10 Love Lessons Learnt from General Election 2011

Wow, time really flies… I just realised that I have not blogged for 3 months! Sorry for the long absence as I have been very busy with the business, especially our new branch in Taipei, as well as spending time with our family…!

And of course, in recent weeks, I have been one of the many keen followers on the latest updates on the Singapore's General Election 2011.

Now that the dust has settled, I have reflected on the ten lessons I have learnt from this momentous event in Singapore, and how these lessons can be applied to love, dating and relationships.

1. Do not think that what you have done in the past would help you in the present or the future. As much as it is true that the ruling party has brought Singapore from a fishing village to the thriving modern metropolitan it is today, many Singaporeans no longer vote based on the past accomplishments. Application: Similarly, one of the biggest complaints in many relationships is that the guy or the girl puts on his or her best behaviour during courtship, but once the deal is sealed, he or she will stop trying as hard, or keep bringing up all the things that he or she has done in the past. In any relationship, be it between the government and its citizen or between two lovers, constant and consistent effort must be put in to keep the relationship relevant and growing.

2. Do not come across as arrogant. If you read the many forum postings about GE2011, one of the most common traits used to describe the ruling party is 'arrogant'. Application: I can assure you that if your date meets you for the first time, and you come across as arrogant and high-handed, chances are you will not get a second date. The problem is, many a times, the person who has been labelled as arrogant did not even intend to come across as such. They are usually shocked when they know that others view them as arrogant. It's all in the mindset and the attitude. When you go on a date, adopt an open mindset and a positive attitude – take it as an enjoyable experience to make a new friend. Even when you meet the person, and he or she might not be your ideal mate, do not dismiss him or her immediately. You never know… he or she might have a friend or colleague who is the perfect mate for you… and because of your deemed arrogance, you have lost the chance of being introduced!

3. Communication is a two-way street. I remember visiting one of the PAP candidate's FB page, and I was quite surprised that comments are not allowed and wall postings by fans are also not allowed. It set me thinking, "What's the point of having a FB page then?" The ruling party would have realised by now that they have to rethink their social media strategy to connect with the young. Application: When it comes to dating, it is interesting to observe some who just embark on a monologue during dates. They are not even aware that their date is getting extremely bored and disinterested. A good conversation is like a game of table-tennis or ping pong. The ball goes back and forth rhythmically. Each party must be given a chance to participate and air their views.

4. Speak in the same language. Communicating is not enough. You have to speak the same language as your audience. During the GE, I attended rallies and watched the rallies online. And I found it quite amusing how different the various candidates spoke during the rallies, and the varied responses (some good, and some not so good) that they drew from the audience. I have to say, most of the time, the opposition parties did a much better job in rallying the rally goers. Application: When it comes to first dates, you will be shocked to know what people talk about. Some people like to talk about their jobs even though they hate their jobs. And as they delve deeper into their jobs, they would use industry jargons that people generally do not understand and eventually, their date lose interest. Know your date, know what his or her interest is, and engage him or her on the same level.

5. First impressions do matter. In every GE, be it in Singapore or other countries, there are bound to be some 'STARS'. One of the biggest and hottest names in GE2011 is of course Ms. Nicole Seah. Even before she was officially introduced and interviewed, she was already making waves when her official photo was released to the media. Sweet, pretty, fresh-faced are just some of the words used to describe this passionate, confident and well-spoken young lass. Application: Ladies, I know I have said this before, but I am going to say it again… first impressions are very important for first dates. Men are visual creatures. Hence, always put your best foot forward when going on a first date! First impressions are difficult to change… in doubt, just refer to the unfortunate case of Ms. Tin Pei Ling. Her real self could be totally different from what was portrayed in and by the online media, but it is definitely going to be an uphill task changing that initial impression.

