30 April 2019, by Sheila Sim
I am a new age girl with an old school heart. But I must admit, I love the convenience of the new form of match-making, via dating app. Especially so for my line of work, and for someone who doesn’t like going out much anymore, it worked magic for me! Haha!
Initially, I was really hesitant to get onto a dating app. It was my group of friends who encouraged me set up the account, I guess they were right. If I wanted to meet someone, I have to at least give this someone an avenue to meet me.
I went on to set up an account using real photos of me as my profile picture because I expect the same from the other party. I’m not a wishy-washy person and since I chose to use the app, I used it with honesty and sincerity. And really, just leave the rest to LUCK!
I would admit that I have downloaded and deleted the app a couple of times over a few months. Some people were even perplexed when they knew I was on a dating app! Alright, that’s another story altogether, and I’ll share about that later.
Many who have been on dating apps before would know the excitement when you have a new ‘match’. Although not all matches would turn out fruitful, at that very moment, a new match is definitely thrilling!
So, on 15 July 2016, like most people, the first thing I did in the morning when I woke up was to reach for my phone. While still in my pyjamas, bleary-eyed and messy hair, I played around with the dating app – and got myself a New Match with Deon!
My match with Deon was a really spontaneous one – no waiting around to see who will start the conversation first. If you ask me now, I can’t remember who initiated the first chat, it could have been me! I have heard from many that they expected men to start the conversation first. Frankly, I don’t agree with that – I like to take things into my own hands. Lol!
We started chatting quickly and actively. But, due to the nature of my job, there were several things I had to keep mum about, which made me seem really dodgy.
For example, when he asked me simple and normal questions like, “What do you do for a living?”, I answered, “Can I not tell you yet?” He must have wondered what kind of shady job I was doing! Haha! Surprisingly, that didn’t stop him from conversing with me, and it really helped that he wasn’t “kaypoh” and kept pressing me to tell him. I chose not to tell him that I was an actress at the beginning, as I did not want to cloud his judgement and expectations of who I really am.
In that short 3 hours, we were texting non-stop, finding out more about each other. And, being a very cautious dating app user, I had already gone ahead to do my background checks on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, to find whatever information I can of him – Because, *SAFETY FIRST*.
And I liked what I found about Deon:
- Loves snowboarding, and goes around the world to participate in Marathons.
- Strong family values.
- A group of kind-looking friends
- Loves to travel
- Not a psycho
So, when people asked why did I have to be on a dating app? Here are two reasons why:
- Because, I don’t like to be picked up in a club – when I am there, I just want to have a good time with my girlfriends.
- Because I don’t like to be picked up at a work event when I’m all made up – I feel like the guy will have expectations of me looking all glamorous all the time, and that definitely is an incorrect impression of the real me.
Prior to Deon, I was always more careful . Only giving my phone number after 2 months of chatting on the app. I was ready to do the same with Deon, but for some cosmic reason, I gave him my number the very same evening we ‘matched’.
Yes, I surprised myself too!
Second day onwards, we started talking on the phone. Our first phone call lasted 6 hours. And so did our subsequent phone calls. The longest was 8 hours at one go. This went on for about 5 days. And then I decided, I was ready to meet him! *shriek*
I suggested to meet for lunch at a Hokkien Mee store that I love. Lunch and Hokkien Mee. Yes, it was intentional! I made sure to tune the romance of our first date down to the lowest. I even insisted on paying for lunch because I really don’t like the typical social expectation of men paying for the first date. Moreover, we didn’t know if this was going to be considered a date. (I later also found out that, this was a plus point for Deon, he admired that I initiated to pay.)
A day before we met, I told him I’ll be going to East Coast Park (ECP) in the evening to train for my 6km run. Knowing that he’s an avid marathon runner, I asked him to bring along a set of running clothes. If lunch date goes well, perhaps we could go for a run together. Otherwise, we’ll part ways from there. And he agreed. Haha!
Yes… everything was laid out there very clearly. No assumptions or expectations, right from the beginning.
Anyway, in a nutshell, our first date lasted 10 hours – from lunch, hanging out till the run and ending the date off with dinner. When we got home, we continued talking on the phone. And we have not stopped seeing each other since. Literally! We met every single day! It was really coincidental that he was between jobs at that time, and I was in between productions. We had all the time in the world to date.
When my story with Deon came out, many asked,
- Is it not dangerous to be on a dating app?
Yes, it does have a certain level of danger. But the danger is not more than a random guy picking you up in a bar or any public area. It is very important to gauge the situation with your own judgement and wisdom.
Things I would do is to not give out my number so readily. Do as much background checks before meeting up, and keep the first few meetups in crowded places.
- Do you feel embarrassed to be on a dating app?
If you want to be using a dating app, then don’t act like it is something you need to feel shameful about. Because it really isn’t. it is just another way of meeting new people.
- How do you know he is the one?
As cliché as it may sound… you just do. Before we met in person, we already talked about the intention of this relationship. If we didn’t want the same thing, then it is best we don’t waste each other’s time.
Both he and I were looking at marriage material partners, with the intent of getting married. I never realised this, but the foundation of our relationship was built on very effective and strong communication. He bought a ring 3 months after we met, and proposed 3 months later. There was definitely magic in this. =)
But with that being said, marriage is a constant work in progress. It takes a lifetime to keep being good at it. I’ve only just begun.