As a female Singaporean of “marry-able age”, I think any romantic notion of getting proposed to, engaged, buying a house (or flat in local context) and then the wedding is marred by the practical fact that a couple would probably need to apply for a HDB flat before they can settle down and start a family, and a new HDB flat takes about 5 years to build.
I don’t think I can expect my boyfriend to do a romantic proposal on a beach, with the sun setting in the background, with my friends and family present to witness the event. I don’t think I can expect my boyfriend to plan a flash mob in the middle of the shopping belt and propose to me in public. I used to have such dreams when I was younger, up until early this year. Then talking to my married friend jolted me into reality when she said “you’ll be in your late thirties when you get married if you wish for all those”.
I did my math that night. If I wish to start my happy little family by age 30, that isn’t quite possible, seeing that I’m already 28 now and we haven’t got anything planned. So say, IF my boyfriend and I now decide that we want a lifetime together, we will have to apply for a HDB flat. And chances are we probably aren’t that lucky to be chosen for the ballot since new flats are almost always 3x or more oversubscribed. Well unless we don’t mind travelling an hour and a half from our new home to our workplace, then I guess we could consider living in the ulu, yet to be developed areas.
So we will have to try and try applying for new flats in our preferred areas when HDB releases them for balloting, and I’m being positive here, I’m hoping that the process will take about a year? And if we do manage to get a flat next year end (I’ll be 29 then), the probability of the flat being ready for move in would be, say in 4-5 years, then I’ll be 34. By the time I am able to start my family, 36 years old? And that’s all being very very positive that everything goes according to plan.
But since there are no plans for us to settle down yet, the above timeline gets pushed back further and further. Therefore I say, I no longer harbour any hopes of my boyfriend being romantic and sweep me off my feet with a proposal of the century plan. Maybe the local way of getting proposed to will be the way to go: “Shall we apply for a flat?”
Damn you HDB.