The writing on the (Facebook) wall

7 Apr - I need to know you've kept me visible in your Facebook News Feed

Many things about Facebook are self-evident. For example: the fact that, if you have a Facebook page up, people will read it.

Not many, unfortunately, are aware of the impression they are making on the social platform.

A new study in the US revealed that most women found their friends’ behaviour on Facebook “annoying”. According to 63 percent of women surveyed, the most annoying habit of their Facebook friends was “complain[ing] all the time.” Other annoying traits of Facebook friends included posting political opinions, making mundane updates, or “Like[ing]” too many posts.

Big news: your Facebook activities influence what your friends and acquaintances think of you. Continue reading


Sustainable dating

19 Mar

Earth hour takes place next week. Since the media is awash with messages about saving our environment, I thought I’d shamelessly ride on the hype and hijack a buzzword for our purposes: “Sustainability”

For many of us, dating is like running a gauntlet. Every little step is like a overcoming an obstacle: You get her to agree to a first date, you meet her, you make plans for a second date, you meet her, etc. You work hard accumulating attraction and goodwill points. You spent on meeting your relationship milestones: the next date, holding her hand, your first kiss, etc. It’s a constant challenge to think of new places to go, new ways to impress your date.

You ask yourself: is dating supposed to be such hard work? Continue reading

Create space for your date

2 Mar

Let’s face it. Dating is harrowing business for most men and women. We all know the anxiety-inducing–undignified, even–feeling of sitting with a stranger across a table, wondering what she thinks of us.

Much as we try to accept it as a necessary evil of dating, no one likes the feeling of being judged for every word one says and every emotion on one’s face.

Except, this anxiety is not a necessary evil.

What if I said it doesn’t have to be so painful? Continue reading

Correlated biases

22 Feb

A report released by an unnamed international dating agency that said Singapore women were ideal “marriage material”. Qualities of the ideal woman partner included beauty, loyalty, adherence to tradition, initiative and fluency in English. The report surveyed 1,000 men and women across five Asian countries: Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand.

When surveyed, a whopping 73.29 per cent of Straits Times readers disagreed with these findings. Of the 1,685 voters, half of all the voters were Singaporean men.

The verbatim responses were predictable: men said women here were “pampered”, “materialistic”, etc. Continue reading

The elements of attraction

6 Feb

How, exactly, does attraction work?

The ancients, absent our modern obsession with breaking things down into step-by-step instructions, put it this way:

There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.

Holy Bible, Proverbs 30:18-19 (King James Version)

Typical dating advice focus on the things you should do and say to dial up attraction in a woman. This assumes that the outcome is a result of conscious, deliberate action. (“Fail to plan, plan to fail”, etc.)

There’s another category of actions that influence outcomes: Actions that are reflexive, and largely beyond one’s control. Obviously, these are actions most of us would have the most trouble with.  Continue reading