This is part 5 of my 7-part series where I share my love journey, how I met my soulmate, and how you can attract authentic love as well. If you are new to this series, read Part 1: My Journey in Love first.
Thank you for your wonderful comments for the first 4 parts of the series! :) It has been my joy to share my love story and I hope it has inspired you to believe that true love as we imagine does exist, and helped you gain insights into how you can “find” your one (where the “finding” is figurative, not literal).
By now, all of you know my love story with Ken. However, our story has been told from my perspective. Some of you are interested to hear his side of the story, from what triggered him to reconnect with me after nine years, to how he figured out I’m his one.
So today, I’ve invited Ken to take the stage and answer your questions. And boy are there many: this interview ended up being over 2,600 words long!! As you read this Q&A, I hope you will gain insights for yourself and your love journey. Without further ado, take it away GG! :)
Q) How old are you? (From Alyssa)
32 (as of 2013). (And hello to Alyssa and all PE readers!)
Q) What do you do?
I’m a software consultant and have been in the IT line for the past seven years. When I was a kid, I would code computer games for my friends to play. So at that time, I already knew I was going to enter into an IT-related career when I grow up, which was what I did.
Q) What inspired you to contact Celes back when she was in South Africa? (From Glenn, Alyssa, Cassie)
I remember it was 4+am that night. I had just finished a work meeting and was sitting on my office chair (I work with teammates around the world so my work hours start from the afternoon to late at night). All of a sudden, I had this thought to organize my contact list.
As I was doing that, I saw Celes’ name near the top of the list. I thought I’d drop a message to say hi since we had not talked for years. I remember that Celes was running her personal development business, and that she has a Facebook page.
So I checked out her page and saw that she was in South Africa. I saw her latest update then — of the dinner she just had at home, made by her housemate.
Then I googled how to say “hi” in South African language, and used it to initiate conversation. Also knowing that it was 10+pm at her side as I checked the time zone difference before messaging her.
The interesting thing is I rarely organize my contact list and totally had no idea that a seemingly simple message like this on Whatsapp can lead to a conversation over half an hour long and subsequently an amazing relationship of a lifetime. Celes was the first and last person I contacted that night. I immediately went to bed after she turned in.
Q) Were you just reconnecting with her as a friend or did you already have the intention to woo her? (From Alyssa)
As a friend. At that time I was single for a while after nine years of back-to-back relationships, and I was very happy with the status quo. I had no intention to get to know girls, woo girls, or get into a relationship.
Q) What was going on in your life then (other than sorting out your contacts)? :) (From Vishnu)
Work and more work. Lots of partying — I was clubbing three times a week to meet my friends and for the music, atmosphere, dancing, and drinks. I wasn’t going there to pick up girls, though I did make new friends through clubbing.
Q) What did you think about Celes in the previous times you met? Why didn’t you get in touch with her back then but only recently? (From JadePenguin)
When I first met her in university (2004), I thought she was a creative person as she is very good at design.
We just spoke a few lines then as part of a functional chairperson-to-committee-member relationship, so there was really no reason to be in touch.
When I ran into her on the streets a few years later (2008), I thought she was living her passion by starting her own business. I knew this as she passed me her name card (for Personal Excellence) in that brief encounter. Since we didn’t keep in touch the first time, there was no reason to stay in touch this time either.
Also, I generally do not keep in touch with girls. I had always been in relationships ever since university up to two years ago and with little gaps in between each relationship, so I never tried to know new girls or keep in touch with other girls out of respect for my then-girlfriends.
It so happened that I saw her name when going through my contacts list that night that I thought to say “hi” after so long.
Q) Celes mentioned how events in her life predicted your advent. Any signs in your life suggesting her arrival? (From Muna)
None that I’m aware of. It totally caught me by surprise. Though about a month before I reconnected with her (Celes: this was in the same period when I had the realization that I was done “finding” love.), I suddenly had a feeling, I am ready to meet the girl I’m going to spend the rest of my life with.
Q) How did you feel about the interrogation rounds?
I found them quite amusing, partly because no one has ever done that to me before. More importantly, with each question Celes asked, I secretly felt that she was caring more about me and the relationship which I could see us entering into.
So I answered them openly, even though I was aware that some of my answers might push her away. I thought, If Celes is going to be the one I’m going to spend the rest of my life together with, then there should be no hiding or dodgy answers, but complete openness.
