“It was not love at first sight…”

People have often asked me, "When a first date does not progress beyond a second date, what is the main reason?"

The answer given by singles is often the same.

"No chemistry."

When people talk about chemistry, they are hoping to feel the sparks, the 'electricity' or the flutter in the heart. But honestly, if you asked me, that's usually 'lust at first sight' and not 'love at first sight'. :P

Love needs not always be 'at first sight'. Let me share with you a Lunch Actually success story that I have just heard today. *super happy*

They are both from the financial industry. He is about 10 years older. When they first met at the first date arranged by us, she was actually not bowled over by him. In fact, she said, "Could you find me someone taller the next time?" and "I don't think I am comfortable dating someone who's not within my age group…" and "He talks a lot about work!"

What did touch her is his personality – his consideration and his kindness. Even though he was late for the first date, he apologized and bought her dinner (we do arrange dinner dates when requested by our clients :) ). And subsequently when he knew that a relative of hers was undergoing an operation, he checked on her right after the operation to see if everything went OK. 

And now… a year later, after getting to know each other better, they have found the perfect match in each other. And they are tying the knot!!!

Love at first sight can be an extremely romantic notion. But if she has decided not to go on a second date, and subsequently a third and fourth date, because she did not feel the sparks at first… she would have missed out on the chance on finding her soul mate.

Hence, to all singles out there is… when you are contemplating a second date and you feel that there's no chemistry…

Give him/her a chance. Give yourself a chance. Give love a chance.

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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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Matchmaker, matchmaker, how do you match?

As a modern-day matchmaker, I spend a fair bit of my time making matches.

One of the questions that I get asked all the time is… “How do you match?”, “How do you know that it is a good match?”

Truth is, I can never be 100% sure that it will turn out to be a good match. There have been times that my team of dating consultants and I are so sure that it is a good match, and we even think that they will get married.

Then we will wait for the verdict.

The guy gave his feedback. “It was an absolutely fantastic date! She’s such a wonderful person. I would love to meet up with her again! Thank you so much!”

Wow…! In our heads, we were thinking, we will be getting a wedding invitation soon.

We called the lady, and she said… “He was ok. But not someone I would date. I don’t mind keeping in touch with him as a friend.”

There is no 100%. I always joke… If we could guarantee 100%, our membership fees and charges would be priced very differently. Apparently, the most expensive matchmaker (verified by the Guiness Book of Records) charges US$200,000. And yes, she guarantees marriage.

Ok, jokes aside… how do we match?

There are many aspects that we look at.

First and foremost, we need to learn more about the preferences of our client. What are his/her profile, physical and personality preferences? When we say profile, we mean age, education level, religion, ethnicity, smoking and drinking habits. Physical = height and built. And personality would include characteristics such as introverted vs. extroverted, spontaneous vs. organised etc.

Next, we will find out more about our client through our face-to-face consultation with him/her. Even though we gather profile information via a questionnaire which our client fills in, often, how we perceive ourselves, and how others perceive us are different. Thus, the matchmaker’s assessment is very important when it comes to matching.

We also take time to find out about our client’s past relationships, passions, his/her values, what is most important to him or her. E.g. for someone, religious faith is very important. Recently, I made a match between a lawyer and a teacher. Initially the teacher was slightly apprehensive about dating a lawyer. But both of them are staunch believers, and this common value binds them together, giving them a common ground. They are currently dating each other.

After each date, we will obtain feedback from our clients. The feedback is a two-pronged approach. Firstly, it allows our clients to give us feedback on what they like or dislike about the match. This would help us refine the matching criteria for their subsequent matches. Secondly, it gives us an insight on how our client is as a date. Obviously when we meet our client at our office, how he/she behaves would be distinctly different from how he/she would behave on a date. :)

And there you have it… by using the plethora of information we have, we handpick each and every match for our client. And of course, a dash of intuition comes in handy too.

For some clients, all it takes is one match. And they would have met their special someone. But for some clients, it might take more than 30 matches. Interestingly, one of our upcoming weddings in June… it was his 10++ date, and it was her first. :)

So, if you are single and dating… take each and every new date as an opportunity to meet a new friend. You’ll never know where each opportunity takes you! :)

Enjoy your weekend!

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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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Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!

It has been a very interesting 2 weeks!

Did I mention that we have recently launched a brand new portal… Eteract.com, a place for like-minded singles to meet? We are the first to bring online speed dating to Singapore and Asia. :) Anyway, that has been keeping me busy for the past couple of weeks. If you would like to chat with me, sign up now, and you probably will catch me there from 10pm at night. 😉

And last week, I was at the Partner Connection Trade Seminar organized by MCYS. It was a really insightful event! Met up with matchmakers from all around Asia… and interestingly, all of them are men! Among the speakers who attended the seminar last week were Dr. Jason Tian from Baihe (China), Mr. Ishizaka from Bridalnet (Japan) and Mr. Lee from Sunoo (Korea). These gentlemen shared with me many insights about the dating industry in their respective countries. Gave me lots of pointers on how I could do better! Learnt lots from them.

