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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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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Ms Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #4: THE Makeover

 

Some of my lady clients at Lunch Actually simply refuse to believe me when I tell them,

"There are no ugly women, only lazy women…!"

Hence, I was extremely excited to find out that 4 of us (Elaine, Geck Geck, Gin and I) would be undergoing a makeover by Celebrity Stylist Celia Wong! Celia is a well-known stylist in Hong Kong and she has worked with stars such as Kelly Chen and she has also been featured in various magazines.

Our first stop was of course Celia's store/office somewhere at Causeway Bay. The name is cute! dada! 🙂

Celia started out by asking us about our preferred style and our objective for the makeover. For me, I told her that my usual dress style is 'corporate', so I would like to try something different… perhaps something more 'lifestyle'. And I did share with her that my favourite colour is purple.

She got to work really quickly, and chose a purple dress for me. But subsequently, she felt that the dress might not be the best choice, so she chose a second attire for me. I must honestly say that what she has chosen for me is not what I normally would wear… but I guess that's what a makeover is all about right? 🙂

Here's the 'BEFORE' photo, courtesy of Alvin from omy.sg.

Actually, that's not really the 'BEFORE' photo since I had some light makeup on. The following is really the 'BEFORE" photo… after my makeup artist Anita from Make Up For Ever Academy has wiped away the makeup from my face. 😉

As you can see from the BIG grin on my face, I am rather pleased with the make up!

I am so amazed by how BIG she has made my eye appear! I really believe that makeup can do wonders! However, that did take about 1.5 hours though… 🙂

And the 'Finished Product'?

What do you think? 🙂 I am still not sure if this is something I would wear on a regular basis, but it's good to know how I would look in something more frilly and feminine. 🙂

And the team that made it all happen! Celia and Anita!

And here I am, with the rest of the girls – Geck Geck, Gin & Elaine, together with Celia. Photo courtesy of Elaine.

Actually, I have done quite a number of makeovers in the past when I am interviewed by some magazines. But this is the first time that I have had the chance to capture the 'Before' and 'After' process. And I am so happy to share these shots with you.

I hope this has proven once and for all that by spending some time and effort, we can all look absolutely gorgeous and beautiful! 🙂

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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 Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #3: My Love Affair with the Fragrant Harbour

The truth is, I have found this trip to HK rather challenging to blog about.

The reason is… I am not really sure I can be classified as a tourist… and the trip is sponsored by the Hong Kong Tourism Board after all! 🙂

Prior to the trip, I asked my HK friend, "Hey, what are the attractions I should check out in HK? I am going as a tourist this time!"

My HK friend replied, "唔好讲笑啦!你係四份之一个香港人哦!" In other words, she's saying, "Stop kidding me! You are a quarter of a Hong Konger!"

Erm, I guess she's not wrong. I actually go to HK once a month because we have a HK branch.

Come to think about it, HK and I go a long, long way back…

My "love affair" with the fragrant harbour HK started when I was 5 years old. That was my first overseas trip, and my parents brought me to HK for a vacation. Looking at the photos, I had a blast at Ocean Park!

My first trip to HK without my parents was when I was 17 years old. And that was the first time I stayed in a HK condominium. It was indeed an eye opener! I have been told that Hong Kongers rarely would invite friends to stay in their homes. The reason is not that they are not hospitable or not friendly. The reason is because they do not have space in their homes! My friend's place is probably quite big compared to the normal standard, but compared to my home in Malaysia (where land is not as 'precious' as in HK), it is really rather tiny. I remembered my friend's kitchen… after both of us squeeze into it, there's hardly any more space for a third person!

And finally, when I turned 28 years old, my dream of working in Hong Kong finally came true! After my numerous visits to HK where I enjoyed myself so much, I told myself, "One day, I want to work in HK!" Having quit my job in 2004, I was not too sure how I was going to fulfill this dream. The opportunity presented itself when we decided to set up a Lunch Actually branch in HK, having done our market research that there is a demand for a modern dating service in HK! And that was when I started my monthly visits to HK.

What do I love about HK you might ask…

There are so many things that I love, and here's just among the top 5 things I love about HK!

1. The Energy and The Vibrancy of the City

If there is a city that never sleeps, it has to be Hong Kong! Many shops in the shopping belt are opened till 10pm or 11pm. When you walk around Causeway Bay or Tsim Sha Tsui, you will feel like it's 8pm when in fact it's already 11pm! There are still lots of people walking around or out shopping! Some people find the city claustrophobic. But I love the hustle and bustle of the city. I like the fact that people go around with a sense of purpose and urgency. I expected to take 4 months to set up our HK branch, but it only took us 2.5 months, and I think a big part of it is attributed to how fast and efficient the Hong Kongers are!

