updated 16 Nov 2013, 12:51
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Thu, Oct 17, 2013
Her World
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The Lois Lane
by Aretha Loh

The Lois Lane

Assistant engineer Serene Ho, 30, had a less-than-perfect childhood and has struggled with her father's financial problems. As a result, she seeks a "Superman", a man who is stronger, smarter and more financially stable than she is - but men of that ilk are elusive.

"Growing up, my parents had a strained relationship. My grandma used to tell me that my parents wanted to split up early on in their marriage, but stuck together for my sake (I'm the eldest child). Love lesson number one: A relationship should be based on love and commitment - it shouldn't be an obligation, like it was for my folks.

As a teenager, I saw how my parents would always argue over money.

After my mum passed away when I was in secondary school, it was my turn to nag at my dad to pay our school fees and household bills - which he never did. Once, we almost got evicted from our flat‚ at because we couldn't afford the monthly loan payments. I remember feeling so scared and helpless, and wishing that someone would come to my rescue.

These have made me yearn for a 'Superman', someone to take care of me. It'll be great if he's a looker like Henry Cavill, but more importantly, he has to be someone I'm comfortable being around with, someone who'll assuage my insecurities. He has to be able to pay his bills and live within his means, with enough savings for emergencies. It would be good if he could also be around to help fend off nagging relatives during Chinese New Year, who constantly remind me that it's time to settle down and start a family.

I haven't met a guy like that yet, though to be fair, I haven't always been on the lookout. I spent most of my teenage years and my 20s working so I could support my family as my father wasn't able to do so. He worked on and off, doing odd jobs like being an air-con technician or coordinator. Back then, I had no time or interest in guys, and rejected at least five suitors within six years. Some were really annoying - like this guy who would constantly message me, try to sit beside me at group gatherings and insist on sending me home. Others were sweet and more difficult to turn down, like the one who would buy me medicine whenever I was sick, deliver food cravings to me at midnight and send flowers to my house.

These days, the money situation at home is better as my younger sister has started working. I'm finally able to keep an eye out for a guy. But not many men fit my bill. As a teen, I had hoped to get married by 25, but these days, I don't think about 'deadlines' anymore. I'm definitely a little afraid of being single for life, but I won't settle for someone who's not right for me.

My friends say I'm still single because I have high standards, and I agree. I'm looking for a man who can cater to my physical, emotional and financial needs. This ensures that I'm well taken care of - why should I lower the bar?"


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