Singapore’s New 5cs

Back when you were little, you probably heard your older sisters and cousins saying a guy needed to have the 5Cs. But what’s stood the test of time in our more fast-paced, high-tech society?

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Back when you were little, you probably heard your older sisters and cousins saying a guy needed to have the 5Cs. But what’s stood the test of time in our more fast-paced, high-tech society?

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Cash. Car. Credit Card. Condo. Country Club. Sure, these are nice but do guys with all five really make the best mates? Singaporeans certainly thought so back in the early ’00s. In a way, this was the local version of the American dream; a way to show you had made it.

We’re not sure where it first came from, but the 5Cs is something inherently Singaporean. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong referenced it many times, from a 2003 speech, to a more recent one in 2010.

But a lot has changed, and some of these Cs have become a little dated. An immediate one that comes to mind is credit cards. In the past, it might have been difficult to get credit in Singapore. You needed a solid paycheck to prove to the banks you deserved it. Today, banks left, right and centre have a non-stop stream of credit card sign-up promotions. Everyone has one.

Another one that’s no longer worthwhile – country clubs. Sure they were a status symbol back in the day, but we aren’t interested in these old-school shows of richesse. We want something more genuine, something real.

It’s even arguable that cars are no longer as important, thanks to services like Uber and Grab making it easier than ever to have a ride ready and waiting. You can even zhng it with a more premium car.

We did a little bit of research (read: asked our friends) and came up with a few alternatives that are a little bit more current for today’s 5Cs. Here are some of the new options:

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According to local dating app Paktor, guys with stable jobs tend to get more swipes. Having said that, these days, we’re all in search of that elusive work-life balance, so a man who’s married to his job might not have as much time for you.


In a 2010 speech he made outlining his own hopes for the new 5Cs, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong described the new generation as “…putting more emphasis on leading a rounded, fulfilling life... Many leave good paying jobs to pursue their passion or dreams.” As a generation, we generally want all these things and often, that requires a willingness to change and be brave.

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Technology today has made it so easy to communicate but it takes out some of the important bits like actually expressing genuine emotion. We want someone who’s going to like more than just our photos on Instagram and who will actually be able to empathise with our situations (whatever they may be) in real life too.


Thanks to cheap flights and one of the best passports in the world, Singaporeans love to travel. If you’re in the mood to explore, what’s better than having someone to do it with you?


OK, lah. This one is for those who love a little practicality… and for the man who realises that every woman’s first relationship is with her phone! OK, we’re (largely) kidding with this one, but you can’t deny this one is useful. 

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What Singaporeans really want

What we’re looking for in a mate, C or otherwise (according to Paktor)

Photos with a lifestyle vibe (hobbies, holidays, sports) get a 20 percent increase in swipes.

Women who are 160 to 169cm tall prove to be more popular with an average of 34 percent more swipes than the rest.

Men who are 178 to 182cm tall have an average of 10 percent more swipes.

Stable jobs in industries like engineering or finance attract more swipes.

Having a degree makes you more likely to get a swipe.

Guys who post pictures with pets increase their likelihood of being swiped by 12 percent (and hopefully bring their puppy on the first date).

Guys who wear suits also increase their popularity by 11 percent.


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