Singapore love stories: Okay, Cupid, give me what you've got

June and Ben first met on a 30-minute coffee date in the middle of the work day.
June and Ben first met on a 30-minute coffee date in the middle of the work day.

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, we bring you a series about love stories of people living in Singapore.

By Niki Bruce, Contributor

The OkCupid match came up at 98 per cent, suggesting that Singaporean e-commerce entrepreneur June Fong should hook up with one Ben Attard.

That was in 2010, when June, who sells eco-friendly products online, was newly single, wanted company, and the app seemed an interesting way to find some.

“I’d just left a six-year long relationship with my first real boyfriend, and was pretty lost in the dating scene… OkCupid was a trending app and so I signed up. But I made more friends than dates,” she remembers.

And there were more than a few weirdos.

“I once had a guy ask me what my favorite colour was. I replied white, and he arrived at the date wearing white from head to toe,” she recalls.

And then she met Ben, who impressed with a “witty and rather articulate message”, although neither one remembers what it was anymore.

The two chatted for a bit, and then arranged to meet up. Ben, then 24 and a motoring writer with two lifestyle and car magazines, had just the thing to impress her with – an Alfa Romeo Mito.

The Frenchman rolled up in the middle of the work day to whisk her away for a 30-minute coffee date – where they hit it off right away. “I thought he was cute and pretty charming,” recalls June.

Ben proposed to June amid winter scenery in the Alps in France.
Ben proposed to June amid winter scenery in the Alps in France.

However, while the two continued to meet up fairly frequently, neither wanted to “jeopardise what had become a close friendship”.

So they stayed good friends – at least until Ben’s sister visited Singapore in 2012, when they ended up spending a lot of time together.

“That’s where the flirting and teasing started,” recalls Ben, who is now 32. He was hit by the realisation that there was “something more” there, and just 10 days after his sister left, she became his girlfriend.

“We never called it dating, just hanging out, but there’s no denying what it was,” he says. They started spending even more time together, even if June’s “traditional” mother “freaked out a bit”.

“She insisted that I bring him home so she could screen him first,” laughs June.

Four years later, during a mid-year holiday to France, Ben planned the perfect moment to “drop a knee”.

“I had my sister help me look for a nice place in the mountains where I could propose… winter was late in France in 2016, so June would see snow for the first time, and the view of the Alps near Grenoble is breathtaking,” says Ben.

The location also provided another advantage. “She would also have no choice but to say yes, or she’d have a long walk down the mountain by foot, alone,” he laughs.

When the moment came, it started to snow – and she said yes. They had weddings in both Singapore and France last year.

Despite having to “kiss a few frogs” before finding Mr Right, June says she’d do it all again, and is nonplussed about people balking when she says she found love online.

“Social apps are a fast and simple way to meet new people outside your social circle. It’s the 21st century!”.

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Other Singapore love stories:

First came marriage, then came love

Winning at more than online gaming

She thought he was gay, but they still ended up together