How I Found My Soulmate, Part 1: My Journey in Love

This is part 1 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.

Engagement shoot: Ken giving me a piggyback ride in the forest-park

Ken and I in Glasgow (Photo from my Glasgow Engagement Shoot)

(Published on Sep 11, 2013)

So many of you have been asking me, since I got attached (and subsequently engaged), how I got to know my fiance, Ken. Some of you wanted to know how we got together, while some of you asked how we knew with such certainty that we are the ones for each other — within a month no less.

Update, May 2014: We are now married. :) Read about our wedding hereThe Day I Got Married

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Initially I wanted to hold off sharing the story of how we met till closer to our wedding, because I didn’t want people to diminish my message as we have not been together long.

But the truth is even though Ken and I have not been together long, it feels like we have known each other all along. For some reason, we are able to connect with each other on a very deep level, in a way I’ve not been able to do with anyone else in my life. If soulmates means two souls having an unexplainable affinity for each other be it mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, then that’s what we are to each other — soulmates, on all levels.

I’m excited to share my love story because I want to inspire all of you who are seeking love or have yet to find love. Whether you are single or attached, I hope this will give you hope about love. In this series, I will share the story of how we met, got attached, and realized that we are the ones for each other.

Here goes. :)

My Journey in Love (Up Till I Was 28)

How to move on with your heart

I’ve already shared parts of my love journey on the blog before. From my longstanding singlehood, to my past heartbreak, to my experience with a dating agency, these are all part of my love journey.

But to give you guys a complete picture, up until I got attached to Ken, I was single for the first 28 years of my life.

I grew up in a household where my parents staunchly ruled that I wasn’t allowed to see anyone until I graduated. When I say “graduated,” I mean graduating from university at the age of 22. While I never gave their opinions second thought, I believe their staunch and negative views on this topic made me subconsciously devalue my desire to be with someone.

I had a couple of relationships when I was in secondary school, but they were very short-term — each lasting no more than a couple of weeks. They were so insignificant and juvenile that I wouldn’t even regard them as relationships.

When I was in university, I liked someone (as I have shared in my moving on series, regarding G). It didn’t work out and I was left crushed, taking years to mend my broken heart thereafter.

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Yellow leaves

(Of course it all worked out in the end because I eventually met Ken, my real soulmate, but more on that later. Thinking back, G was not a true compatible match because had we gotten together, I would never have evolved to who I am today; he would also not be a fit for the person I’ve become.)

I grew up very career-driven and achievement-oriented. To me relationships come and go, but personal achievements and career, these stick forever. Seeing couples part ways after three, five, ten, or even more years simply reinforced to me the transient nature of relationships and that I shouldn’t invest too heavily in something that wouldn’t last. (I later realized that this belief isn’t true and had limited me from getting attached.)

Never Been in a Serious Relationship Before

Girl alone

Even though I had never been in a serious relationship before, it wasn’t because I wasn’t appealing enough or I lacked male attention.

On my appeal, I used to think that I wasn’t prettythin, or feminine enough to attract a good guy but I later realized that this wasn’t true and I was simply carrying very negative, limiting views of myself. I wrote about my revelations in The Beauty of Self – Why I Used To Feel Inferior about My LooksHow I Began to Love My Body (series), and How I Found My Place as a Female (series).

On attention from guys, I had male attention, but things just never worked out. It was always either that the guy wasn’t a match or that I had some interest but the guy didn’t follow up. I went on dates, but nothing ever came out of them. I usually concluded that we weren’t compatible and would do the fade-away thing (which I later realized wasn’t very nice when I experienced that myself).

I wanted to be with someone but I didn’t see the point of being in a relationship for the sake of it. I wanted to be with someone I truly liked and saw a future with, rather than just get together with some guy I didn’t feel strongly for.

Wondering if there was anyone out there for me

There were often times when I wondered if there was anyone out there for me at all. I would have lengthy chats with friends as we lamented about love and life, but my end conclusion would be that I, or anyone for that matter, had to remain hopeful. Whether or not there was someone for me, having a negative mindset wasn’t going to help me find love. I had to believe there is a special someone out there for everyone, and it is by being positive and being my best self that I would attract that person, whoever he might be.

Dipping my toes into dating: Jun 2011 to Early 2012

When I was 27, between June 2011 and early 2012, I began to dip my toes into dating/love. During this time, I went on a solo seven-month trip around Europe/U.S. for work and to meet new people and experience new cultures. I thought I wasn’t getting younger, so it was really time to get out there and meet people.

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I met a huge number of people, and even met a couple of relationship potentials in the process. But things didn’t work out, and I was very hurt in one of the cases. I simply moved on after that, having learned how to move on consciously from the G saga (as I shared in my heartbreak series). Each experience helped me learn more about what I was looking for and I looked forward to whoever I was meeting next.

