“Violet, why are you SO desperate?”

I dreamt of getting married by the age of 26.

Yes, when I was growing up, that was my goal. To get married by the time I am 26, and to have my first child when I am 28.

I am very blessed… when I finally got married, I actually 'beat' my goal by a year. Jamie and I got married when I was 25 and he was 29. And among our friends, we are one of the few that so-called 'married young'.

Why did I have a target to marry by 26 years old?

Come to think about it… I am not sure. Perhaps I grew up in a family where my parents are deeply in love, and have a stable marriage. I am sure they have their set of marital challenges like everybody else, but they managed to ride through the storms and they provided me with a happy and secure family environment.

Having such a goal since young, I have never been shy to share this goal with people whom I know or guys whom I am dating seriously. I know, I know… some people would ask,

"Aren't you afraid that guys would run away?"

"Aren't you afraid that guys would think that you are desperate to get married?"

"Violet, why are you SO desperate?"

In life, we all have goals and dreams. And at the beginning of every year, we will often set new year resolutions… setting our goals for the upcoming year. And since we can set goals for our career, our health, our travel plans… in other words every single aspect of our lives, why can't we set a goal for our lifelong happiness?

Why are we so afraid to be termed as 'desperate'? Why are we so scared to declare our true intentions? Why are we so worried that we cannot even set our own rules? Instead, we're being ruled by what others want. And some of us are so afraid that we will even go out of our way to tell others… "I don't really need to get married…" when deep down, that's what you truly and deeply yearn for.

With everything in life, you will not succeed unless you have a dream, a strong belief and an action plan.

If you do not even dream of getting married, why would you end up being married?

If you do not believe you would ever be able to get married, chances are you won't.

And you can dream and believe all you want, but if you do not do anything about it, then it's highly unlikely your dream girl or prince charming would just fall from the sky.

Life is short. Do not spend time worrying about what others might think of you or say about you. You cannot please everyone, and neither should you. Do what you think is right. If you are not going to 'fight' for your own happiness, nobody will.

My wish for you in 2012…

For those who are single and looking… be bold. Dare to dream and set a goal for your lifelong happiness. It might not happen overnight or it might not even happen in the year 2012, but if you have a dream that you truly believe in, and you work towards your goal, you can only be one step closer to finding love.

For those who are in a relationship not sure where it is heading… be courageous. What was your dream? Was it to get married by the time you are 26, 28, 30 or 35 years old? Whatever it was, put your foot down and declare your intention. The right guy or girl would not run. Yes you heard me right. He or she might feel very uncomfortable or even scared, but the right person would not bolt. If he or she quits on you, then he or she was never the right one to begin with.

For those who are in happy and fulfilling relationships… be thankful. I am really glad that you have made the right choice. Treasure and cherish your partner for you are truly blessed to have found one another. :)

To my dearest readers, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful year ahead!

If you feel that this post might benefit your single friends who are looking for love, please tweet it or share it on Facebook. 😉 Thank you in advance!

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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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“It was not love at first sight…”

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

The answer given by singles is often the same.

"No chemistry."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Violet Lim

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

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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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What is your Dating Mission Statement?

When meeting up with potential clients, I will ask them what they are looking for in a potential partner.

Must be attractive. Big eyes. Slim.

Tall, broad shoulders, extroverted, must make me laugh.

These are just some examples of basic dating preferences.

Many a times, when singles list down their ‘I-Want’ list, it is based on things that would spark off infatuation, or chemistry. The things that make our hearts race.

However, the truth of the matter is, infatuation lasts, on average, 3 to 12 months. When the chemical reaction in our brain subsides after a year or so, you begin to see your partner in a different light. All of a sudden, the things you used to think was really endearing becomes really annoying.

And you suddenly realise that you do not even know this person. You have nothing in common. You have nothing to talk about.

People often say, it is different when you are looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend vs. when you are looking for a husband/wife. I believe that there is some truth to that.

When you are looking to spend the rest of your life with someone, we are looking for long term qualities.

For some, the question might be, “Is he reliable and dependable? Is he patient and kind?”

For others, it could be, “Would she be a supportive wife and a nurturing mother to our children?”

And a very important question to ask, “Do we get along well? Can I imagine him or her as my best friend?”

After all, a good marriage should be friendship on fire or friendship magnified.

What is your list of traits and characteristics that you want in your long-term partner? Most companies have a mission statement. Lunch Actually’s mission statement reads:

Lunch Actually exists to create a solution for single busy professionals who do not have the right environment to meet other like-minded people as a result of their busy and hectic work environment.

We believe that every individual deserves love, respect and companionship. Thus we strive to create supreme value and provide immaculate service to address the needs of the people we serve.

Jamie and I created this mission statement to remind ourselves why we started this business in the first place. Because in business and life, sometimes, you will lose your way. And you will forget, what was the purpose of it all?

Same with finding love.

What is your dating mission statement?

What are the traits you are looking for in your long-term partner? Ponder upon it. It would be even more powerful if you could write it down. Because along the way, you might be swayed by your biological and short-term needs. These short-term needs unfortunately do little to contribute to the success of a long-term relationship.

