Archive for Author Su Lee

The 7 C’s of Compatibility

“A relationship will eventually turn love inside out. And the test is whether you can love from both sides.” – Terri Guillemets, “The next day,” 1989

I’m not a relationship expert.  Admittedly, I have mastered the art of breaking up.

After a number of failed relationships, I pulled together a list of traits that I feel make up compatibility. These traits fall into seven buckets, which I call “The 7 C’s of Compatibility”.

How you and a partner rate each other based on these traits make up a Compatibility Index. This is my attempt to use logic to assess or justify a breakup (for those of you who are feeling restless and uncertain), but more importantly, for couples to be able to understand and strengthen their relationships. Perception doesn’t necessarily mirror reality, so hopefully this tool can help put things into perspective from both sides.

Here are the 7 C’s in no particular order:

• Communication
• Chemistry
• Commitment
• Care
• Challenge
• Compromise
• Consistency

1) Indicate the importance of each trait on a scale of 1 to 5. (1=least, 5=most)
2) Rate your partner out of 5 on each trait. (1=weak, 5=strong)
3) Multiply your weighting with each of the 7 ratings.
4) Add up each number for your final score.
5) Compare your score with your partner’s and discuss them. It’s important to take a positive approach vs. playing the blame game. If you’ve recently gone through a breakup or you’re contemplating a breakup, you can also do this exercise to gain perspective. You can even re-evaluate previous relationships.

Anything missing? Any questions? Any shockers? Open to expanding or contracting this list.

When to walk away

“Knowing when to walk away is wisdom. Being able is courage. Walking away, with your head held high is dignity. Knowledge, Wisdom, and Insight may sound like synonyms, but they are not.” – anonymous

A number of my friends in a relationship are struggling with the question, “How do I know if and when I should walk away?”

This is something I’ve wrestled with for many years. On one end of a seesaw, there’s honouring your self worth, and on the other end, there’s recognizing an act of self sabotage.

When there’s balance in your life, you’re not questioning whether you’re good enough for a person or job. On the flip side, you’re not pushing away a meaningful relationship or opportunity by planting negative thoughts in your mind. (e.g. unwarranted jealousy or unprovoked fear) Another way to gauge whether you should walk away is to ask yourself: Have I learned everything I need to learn in this relationship? Can I fully be myself around him/her?

Red flag: If you live in fear, stop walking on egg shells and determine what you value in a relationship (and in yourself) to understand your deal breakers.

I took this photo the day I happened to hand back the last of an ex’s things so I could give my current relationship (and heart), the space it deserves. Yes, those are said ex bf’s shoes. He was supportive of modelling for this photo, but had no idea what the context would be, but neither did I at the time. Do you have some spring cleaning to do?

Heartbreak

Toss the bouquet toss


“Shame is a soul eating emotion.” — C.G. Jung

 

There is a time and place for Beyonce’s classic “Single Ladies” song, which is fun, upbeat and empowering when you want it to be. (i.e. At a bachelorette party)

When you’re a 36 year old single lady surrounded by a bunch of married couples and children and it’s the anthem used to reel in all the single ladies at a wedding onto the dance floor for a bouquet toss, it’s dreadful.

As the dj cranks up the music, the emcee is scanning the room like a hawk, calling upon random women…so far the oldest one on the floor is in her late teens.

Don’t make eye contact.

I sink down in my seat, looking as small as I feel. As I peer over to my left, I’m now at eye level with my 3 yr old nephew.

Nephew

Nephew: “Can I see your hands? Can I see your hands?”

Me: “Why? What?”

Nephew: “I don’t see a ring. I don’t see a ring? Gooo!”

Even my little nephew is in on the shaming!

I turn to my right, fixated on my cousin’s girlfriend’s meal. Suddenly, I see a heart on her chicken breast. And there it is, a reminder that I am loved.

Chicken

17 Signs of Aging in Your 30s

I recently looked in the mirror and was a bit disturbed by what I saw.  Was it the angle of the lighting that was casting a shadow under my eyes, or was it just my face?  Turns out it’s just the angles on my face.