2. The Cantonese Language

My mother tongue is not English, nor is it Mandarin, it is actually Cantonese! My dialect group is Hakka, but because my mum does not speak Hakka, we ended up speaking Cantonese at home. Do you know that as compared to Mandarin, Cantonese might be even more difficult to learn because Mandarin only has 4 different sounds (or some may say 5), but Cantonese has 9 different sounds! When I come to HK, I feel as if I am home… because everybody speak Cantonese! And when I connect with people in Cantonese, I just feel instantly closer to them! 🙂

3. The Tram or better known as 'Ding Ding' to the locals

The tram system on HK island is convenient and affordable. In fact, it's extremely cheap! You can get from one end of the island to the other end with HKD2. Yes! That works out to 40 cents in SGD! I love to take the tram especially in the winter months. The cold wind will be blowing on your face while the tram saunters through the new and the old Hong Kong. I remember telling my friend how much I love taking the tram. And she said, "我睇你叮啲几耐!" (Let's see how long you can take the tram!) Haha, and she's right! Because when the summer months come by, it becomes extremely hot and humid and I do not advise you to take the tram then, unless you want to have a free sauna treat!

4. The Desserts

HK is a food paradise, no doubt about it. But more specifically, it is a desserts haven! If you are a mango lover, you have to check out 《许留山》which serves delicious mango-themed desserts! You cannot miss it because its branches are spread all across town. Another of my favourite haunts is 《满记》(Honeymoon Dessert) which has absolutely amazing durian pancakes! And if you enjoy milk-based desserts, I love the 双皮奶 (double skin milk pudding) at 《杏花楼》. I always have it when I am in HK! 🙂

5. A City of Contrast

If you love contrast, you will love HK. It is a city where you can have a delicious and fulfilling meal by spending either HKD30 or HKD3000. You can admire the amazing skyscrapers or enjoy the serenity of its mountains. You can go clubbing at Lan Kwai Fong or enjoy a relaxing day at the beach at Stanley. You can shop at Prada, Gucci, LV and the likes or you can hunt for a bargain at Temple Street or Ladies Market! The options and opportunities are endless and in my opinion, that is what makes this city always exciting and intriguing.

You will always think that you have it all figured out, and then it will throw you yet another surprise!

And that is why HK is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world.

What about you? What would make it to your top 5 list for Hong Kong?

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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 Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #2: Discovering our Not-So-Humble Abode…

 

As the saying goes, 'a picture speaks a thousand words'… I shall let the photos do the talking…!

 

We were warmly welcomed at the airport. Our transport for the next few days will be the minivan! 🙂 From the airport to the hotel, managed to capture some street scene of HK!

When we arrived at The Mira (the gorgeous hotel that we are putting up for the next 3 nights, we were warmly welcomed by their hospitality team.

 

And when I got into my room, I was suitably impressed! 🙂

 

And being the gadget-crazy person I am, I simply love all the gadgets in the room! 🙂

1) Do you see the mobile phone below? It's a mobile phone that you can bring with you wherever you go and if someone calls you at the hotel, you can pick up the call even though you are out shopping! How cool is that?

2) And there is a super big flat screen which is connected to a PC, and you can use it to go online! 🙂

3) Check out the wireless keyboard. So you can access the Internet from the comfort of your bed!

 

Love the hotel that we are staying in. It's so cozy and comfortable that sometimes, I contemplate staying in rather than going out! 😉

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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 2)

This is the 2nd part to this series. Click here to read the first part of this series.

Secret No. 2: Agreeing on Money Matters Early

This might see like a very practical and non-love related issue, and you might seem surprise that this is my 2nd secret to a happy marriage. 🙂

But do you know that a frequent conflict over finances is a top predictor for divorce? Hence, after choosing the right mate, it is very important that you and your other half actually have very clear expectations about money matters. 

Even before I got married or met Jamie, I knew that when I get married, I would like for my husband and I to have combined finances. I think this has a lot to do with my upbringing. My parents both have their own small businesses. However, they pool all their resources together. I still can vividly remember that whenever my dad comes home with the money he has collected from his clients, he would pass all his money to my mum for safekeeping, and would only keep a small portion for his daily expenses. And I still can remember that when my dad and I go for movies together on Sundays, he would usually ask for money from my mum. For some men, they might be turned off by such a thought. But I knew the reason behind it. My dad knew that my mum was much better at accumulating and saving money. Thus, he passes all his money to her. Hence, even from my earliest memory, I do not recall my parents ever arguing about money, as everything is simply shared.

Therefore, when Jamie and I were dating, I shared with him my financial philosophy. He was rather shocked at first  I must say. But after understanding where I am coming from, the idea eventually grew on him and he eventually agreed to it. Hence, currently, all our accounts are joined. We pool all our resources together. And that is the reason, we do not argue about money. We do not need to decide on who pays for the meal, who pays for the housing installment, or who pays for the kids' education, or how much we have to put towards our joint account (should it be based on who earns more or should it be equal?)

What is his is mine, and what is mine is his. 

Is this something that works for everybody? Probably not.

But the point I am trying to get at is that,

It is very important that you talk about money and agree on certain guidelines before you get married.

