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E., 39, has a group of close female friends around her age who are all single.According to her, they had channelled all their energies into their careers, but very little into finding husbands."We spent the previous decade telling ourselves that we're happy as we are, and if it happens, it happens," she says.Three years ago, hoping to get over an unrequited crush, she took matters into her own hands and joined the Ok Cupid dating website. Three years later, she has gone on dates with men in their 30s, 40s and 50s, but has remained single. Ms Yeo is part of Singapore's swelling ranks of "singles" - a term used by statistics gatherers to define someone who has never married - who are aged 35 and older.In 2004, there were 844,100 Singapore residents who were singles, compared to 1,048,100 last year - a jump of almost 25 per cent over 10 years, figures from the Department of Statistics show.
Complete Me, a dating agency with a 3,000-strong database, set up a personalised matchmaking service for above-35s last year that has since seen a 40 per cent rise in customers.
Ms Anisa Hassan, managing director of It's Just Lunch Asia, which matchmakes professionals over a meal, says: "In the past, people who were married before might have felt that the best years are behind them.
Now, more divorced persons have come forward." In 2004, when the company started, 20 per cent of its clients were divorced or widowed.
Delaying marriage is reflective of most developed countries, says associate professor Paulin Straughan, a sociologist at National University of Singapore (NUS). I sometimes spend weekends with my elder brother and sister and their children.
A friend once said, 'you're content with the love you already have from your family.''' MS WEE LE FONG, 40 The main reason for delaying marriage is "competing life goals", she says, such as a prolonged period in formal education and career. In the Marriage and Parenthood Study 2012, a survey commissioned by the National Population and Talent Division, 83 per cent of single respondents indicated that they wanted to get married.
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She adds: "When you're older, you're also more likely to know what you want and less likely to compromise." The median age for first-time grooms in Singapore rose from 29.1 years in 2003 to 30.2 years in 2013. If so many people want to put a ring on it, why is it not happening?