Q) When and how did you realize Celes is The One for you? (From Muna, Cassie)
Right from our first Whatsapp conversation, our connection felt special. Even though I had been in so many relationships, I’ve never felt this way with other girls — not even close. I looked forward to chatting with her every day even though I barely knew her before this and had not seen her for almost five years.
Within two weeks of chatting, the feeling grew so strong that I knew she is the one, even though we had still not met up (she was still in South Africa). This feeling intensified after meeting up.
Initially I thought my feelings were one-sided, because, how can I be sure of how someone else is feeling?
But I later learned that Celes was also feeling positive about our connection as well at the point we got together. From that point onwards, I knew there was no turning back: I was falling in love like I never have before in my life.
And two days after we got together (Celes: this was after our 8.5-hour phone call), I realized, This is the girl I want to be with for the rest of my life, and the girl I want to propose to a month later.
As to how I realized she is the one, the best way I can explain it is that I thought my life was full before, only to realize after meeting her that I was actually living such an empty life. I had been in many relationships before and never knew that such a deep, powerful relationship can exist until I met her. The level of compatibility — mentally, emotionally, etc. — is nothing I’ve experienced before. We are able to communicate very deeply, on anything and everything, and we can just keep talking without stopping. It’s as if I’ve known her for a long time, even though the absolute time we’ve been together is short.
With her, I see a future together. There is this certainty that, this is it, and we’re going to be together with each other till the end of time.
Q) Any part of you that thought you were moving fast (with moving in together, proposing) or did it all feel exactly right? Also, did your previous relationships move fast by society’s / friends’ standards? (From Cassie)
It was because everything just felt right. I was aware that things were moving very fast, but not because we were trying to rush into things. I proposed to Celes to show her that I’m ready to commit my life to her, and to show my conviction to her. I’ve always felt that proposing is the ultimate declaration of love any guy can give to a girl.
To your second question, no. In all my past relationships — many several years long — we did not move in together, I did not propose, and we did not discuss marriage.
Q) What inspired the romantic proposal? Did you ever imagine you would have such a romantic proposal or was it inspired solely by Celes? :) (From Vishnu)
At the point I decided she is the one I want to marry, I had no idea how the proposal was going to be. The one thing I was sure was that I wanted to make the proposal a memorable experience for Celes, one that she would remember for life.
At the start, I asked my friends — many of them — for proposal ideas. Many ideas did not fit our relationship. My conclusion was that my proposal has to come from our relationship rather than from outside parties for it to be meaningful.
So I looked at the details of our relationship and incorporated them into the proposal. For example, her first Whatsapp flower icon to me was the tulip, so I bought tulips for the proposal. I also actively observed everything she said/did and designed the proposal based on that. One time she woke up from a nap and told me she dreamed about balloons flying into the sky, so I decided to incorporate balloons in the proposal. Her first gift to me was Royce chocolates, so I hid the ring box inside a Royce chocolates box. I ordered 555 heart-shaped balloons as 5 is a recurring number in our relationship. I chose the heart shape as it’s a recurring theme in our relationship.
On the actual day, I got three friends to help me set up the proposal site, and two other friends to take videos.
The fact that there was a haze in Singapore then and it cancelled my original beach proposal plan didn’t help (I originally planned to propose at the beach, on my company’s family day). I ended up only having four days to regroup and create a new proposal plan, which was dinner and a night out at her favorite restaurant, followed by a proposal by the Singapore River.
It turned out to be the best arrangement as Celes really loved it: she said more so than if I had gone ahead with the beach idea.
(Celes: A low-down of the day of the proposal: My Proposal)
Q) Have you ever considered that both of you might just be going through a honeymoon period now, and all this will fade away eventually? (From Sharon)
No. I’ve been into too many relationships not to know the difference between honeymoon-period feelings and real emotions. The level of compatibility between us is out of this world. I’ve never felt this way about any other woman.
Q) As you know, Celes is a public figure, with tons of people reading her blog. Your love story with her is now on her blog, available for everyone to read. How do you feel about having your life-related matters being put out there and read by others? Are you a public figure yourself? (From PC, Cassie)
I’m perfectly comfortable with Celes sharing the details of our relationship with the public. I really like the work she is doing and sharing our story is another way for her to share her life experience with others.
To your second question, no, I’m not a public figure. I’m very comfortable being put out there in the public but my personal preference is to stay away from the limelight. I’m perfectly cool that Celes is a public figure herself.
