How I Found My Soulmate in Life, Part 3: Addressing My Inner Demons

This is part two 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. If you haven’t, read Part 1: My Journey in Love and Part 2: Appearance of Ken Soh (Someone I Knew Before) first.

A quiet moment in the park (Closeup)

Enjoying a quiet moment together, just him and I. :)  (Photo from our Glasgow Engagement Shoot)

Personal Fears I Had to Address

As Ken and I grew closer, I contemplated many times whether to close him off. These thoughts had nothing to do with him and everything to do with myself.

Thought #1: “Is He a Player?”

My first thought was wondering if Ken was a player. Why? Because he seemed too good to be true.

In the first few days we started messaging, Ken mentioned that he had been clubbing frequently (three times a week). That threw me off as I have never found clubs to be the place for good conversation and meaning connections — they seem more for booze, sleazy pickups, “meaty” contact, and sexual trysts.

Clubbing

Ken’s Facebook cover image (no kidding) then and even till now. Who puts a clubbing image as their cover image unless they are some hard-core clubbers who club for sex and what not??

Why is he clubbing so often? Is he picking up girls every other night? I wondered. Am I one of the many girls he is messaging right now?

I was also wary about how nice and friendly he was. This could either mean that (a) he was very kind and sensitive (which would make him a real catch) or (b) he was some super smooth player who knew how to work his way around girls because he had seen one girl too many.

(b) seemed more likely because I already knew him to be charming back in university. Add that he (i) was the chairman of a popular committee, (ii) participated and won runner-up in a male modeling pageant, and (iii) had at least one girlfriend before (the one I saw from my bus stop sighting), and it was hard for me to believe that this guy would still be single.

Surely he has no trouble meeting girls, courting them, and winning their hearts, I thought.

My conclusion was that he was probably a player and I was just one of the many girls he was messaging.

So a few days after we began messaging back and forth, I stopped responding. :/ I didn’t want to be one of the many girls he was hitting on. I didn’t want to be another girl in his messaging list. I didn’t want to be disregarded as a woman, void of my value.

I didn’t want to be hurt again.

Girl biting lip

However, after I started ignoring his messages, I began to feel misaligned.

Firstly, I realized I was reacting from a place of fear, not love (which defies everything that I talk about at PE). By following my fears, I would only box myself into a reality where I thought I was safe — however, I actually wouldn’t be. All this would do would be to stifle my true self, my true desires, and my true life.

Like I mentioned in Are You Treating Dating as a “Game”?I rather put myself out there, let my heart get sliced, diced and handed to me on a platter, than to be evasive out of fear of getting hurt. Fear isn’t what I want to live by; love is. While following my fears may keep me safe, they will never make me happy. I don’t want that.

Secondly, I was being ridiculous because I was faulting Ken for (a) being honest about his clubbing (which could well be a genuine hobby) and (b) being friendly. Up till that point, Ken had not done anything to deserve doubt. Firstly, he had been very reliable and prompt in returning my messages. Secondly, he had been fully open in his sharing. Thirdly, he had not tried to hit on me at all. These were clear non-player signs.

Thirdly, even if he is clubbing to pick up girls and is messaging a gazillion women right now, I thought, who’s to say that he can’t do that? He is single and free to do whatever he wants. I’m just an acquaintance. He doesn’t owe me anything.

I thought that if he was messaging me as one of many girls he was trying to hit on… then the joke was on me. I would need to be smarter next time. However, until that was revealed, I shouldn’t shut myself off. I wouldn’t be fair to myself (or him) otherwise. Who knows, I may perfectly shut off a great connection, I thought.

So after ignoring him for two days ( :oops: ), I returned his message, which then continued our back-and-forth messaging.

Thought #2: “He’s Not Interested in Me and I’m Just Imagining All of This”

Given that I had been hurt by non-serious guys before, I had lost much faith in my assessment of a guy’s interest (in me). I was tired of being led on by guys who behave in a non-platonic manner, only to get crushed later when they don’t reciprocate my intentions.

So I developed this policy: Always assume that a guy is not interested unless proven otherwise. For example, him expressing his feelings, asking me out consecutively on dates, discussing about our future together, and so on. To think otherwise would be delusional.

Hence, I constantly assumed that Ken wasn’t interested even though his messages were increasingly suggesting otherwise.

Ken sharing that he has never chatted so much on Whatsapp with anyone before

April 15, one week after his first message — Ken sharing that he has never chatted so much with anyone on Whatsapp before

Ken suggesting to make salads for me next time

April 18, three days later — Ken suggesting to make salads for me when I said I like salads

Ken's dream of me at some hilltop

April 29 — Ken dreaming of me despite rarely dreaming (or rather, rarely remembering his dreams since humans dream every day)

It didn’t help that our connection started from a trivial “hi”. If our connection can be formed from something as simple as a “hi”, what’s to say that he isn’t forming such connections with other girls right now? I was skeptical of the strength of our connection though I seriously doubted he could recreate it with any other girl.

So bent on believing that he wasn’t interested that I held back at first.

I tried not to pay too much attention to his messages. I assumed he was a nice guy who would drop out of my life one day. Maybe this is just a phase, I thought.

