We Got Girls To Rate Men In Their Cities

And you’ll be surprised at which guys come out tops


Women in Singapore often complain that dating is a real challenge. We’re sure you’ve heard it all before: The pickings are slim, the men here aren’t interesting, all the good ones are taken...and so on. 

But is the grass any greener 1,500km or 10,000km away? How easy is it, really, to date men in other cosmopolitan cities?

Find out first-hand from women in London, Berlin, Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Shanghai. Singapore, it seems, hasn’t actually drawn the shortest stick in the dating game.


Digital fashion writer and stylist Jan-Janchittra Tantikarn has met men through Tinder, friends and online, but remains single.

“I can be quite picky; if I don’t click with someone, I’ll stop talking to him immediately,” the 20-something admits, adding that she prefers dating farangs (Westerners) rather than locals.

Her expectations, she says, are not high. “As long as the guy does not take advantage of me and the date isn’t boring, I’m happy!” she laughs.

What’s the dating scene like?

Thai people tend to be quite shy. Online dating is seen as a bizarre concept in our culture, but we’re open to Tinder.

The men in Bangkok are…

Vain, boastful, gentleman-like. They’re players!

What type of women are popular among the men?

They seem to like demure and caring women with cute, sexy Korean-like looks.

What’s your idea of a great date?

Having brunch at a cosy and quiet café so we can have a good chat and get to know each other.  

How the men rate

Looks: 5 out of 5

Especially if they are of mixed heritage, such as Thai-European or Thai-Japanese.

Charm: 4 out of 5

Thai guys love to give compliments. But how much you believe them is really down to individual judgement.

Desire to settle down: 2 out of 5

They would rather enjoy their freedom.

Communication: 2 out of 5

They can be full of themselves sometimes!

Making the first move: 2 out of 5

They tend to approach girls with lame pick-up lines.

Dress sense: 1 out of 5

They don’t care about the fit, print or colour combination. It seems they dress in the dark!


Cheryl Jones, an English teacher and entrepreneur who lives in Berlin, calls it “a city where romance comes to die”.

The 36-year-old explains, “A date may lead to a romp in the hay, and maybe even a few repeat performances. But at the end of the day, Berliners prefer quantity over quality, variety over intimacy, and overlaps are welcome in the ‘polyamorous’ adventure land Berlin has become. I think it might be time to relocate!”

The dating scene is…

A challenge. Berlin is a romantic wasteland where the men don’t communicate well, and for a non-German female, it’s hard to calibrate the right amounts of forwardness, asexual conversation and sexual willingness. 

Men in Berlin are…

Crass, boring, bad in bed, earnest. 

What’s your idea of a great date?

Dinner and drinks, maybe a movie or an arts event. But that rarely happens. I usually end up having a couple of glasses (or bottles) of wine and taking a solitary walk back to my apartment.

Dating apps are…

Dangerous. You can’t “smell” the person, so to speak. You wind up swilling a glass of wine with someone whose profile does not include the nervous breakdown he’s had or the weight he has gained since 2002.

How the men rate

Dress sense: 3 out of 5

Nothing to write home about. They are mostly either slobs or hipsters.

Making the first move: 2 out of 5

They want a woman to be forward, but not really emancipated. They do not know how to woo a woman.

Chivalry: 2 out of 5

Should - gasp! - a lady want a bit of that, men suddenly become champions of feminism and denounce it all as oppression they don’t condone.

Desire to settle down: 1 out of 5

The Berlin man is bindungsunfähig, a German term for commitment-phobic. They aren’t just afraid of committing, they are clinically incapable of it.

Communication: 1 out of 5

There are times where I wish I had a flipchart to better elucidate the point he wants me to make.

Hong Kong

Sandra Wu, 35, has stopped going on Tinder dates (“Been there, done that. What a disaster!”) and these days, she just sees guys she meets through work or at various social events.

The lawyer’s biggest wish? That “people will slow down and be willing to spend time to form an emotional bond”. She adds: “Maybe I’m too old-fashioned. Who cares about character and shared values these days?”