Couples who attend pre-marriage counselling would have covered the topic of marriage and finance, but couples who do not attend pre-marriage courses might not really know what they getting themselves into. It is absolutely vital and important to understand each other's values when it comes to money.

Even if you and your partner have different values, it is good to know where both parties are coming from so you can think of ways to resolve potential problems before the problem becomes too big a problem to resolve.

(This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Sign up for my updates using the Subscribe Form on the left sidebar to be informed of the subsequent installments)

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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 Matchmaker’s Guide to Hong Kong #1

Having submitted my blog a month or so ago for the omy's Singapore Blog Awards 2010, I never thought that I would eventually emerge the winner of the 'Most Insightful Blog'! I have checked out the various nominees and eventually the finalists, and I thought that there were definitely many deserving bloggers who would win the award. Hence, when I knew I won, I was like 'Wow… am really blessed!' A big thank you to the organizer – omy.sg, the wonderful panel of judges, as well as all my readers who have been voting for me daily!

Having known that I have won was the FIRST surprise. Knowing what I have won was the SECOND surprise! And boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise! Not only we each receive an ASUS netbook, 10 of us are going on a sponsored trip to Hong Kong, courtesy of the Hong Kong Tourism Board from 23 – 26 July. How generous is that!?!? Now, I understand why so many people turn into full time bloggers! 🙂

Pre-Departure Preparation:

To prepare us for our upcoming trip, omy organised a pre-departure briefing for us on Wednesday where I met up with the 9 other bloggers! 🙂 And today, finally, after putting the kids to bed, I have time to sit down and have a peek into the HK familiarization kit provided by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) after our meeting on Wednesday.

Love the tagline… Hong Kong. Live it. Love it! Especially the word 'LOVE', since I am a matchmaker after all. 😉

Was very happy to see what was inside!

I have been meaning to get a new luggage tag for my new luggage bag, but never found the time to do so.

Inside the paper bag, there was a big folder with all the information, a pen, and a leather luggage tag (which can also double up as a name card holder or a staff pass holder)!

After going "ooh and aah" over the luggage tag, I finally opened the red folder to devour the information provided! They have definitely provided us with lots of 'homework' to do! 😉

When you have a business to run and two kids in toll, what do you do? You start to think out of the box! And voila!

My iPhone to the rescue!

I was amazed to find so many apps based on the search keyword 'Hong Kong'. And some of these apps are actually developed by the Hong Kong Tourism Board!

Here is one of the apps I really like!

When you think of HK, what is the first thing that come to mind?

For me, it's great food! 🙂

HK Delicacies is one of the apps developed by HKTB. And it's divided into 4 different categories – Rice, Congee, Noodles and Rice Noodles. And they are dishes placed on a revolving table, which we see in Chinese restaurants. So on the app itself, you can rotate the table to choose the category you would like to view.

I wanted to share with you one of my favourite HK delicacies…

Yes, and it's none other than Cart Noodles, or better known as 車仔麺!

10 years ago, when I went to HK to visit my friend, she being the wonderful host she is, brought me to expensive restaurants to try out various cuisines e.g. Shanghainese, Japanese etc. And on the last day, she brought me to a simple, humble looking restaurant to try out Cart Noodles, and I declared it the best food I have tasted! She was like, "Aiyoh… I could have saved so much money if I knew earlier!" Haha! 🙂

Anyway, the app even shows you where you can go to try out all these various delicacies recommended by famous personalities in HK!

Looking at all these wonderful delicacies, I am wondering how many KGs I will be putting on when I am in Hong Kong! 🙂

Am really looking forward to see 'Fragrant Harbour' (香港) once again as this will be one of the first trips in a long time where I am in HK for pleasure and not just work!

Looking forward to catch up with all my friends too! So for those of you who are in HK right now, drop me a message if you are free to catch up between 23 – 26 July! 🙂

(This is a mirror post from http://blog.omy.sg/hongkong/)

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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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Singapore Blog Awards 2010: I won! Thanks for your support!

Dearest Readers,

To those of you who have voted for me in the Singapore Blog Awards 2010, a big big thank you to you…! 🙂 

I won!!!

The presentation ceremony was held at Movida, St James Power Station. And by the time I got there, the place was packed. Looking around, I felt rather old… as the crowd looks really young. 🙂

Am really honoured to be the winner as there are some really great blogs being featured in the same category – 'Most Insightful Blog'.

When I first registered for this contest, I had no idea what the prizes are… so this is actually the biggest surprise when I received my prizes…

The prizes consist of:

1) Asus Eee PC Netbook

2) A trip to HK sponsored by Hong Kong Tourism Board

3) A 3 days 2 nights hotel stay in Phuket

I am actually blogging this entry from my new netbook! 🙂 Have always wanted a netbook! 🙂

And am looking forward to the HK trip. I actually agreed to take part in the 'bath tub' race which is part of the dragon boat race. I am not sure what I have gotten myself into! Well, I will definitely blog about it and tell you more.

Anyway, here's one of the few photos I took at the ceremony today. Me holding up my trophy! 🙂

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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.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
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