6. Commitment is not enough. You need to have passion too. I believe that all the candidates who ran, withstanding the parties they are from are committed to serve the country. However, commitment is not enough. The voters want to see passion too. If your passion to serve is all wrapped up and people cannot see it, it is definitely going to cost you votes. Application: In a relationship, if there's only commitment and no passion, it is known as empty love. Many long-term relationships fall into this trap. They are committed to stay together, but after a while, the romance fizzles out, and like they say, familiarity breeds contempt. Before your relationship spirals down further, it is important to reignite the passion that you once feel for each other when you first started dating. For a marriage to work, you have to work at it. 🙂

7. Gifts do not always work. In the past, carrots worked like a charm. Lifts upgrading, grow and share packages. This time round, the gifts were no longer as effective as that's not what many of the voters want. I think all future candidates should read Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages. Giving gifts is just one of the 5 love languages. The others are acts of service, quality time, touch and words of affirmation. The ruling party seems to be lacking in the last 3 – quality time, touch and words of affirmation. And hence, they started to lose touch with the voters. The opposition parties however struck hard on touch and words of affirmation when connecting with the voters. Application: When it comes to relationships, do you know what your partner's love language is? And are you displaying your affection by speaking his or her love language and not your own? If your love language is act of service, and your partner's love language is quality time, it is obvious why both of you often feel unloved. Once you understand what each other's love language is, you can start speaking in the same language. 🙂 

8. Watch your words. The biggest buzz word in GE2011 has to be 'REPENT'. Many of my friends and FB friends alike were extremely offended by MM Lee's statement. And ultimately, this word probably contributed to the loss of Aljuneid GRC for the PAP. Application: Similarly, when you are in a relationship, it's so important that you watch what you say. Because a single word can sometimes make a break a relationship. In anger, we often say many things that we do not mean. But hurtful words are like water being thrown out from a pail onto the floor (Chinese Saying). Once it's thrown out, you cannot take it back. When you are in an argument with your loved one, bite your tongue if you have to, but always refrain from sarcasm and contempt.

9. Acknowledge your mistake when you are in the wrong. It has been said that PM Lee Hsien Loong's apology helped to sway some swing voters to vote for PAP. Sorry is indeed the hardest word. I have to force my 2 year old daughter to say it when she does something wrong. And yes, she's only 2!!! Application: Prolonged arguments can be avoided in relationships if one party takes a step back and apologises. When you are in the wrong, put your ego aside, and apologise. It can actually be the best thing you can do to save your relationship or your marriage. Think about it this way, is saving face more important, or is your relationship/marriage more important?

10. Be the right person. Many investors have been holding their breath lest there be a freak election result. Thus, the Singapore's stock market rose sharply after it was announced that the ruling party PAP has returned to power decisively. After the exciting campaigning and hustings, Singaporeans generally voted wisely and rationally. As much as many are not completely satisfied with the ruling party, they still voted for the candidates whom they feel can best serve them in the long run. Opposition parties who did not have strong manifestos or long-term plans were not voted in this time round. Workers' Party who fielded strong and credible candidates and has a convincing manifesto made great strides in this election. Application: When it comes to dating, before one even starts to think about meeting the right person, most importantly one has to be the right person. Because when you are the right candidate, with the right mindset, the right attitude and the right behaviour, you would automatically come across as attractive to your target audience! 🙂

This has been an extremely insightful and enlightening two weeks for me. The General Election has indeed brought out the best and the worst in many of us. I have been heartened and inspired by heroic acts, touching stories and courageous stance; and I have been brought to tears when I saw how ugly and petty we can be. At the end of the day, I believe it is what we learn from it all that will make us stronger and better.

To my dearest readers, happy dating and have a wonderful 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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No Strings Attached?

When I first saw the 'No Strings Attached' trailer, I thought to myself… I would like to watch this show… mainly because I have always enjoyed Natalie Portman's acting. Hence, when OMY Blog Club sent out an email to say that they had 40 preview tickets available, I jumped at the chance to be one of the first to catch the show.

The key question posed in the show is of course… Friends with benefits… does it work? I think most of us know the answer to that. It will never work for long as one party will end up falling for the other, and the other is simply not ready to invest anything more than just sex. It was still fun watching the chemistry between Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as the plot unfolds…

Even though the plot might be a tad bit predictable, I did glean some interesting tips for all you single guys out there from this show. 🙂

1. Wearing your heart on your sleeve. Ashton Kutcher played the male lead Adam. Adam is such a sweet and sensitive guy, and his friends are always giving him funny advice. However, one thing I have to admire about Adam is that he really dares to just wear his heart on his sleeve and just put himself out there. Upon the suggestion of his friend, he actually visited Emma (played by Natalie Portman) at her work place with a balloon. For you guys out there, you do not always have to come across as macho and aloof. Sometimes, wearing your heart on your sleeve is sweet too. But always be sincere and genuine about it of course.

