Being single in Singapore is hard. Single adults are denied plenty in our family-obsessed state, from affordable housing to positive representation in the media, and there are only so many times you can laugh about the SDN Singapore to feel better about yourself. Yet it's not easy trying to change your relationship status. Here's why.

The numbers are low

Yes, Singapore's population may be growing as we speak, but the dating pool doesn't seem to be expanding at a commensurate rate. Most people we polled who have lived in other major cities, from London to Beijing, report a huge difference in the sheer quantity of people out there, looking. "It took a week in London to get the same number of Tinder matches as three months in Singapore," says one graphic designer.

Race baggage

It's very telling that large bus ads for major dating websites and matchmaking services feature Chinese (or vaguely pan-Asian) couples, says a researcher. Things get much more explicit (and depressing) online. There's no lack of profiles with proclamations like "white men only please" and "I'm Indian—message only if you're OK with my race." It's a sad truth that many Singaporeans are socialized to categorize people that way.

Therapy isn't widely available

It's pretty sad that single Singaporeans spend all their time working out in the gym (if those profile photos are to be believed) and so little taking care of their mental health. We've encountered (and fled from) innumerable red flags, from codependent tendencies to fear of abandonment to shame about sexual orientation. But the trouble is that spending time and money on your sanity is nowhere near as widely accepted as it is in more progressive cities. And the fact therapy costs $200/hour doesn't help.

We're so passive

We're sure this isn't unique to Singapore, but some of our friends complain that there aren't a whole lot of single people who aren't just coasting along in life, disinterested in culture and politics and music and all those things that make people sexy. It's a little hard to get an engaging conversation with people whose reading diet is entirely made of their Facebook feed and whose typical weekends consist of just tagging along wherever their friends go.

Housing woes

So you've met someone. What's next? Unless you're above 35, an expat or making good enough money to rent a nice place, many single Singaporeans still live with their parents or in less-than-ideal rental situations (think oppressive landlords or judgmental housemates). And that makes it a little difficult to take things to the next level. Not only does one have to furtively make logistical arrangements in order to get laid, the lack of housing and personal space means it's difficult to properly live together and let your relationship grow.