I ignored signs which suggested interest. For example, once he sent me a nighttime lullaby he sang while I was on the night bus to Cape Town. I simply assumed that he had sent that lullaby to multiple girls or he had recorded it a year ago and had been sending it to different girls to woo them (LOL). Another example is the extent to which we were chatting — he would message me quite readily and frequently throughout the day. Many people, especially grown men in their early 30s, do not message this much unless it’s with someone of importance to them (or they have no life). I simply assumed that Ken was chatting this much with multiple other girls and I wasn’t the only one. ( :oops: )

I also assumed that his messages, however nice, were frivolous niceties he would say to anyone else.

For every nice thing he said, I would assume he was playing lip service. For every nice thing he did, I would downplay it as something he would do to any other girl/person. I was my biggest devil advocate, shooting down everything which suggested that this nice guy might actually be interested in small little me.

Conflicted girl

However, I gradually realized that just like with my first fear, I was jeopardizing our connection by being a skeptic.

Firstly, regardless of his interest, I felt that he was a nice person and I liked our exchanges. Romance aside, this is a connection I want to further, I thought. Even if it’s purely platonic, I want to build on our connection. Whether things would turn romantic was totally irrelevant.

Next, given that every connection is organically created by its constituents and I’m one half of our connection, by constantly thinking that he wasn’t interested, I could well be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, by turning a blind eye to all his niceties and treating him as just a friend, he could lose interest after a while even if he was interested in the first place. I would then be my own sabotager.

Not wanting to affect the natural course of events, I started following my heart and letting it lead the way. I began opening up by responding more promptly and openly. I began sharing more of my real self by sharing more of my daily activities and personal opinions. I began to do special things like buy chocolates for him after I returned home because I wanted him to know that I cared. I began to look forward to his messages every day like a little girl.

Shy girl

For me, I was doing those things because I wanted to and not because I was expecting some outcome. It didn’t matter even if he was not interested in the end; I just wanted to build on the connection we had.

Whether we will continue to be friends or otherwise, it will reveal in time, I thought.

Finally Back Home

After over two weeks of continuous Whatsapping, I returned home to Singapore on 24 April. By then, Ken had invited me to a BBQ with his good friends on 27 April.

BBQ Gathering (27 April)

The BBQ went well. I met his friends, met his mom (by chance), visited his house (where he made a salad for me), saw his room (where he has been living in since he was a kid), and observed how he interacted with his friends and mom.

I also got to meet and talk to Ken in person after all this messaging.

By then, it was clear that Ken isn’t a player, because no real player will (a) bring you to a private outing with his close childhood friends who brought their long-term girlfriends / wives along, (b) let you into his private space (e.g., his home where his parents live and his room which is his abode), let alone (c) introduce you to his parent(s). This was on top of his reliable, honest, and empathetic responses to all my text messages every day for the past three weeks.

The clubbing concern I had originally had also been addressed early on, as Ken revealed (in our natural conversation) that he clubs because he is genuinely interested in music and dancing. Pickups and meeting girls, he has absolutely no interest and was even thought to be gay by his clubbing friends because he never approaches or looks at girls while clubbing.

End of the BBQ

As Ken had another appointment that night (which he invited me to but I declined), we bade farewell after the BBQ, with intentions to meet soon to watch Iron Man 3.

By then though, I was freaking the **** out of my life.

Because for the first time in my life, I was closer to a relationship than I had ever been. I was no longer dealing with an emotionally unavailable guy nor a guy who wasn’t a match with what I was looking for. Neither was I not interested in the guy (which was usually my barrier to getting attached).

For the first time in my life, I had no excuse to remain single.

The Fear of Finally Getting into a Relationship

Heart-shaped fingers

Us at a park. :) I often make heart-shaped signs at Ken using my fingers. (That’s my birthmark on my left index!)

I have already addressed a truck load of issues in the past few years of my growth journey, from inferiority with my femininity, being afraid to intimidate mennot recognizing my physical beauty, body image issues, emotional eating, grievances with my parents, to issues with being ignored.

Processing these issues have helped me to grow as a human/woman. They have also helped me to get closer to a conscious relationship.

However, being single for my entire 28-year life has made me extremely comfortable with singlehood. In the past 28 years, I’ve learned how to be happy as a single. I’ve learned what to expect in life as a single. I’ve learned how to live as a single. I’ve learned what it’s like to be free and not be attached to anybody.

But being attached? That I didn’t know. I had no reference point except from couple friends and shows/movies. Even then those are not my personal experiences; those are others’.

Ken had not asked me to be his girlfriend at this point, but that didn’t stop me from freaking out. I knew that we were going to head this way soon if I didn’t put a stopper to things. So freaked out I was that I had to call my friend W after the BBQ outing to air out my concerns. We ended up talking for over an hour as I lingered at my house void deck late into the night.

Feeling conflicted

Deep down, I knew that Ken is a great guy and he is the best person I can ever get into a relationship with, if I was to get into one. Many of my fears had more to do with my resistance with getting into a relationship than about him.

