This is part 5 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, Part 2: Appearance of Ken Soh (Someone I Knew Before), Part 3: Addressing My Inner Demons and Part 4: How I Realized Ken is The One for Me Forever first.
Thank you for all your wonderful comments for the first 4 parts of the series. :) It has been my honor and joy to share my love story and I hope it has (a) inspired you to believe that true love as we have always imagined does, in fact, exist and (b) helped you to gain insights on how you can “find” your special someone (whereby the “finding” is figurative, not literal).
By know, all of you know my love story with Ken. However, our story has been told from my perspective. Some of you have been interested to hear Ken’s side of the story, from what triggered him to reconnect with me after 9 years, to how he figured out that I’m his one, to his inspiration behind his romantic proposal, to his take on the speed of development of our relationship.
That’s why I’ve invited Ken to participate in part 5 of the series, so he can say his piece. :D In today’s post, Ken will take the stage as he answers your questions. And boy are there many questions: this interview turned out to be nearly 4,000 words long!! As you read this Q&A, it is my wish that you will gain insights for yourself and use our experience to further your love journey.
I will now pass the stage to Ken. :) Take it away, Gougou! ♥ =^..^=
How old are you? (From: Alyssa)
32 (as of 2013). (And hello to Alyssa and all PE readers! ^^)
What do you do?
I’m a software consultant in Hewlett Packard and have been in the IT line for the past 7 years. I remember when I was a kid, I used to code computer games for my friends to play. So at that time, I already knew I was going to enter an IT-related career when I grow up, which was what I did.
(Update Feb 2015: Ken has since left HP and is now working in a different company, in an IT role as well.)
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. Then 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 Celes was doing her personal development business, and I remember she has a Facebook page (I don’t remember how I knew this).
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.
(Celes: My facebook timeline that fateful night)
Then I googled how to say “hi” in South Afrikaan, and I realized there are so many ways to say hi because there are so many Afrikaan languages, LOL! I selected the most popular one of the list, and then used it to initiate the conversation. Also knowing that it was 10+pm at her side then because I checked the time zone differences before messaging her.
The interesting thing is that I rarely organize my contact list and I totally had no idea that a seemingly simple message like this on Whatsapp can open up a conversation over half an hour long and subsequently an amazing relationship that is going to last a lifetime. Celes was the first and last person I contacted that night. I immediately went to bed after she turned in.
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 had already been single for a while (one and a half years) after 9 years of back-to-back relationships and I was happy as a single. I was very happy with the status quo in my life and I had no intention to woo girls, get to know girls, or get into a relationship at all.
What was going on in your life then (other than sorting out your contacts? :) (From: Vishnu)
Work and more work. Lots of partying: clubbing 3 times a week. I clubbed to meet my friends and for the music, atmosphere, dancing, and drinks. As I was already happy as a single, I wasn’t going there to pick up girls, though I did make new friends through clubbing.
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, I thought she was a creative person because she is very good at design.
(Celes: I designed a website for the BizCom committee during my brief stint there; this was the site I did for them.)
We just spoke a few sentences then as a functional chairperson-to-committee-member relationship, so there was really no reason to be in touch.
When I met her again 4.5 years later, I thought she was living her passion by starting her own business. I knew this because she passed me her name card in that brief encounter. Since we did not keep in touch the first time, there was really no reason to stay in touch.
Also, I generally do not keep in touch with girls. I had been in relationships since university till 2 years ago, with little gaps between each relationship, so I never had a reason to know new girls.
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.
Celes mentioned how events in her life predicted your advent (like you guys meeting every 4.5 years and her tarot card reading in Spain). 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 meeting Celes (Celes: That was Februray; it was the exact same period when I realized that I was done “finding someone” for the sake of doing so) and after one and a-half years of staying single, I just had a feeling: I am ready to meet the girl of my life.
How did you feel about the “interrogation” rounds? (From: Celes — Interrogation about the interrogation. LOL!)