Needless to say, there will be no selfies unless I decide to bring my A-game.

There are years to go before you need to start taking “Over the Hill” birthday cards seriously, but here are some signs of aging:

 

1. It’s no longer funny or cool to get the following question after returning to the office on Monday, “Too much partying over the weekend?” (especially if you’ve spent your Sunday at home vegetating and recharging)

2. It’s irritating to get the greeting, “You look tired.”

3. Gone are the days of dying your hair for a ‘new look’.  You dye your hair for functional reasons, to cover grey hair.

4. Be thankful for baby hairs…because you may actually need them.

5. You prefer drinking warm or hot water vs. cold water.

6.  Drinking red wine makes you want to pass out.

8. The thought of going out after 11pm makes you want to pass out.

9.  It’s a huge relief to be seated at a concert.

10. You rely a bit too much on The Automatic Workout:  getting groceries on top or lower shelves (stretching), carrying heavy groceries (toning), running to the subway station (cardio).

11. Wearing high heels is considered a form of working out.

12. You realize finding a pair of comfy shoes that’s considered respectable to wear at work is as easy as finding the perfect guy.

13.  Gone is the need for contraception when there’s aging.  (Yes!  I went there!)

14. When lame pick-up lines are actually seen as compliments:

Homeless man to me: Hey Japan! I’ve seen you from somewhere! #stillgotit


Picked up by a 70-yr old over the wknd. Teen reaction: “Ew!”, 20s reaction: “Ew!”, 30s reaction: “Still got it!” #stillgotit

15.  A new fashion trend includes rude sayings or words in LARGE FONT on sweatshirts.  This makes you viscerally angry.

fashrion1 fashrion3 fashrion2

 

16.   You realize why animal print pattern on clothing is synonymous with ‘Cougars’.   The same reason for #3:  for functional reasons.

cougar

 

17. When this kind of thing actually crosses your mind as a back-up plan for your 40s.

backup
This list may grow over time, but in the mean time, there is always hair dye, the right lighting, miracle creams, inner beauty and a good night’s sleep.

 

The heart

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Heartbeat = ticking clock.

The heart is a measure of time.

From the time we enter this world, to the time we cease to exist, it’s a constant in our lives.  This gives new meaning to the saying “in a heartbeat”.  What is a fleeting moment, but a heart, skipping a beat.

Protect it.  Share it.  Cherish it.  Wholeheartedly.

hand-drawing-heart-beat

5 steps to mend a broken heart

Most people experience heartbreak at some point in their lives.

I’m not a relationship expert, nor am I a psychologist. I’ve quite possibly majored in Breakups though.  I know what it feels like when a loved one grows distant and hollow, or how excruciatingly painful it is to have to pull the plug on a person you still care about.    Regardless of which end of the breakup spectrum you’re on, it’s difficult to emerge unscathed.

The science behind heartbreak

“Why does it hurt so bloody much?”

“It’s as if someone ripped my heart out.”

When you experience physical pain, such as a cut or bruising, your anterior cingulate cortex is stimulated.  This same region of the brain is activated when you feel socially excluded or undergo a sense of loss, such as heartbreak.

Image source:  www.nimh.nih.gov

If you are consumed by heartache, know that you are not alone.  It’s common to be restless and full of countless questions and anxiety.  As a coping mechanism, you press the playback button on your past and incessantly roam the interwebs for any signs of your ex (unhealthy, yet tempting and fully expected!).

It is said that “time heals all wounds.”

Sort of.  Below are 5 steps to help speed up the healing process.

Step 1: Cry it out.

