This is part 1 of my love series where I share my love journey, how I met my soulmate (Ken Soh), and how to attract authentic love into your life.
Ken giving me a piggyback ride. 🙂 Ken is always carrying me around because he loves to do it, whether we are at home or out. (Photo from our Glasgow Engagement Shoot)
So many of you have been asking me, since I got attached (and subsequently engaged), how I got to know my then-boyfriend and now-fiance, Ken Soh. Some of you requested to know how we got together, while some of you asked how we knew, with such certainty, that we are the ones for each other — in such a short period no less (we’ve been together for about 4 months now).
Update, May 2014: We have since gotten married. 🙂 Read about our wedding here: The Day I Got Married ♥
Initially I wanted to hold off writing about the story of how we met and all till closer to our wedding day, because I didn’t want people to diminish the message I have to share because we have not been together long (in Earth time anyway).
However, the truth is that even though Ken and I have not been together long, it feels like we have known each other all along. (And I’m not saying it in some teen-girl-fantasy way; I’m saying it in a matter-of-fact fashion.) We may well have been lovers or deeply connected in our past lives, because our connection transcends beyond any connection I’ve ever known or dreamed possible.
I’m excited to share my love story because I want to inspire all of you who are seeking love or have yet to find love. Regardless of whether you are single or attached, I hope my/our story will give you hope about love. I never knew that such a perfect person in Ken could exist, much less wind up to be my life partner. In this series, I will share the story of how we met, got attached, and quickly realized that we are meant for each other in this lifetime (and beyond), among other things.
If “soulmates” mean 2 souls having an unexplainable affinity for each other be it mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, then that’s what Ken and I are to each other — soulmates, on all levels.
Here goes. 🙂
My Journey in Love (Up Until I was 28)
I’ve already shared parts of my love journey here and there in my past 5 years of running PE. From my longstanding singlehood, to my past heartbreak, and to my recent sponsored experience at a dating agency, these are all part and parcel of my love journey.
But to give you guys a complete picture, up until I got attached to Ken, I was single for the most part of the first 28 years of my life.
I grew up in a household where my parents staunchly ruled that I was not allowed to see anyone until I graduated. And when I say ‘graduated’, I mean completely graduating from school i.e., university when I was 22. While I never gave their opinions second thought, I believe their staunch views subconsciously made me devalue my desire to be with someone.
I had a couple of relationships when I was in secondary school, but they were very short-term — each lasting no more than a couple of weeks. They were so insignificant and juvenile that I wouldn’t even regard them as relationships, which was why I would tell others that I had never been in a relationship when people asked me about my romantic history.
When I was in university, I liked someone (as I have written in my moving on series, regarding G). It didn’t work out and I was left crushed, taking years to mend my broken heart thereafter.
(Of course it all worked out well in the end because I eventually met Ken, my real soulmate, but more on that later. And thinking back, G was not a true compatible match because had we gotten together back then, I would never have evolved to who I am today; he would also not a fit for the person I’ve become.)
I grew up very career-driven and achievement-oriented. To me relationships come and go, but personal achievements and career — these stick forever. Seeing and hearing of couples part ways after 3, 5, 10, or even more years simply re-enforced the transient nature of relationships in my mind and that I shouldn’t invest too heavily in something that wouldn’t last. (Of course, I later realized this belief wasn’t true and had limited me from getting attached.)
Never Been in a Serious (Long-Term) Relationship Before
Not wanting to be in a relationship for the sake of it
Even though I had never been in a serious relationship before, it wasn’t because I wasn’t appealing enough or that I lacked male attention.
On my appeal, I used to think that I wasn’t pretty, thin, or feminine enough to attract a good guy but I later realized that this wasn’t true and I was being stupid. I wrote about my revelations in The Beauty of Self – Why I Used To Feel Inferior about My Looks, How I Began to Love My Body (series), and How I Found My Place as a Female.
On attention from guys, I have always had male attention — even pickups — but things just never worked out. It was always either that the guy wasn’t a match or I had some interest but the guy didn’t follow up. I went out on dates, but nothing ever came out of them–I usually concluded we weren’t compatible after some dates (sometimes just one) and would just do the fade-away thing (which I later realized wasn’t very nice when I experienced that myself).
I wanted to be with someone but I didn’t see the point of being in a relationship for the sake of it. I wanted to be with someone I truly liked and saw a future with, rather than just get together with some guy I didn’t feel strongly for.
Wondering if there was anyone out there for me
There were often times when I wondered if there was anyone out there for me at all. I would have lengthy chats with friends as we lamented about love and life, but my end conclusion would be that I, or anyone for that matter, had to remain hopeful. Whether or not there was someone for me, having a negative mindset about love wasn’t going to help me find love. I had to believe that there is a special someone out there for everyone and it was by being positive and being my best self that I would attract that person, whoever he might be.