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. (Celes: While some guys might see such questions as “attacking” and “intrusive” and hence erect defences, Ken perceived them as showing care and interest, which was really what they were actually. It speaks volumes about his level of consciousness and self-assurance.)
So I took on those interrogative questions without reservation and shared my answers openly. So much so that although I was aware that some of my answers might push her away than pull her closer to me, I just answered honestly. I thought, If Celes is going to be the one I’m going to spend the rest of my life together, there should be no hiding or dodgy answers, but complete openness.
When/How did you realize Celes is The One for you? (From: Muna, Cassie)
Right from the start, from our first Whatsapp conversation, our connection just felt special. Even though I’ve known so many girls and been in so many relationships, I’ve never felt this way — not even close. I simply looked forward to chatting with her every day even though at that point she was someone whom I had not seen for almost 5 years and barely even talked to before.
And then, within a short span of 2 weeks of chatting, the feeling got so strong that I knew she is the one even though she was still in South Africa and we had not met up yet after all this while. And this awareness intensified after we met up.
Initially I thought my positive feelings were only one-sided because… how can I ever be sure of how someone else is feeling?
Celes: April 15 (2013), one of our chat snippets while I was still in South Africa. Ken still didn’t know the special place of our chats in my heart. :)
But then later on I found that Celes was also feeling positive about this connection at the point we got together (Celes: on May 5, 2013).
Then that point onwards, I knew there was no turning back: I was falling in love like I have never before in my life. While I thought I had fallen in love before (in past relationships), being with Celes made me realize that what I thought was “falling in love” in the past was not really “falling in love” — this is.
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 totally no idea how the proposal was going to be like. In fact I had never thought about marriage or marrying anyone until I met her.
All I knew was, 3 days after we got together (Celes: this was right after our 8.5-hour phone call), 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.
The other thing I was sure of was that I wanted to do the proposal in a way that would give Celes a memorable experience. I didn’t really think about making the proposal romantic, but simply to make it an experience that she would thoroughly enjoy and remember for the rest of her life.
At the start, I asked my friends — quite a number of them — for proposal ideas. I realized many ideas did not fit our relationship. The conclusion was that my proposal has to come from our relationship rather than from outside parties for it to be meaningful.
It turned out that the answers to what I was looking for were already given to me by Celes in our daily interactions.
Not in the sense that Celes was actively giving me clues on how she wanted the proposal to be (she was totally not thinking about the proposal at all and in fact kept ignoring my attempts to talk about it), but that I was actively listening to every little thing she said/did and designing the proposal based on that.
Things like the one time she woke up from a nap and told me about her dream with balloons flying into the sky, to her telling me that she would like to have a beach wedding one day (which was why I originally wanted to propose at my company’s family day event at Sentosa beach). (Celes: By the way, things have changed and I/we no longer want a beach wedding; we are now opting for a nice and cosy indoor affair. :) )
I also looked at the little 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.
(Celes: My first virtual flower to Ken: the tulip. :) I was still in South Africa then; it was 10:56pm in S.A. and 4:56am in Singapore.)
Her first gift to me as a friend was the Royce chocolates, so I hid the ring box inside a Royce chocolates box.
I then set off to order 555 heart-shape balloons (I actually bought 570 in case some flew away, LOL). I chose the heart shape because it’s a recurring theme in our relationship: from our communications, to our hand gestures, to the food we eat.
On the actual day, I got 3 friends to help me set up the proposal site. I got 2 other friends to take videos of the process because I noticed that Celes likes to record little things in her life (e.g. her blog entries, occurrences in our relationship) and I thought recording this would be a nice gift for her, on top of the ring and the proposal.
I’ve to say that planning for the proposal was really not easy, because at that point we were already living together and by each other’s side almost all the time: be it working, eating, and so on. (Celes: Both of us work from home; Ken with his overseas team and me with my blog and business.) So I was constantly looking out for brief moments when we were not together to communicate with my friends and prepare for the proposal.
