Men are reticent creatures, and Singaporean males are no different. It’s hard enough for us to express any sort of emotion unless it’s to cheer for another one of Manchester United’s glorious goals. But yes, we do have emotions, if Facebook’s new Like emoticons are of any indication. Try standing between a man and his sandwich and you’ll know what I mean.

Unfortunately, this tight-lipped attitude to our feelings runs contrary to what women want, which is to hear “I love you” from their significant others. There’s hope yet though! Men actually say “I love you” very often to their girlfriends and wives, just not in such direct ways. Here’s a handy translator guide to figure out when a dude is telling a woman that he loves her. Start taking notice, and you’ll realise your man is actually a lot more romantic than you thought.

1. “Eh let’s apply for HDB flat”

BTO or resale? Credit: iProperty

BTO or resale? Credit: iProperty

Although it’s a common joke that the Singaporean way of proposing is to ask to buy a HDB flat together (since you need to ROM to do that), it actually means “I love you”. Firstly, the man will definitely have to do a formal proposal once they win the ballot for a flat – which wife-to-be is going to let the husband off the hook for this – so no, that is not a proposal. Secondly, and more importantly, it’s saying that we’re willing to give up our singlehood and freedom so that we can have your company forever and ever.

And if you have to ask, yes, freedom is vital to us.

2. “OK we can have wedding gatecrashing”

This is Singapore! Credit: Mothership

This is Singapore! Credit: Mothership

I’ll let you in on a little secret – it’s not “we” but “you” that’s having the wedding gatecrashing. The whole custom of letting the bride and her bridesmaids humiliate the groom and his groomsmen on the wedding morning is a dumb sexist practice that’s akin to binding legs. There’s only one reason why we guys say OK to it.

Because it makes our partners happy. There’s no better way to say “I love you” than by agreeing to do inane things for the sake of your future wife’s happiness.

3. “Let’s go shopping together”

Sian. Credit: Youtube

Sian. Credit: Youtube

The only things that guys will shop for are super powers, which is why video games are so important to us. Video games are essentially shopping malls for special abilities, where you get to use what you buy right after the purchase. When men have to buy something, they’ll go into the shop, find it, then come out in five minutes. So to say let’s go shopping together and wait as you try on clothes and shoes is really anathema to us, but we’re willing to do it for one reason and one reason only.

Because we love you.

4. “Want to go out with me and my guy friends?”

Bros without... you know. Credit: College Candy

Bros without… you know. Credit: College Candy

Translation: Do you want to see how I behave in real life when I am not trying to impress you? Guys behave differently with the same gender than they do with the opposite – the less refined aspects of our character are on show and we are far less concerned about double dipping when we’re with our bros. The other, secret reason is that we also want our guy friends to like you, since you’re going to be with us for a long time.

In other words: I love you.

5. “Sure, let’s queue overnight for Hello Kitty!”

OK la they are quite cute. Credit: Channel Newsasia

OK la they are quite cute. Credit: Channel Newsasia

Unless we’re trying to sell the Hello Kitty for a profit (of which then, do you really think that one night’s worth of queueing is worth $150?), there’s no way we’ll queue overnight for it. We might do that for the Star Wars: Rogue One toy launch, but as cute as Hello Kitty is, it’s not awesome enough to spend a humid night to be the first to get it. We’d just get it on eBay or buy it later with an Extra Value Meal or something.

So when we accompany you for the next McDonald’s Hello Kitty (I really hope they’ll do a Game of Thrones Hello Kitty series, imagine how adorable and bloody they’d be!), it’s out of love.

One Day. Credit: Channel Newsasia

One Day. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Now here’s a guy who completely spoils the market – Denchai (Ter Chantavit) in One Day! He prays and wishes to be with the woman loves and when he finally gets his wish, he has One Day to bring her around and express his tremendous love for her.

Watch how he spends that precious day in One Day, and pick up some tips for your next date!


Credits: iProperty, Mothership, YouTube, College Candy, Channel Newsasia, Golden Village Cinemas