Love is the goal

With Valentine’s around the corner, it’s timely to release these dating insights of Asians from the past year.

The dating game in the 21st century has fast rewired to become an art form entirely on its own, as dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and others have overturned the traditional process of courtship into a fast tracked digital wooing.

Despite the beliefs of many that those on dating apps are only into the “hook-up” culture, a recent survey done by Lunch Actually, Asia’s leading lunch dating company shows that more than 91% of Malaysians are still keen in going through the stages of falling in love and getting married in future to come.

According to the Annual Singles Dating Survey 2019 by Lunch Actually, this goal is also commonly shared with more than 94% of our Asian neighbours such as those in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand aged between 21 – 50 years old and above.

“With the huge rise of the internet, connecting and communicating with someone has never been easier regardless of their location. There is a change in the dating scene where we observed that singles are now more courageous to explore new ways of meeting someone new, be it through a dating app, matchmaking service or singles events other than through mutual introductions,” said Violet Lim, CEO and co-founder of Lunch Actually.

For example, while 40% of Malaysians commonly meet a potential partner through their friends, the survey shows that 40% of Malaysians are bold  enough to meet new people via dating apps. While this may not be as high as our neighbouring countries such as Singapore (51%) or Hong Kong (42%), it is still an impressive figure as more Malaysians are willing to ditch the “old-fashioned” way of courtship for a new experience.

“Based on our observation, we’ve seen a shift in trend with many jumping on the dating app bandwagon as they are keen on the various options and convenience offered by a dating app. Similar to having options for food delivery, there are numerous options catered to your taste buds – as all you need is internet access and a smartphone at the palm of your  hands,” added Lim.

While there may be a vast selection at your fingertips, making decisions can be hard. You can go for all, for some, or even none at all. That is why first impression plays an important role in dating apps as most decisions are made within a couple of seconds.  Of Malaysians men, 54% are attracted to a profile picture that is good-looking and attractive. However, Malaysian women with more logical mind-set do not judge a book by its cover as 32% prioritises the dating biodata prior to swiping right.

Despite finding love online, many singles place much importance on meeting and connecting offline. It is clear from the survey results that no matter how well they might have matched online, if the match is negative and rude, you can kiss a second date goodbye as 69% of Malaysian men and 80% women finds such unpleasant personality a complete turn-off, followed by annoying habits such as chewing loudly and the constant need to check the phone.

With the change in the dating trend, women are taking the step not only to explore alternative dating platforms but to also make the first move. In fact, 48% of Malaysians women have made the first move and they are not afraid to go for it.

Breaking the status quo, age does not matter as 70% of Malaysian women are open to dating younger men, proving that age is just a number and that qualities such as commitment and a caring personality are what would make 75% of Malaysian women commit into the relationship.

“We foresee that there would be a change in the dating trend in Malaysia as people are getting tired of the swiping culture. It takes up a lot of time and effort  but produce minimum results,” said Lim.

This sentiment is not only exclusive to Asia; Consumer Reports Survey showed overall satisfaction in online dating has decreased to an all-time low across singles in the United States. Meanwhile, a recent BBC survey found that dating apps are the least preferred way for 16- to 34-year-old Britons to meet someone new.

“Singles are looking to have less dates, but more quality dates and conversation. Hence, dating services and apps have to step up and offer better and more effective solutions because quality is always more important than quantity,” added Lim.

This is why offline dating company like Lunch Actually focuses on getting singles to meet in real life as soon as possible, because that’s when two people can really get to know each other. Their matchmakers go through extensive interviews to identify what singles want and need in a relationship before setting them up with a match on a blind date.

Lunch Actually also offers date and relationship coaching which is getting more popular amongst singles. “Finding the right one is not just about choosing the right  one which is what dating apps are advocating. To find the right one, we have to be the right one, meet the right one and choose the right one,” explained Lim.

“The good news is, despite what many believe or worry about with the onset of casual dating, most singles are still looking for a true relationship. Ultimately, everyone wants to meet someone who they can build a future with,” concluded Violet.

For more details about Lunch Actually, visit

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