Assuming reconciliation is not an option, this first stage is a time to get in touch with your feelings. Your heart feels heavy, yet empty. It’s as if your emotions are trying to escape, but cling to the walls of your throat, making it painful to swallow.  Morning or night, time stands still as you struggle to pluck out heartfelt memories that invade the pit of your stomach.  The voice that echoes inside your head is bellowing, “Just. Move. On.”  It’s as simple as that… if only. The truth is, no book, video, friend, or family member can convince you to move on, until you are truly ready.  Cry it out.  Shake it off.  Throw darts at cupid.  Surround yourself with friends.  Whatever you do, avoid contact until you can breathe again.
24hrs - cellphoneBlock your ex in the social media realm.  Rename them in your contact list if deletion is too unbearable.  Remove any reminders of them (their possessions or gifts to you) out of plain sight, into a box. After you’ve succumbed to countless nights of “crying it out”, you’ll need to transform your restless energy into a stream of take-it-like-a-man, logic.

Timing:  According to the book “Psycho-Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz, it takes 21-days to rewire your brain to break a habit (e.g. moping around).  If that’s the case, you need to cease all contact with your ex until at least 3 full weeks have passed so you can dispel any negative emotions about your breakup.

Step 2:  Make “The List”.

Rationalizing why this breakup was meant to be and why your partner was not right for you is vital.  You need to genuinely believe you’re better off without your ex.  This is a time for you to make a list — The List — of all the reasons why this relationship had to come to an end.  A mind map approach works quite well.  Think of times when your ex disappointed you or made you question being with them.  Sometimes it’s easier to think of examples of actual situations you were in. Identify toxic personality traits or a mismatch of fundamental values.

Step 2: Create The List using mind mapping.

Step 2: Create The List using mind mapping.

Any time you feel compelled to give them a call or text, whip out The List; seek solace in stirring up emotions of disdain so you won’t be tempted to reach out.  No matter how angelic your partner was in your mind’s eye, there must’ve been something that irked you about them, nobody is perfect.  Negative?  Yes.  Distraction tactic?  Precisely.

Step 3:  Create a wishlist.

This is a time to reflect upon your ‘ideal’ mate.  The important question to ask is, how do you want them to make you feel?  What was your previous relationship lacking?  What personality traits do you find attractive?  What have you learned about yourself post breakup?  What are some fundamental values that he or she should have?  You’ll need to be on the same page.  It’s easy to describe an Adonis, but it helps if you know what you want in your mate, outside of their physical attributes.  Go ahead, send feelers out there so you know what you’re looking for the next time around.  Plus, who doesn’t want to dream a little?
24hrs-perfectman

Step 4: Pat yourself on the back.

By this time you’ve come to the conclusion that the breakup was justified, picked apart your ex, replaced him or her with your ‘ideal partner’ (on paper, that is)…now what?  The breakup/withdrawal period has probably chiseled away some of your self esteem.  Set aside your anger, trashy magazines, sappy movies, and empty chip bags.  It’s time to pat yourself on the back for being you.  How would your best friend describe you?  Another list?  Yes.  List all of the reasons why you rock your world.

Step 5: Be your best self.

What?  You’re not perfect? Okay, let’s face it, nobody is.  However, you can aspire to become the best version of yourself.  What did you learn from the relationship?   Perhaps your mate brought to light some ‘issues’ you know you need to work on (e.g. a bad habit, negative attitude, or neglect for other areas of your life.).  You may have lost yourself in the relationship, let your interests slip away after focusing all of your attention on ‘your other half’.  How is your health/body? Your mental state?  You can’t take a step forward without taking a step back and reflecting upon the big picture.  Take a yoga class.  Join a running group. Find or follow your passion. Pamper your body and mind.  What are some classes or trips you can take to sharpen your mind or nurture your interests?  Keep busy. Have fun finding yourself again, but remember to be true to yourself.  In time, a naked chubby kid with wings and a crossbow will strike again.

If all else fails,  take a couple of Tylenol pills and call it a day. According to Pyschology Today, acetaminophen can be used to ease the pain caused by heartache. Who knew?
Oscar Wilde
The heart is a muscle.  When it tears, it will repair itself and grow back stronger.

