Crawling out from our shells

This might be a bit of a controversial piece today, but hey where’s the fun in easy things? Or maybe I’m just in a bit more of a pensive mood today because elections are coming and risk assets swung down 10% in some quarters, except in those where I’m a perma bear. Oh well.

I was hovering on the lighter end of the autism spectrum when I was a kid. And even till today, I still have some quirks like being unable to make direct eye contact during conversations, an unhealthy preference for solitude (almost impossible now that I’m working non-stop with Yingying, our two crazy dogs and two kids).

Half the time my friends think I’m a weird “closet communist” with extreme social views. Suffice to say, most still fear what exactly is going through my head. I never did study groups, I didn’t socialise much and national service was a traumatic experience for me as an almost adult and even as an officer – you had to shout and yell even when there was no need to otherwise your assessors will regard you as “too quiet”, “not encouraging”, “unable to lead”, and “not contributing to morale”.  And I used to get roiled on dates when asked “Why are you so quiet ah?” or when people throw me silly cliches like “If you’re so quiet, and your partner is so quiet, then the house will be so quiet when you get married next time.” (In any case, just so you know, when a girl mentions the words “you” and “marriage” in the same breath on a date, it’s a traffic light turning green, even when mentioned in a somewhat negative context.)

Life is tough for people like us who are naturally introverted, or just not great at conversations, socialising or “pick up lines”. So believe me when I say I understand how daunting and dreadful it can be approaching social events, or just speaking to someone for the first time. But trust me, when it comes to being the right one and finding the right one, practice makes perfect and 宁可做错,也不错过。

So with this background, I confess I’m a nutcase boss when it comes to planning the details for our dating events. The entry, the approach, the greeting, the ice breaker, the interaction and the conclusion.  Just not wanting anyone to feel lost heading to the venue, simply because we know how uneasy and unsettling it can be for some of our participants attending such events for the first time.  And I promise you, if you’ve made the monumental effort to meet us halfway for our events or even our dates, we’ll come the other half to meet you and reassure you. But we need you to come halfway through, for us to do that!

So stop wondering if there will be someone at the event who will understand you, or whether your date will accept your quirks – don’t extrapolate or overthink, you literally need to get off your a** and take a chance!

Still afraid to make the first move?
Having second thoughts about meeting new people?

You are not alone! And don’t worry, nobody’s looking at you, we’re all too busy wondering how we look to others. Here are a few useful tips to make you to feel comfortable when you join our events to widen your social network

Silence your inner critic

As shy introverts, we probably have a thousand thoughts racing through our heads. Take a deep breath and smile! Just imagine a bright light coming from within and focus on the sound of your breathing. Dispel any negative thoughts, and focus on smiling and establishing eye contact with others – it doesn’t always have to be the opposite gender, you can leave that to us to “force” you into our ice-breakers. As we preach during our Dr Love sessions “Feel free to (gently) pull people you’ve just met into a conversation as you move round the event venue, it will also help you to move on to other conversations. More importantly, stay positive and relaxed!”

If you prefer visualising, choose an image (rated G to PG, and avoid BTS pictures please) that makes you happy and set it up as a daily reminder on your phone or stick it somewhere where you can see it everyday!

Out of the box date-setting 

Not into crowds and socializing? We’re here with you (fellow INTJ personality here). A good date doesn’t have any specific settings. Do something that keeps the date fun and active so you don’t feel obliged to be the entertainment!

If sitting down at a quiet restaurant or cafe feels uncomfortable, think out of the box – pick a nature activity or a class e.g. a simple picnic, treetop walk, baking class , or maybe even Universal Studios (hope is on the way, even Disneyland is reopening). Whatever it is, just make sure it’s something that both you and your date feel comfortable with.

Dating doesn’t have to be difficult, come meet us halfway and we’ll bring you the rest of the way! And yes, it’s finally Friday! Have a fun filled weekend ahead. If not, please come in, relax and meet like-minded singles at our Online Eventsbecause The Right One deserves your effort!