However, I wanted to make sure that we had the foundational elements for a successful relationship, if we were to get together. I didn’t want to enter into a relationship only to split a short while later — this would be a waste of my (and his) time and energy. If I am to be with anyone, I want to make sure that I’m in it for the long haul — and I will also do whatever it takes to make things work out.

So then I sought to verify that through the one way I know how — by asking questions. :oops:  

Ken’s Five-Round Intensive Interrogation (by Celes ♥)

I already knew that Ken is reliable, sensitive, kind, caring, sweet, etc. (otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten so close). What I needed to know were other dimensions of his character (including his past self, his persona as a boyfriend/relationship partner, and his values system) and uncover any potential red-flag issues which would prevent us from having a successful relationship ahead.

I began asking Ken questions to understand him on a deeper level and to tease out our compatibility as a couple — or even, as partners in life.

Continuous Questions… One after Another

While I was initially just sneaking the questions into our daily conversations, Ken’s utter and complete openness in answering my questions encouraged me to just dish out my queries openly. :oops:  

I didn’t have the questions written out — they sort of just popped out one by one as we chatted. With each answer, I would process it thoroughly and chew on it in the context of his life and our relationship (if we were to be together).

If I ever saw a red-flag issue (like his smoking — more on that in part four –, differences in our religious alignments or how he approached past relationships), I would probe until I retrieved enough information for my decision making. I did not leave any stone unturned nor any crevice unexplored. I was on the lookout for blocks which would potentially stop us from making the highest connection possible.

Ken’s Admirable Composure

Interestingly, even when I was asking the most difficult, sensitive, or intrusive of questions, Ken remained calm. He was very forthcoming and would answer my questions fully, readily, and honestly — even when it meant revealing things he was not so proud of before; things which would put him at a disadvantage (in me considering him as a romantic partner).

While any guy would have felt intimidated and backed off within the first 10 minutes of such probing (much less multiple rounds), Ken wasn’t. He never showed any hesitance, discomfort, nor unhappiness at the range and depth of my questions.

It was as if he appreciated my questions and wanted me to ask more. :oops: And since he was so open in addressing my questions, I thought, Okay, why not just ask some more? And so I did. :oops:  

After one of my "interrogation" rounds to Ken :)

Ken, after one of my “interrogations”. :oops:  

The ”interrogations” happened over Whatsapp, phone, and in-person conversation. :oops: Each session usually lasted an hour, sometimes an hour and a half. I would stop whenever I got the answers I needed for the day, chew over the responses he gave me, then return the next day with more questions.

Final-Round Interview :)

On 4 May (by then Ken had already answered a truckload of questions), we met for a late night out with his friends, after which we went for supper.

After his friends went home, we lingered around to chat. (We were at the seats in front of Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut Station). After an hour or so, he indirectly asked me to be his girlfriend, after which I dished out my final questions before commenting on anything.

This was the first time I saw him sweat in person. :oops:  

Holding hands :)

At Loch Lomond :)

Then on May 5, 5:55am, after 30 minutes of final grilling (and four separate “interrogation” sessions which happened earlier that week), I had no more questions left. I was satisfied with all of Ken’s responses to everything which I had asked and I was finally ready to be with him. :)

Ken had allayed all of my fears and reservations with his patient and forthcoming answers and had helped me to move to the next step of our connection. :)

A New Phase of Our Relationship; A Place of Uncertainty

While we had gotten together, I wasn’t sure how things would work out since this was a new phase in our connection.

I told Ken to view our new status as experimental and he was free to leave if he realized at any point that this relationship wasn’t what he was looking — same for me as well. I didn’t want either of us to feel like we needed to stay attached just because of our new labels of “girlfriend” and ‘boyfriend”.

I didn’t know if our relationship would last and how long it would go, even though he is definitely my best match I had met my entire life. I was prepared to go all the way to make things work out, but at the same time I didn’t want to force things if there were fundamental issues (despite all my grilling to uncover them).

It wouldn’t be long before I realized that this guy is actually the one for me forever.

Hand in hand, together forever

Proceed to part four, where I share how I realized that Ken is my soulmate in life: Part 4: How I Realized Ken is The One for Me Forever.

This is part three 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: Girl biting lip, Shy girl, Conflicted girlShots of Ken and I from our Glasgow Engagement Shoot


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« How I Found My Soulmate in Life, Part 2: Appearance of Ken Soh (Someone I Knew Before)
 
How I Found My Soulmate in Life, Part 4: How I Realized Ken is The One for Me Forever »

  • Alex

    Great article ! Thanks for sharing. This is something that has been on my mind for sometime. How do u identify a potential soulmate.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi Alex! :) You are very welcome! For your question, you will find this piece useful! :)http://personalexcellence.co/blog/the-one/. Part 4 of this series may also give insight on this area, so do stay tuned! :)

  • cassie

    no wonder I found your blog and find myself drawn to coming back! like really does attract like! and from how you describe your process of exploring romance, Celes, it sounds soooo much like the process I went through when I first tried dating seriously a couple years back!