2. Planning a great first date. Finally after being sex friends for ages, they decided to go on a real first date. I love the fact that Adam dressed up for the date. Gave her 'flowers'. Planned the entire date and even had an itinerary! And they did so many interesting things together, not just your usual dinner. Guys, if you do not know this already, women do not like men who are indecisive. As much as you would like to give her a say or a choice, truth is, we will be extremely impressed if you have taken the initiative to give us a surprise by planning a great date!

3. Standing your ground even when it hurts. In real life, you would think that the guy would be the one who falls for the girl and as a result the whole friends with benefits relationship will break down. However, in the show, it was the other way round. When Adam wanted something more than just sex, and Emma just couldn't seem to reciprocate. Adam finally took the painful decision of putting a stop to it all.

The scene where he told her, "I can't keep doing this. I am not going to see you again…", it was quite heart-wrenching to watch as you know how much he loves her.

The problem with many nice guys out there is… they just simply do what the girls want. They do not stand their ground. And at the end of the day, the girl just tires of them because the girls just feel that they are spineless and cannot stand up for themselves or what they believe in. There's nothing wrong in being nice. But know this, you want her to respect you, to look up to you. And if she's wrong, you have to put a stop to it.

Would I recommend this movie? No Strings Attached might not make it to my favourite romance comedy list like Love Actually, 50 First Dates or While You Were Sleeping… but it's 100% funny enough to have you in stitches, and it's definitely eye candy galore for both the female and male movie goers with two very good looking leads Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. And the bonus… you might even learn a thing or two about dating and relationships!

So what are you waiting for? Go catch it with your special date this Valentine's season! 🙂 Check here for movie times!

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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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C2VD14 – Day 4: Being Happy on Your Own

 

“Are you happy?” This is a taboo question. I would never dare ask anybody this question unless he or she is a good friend. It seems too personal. It seems like we are prying or intruding.

It seems that the more we progress as a society, the less happy we become.

In our society where instant gratification is a norm, we are always looking for the next good thing. Happiness becomes short-lived. We attribute happiness to milestones or achievements.

“I will be happy if I am promoted.”

“I will be happy if I get a salary rise.”

“I will be happy if I lose weight.”

“I will be happy if I find Mr Right or Ms Right.”

And the list goes on.

Or worst, we place our happiness on the whim of someone else. In order for that ‘something’ to happen to make us happy, someone else has to do something. For example, “I will be happy if he calls!” And if he doesn’t, what happens? We get disappointed and disheartened. But in the first place, why are we placing our happiness in someone else’s hands? You cannot control what he/she does or what he/she does not do.

People are attracted to happy people. People are not attracted to people who are waiting for someone to come along to make them happy. They see, smell and feel your happiness. And they want to be part of that happiness.

For ladies, forget the image of the ‘knight in shining armour’ coming to save you from your misery. You are hardly a damsel in distress. Even if we were to look at the fairytales, all the Disney princesses, despite their hardship, always have a happy disposition. They are experts when it comes to 苦中作乐 (Chinese saying: Finding happiness in the midst of suffering). Isn’t that already a clue? I don’t think their Prince Charming will be attracted to them if they are depressed and prone to lamenting about how hard life is.

Violet, ok, I get you. So how can I be happy?

Let me share a secret with you… happiness is an everyday choice. You can CHOOSE your emotional state. You can CHOOSE to be happy despite your circumstances.

Violet, it is not that I do not want to be happy. But I have a very stressful job where my clients are very demanding. I have a nasty boss. I do not get along with my mother.

I understand. Many of us lead very stressful lives nowadays. And we are constantly interacting with people who expect split-second replies. In the past, if people wanted to reach us, they could only call us at home.  But today, they can call our mobile phones, leave us voice messages, send text messages, email us, chat online with us, drop us a message in our Facebook account, or tweet us on Twitter. If you think about it, it’s really crazy! We feel constantly overwhelmed because we are trying to keep up with all that is happening around us.

Nevertheless, we have a choice.

When someone screams at us, we can choose what emotional meaning and significance to give to his or her actions. And we can choose how we would like to respond.

I used to get all worked up when I receive complaints from demanding clients, especially when their claims were totally baseless. I sometimes even wondered why I bothered helping them when all they wanted to do was to bite my head off. And I got depressed and disillusioned.

