To Be Chivalrous or Not

Was invited to be a panelist on a TV Forum on Channel News Asia – “Maybe Baby” recently.

And one of the issues brought up was… our guys could be more chivalrous, or ‘gentlemanly’. One lady related that there was a time she was about to walk through these glass doors carrying heavy bags, and nobody offered to keep the doors open for her. I can relate to these incidents. When I am overseas, and I am standing in an elevator, chances are one of the guys will keep the doors open, and wait for me to walk out first. It rarely happens in Singapore or Malaysia for that matter.

Actually, I don’t think that our guys are less nice compared to their overseas counterparts. It is a lot more about awareness. Sometimes, they are just not aware of the social etiquette that is expected of them. Or maybe they grew up in a very MCP environment where the mother waits on the father. Or maybe they are confused. Since we women have been asking for sexual equality. I think our guys definitely will be more chivalrous if they made aware of what the ladies are looking out for.

Just to give you an example, my personal story. My dad has always made it a point to walk on the side of the road where the traffic is coming from. When I first started going out with my hubby, I realised that he does not do that all the time. I pointed it out to him, and ever since, he has always made the effort to switch sides with me. :)

During the forum, one of the other panelists voiced her opinion on this issue. I am paraphrasing her. I cannot remember her exact words. She said that what should really matter is not whether he opens the door for you, but whether he stays up with you through the night when your child is sick. All these so-called chivalrous acts like opening the door and pulling out the chair are just scratching the surface. I definitely understand where she is coming from.

But there is a big problem.

Nowadays, when people date, they do not have the opportunity to delve deeper to know whether the guy will stay up through the night to look after the baby. You probably only have the luxury if you get to know the guy from school/university where you can observe through various activities. Or maybe, if you have met through a charity activity.

Nowadays, ladies can only observe the things that the guys do OR don’t do during the date. And from them deduce whether they would like to meet him again for a second date. One of my clients used to wear slippers to his dates. He definitely is the type of guy that would stay up for the baby. But most ladies would already be put off by his sloppy dressing on the first date! Never mind wanting to get to know him better! Luckily, after our ‘coaching’, he dressed better for his dates, and he is now happily married.

Ladies, what do you think? Do chivalrous acts matter?

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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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Music and Lyrics, what comes First?

I have not written about love for months. Those of you who are my faithful readers might have realized that. Well, it is not that “I am all out of love”, but I just have not had the opportunity to sit down, be inspired to write.

Recently, hubby and I caught up on our movie marathon. You know, we love to watch movies. And before babe come along, we used to be frequent patrons of the cinema. Action, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy, war, romance comedy, slapstick – you name it, we are up for it. Well, apart from horror… haha! I do not want to waste $10 on 2 hours of hiding behind my hands. Ok, the truth is out. I am those people who would hide behind a pillow when watching horror movies on TV. Haha!

Ok, sorry to digress. So, we watched a romance comedy that I have always wanted to watch… Music and Lyrics starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. How much better can you get? Both stars are like romance comedy naturals. Remember Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Love Actually? And Drew Barrymore in Ever After, Never been kissed, 50 First Dates? They were brilliant in those movies. I rest my case.

I have pretty high expectations for the show. And I was not disappointed. The storyline was believable, the music was great, the acting was good, and the chemistry between the leads was definitely sizzling.

There was a conversation that really stood out for me in this movie.

Sophie Fisher: A melody is like seeing someone for the first time. The physical attraction. Sex.
Alex Fletcher: I so get that.
Sophie Fisher: But then, as you get to know the person, that’s the lyrics. Their story. Who they are underneath. It’s the combination of the two that makes it magic.

For a memorable song. Music and lyrics. Definitely inseparable.

I have been asked many times. Violet, how do I choose the right one?

We might not want to admit it, but many of us are guilty of this. We choose purely based on the music. It is that which hooks us in and attract our attention. And you know the worst thing? We are actually programmed to be attracted to a certain type of “music”.

And as humans, we are quick to make first impressions. If the “music” is not right, we are quick to write off the song immediately.

I have begun to realize that Drew Barrymore is right. Music without beautiful lyrics just does not cut it for me anymore. A song can never be truly unforgettable unless the lyrics have touched my soul. And often, I am attracted to a song not for its music, but because of its inspiring, enduring and uplifting lyrics.

Music first? Or lyrics first?

Choose wisely.

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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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Inter-faith relationships, do they work?

Dear Violet, I recently met this nice, wonderful girl. You could say she is perhaps the dream girl I have been waiting for all these while.But there is a catch here: she is a staunch Christian and it is important for her to find someone who shares the same beliefs and values as her. The problem is, I am not a Christian but I do not mind whatever faith the girl believes in. But the same cannot be said about her.

What should I do?

Sincerely, K

Dear K,

Thank you for your email!

This is a tricky one. There is no quick and fast solution. As a believer myself, I can understand where your girl is coming from. Especially, if she is a staunch Christian, I think it is probably very important for her to share her life with someone who is of a similar faith and has similar religion depth.

A few questions for you – are you open to finding out more about her religion? And are you open to subsequently converting to her religion when you are ready? If the answers to these questions are YES, then I think there is a higher chance that things could work out between the both of you.

However, like in any relationships, it takes two hands to clap. Is your girl willing to wait for you to find out more about her religion with the potential of accepting Christ one day? If she expects that the person whom she dates MUST be a Christian to start off with, I would say that it is difficult for you to change her mind.

There are many inter-faith relationships that have worked out. However, it is based on the common understanding that the couple accepts each other’s faith. There have also been cases where one party eventually converts to the other’s religion as well… but it must be of the person’s own free will of course!

To conclude, from my personal experience of working with clients of different belief systems… it is not easy to convince someone to date out of their religion preference, and I don’t believe we should persuade people to do so as well because religion is a very personal decision. And even if they reluctantly agree at this point, they would more often than not change their mind subsequently. 

All the best, and may things work out for you!

Sincerely, Violet

P/S: Dear readers, do you have any personal experiences or advice to share with K? Please feel free to comment! :)

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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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