    I’m looking forward to reading the next installment of your story, because in my story it had a different ending: I eventually *did* freak out when things got more serious and I couldn’t bring myself to agree to the girlfriend/ boyfriend proposal because I was too scared to agree to something I wasn’t 100% sure about (despite months of rounds of my own interrogations too :P ). For me, although his personality was just what I was looking for and the answers to all the questions were what I wanted in a partner, the dealbreaker was lack of that physical spark – for example I found myself not feeling anything special when he held my hand, hugged me or kissed me (I wanted butterflies and fireworks or at least to enjoy it, but instead I found myself not enjoying these moments at all and dreading the next time :/ ). At the time I thought there was something wrong with me, not responding physically to him in a positive way, but maybe it just wasn’t the right connection, in spite of it seeming perfect in all other areas. I just wasn’t attracted to him physically – I was just attracted to his personality on an emotional level. It’s a weird thing! I know it’s a very personal thing but if you are open to it, I’d be curious to hear about your feelings surrounding physical attraction / feeling a spark and surrounding romantic things like holding hands etc.

    • cassie

      Hey Celes! I keep checking back to see if you have replied lol – I would love a reply please :D (even if it’s something brief like “I’ll have to think about that one”) Thanks in advance! :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi cassie! I may share more about finding compatibility points in a later part of the series, so stay tuned!

      Regarding physical compatibility, I don’t really have anything to comment on it actually; it’s just a compatibility point like emotional compatibility or intellectual compatibility. Some people find it important; some don’t, so it really depends on the person.

      E.g., I have a friend who absolutely values sexual compatibility and he will not accept a girl as a girlfriend until they have slept together and he knows they are sexually compatible; I’ve friends who believe in no sex before marriage and they look for partners based on personalities more than physical looks. Nothing right or wrong with either way; it’s just based on what the person prefers.

      On the same note, there are people who find their partners more attractive after being together, while there are people whose physical attraction to their partners normalize after being together.

      I think if you were dreading physical contact and if you were even hoping to enjoy it with the guy (but didn’t), that probably suggests that physical compatibility *is* quite important to you on some level. If so, it’d be important to figure out what are your baseline criteria surrounding looks/physical body and look for someone who matches that, so that you have a more enjoyable relationship. After all, no point settling if the person really doesn’t meet something which you are looking for!

      • cassie

        Thanks so much for the reply Celes ♥

        The physical compatability of liking someone’s superficial physical looks is different from the element I’m talking about, which is the “chemistry”. I believe chemistry can exist even if you don’t like what a person looks like (I know this from personal experience :D ) and even if you dont sleep with them. The chemistry I’m talking about is the special feeling in the air between you – the feeling of being magnetically drawn to the other person, like you find your head magnetically move towards to their lips – almost beyond your control (lol..).. the butterflies in your stomach when they look at you… that special look you get in your eyes when you look at them (impossible to see yourself doing it when you’re doing it, but you can see it in photos and videos taken together, and you can *definitely* see it in your partner’s eyes when they do it to you. I sometimes liken it to the look someone gets in their eyes when they see a very delicious, cute-looking cupcake that they really really want :D ).. All that stuff. I know it exists because I’ve felt it subtly before, once in my life (although with someone who wasn’t compatible on other levels). I think you’re right that this feeling is usually strongest at first and later normalizes after being together for a while.

        I notice that you haven’t mentioned talk of these kind of things in your discussions yet, and I think it’s important to discuss because so many movies and books portray this “chemistry” as an important element in the ideal relationship – it’s found in almost every single romance novel you’ll read and it’s come to be what many girls wish for in their dream relationships. (I know it has for me). If it’s not there, it feels like some essential ingredient is missing. This is why I felt it strongly missing from your discussion on relationships so far. Perhaps it’s important to discuss if only to dispel unrealistic expectations people get from books/ movies, and differentiate between fantasy and what’s really out there.

  • Glenn Thomas

    That’s a great story Celes! I’d missed part 2, so read both together here. Looking forward to part 4.

    I must say though, I had a good laugh at the interrogation part :D That sounds very much like when I met you last year and you hit me with all those questions about video stuff. Which really took me by surprise to be honest! I’d never had anything like that happen before. Since you only had an hour or so for dinner that night, beforehand I thought maybe I’d ask you about a few of the places around Singapore, talk about the food, lifestyle, etc. But no, I barely had a chance! Haha :) It was fun though, and I really enjoyed finally meeting you, and the food too of course. Thanks again for that.

    Although at the same time, being hit with all those question gave me the impression that you were an even more interesting person in real life than I would have previously thought. And I suspect, your inquisitive nature in that way, could easily be one of your qualities that appeals to Ken.

    Oh, and by the way, why the switch to Disqus for your comments here?

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Haha thanks Glenn!! :D LOL I’ve receive common feedback regarding that inquisitive/interrogation aspect of me, haha! The people who are very comfortable in their skin just find it funny (who are also subsequently my good friends today because of that), while sometimes people sort of become very uncomfortable with it (which is a cue for me to then quickly scale back, but it’s a challenge because I really do enjoy using questions as a conversational, get-to-know-the-other-person better too).