24 simple ways to be prepared in 2014

This year, I turned 33. Apparently it’s a year that has been deemed “the Jesus Year”. Urban Dictionary defines this year as a “Time to get moving and get things done (maybe).”

To mark the end of my ‘Jesus Year’, here are 24 tips to get up and moving in 2014:

1) Drink a glass of warm lemon water every morning.

Drop a few slices of lemon in a cup of warm water before starting your day.  This provides vitamin C to fight colds, cleanses your digestive system by flushing out toxins, and works wonders for your skin and metabolism.

2) Make a To Do list. Check it twice.

Make a To Do list before you start your day and before you go to bed at night.   This takes the burden off you when your mind is racing.  Sometimes it even helps to do a brain dump and write down whatever thoughts are flooding your mind as soon as you wake up in the morning. Evernote is a fantastic app that can help you manage your day electronically and it even syncs with all of your devices–from your smartphone, to your tablet, to your desktop–so you can stay connected wherever, whenever.

3) Write down goals for the year.

This sounds obvious, but when it comes to yearly goals, the key is to set timing for when you are planning to achieve these goals and define what success looks like.  Call it “The Secret”, but the more precise you can get with your goals, the better.  Keep this list close to you. When I did this, I realized by the end of the year, I had been able to check off a number of goals, sometimes unknowingly.  I once wrote down the salary figure I wanted by a certain time, and 8 months later, the exact amount was written in my offer letter. #AimHigherNextTime

4) Take a class that follows your interests and/or makes you feel uncomfortable.

There’s a course out there for everyone.  Not sure where to start? Identify a list of your weaknesses and strengths – list classes you can take to improve upon or strengthen your skills. Shy? Climb out of your shell and take an improv class or learn a new language. Admire artwork at your local museum? Find a painting class or digital Photoshop course. Do you long to play the guitar?  YouTube has self-taught lessons. Afraid of heights? Take a leap of faith and go rock-climbing or skydiving.  Until you register, you’re not going to be fully committed. So do it.  Now.  There are always economical ways to satisfy your interests too, such as Groupon deals or talented friends with benefits. Need an extra kick? Find an activity buddy with shared interests.  Meetup groups are also an option.

5) Hide money from yourself.

Plant money in random jacket or jean pockets and watch your smile grow when you stumble upon it one day. There’s nothing like finding money in your pocket you never knew you had–even if it’s a $5 bill, you will thank your sneaky self that day when you need a coffee fix, but forgot your wallet. Don’t forget to check all pockets before you do your laundry though!

6) Make music playlists based on mood.

Power songs to rev up for that important job interview or presentation.  Songs that make you want to invent new dance moves or do household chores.  Songs that make you want to fall in love all over again.  You never know when you’ll need to call upon this music to get you in the mood, take your mind off stress, or lift your spirits.  If such mood-setting songs don’t work and you simply want to wallow in misery (i.e. after a break up), then perhaps you need a depressing song to accompany your mood.  A well-rounded playlist can complement your emotional highs and lows.

7) Make your bathroom a private oasis.

If you don’t have a fancy showerhead or jacuzzi, all you need are scented candles and music for a tranquil escape. I have an iPod docking station in my bathroom, so I blare my Happy playlist during my retreat. The music will help you keep track of time as well. I know that by the time 3-4 songs have passed, it’s about time to drag myself out of the shower.

8) Join Pinterest.

If you haven’t checked out Pinterest already, you’ll see that it allows you to ‘pin’ images/videos/infographics into various buckets which are called ‘boards’ that you customize. For instance, I have a ‘Travel bucket list’ and a ‘Things I find funny’ board. You can get ideas off others by re-pinning their items or you can add your own. Over time, you’ll realize that it’s a fantasmic tool designed to help you stay focused and dream a little. Although, just a warning that it is quite addictive, so you’ll need some degree of self control or else you could end up pinning time away. If you’re concerned about privacy, there’s an option to post private boards that only you can see–perfect for people who like to pull together ‘vision boards’ for inspiration.

9) Make travel plans.

