Love In Lines, Relationships

[Love In Lines] Choosing Not To Worry – Vanessa Tai

In a world where seemingly every other person is married or coupled-up, my long-term single status is a source of curiosity for many. Over the years, I’ve had to field questions ranging from, “Don’t you get randy?”to “Aren’t you worried you’re never going to find someone?”

While I always try to deflect these questions – it’s nobody’s business anyway – they never fail to make me take a closer look at my single “situation”. My official party line is that I enjoy my freedom, and it’s true. I’ve never felt sad or incomplete simply because of my relationship status, but when such questions pop up, it makes me wonder if I’m in denial or burying my feelings.

Why do I say that? Because, while I’ve never felt sorry for myself for being single, there are times where I do miss the perks of being in a relationship. Some things I miss include having someone who gets all my jokes, having someone to go on non-awkward dates with (first dates are such a pain), and basically just someone who has my back, whom I can trust implicitly.

However, these are just occasional “relationship pangs”, and it’s never been a strong enough impetus for me to get serious about finding a boyfriend. I’m not someone who aggressively goes on dates or dating events in the hope of meeting someone. Call me naïve or a hopeless romantic, but I believe in letting nature run its course. Some people believe in “making your own luck”, and approach their love life the same way they would a career – strategically, and with goals clearly mapped out. For me, I’ve always believed in spontaneity, whether in life or love. Too much planning and plotting can take the fun out of the whole experience.


But that’s just me. If you’re someone who believes “dating is just a numbers game”, and that the more people you meet, the higher your chance of meeting someone, then by all means go ahead. In fact, there was a dating consultant in Singapore who openly shared how she went for over 80 first dates before she met her husband-to-be! (Then again, you also have people who marry their first loves, and are no less blissful.)

Whatever it is, I still firmly believe we shouldn’t be viewing marriage as an “end-goal”. For too long, we’ve been schooled that our lives should look a certain way (graduate -> date around -> get married -> have kids). But life is too capricious for us to follow any set templates. Isn’t it infinitely more liberating to take life as it comes, and enjoy every moment, instead of worrying about something that may/may not happen?

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde 

Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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Character & Soul, Self-Improvement

Life Moments Worth Celebrating – Deborah Tan

I didn’t even know why I was in such a horrendous mood this afternoon. It could be the weather, it could be because I found out our business bank screwed up an application, or it could be because I was forwarded a rather insincere email and was reminded of how horrible people can be to each other.

I was thisclose to hammering out an angst-ridden piece about why the world should not be treating me so shabbily. I know. Hissy fits from a woman trying to be a super successful media entrepreneur are rather embarrassing. So instead of focusing on the negative, I took my friend Howard’s advice and dwelt on the positive instead.

So I decided to write about this: Moments in a person’s life worth celebrating.

Cheng, the founder of Cedele. Her passion for her work is extremely inspiring

Cheng, the founder of Cedele. Her passion for her work is extremely inspiring

1. When Someone Asks You About Your Job …

… and you actually feel happy talking about it. I went to a tasting by Cedele this afternoon and met the founder herself, Yeap Cheng Guat. The lunch tasting began with her recounting how Cedele started, what her philosophy towards food and health is, her insistence on using only the freshest ingredients in her food, etc. When Cheng spoke about her business, her voice was filled with passion and belief. The happiness in Cheng was so genuine, I left the lunch feeling energised and inspired.

2. When A Cheesy TV Show … 

… makes you tear up like a softie. I shall spare you the details and not talk about the show, and why it made me cry. But think about the last movie or TV series that warmed the cockles of your heart and made your tear ducts work overtime … did you not feel more “human” after? And, did that not make you feel better?

3. When You Get Treated Unjustly …

… and your friends back you up and say, “I feel so angry for you right now”. If you asked me whether I would rather have powerful friends or friends with powerful emotions, my answer would definitely be the latter group. I want friends who would cry with me, cry for me, and make other people cry when they piss me off. I want friends who are “bias” – their loyalty to me is so strong, there is no doubt which side they will pick when shit hits the fan.

sandwich4. When A Kick-Ass Sandwich …

… was created by none other than yourself. You take whatever you have in the fridge and do the best you can. And the end product isn’t at all that bad. And then you go back for seconds – now, that’s validation nobody can give and no money can buy.

5. When Your Boyfriend Comes Home … 

… and marches right in front of you and plants a big, wet kiss on your lips. Then he drags you out for dinner and “orders” you to leave the “damn phone” at home so “we can finally have a good conversation”. Knowing that your man wants to spend quality time with you, it’s difficult to keep your heart from melting into mush.

What other life moments are worth celebrating? Share it with your fellow Material World readers here, or fill in the form below with a pseudonym and we’ll post up your answer on your behalf.


About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and spends 5 hours every Sunday watching HK drama series. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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