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Take That First Step!

Pushing yourself to take that first step is important if you want to widen your social circle and meet more people. For these two couples, stepping out of their comfort zones led to the start of something wonderful.

By Audrey Ng

Have you ever wondered if just that one time you stepped out of your comfort zone and talked to someone, things may have turned out differently? Perhaps you two would have had the chance to get to know each other better, and it would have turned into an amazing relationship. 

Well, these couples found out that sometimes things may not turn out the way you want, if you don’t take a chance. 

The unexpected

Jephtath and Jing Han

When conducting National Service (NS) training in camp, the last thing one would expect is to m​eet a girl. But that was what happened to Jephtath Chia.

The 28-year-old was a physical trainer at the Air Force Training Command in 2014. He was carrying out a training session for a group of pilot trainees at a swimming pool when he met Poh Jing Han, who was the lifeguard on duty then. As fate would have it, the two started bumping into each other around the camp’s on-site facilities after that initial encounter. But they did not have a proper conversation until Jephtath finally plucked up the courage to speak to her during his break.

Four years on, Jephtath and Jing Han, 27, are now engaged, and plan to get married late 2020. “I distinctly remember being distracted during the swim lesson as Jing Han looked really cute under the morning sunlight,” recalls Jephtath with a laugh. “I am most definitely a shy person by nature but once my lesson ended, I knew I had to make an effort to get to know her,” he adds. Needless to say, he was extremely nervous and feared that she would already have a partner, or worse, brush him off for bothering her during work. But Jephtath didn’t want to lose the opportunity to meet someone special. 

For Jing Han, she remembers being pleasantly surprised when Jephtath first spoke to her and didn’t mind chatting. Once the pair began talking, despite Jephtath’s fears that they may have nothing in common, they found that conversation flowed naturally. However, they didn’t jump straight into a relationship as Jing Han had just come out of a long distance one and was not yet ready for something new. Both agreed to take things at a slow, comfortable pace and get to know each other better before. After 10 months, they got into a relationship. 

Jephtath and Jing Han’s friends’ reactions were mostly of surprise when they shared how they met in the most unexpected place. 

To those still looking for ‘The One’, Jephtath believes that one should not fear rejection. He says that in such situations, one needs to take a leap of faith and approach the person they are interested in. Jing Han agrees: “If you feel the other person is worth it, just go up to them and speak to them. If the other person doesn’t feel the same way, at least you have an answer and won’t dwell on the ‘what ifs’. You really have nothing to lose!”

Things ‘appened

Li Ming and Stephanie
“Huh? People use Tinder, you use Carousell?” That’s one of the reactions Tan Li Ming, 29, gets from his friends when he tells them about how he met his fiancée, Stephanie He, 32. 

The two actually met in 2015 at an event organised by consumer-to-consumer marketplace app Carousell. Li Ming recalls that Stephanie caught his eye during the introduction session. It was not until after the event that he approached her when she was waiting at a bus stop. “I had butterflies in my stomach!” he says. “But she was too beautiful and I guess the late night bus gave me the perfect opportunity to approach her.” As it was rather late, Li Ming offered to share a taxi with her and another event participant even though all three lived in different places. 

Stephanie didn’t think much of it when Li Ming came to talk to her. “I simply saw him as someone who was very friendly and helpful. I don’t think it was love at first sight,” she says. They didn’t exchange numbers after that night though. It was thanks to someone from the event who started a group chat on WhatsApp that allowed them to stay in contact. 

They found out that they were both going to the same electronic dance music concert a few months later and although they had no plans to meet as they were with their own friends, they actually ran into each other during the gig. “It was truly fate that we met each other again amidst thousands of people there,” says Li Ming. 

Li Ming and Stephanie are now engaged to be married in December 2020. “The brief moment of courage I had to talk to Stephanie in 2015 completely changed my life for the better,” says Li Ming, who is all for taking the step forward to speak to someone they are interested in. Stephanie feels the same: “It is not easy to be brave and speak to strangers but I always believe that if you never try, you will never know what opportunities will come out of it.”

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