Dipping my toes into dating: Jun 2011 to Early 2012
When I was 27, between June 2011 and early 2012, I began to dip my toes into dating/love. This was particularly when I went on a 7-month travel in Europe/U.S., though my travel was driven more by work, an interest in meeting new people and experience new cultures, and to see the world out there.
I thought I wasn’t getting younger, so it was time to really get out there and meet people, and just be more open to the idea of meeting someone.
I met a massive number of people, and even met a couple of relationship potentials in the process. However, things simply didn’t work out, and I was very hurt in one of the cases. I simply moved on after that, having learned how to move on consciously with the G saga (as I had detailed in my How I Moved On From a Heartbreak series). Each episode helped me become more aware about what I was looking for, what would be a compatible person for me, and look forward to whoever I was going to meet next.
Serious Date Immersion: Jul–Dec 2012
Then towards the end of June 2012 as I turned 28 (my birthday is June 25), I decided it was time to give romance a serious stab. No “dipping in the waters” anymore (which was what I was doing prior), but seriously going deep into the ocean and full on swimming in the waters.
There were a few reasons for that.
Work-wise, I was in a very good place, receiving over a million pageviews a month on PE and getting ongoing media coverage. Much of my income was (is) passive, which meant I had much free time to do whatever I wanted and pursue my personal goals, such as romance.
I was happy with other areas in my life wheel, such as health and fitness (I had cleaned up my diet over the years and was exercising regularly), contribution (I was giving value to the society daily through my work on PE), friendships (I was surrounded by positive, like-minded people), family (my relationship with my parents was better than before), and personal growth (I was more conscious than I had ever been).
I felt I was living my most purposeful life ever and it was time to take things to the next level by working on the one area I had not actualized yet–love. I felt I owed it to myself to give love a serious stab because truth be told, I had been putting love on hold all my life. I would always play lip service to the idea, pretend that I wasn’t interested in love or say I was busy working on other things when deep down, I really wanted to meet my special someone.
I felt it was high time to put myself out there, go on dates, be it blind dates or otherwise, and seriously explore going into a relationship with someone. And what better to do it then than later, given that I was 28 and what I felt to be a prime age to date and seek out a serious relationship partner? It was time for me to take the leap of faith and boldly step forward.
Whatever came out of this was one thing, but the most important thing was for me to put my best foot forward.
So I did. In July 2012, I joined a dating agency (they sponsored my dating package while I wrote about my date experience, though I wasn’t expected to). I figured I would not rely on the agency to get dates or to find a partner but simply to use it as an extra channel to meet new, like-minded people.
Massive Socializing and Networking
I also started massively expanding my social circle.
While I was already meeting new people on an ongoing basis, many meetings were sporadic and only on a 1-to-1 basis. I felt I could do better in meeting like-minded people in a more regimented fashion.
My answer? Meetup groups — targeted ones. I joined entrepreneur networking and business events since they are in line with my interests and they would help with my work. I also felt that meeting people in such environments was the best way to showcase the real me, since work is such a huge part of my life.
I became open to date-related activities like singles events — a first since I would put them down as dumb and awkward in the past. My good friend, W, is single and joins singles events occasionally, so I would join him if I was free and if the event looked promising.
I made it known to others that I was open to dating and gave the opening for friends to set me up if they wanted to.
I also constantly checked with friends and acquaintances if they had upcoming events I could join in. Whenever people invited me to birthday parties, house parties, networking events, talks, and so on, I would gladly accept their invitations. To me, these were all opportunities to meet new people, on top of attending for the event itself.
Note that I wasn’t going to these events to date per se, but rather with the intention to meet like-minded people — and whether anything came out of them in the area of love would be a separate thing altogether.
To Guys Who Ask Me Out
On a personal level, I became more open to date requests.
To the guys who asked me out, be it from my personal circle or business contacts, I would accept their dates unless I really had no interest. This was a far cry from the past, when I turned down almost every guy based on the most whimsical of factors. (The latter is a terminalistic approach by the way, something I mentioned in Step #10 of 10 Steps to Attract Authentic Love.)
Dating Spree — A Memorable Experience
So for the next 6 months between July to December, I went on more dates than I had ever gone my entire life. Actually, I went on more dates than most of my peers went on in their entire lives, before they finally got attached. I could easily be on 3–4 dates a week, some of which were with pretty eligible men too.
If I had intentionally deprived myself in love/romance in my past 28 years, I had my fill of dates and dating stories in this period–more than some could talk about in a lifetime.
As if law of attraction was at work, guys would suddenly spring out of the blue to ask me out — and these could be guys I already knew from before but never stayed in touch with. It was like I was putting out the intention to date and the universe, having received that, was helping to make that happen.
