The plight of singles was highlighted in Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's 2008 National Day Rally Speech on Sunday evening at the National University of Singapore's Cultural Centre.
Singled out as an important factor that would contribute to Singaporeans having more children, the Prime Minister noted that most singles do want to find a life partner, but they are just as likely to put off looking for a suitable one in pursuit of their careers until they are much older.
Citing anecdotes of single people who work on weekdays and neglect their social lives, he said that this was a problem, especially for women in their 30s and looking for love.
And while singles of both genders are now more willing to seek the help of government and private dating agencies to enrich their social circles, the ration of women to men signing up for these networking sessions is at 60:40.
Also, the men who do sign up are looking for younger women 20s who are in the prime of their childbearing years,
making it more difficult for women in their 30s to find a mate.
To do more to help encourage love to blossom, the current government matchmaking agencies, the Social Development Unit (SDU) and Social Development Service (SDS), will also come up with more joint activities to help singles find love between graduates and non-graduates.
The SDU will also go into a new business to certify private agencies that meet quality standards to foster more confidence in private dating agencies.
But the Prime Minister called on single Singaporeans to be more realistic in their expectations about finding the right marriage partner. He brought up examples of how Indian couples are typically match-made, and then fall in love and develop their relationship after getting married.
Apart from announcing government initiatives to encourage more singles to get hitched, PM Lee also mentioned examples of how Singaporeans' social graces were sorely lacking.
He told an example of how a man who was set up to go on a date at a romantic restaurant turned up in slippers. He was finally persuaded by the agency to wear shoes for his next date and was even advised by the agency to buy a present for his girlfriend's parents during their first meeting. The couple eventually got married, but not before the woman observe that it was very unlike her boyfriend to get gifts.