Should I contact my ex?

Hi Violet,

My relationship ended 4 months ago and recently I decided to re-establish contact with my ex. The way the conversation went was rather one sided and after a while she got quite hostile and started to berate me for asking stupid questions and being so quiet. I tried to initiate the conversation and all I got was short one liner answers. I don’t understand why I was being treated this way when all I wanted was to just say hi. We always got along and she never gave a clear reason for the breakup. It just came out of the blue and there was no way I could salvage the relationship. Am I missing something here?

Lost

***

Dear Lost,

Thank you for your email. I totally understand how you feel and I empathise with your current situation.

First and foremost, what is your real reason for wanting to re-establishing contact? Is it to find out if there is a chance for reconciliation? Or is it to just check on how she’s doing? Either way, it is obvious that your intentions are not reciprocated.

Since she was the one who initiated the break-up, she might be feeling guilty, and she is not able deal with her guilt at the moment, hence she ended up taking it out on you.  By belittling you, she might also be justifying the reasons for breaking up with you.

I would advise you to stop contacting your ex unless she decides to contact you again. The reason is, the more you try to communicate with her, the more that she feels that your ‘value’ is not as high as hers.

Take a break! Go on a holiday. Take up a new sport or a new hobby. Meet new friends. Widen your social circle. Re-establish contact with friends whom you might have lost touch with as a result of your previous relationship.

Who knows, someday your paths will meet again, and your ex will be ready to re-establish connection.

But before that, you are better off broadening your horizons, and who knows, Ms. Right could be right under your nose.

All the best!

Sincerely, Violet

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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Recipe for Happiness

Was at a girlfriend’s Hen Party over the weekend!She asked us to give her some wise advice for making her marriage work i.e. “Recipe for Happiness”. Perhaps it was after a long bus ride from Singapore to KL that has dulled my brain, but I only managed to come up with two for her then.

Never go to bed with an unresolved quarrel/argument.

Always set aside one night a week as your “date night”, especially after you have kids.

Which led me to think… what my recipe for happiness is?

First and foremost, I firmly believe that we have to create our own happiness and not to expect someone else to make us happy. This reminds me of what was written by 2 other friends on their pieces of paper “Low expectations”. Come to think of it, it’s quite true… we often expect our husband or our wife to do something for us to make us happy. But that will never work because usually they would fall short of our expectations. It’s much easier when we turn the table around, and say, I would be happy if I could do something for my loved one. What we can do is within our control. But what someone else can do is not.

After some thoughts, this is my recipe for happiness, in addition to the above:

Be a happy person myself. Stay positive. Be optimistic. When I am down, I will pull my spouse down.

Choose the right spouse. Many a times, people who make great lovers might not make great husbands/wives. How to choose the right spouse? Find out what your values systems (money, family, kids, spirituality etc.) are. This is so crucial, but many a times, we are swayed by our emotions and love that we simply sweep them under the carpet.

Money management. I read an article in The Sunday Times a couple of weeks back on this matter. There are 3 different styles. Style no. 1 is separate accounts. Style no. 2 is joint account. Style no. 3 is a hybrid of both. Husband and wife have separate accounts and also a joint account where both contribute a certain amount monthly for household expenses etc. Style no.2 is our choice. It is probably an influence by my parents. My parents pool their earnings together and from what I observed in their 30 years of marriage; money has never been a contention point.  I understand that it is not a style that suits every couple. But it is something that works for hubby and me.

Talk, talk and talk. When I am unhappy about something. I don’t sulk. (I used to, haha!) I bring it up in the open. There are usually 2 sides to a story. By talking, I find out how he’s feeling and thinking, and we can resolve the matter quickly.

Avoid the 4 horsemen as documented by John Gottman in his book. Arguments are part and parcel of a marriage. However, when a marriage breaks down, it is not about how often the couple argues, but how the couple argues. Apparently, contempt is so detrimental that if someone faces too much contempt, he/she will fall sick.

Joint objectives and goals. We are on the same page. We support each other’s dreams, goals and aspirations. We are heading in the same direction and we are growing together as a couple, spiritually, emotionally and financially.

Hehe… ok, at least now my “recipe” will cover the entire piece of paper given to me by my girlfriend. She said, “Hey! You are married! Yours is supposed to cover the entire page!” At first, with my initial 2 suggestions, it only covered a quarter of the page. J

My dearest girlfriend, I wish you much love, joy and laughter in your marriage. And I hope that you will find some of my “ingredients” useful. 🙂

***

Short Note: I have been invited by Yahoo! Answers to be part of their ‘Be the Love Guru!’ campaign. Have any pressing questions that you need answers to? Check it out here.

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Love Songs that Tug at my Heartstrings…

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As V-Day approaches, I thought I will just share with you 13 love songs that have touched me in some way or other. This blog post is actually inspired by the first song on the list. Out of the blue, this song just ‘jumped’ into my brain at me while I was sitting at my desk surfing through Facebook. 

1. How Could An Angel Break My Heart by Toni Braxton: “I wonder if she makes him smile, the way he used to smile at me, I hope she doesn’t make him laugh, because the laugh belongs to me…” I first heard this song when I was doing my A Levels in UK. Imagining myself in this situation, I can almost cry. It’s so poignant… and so heart wrenching.