Picking a new city you’ve never been to is ideal, but it’s great to have pretty much any trip to look forward to while you trudge through your workweek.  You’ll need to lock down on timing or else it may get pushed off your radar.   Studies show that going on vacation improves creativity, reduces stress, and improves overall productivity.  TIP: I’ve always wanted to go to Kenya to check out a safari, and in 2011 I took ‘Groupon’ to the next level and traveled there using a Living Social voucher. (Livingsocial.com/escapes) Aside from saving a heckuva lot of money on the trip, the preset dates, helped me pull the trigger.  Another option is Groupon.com/getaways.  Interested in traveling solo?  Check out the best countries for solo travellers.   Whether you’re traveling solo, with a significant other, or with friends, G Adventures or Intrepid are reliable options if you want your itinerary laid out for you while you explore a foreign land.

10) Master a dish. 

Do you have a signature dish that you’re known for?  Get peace of mind and ace some go-to dishes or meals in advance, so you’re ready to impress a date or friends and family. There are some fool-proof recipes you can sort by ratings available online @ Allrecipes.com and you can’t go wrong with Martha Stewart creations.  Need to whip something up but have no time to go to the grocery store?   Scan your fridge for existing ingredients and let Supercook fix you up with a recipe on the fly.

11) Buy flowers.

Not only is this good energy according to feng shui, it is an instant mood booster for yourself or someone special.  Accent your home on an otherwise drab day with some friendly sunflowers or sweeten the air with a brilliant mix of lilies or champagne roses when expecting guests.  If you want flowers that have a bit of longevity, an orchid plant is sure to keep you company (Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium blooms will stick around for 2 to 3 months or longer).  In fact, some species are virtually immortal, when given love.  How’s that for commitment?

12) Organize your closet.

Do you waste valuable time contemplating what you should wear before dashing out of your front door in a frenzy to make up for lost time?  Aside from planning out what to wear the night before, did you know there are apps designed to keep track of which articles of clothing in your closet are actually being used and what to wear next?  Sift through your wardrobe with Stylebook, an app designed to sort items based on categorizes such as occasion, weather, color and fabric, to name a few.  Catalogue which items are to be put in the wash. Add images from online stores into your wardrobe, so you can see if the pieces match the clothes you already own.  Closet helps you coordinate your outfits with a built-in calendar. Flag favourites, so you have a go-to look in seconds.  Feeling lazy? Shake your phone and the app will match pieces together for you.  Now to get an app to do your laundry for you!

13) Get smart, online.  

Aside from taking classes or going back to school to tack on more letters after your name, there are ways to learn at your fingertips, and at no cost.  Stay in the know and subscribe to topical blogs for instant updates or eNewsletters related to your career and/or personal development.  Follow key thought leaders or experts on Twitter to get the latest and greatest on the hottest topics whether it be in technology, science, or politics, etc. There’s nothing like TED Talks videos to recharge your mind or feign expertise.  If you prefer self-learning on detailed subjects, check out Khan Academy.  If you’d like to sharpen your mind, you can tinker around with brain-training games on sites such as Lumosity.

14) Meditate.

There are several ways to meditate, but two common ways to practice are to focus on one specific thing or what’s called “open-monitoring meditation”.  For instance, you can hone in on your breathing or on a particular object, or pay attention to what’s going on around you and notice everything without reacting (i.e. city sounds, other people’s children crying, etc.). There are several studies revealing that regular meditation leads to improved memory, better focus, reduced stress, more creativity, emotional stability, and more compassion. According to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a renowned spiritual leader, 20 minutes of meditation is equivalent to 8 hours of sleep! This year I started practicing Reiki, another form of meditation.  It’s a Japanese technique based off channeling universal life energy that promotes healing, but helps overall stress reduction and relaxation.

15) Choose who you spend time with.

