S'porean makes YouTube video to seek girlfriend: Brave or desperate?
He is 24 years old, and has never had a girlfriend.
So what's a guy to do?
In Mr Terry Chia's case, it's taking to YouTube to sell his virtues as a potential boyfriend to all the single ladies.
In the 2½-minute video, titled I'm looking for a girlfriend!, the chap earnestly lists why he would be a good boyfriend, talks about getting attached, and asks viewers for tips to improve his chances.
"I hope to find a girlfriend by Christmas this year, so that I can prove to everyone that an average guy can have a girlfriend like everyone else," he says in the clip, which calls for interested applicants to leave a comment and has a link to his Facebook account.
Does Mr Chia's YouTube gambit make him Singapore's bravest bachelor - or the most desperate?
Going by the reactions to his heartfelt video, it's probably a combination of both.
Many of those who have seen the clip praised him for his bravery and sincerity, with some offering advice and encouragement.
But several others left snide remarks.
And despite the video getting about 19,000 views since it was uploaded on July 25, Mr Chia has yet to find a girlfriend.
One netizen took the opportunity to reflect on "picky" Singaporean girls: "12,000 viewers and not one girl take up your offer... wahhhh....Singaporean girl really picky these days (sic)."
SHY AND STAMMERS
Mr Chia, an assistant producer in a production company for the past two months, reckons his extreme shyness may be the reason that he is still single.
"The last time I really made a move on a girl was when I was in secondary school. I had a crush on her and wrote her a note, but she never wrote back.
"Since then, I've never really dared to ask a girl out," he said in a phone interview with The New Paper.
The Shatec graduate, who studied hospitality management and lives with his parents, thinks he doesn't have "very good qualities".
"When I'm nervous, I tend to stammer. I also talk in circles, taking some time before getting to the point. That can be a little frustrating for girls," admitted Mr Chia, who has a younger brother.
He has tried a dating app, but gave up after two days. He did not receive any responses and was too shy to make the first move.
He also considered matchmaking agencies, but they were too expensive.
A few weeks ago, his colleagues mooted the idea of creating a video to help him get a girlfriend.
Initially, he was apprehensive.
"I thought people might think: 'Looks so average, still wants to show himself on camera,'" he said.
But his colleagues' encouragement helped him put his fears aside.
"I'm not very good at editing and filming, so they helped me with it," he said, adding that the bedroom backdrop in the video was in his company, Writemind Productions.
His boss and colleagues have been supportive as they want him to find happiness, he said.
CAMERA CAN'T LIE
The speech in the video was impromptu, as his colleagues thought a script would make things too "dry".
"They basically set up the cameras and left me alone to talk. I know there are many grammar mistakes," he said with a chuckle.
One of his colleagues, Mr Helmut Chan, 21, said: "I had a simple mission - film a video for Terry so he can find a girlfriend. I edited in such a way that best describes Terry. The camera can't lie - he is a sincere person and I am positive that he will eventually meet his 'sincerely yours'."
He said Mr Chia now comes to the office with a skip and is smiling more.
"I know the video has done more than a search for a girlfriend. It has given him confidence and hope. And everyone needs that."
The warm responses he has got from friends and strangers who have seen the video was unexpected, Mr Chia added.
"I thought it would get 500, maybe 1,000 views, but this has gone beyond. Many have sent me messages to give me a pat on the back or offer a kind word."
He was so touched by the responses that he uploaded another video to thank his supporters last Thursday.
In it, he performs a short dance routine as a form of appreciation.
"I picked up some dance skills from a friend during national service. He was then taking classes," Mr Chia said.
The second video has received more than 1,700 views.
While most of the feedback was positive, he also had to deal with some negative comments.
Netizen Ryan Chiong wrote: "Why use a video when you can go out and meet real people? Sincerity is best expressed in person and not via a video camera."
But Mr Chia is determined to wait for Miss Right to surface.
"Many have added me and messaged me, but I haven't had a girl say that she would like to get to know me better.
"I'll continue to wait. To be honest, her appearance doesn't really matter.
"I just want someone I can be comfortable with," he said.
I know that the video has done more than a search for a girlfriend. It has given him confidence and hope. And everyone needs that.
- Mr Helmut Chan, a colleague of Mr Terry Chia's who helped to make the video
All in the name of love
1 YOUTUBE VIDEO MOVES CHEATING LOVER
A mother-of-three took to YouTube in 2010 to air her discontentment after she discovered that her lover had been cheating on her.
In a series of 62 no-holds-barred videos, Ms Kelly Summers spoke about the toll that the break-up was taking on her.
The 53-year-old was so heartbroken she could not eat or sleep, she said in her videos.
Tipped off by friends, her boyfriend watched the videos and realised "how much she really loved him". He then begged her to take him back, reported the Daily Mail.
2 MUM AUCTIONED ON EBAY
Exasperated at his mother's attempts to find love, 38-year-old Briton James Doyan put her up for auction on eBay in 2010.
The ad, placed in the collectibles category, was titled: "My Yiddishe Momma for sale. Beautiful, great cook, educated, articulate, family focused, caring - priceless."
He said that his twice-divorced mother was in "pretty good working order" and had "no real defects or signs of wear and tear to note".
The 63-year-old grandmother's listing attracted up to 250 views and her son received e-mails from potential bidders asking to "try before they buy".
3 HIGHWAY BILLBOARDS TO LOVE?
A divorced entrepreneur took to advertising on highway billboards to find love in September last year.
Mr Gordon Engle, who is in his 40s, also created a website that he hoped would lead him to his soulmate. The website was displayed on the billboards.
Mr Engle, who is well-travelled, successful and wealthy, had previously tried online dating but it did not work out.
Gold diggers need not apply - the self-made man from Chicago told the Daily Mail that he can spot them "within five minutes".
4 6,000-STEP STAIRWAY OF LOVE
A farmer took about 50 years carving about 6,000 steps into a 1.5km-high mountain that he and his lover eloped to after they fell in love in 1956.
The steps, created by the late Mr Liu Guojiang, were to help his wife have an easier time going up and down the mountain.
At the time, he was just 20 years old while his lover, Ms Xu Chaoqing, was a widow 10 years his senior.
Their romance was considered taboo by the locals of Jiangjin county, nearly 100km north of Chongqing city in south-west China.
The couple have since died, but their story has been turned into a movie.
Love experts say...
Mr Chia's video may have captured eyeballs, but romance experts are doubtful about its effectiveness in snagging a girlfriend.
His method of finding a girlfriend is "courageous and refreshing," said Ms Jenny Ng, director of dating company Dating Moments.
But his approach may not be that palatable in the Asian context, given that he may be perceived as "overzealous", she added.
Ms Violet Lim, who founded dating agency Lunch Actually, pointed out that while people are commending him for being brave and sincere, those qualities are not the only things women look for.
"Women generally are impressed by men who are confident and carry themselves well. The fact that he has made this video might come across as being desperate to some, and hence not very attractive," she said.
Furthermore, many women are typically passive when it comes to making the first move.
"It will take a lot of courage on the ladies' part to contact him through the video," she added.
In Mr Chia's video, he mentions Lunch Actually, calling it "a matchmaking agency".
"But the cost is like $500", he adds, before laughing and shaking his head, saying he could take a girl out on a date and have an "awesome night" with that amount.
While Ms Lim is sceptical about Mr Chia's chances of finding a girlfriend with his video, she is impressed by his courage and sincerity.
"Lunch Actually Academy provides date coaching and image coaching. We are happy to meet him and provide him with complimentary sessions to help him achieve his objective of finding a girlfriend by December," she said.