Q) Are there ever moments when you get sick of each other? (From Cassie, Moonsparkle)
No. But there have been times when we fell sick and took care of each other. :)
Q) Celes repeatedly speaks of you as having a high EQ. How did you develop that?
I usually don’t talk more than what’s necessary. So I channel my attention to pick up tiny verbal and non-verbal cues of people and things around me. Over time, I’ve learned to spot very minute differences in people’s feelings and thoughts, which I believe helps me respond sensitively to their needs.
Q) Celes mentioned all the great things you do for her. Did you care for your past girlfriends the way you care for her? What is your inspiration behind this greatness? (From Love from INFJ)
I feel bad for saying this, but no, I didn’t care for them the way I care for her. It’s not that I didn’t care for them; it’s just the way I care for Celes is on a totally different level.
Why? It’s nothing to do with them; it’s just that Celes is my soulmate and I’ve finally found her. I want to take care of her in all aspects, of all her needs. When our two souls finally reconnected in May, there was an explosion of emotions that made me want to care for her more than I care for myself. In short, she is my inspiration behind my care for her.
Q) How about Celes? Does Celes take care of you, and how? (From Love from INFJ)
Yes, in ways I never thought possible.
- When I’m held up with work, she wakes up early in the morning to get groceries and make lunch for me.
- When she found out that I love mooncakes, she surprised me with a strawberry-flavored mooncake (I love strawberry flavor).
- When she noticed that my skincare products were running out a few months ago, she brought me to a men’s cosmetic counter and bought them for me.
- Because I was losing hair not too long ago, she began to wash my hair daily to make sure my scalp is cleaned thoroughly.
- She helped me quit smoking in just one week by unpeeling the layers in my subconsciousness to find out the root cause behind my smoking. Previously, I had smoked for many years and tried many times to stop, without success.
There is so much more that she has done for me that it’s impossible to list them all.
Q) Has your life changed since being in this relationship? If so, how?
Yes, in many ways. I stopped smoking, I drink much lesser now, I look younger, I lost some excess weight due to healthier eating, there is an emotional and spiritual fulfillment in me that I had never felt before, and people around me are all very happy that I’ve found the one for me and am finally settling down. Before this, I had never thought about getting married or settling down.
Q) What is the best thing you see in Celes? (From Muna)
Her kind heart. The heart is the thing that I was looking for in a girl, and when I met Celes, her kind heart stood out especially: in the way she interacts with others, from the work she does, and even from the way she treats living things in her environment.
Though what initially pulled me towards her was her inner beauty, I later realized that, wow, she’s very beautiful on the outside as much as she’s beautiful in her inner soul. Not only that, she’s also the smartest woman I’ve ever met, very driven and extremely passionate about everything she does.
Q) Any final words to those reading this?
I’m happy to have this Q&A with all of you and to share my side of the story. I look forward to everyone growing together and reaching greater heights in their personal growth journey.
And to Celes: Maomao, I love you! Thank you for coming into my life… ♥
/end of Ken’s Q&A
Next Part of the Series
I hope you have found this Q&A helpful. :) I’m very blessed to have found Ken and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. I hope you guys have a better insight into his character and our story after reading this interview. :)
This is not the last you’ll hear of Ken I’m sure; I’m sure he’ll pop back in every here and there, be it in my blog post examples or to share thoughts on a personal growth topic (e.g. how he quit smoking).
Some of our photos in the series are actually from our engagement shoot in Scotland. Check out our full set of photos here:
- Part 1 in Glasgow (Featuring Kelvingrove Park, West End)
- Part 2 in Edinburgh (Featuring Tantallon Castle, Cramond Beach, St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh City)
Update May 2014: We’re now married! :) Check out our wedding photos here: The Day I Got Married
Proceed to part 6 on how to attract love into your life: 10 Steps To Attract Authentic Love.
This is part 5 of my 7-part series where I share my love journey, how I met my soulmate, and how you can attract authentic love as well.
- Part 1: My Journey in Love
- Part 2: Meeting My Husband (Someone I Knew From Before)
- Part 3: Addressing My Inner Demons
- Part 4: How I Realized My Husband Is The One For Me
- Part 5: How My Husband Realized I Am The One For Him (And Your Questions For Him, Answered)
- Part 6: 10 Steps To Attract Authentic Love
- Part 7: How To Know When You Have Found ‘The One’: 8 Questions To Consider
(Images: Selected shots of Ken and I from our Glasgow Engagement Shoot; Other photos by us)