Some co-workers may drive you up a cubical wall. You may have those one or two customers who sap your energy and inevitably, your will to live. You can’t stand that one friend who is self absorbed, splits bills down to the last penny, or backs out of plans just as you’re putting the finishing touches on your near-perfect hair and make up. If the people around you make you want to slit your wrist, it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. Change what you do so you can start attracting the right people.  Minimize the amount of time you spend with folks who frustrate you.  Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. A-holes tend to flock together… (1) Determine if you’re an a-hole.  (2) Get a grip or cut ‘em loose. This leaves more room for people you love.

16) Learn how to sing at least 3 songs (well), so you’re ready when someone suddenly declares it’s Karaoke Night.

You don’t want to be nervously flipping through pages and pages of song titles and artists, only to discover that the one song you’ve mastered is not even on the song selection list. What if everyone’s expected to sing more than one song? What then? No need to panic. Much like back-pocket dishes when it comes to cooking, you need to build up a repertoire of “back-pocket songs”. VoiceMap app lets you to see your vocal range, hear your voice play back at the same time, and even suggests songs that match your vocal range. Think you can sing? No need to think twice, try VoiceMap so you can rock out with pride.

17) Get back-up gifts.

Trust me, your forgetful or selfish self will thank you for it. Ever get caught empty-handed during Christmas when someone gives you a gift, but they haven’t even crossed your mind? No need for a web of lies, just one.  If you have a car, stash generic gifts like a pack of instant scratch lotto cards, movie tickets, a bottle of wine, or popular books for children in your trunk.  Keep some spare blank cards and gift bags around as well for ‘sudden’ birthdays.

18) Read.

Pick up a book or your trusty eReader and immerse yourself in a world of literary magic.
Make a reading list ranging from classics to books suited for your personality or aligned with your interests. What is your view on love, truth, freedom, life?  Are your ideas your own? Or are your thoughts dominated by societal norms or your father’s gripping lectures at the kitchen table once upon a time?  By reading great books, you can see how ideas developed over time and be aware of how they affect you now.  Learn from others mistakes.  Find answers to life’s questions.  Find something in common with someone.  Expand your vocabulary.  Words can empower you.  Need recommendations based on your interests? Check out whichbook for a unique and quick way to determine what makes the cut.

19) Be a hero to somebody.

Volunteering is one way to achieve this.  A number of years ago I volunteered in Beijing for a couple of months at an orphanage.  It was the most eye-opening experience I’ve ever had (next to LASIK eye surgery).  You don’t have to do something as drastic as quitting your job and volunteering overseas, but you can simply make a difference in your own community.  Pack sandwiches for the homeless in the city during the holiday season. Become a mentor or a big brother/sister.  This experience will help you gain perspective on life, reminding you about what truly matters and how fortunate we are to be here.

20) Write a letter to yourself.

The trick is to write a letter addressed to yourself half a lifetime ago about life today and your aspirations. I wrote a letter to my 15-year old self in the fall and it was honestly one of the most therapeutic things I could have ever done for myself. I actually wrote it after breaking up with my ex, so it was a great outlet and it felt as though I was giving solid advice to my little sister. Keep a Kleenex box by your side, as the former self in you may just shed a tear or two.

21) Find words to live by.

Find quotes that represent who you are and the stage of life you’re at.  Pin such words of wisdom on your wall, keep them on your phone for easy access, or paint them.  Quotes will serve as inspiration, especially when times are tough and days seem to drag without purpose.  You can get a new quote sent to your email on a daily basis or via one of the many apps available for smartphones as well if you prefer.

22) Get physical.

Yoga, crossfit, martial arts, running, swimming, squats, jazz hands, fist pumps, do whatever it takes to get your circulation and juices flowing.  Regular exercise boosts mood and fitness, provides energy on the job and helps create deeper sleep cycles.  Start exercising at an earlier time in the day if possible so you don’t end up staying alert at night instead of winding down for sleep.

23) Wake up early.

