It’s a match: Millennial couples open up about journey from dating app to walking down the aisle, Lifestyle News

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It’s a fun and (at times) frivolous activity, right?

You open a dating app, take a second to judge a person’s profile picture, skim through their bio before making an on-the-spot decision.

To like or not to like? It’s really that simple. In the case of these two couples, they opted for the former.

Michael Lee and Sam Nogrado connected via Coffee Meets Bagel, likewise with Muhammad Hafiz and Aishah Al-Rashid.

This is their journey from complete strangers to life partners.

‘Aren’t dating apps trashy?’

Funnily enough, Sam was initially not a fan of dating apps.

In fact, she admitted to being rather judgemental of those who resorted to such methods when it comes to finding love.

“I used to judge my sister, who used to have Tinder! It’s so trashy to want to meet people this way,” the 30-year-old said.

Even her decision to start using Coffee Meets Bagel wasn’t about securing a partner.

Sam’s colleagues egged her to give dating apps a try until she caved in. It was just a “fun” activity for her, swiping profile after profile.

Little did she know that something special was brewing.

When AsiaOne met Sam and Michael recently to hear their love story, it took less than a second for the couple to recall the date they connected on Coffee Meets Bagel.

“29th August, 2019!” they screamed, before chuckling in unison.

Michael remembered just how intrigued he was by Sam’s profile. For him, a green flag was that she did not include any “cheesy pickup lines”.

He seemed to have trouble verbalising what exactly caught his interest, simply saying: “Something resonated with me and I felt like there was a connection.”

On the other hand, Sam’s reason for wanting to know more about Michael is as endearing as it is honest. 

“He’s cute!” she beamed.

Their online conversations flowed naturally and Sam even likened it to speaking to a friend.

“His vibe was nice and friendly. It’s not too in your face [and] ‘I-want-to-date-you’ that kind,” the aircraft planner explained.

Regardless, she wasn’t going to give in that easily.

Sam giggled as she recalled how Michael would ask her out “so many times”, only for his advances to be rejected.

She was keen to not jump the gun and meet him in person too early.

But a month after connecting on Coffee Meets Bagel, Michael and Sam were headed to the now-defunct mini-golf club and bar Holey Moley Clarke Quay for their first date. 

So what made her change her mind?

“Why not? He wore me down! No lah, I thought it was a good time, after a month [of chatting online],” she quipped.


They told AsiaOne how delighted they were that the person they met on that first date matched the online persona that was portrayed.

“It was exactly what was advertised!” Michael snickered, as the couple gave each other a high five.

Things accelerated from that first date, and they became mutually exclusive in early October 2019 before tying the knot four years later.

While there’s no denying their loved ones approved of this union, Michael admitted it took his parents some time to fully comprehend his decision to use a dating app in the first place.

“Why couldn’t you talk to people the ‘normal’ way?” is what they’d ask him.

Regardless, he seemed thankful that his parents are at least “more tolerable” than others who completely oppose dating apps.

When asked to name a trait they value most about their partner, Michael was quick to respond.

“You know how to bring the best out of me, you are my guiding light,” he said, while his wife smiled sheepishly.

‘I didn’t tell my mum I met you very late!’ 

“I’m just your typical average, Singaporean Malay man.”

This was part of Hafiz’s Coffee Meets Bagel bio and it intrigued Aishah.

It wasn’t too flashy, just simple and authentic—much like hers.

Aishah’s photos were not the “engineered” ones as one would often come across on dating apps, as Hafiz described it.

“It’s very natural so I felt, why not? She seems down to earth and quite honest,” the audio-visual engineer said.

After a week of chatting online, both 34-year-olds felt comfortable to have that first meet-up.

Aishah was still studying back then and after a night-time class, she met up with Hafiz for supper.

“I think this would be a dating no-no! If I tell my daughter to meet a person, don’t meet late at night,” she admitted.

Close to midnight, the duo headed to a ‘mamak’ stall in Tampines for their first date.

Emotions were high, with Aishah feeling butterflies in her stomach in the lead-up to the first date while Hafiz was more “cautious”.

After that first date, Hafiz sent her home and by then, Aishah already knew that he was the one for her.


“Aiyoh, it’s so trivial. At the lift, we said goodbye to each other and when the door was closing, he bowed. Nobody bows!” she said with a giggle.

Aishah noted that she previously had not been in a relationship before.

Within the span of 15 months, from October 2016 to January 2018, she swapped her singlehood for a new status as a married woman.

Both husband and wife mentioned that a big part of this is due to their conscious effort to be vulnerable from the start.


For Aishah, honesty is the basis of a solid relationship and for one to achieve that, there needs to be vulnerability.

“If you don’t like me at my worst, you don’t deserve me at my best,” she said.

Her husband agreed to those sentiments, recalling moments of them having difficult but mature conversations about marriage early in their relationship.

What if we change in future? What if I find that I’m not in love with you anymore?

Conversations that emerge from such questions might have other couples wince in trepidation. But Hafiz and Aishah weren’t afraid to have these talks.

“I am thankful that she’s still here with me because I always steer conversations in such directions,” Hafiz said.

Such conversations were not exclusive to the couple either.

Aishah’s mum was keen to meet Hafiz early on in order to gauge him and understand his intentions.

He had no qualms with this request as the goal was to always be in a committed relationship. The topic of marriage was brought up and this did not faze Hafiz either.

“She [Aishah’s mum] was insistent that there’s no need to wait for long,” he shared.

 And that’s how their union came about. 

As for the use of dating apps to meet a potential partner, Hafiz conceptualised it as nothing more than a tool, to which we can all “make our own judgements”.

He added: “Form your own personal truth and not be persuaded by other people’s take on a particular topic.” 

ALSO READ: SMU confessions: Secret admirer sends singers to serenade woman in class on Valentine’s Day

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