STUDIES have shown that late marriage is a becoming common phenomenon in modern, developed countries. Singapore, Korea, Japan are three of the worst hit countries in Asia, and Malaysia is fast becoming the infamous 4th. The more developed a country, the higher the mean age for marriage. So where do lonely hearts go? Besides the normal channels of finding love through internet and dating agencies, now there is a new opportunity to “fish” for a partner in the high seas at the upcoming Singles Cruise Asia, happening from Dec 6-10.
The five day event organised Casa de Latinos and Scasia Sdn Bhd will take participants from Singapore to Malaysia, Phuket and back with lots of fun activities and social skills workshops to help participants find their love match.
Date Coach Andrew Chow who will be speaking on social and dating skills at the cruise, said this is the first time they are organising it for singles from 2-3 different countries. “We are confident the content of the programme will give our singles a lot of insight, skills, and knowledge to make more intelligent love decisions in the future.”
Chow who has been a dating coach for five years said it all started in 2005 when he was tasked to manage Singapore government’s campaign – Romancing Singapore. “I see my role not so much as an event organiser, but a life coach to empower people to approach relationship the right way. I was already doing a lot of corporate match making activities like exhibitions and conferences when I started Ideamart in 1994, so doing singles events just require some skills transfer for me.”
Giving frank advice on building lasting relationship, Chow said the golden key is to seek first to understand than be understood, as the qualities of a soul mate involves the connection of Mind, Will and Emotions. “The most importance truth isn’t to “Look for the Right One but Being the Right One.”
It is fair to say one must put in some effort and consistency to succeed in the dating game. Taking time to prepare yourself to be the right person is “sowing”, attracting the right one is the “reaping.” Chow said there is always a time and season for everything, “Start early in life. Meet more people even when you are not actively looking. In certain periods, some things you do will reap more easily than usual. You shouldn’t try too hard, neither should you not try at all. However, do not spend more than 2-3 years on casual dating relationship. If you feel the relationship is going nowhere, it is time to change course.“
Commenting further on the upcoming Single Cruise Asia as an effective platform for singles to meet, Chow said: “Cruise is always associated to romance and wonderful encounters. Imagine spending a few days at high sea with the sun, sand, and surf; the stars and the scent of romance all over like-minded people? With a group of fellow singletons, you get to spend quality time with almost everyone through groups, ice breakers, games, dinners, parties, workshops, etc. It is like having a quality date with so many people over just a few days,
“With an isolated environment and external communication limited, your focus is on people through different programmes. You get the chance to learn great life skills, self-reflection and networking. It is the best possible hybrid situation of a holiday and social interaction opportunity”.
In this Q&A, we find out why Chow is passionate about helping people find their soul mates, and what are the practical steps they can improve their romantic luck.
Q: Do you believe in love at first sight?
Chemistry is a must in any relationship even in business. There must be a certain degree of physical attraction to each other. Having said that, you still need to learn to relate, to nurture and to empower each other in every way. Match making events are just a channel. People need to take ownership of their destiny and build on the relationship. The return on investment for love is either zero or infinite. You can’t love without the risk of being hurt. There will be pain as there will be gain. No one is too old to look for love. As long as you know there is someone out there for you, you must keep searching.
Q: If there are many fishes in the ocean, why is it a challenge to find a soul mate?
The abundance of choices make decision making for a life partner difficult. Most people do not have a true objective perception of themselves. When they do not know what they want, they end up wasting time dating the wrong person over extended period of time. Another reason is the concept of comfort zone. Some people say: “When it comes, it comes!” Singles need to be more proactive or nothing much will happen in their social life.
Q: How effective are dating agencies?
There are many experts in our fields coaching singles what to do on dates, how to impress and when to ask the right questions etc. While all these are good, they only help to break the ice and create a good first impression. However, what comes after that? Many of us are not taught how to maintain a good relationship, how to communicate, how to choose a partners, how to help each other with blind spots. Most singles will quit once they experience first sign of conflict in their relationship; and this is usually after the “honeymoon” period where the real deal of a dating relationship sets in.
Q: What are the challenges faced by women in the dating scene?
Women are more motivated to improve and be upgraded in their personal and professional life. It is only natural they want to look for men on par with them. Over the last few decades, women have progressed in their thinking and motivation. Basically, no woman will want a man whom she can’t respect and be submitted to. All of us have a role to play: The role of a man is to rise up to is potential of being the Point-Man, Protector and Provider. The role of a woman is to be the best Cheer-leader, know when to be the woman behind your man and when to be the neck that turns the head.
Q: Name some criteria in finding a right partner.
Find out the person’s character rather than be attracted just to his or her personality; Make sure he or she is someone committed to personal growth; Choose someone who isn’t emotional shut-down; Integrity is importance, even over the smallest thing; Though chemistry is needed for any relationship to work, make sure chemistry isn’t the only thing that you have in common.