I was asked this question recently during an interview with a research student.

“Do you subscribe to 2 different views on love, dating and relationships? Your personal view? And a professional view when you run Lunch Actually?”

I have to admit, that question totally stumped me. I never really thought about it, until then.

She said this thought was sparked after reading what I wrote about an exchange I had with my dearest hubby.

And what she said got me thinking…

Do I have 2 different view points on love? If yes, what are they?

On Dating & Relationships

When it comes to dating and relationships, personally, I am definitely not a Rules girl. I think I have broken every single rule there is. Never make the first move. Check. Never call the guy after the date. Check. Never spend hours talking on the phone revealing your inner self within the first month. Check. Never ask question to check on status of relationship unless he brings it up. Check. And, the list goes on.

Yet when it comes to sharing dating tips, I would sometimes share with ladies to not be overtly aggressive or eager. The reason? Because I know of many men who have given feedback that they prefer to do the chasing. They immediately get put off when the lady is too eager.

Am I contradicting myself?

If I am, it is because I have been told that not many men can ‘take it’ – i.e. the lady makes the first move. It would make the guy feel that the lady has lower value, hence he would lose interest. If you ask me personally, I think if a guy feels that way, then he probably is not worth your time. Or both of you are just never meant to be. When I said that, I am then told that it is ‘scientific’. It is how attraction works…

Hmm… but… I am blissfully married to the guy whom I broke all the rules with. And I know of some other girlfriends who did the same thing, and they too are happily married.

And then, it suddenly occured to me that it is about the type of guys whom you are dating. There are some guys who are more on the introverted or passive side. They are ok with ladies making the first move. It will not bruise their ego. Actually, they welcome the opportunity to get to know you better.

So with these guys, it is ok if you give them a little more push. But not all guys are like that. This probably would not work if the guy is very extroverted, and is often the livewire of the party. 🙂

On Love

I have to say, I am a romantic. I weep while watching romantic comedy, even if I am watching it for the 15th time. I read romantic novels, and smudge the pages with my tears. I watch my girlfriend walking down the aisle, and I have to breathe deeply so that my tears do not ruin my makeup.

Yet when it comes to love at first sight? I don’t believe in love at first sight. I believe in instant connection. There are some people that you connect with instantly. And some that you would take time to warm up to. Having said that, about 3 weeks ago, I met a couple who has been married for 14 years and still behave like honeymooners… and they both claim that theirs was a ‘love at first sight’ relationship.

When sharing with clients, I tell them that out of the many couples that we have succesfully matched, less than 10% of them are ‘love at first sight’ stories. Hence, I always advise them to go out on a few more dates if there is nothing they really ‘hate’ about the other party. Remember the story of Mr. & Ms. Laidback?

I also believe that love is a commitment. Because in life’s journey, there are bound to be ups and downs. There are bound to be obstacles and challenges. And sometimes, the last feeling you have for your partner is love. Do you at that point walk away? Or do you stay rooted in the relationship as you have committed to making it work? I am not saying that you should stay on in an abusive relationship… don’t get me wrong.

But if we see love as passion. Or love as excitement. Or love as our partner doing something for us to make us happy. At some point or other, we will be sorely disappointed. What then?

I think this guy summarizes it very well

And suddenly it seems all very clear to me.

Actually, I do not have 2 separate views on love, dating and relationship. My views are congruent and consistent. However, what works for me might not work for each and every one of my members. I cannot impose my personal views on them. When they ask for my opinions, I can share with them my experiences. I will also share with them what some survey results have shown. I will also point them to books written on the subject.

However, in love, there is no right or wrong, no black and white. It is often grey. And perhaps it is the trials and tribulations, the heartaches experience, the journey of self-discovery which makes love the most debated topic on earth…

To me, love is multi-faceted. It is not only a feeling. It is also a process and a commitment. And perhaps it is best described in this famous verse…

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects and always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4