their employment status.

What's important in a partner

What are the three most important characteristics that Singaporeans look for in a future partner or date?

For men, it's age (71 per cent said so) followed by body type (59 per cent) and religion (36 per cent).

For women, education level comes first (56 per cent), then income level (54 per cent), and age (51 per cent).

Here are how singles in other countries rated the various characteristics:

The three important characteristics that singles look for in a partner or date. (PHOTO: Lunch Actually)
The three important characteristics that singles look for in a partner or date. (PHOTO: Lunch Actually)

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