Empower Dating was an idea that was mulled over for a long time, way before Empower Advisory Pte Ltd was set up to fight scams through the offerings of investment bootcamps, realtor services, advisory and coaching.
10 years ago, I was curious to understand how dating operators worked. So I went with a friend to a “dating trip” to Malaysia where the highlight was a go-kart trip.
A 40 seater tour bus pulled up outside Novena MRT station at 7 in the morning and a good mix of males and females hopped on, led by the organizer, X.
Once on the bus, X made some small talk and introduced the itinerary. The males and females were then asked to pair themselves voluntarily in their seats. X instructed the females to sit next to the windows and the males to sit flanking the bus isle. This is because the males would have to circulate clockwise around the seats to make small talk to every female on the moving bus. Every female would stay put at their seat
It was definitely an awkward session for many. The conversation was predictable. What are you working as? How old are you? Is this your first dating excursion? For some, small talk turned to no talk. For others, recognizing friends on the same bus was a mini embarrassment. After a while, some seek refuge at the back of the bus and continued their banter with friends that they had tagged along with.
The first stop was a bak ku teh meal at a coffee-shop in Johor. It became apparent that the younger looking females were attracting more males to their table. It was yet another chance for a stab at conversation at a zoomed-in target after the earlier warm-up exercise. Some males however at this point had half given up, preferring to bond with their fellow males over soccer and work-talk.
The next stop was to a shopping centre where we could have a game or two of indoor archery. Everyone was left pretty much to mingle. X noticed a bunch of males pulling away from the herd and tried to get them back to participate in the friendly competition. They did, but their slouched shoulders betrayed how bored they were. The females were having more fun, probably because archery was new to them. Banter between the two sexes picked up. At this point, you can observe that the clique that formed at the coffee shop tables were consolidating at the archery session.
The final stop was at the go- kart track carved right into a palm plantation. The females graciously accepted the assistance of the males to slip on their safety helmet. Certainly the highlight of the whole trip, those males and females who had by now given up on finding a potential partner on this trip, took to the wheels, grinning with relish. I observed that it had been largely a futile trip for those who were there to seek a partner.
On the way back to Singapore, I managed to have a chat with X.
This was what he shared with me.
1) There are some repeat faces and they tend to be older. They come repeatedly for the same trip, hoping to find that special someone.
2) Those who are shy and awkward, continue to be shy and awkward
3) The females commonly feedback to him that the males generally appear aloof and pay more attention to the younger females
That made me think. How could it be done better? Was there something else that had been neglected for a quick buck.
Over the years, I have had first hand experience of the different dating platforms (online/offline) and counseled/coached many in the area of relationships. I have also flagged out many dating scams and often report against prostitution syndicates that have flooded online dating platforms.
I don’t agree with the rampant cross selling approach of some entities. Oh you need a make-over package. $1,000. Oh you probably need a session on etiquette. Another $500 please. And that’s on top of paying for dating our fabulous disappointing members from our extensive limited database.
Truth be told. You can find your own dates. You don’t need to sit through disappointing speed datings and approach dating like it’s a transaction.
You are seeking a meaningful relationship, aren’t you? Cause if you’re not, then Empower Dating is not for you. We don’t train you to be pick-up artistes or one-night-swingers.
We want you to be able to take rejections. We want you to be able to form respectful, meaningful friendships first. We want you to be the best version of yourself that you can give away. You deserve only to take as much as you give.
Ever since Empower Advisory started free life coaching, more rhan half of the requests are relationship related. This is not surprising since human connection gives meaning to what we do.
Empower Dating is thus an inevitable outcome. The coaching is a fee based service but there is no manipulation, no cross selling, no nonsense, no opium laced hope. Being the best version of yourself as a gift to that special someone, is without doubt, the most priceless gift you can develop.