Now, I take a step back and analyse why a person did what he or she did. Well, it could be that he was having a bad day, and just needed someone to take his frustration out on. She could be getting increasingly worried as age is catching up. I can either respond in a very defensive manner, or I can invite these people for coffee and a chat!

Happiness is a state of mind. You can either spend the rest of the day being happy. Or being unhappy.

The choice is yours! 🙂

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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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C2VD14 Day 3 – Spring Cleaning Your Dating Checklist

 

One thing I strongly recommend to my clients is to put some thought into those characteristics and personality traits they most desire to find in The Right One. This is a good thing because it compels you to identify those things that are most important to you and to use this information to avoid dating people who don’t fit into the description. It’s a checklist, really, designed to help you sort through potential dates and put your time and effort only into those who are most likely to be compatible with you.

The problem, though, is that it’s easy to get hung up on your checklist. Yes, it’s a good idea to know what characteristics are most important to you, but when you become inflexible about those criteria, you end up missing out on many interesting people. Why? They don’t match enough of the must-have items on your checklist.

I call this ‘Checklist Syndrome’ and it’s something you can easily avoid if you’re careful and alert. Start by keeping track of how many potential dates you consider. How many of them do you end up rejecting because they don’t fit your checklist exactly?

The best way to deal with this problem is to re-visit your criteria, paying special attention to how many of them are flexible and how many of them are inflexible. If you’ve been rejecting a lot of potentials lately then perhaps some of your criteria are too inflexible and need to be adjusted. 

Don’t reject potentials so soon

Every time you hear about or are introduced to a potential date, you automatically start to go through your checklist of criteria. Sometimes this is a deliberate process and other times it is almost a subconscious process, making judgments about suitability in a reflexive rather than a deliberate manner.

It’s perfectly understandable, really. However, the assumptions we make about the opposite sex and their individual characteristics are often inaccurate, flawed, or based on stereotypes and judgmental beliefs.

Some of the most common areas we make assumptions about quickly and sometimes unconsciously include the following:

·         First impressions;

·         Social skills;

·         Physical attributes;

·         Your vision of the ideal man or woman;

·         Character, intelligence, and ambition;

·         Status, wealth, and social standing.

So what’s the solution?

The solution is to develop a better, more productive habit of dealing with potential dates, a process that is slower to reject a person based on these kinds of common assumptions.

In fact, I tell my clients.

“The yardstick on whether to go on a second date is not ‘how much you like the person’, but ‘how little you dislike the person’.”

If there is nothing you do not like about him or her, or if you are ‘on the fence’, my advice is, go for it! As much as you are giving the other person a chance, you are also giving yourself 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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C2VD14 Day 2 – Finding a Way Back into Love

 

Hanging on to emotional baggage is one of the worst things you can do if you are looking for The Right One. It is also one of the things many singles are likely to do. 
What is emotional baggage?
 
There are lots of different ways to define it, but for our purposes we’re going to describe emotional baggage as those past experiences, feelings, emotions, and thoughts that linger in our minds and affect our current situation. These are the things that we carry around with us that end up creating difficulties in our current lives. In many cases, they actually can re-create themselves in a way that causes us to live them over again as if they were brand new.
 
The term “emotional baggage” has long been used to describe this situation, and it’s actually a very good term for this purpose because it creates the picture in our minds of physically hauling stuff around with us. It doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to picture yourself lugging a huge suitcase (or two, maybe three) at every step.

What’s in the suitcase? Whatever it is you’re not yet willing to let go. Maybe your emotional baggage is just like mine—the memory of a previous relationship where you thought you found The Right One but he turned out to be something else; or perhaps it’s a pattern of interaction from your past where you’ve not had very healthy relationships and you’re continuing with that pattern. Other things commonly found among our emotional baggage include fears, worries, disappointments, behaviour, dreams, fantasies, hurts, anger, and much more.

It is important to let go of emotional baggage for a number of reasons, chief among them being that it is the only way for you to be emotionally healthy and stable. The more baggage you carry with you, the less you are able to be emotionally strong, capable, and steady. Why? Because your time, energy and effort are consumed with that baggage, lifting it, carrying it, preserving it, looking through it, remembering it, living with it, and generally keeping it with you through all you other daily activities.