The fact that there was a haze in Singapore at that time and it cancelled my original beach proposal plans didn’t help. I ended up only having 4 days (from Celes’ birthday) to regroup and set up a new proposal plan, which was to now to take her for a dinner and night out at Clarke Quay at her favorite restaurant, followed by a proposal by Singapore River.
It turned out to be the best arrangement in the end, because Celes really loved it: she said more so than if I had gone ahead with the beach idea.
And the joy she showed on her face during the proposal in the end? It was more than well-worth the effort put in. :)
(Celes: A lowdown of the day Ken proposed to me, complete with video footage: My Proposal)
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)
Absolutely not. I’ve been into too many relationships to know the difference between honeymoon-period feelings and real emotions. This relationship is out of this world, and I know it.
Having tasted how life is like with Celes, I cannot imagine life without her one day. It’ll be as if an originally able-sighted person loses the ability to see color and suddenly sees the world in black and white. And this feeling is not easy to communicate because I did not know about its existence before I met Celes (Celes: this is the same for me as well).
It’s only by being with her that I realized that, wow, such a powerful and all-encompassing relationship can exist. To be with anyone else would be settling for less. She’s all that I can ask for. She is all that I can ever want.
Besides, choosing a life partner to me is a decision that will last for life. I decided that Celes is my life partner not from some in-the-moment emotion, but from a thorough, definite knowingness that she is the one I want to be with forever, to take care of, and to be faithful to for the rest of my life: no “ifs” nor “buts”. This certainty I have with her is something which I’ve never felt before with any other girl.
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)
I was aware that things were moving very fast. But not because we were rushing into things: it was simply because everything just felt right. The level of compatibility that I feel with Celes is nothing that I’ve experienced before: it’s as if I’ve known her for a long, long time even though the absolute time we’ve been together was (Celes: and still is) so short.
Being with her, I knew then that I’ve met the girl of my life. Proposing to her is simply my way of showing my conviction to and my love for her. I’ve always felt that proposing is the ultimate declaration of love any guy can give to a girl.
On past relationships, no. I was previously in many relationships — all several years long — but we did not stay together, I did not propose, nor did we plan for marriage.
Ken: Because I was waiting for you to appear.
Celes: <.<;;; ♥ )
As you know, Celes is a public figure, with tons of people reading her blog. She frequently appears in the media, even Singapore television. 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 publicly read by others? Are you a public figure yourself? (From: PC, Cassie)
I’m perfectly comfortable that Celes is sharing details of our relationship to the public. I really like the work that she is doing and sharing our story is yet another way for her to share her life experience with others. By including all the little details, her readers will be able to relate to our story better, which will hopefully benefit them further.
On public figure: No, I’m not one. Personally 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.
Are there ever moments when you get sick of each other? (From Cassie, Moonsparkle)
Nope. But there have been moments when we fell sick and took care of each other. :)
Celes repeatedly speaks of you as having a high emotional quotient. How did you develop that?
If I didn’t have a high emotional quotient, Celes would probably not be sitting beside me now. Haha.
Jokes aside, I’m someone who usually doesn’t talk more than what’s necessary. So I channel my attention to picking up on tiny verbal and non-verbal cues of people and things around me. Hence I have, over time, learned to spot very minute differences and subtle changes in people’s feelings and thoughts which can be a good or bad thing.
It’s good because I’m able to see much more than I used to see. But it’s bad because I’m bombarded with information overload all the time. On the whole though, I find this more good than bad because I can easily ignore the information overload but if I can’t see the little details in the first place, I won’t even have the chance to process them.
I’m always interested in group dynamics and by paying attention to little nuances in the group as a whole, my attention to details is simply amplified many times over when I’m interacting one-on-one with someone like I always do with Celes.