Describe Hong Kong’s dating scene.

Hong Kong is notorious as a great place for casual hook-ups, with a large, transient expat population. Long working hours limit your chances of meeting candidates outside your immediate professional and social circles. People are more focused on personality (read: the fun factor) rather than core values.

The men here are…

Professionally accomplished, impatient, superficial, spoiled.

What’s your biggest beef about dating?

Expats either expect me to play the gender role of a mysterious, sweet Oriental or the fun party girl. I am neither. I feel my intelligence is not appreciated. I can’t remember the last time I had a heart-to-heart conversation with a guy.

What do you think men in Hong Kong looking for?

A guy friend told me that men in this city prefer local girls who are materialistic, so buying them a piece of jewellery can shut them up for a few weeks. I think he’s got a point. 

How the men rate

Charm: 4 out of 5

Not a problem, the men here have plenty of that.

Making the first move: 3 out of 5

Frankly, I’m so confused. I’ve been accused of being too pushy by making the first move. Guys just seem to hide behind LinkedIn, Facebook and Whatsapp.

Chivalry: 3 out of 5

I can’t remember how many times I held the door open, while 10 men walked in and none thanked me or even nodded.

Desire to settle down: 2 out of 5

I am ecstatic when a guy is willing to talk about plans two weeks down the road, not to mention six months. If someone is planning a holiday with you six months in the future, he’s a keeper.

Communication: 2 out of 5

It’s not that they don’t have the brains or verbal skills to communicate well. They’re always in a rush.


Seo Yoon Hee, 25, goes on about four dates each month, but continues to look for love. “Fulfilling society’s expectations as a “good future wife” - usually a very stereotypically conservative view - is the biggest factor affecting my ability to date,” she says.

She does, however, hope that more will put down their shields and be more relaxed and casual when dating.

Dating in Seoul is…

Challenging. Opportunities for casual dates are definitely increasing through mobile apps, often considered for one-night stands. But for a serious relationship, people (especially guys) still prefer traditional routes such as friends’ or parents’ set-ups.

Describe the men there.

Well-groomed, conservative and pressured.

What’s the unlikeliest way you’ve met someone?

I met my ex on a blind date. We didn’t fall for each other (there was no chemistry), but we stayed friends. Two years later, he unexpectedly sent me a text message that he was in Seoul for a business trip. We met for dinner, and were very surprised by how much we’ve changed. 

Describe the worst date you’ve been on.

He brought me to eat dog soup on our first date - a test to see if I was cool and open-minded. I passed the test, but he failed to impress me. I can’t believe he wanted to test me before getting to know me through conversation! 

How the men rate

Making the first move: 5 out of 5

Call it Korean culture - men often make the first move and women wait.

Dress sense: 4 out of 5 

Korean guys are generally well-groomed, thanks to the influence of K-pop stars.

Desire to settle down: 3 out of 5

Marriage is important in Korea and guys feel they need to be married by a certain age. But do they really want to settle down? I’m not sure.

Chivalry: 3 out of 5

The “women-first” attitude tends to fade away once the relationship is stable, and often completely disappears after marriage.

Expressiveness: 2 out of 5

Korean men are said to cry only three times in their lives: When they are born; when they enter military service; and when their parents die.

Charm: 2 out of 5

Maybe it’s a cultural thing here - men are expected to hide their emotions.


Jia Min Seow, 37, a senior marketing manager, says that online dating sites provide her with options, though she confesses she’s been dating less than she used to. The biggest issue behind this? Time.

She explains, “Dates take a lot of effort to set up, and it’s just not worth going on a string of so-so dates when I could have used that time to chill and relax.”

What’s dating in London like?

The dating scene and pool are quite large. London’s such a big, cosmopolitan city, and if you’re a sociable person, it’s easy to meet lots of people.

The men here are…

Outgoing, fun-loving and career-focused.

What’s the unlikeliest way you’ve met someone and ended up on a great date?

I met someone while waiting at the train platform on my way to work. We ended up having a drink and dinner in our area, and I had a nice time.