And when your entire focus (consciously or unconsciously) is on keeping that baggage with you, nothing else matters. Nothing else can break through and come into your life, and that includes The Right One.

If you doubt the impact of carrying emotional baggage around with you, try this little experiment.

Fill a handbag or briefcase with a few rocks or something else that’s heavy enough to make it challenging to carry around with you. Now carry that handbag with you everywhere you go for a full day. And I do mean everywhere. Carry it around the house, when you go shopping, as you run errands, as you work, as you drive, as you do absolutely everything.
It won’t take very long for you to get really tired of carrying this heavy handbag or briefcase around with you. And that’s exactly what it’s like to carry real emotional baggage around with you.

Once you let go of emotional baggage, though, everything changes. You feel lighter in a whole host of ways—physically, spiritually, and yes, emotionally. For many singles this feeling is something they have never experienced before and so they get a bit scared and maybe even start to pick up their baggage again. For others, though, the tremendous sense of freedom and liberation that comes from letting go is practically intoxicating and they never look back or even pause from then on.
 
There are no 100 per cent guaranteed ways to let go of emotional baggage because each person is different and each “bag of stuff” is different as well. There are a few excellent things you can do, though, to help you through this process and get you well on the road to being baggage-free.
  1. Let go of assumptions. Just because you have had a particular experience with a partner in the past, don’t assume you’re going to have the same kind of experience with other partners in the future. Start each day with a fresh and open mind, and especially let your mind be open when you meet a person who could potentially be someone you might date.
  2. Stop the loop. It’s easy to play the ‘loop’ of past experiences over and over again in your head, much like rewinding and playing a video over and over again. When your mind starts to play that loop , just press ‘stop’ and switch it off, even if you have to do this several times in a row.
  3. Don’t give up. Just because your past relationships haven’t worked out the way you wanted them to doesn’t mean future ones will be the same way, so don’t give up on dating or trying to find The Right One. You have to stick with it, no matter what.
  4. Break old patterns. When emotional baggage is rooted in past patterns of thought or behaviour, the best way to get rid of it is to break those old patterns. Start by identifying what your previous patterns have been, and then watch for signs of them in your current relationship behaviour. If you find a pattern starting to repeat itself, simply stop, take a deep breath, and make a different choice. Taking my case as an example, when I heard that my boyfriend went out for lunch with a group of female colleagues, and I could feel myself going crazy and wanted to accuse him of being interested in one of them, I took a deep breath, and instead asked him how it went, whether I knew them, and so on.
  5. Embrace vulnerability with protection. This might seem like odd advice because vulnerability and protection generally don’t go together. In the case of emotional baggage, though, they can indeed go together in a way that will help you in the long run. Remember to take care of yourself emotionally so that you stay healthy, but at the same time don’t ‘shut down’ your heart completely. Let yourself open up, even if it’s just a little bit, when you meet someone you really like. It’s that vulnerability that will allow you to create greater closeness in your new relationship.
The bottom line is, hanging on to emotional baggage might feel safe and secure to you, but it only seems that way. The reality is that the more you hang on to your ’stuff’, the more you carry it around and drag it around with you, the more it blocks you from finding The Right One and recognising him or her when he or she does actually come along.

    

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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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Counting down to Valentine’s Day!

Dear Readers and Friends,
 
How are you? 🙂 Hope you have had a great start to the year so far! February is my favourite month of the year, because it's Chinese New Year, Valentine's day and my birthday all rolled into one! Thus, to make up for the fact that I have not been updating as much as I should, I have a treat for you this February! 🙂 
 
We are about 14 days away from Valentine's Day. So this year, we are going to do a Countdown to Valentine's Day series. Everyday, I will share on a topic or a subject that would be relevant to help you find love or at least widen your social circle this Valentine's season. 

So stay tuned! Subscribe to my newsletter to have the updates sent to you everyday! Happy Dating! 🙂
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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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Do Average Joes Have It Better Than Gorgeous Hunks?

At the end of the day, there are no absolutes. Like I mentioned in my book ‘Lessons From 15,000 First Dates’, ‘Strange as it sounds, the reality is that plain Janes sometimes have it better.’ This is based on the premise that most plain Janes I have met are more realistic, reasonable and are more willing to compromise. Having said that, I have also met Plain Janes who are unwilling to compromise and I have met beautiful women who after a lot of experiences who are willing to compromise.

average JoeHence, the same applies to average Joes. There are average Joes that are realistic, reasonable, down-to-earth set of dating criteria and are more willing to compromise. At the same time, there are also average Joes who told me, “Violet, I know I am a 5, and I know you are matching me with a 5. But I want to be matched with a 10!”

