Check-Mate

Updated: Mar 25, 2019



We all seek for that perfect one, that Mr or Ms Right. The one that will be our soulmate that will stick with us through our entire lives; the one that your parents love not just for who they are, but also for their career, background and qualifications.


But how many people of such perfection are out there for you?


Let’s do a checklist to narrow down the possibilities:

· Different sex (same if you steer in the other direction)

· Maximum 5 years difference in age

· Attracted to that person (obviously)

· Attracted to you (obviously too)

· Self-sufficient

· Not attached

· Ready for a relationship and willing to commit

· Parent’s approval

· Similar interests

· Understanding of your needs and work commitments

· Many more possibilities, but let’s stick with what we have above.


Singapore has 5.7 million people, from all races, religions, and age. Let’s say that it would be ideal to marry a person that is 0 - 4 years younger than you (for guys (because of NS)), and 0 - 4 years older than you (for girls).


For simplicity sake, I shall be writing the calculations in my point of view. Some of the values might be very abstract so do pardon me for that.


The number of Singapore Citizens aged 18-22 (0-4 years younger than me) would be about 205,564 (lets round this number off to 200,000). Let’s begin with that.


Half of them would be guys, so I am left with 100,000 people.


Out of these 100,000, assume that I am attracted to 1/10 of them based on their character and their looks, so I am left with 10,000 people.


Out of these 10,000, how many will be similarly attracted to me? Let’s place similar odds to the previous requirement, 1/10. I am left with 1000 people.


Out of these 1000, probably about 2/5 would be attached already, so I am left with 600 people.


Out of these 600, how many will be self-sufficient and supportive of your career and your needs? Probably about ½, so I am left with 300 people.


Of these 300 people, how many of them are ready for a relationship? They might be over 18, but not everybody is ready to commit to something that might potentially be a decision of a lifetime. So let’s say 1/3 of them. I am left with 100 people.


The expectations of Asian parents aren’t very easy to deal with. The other party must physically look compatible with you, have decent qualifications, a stable job, a happy family and the list is endless. Let’s say 1/5 of them passes their expectations, so I am left with 20 people.


Ideally, to be able to maintain interest in each other, the other party should have similar interests and hobbies as well. Many people might like travelling, but not many are willing to listen to my Maplestory adventures, or climb the League of Legends ladder with me. Let’s say 1/5 of them do have similar interests. I am left with 4 people.


With erratic working hours after university, out of those 4, how many are able to be understanding of your work commitments, to be completely fine with you cancelling a date at the last minute because your duty calls? Probably just 2 of them.


No one can see the future, and no one will know where the other party might end up. Be it down with illness or being sent overseas to further his/her career. With such odds being possible, I am left with 1 person.


It’s not that bad, right? At least there is 1 person out there who meets all my criteria and is perfect for me.


But what’s the chance that I’m her soulmate too? The odds are… much less than 1.


In my opinion, one cannot find his/her soulmate simply by matching someone to a checklist he/she has, placing ticks and crosses based on a predetermined set of criteria. Life itself is not perfect, and it is that imperfection that makes the sweet things sweeter. We do not need to have a perfect soulmate. With compromise and understanding, one can find perfection in the imperfections.


Unlike a game of Tetris, where we find the perfect piece and stick together, finding your soulmate is akin to bending the rules of the game, changing the shape of your block, and fitting it into another block that has changed his/her shape for you.


Love is not about finding the perfect one. It’s about making yourself perfect for what is meant to be, and what will be.


The inspiration from this article came from a film by Wong-Fu Productions, “Less than One”. It was then made into the Singaporean context in this article. Do check out their Youtube channel for content that never failed to move my heart.

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