      I’m sorry if you didn’t get the chance to ask your questions when we met — I truly thought that you didn’t have any questions since you weren’t asking anything, that’s why I swooped in fill up the blanks with my questions! Now I know better. :) And next time we meet (be it Sydney or SG), I’ll be sure to do a check before I start rattling away with my Qs! :)

      For Disqus, I see the benefit of having an external commenting system which removes the load off PE’s server. Also, you can actually see the full history of the person’s past comments (assuming he/she commented under the same account) when you click on the commenter’s nick. I think that’s a very useful function for the readers, especially during challenges! (And this history includes history of comments posted both at PE and at other sites, assuming it’s Disqus commenting system there too!)

      • Glenn Thomas

        That’s a good way to look at it, questioning people like that to get to know them better. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, if you feel it may make some people feel uncomfortable. They should accept you for who you are. And no need to say sorry, we’ll have a longer chat next time! And of course we still have a spare room if you guys ever decide to visit Sydney and need somewhere to stay. With a tour guide included who knows all the best vegan restaurants :) We’re actually off to Europe and the UK next month, although our stop over on the way back will be Hong Kong. So no Singapore visit this year :(

        Great idea using Disqus then, if it takes the load off your server. Although it’s a bit buggy on my iPad. Most of the time it won’t let me type. But is fine on the computer here.

        By the way, it would be interesting to hear Ken’s side of the story too. What inspired him to contact you while you were in SA and so on. A guest post perhaps? ;)

        • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

          Sorry to hear that Disqus is buggy on your iPad! I’ve heard the same about it on mobile too — in fact it doesn’t load on my mobile the last time I tried. It’s a bit annoying especially because I thought it should work given that it’s the largest external comment hosting system at the moment, but I’ll take what I can get especially since it’s a free service and it’s pretty good for what it is.

          Yes, I thought that it would be interesting to have Ken’s side of the story heard. :) I’m wondering how to incorporate that especially because Ken is busy with his job and article writing isn’t exactly his professional forte, so I don’t want this to take up more time for him than it should. I’m thinking maybe more of a Q&A style post format would deliver the message better. I’ll give a think more about that!! :)

          Thanks so much for your Sydney offer — that’s so kind of you!! I’ll let Ken know and we’ll see if we get a chance to visit Sydney at some point. :) That would be fun to check out the vegan places there and all! I miss the Opera House!!

          • Glenn Thomas

            Not to worry, I’m sure Disqus will get things sorted out eventually.

            Maybe you could include Ken’s side of the story as quoted text perhaps, so he wouldn’t have to write too much? Or a Q&A could work as well. Maybe even a video interview? :)

            Oh, you liked the Opera house? Where else did you go here? There’s quite a few really nice places around Sydney. Did you visit the Blue Mountains? And yes, a lot of vegan restaurants here now too, including a vegan butcher. There’s even 4 raw restaurants. All really good food too. And sorry to go off topic!

            • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

              Yes I did; I went to the Blue Mountains too, though I didn’t find it particularly enticing! I guess maybe I’ve been to a number of such sites before so they all look the same to me after a while. Kirstenbosch in South Africa/Cape Town is lovely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zObDoWniwDY

              • Glenn Thomas

                Oh yes, I remember you posting that. Looks like a nice place. The mountains remind me of the Illawarra Wollongong area south of Sydney.

                Did you go on the scenic skyway or cableway in the Blue Mountains when you were there? http://www.scenicworld.com.au/ I haven’t been on the cableway yet, but the skyway was always good.

                And if you ever do decide to visit Sydney again. Late May or Early June would be a good time, as that’s when the Vivid light festival is on. Here are a couple of really good videos people made from the festival this year – http://vimeo.com/67452167 and http://vimeo.com/69514108 The Opera house always looks amazing! Except that’s late autumn, early winter it’s on every year. Not that cold though.

  • http://erryka-rye.deviantart.com/ Erica

    thank you… its inspiring me ^^ . at this moment i think i realize that i have found my soulmate… he is a friend of mine but we are so connected in each other for almost 2 years.. your story just like what i had experienced but i hope our ends up could be exactly like yours, Celes..

    love you

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thank you so much Erica! :) *hugs* I wish you all the best in your love journey and that you will end up in the relationship you deserve! :)

  • Mei

    This is such an inspiring story. I was smiling the whole time reading this and I cannot wait to read part 4. I myself am not looking for a relationship right now because I am currently a student focused on studying, but reading this is an eye opener. Thank you!

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you so much Mei! :) I’m so glad that you have found this inspiring. I look forward to sharing part 4 with all of you soon! (It’d have to be later this week as I’m currently swamped with finishing some other work!)

  • max

    hey celes,

    such an inspirational post. i’m glad you finally found your soulmate. i see so much potential for you two as a couple. your story is so funny since i experience something similar right now.

    much respect,
    max

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thanks for your comment Max! I hope you find the happy ending that you deserve! :)

  • Mimi

    For me the funny thing about reading part 3, is that it feels like you just took my situation and typed it out lol. The exact self sabotaging words I use to myself, the ‘interrogations’ , telling the other person that its just experimental. Cant wait for part 4.. this is very interesting Celes now i know its normal to feel the way I do. All the same I am happy for you.