Some men who are gorgeous and know it and when coupled with financial stability would sometimes suffer from what I call the ‘elevator syndrome’. When the go to the first floor, they met someone who’s pretty. They then wonder to themselves, I wonder if someone on the second floor would even be better. I want someone who’s pretty and smart. And there she was at the second floor. Then they would wonder if they can meet someone even ‘better’ on the third floor e.g. pretty, smart and curvy. So on and so forth.

As compared to the average Joes, who might know that they are not as good-looking or as suave or as confident, and are simply on the lookout for a kind and nurturing woman who would make a good wife. And once they have met her, they are more likely to settle down.

Men and women are different and hence when it comes to dating criteria, they are also looking out for different things. Just like some men will put women into two categories when it comes to dating and relationship i.e. the ‘wife material a.k.a. they will bring home to see mum type’ and the ‘short fling type’, often some women will also put men into two categories – ‘the provider’ and ‘the player’.

Having said that, there are average Joes who are average in their looks but have honed their ‘player’ skills and are able to attract women to them like bees to honey because they just know how to push the right buttons. There are also gorgeous hunks who are actually very down-to-earth and is a total sweetheart when it comes to love and is also a perfect gentleman.

‘Players’ need not necessarily be gorgeous hunks. Sometimes, they just portray a sense of coolness, a sense of confidence or even a sense of danger that appeal to women. They seem so in control and they just know what to say and do at the right time. And thus, women tend to be more attracted to ‘the player’ than ‘the provider’.

Many a times, women would go for ‘the player’ to only get burnt at the end of the day because ‘the player’ does not tend to want to settle down because he knows that he has a huge following and know he just know what to do to make girls fall for him. And thus, eventually women learn to see beyond the façade and to look out for things that matter – dependability, loyalty, sense of responsibility – criteria that would make a good companion, a good husband and a good father. Many of these characteristics actually describe ‘the provider’.

I think ultimately, if we are talking about having and sustaining a long term relationship, ‘the provider’ (which most of the time would be the dating strategy of the average Joes) will be the one who is the ultimate winner as compared to ‘the player’ who seems to get all the girls in the beginning. ‘The player’ will be the biggest loser because he will never be able to sustain a long term relationship even though he seems to be the one having all the fun at first.

When men are looking for the right one, looks and physical appearances tend to rank high because most men are very visual.

However, when women are looking for the right one, they tend to take a more overall approach. I am not saying that looks are not important to all women. However, most women also look out for other things such as financial stability, sense of humour, confidence etc. other than looks before they judge whether to take the relationship to the next level. Thus, looks is not the only thing that women are looking for. Smile

Of course, there are also women who shun gorgeous men. There are some lady clients that I have met who will say that, “Violet, please don’t introduce me to someone who’s too good-looking!” I think, in their mind, they are thinking that women will always be attracted to good-looking men and they do not want to have unnecessary competition in future.

But having said that, there are also women who say to me, “Violet, make sure you pick the best looking man for me, ok?” However, I would have to say, there are more women saying, “Violet, make sure you find me a good man who’s kind, confident and humorous!” rather than “Make sure you find me a good-looking man!” Smile

What do YOU think? Do you think gorgeous hunks have it better? Or average Joes? Share with us your comments!

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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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What can single women do to lose their singlehood? (Part 2 of a 2-part series)

The truth is, before I become a professional matchmaker, I thought I knew all there was to know about dating, since I met my husband when I was 20 and we got married when I was 25. However, after entering the dating industry, I realised that there are actually many harsh realities about dating that people do not know. And that is why I decided to share my learning and insights in my book so that single ladies out there know what are the myths vs. realities. At least, after they know this, they can then make intelligent and informed decisions on what they wish to do to increase their chances of finding the right one!

Single ladies need to realise that finding the right one is NOT simply about meeting the right one.

Most singles if you ask them would tell you that the reason they are single is because they have not met the right one. However, meeting is just one of the three components. The other two components are ‘being the right one’ and ‘choosing the right one’. I have met many singles who come to use our services. Some of them successfully meet someone, and some don’t.