Serious Dating Immersion: Jul-Dec 2012

Then in June 2012 as I turned 28, I decided to give romance a serious stab. No more “dipping my toe in the water” but seriously going deep into the ocean and full-on swimming.

There were a few reasons.

  • Work-wise, I was in a very good place, receiving over a million pageviews a month on PE and getting ongoing media coverage. I wanted to pursue my personal goals, such as romance.
  • I was happy with the other areas in my life wheel, such as health and fitness (I had cleaned up my diet over the years and was exercising regularly), contribution (I was giving value to the society daily through PE), friendships (I was surrounded by positive, like-minded people), family (my relationship with my parents was better than before), and personal growth (I was more conscious than I had ever been).

I felt that I was living my most purposeful life ever and it was time to take things to the next level by working on the one area I had not actualized yet — love. I felt that I owed it to myself to give love a serious stab because truth be told, I had been putting love on hold all my life. I would always pretend that I wasn’t interested in love or say I was busy working when deep down, I really wanted to meet my special someone.

Girl with a smile

I felt that it was high time to put myself out there, date, and seriously explore entering into a relationship with someone. And what better time to do it than now, given that I was 28? I thought, Whatever comes out of this is out of my control, but the most important thing is to put my best foot forward.

So I did.

  • Arranged dating. In July 2012, I joined a dating agency (they sponsored my dating package while I wrote about my date experience). I figured I would not rely on them to get dates, but simply to use it as an extra channel to meet new people.
  • Massive socializing and networking. I also started massively expanding my social circle. I joined entrepreneur networking and business events since they were in line with my interests and would help me with my work. I also felt that meeting people in such environments was the best way to showcase the real me, since work is a huge part of my life.
  • Dating events. I became open to dating activities like singles events — a first since I would put them down as silly and awkward in the past. My good friend, W, is single and joins singles events occasionally, so I would join him when I was free.
  • With friends. I let others know I was open to dating and told them to set me up on a date. I also constantly checked with friends and acquaintances if they had upcoming events I could join. Whenever people invited me to house parties, networking events, talks, etc., I would join in. To me, these were all opportunities to meet new people, on top of attending for the event itself.
  • To guys who asked me out. On a personal level, I became open to date invitations. When guys asked me out, I would accept their dates unless I really had no interest. This was a far cry from the past, when I would turn down almost every guy for the most whimsical reason. (The latter is a terminalistic approach, something I share in 10 Steps to Attract Authentic Love.)

Dating Spree – A Memorable Experience

So for the next six months, I went on more dates than I had ever gone on in my entire life. Actually, I went on more dates than most of my peers went on in their entire lives (before getting attached). I could easily be on three to four dates a week, sometimes with pretty eligible men. If I had deprived myself in the area love/romance early on in my life, I had my fill of dates and dating stories in this period.

As if the law of attraction was at work, guys would come out of the woodwork to ask me out — and these could be guys I already knew but never stayed in touch with. It was like I was putting out the intention to date, and the universe was helping to make that happen.

I even had married guys hit on me, something which I disagree with. I would immediately reject them. Read more: What I Have Learned From Being Hit On by Married Men

During this period, I learned a lot about myself and what I was looking for in a relationship partner. While I have always had a good idea of what I’m looking for, this dating phase developed my awareness to a whole new level. I also learned how to be a better date and partner if I were to be with someone in the future.

However… Still Single in the End

While the guys I met in the six months were of increasing eligibility and compatibility, I still did wind up with anybody.

I went to three singles parties with W and they were not my thing. The crowd and vibes of the first two events didn’t gel with me, while the third event didn’t even take place — we went but no one showed up!

With the arranged dates by the dating agency, I realized after a couple of dates that I was meeting much more compatible guys through my own circles. To be fair, maybe their database didn’t have guys who would fit what I was looking for — after all, I am quite different from most females. Also, I am already widely socialized compared to the average person — their service would probably help those with limited social circles and have no time to meet people.

As for dates from my own network, there were some promising prospects, but these were not enough for me to want to enter into a relationship. Given that I was already 28 with a clear idea of my vision and values, I wanted to be with someone I could see a long-term future with. It wouldn’t be fair to enter into a relationship with someone and break up a few months later.

I felt like I was back to “square one” — back to being by myself after so many months of active dating. I felt disappointed, empty, and jaded. I felt like I was in limbo, circling round and round.

Resting... waiting... anticipating.

It would be a matter of time before a special someone would enter (actually, re-enter) my life.

Proceed to Part 2: Meeting My Husband (Someone I Knew From Before), where I share the (re)entrance of someone I did not expect into my life.

This is part 1 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.

Images: Piggyback ride, Red heart, Yellow leaves, Girl alone, Smiling girl, Socializing, Girl with leaf on face