Anyway, I am embarking on an interesting project. I met an interesting and eligible guy from Eteract.com, and I have decided to take up the challenge of finding him a suitable match. He’s in his early 30s, and yes… he’s really quite eligible… 😉 He’s looking for a lady who is intelligent and he can relate to on an intellectual level. In his own words, he does not mind if she’s more intelligent than him. He enjoys the challenge! :)

If you are interested to find out more, drop me an email using the form below, stating your name, age, profession and a short description of yourself… and if I think you might be a good match, I will be in touch with you! :)

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Looking forward to hear from you soon! :)

Meanwhile, have a great week ahead!

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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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Another Wedding… this time in KL, Malaysia! :)

Attended KL’s first wedding last week. We already have had quite a number of marriages in Singapore. But in KL, this is the first.

I feel very honoured to be invited these weddings. There are some couples who invite us. Some who invite their dating consultants. Some who come by to the office with gifts for us. And of course, some who never even tell us they are getting married. Haha!

I used to be quite disheartened by that. But I have started to accept that some people would rather not let others know that they have met through a dating agency. And perhaps, they are worried that if we know that they have met someone through us, and gotten married, we will hound them for testimonials, media interviews etc. And truth is, if they tell me no one time, I will respect their privacy.

Let’s come back to the KL couple. When they registered their marriage earlier this year, I was so happy. I do not know the lady client well, but I have spoken to the guy many times over the phone. And he is really one of the nicest clients I have met.

Then I asked him, “Hey, do you have any photos of the marriage registration?”

“Ya, of course.”

“Send me some la…!”

“Erm…”

“Aiyah, you think I am going to put on my website meh? No la, I just want to see and bask in your happiness la…”

“Oh ok ok, I email you now.”

Haha! Think our dating and matchmaking industry really must have a bad name… for people to be so weary and cautious.

Talking about this couple, I am really like SUPER happy for them. Especially because this guy is really so extremely nice. He’s polite to all the dating consultants, never rude or abusive. And he is so appreciative. At the wedding, I think he said thank you to me like for 5-6 times. So many times until I also feel paiseh (shy). When he met me at the door, when he showed me to my seat, when he came around for the wine-toasting, when he came around for photo-taking, when we (Jamie and I) were leaving… and he looks so grateful.

He kept saying, “Without you, there will be no wedding.”

OMG. That’s the biggest compliment someone can pay me.

I still remember my first phone conversation with him.

He told me. “Violet, you know, actually I am all set to get married. I have a car. I have a house. I have a stable career. But I just have not met the right one…”

My consultants and I helped him and give him some pointers here and there. And we could see that his progress with his dates are getting better and better.

One of my 3rd or 4th phone calls with him. I called him to check in.

And he said, “Violet, guess where am I now?”

“Where?”

“I am outside her house”

“What are you doing there? OMG, don’t tell me you are stalking her!”

“No la, she invited me home to have dinner with her family!”

“Wah!!! Well done… quite fast ha… think your first date was only a few weeks ago?

“Ya ya”

“Very good, very good! So how, what did you buy for her parents?”

“Ha? Must buy something ar?”

*FAINT*

“Of course la, if not go with empty hands? What kind of impression will you make?”

“Ok, ok… she’s not home yet, I will go buy something now…”

Think he eventually bought either some fruits or chocolate. :)

The funniest thing was… his then girlfriend now wife actually suspected that something was amissed. Because she knew him so well that she was shocked to see that he has bought something! Haha! So much later, he confessed to her that it was because he had this conversation with me! :)

When things are down. When I have a bad day at work. When I wake up on the wrong side of bed, wondering if all these are worth it. I will think of couples such as this one. Knowing that I have made a small difference in their lives. This is what makes everything worth it…!

To this wonderful couple, may your marriage be always blessed with love, joy and happiness…!

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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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Woohoo! :) They got married!

Dear Readers,

Remember the story of Mr. Nice and Ms Natural?

http://violetlim.com/2006/09/13/mr-nice-ms-natural/

Yeah, they got married end of last year! We just found out last week, when Mr. Nice emailed us to introduce his friend to our service!

How amazing is that? That totally made my day, after a so-so week. :)

So the moral of the story? Always be positive, and be open-minded. You never know what will happen next!

If you do not hear from me again today…

Happy Labour Day! And enjoy the day off! :)

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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Mr. Motivated & Ms. Self-Improvement

Ok, my dear readers, this is the ‘Best Match’ story that I promised you.

Have been keeping this story under wraps, as the press article just came out today, hence did not want to ‘upstage it’.

Not sure how long the article will be up for, so do go check it out, as this is the first time a LUNCH Actually couple has agreed to appear in the media. Even though we know of about 60 couples who have met through us, they are usually quite media shy. :)

About Mr. Motivated & Ms. Self-Improvement, one thing about their profiles that really stand out is how driven they both are. They both believe in self-growth and are constantly improving themselves. Another obvious commonality is that they both love to travel.

Jamie and I sat in at the media interview. It was a very interesting session as we do not get many chances like this to hear what happens after that first date. Yes, we get feedback from them e.g. they go out on second dates, or that they get engaged, or even married, but we do not usually get to know the nuances and details.