Describe the worst date you’ve been on.

I went out with a guy I met online, and although it was our first date, he was already telling me about his ex-girlfriends, and constantly dwelled on his feelings. At the end of it, because I refused to share more personal details, he accused me of being distant!

How the men rate

Looks: 5 out of 5

With so many nationalities living and working here, there are plenty of good-looking men to be found.

Sense of humour: 5 out of 5

The English have a great sense of humour, it’s more deadpan and dry here. They love a good laugh.

Communication: 4 out of 5

They say what they want, and aren’t afraid to express their opinions.

Chivalry: 4 out of 5 

They’ll buy you a drink, open the door, give up their seat for you.

Making the first move: 3 out of 5

Chances are, if a man likes you, he’ll ask you out.


Verena Janssen, 37, dates mostly expats due to the language and cultural barrier. And while it’s easy to meet people, it’s not easy to meet Mr Right.

Says the sales and marketing manager, “I think it’s great having the chance to date different people from all over the world relatively easily - as long as you don’t have too-high expectations. If you are always hoping for The One, you’ll end up disappointed. So keep your mind open and your expectations low.”  

What’s it like to date in Shanghai?

Expats are usually quite open-minded and it’s easy to meet new people. But that has a bad side, too: Friendships remain superficial. Many men know they aren’t going to stay forever in Shanghai, so they avoid any serious commitment.

Men in Shanghai are…

Self-confident, open-minded and money-orientated.

What do men here look for?

Fun and sex. There are exceptions, of course. Shanghai just makes things so easy!

What are some things you’ve found out about yourself, through dating in your city?

I learned to focus on what is important, to capture the good times, to develop from the negatives and if things don’t work out, to take another shot.  

How the men rate

Making the first move: 4 out of 5

Some new to the city are quite shy but after a few months, making the first move is no problem.

Expressiveness: 3 out of 5

Good, but there are obviously huge differences between a local Chinese, a German and an Italian.


The men here are generally good-looking.

Sense of humour: 3 out of 5

That’s a tough one. My sense is that it’s very mixed, thanks to the variety of men here.

Desire to settle down: 2 out of 5

Most move back to their home country after a couple of years or leave for another. Younger guys very often marry locals. 


Pilates instructor Samantha Lim, 36, concedes that “Singapore is not the most ideal place to find love since most of us are too stressed out about moving up the career ladder and achieving the ideal lifestyle”.

What are men here looking for? Lim reckons it’s “someone easy-going with an opinion, yet tactful”. “The most common complaint about local women is that we’re too materialistic and strong-willed.”

Dating in Singapore is…

Challenging. With technology, people are a little too self-involved to make the effort to date. I don’t necessarily think it’s due to the competition out there.

Men here are…

Self-centred, non-committal, inconsistent, insecure and insensitive.

What’s the best date you’ve enjoyed?

He was a gentleman through and through - from asking about my preference for cuisine to making restaurant reservations and sending me home. I really appreciated the effort made.

Describe the worst date you’ve been on... 

We ran out of things to talk about after just 10 minutes, and he started telling me about how his past relationships failed, ranting that most women are just after material things. I fled the scene, saying I had an early meeting the next morning.

How the men rate

Making the first move: 4 out of 5

It’s the follow-up that I’m disappointed with.

Looks: 3 out of 5

Overall, pleasant. But some can definitely work out a bit more.

Expressiveness: 3 out of 5 

Most men are rather shy unless they’re drunk.

Communication: 3 out of 5

I find that they’re better at texting instead of holding real conversations.

Desire to settle down: 3 out of 5

I’ve met those looking to settle down and have kids, and dated others who have no idea what commitment is. It’s a 30-70 ratio.

Charm: 2 out of 5

Compliments are only generously offered during courtship, but dwindle as days go by. But to be fair, perhaps women are as guilty of this as men.

Photos: Freepik.com 

For more Living stories, head here. Or check out These Are Asia's Best Beaches of 2016 or This App Can Prevent You From Becoming A Bridezilla.

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