Anisa Hassan: If you're single, it's your own fault

Anisa Hassan: If you're single, it's your own fault

The author of a new guide to dating in Asia says desperate singletons are their own biggest barrier to love. But haven’t we heard all this dating advice before?

Anisa HassanLeave the fairy tales to the poets. Your love has to be based in reality.Is it polite to Google someone? Should you sleep with someone on the first date? How many days should you wait till you ring for a second date? When do you know you're dating exclusively? 

As the dating game just gets more complicated, the goal remains the same: to find someone to love and be loved by.

"The It's Just Lunch Guide to Dating in Asia," penned by dating agency It's Just Lunch's managing director Anisa Hassan, says it can help you do that.

Updated from the 2004 edition, the new version addresses people dating after divorce, becoming a single parent or losing a spouse and hopes to provide all the answers to your unlucky in love questions.

Here, she talks frankly about dating game and how no amount of self-will will get Leonardo di Caprio to fall in love with you.

CNNGo: Do you think you’re saying anything new?

Anisa Hassan: Yes! The additional chapters are a response to the way dating has evolved in recent years. While the rules of the dating game have not changed, people are going through different experiences. Addressing these new concerns makes the book current and relevant.

CNNGo: What do you think is a person’s number one hindrance to dating successfully?

Hassan: Mindset. When one’s mind is fixed on an outcome, the dating process becomes too serious and time driven. We’ve know the phrase “you can’t hurry love,” yet that’s what most people do because they are too intent on getting to the destination, rather than enjoying the journey.

CNNGo: People say that Singapore is a bad place to be single, especially if you’re over a certain age or fall in certain demographics. Do you think that is true?

Hassan: Dating is tough in any cosmopolitan city where people are working harder and longer. But whether dating is fun or otherwise rests solely on the individual.

It's Just LunchDitch the Magic 8-Ball, try this love tome instead.

CNNGo: Do you believe in the law of positive attraction? It sounds like you advocate it in the book.

Hassan: The book focuses on having a positive, mental attitude that could lead to small successes and a big win eventually. Fixing your attention solely on the prize may even lead you to do nothing because you don’t see the point.

CNNGo: So if I will it hard enough, I can get Leonardo di Caprio to fall for me?

Hassan: You cannot will anyone to fall in love with you if you don’t love or even like yourself very much, to begin with.

CNNGo: What would you say to people who are sick and tired of dating, but who are still looking for the right partner?

Hassan: Dating is a process. If you’re not prepared to feel the pain of a broken heart or the thrill of being loved then you have to be prepared to stay single. 

CNNGo: One thing you don’t write about in this book is sex. How many dates should you go on before you …

Hassan: It’s a personal choice but definitely not on the first date.

CNNGo: You say a few times in the book not to take rejection personally. That’s hard isn’t it? Can people really handle that?

Hassan: It goes back to having a positive attitude and mental toughness. If you view dating as an opportunity to create friendships and expanding social circles, you will expect some dates to work and others not to.

Whatever it is, know that you’ll still be okay.

CNNGo: You write about dating after divorce/widowhood and dating as a single parent. How much do you think Singapore’s societal attitudes towards this have changed?

Hassan: Singapore is experiencing one of its highest divorce rates ever. In any affluent society, marriage and divorce are part of the ebb and flow of life. It happens and it’s okay.

Those who are widowed have the society rooting for them. They’ll be encouraged to look for love and start afresh.

CNNGo: What about long distance dating/relationships. They’re so common now with people relocating and traveling for work. Any advice?

Hassan: Yes, long distance relationships are common, and require commitment from both parties. If both partners commit to putting their relationship above their career, the choices they have to make along the way are clear cut.

CNNGo: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Hassan: You can’t fall in love with someone at first sight because you don’t know them well enough. You may be attracted to someone, but that doesn’t mean you are in love with them.

That is stuff that fairy tales are made of … but this is your life, and it is real.

"The It's Just Lunch Guide to Dating in Asia" book retails for S$19.05 at Borders, Books Kinokuniya, Harris and Popular bookstores.