You might ask me at this point.

“Violet, why can’t we have it all? Someone who will fulfill our short-term biological needs as well as our long-term relationship needs. “

Of course that would be most ideal. But when we are searching for a partner, we make our choices, and others make their choices as well. He/she is your cup of tea, but you might not be theirs. And at the end of the day, do we want to be going around in circles and never meeting the right one, when the right one could be just right under our nose?

When I was looking for a potential partner, I thought I definitely wanted someone who is muscular, extroverted, and the life of the party. Those who know my hubby Jamie would know that he is anything but those criteria. I was looking out for my short-term biological needs when I put down those criteria. Muscular and well-built so I feel secure and protected. Extroverted would suggest that he’s fun to be with.

But when it comes down to it, all of these are not important because he might not be much of a talker in front of others, we can talk and talk and talk. 9 years after we first met, we still spend hours talking to each other every day. Does not matter he might not come across as the most witty and fun person, but we sure have lots of fun hanging out with each other.

And I am definitely very different from his initial list of ‘I-Want’. You can ask him to share them with you when you meet him.

So, what is your dating mission statement?

Are you looking for a short-term biological relationship?

Or someone whom you can share the rest of your life with?

Happy contemplating!

P/S For my readers who are already dating, or happily married, do you have any related stories to share?

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Violet Lim

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

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Looking Back at 2008…

Dearest Friends,

We have come to the end of the year 2008. In another 7 hours or so, we will be ushering in 2009.

It’s quite funny, I was looking back at my goals that I set for 2008, and I have to say that I have not been very successful in fully implementing most of them. There are some health goals, personal development goals and spiritual goals.

In terms of health goals, I wanted to take up yoga this year. Well, I did sign up for a class, which I did not manage to attend most of the time. Then I signed up for a yoga membership! (Yes, I never learn…) And then, I got pregnant, and decide to defer it till next year. So, I still have not advanced very far in that goal.

And in terms of the business goals, truth is… I am quite happy with our ‘report card’ this year…

1. Launch of Matchmaking Institute, South East Asia, and have run 3 courses so far.

2. Launch of ADAMS (Association of Dating Agencies and Matchmakers of Singapore).

3. Launch of LUNCH Actually, Hong Kong! This is like a dream that I have had ever since we started LUNCH Actually… to eventually go regional, and this is our first step!

4. Having lunch with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana! :) Wow… I wonder if I would ever get such a chance if I was not in the dating & matchmaking industry.

5. Jamie & I were one of the Honourees for Spirit of Enterprise Award 2008.

6. Both LUNCH Actually & Eteract.com were among the pioneer batch to be accredited by the Government’s SDU Trustmark. LUNCH Actually received CASETrust Accreditation.

7. Attended quite a number of clients’ weddings, sharing in their bliss and happiness. And knowing that there are LUNCH Actually babies out there, and more on the way…!

And yet, it just never feels good enough.

I was quite down for a while yesterday, when I spoke to a single lady in her late 30s. I know that based on her profile and preferences, I am not able to sign her up as a member, because many guys in our database are looking for younger ladies. I explained the situation to her, but she got quite upset with me. And after I put down the phone, I was quite sad. I am upset because after 5 years in the industry, I am still not able to help these older ladies. I wonder if we ever can…

In terms of personal development goals, I wanted to complete my Advanced Communicator Silver for Toastmasters, but unfortunately I did not get very far. I did take part in the Humorous Speech Contest this year, and got as far as the Division Level. And… I forgot my speech half way. Stood there for 30 seconds. And then recovered. Can you believe it? I did not forget my speech at Club or Area Level, but it had to happen at the Division Level! :) Nonetheless, it was a good learning experience, and I learnt a lot from the more accomplished speakers.

The one goal that I have set, and I felt that I have accomplished is my spiritual goal. Last year, at about this time, Jamie and I decided to start attending church again. And our goal was to attend church regularly. Apart from some missing weeks here and there, we are on track. I must say Jamie and I have benefited so much from God’s Grace this year. Many times, we are tasked with facing difficult decisions or challenges, and God has answered all our prayers.

Many have predicted 2009 to be a challenging year in terms of the economic outlook.

I am preparing myself for an interesting year ahead. I am optimistic and I believe that there would be even more opportunities out there for us to reach out to more singles and help them find their happiness. 2009 is also the year that Jamie and I will be welcoming a new addition to our family. :) Did I tell you my Babe kisses my tummy now when I ask him to ‘sayang’ (love) his Mei-mei? Oh ya, we are expecting a girl! :)

As this year comes to a close, I would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you the kind souls who have made a big difference in my life this year.

My ever-doting parents who give unconditionally. My in-laws & my extended family for their support, especially with Babe when Jamie and I are at work. Yin Yin & Vincent for being so wonderful and supportive, and walking with my parents’ in their journey with Christ. My girlfriends, you know who you are, for lending a listening ear, for believing in my dreams, and simply letting me be me. My team at LUNCH Actually & Eteract for working so hard throughout the year.

