Most people dream of meeting the love of their life, but let’s be honest, life often gets in the way. After creating their own love story, husband and wife team Violet Lim and Jamie Lee decided to help other busy professionals find love by launching a matchmaking service, Lunch Actually – and who better to share their secrets to a successful marriage than a couple who brings soul mates together for a living? Here, we get the inside scoop on their personal love story, their tips for newlyweds, and more.
As professional cupids, we’re sure you have a fascinating love story. Tell us more!
Violet: If you were to ask us about the first time we met at university in the UK, we would have told you two different stories. Jamie does not actually remember how we met, which I still tease him about today. Before our encounter, he only went after the prettiest girls. Me, being somewhat of a plain Jane, did not catch his eye at first.
His curiosity was first piqued when he found out that I was running for the position of president of the student society, which I did not end up winning. However, my passionate speech left an impression on him and a few months later, we bumped into each other at a dinner and dance. We exchanged ICQ numbers (that’s how old we are!) and went on our first date the next day. We dated long distance for more than two years and tied the knot in Singapore after five years together.
Have you always been interested in the matchmaking business? How did you get into it?
Violet: If I were to tell you that my childhood dream is to be a matchmaker, I would be lying. My first job was at Citibank as a Management Associate. During my stint there, I realised that many of my colleagues were single and not dating. It was puzzling to me as my colleagues were eligible professionals. When I came across the concept of lunch dating, I saw how well it would fit into the schedules of my busy colleagues. As the “Aunt Agony” among my friends, I thought this would be perfect for me – that was how Lunch Actually began.
Complete this sentence: My spouse’s best trait is ____________.
Violet: His loyalty, not just to me but also to his family, his friends and his principles.
Jamie: Her never-give-up attitude and perseverance inspire me.
No marriage is perfect - it’s about cherishing each other when the going gets tough. What was the most difficult challenge you faced as a couple and how did you overcome it?
Violet: As we are both strong-willed individuals, we definitely have our fair share of disagreements and arguments. One major challenge we faced was his passion for board games. It started three years into our marriage, where he spent four to five hours playing strategic games with friends for up to three times a week. I felt these sessions were taking him away from the family, and that led to plenty of arguments. Eventually, I realised that playing board games is a part of who he is, and strategising actually helps him to relax. We also compromised on when he would play board games. I’ve learned that while it is important to spend time as a couple, giving each other time and space to pursue our passions and interests is extremely vital as well.
Jamie: Hey, it was three to four hours! I think this problem has two roots: first, we men need more space occasionally and sometimes, our partners may not understand why we need time away from the family at all. Secondly, one partner may be upset at the unexpected changes he or she sees in their partner. To resolve this issue, we had to compromise. I cut down on my board game sessions and kept her informed of the time spent, which helped with the planning of family activities. At the same time, she relented on her expectations.
What’s the best advice you would give to newlyweds?
Jamie: Disagreements happen in any relationship, but how you quarrel is important. We should always show respect to our partner and avoid character assassination. By arguing in the "right way" through focusing on the action and instead of the person, it helps to minimise bitterness and unhappiness.
Violet: One thing I have learnt is that love is not a feeling; it is a commitment. There are peaks and valleys in every marriage – there will be many times when you feel that your spouse is completely unlovable and you may feel like throwing in the towel. The key is to always put your marriage as your number one priority, even above your children. When your marriage works, everything else will fall into place.
We’re always up for an ‘awww’-inducing love story – so here’s one more from Poh Heng Jewellery. Watch this video about two polar opposites overcoming their differences and falling in love – get those tissues ready! Follow their journey here.
This article is sponsored by Poh Heng Jewellery