Where to Find Love in Sri Lanka.

Love may be the only thing in the world that’s so simultaneously overrated and underrated. Why, you ask? 

Someone will find your body if you choke on a cassava chip on the toilet You have to share the toilet and sometimes people are smelly. Esp after ambulthiyal.
Once married, people will FINALLY stop asking you when you’re getting married People will start asking you when you’re having babies. 
Another body to divide the mosquito bites with Extra human to suck up super expensive A/C air
Companionship, sexytimes, no more loneliness Your significant other could break your heart and then you will be a small quivering blob of misery. And then choke on a cassava chip on the toilet.
Someone to support you in your poverty and old age or that twilight period between finishing your last paycheck and waiting for your new one Dating is expensive. You can basically pay 3 months’ rent with the cost of a dinner for two at Paradise Road.


Despite our warnings, if you’re not in love, you’re probably searching for it (or some variant of it – co-dependency? lust? Someone to split a shawarma platter?). And finding love in Sri Lanka is hard. Dating is a minefield filled with disapproving relatives, religious obstacles, time constraints, and plain old lack of choice. Where do you meet someone? Where do you take them? We got you, fam. 

We started with a quick poll at YAMU HQ, a cumulation of people’s current or most significant former relationships and how they met. Overwhelming response? Mutual friends. Everyone met their ispecial someone through a friend, a cousin, or just had lots of common accquaintances. So basically, if you’re new to the city, you’re going to end up alone. Or if you’re an expat, exclusively dating other expats. Keep in mind that the pool of eligible singles is very very small. May the odds be ever in your favour. 

If you want to break the cycle, here are your best bets : 


1. Cousin’s Wedding

This is the jackpot. A veritable smorgasbord of possibly single, possibly eligible young people who either live here or are visiting the country for the wedding. Undoubtedly, both their family members and your family members will be trawling for other single young people, so an introduction is inevitable. If you share family members, please don’t pursue it. 

Bonus? People who ordinarily wouldn’t consider you a catch will be a tad bit extra vulnerable due to the hoards of relatives asking them when they’re next, and a tiny, small part of them will wonder why their glue-sniffing mouth breather of a cousin is married when they’re not. This is your time to shine/ swoop. You may not be great, but you’re alive, goddamit!


2. Tinder

This is best if you’re looking to gamify your relationships and choose a mate like you’d choose a ripe banana at Keells. Chances are there will mostly only be expats, foreigners, or backpacking tourists on. And none of them will swipe yes to you unless you’re a shirtless demigod in a fully-loaded Lambo aiding destitute children in Habaraduwa. 

If Tinder doesn’t work, take this as an opportunity to shame everyone you recognize for being on Tinder because you only created an account “”as a joke””. 



I’m actually surprised at how many people have found their main squeeze at a nightclub. As it turns out, it’s still too early and sober at a bar, and the club is the optimum mix of strobe lights and dranks for your slurred winking to attract and trap a suitable mate. If you make it past the toughest part of the potential relationship, i.e viewing them in the morning, then what can’t you make it through? Just be warned though, there’s a 97% chance any girl you approach will be accompanied by either her sinister minister boyfriend, her gang of disapproving female friends, or her male “”best friend”” who joins you two on the dancefloor. Men are a LOT easier. 

For best results, we’d recommend : Clique, Silk, Disques, or even R&B if you’re feeling adventurous. 


4. Class

This is a solid source of potential significant others. Class, whether kindergarten or university, is a prime location as you are forced to spend lots of time together, bond over shared problems (other classmates, mean teachers, algebra), and are of a compatible age/ location. Try and avoid people you’ve met in KG though, they’ve probably seen you poop yourself and after that, your dynamic is never really the same.

The one con to this? If/when you break up, you have to see this person every day. If you’re new to the city, try this via classes for grown ups. Cooking/ wine tasting/ pilates could all work. 


5. Facebook/Twitter

Another surprising addition to our list, Facebook actually comprised of a large amount of the relationships found at our office. It’s simple really :

  1. Keep an eye out for a popular post by one of your friends. Preferably conflict.
  2. Identify a key commenter, gauge their potential attractiveness and single status by some thorough multi-platform stalking. Try to avoid liking their Instagram post from 72 weeks ago.
  3. Whole-heartedly agree with their stance on whatever it is, or disagree, or find a commonality (hey! you think Nickleback sucks too?), basically make an impression.
  4. ???
  5. Marriage & multiple babies


6. Classifieds

Old is gold, my lonely langurs. What beats the newspapers classifieds, original refuge of the lonely hearts club? Put in an ad in the Sunday papers, make sure to avoid irrelevancies like emotional baggage or sexual preferences, and take special care in mentioning pertinent details like caste and horoscope. If you own a patch of land in the boondocks, mention that too. Twice.


7. Volunteering

We’re a bit divided on this one. Volunteering with the sole intent of trying to find a boo is an awful thing to do. You’d basically be one of the Humanitarians of Tinder, which is the human equivalent of gonorrhea. What you should do instead, is volunteer simply because you want to, and if your hands brush over a soup bowl…who knows? Chances are you’ll meet someone who’s nice, cares about other people, and potentially will make you soup too. If you catch them instagramming photos of them giving out food packets or “”the soulful eyes”” of old people, you may want to abort mission. Or not. Desperate times, desperate measures. 

If you want to get cracking, check out our DEMU page for initiatives, charities, and more ways you can contribute to the community.


Where Not to Find Love

1. Funerals

We actually know a couple of people who have found their better halves at funerals. It makes sense on some level – black is slimming and being confronted with the crushing reality of mortality can make you want to seek comfort immediately. However, it’s also rude as hell to be making googly eyes at a cutie over the bowed head of a weeping widow. 


2. The Street

NO, SHOUTING “”HAI SEXY”” WILL NOT FIND YOU A WAIFU. STAAAHP! The street is a public place, and it is every single person’s right to walk it in safety and without intrusion. It’s not a personal catalogue of women walking by. 


3. Public Transport

As a general rule, the bus is used to get from point A to point B. Not as a speed dating service. If you see someone reading a book you like, striking up a polite and non-intrusive conversation is nice. Standing next to them and “”accidentally”” poking them with your penile situation is not not nice.


4. The Gym

Again, this is dependant on personal preference. Personally, I think the gym is a place where being smelly, sweaty, and generally unappealing is acceptable. You don’t really want someone hanging out behind your yoga pantsy squat routine and asking you if you’d like to have a little sippy sip off their protein shake. However, some people do believe fitness is a lifestyle and would like someone to share that passion. 



Life is hard and love is harder and we’re all going to die, but snuggles in the interim are always nice. Be polite, smell inoffensive, and be gracious in rejection. If this guide has found you a main squeeze, use our Date Night Index for some all-star romancing, and our AHAMU page to find rooms in the city. As always, please forward all wedding invites to info@yamu.lk because the only thing we love more than romance is a solid buffet. 

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