2. Dreaming of You by Selena: “Late at night when all the world is sleeping, I stay up and think of you, And I wish on a star that somewhere you are, Thinking of me too…” It was the year 1999. Was driving a girlfriend home after school. We were listening to the radio. And this song was played. I kept saying… I won’t cry, I won’t cry. But I did anyway. Some songs bring back bittersweet memories. And in the year 1999, this was the song. 🙂 

3. Lady in Red by Chris de Burgh: “I’ve never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight, I’ve never seen you shine so bright, you were amazing, I’ve never seen so many people want to be there by your side, and when you turned to me and smile, you took my breath away.” I first got to know this song through the Ms USA pageant in the 1990s… yup, you heard right! I was probably 13 or 14 then. They played Lady in Red during the Evening Gown parade. And the girly lass then secretly dreamt that perhaps one day, someone will serenade her with this song… haha!

4. I’ll be There by Club Escape: “Don’t be afraid, oh my love, I’ll be watching you from above, And I’d give all the world tonight, to be with you, Because I’m on your side, And I still care, I may have died, but I’ve gone nowhere, Just think of me, And I’ll be there.”

5. Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle: “She’ll change her name today. She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her away. Standing in the bride-room just staring at her. She asked me what I’m thinking and I said “I’m not sure-I just feel like I’m losing my baby girl. With all that I’ve done wrong I must have done something right to deserve her love every morning and butterfly kisses at night.” They lyrics are just so weet. I love it so much that I chose this song to be played when my daddy walked me down the aisle in 2005.

6. Flying without Wings by Westlife: “Well, for me it’s waking up beside you, To watch the sunrise on your face, To know that I can say I love you, In any given time or place.” Extremely special song. This is the song hubby and I first slow danced to. At the Singapore Students’ Society Dinner & Dance in Manchester where we studied. We were led unwittingly to the dance floor by friends. And when this song came on, he asked me, “Shall we dance?”

7. Wind Beneath my Wings by Bette Midler:  “You were content to let me shine, that’s your way. You always walk a step behind. So I was the one with all the glory, You were the one with all the strain…” First got to know this song when my best friend sang it at the school assembly for a teacher who was retiring. Thought the lyrics were really meaningful. And at my wedding reception, I sang this song (together with my best friend) for my dearest daddy and mummy were have indeed been the wind beneath my wings.

8. Top of the World by Carpenter: “Something in the wind has learned my name, And its tellin me that things are not the same, In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze, Theres a pleasin sense of happiness for me, There is only one wish on my mind, When this day is through I hope that I will find, That tomorrow will be just the same for you and me, All I need will be mine if you are here.” Such a simple tune. Yet so memorable. And uplifting. I have liked this song as a child. And surprisingly, hubby loves it to. Haha! So this is one of the songs that we sing to our darling babe. 🙂

9. Eternal Flame by The Bangles: “Close your eyes, give me your hand, darling” This is a classic. Brings back memories of my clubbing days. Going out with a group of girlfriends. Dancing on the dance floor. Singing the song out loud. OMG, talking about it now makes me feel so old…!  

10. Time after Time by Cyndi Lauper: “If you’re lost you can look–and you will find me time after time, if you fall I will catch you–I’ll be waiting time after time.” This song became popular again after the movie ‘Strictly Ballroom’. It brings back memories of my high school days, where we hold parties at friends’ houses. I can still remember one of the exact moments when this song was played on a friend’s stereo. The blushing cheeks, the sweaty palms. As each girl awaits a boy to ask her to dance on the makeshift dancefloor, cleared by the moving of the sofas and coffee tables.

11. Remember Me This Way by Jordan Hill: “I’ll make a wish for you, And hope it will come true, That life would just be kind, To such a gentle mind, If you lose your way, Think back on yesterday, Remember me this way.” When I was about 20, I had no idea how I would grow up to be. I had no idea how life would be in 10 years time. It just seemed appropriate to ask to others to ‘Remember me this way’… 🙂

12. Never Saw Blue Like That Before by Shawn Colvin: “And I never saw blue like that before, Across the sky, Around the world, You’ve given me all you have and more, And no one else has ever shown me how, To see the world the way I see it now, Oh, I, I never saw blue like that.” I first heard this song when hubby and I were still dating. And when I heard the lyrics, the first person who came to mind was hubby. He has really opened my eyes up to many things. To see the world in a different perspective. To look at others in a different light. I incorporated part of the lyrics of this song into my wedding vows. 🙂

13. 今生注定 by 高明骏/王馨平:”如果爱情烦恼真的太多, 或许心事都交给我, 为你耽忧对我来说 也是快乐” English Translation: The title of the song is ‘Destined to Be’. And the lyrics that I have chosen, “If you have lots of worry, just share them with me. Because even worrying for you, to me, it’s happiness.” Erm, that just does not seem to come out right. Haha! Anyway, hubby and I love this song very much. And, he sang it for me at our wedding. 🙂 Many of my girlfriends were touched by his gesture because firstly he does not really sing, and secondly, he does not speak Mandarin…

Based on the songs I have chosen, you have probably (1) guessed my age, (2) come to the conclusion I have not listened to the radio for the past 10 years. Haha! 🙂 Or I probably just love oldies. 🙂

What about you? What are your most memorable love songs?

P/S Have just put up a new poll for ladies… what’s your most ideal V-day present? 🙂 Share, share!

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Violet Lim

VIOLET LIM is a real-life modern matchmaker who has founded Asia's leading lunch dating company Lunch Actually (www.lunchactually.com). Violet is the bestselling author of the dating book 'Lessons From 15,000 First Dates'. She is also an acknowledged dating and relationship expert who has been featured on more than 1000 media coverage including ABC News 20/20, Bloomberg, CNBC Asia, CNN Go, Channel News Asia, USA Today, TV Tokyo and Singapore’s National Day Video 2005 as one of Singapore’s most aspiring people. Violet is happily married to her university sweetheart Jamie and they have two young children.

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