Studies have proven that waking up early is tied to success.  Early risers tend to exhibit character traits like optimism, being agreeable, satisfaction and laser focus.  Night owls, while linked with creativity and intelligence (woo hoo!), are more likely to exhibit traits like depression, pessimism and neurotic behaviour (ah ha!).  Plus, if you get a head start on your day, chances are you’ll have more quality time in the evenings to spend with loved ones, not your work (ta da!).

24) Get a good night’s sleep.

If you go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, your body can shift gears and repair any damage caused by stress.  While the body is resting, your brain is busy processing your day’s activities, including making connections between events, feelings, experiences and memories.  So the next time you find yourself staring blankly at someone trying to figure out their name or if you misplace your keys, ask yourself if you’re sleep-deprived.  Sleep experts suggest powering down your electronics 1 hour before you plan on getting shuteye.  As an exception, you can set your phone to sleepmode and download an app such as Sleepbot. It can track motion and sounds to paint a visual picture of your sleep and even wake you at the least disturbing time. Recognize patterns in your sleep over time, find out what to eat (or avoid eating) before bedtime and get sleep-promoting exercises.  It’s free and available for iOS and Android.

Wishing you all the best in 2014! Hope it’s the best year yet!

Make it count.

Is the key to a man’s heart through his stomach?

“The key to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

Whoever dished out that advice needs to think twice before attempting to bag a husband.

It depends.

Is his mouth wide open, while his heart remains clamped shut?  If so, you might as well follow the food on its way out the other end.

For those of you who haven’t seen the movie The Joy Luck Club, it may strike a chord with you. The movie comprises of interconnecting vignettes featuring three generations of women, with cinematography and music guaranteed to pull at your heart strings and lead to uncontrollable sobbing.  Four mothers and their daughters unravel tales of love and loss from past to present.  I highly recommend this as a movie to watch with friends, mothers, daughters, and significant others*.

Joy_luck_club_movie_cast

*Warning:  May lead to break-ups for relationships on unsteady ground :)

One story that really stood out for me was the one featuring Rose and her relationship with Ted, a wealthy physician.  It begins with a flashback of them in college, Rose is sassy and quick to put Ted in his place.  Desperate to fit in with high society and western culture, she somehow transforms into a submissive wife, which ultimately leads to the demise of their marriage.   When Ted asks for a divorce, what does she do?  She decides to bake him his favourite dessert, a chocolate peanut butter pie. Thankfully, her mother talks some sense into her:

An Mei: What you going to do with leftovers after he eat one slice?

Rose: Throw it away I guess.

An Mei: You ask yourself why you make this. Because I know even if you don’t.

Rose: I like being tragic, ma. I learned it from you.

An Mei: You think he sees this pie, now he so sorry take you for granted? You think this? You the foolish one. Every time you give him gift, like begging. Take this. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I’m not worth as much as you. So he only take you more for granted. You’re just like my mother. Never know what you’re worth.

Instead of dangling his favourite dessert, Rose refuses to let Ted walk all over her by boldly staking her claims.  The final scene (set in pouring rain), where she strikes up the courage to tell him off, is nothing short of epic.

Know your worth.

I once dated a guy who was very opinionated.  Over time, I realized I became less outspoken and more eager to please him.  When we watched JLC together one night, it was a catalyst for our break up.  I woke up in the morning staring at the family size jar of Nutella and browning bananas I bought a while back ago.  He once told me he’d worship me if I could whip up the perfect batch of crepes (with said ingredients).  I was hoping to woo him over to my place for a change.  Say what?

I don’t even like Nutella.

Banana-Nutella-Smoothie1

Ladies, even if you’re able to work the kitchen by cooking meals that can dazzle any man into a food comatose, you may not get the respect you deserve in the long run.  He’s either into you, or not.   Know the signs.   Is he taking you for granted?  Are you always having to please him instead of the other way around?  Who calls the shots?  Unless he’s willing to reciprocate in some shape or form, don’t be a bib.  However, if he’s into you, being a cooking Goddess will likely leave him panting for more, in or out of the kitchen.


For wooing: 

Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Recipe for Chocolate-Banana Filled Crepes