A few months ago, I was invited to be one of the 'consultants' on a local dating reality show. As I have heard so much about dating reality shows abroad, I was really interested and excited to be part of a local dating show. The show turned out to be 'Love in Progress'!

I will be featured as a dating consultant on 5 of the 10 episodes, where I will be giving dating tips and advice to the singles prior to their first date, as well as during the date. This is actually something that is fun for me, as we do not get the chance to observe or 'spy on' the dates that we arrange for our clients at Lunch Actually. In this filming situation, I actually get to 'eavesdrop' on the date, and give constructive feedback as we go along! 

I plan to give my comments and insights on each and every episode so that it would give my readers as well as the viewers who are single on how they can maximise their chances of finding Mr or Ms Right. As I am quite busy with work and business travel, my blog posts might not be as frequent as I would like them to be. Please do bear with me. 🙂

My First Impression of The Contestants

Madelyn: Her first appearance on the TV screen was quite striking. She was wearing the shortest dress among the the girls, and her dress is quite low-cut as well. Coupled with a confident strut, she comes across as a girl who knows what she wants. My advice: For ladies, it is better to go for a more feminine and elegant look for a first date. Revealing too much skin on a first date is not such a good idea as it might give the guy a wrong impression. It is good to be straightforward rather than beat around the bush. However, if the girl comes across as too aggressive and always needing to have the last say, guys would find that off-putting. Remember, you are on a date, not a debate.

Chanel: Chanel might not be the prettiest, but she came across as friendly and approachable. Her dressing is also chic and trendy. Even though it was an asymmetrical top that reveals her shoulder, it is not overtly sexy. My advice: It is not necessary true that the most beautiful girl will finish first, and the plain girl will finish last. So, if you have always felt like a plain Jane most of your life, do not dismay. Often, it is about being kind, friendly and having a ready smile. 

Siew Jing: Among the three ladies, Siew Jing comes across as the most gentle and feminine, which should work in her favour as men in generally prefer ladies who are not too aggressive. However, Siew Jing is so quiet in most of the show that she ended up being like a wallflower. My advice: First impressions are made in minutes if not seconds. It is important that you make a lasting impression to your date. You can either make a good impression, bad impression, or worse… no impression. You do not need to hog the conversation, but you do need to speak up to get noticed.

Zi Han: He came across as someone who is stable, matured and knowledgeable. As a guy, this is a good impression to convey on a first date as women like men who are driven and know where they are heading. My only gripe about Zi Han is his choice of shirt during the initial meeting. He was wearing a mustard yellow shirt that does not complement his skin tone at all. It made him look very sallow. My advice: One of the best investments we can make for ourselves is to find out the colours and styles that suit us best. The easiest way is to work with an image consultant. This does not only help us in our dating journey; it would also help us in our career as we would be making the best first impression every time.

Albert: At first glance, Albert seems like the most eligible out of the three male contestants. He is tall, he has a corporate look and he was dressed in a light jacket. (Note: Albert was eventually not chosen as the final two due to other factors.) My advice: I know that in Singapore and Malaysia, the weather is really hot, and we do not have a 'jacket culture'. However, men always instantly look smarter in a jacket, and just by putting on a jacket, you would be perceived as having a better career or have a higher earning potential. Hence, invest in a casual jacket that you can pair with your slacks or your jeans when the occasion calls for it.

Kok Liang: My first impression of Kok Liang is that he is rather skinny, and he tends to hunch. In terms of his dressing, his style is young and trendy. Generally, he comes across as someone who is very young and not very confident, which is not an advantage when it comes to dating. However, Kok Liang makes up for it by coming across as someone who is friendly, sincere and down-to-earth. My advice: For younger guys, you can appear more matured by choosing dress shirts that are thicker, wearing glasses or even just by changing your hairstyle. It is also about how you speak and the way you carry yourself. By speaking in a lower and deeper voice with a more measured pace, you instantly come across as more matured and confident. 

One-on-One Date: Chanel with Zi Han

I thought Zi Han's choice of gift for Chanel was really refreshing. Rather than just buying flowers or chocolates which are typical presents for a first date, he actually presented her with a Princess Barbie Doll in addition to a small bouquet. It was a brave move as some girls might not be into dolls at this age. But Zi Han made the right choice as Chanel absolutely loved it, and you must see her swoon when he said, "I want to treat you like a princess…"

Zi Han shared with me that he actually prepared a magic trick to surprise Chanel with. However, he did not manage to practise it as much as he would like to, and he was worried that he might make a fool of himself, hence at the end he did not show her the magic trick. 

My advice: Girls in general like surprises. We want to know that you have been thinking about us, and you are willing to make an effort to make us happy. When you buy presents, put some thought into it, just like Zi Han did. 🙂 And also, girls are generally quite forgiving. I think Chanel would have appreciated the magic trick even if it had turn awry, because it is really the thought that counts. 🙂

One-on-One Date: Chanel with Kok Liang

Kok Liang made a good choice with the setting up of an outdoor date. From the beginning, you could see that both Chanel and Kok Liang were feeling very relaxed and happy.

I thought it was a bit corny that Kok Liang cut out the crust of the bread from the sandwich, and told Chanel that, "You eat the bread, and I will eat the crust…", but it actually worked! Haha! 🙂 Chanel was actually really touched. I applaud Kok Liang as it is evident that he has put in a lot of effort into preparing for a 'mini picnic'. Kok Liang might not be as highly educated as the other two (he is an ITE grad), but his sincerity and his earnestness really shone through.

The theme of photography throughout the date was also a brilliant move. Chanel was all giggly and had lots of fun during the date as she wanted to learn more about photography from Kok Liang.

My advice: After the initial meet up, when planning your next date, do consider going for an outdoor date. It would immediately put both of you at ease, and you can also learn more about each other in a different environment. For guys, learn to play up your strengths or talents. Back to Kok Liang… during the date, he would share with Chanel about photography, and you could instantly see Chanel being more attracted to him as she saw him as someone who is knowledgeable and someone whom she could look up to.

So the big question is of course… who did Chanel choose at the end? 

Well, you have go watch the show to find out! 🙂

Click here to watch Episode 1 -> http://video.xin.msn.com/browse/catch-up-tv/love-in-progress#