Celes has mentioned all the great things you do for her. Did you care for your past girlfriends the way you care for Celes? What is your inspiration behind this greatness? :) (From: Love from INFJ)
I feel bad about saying this, but no, I didn’t care for them the way I care for Celes. 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.
On my inspiration: Firstly, Celes is all that matters to me, so I want nothing but the best for her. Secondly, when our 2 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. So in short, Celes is my inspiration behind my care for her.
How about Celes? Does Celes take care of you? How does she take care of you? (From: Love from INFJ)
Yes she does, in all ways that I’ve never thought possible and expected.
When I’m really 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 while I was working with a delicious snow-skin strawberry-flavored mooncake (and I love the strawberry flavor).
Celes: The strawberry-flavored snow-skin mooncake I got for Ken during mid-autumn festival :) (along with a Japanese noodle soup)
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 premium men’s skincare for me simply because she wants the best for me.
Because I was losing hair not too long ago, she began to wash my hair daily (even today) as she wants to make sure my scalp is cleaned thoroughly. (The condition has visibly improved since then.)
She has helped me to successfully 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.
All these really form the tip of the ice berg. There is so much more that she has done that if I continue elaborating, I don’t know if this interview will ever stop.
How is your relationship with Celes different from your past relationships?
I haven’t thought of this question before because I see my relationship with Celes as one that’s on a totally different level with new experiences and possibilities together.
If I were to really think back, I just have to say that whatever is happening now between us transcends beyond what I’ve ever experienced before in my past relationships — in all aspects. At the point when I was in my past relationships, it was not easy to see that a connection this deep, this powerful — basically what I have with Celes today — was even possible.
There is this certainty that, this is it, and we’re going to be together with each other all the way till the end of time.
Has your life changed since being in this relationship? If so, how?
Wow, yes — in many ways. I stopped smoking, I drink much lesser now, I look younger, I take care of myself even more now so that I can take care of Celes, I lost some excess weight due to healthier eating, there is an emotional and spiritual fulfillment in me every day 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. (Celes: Ken had previously never thought about marriage or settling down before.)
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: not just in the way she interacts with others, from the work that she does, but also from the way she treats living things in her environment.
Though what initially pulled me towards Celes 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 very passionate about everything she does.
I always tell her that she’s my 完美女人 (which means “perfect woman” in Chinese) because she’s perfect in every aspect to me. There’s no one else that I’d want to be with but her for the rest of my life.
Any final words to those reading this?
I’m happy to have this Q&A session with all of you and have the chance 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
I hope you have found this Q&A helpful. :D
To be honest I already knew Ken’s answers to all the questions the second I saw them, so none of his responses came as a surprise to me.
That’s because Ken and I spend a LOT of time communicating in our relationship. In the early weeks of our relationship, we spent so much time talking (on deep inner-core topics too, not just frivolous chat) that we developed a steep understanding for each other in weeks which many couples don’t have even after years of being together.
Within weeks together as a couple, we already felt like we are 2 parts of the same unit, just placed in different bodies. Like I mentioned in part 4, today, we feel like we are one entity sailing through life together every day even though we are technically 2 individuals: i.e. twin souls in the universe.
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 to his character and our love story after reading this interview. :D
This is not the last you’ll hear of him 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 advice on a personal growth topic (e.g. how he quit smoking). He’s here to stay and I hope you guys will embrace him with open arms like I have. :)
Some of the photos you’ve been seeing of us throughout 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: Here are our wedding photos and an inside look into our wedding day :) — The Day I Got Married ♥
Proceed to the next part of this series on how to attract love into your life: 10 Steps to Attract Authentic Love.
This is part 5 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.
- Part 1: My Journey in Love
- Part 2: Appearance of Ken Soh (Someone I Knew Before)
- Part 3: Addressing My Inner Demons
- Part 4: How I Realized Ken is The One for Me Forever
- Part 5: How Ken Realized I Am The One for Him (and Your Other 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 shots by us