The Straits Times
Published on Jan 08, 2013

Singles should be realistic


I WAS rather amused to read the article ("Singaporeans and marriage: The checklist syndrome"; last Saturday).

Marriage depends on the chemistry between two disparate souls, each with his or her quirks and idiosyncrasies.

There is no perfect formula, and if you are looking for the ideal soulmate, he or she can be found only on the other side of eternity.

One's expectations should also be down to earth.

A woman's fertility falls with increasing age. At 21, her chances of getting pregnant are about 86 per cent. By the age of 35, the figure drops to 52 per cent.

If she is seeking only companionship, then age is not a problem.

Factors like height, education level, social status and earning power are secondary compared to factors like compatibility, personality and the capacity to accommodate a difficult spouse.

A man usually looks for a younger bride, but the expectation should not be cast in stone.

Young couples who are contemplating marriage should focus on the reality of life in land-scarce Singapore. Start with a three-room flat and, over the years, upgrade to bigger homes as your combined salaries rise. Live within your means and ensure you have sufficient savings in your old age.

There is no perfect recipe, but prudence and fiscal planning should ensure that the vow of "till death do us part" remains alive.

Heng Cho Choon