City News Feature: Making Divine Connections

Christian dating can be a minefield. Divine Connect’s Cindy Leong is the go-to person for those looking to make a connection with the opposite sex.

By: REUEL EUGENE TAY

We all know 2 Corinthians 13 is the chapter about love, but few have internalised it and turned it into a lifelong career helping people find love. Meet dating and relationship coach Cindy Leong, 30, co-founder of matchmaking agency Divine Connect. Leong is a multi-hyphenate who is also the founder of personal development consultancy Relationship Studio, the author of two books on love, a regular contributor to local radio stations and magazines, and she helps with City Harvest Church’s City Connexion programme, aimed at getting singles in church to forge meaningful interactions. Leong is also the resident expert in City Radio’s 17-part series SINGULAH which discusses Christian dating.

 

CITY NEWS WEEKLY: How did you get started in this business of matchmaking?

CINDY LEONG: I think it is really a calling. Have majored in business at polytechnic, the natural progression for me was to go to business school in university. But I felt led to enrol in CHC’s Bible school instead. After Bible school, there was no place for me in business school—because of the baby boom during the year of the Dragon! Strangely, I was offered a place in Singapore Management University’s Social Sciences faculty even though I did not apply for it. I picked psychology as my major and there was this module on the science behind attractiveness that really intrigued me. During that time, I was already helping many people who were having problems with relationships. It got to a point where people were telling me, “Hey Cindy, you are quite good at this. Why don’t you turn it into a business to help people?” And that was how it all got started.

 

Tell us about Divine Connect.
I met Deon the owner of Love Express, a dating agency centered on events, back when I was just the chief coach for Relationship Studio. Deon is also a Christian and she has been running her agency for ten years. We both agreed that the pursuit of love isn’t just about robotically attending events after events, it’s about becoming a better version of yourself and about making meaningful relationships. So we set up Divine Connect, a Christian matchmaking agency providing personalized matching for our clients. Our team comprises of five coaches and two image consultants, all of whom are Christians.

We put every client that walks through our door through Enneagram profiling. (Enneagram is a personality test). Knowing their Enneagram type helps our clients to understand their pattern of thinking. Thereafter, we do customized one-to-one matching for all our clients, arranging between three to 10 potential matches depending on their specific Enneagram profiles and personality. Our clients are also given one-to-one coaching and they may attend our workshops to further better themselves. So far, our success rate has been pretty high. Many of our clients found their ideal type within the first or second match.

 

How many successful couples have you brought together till date?
I’ve lost count! I would say close to 100 couples.

 

What are the three main reasons why Christian men and women have such difficulty finding their life partner? How can they resolve this issue?
Christian relationships are a little more complicated than secular relationships. Firstly, you have to agree on several fronts such as the level of your faith, allocation of time for ministry and church, or sometimes even on the same doctrine. Secondly, many Christian men are just not taking initiative or are simply too slow to act. They over-think or over-analyze—“I need to pray first”—and before you know it, they have made a girl wait an entire year. And there is also this thing about “reputation”. Let’s say, on hindsight, you meet the right one after dating the third person you meet. “What if the people in church think that I am a playboy or a playgirl? How will people look at me?” So people become afraid to try. On the contrary, guys outside of church will just go for the girl immediately. This is something our guys can learn! (laughs)

Some Christian ladies also have some unrealistic expectations such as desiring someone as spiritual as Pastor Kong and as handsome as Mark Kwan. There aren’t many such people around! I would tell the ladies, “You may want a guy like this, but do you know if you are the girl he wants? If you don’t, then you may not be positioning yourself correctly.” Our ladies need to manage their expectations and be brutally honest with themselves.

 

Many people believe that going to professional matchmaking services should be the “last resort”. What is your take on this? When is the right age to try out matchmaking services?
This was usually the case in the past but things have changed. In fact, I do get young people in their 20s who come to me as their first choice and say, “Cindy, you just choose for me lah. You know my personality.” To be honest, it’s not so simple. Your social circle shrinks the moment you graduate from school. It will take you another three years to realise “Oh dear, I’m not making any new friends!” And soon you will realise that all the people you are meeting are either your colleagues or your clients—all work-related people.