After some analysing, we realise that people who actually meet someone through us, they are generally:

  • Open minded and have a positive attitude
  • Flexible when it comes to their dating preferences and criteria
  • Take each date as an enjoyable experience of meeting a new friend
  • Partner with their dating consultant by providing honest feedback and also receiving feedback given by the dating consultant

All single ladies out there need to realise that:

hourglass time1. Time is not on their side. As much as they would like to build a successful career, they must also give priority to their social life

2. First impressions matter to men. As much as we do not want to change ourselves, we should appreciate that men are very visual creatures, and hence there’s no harm putting our best foot forward in each date.

3. Dating is a numbers game. You need to meet people to meet the right one. If you spend your Saturday night at home doing your laundry, your Prince Charming is not going to jump out of the washing machine!

4. There is no shame in increasing your own chances of success in finding the right partner. Let me ask you, if you were to go for a job interview, wouldn’t you put on your best suit? Style your hair? Brush up on your CV? Prepare for your answers? Arrive on time? Isn’t your lifelong happiness worth at least the same effort as looking for a job?

At the end of the day, you need to realise this… when you are single and alone, your boss will not be there to look after you. I know all the bosses out there are not very happy with me right now! Winking smile You have to love yourself more. You need to prioritise your time!

I was asked this question at a talk I gave recently… “Violet, is it possible to have it all? A career, a marriage and a family?”

The answer is… a resounding ‘YES!’

However, in order to achieve that, you have to look at your priorities. It’s not going to happen if you spend all your waking moments at work! If you want to have it all, you need to spend equal time on both work and social!

Many people out there will be wet blankets, maybe even saying, “Are you so desperate?” But just let them say whatever they want to say. In one of my favourite books, “Tuesdays with Morrie’ by Mitch Albom, there’s something Morrie said that will always stick in my mind… “Create your own culture!” The world is sometimes not a very nice place… people will put us down, or make us conform to what is known as the norm. However, you don’t need to conform to other people’s culture. Create your own… and go out there and find your own happiness!

Happy dating! Smile

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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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Why are so many career women in Singapore still single? (Part 1 of a 2-part series)

There has been a lot of talk that many career women in Singapore are still single… In the first part of this 2-part series, we are going to talk about the characteristics of some of the single ladies that I have met.

To be fair, not only many career women in Singapore are still single. It is the same with any other modern cities around the world e.g. Hong Kong, New York, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai etc. The thing is… more and more singles are delaying marriage. In the past, women marry in their early 20s. If you were to marry in your mid-20s, it is considered old. But now, many women are still not married by the time they are in their 30s. A lot of times, it is because these women are so focused on building their career in the early part of their life. And when they finally decide to settle down, they learn that it is not as easy to find a partner in their 30s as opposed to when they are in their 20s. One of the realities that I have shared in my book ‘Lessons From 15,000 First Dates’ is that ultimately many men are looking to date younger women as they would like to start a family eventually. So they would start to think, if I date a woman who is in her mid-30s, after 2 years of dating, 2 years of honeymoon period after the marriage, would it be too late to start a family?

Single ladies can be generally categorised into 4 groups. Of course these are generalisations and stereotypes and they are not exhaustive.

dragon lady1. The Dragon Lady: Dragon ladies are women who have done very well for themselves in the workplace. And as the skillset of women such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, multitasking skills are being more sought after in the workplace, more and more women are rising fast in the corporate world, sometimes even faster than their male counterparts. Women often feel that they have to adopt a more domineering and aggressive demeanour to climb up the corporate ladder. And often, they bring these characteristics with them wherever they go even when they are on dates. However, I always say to my single female clients, ‘Men are looking to date and marry women, not men!’ Women need to realise that they are on a date and not a debate. They do not need to challenge every single thing the guy say, or have the last say all the time. My advice to the dragon ladies is to indulge in your femininity and leave the fist-thumping in the boardroom.

2. The Waiter a.k.a. The Fixer: These are ladies who might be seeing someone, but they have been in the same relationship for 3 years, 5 years, or 9 years but the relationship just does not seem to be going anywhere. The reason is, the man keeps telling the woman that he’s not ready to settle down, and the woman is willing to just sit by and wait, hence the name ‘waiter’. And some of them are also fixers meaning they believe they can fix the guy, even though women who preceded them have failed. They believe that they are unique and special. My advice to this group of ladies is to give the guy an ultimatum. Give him a deadline, and if he does not adhere to it, then move on. You have to love yourself more because time is not on the side of the women. Just move on. If he loves you enough, he will ask you back and ask for your hand. If he does not, then he was never worth your time in the first place.