  • Hilda Chia

    love it Celes. :) thanks for sharing :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      You’re very welcome Hilda! :)

  • Gabriela Molina

    I love it :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thank you Gabriela!!! :)

  • Mikey

    Love that you’re sharing this story so special and important to you. The infamous interrogations was also finally touched on! Everything is funny and interesting at the same time. Happy for you and Ken. You two are made for each other. :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Haha yes, the interrogations finally make their appearance in this post!! Many readers have been asking me about that so I’m glad to finally be able to touch on them here, because I found them quite funny too in retrospect!! :)

  • http://www.starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/ Moonsparkle

    I enjoyed reading this. That’s exactly how I would be, thinking that he’s not really interested in me, he doesn’t like me as much as he says he does, I’m just imagining this etc! “This hasn’t worked out for me before, so why should it now?” kind of thing. I think it would be hard for me to believe that I had actually met a man who liked me as much as I liked him and that he wanted to be with me.

    I also understand what you mean about freaking out about the thought of getting into a committed relationship and having no excuse to remain single anymore. When you’re single for a long time you get used to it, it’s all you know and like you said, you have no reference point to go on about being in a committed, long term relationship. The idea of being attached to someone is actually a bit scary to me, especially the idea of marriage. It’s like being “tied down”, lol. But I know that I want to experience a loving, mutual, conscious (as you say) relationship. Not necessarily marriage, although I don’t rule it out.

    I’ve had similar experiences to you, where the man I liked was unavailable, he didn’t seem as interested in me as I was in him, I wasn’t interested in him or I liked him but only as a friend- it just wouldn’t “match up” somehow. I think it’s great that you found the right man for you and moved past your issues and it gives me hope that I can do the same. :) Looking forward to Part 4!

    P.S. Lol about the questions you asked Ken! It’s nice that he was patient with you and the fact that you wanted to know things about him before getting involved and willing to answer your questions. He seems like a good man. I hope I can find someone like Ken one day! :)

  • http://about.me/sulthana Sulthana

    Hahahaha… Celes, I laughed so much reading all your parts and am looking forward to part 4! I can so relate to you in almost everything you’ve done (but have been doubting whether I should – especially on interrogating) but since it’s worked for you, I think I’ll continue following that route… :D Thank you so much for being so candid and open and sharing what is such a personal story :)

  • http://hackmyheart.com/ Calae

    Reading through this made me so happy! I’ve dealt with similar feelings/situations before, so to be honest, reading that even someone who has worked through as much as you have in regards to your own insecurities/feelings could still have these fears made you/this story feel very much more relatable. (I ended up typing a lot here, my apologies; I think I needed some catharsis after what I went through. x) )

    For me, things were a bit different though — there were some insecurities on the other person’s part that made it difficult for me to come to terms with what our relationship was or what I should expect from it. We spent so much time together, whether studying or eating or watching TV shows or going places, that it seemed that he liked me. We had deep conversations and I witnessed the very few times he has cried ever in his life, so I knew he felt that I was important to him. But he wanted to be single, and had (what I felt were) both genuine and non-genuine reasons for that. Namely, he wasn’t sure how he felt for me, and he was afraid that he would regret cutting himself off of being able to be with anyone he wanted/have flings too soon and would regret it later. He didn’t want to hurt me.

    Meanwhile, I didn’t know how to handle it. My heart loved him, and intellectually I understood where he was coming from. I didn’t want him to do something he’d regret. I wanted him to be with me because he wanted to be, not because it seemed like we should be together. But man, did it hurt — I felt like I was being put on the back-burner, despite the fact we spent most of our free time together. I told myself at the very least I wanted to be his friend, but I was in pain with the semi-romantic relationship not being set. I cared deeply for him, but we weren’t together and who knows when someone else could come into his life and take my place?

    To add to my confusion, he began telling me how important I was to him. He told me I was the most important person to him. He told me specifically that the problem wasn’t me. I think deep down, my own insecurities were preventing me from believing that. I think we both had some trouble with our feelings and deciding what they meant.

    Finally, we had a particularly heart-wrenching conversation. He told me I was irreplaceable for him, and that he felt like we would be together, but he was scared. He needed time. He gave me a date months in the future, and he said he’d give me a definitive answer at that time whether or not he wanted to be in a relationship with me. I felt heart-broken. I felt like he was choosing other people over me, people he didn’t even know. I felt like this had already gone on for so long. I didn’t want him to feel regret — he’d never had a girlfriend, despite asking out many people, and I think he feared rejection — but I felt hurt. I went to bed that night unsure of what to do.

    Meanwhile, he talked to his friends after our conversation. He didn’t know what to do. He knew he was hurting me. His friends told him to give a relationship a shot. He was scared — he wasn’t sure of his feelings. He didn’t want to hurt me. But he knew I was more important to him than the possible regret of encounters and “flings” that may or may not happen.

    So the next morning, he came over just as I was waking up. He asked me out, with two stipulations: 1) That we were honest with each other (which is all we’ve ever been with each other) 2) If things didn’t work out, we would remain friends. Really, that was all I’d wanted, so of course I agreed. =)

    I don’t know how things will end up, to be honest. He’s still unsure of his feelings, and I’m still shaken from months of confusion. But I’m glad for the chance to give things a try, and I’m glad to know that I was important enough for him that he valued me so much. I think we’re both secure and honest enough to work through our remaining insecurities together. If nothing else, I know we’ll remain great friends. That’s all I could ask for.

