As a proud partner for the inaugural Sugar & Spice Festival that’s happening this 1-15 August 2020, we are bringing you this series of interviews with presenters so that you get to know them better and their workshops.
Today, we have Annie Chan, a veteran events manager and certified matchmaker, who is delivering the ‘Dating Smarts: Applying the 5 Love Languages’ workshop at the festival. We ask her some questions about the workshop and her background. Please enjoy and sign up for her workshop!
Q: The notion of “5 Love Languages” has been around for decades. Do you find people who are still unfamiliar with the concept or misapply it?
I believe most people know the concept but when it comes to application, most miss the point. Firstly, most books on the 5 love languages are written by Westerners so it might be hard for Asians to apply those ideas shared in books. Hence, during my sharing, I’d like to contextualise it to be more relevant to Asians. I prefer to give examples that are more in sync with our Asian values and attitudes so that it is easier for my clients to apply.
Secondly, people tend to have this idea of “But it’s not me to express love in this manner”. They miss the point that they are expressing love in that manner because their partner’s love language is that. For example, a client recently told me, “My wife is a words person, but I don’t believe in giving lip service.” My reply was, “If it’s a genuine compliment, it is not lip service. It is lip service if you do not mean it!”
Q: To you, what are the key ingredients for a successful happy relationship?
I am big on communication. However, trust and empathy are two more key ingredients I would love to add to a happy relationship. Everything in life is really about communication. Men aren’t mind readers and I do believe that we women are not exactly mind readers as well. So instead of trying to mind-read, why not just talk it over.
Trust is key as well because if a relationship is not built on trust, the very core of this relationship will be weak. And lastly, empathy. Whilst trust is like the foundation of a relationship, empathy (plus communication) is what sustains the entire relationship. Being empathetic to your partner creates that space of vulnerability and when both are open to being vulnerable with each other, the bond between both can be strengthened and the relationship will be stronger.
Q: As a certified matchmaker, what are some challenges in introducing singles for their first meetup? How involved are you in the process after introducing them?
First, I must say – I am no longer an active matchmaker but during the time I was doing matchmaking, my clients must go through a series of profiling first to identify their relationship pattern and behaviour. They will understand their “landmines”, what causes these “landmines” and work on managing the “landmines” before they are allowed on the first meeting. I am very involved right down to going with them to the first date to do an initial introduction and leaving after they are settled into the date.
My biggest challenge is the client refusing to go through the coaching to remove their negative patterns and simply wanted me to match them up. They always say, “I will clean up my act when I am matched with someone!” They missed the point that you won’t be “date desirable” if you are not ready!
Q: Having arranged thousands of single events, what advice do you have for participants who attend these events?
This is like a million-dollar question! Well, my biggest advice is – please go with the mindset of enjoying yourself at the event. Don’t go with the hope of meeting that special someone. Be nice to everyone you meet because you really do not know which guy/gal is watching you.
A special tip – make friends with the organiser; you will never know when you might need their help or they might specially invite you to an event ‘cos they know you could be a match with someone else who is attending the event.
Q: If you can match-make any two famous people (living or dead), who would you pick and why?
Oh wow… this is a shot in the dark! But it would have to be Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler. The chemistry between them displayed the 3 key ingredients I believe is needed in a happy relationship. On top of it, they know how to have fun with each other and hold the space for each other when the need arises.
To sign up for Annie’s and other presenters’ workshops, do sign up for Sugar & Spice Festival at www.sugarandspice.asia.
Images: Annie Chan