Opinions

An Unofficial Guide To The Trinity Of Dating Apps In Singapore

Back in February, I wrote about Paktor during my initiation into the dating app world. Four months later, I’m here to share the single’s unofficial guide to navigating dating apps in Singapore.

So while everyone else was buried in their books, I gave Tinder, Paktor and LunchClick a shot at pairing me up with a new online buddy. I posted my geekiest photo, wrote “Crazy for zi char more than chocolates and candy” in the description, and launched my profile on both Tinder and Paktor. The whole combination sounded pervert-proof enough. Things were more out of my hands on LunchClick. I could customise my profile, but screening of candidates was left to the LunchClick team.

The final tally after 24 hours of using the dating apps whenever possible is as such:

Tinder: 9 results, 1 unmatched

Paktor: 4 results

Lunchclick: 0 results

Tinder

Unique features:

  • My Moments section that displays a gallery of your photos only to your matches.
  • Optional link to Instagram account
  • Displays mutual Facebook interests and friends on each profile

Tinder granted the most matches I’ve had so far, and also the most conversations initiated over the first 24 hours from those matches. People say appearances make-or-break the relationship on dating apps, but I would think that as long as selfies in front of a mirror or on the bed are not occupying all five photo options, then there’s a high chance of approval. What’s more important is whether the conversations are engaging enough to grab my attention.

Image Credit: Phandroid
Image Credit: Phandroid

The interface is kept minimal with your profile and settings hidden in the side bar, and tabs are placed in order of importance to the user. However, the Moments wall was not used at all, simply because I didn’t feel comfortable sharing more information about my life with people who do not initiate conversations. Besides, Instagram does a pretty decent job at displaying up-to-date photos of what I’ve been up to.

Paktor

Unique features:

  • Direct message people you haven’t matched with yet
  • Challenged to earn points to unlock more filtering solutions
  • Displays the top 30 most wanted users of both genders

Paktor was reinstalled on my phone for the third time just for this review, and my thoughts on it remain the same (as do my friends in their twenties): just swipe for fun. More precisely, swipe right for your eye candy. The additional features that let you earn points to unlock stages turn Paktor from a dating app into a dating-themed game on your phone.

Paktor Points

That said, I do see how filtering by height, job and education could provide a more rewarding experience for serious users who find these factors decisive ones, especially if they intend to find their ideal partners via Paktor.

In the latest installation, I got four matches in 24 hours. The previous installations gave approximately the same result, and seldom did the conversation go deeper than asking about each other’s education and career backgrounds. Honestly, I received more messages from the app itself than anyone else.

Paktor messages

The interface does not feel as intuitive as that of Tinder. It is still easy to use — don’t get me wrong — but the My Profile tab is placed at an annoying position on the header, seemingly to dish out some tough love: I’m the one coming between the popular kids and my matches.

LunchClick

Unique features:

  • Insert NRIC to let the computer do its matching
  • Maximum one match every 24 hours

LunchClick was dormant for the entire first day, which did nothing to encourage my search for interesting people to chat with. The only messages I received from the platform were the same ones that were sent four times to my email informing me that my profile was pending approval.

Countdown on LunchClick

Without a match, there was nothing to look through on the app itself, so it seemed mostly to be taking up space on my mobile phone. The waiting game hits harder when you cannot control who you want to talk to, and the clock ticks away by the second. Even after a full day of waiting, there may not be a match, and so the 24-hour countdown resets itself.

However, LunchClick is sincere in creating a match made in heaven, so it’s understandable that the process would take a long time, albeit an excruciating one. When a potential candidate is presented, I find myself taking more time to think through the decision, knowing full well that I could be left waiting for the next 24 hours.

Verdict

Personally, guys I’ve matched with thus far have been pretty nice people across all platforms. One even had the grace of letting me unmatch when we realised we were incompatible. People I know seem to use Paktor for an ego boost, while those on Tinder are a bit more enthusiastic in testing the waters. LunchClick is missing out on the fun, but then again, it’s not all fun and games when it comes to dating.

Why don’t people take a step beyond swiping, you may ask? My guess is that scrolling through photos is a rather passive activity to pass the time. Asking out strangers isn’t exactly every conservative Singaporeans’ forte, and neither is sustaining a conversation.

Image Credit: Memekid
Image Credit: Memekid

So unless both people in the match make an effort to build on that relationship, I wouldn’t bet on you finding your long term romantic partner quickly on any of these apps except for LunchClick. You would be lucky if you got to expand your social circle, although there are other apps like Sup for more platonic purposes. But if you’re simply tired of looking at grim faces on your daily commute, Tinder and Paktor are definitely the apps to turn to to stake your claim over the nearest eye candy within a 100km radius.

 

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