    • http://www.starsparklex.blogspot.co.uk/ Moonsparkle

      Thanks for sharing your story. I hope things work out for you both. :)

      • http://hackmyheart.com/ Calae

        Thank you so much! I’m glad that sharing my story is of interest to people. =)

    • Tricia

      sounds to me like he had commitmentphobia (nothing to do with the other partner – it’s often the person’s own deep-seated issues). People with commitmentphobia often *do* love their partners very much but find it difficult taking the plunge and saying yes to an official relationship, so by being so patient and understanding with him despite the confusion you’re helping him deal with this. He’s lucky to have you! :) Sounds like you’re both going to grow as individuals from this relationship. :)

      • http://hackmyheart.com/ Calae

        Thank you so much, Tricia! I really do believe this is the case here. It’s not easy on either side for this — being patient with a commitmentphobe can be painful at times, but I’m sure they’re also dealing with feelings that something must be wrong with them, too! It’s my true hope that we continue to help each other grow, regardless of if we stay in a romantic relationship or not. Thank you for the positivity in this situation, it’s very nice to hear that my actions are in the right place. =)

    • JadePenguin

      Interesting story! I never understood people who stay out of relationships fearing they’d hurt the other person. Aren’t they already doing so by staying out of it, yet staying close to them?

      • http://hackmyheart.com/ Calae

        From what I understand, they are. It’s like any other insecurity where your actions are to try and protect yourself, yet often they’re actually causing pain. I’m glad you found interest in my story! =)

    • Susan

      Dear Calae, I had a similar special friend when I was about your age. I considered him to be the love of my life, to which no one else could ever measure up. Sadly, in spite of being close for several years, things never worked out for us because of his issues. For many years I felt cheated that I could not be with the one true solemate that I found, but about 20 years later I came to realize that he was the one that truly missed out on the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to be with me. That might sound like “sour grapes” but it’s really not. I have let go of the attachment, and can objectively see that his choices led him to an incompatible partner and thus to a less fulfilling life than he could have had if he had made other choices. But his choices were his to make, and not mine to direct.

      • http://hackmyheart.com/ Calae

        I’m so glad you were able to move on, Susan. I’ve had deep feelings for others before (perhaps naively) that have never amounted to anything, and left me feeling awful. But like you realized, I could later see that things worked out in my favor. It’s hard at the time, though — love is a difficult thing at times, and like you said, we can’t control another’s actions. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s nice to know I’m not alone. =)

  • JadePenguin

    “small little me”

    *giggles* Somehow find it hard to believe someone as accomplished as you would feel that way :o But as you said – it was a completely new situation for you. I’m glad you managed to apply your knowledge from other areas to that dilemma and everything turned out perfect :)

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thank you so much Jade!! :) Indeed, there are always new limiting beliefs to break through in any new situation, and it’s important that we remain conscious of what our limiting beliefs and address them such that they don’t hold us back. :) I hope this part of the series has helped everyone to get some insight into the mental processing we need to do in “finding” love, and that it’s not just about waiting the guy to appear out of the sky (for what you know, he/she may well be in your circle already!).

      • JadePenguin

        I can’t help but agree with the last part. In spring I was thinking I’d have to wait until the new academic year to have a chance of meeting a match. Then out of the blue, an ex of mine contacted me. Now it’s 3 months together and going better than ever :)

        At the end of your life, you only regret the things you didn’t do…

  • Don

    Great job recognizing that what you were assuming about him was just reflections and not an accurate picture of what he was. Fortunate that you realized it and were able to move past them!

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Thanks Don!! :) Yes, I want readers to know with part three that finding the one for us isn’t just about “meeting” the right person, but about us being mentally and emotionally at the right place too. Just as we work on being our best self and being open to others, we must ensure that we don’t have any beliefs that hold us back from being with our soulmate/life partner in the end!

  • http://erryka-rye.deviantart.com/ Erica

    im going to draw you , dear Celes… for inspiring me in everything.. you may choose with Ken or only you.. just send me through my email.. your best photo :) <3 #bighug

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw that’s very sweet Erica! :) Thank you so much for your offer. Incidentally Ken and I are in the midst of waiting for the final pictures of our engagement shoot, so if you could hang on a week or so, we would have time to get the pictures, choose our favorite one, and send that over to you for drawing if that’s okay? So excited to see your art!! :)

      • http://erryka-rye.deviantart.com/ Erica

        okaaayyy ^^ . im waiting then… :)

        • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

          Hi Erica, I just e-mailed you the picture! :) Let me know if you didn’t receive it and looking forward to seeing the output!! :)

  • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

    Hi Sulthana, I was already thinking on doing a piece on how to figure out if someone is compatible with you, so let me chew on that some more! My questions were very specific to Ken, his life, and our connection so they wouldn’t have any relevance to people outside of our relationship actually. I wouldn’t mind sharing anecdote examples (where relevant) to support my article though.