 

Can you give readers three exclusive tips on building meaningful relationships?
First things first, you’ve got to have clarity with yourself. You have to know what you want in life. Secondly, you have to be authentic; the last thing you want to do in a relationship is to put on a mask. Lastly, you got to work on communication. If there are any misunderstandings, sometimes it could be due to your own insecurities or certain things you have not dealt with in your past. If you need healing, say so. Don’t be so caught up with “saving face” or be afraid to show your own insecurities. It helps if you can look at conflicts as an opportunity for healing rather than assuming that the other party is trying to pick a fight because he or she has a ill intention. You can strengthen your relationship if you are willing to show your vulnerability.

 

This article was first featured in City News’ Candlelight Service special issue. 

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Can’t Picture That Dream Flat? Put On This VR Headset

Virtual reality technology has taken the property viewing experience to a whole new level.

By Reuel Eugene Tay

Can't Picture That Dream Flat? Put On This VR Headset

I’m standing in the living room of a high-storey four-bedroom Highline Residences Condominium apartment. The home looks stunning. There’s gentle music playing in the background while I explore the premise from room to room. I can even see the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer from the balcony.

It’s all fantastic…except that the said condominium is still under construction. I have just viewed a show suite that hasn’t even been completed, thanks to virtual reality (VR). Keppel Land is the first developer in Singapore to create 360-degree immersive VR show suites harnessing the state-of-the-art Oculus Rift technology. Leveraging VR technology, visitors get an accurate visual depiction of their potential future home, and immerse in the sights and sounds of the charming Tiong Bahru district. Visitors can try out the Oculus Rift VR headsets at Highline Residences Sales Gallery starting 15 October 2016.

The technology is also highly mobile, allowing Keppel Land to bring the show suites to the visitors wherever they are at—the mall, at home, or even in another country. The VR show suites also allows visitors to view the four-bedroom and low-rise three-bedroom layout which are not available at the current Highline Residences Sales Gallery.

Can't Picture That Dream Flat? Put On This VR HeadsetThe entire VR setup–made in partnership with VMW Group—took two months to complete and cost approximately $250,000. While property portal Propertyguru might have launched the VR mobile showroom, a similar concept a few months earlier, the tech is incomparable to that of the Oculus Rift (the star product of a VR technology company bought over by Facebook in 2014).

Once I put on the Oculus Rift VR headset, I was transported to Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre—it was as though I was right there. Over the next three minutes, I was brought to the popular amenities surrounding the Tiong Bahru neighbourhood from Tiong Bahru Bakery to the popular bookstore BooksActually. Finally, I arrived at Highline Residences where I got to walk the ground in the realistic show suites in the comfort of my seat.

“Keppel Land is constantly exploring new ways to provide our customers with an enhanced experience. Harnessing Oculus Rift VR technology, we are now able to showcase different configurations and apartment types without having to create the physical show suite, which is a more efficient solution especially in land-scarce cities such as Singapore,” said Albert Foo, General Manager of Marketing at Keppel Land. At press time, Foo has also confirmed that Oculus Rift VR will be a standard feature for all Keppel Land private residential projects in the future.

While I may have visited multiple showrooms as part of my work, seeing a show suite via VR was a first for me, and it was a pleasant experience. Singaporeans will have something new to look forward to as we see developers innovate the show-flat viewing experience, even if it means bringing the show-flat to them. Who knows, it might even be a standard feature for resale property viewings in the near future.

Can't Picture That Dream Flat? Put On This VR HeadsetThe 500-unit Highline Residences 99-year leasehold development is located just minutes away from Tiong Bahru MRT station and upcoming Havelock MRT station. Opened two years ago, the Highline Residences Sales Gallery showcases three physical show suites–one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, although there are four-bedroom units available too. Approximately 88 percent of the 320 launched units have been sold as at end-September 2016. Prices range from $1700 to $1900 per sq ft.

The virtual show suites will be made available to the general public at the Highline Residences Sales Gallery at Kim Tian Road from 15 October between 10am to 6pm daily. For more information about Highline Residences, log on to https://www.keppellandlive.com/highline.

 

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in City News on October 16, 2016.

10 Memorable Moments of 2012

photoPHOTO: Reuel Eugene Tay

 

So we raise a glass, and give thanks to God whose mercy and grace has taken us thus far. Here’s 10 moments of City Harvest Church in 2012 co-written by Mabel and myself.
Click 10 Memorable Moments of 2012

Thank You for a fulfilling 2012, believing 2013 will be even more glorious for the church and for us individually.

Soli Deo Gloria