Do Hai Linh sifted through multiple online dating sites and attended dozens of blind dating events for years before tying the knot with her husband.
The northern go-getter from Hai Phong City said that while her peers waited idly for a chance meeting with destiny, she began actively seeking a spouse in her early 20s.
“This man will be the father of my child and the one who will accompany me for the rest of my life,” said the 32-year-old banker who now lives in Hanoi. “If I leave it to chance, the odds of finding the right one are extremely low.”
She took dating life seriously after graduating from university. She started reading books and attending classes on the subject of romance.
In 2016, Linh tried speed dating for the first time.
The rapid-fire event had 10 women and 10 men each spend only five minutes talking to each other before deciding who they liked best. Participants then wrote down the name of the person they were most curious about. If both a female and male had the desire to meet up at the end of the session, they would be connected. However, she was not intrigued by any of her counterparts at the event.
Another time, she invited her younger sister to accompany her on a “group blind date” in which she paid VND200,000 ($8.48) for the chance to meet up with three men she had never met before. She said there were others who spent VND500,000 to talk to five candidates and get the chance to look at their photos first.
“My sister found her partner, who is now my brother-in-law, immediately on the first blind date,” Linh said. “They got married four years ago, right after she graduated from university. My sister’s love and beautiful marriage encouraged me even more to actively seek out a perfect spouse.”
Do Hai Linh tells all in recounting her story of meticulously searching for a partner in the modern world. She went on dozens of blind dates and scoured over a hundred eligible online bachelors before getting married. Photo courtesy of Linh
Over the next few years, Linh went on about 20 more blind dates hoping to find her other half, but to no avail, and her efforts appeared in vain.
Linh was always reaching out to new people, whether it was through agency team-building seminars, volunteering, or going on hikes.
She went as far as shelling out tens of millions of dong on an elite dating agency that introduced her to eligible bachelors with stellar credentials.
But in the end, she realized that dating apps were the most helpful method for her search.
“Over the course of six years, I met up with more than a hundred singles. I got the chance to know more people and go on different dates at the same time,” Linh explained.
She said she only swiped right on profiles that included detailed information about who each person was: where they were born, what they do for a living, and what they’re interested in. She was only interested in professional headshots with a smile and a clean shave. She applied strict standards to each gentlemanly suitor and did not engage in one-night stands or entertain anyone interested in “friends with benefits” programs.
If the other person also swiped right, she would suggest they add each other on Facebook and move the conversation to the social media platform’s messenger service. She said one can tell a lot about a person’s relationship with their friends and family by how they interact with others in their posts, especially on birthdays and the Lunar New Year.
Even though she matched with a lot of people, she was only interested in getting to know two of them.
Linh met her future spouse, Vo Huy Hoang, through a dating app in 2019. Both quickly formed a connection through working in the same industry and sharing a commitment to practicing meditation.
Hoang told Linh how much he admired her because most of the single women he had matched were not compatible and always complained about how miserable their lives were.
As soon as he saw Linh in person, he immediately fell for her bright smile and positive attitude, he said.
After the first date, they started meeting regularly almost immediately and soon he was routinely picking her up from work.
Linh said she thinks a man who truly values his partner will put in the effort, regardless of how busy he may be, to make things right and care about how his beloved is feeling.
She also added that you can tell if a person is compassionate by observing how they treat those less fortunate than them. One time, while having lunch with Hoang at a roadside eatery, Linh watched him get up and rush over to help a janitor push a garbage bin up a steep incline.
Hard to get
After only two months of dating, Hoang officially asked Linh to be his girlfriend at a picturesque rooftop restaurant.
The couple got married in mid-2021, and they’re now expecting their first child.
A set up of Huy Hoang’s proposal to Hai Linh in April 2021. Photo courtesy of Linh
Getting the right husband doesn’t require a broad education, says Hai Linh.
She and her husband had a sit-down before they got married to discuss and write out all of the details of their future life together, including how they would handle finances, the number of children they wanted to have and other agreements.
The reality of shared space nevertheless has its share of hiccups and idiosyncrasies that often take the form of contrasting viewpoints and practices.
For instance, the young wife might argue that she doesn’t need to fold the blanket because she never sleeps, whereas the husband might find such slovenliness intolerable.
“Because of these differences, we opted not to give birth right away, but rather to spend time together while fostering thoughts and learning how to be a wife and husband,” Hoang said.
For this couple, marriage is not a transitional phase where one partner chases another, but a tree that needs daily care and nourishment.
One partner learns to speak the other’s “love language,” the couple participates in shared interests, and both partners learn to leave their pride at the door.
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