Dating agency runs singles event focused on divorcees and widowed

Drink coupons for participants at the event organised by dating agency CompleteMe last night. More than 40 people turned up, divorcees and the widowed among them. There were equal numbers of men and women, say the organisers.
Drink coupons for participants at the event organised by dating agency CompleteMe last night. More than 40 people turned up, divorcees and the widowed among them. There were equal numbers of men and women, say the organisers.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

Divorcees, widowed among singles at event organised by dating agency to find a match

To encourage divorcees and the widowed to give love another chance, dating agency CompleteMe organised an event to help these new singles find their matches.

Last night, more than 40 participants at the event - including singles who have not been married before - were introduced to each other at V Hotel Lavender. CompleteMe founder Michelle Goh said that they were in their 30s to 40s, and there were as many men as women.

Ms Goh, 37, said she has seen about 20 per cent more widowed or divorced clients over the past three years, likely due to the rising divorce rate. These clients are mostly in their 30s to 40s. About 60 per cent are women, and 40 per cent are men, she said.

Last year, 7,614 marriages ended in a divorce or an annulment, up by 1.2 per cent from 7,522 in 2015, according to numbers by the Singapore Department of Statistics.

A 39-year-old finance manager who wants to be known only as Ms Tan said she had some reservations when she first got to know her husband - he had been divorced before. The pair met at a dating event two years ago through CompleteMe.

"There must have been a reason for the split, so you would worry," she said. But after getting to know him better, she was reassured.

"I think people have to change their mindsets, find out the reasons for the break-up, and keep an open mind," she added. She and her husband married about a year after they met.

Some participants said there are advantages to dating someone who has been married before.

One, a human resources officer who wants to be known only as Eugene, said: "At the dating events I have attended before, many of the people I met had never been in a relationship before, and did not know what type of partner they were looking for."

The 33-year-old said he has been attending dating events for three years, and also has friends who have gone out with people who have been married before.

Having heard about their dating experiences, he said: "I feel that divorcees and widows may be more serious about wanting to settle down."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 10, 2017, with the headline 'CompleteMe and give love another shot'. Print Edition | Subscribe