I even had married guys hit on me, something which I disagree with as infidelity is an act of dishonesty. I would immediately reject such guys. Read more: What I Have Learned From Being Hit On by Married Men
During this period, I learned much about myself and what I seek in a relationship partner. While I had always had a good idea of what I would like in a guy, this dating phase developed my awareness to a whole new level. I also learned how I could be a better date and partner to another if I was to enter into a relationship in the future.
However… Still Single in the End… and “Back to Square One”
While the guys I met throughout the 6 months were of increasing eligibility and compatibility, I still did not meet someone whom I wanted to start a relationship with.
I went on 3 singles parties with W and they were not my thing. The crowd and vibes of the first 2 events didn’t gel with me; the 3rd event didn’t even take place — we went to the location but no one was there. We couldn’t even find the organizer!
With the arranged dates by the dating agency, I realized after a couple of dates that I was meeting much more compatible guys through my own circles than them. To be fair, maybe their database just didn’t have guys who would fit what I was looking for — after all, I am quite different from most females. Also, I am actually very widely socialized compared to the average person — their service would probably help for people who have limited social circles due to their work or otherwise and totally have no time to meet new people. As an agency, they have great and friendly staff, ever ready to help.
As for dates from my own network, there were some promising prospects with strong compatibility points, but these were not enough for me to enter into a relationship with either of them. Given that I was already 28 with a clear idea of my values and life vision, I didn’t want to just enter in any relationship — I wanted to be with someone whom I potentially build a long-term relationship and see a future with. It wouldn’t be fair to the other person to enter into a relationship and break up 1, 2, or 3 months later anyway, given that it would be a waste of the person’s time and emotions too.
I felt that I was back to “square one”, back to being alone and myself after so many months of active dating and meeting eligible men. I felt disappointed, empty, and jaded. I felt like I was in limbo, circling round and round as a single.
It would be a matter of time before a special someone would enter (actually, re-enter) my life.
Proceed to Part 2: Appearance of Ken Soh (Someone I Knew Before), where I share the (re)entrance of someone whom I did not expect into my life.
This is part 1 of my love series where I share my love journey, how I met my soulmate (Ken Soh), and how to attract authentic love into your life.
Images: Piggyback ride, Red heart, Yellow leaves, Girl alone, Smiling girl, Socializing, Girl with leaf on face
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The Buddhists say: “If you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your soulmate you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.”
You grow up hearing the term “soulmate” being used interchangeably with “life partner,” the person you marry and want to spend the rest of your life with. When you’re taught about your soulmate, you’re taught how to find love, not compatibility. That’s why so many people end up either destroyed over losing someone they were never right for in the first place, or hold onto relationships that they’re unhappy in: they think that their soulmate connections are their forever loves.
Soulmates have two purposes: they are either here to support us as soul family, or they are people we have such strong emotional reactions to, they show us to ourselves, and help us grow. Soulmates are reflections of ourselves: what we love in our soulmates, we love in ourselves. What we cannot stand in our soulmates, we cannot yet see in ourselves. Soulmates have the divine purpose of waking us up, and a lot of romantic soulmates do just this: they are intense, fleeting, temporary love assignments that help you radically grow. They are not meant to be your forever loves, they are the people who compare you to your forever love.
Your forever love is one of your soulmates, but what sets your forever love apart from them is that your forever love is the person who doesn’t hurt you. You know how people say that if you really love something, you should let it go, and if it comes back, it was always yours? Your forever love really shouldn’t do that in the first place. Your forever love shouldn’t doubt that they want to be with you, or make a game out of “are they or aren’t they” meant for you.
Your forever love shouldn’t hurt beyond a few growing pains here and there. Sure, you’ll argue, and yes, your forever love should inspire you to reach for your potential, but that’s just it: they should inspire you to be better, not break your heart to do it.
Your forever love should be the person that you vent to, not the person you have to vent about. They should be the person that makes you feel like you can 100% be yourself, not the person who makes you feel like you have to change yourself. They should be your best friend as much as they are your partner, someone you are comfortable enough around to spend every day around.
And more importantly than anything: you should be able to spend every day with them. You should want to spend every day with them. Your forever love is the person you will take every vacation with, spend every holiday with, celebrate every birthday with; they are the person who will help you to the bathroom when you are in the hospital. If you honestly can’t spend a lot of time with them before you are upset, agitated or need a break, you’re not with the right one.
We need to stop glorifying pain like this. We need to stop telling people that the person who hurts you most is the person who will love you best. Don’t spend forever with someone who wasn’t sure about you in the first place. Don’t spend forever with someone who makes you feel anything other than whole and happy. Real love – the kind you could only dream of – actually does exist, but it’s not coming to you in the form of the person who never loved you completely in the first place.