New dating vouchers to encourage people/to play cupid with single friends

by Sara Grosse

The Social Development Network is encouraging people to play Cupid by buying dating cash vouchers for their friends and loved ones who're single.

The vouchers can be used to pay for activities at accredited dating agencies.

Dating agencies offer a wide-range of activities ranging from social events, workshops to even personalised dating packages.

But they don't come free.

Depending on the activity or service, prices can range from $10 to over a thousand dollars.

The dating vouchers can be purchased online at www.lovegifts.sg

Single recipients can use the vouchers to pay for services at any of the eleven dating agency accredited by the Social Development Network (SDN).

The Social Development Network says it hopes the cash voucher will encourage family and friends to play an active role in helping to widen the social circle of their single loved ones.

But just how receptive are people to the cash voucher?

"They may find it quite funny but I guess if they were to go together, if I bought a few and gave to a few people to go together, I think it's okay...If I receive the voucher, I wouldn't wanna join, because it's not my kind of thing to go for like these group events or group activities...I think it will be quite fun, so I will go for it, if I really get this kind of voucher. J ust a bit, too embarrased to give them like this...I guess many people would take it as a joke or something. If you want to go out with someone, maybe dating, there's another choice you can make, like just tell your friend to go out."

Certified Dating Practitioner of dating agency, Complete Me,  Michelle Goh, says some singles may not want to use their services because they don't want to be seen as an unsociable character:

"The stigma of dating agencies is still there, but since you have a voucher, why not utilise it and then this will encourage them to take the first step forward. "

SDN also announced other programmes for singles, including a Dating Fest, where singles can enjoy subsidies of up to 50% of fees for any accredited agencies' events, services and packages, capped at $100 per single.

The dating vouchers can also be utilised during this period.

The five week celebration starts 29 December 2012 to 2 Feb 2013