This time, we get to hear the entire story – from when they first met, how he misplaced her number, to when they decided to go steady, and what they like most about each other. It is very heartwarming actually.

Theirs was not a ‘love at first sight’ story. They got to know each other better as friends before deciding to go steady. They also continued to date other people before dating exclusively. In her own words, she said “I wasn’t particularly interested in him at first!” But, he obviously won her over. :)

It was just so sweet looking at them sitting side-by-side, relating their love story. And the best thing is, you know that this is one love story that is grounded, a relationship that is not built on ‘instant chemistry’ but has withstood the test of time where they got to know each other better as friends before dating exclusively.

It is so obvious that they have so much respect for each other. He is impressed by her hard work and determination, and she is clearly inspired by his drive and motivation. And when he looks at her, you know that this is definitely a man in love! :) 

And, I just cannot stop telling them how happy I am for them. :)

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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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Mr. Nice & Ms. Natural

He is in his late 20s, a financial analyst with an international financial institution. He looks like one of those guys that you will be very happy to bring home to meet your mum. Wears specs, look very decent. Very ‘good guy’ type. :)

And his dream girl? He’s looking for a girl who is simple, and preferably does not wear make-up as he feels natural is beautiful.

I have never met him personally, but I have spoken to him over the phone. Until one day, we needed a ‘volunteer’ for a magazine write-up. A male magazine wanted to do a makeover for one of our male clients. Part of the story was that they wanted to sit in on the consultation that we do with our clients. So, we invited Mr. Nice to the office again, and I became his consultant.

By then, he has been on about 5 dates. The dates went ok, but nothing really worked out.

After going through the consultation with him, I learnt more about him – his values, and what he holds most important. One of the questions that I like to ask during consultation is… what are the five things or people that you cannot live without. And I will never forget his answer, as it was just so different from what people usually say…

He said, “Sunshine.” :)

So, after getting to know him more, I decided to match him up with Ms. Natural, who first of all does not wear make-up. She’s in her mid 20s, and she’s an assistant manager in Retail. And when looking for her Mr. Right, the important attributes are – serious, tactful and intellectual.

And so, they went on their first date coordinated by us!

He said… “She is exactly the type of girl I am looking for!” and she said, “The date was kind of rushed, because he had to rush back to work, but we had a really good time!”

And they met up again 3 days later. And not long after, they both put their membership on hold as they are dating each other exclusively! :)

Oh, you know what is the funniest thing? At the end of the day, the media interview did not go through as they decided to change the angle of the story.

But, boy, I sure am glad I met up with Mr. Nice for the ‘mock’ consultation!

Thus, my advice to our members is… if your initial matches are not working out, do not give up. Just give us a buzz, or drop by for another consultation, as the 2nd consultation just might do the trick!

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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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Ms Casual & Mr. Simple

When I first set my eyes on her, I knew that she’s not your typical PMEB (Professional, Manager, Executive, Businessman).

She’s in the education industry, but not your typical teacher as well. Frankly, I find it difficult to place her in a certain category or group. She was dressed casually for our consultation, a tad bit too casual. She was in boots, T-shirt and cargo pants. I was getting worried, thinking if she would wear the same to her dates.

We had a nice chat… where I learn more about her, her dating preferences and her outlook in life. I found out that she did not used to be such an outdoor person but taking part in outdoor activities has boost her social circle, not to mention her confidence.

She is not someone guys would be instantly attracted to from a physical aspect, but there’s a certain childlike innocence to her. And she’s definitely an optimistic and cheerful lady. I like her. :)

As we chatted, I had in mind a person to match her up with. But of course I did not tell her at our initial consultation, just in case the guy decides to put himself on hold before I could fix up the date.

After processing her membership, to my delight, the guy that I had in mind is still available for dates!

He’s a simple and down to earth guy. He does not earn a lot at the moment but he’s working hard to build up his career. From the feedback that we have received from his previous date, he’s a sincere and sweet guy who’s also a gentleman. What I really like about him is the fact that he has realistic expectations and he goes into each date taking it as a new and positive experience.

So, here we go! I did the match! :) Let’s see what happens…

He was on time, and she was just 5 minutes late. She apologized and he graciously accepted her apology, and also took into account that it was raining.

My worries about her dressing was unfounded. He commented that she dressed smartly and carried herself well. He even said that he found her smile attractive! :)

She initiated most of the conversation at first, but as he got more comfortable, he too started initiating conversation. The date went on so well that it went pass the 2 hours mark!!! It ended on a positive note too! As she does not drive, he offered to wait with her for a taxi (what a gentleman!). They exchanged contact numbers, and they would like to see each other again.

And… when asked if they felt any instant chemistry or sparks? They both gave a resounding YES! :) Heard that he has been SMSing her regularly as well, and they are planning for a second date.

Wow, happiness! And the both rated the match as ‘Good’!

This is what being a matchmaker is all about isn’t it? Knowing that you have helped in contributing to someone’s happiness! :)

I will be keeping an eye on this two to see if it develops further, and if it does, I will let you know too!

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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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