3. The Princess (and her Prince): A lot of single ladies for into this category. They probably have read too many fairy tales or indulge in too many Hollywood movies or Korean dramas. They would like to meet their prince charming ‘by chance’ because they believe that it is not romantic if they do anything extra to meet him. I believe that dating is a numbers game. Out of every 10 single men you meet, probably there are only 5 whom you are interested to know more about and he too would like to know you better. From the 5, you will probably go on a first date with 3 or 4. And from that 3 or 4, you will probably only go on more dates with 2 or 3. And from there, hopefully, you meet the one. Hence, the question is, if you do not even meet 10 single men in a month or even for some a year, what are the chances you would meet the one? I always ask the princesses, do you wish to be romantically single for the rest of your life, or be more proactive and find your prince charming? Smile My advice is, give yourself more opportunities and find more platform to widen your social circle and meet more new people.

4. The Clueless: Some ladies do not have a lot of relationship experience or have not dated in a long time. Hence, they have no idea of what to expect when it comes to dating or might have unrealistic expectations when it comes to dating. They would tell me things like, “Why should I do anything different? They should like me for who I am. If they don’t, then they are not worth my time!” when I suggest that they put on some light makeup when they go on a date. My question to them is, “There are many guys out there who are very nice and have great personality, however they might not meet your height preference (height is very important for most ladies!), then why don’t you like them for who they are as well?” My advice is that we should challenge our own list of criteria and preferences. Ultimately, we judge others, others judge us as well. When we look at each of our criterion, we should ask ourselves, is this a ‘must have’ or a ‘good to have’. If he is 1.75m, does it mean that he would be a better husband or a better father?

Stay tuned for the 2nd part… ‘What can single women do to lose their singlehood?’

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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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Violet’s 3 Secrets to a Happy Marriage! (Part 3)

This is the 3rd and last part to this series. Click here to read the first part of this series and click here to read the second part of this series.

Secret No. 3: Embracing Each Other's Imperfections

I am sure many of you who are based in Singapore would remember this TV ad – Beautifully Imperfect. If you cannot remember it, you can watch it here.

 

Many people go into marriage thinking everything will be perfect. Sometimes, I think it is bad that we try to make our wedding perfect. After such 'perfection', some people go into their marriage having an expectation that everything will be perfect and their marriage will be a bed of roses. But since we are humans, we can never be perfect. If two imperfect people come together, there are sure to be some imperfections along the way.

I love this story that my friend told me about her friend X. So what happened was, X kept trying to change her husband. Her husband had a bad habit of discarding his clothes on the floor after he takes them off. And this would really annoy her a lot. And they will end up quarreling. So after years of trying to change her husband, she finally decided to change herself. She decided to accept her husband for he is, and discarding his clothes on the floor is something that he will always do. It does not mean that he is a bad husband or a bad father. I thought that was pretty hilarious I first heard this story, or maybe it was because my friend was a really animated storyteller. As extreme as this story might sound, sometimes it is just as simple as that. 

Sometimes, we just need to embrace our partner's imperfections.

Back to me. I have so many flaws. I think if I were to write them all down, it's going to take up too much space. 🙂 And my hubby Jamie too has his little imperfections which I don't think would be nice for me to reveal in public space. 🙂 The way we have been able to live harmoniously, at least 90% of the time is to embrace these imperfections, and these imperfections will even grow on us.

Ok, I will let you in on a little secret. I drool when I sleep. YES, I DO! Some of you might be thinking… "EEEKKKSS!" I know, I know… I wish I could find a way to stop this. But apparently, it has to do with the structure of my mouth. Anyway, Jamie can either complain about how my drool is all over the pillows, or he could create a cute little pet name for me based on this imperfection. 🙂 I am sure you can guess what he did.

So here you have it, my 3 little secrets to a happy marriage:

1. Choosing the Right Mate

2. Agreeing on Money Matters Early

3. Embracing Each Other's Imperfections

If you are married, what are you own little secrets? Do share them with us! 🙂

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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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