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About Me

About Me
CrystalPhuong.net is a Personal Style & Travel Blog based in Singapore, written by Crystal Phuong. The blog was nominated FOUR times in Top 10 Best Fashion Blogs in the annual Singapore Blog Award from 2012- 2015, voted as one of the Best Lifestyle Blogs in Singapore in 2013 by Hotelclub.com, and Best Travel Blogs in 2016 by Foodpanda.com. Crystal hopes to connect and inspire young women to lead a healthy and happy life. Be confident, be positive, and be kind.
Showing posts with label ENGAGEMENT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ENGAGEMENT. Show all posts


Let me start this post with a punch line: I'm engaged! 

Over the last 17 years since I left Vietnam, I have listened to the question "When will you get married?" countless times. My simple answer was, "One day, I'll talk about marriage when I'm ready." Today is the day. 

Every Lunar New Year, the same question came up again from multiple people. Whenever my parents introduced me to their friends, after the question, "How old is she?", "What's she doing?" was "Is she married?". First, I was ok as I was used to it. It's my culture. Then, I got irritated when people started telling me how to live my life and advising me, "You quickly find a husband, have kids, and take care of the family. Don't work too much and travel too much." It got worse when people made jokes about women who are 30 years old and above unmarried being left on the shelf pass the "expiry date." How did I deal with these jokes? I ignored. 

In Vietnam and other Asian countries, many women want to get married because they are under family and societal pressure; they want to have kids by a certain age, change their passports by getting married to a foreign man, and want to change their life. Growing up in a country where marriage is a must-be done by a certain age, I fell into the same belief that marriage is the ultimate life goal of a woman. I set an ideal timeline for myself when I'd like to get married. 23, 25, 27. 29 years old. Those are considered auspicious ages for a girl to get married. I tried to follow this advice, but I failed. Every time I failed, I questioned myself, "Why?". Dad told me that I was too stubborn, too strong. He was very worried about me. Mom said I should be more realistic, less picky, and stop daydreaming. Then, some of my married friends told me, "If you want to find a husband, he might be boring. As long as he takes care of you, it's good enough. If you want to have a fun, passionate, and adventurous type of man, they'll always have commitment issues. You need to lower your expectation."

For years, I've been wondering, "Am I too demanding?", "Should I be more accommodating in the relationship?" "Should I reduce the number of boxes on my "Ideal Husband" list?", "Do I have a commitment issue?" After running away from a few marriage proposals, at 30, I started questioning myself, "Why do I want to get married?". Then, I came up with several reasons. I wanted to get married because I was getting older, I wanted to get married because my parents wanted to get married. I wanted to get married so that I could have a better life. I wanted to get married because I wanted to have kids. I wanted to get married so I could get a new passport. Lastly, I wanted to get married because I wanted to wear a wedding dress (this is the silliest one). 

Nothing's wrong with the reasons above. Everyone's needs are different, and everyone has the right to decide what works best for them. But when I took a step back and looked at what marriage really meant to me, I realized these were the wrong reasons for me to get married. By the time I turned 35, my view on marriage had changed, and so did my ideal type of life partner. Family, relatives, and friends stopped asking me when I'd get married (they got tired eventually). My parents slowly understood my perspectives. I'm not the typical, traditional Asian woman whose life and happiness depend on her husband. I have my own life and decide who deserves the VIP ticket to join me on this ride. I stopped comparing my life with people my age who married early and now have 2-3 grown-up kids with a big house and car.

Everyone has their timing. I'm not ahead or behind. I'm where exactly I need to be. Instead of waiting for my future husband to show up, I chose to focus on my career, finance, mental and physical health, and happiness. Work became my best friend to distract me from the negative thoughts about the unforeseeable future. I was at the mental stage that I would be fine being single if I couldn't find anyone worth getting married to. I no longer want to get married so I can have financial stability. I make and manage my own money. If I want to have kids, many options are available nowadays for single moms-wanna-be. I don't need a man to make me happy because I'm already happy being alone. If someone comes along who adds more value, more fun, and more experiences to my life, that's great! If not, I'd rather fly solo. I'm not asking for millions of dollars in their bank account, a big house, a car, a business class ticket, or luxury vacations. Integrity, kindness, intelligence, love, open communication, and patience are some qualities I was hoping to see in a man. Why would I need to lower my expectations to meet somebody's low standards? I found it hard to understand that advice.

I stopped talking about my love life publicly 7 years ago. Not because I didn't want to or believe in love. I feared it would end quickly as soon as I made the relationship public. It happened a few times in the past, making me think that some evil spirits from another universe cursed me. Despite going through many heart-breaking experiences and ups and downs in the relationship, I still believe in true love. I believe there is someone out there who is my equal and made just for me, someone who loves wholeheartedly and cares deeply, who is compassionate, respectful, loyal, and truthful. I just hadn't met him yet, I thought. But I was wrong. 

I already met him 13 years ago. I'll share the story about how we met in another blog post. Despite the short first meeting, the unique situation of how we met, the timezone difference, and the thousands of miles apart, we remained friends. He was the one who always reached out to wish me Happy Birthday and Happy New Year and checked in to see if I was ok. I kept him in the friend zone for a long time until one fine day in 2022; we met again after five years at a train station. It felt like coming home. I felt safe, comfortable, and free. I didn't have to hold the weight of the world inside me. I didn't have to tiptoe around him and filter my words before communicating. He watched me grow from the young girl who struggled to find out what I wanted in life to the woman I am now, who knows what I want and goes for it. I was so busy looking for a Prince Charming, not realize he was walking side by side with me all these years. 

To my fiance, thank you for showering me with a ridiculous amount of love every day. You accept me for who I am and are forever my number 1 fan (this is your words). You laugh at my silly jokes, cheer me on my tough days, and show me how easy yet profound love can be. I can't help but think we were made for each other. God is good. He let us go through many "tests" and made us become a better version of ourselves before we met each other again. I'm excited about our next chapter together, and I can't wait to marry my best friend! 

This is the easiest Yes I've ever said in my life. 

To all the girls and women out there who are still hoping to find your Prince Charming, don't give up Hope. Everything will happen when the time is right. Greg & I first met in 2009, but we didn't end up being together until 2022. Don't change so people will like you. Change only to improve yourself. Be yourself, and the right people will find you. Good luck! 

Crystal Phuong

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