    Side note on the article: That’s quite interesting about the article you have linked with the questions. IMO though I’m not sure if the questions can be an accurate verifier of compatibility because (a) not everyone would have the mental and emotional capacity to get through that specific set of questions — in fact I’m not sure if I can because many seem very “heavy”! (b) some people aren’t just good with such hypothetical, “what if” projection questions — their conscious answers don’t convey what their deepest selves even though they may have very deep personalities (b) the questions don’t seem to be very universal (e.g., Q5 on singing wouldn’t apply to me since I don’t sing to anyone at all, Q1 I don’t have the habit of having guests over for dinner at all.) I’m not sure if Ken and I would get matched up if we were to be matched based on those questions!

    That said, I think it is an interesting tool to get to know another person better and can reveal some interesting insights. As the opening of the article said, it’s a way to accelerate the getting-to-know-other-person process. But not all people would be open to being grilled in that kind of fashion with those kind of questions too so it’s something to consider for those of you reading this. (I wouldn’t have lasted; Ken definitely wouldn’t have too based on what I know about him.)

  • Tricia

    I’ve found questions like those that Eric Barker suggests to come up naturally over the course of getting to know another person on a deeper level. I would never ask them all at once, one after the other in one sitting, but just sprinkle one in occasionally to understand your partner better as an unusual and different conversational topic to spice things up. I think it’s a great idea, if only for the sake of fun or for the sake of understanding how your partner sees themselves (even if it’s not exactly accurate of their true true selves deep down). Also Celes, if your answer is one like “I never sing to anyone at all” or “I’d never have dinner guests over”, that is all part of getting to know one another and IMO is an important thing to know about your partner. Everything says something about the other person, no matter what the answer is.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Hi Tricia, that’s true! I was assessing the questions more based on whether they match the messages/objective which the questionaire designer was trying the elicit, rather than debunking the merit of question-asking in helping to know someone better (it definitely would help).

      So example for the dinner question (“Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?”), I would presume that question is to tease out someone the person is interested to meet/know better & why, vs. wanting to know if the person has a habit of having dinner guests. So while I would personally reword the question as “Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want to meet?” (vs. “want as a dinner guest?”) and answer it as such to give the person a better insight to myself, not everyone will reframe in that matter. Some people will simply answer the question as such which will miss an insight-moment.

      Given that the questions seem designed as an get-to-know-each-other accelerator used in the beginning of a relationship, I thought the wording will be particularly important. And like you said, such questions are great to ask over the course of a relationship. I do that all the time with Ken and we have quite funny discussions sometimes talking about hypothetical “what ifs”, sometimes based on totally trivial trains of thoughts!

  • http://wikitalks.com/ Maria G.

    I like such romantic stories because they prove that real love exists and people can be happy. Of course some complications can appear but anyway if two people are meant to be together then nothing in the world will separate them.

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Totally agree with you, Maria! Real love really does exist and I’m seeing that first hand every day with my relationship with Ken. I want to let everyone, single or attached, know that with this series so that we never lose faith in meeting our soulmate/our highest connection (whenever that may be).

  • Kiki Maria Valera

    What a beautiful picture! I love the last one! You look so pretty, Celestine! And Ken looks handsome too! What a beautifully handsome couple!
    You know, this is the first time I heard about Celes infamous interrogation style! I actually first heard about this questionnaire method in a Steve Harvey Book titled, “Act like a Lady, think like a Man. I know that’s what I do whenever I’m getting to know someone. Of course, I went a little over board and made it completely obvious I was interrogating them! HA HA
    But, yeah, I know you said you’ve known each other for four months. I think it is amazing that you two are so connected emotionally and mentally. That’s what I want to happen to me! :)
    I have never been in love before, so the idea is a little frightening to me; I’ll admit. Even the idea of soul mates doesn’t appeal much to me. I always think that no matter how close you are to a person there is always a chance they’ll disappear. Mostly because it’s happened before…
    >.< ah, but I am young! Way too young to give up on love! Anyway, I can only pray happiness and joy over you too, and that you live the rest of your lives together fulfilled and complete!
    And yes! I am eagerly waiting for part 4!~~<3

    • http://personalexcellence.co/ Celestine Chua

      Aw thank you Kiki! :) As I have mentioned in my comment reply to Simon in part one, don’t worry about this whole notion of soulmates (or even love for that matter). It’s possible some people have soulmates and some don’t; it’s possible some have that one soulmate they are destined to meet while some have multiple possible soulmates.

      Love exists in all forms, and romantic love is merely one of the many forms of love in life. There’s parental love, sibling love, friendship love, mentoring love, love for fellow humans, among others. Focus on loving and receiving love in general, rather than one particular form of love.

      Also, focus on being your highest self and living your best life, and you will naturally attract your life’s best mate. (It did for me, as I’ve detailed in the series.)

      • Kiki Maria Valera

        true. Limiting love to just romantic takes away from love itself. Yes, I have thought about the notion of one true love as you mentioned. However, whatever my path is, I chose to accept love regardless of it’s form. Through my family, friends, myself and people. I want to love people as I love myself, and live my highest form. I want to be the best me, and encourage others to do the same. i want to be whole as well. ^_^