And… as always, I save the best for last… :) My dearest husband, without you, I will not be able to accomplish half of what I have done this year. You are truly my inspiration, my unwavering supporter, my pillar of strength. Thank you for putting up with my ups and downs, my crazy mood swings, my PMSes. I know you already know this, but I can never say it often enough… I love you!

To all my dearest friends and readers out there, Happy New Year! May the new year brings you much joy, laughter and happiness! :)

Love, Violet

P/S A new poll is up, go vote! :)

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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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Lovely News… A Reminder of Why I Love What I Do :)

Had a call from a local magazine today. They are looking for ladies who have found love in their 30s. So, they wanted my help to check with our clients if they are willing to be interviewed.

It was a good opportunity for me to catch up with our married clients. Called up one of our lady clients who got married earlier this year… let’s call her M. It was really nice to touch base with her. So I told her about the story angle, and asked if she was willing to be interviewed and photographed for the magazine. She gamely agreed. I also told her that it is not necessary for her to tell the magazine how she and hubby met, as many of our clients would prefer not to let people know that they met through a dating agency.

Then M actually said, “I don’t mind!” Wow! Then she asked me if she can bring her own clothes. I told her I am not too sure, as sometimes the magazine might prepare clothes for the shoot, but I will check. And that was when she told me the extremely GOOD NEWS…

“Oh, it’s because I am pregnant!”

Wow! I was like so happy. Another Lunch Actually baby. :)

When people ask me, “Don’t you sometimes get tired of your profession? Why are you so passionate about what you do? Why this business of all business?”

This is the reason… I think there are not many jobs in the world where you can have a ‘direct’ hand in helping someone find happiness, and help bring a child to this world.

Can’t wait to see the photos of the baby! :) Happy happy happy!

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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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Not ‘Single, Desperate & Ugly’ at all!

Did I tell you that I have been invited to another wedding recently? Two of our clients got married.

And it was a real grand affair. It was held at one of the poshest (is there such a word?) hotel in Singapore. And we are reallly happy for them, because they are such nice people, and as time goes by, we have actually become friends. :)

What struck me as really interesting at this particular client’s wedding is this…

Usually, when I go for client’s wedding, I will always keep a low profile. I will avoid speaking to people on my table. Or even when they make small talk, I will reply very politely, and not seek to prolong the conversation. The reason is very simple. I do not want to tell people that I am a matchmaker, or I run a dating service, and risk them drawing the direct conclusion that the couple met through us. Our clients usually prefer for people not to know how they actually meet, and I respect their decision. It is not my place to ‘advertise’ or ‘market’ our business. We are happy to just be there to bask in their happiness and their joy.

I always joke about it with Jamie… if people ask… I will say I am a housewife, and he will say that he is in the IT business. 

So anyway, back to this particular wedding dinner. Right at the start of the wedding dinner, the groom came over to the table and say… “I put you guys at this table because I think you guys are of the same wavelength and will be able to do some networking as well,” and I politely smiled. And he proceeded to say, “Please meet Jamie and Violet, they run a very successful dating agency, Lunch Actually!” And my smile froze, not knowing how to react. He introduced the rest, and then left to entertain his other guests. I was very worried during the entire dinner that people at my table were going to ask the question…

“So… did they meet through you guys?”

And it did not help that one of the groom’s friend on our table actually knew that the bride and groom met through us. And kept saying things like… “So Violet, I am sure you are invited to many wedding dinners?” And gave me this knowing smile. I really felt like throwing Fried Rice at him.

But you know what was the most amazing thing?

Nobody on the table even suspected. Not one.

And then I suddenly realised why.

Because the bride and the groom are so eligible. The bride is beautiful. She’s definitely someone you would classify as above average, if not gorgeous. Someone that guys would definitely look twice. And the groom is successful and talented.

And that was the reason, that it never come across anybody’s mind that they actually met through a dating service.

Because people always have the impression that people who go to dating services are ‘single, desperate and ugly!’

And this couple is definitely far from being ‘single, desperate and ugly’.

I just thought that was quite an interesting experience. And perhaps from now on, I can stop saying that I am a housewife, even though that is my secret ambition… haha! 😉 

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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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Spirit of Enterprise 2008 Award | Your vote counts! ;)

Dearest Readers,

Jamie and I have been nominated for a Singaporean award that aims to encourage entrepreneurial spirit. After sending out 10,000 dates, having 85% of these dates being rated as satisfactory to excellent, having been the matchmaker of close to 30 marriages and more than 80 couples in the last 4.5 years, we are extremely honored and excited about this nomination. J

You can read the interview here – http://www.soe.org.sg/files/interview2008.php?i=180&a=&c=&year=2008

Out of the 145 nominees, only 43 will be selected as honorees, and the 43 nominees with the highest votes will be selected. J

So, if you like what you read OR you think we are doing a great job helping people get together OR you are a really supportive friend OR you simply love us, please register as a voter here http://www.soe.org.sg/sg/voterregistration.php and vote for us. The entire process will take you less than 5 minutes.

Thank you very much for your support! :)

Sincerely,

Violet

P/S: We would be very grateful if you could forward the links to your friends as well, thanks!

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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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