Conservative parents not happy with woman's decision to start dating agency

Conservative parents not happy with woman's decision to start dating agency
Mrs Michelle Goh (back row) with husband Edwin Goh, her parents Mr Goh Chong Han and Madam Lilian Tan, and her two-year-old son Isaac.

When Ms Michelle Goh, 34, founded a dating agency, CompleteMe, in 2012, her parents did not fully embrace the idea.

Her father, salesman Goh Chong Han, 68, says: "We're conservative. Marriage is a sensitive subject that we hardly discuss. Still, she had the guts to set up her own business."

Her mother, Madam Lilian Tan, 60, a part-time dental assistant, disapproved.

She says: "I was angry at first. She changed her job in IT business development, which she had been working in for six years.

"I'm traditional, she's modern. There's a Chinese saying - don't be a mediator, don't be a guarantor and don't be a matchmaker."

CompleteMe originated from a Facebook group, Singapore Facebook Singles, which Ms Goh started in 2007 to widen her social circle.

Her dating agency was one of 10 recognised by SDNTrust, the accreditation arm of the Social Development Network, that was involved in the annual Dating Fest event this year.

Madam Tan eventually accepted her only child's venture. "I let go. She's now a mum, she should know her own mind," she says.

Says Ms Goh: "There is a couple who met through my Facebook page and are now married with a one-year-old boy. It's very meaningful. You're helping people find their happiness."

She has been married to IT business consultant Edwin Goh, 40, since 2010. They met when they were working in the same IT firm and have a two-year-old son, Isaac. Together, they live in a five-room HDB flat in Tampines.

Ms Goh, who left her job to set up CompleteMe, declined to reveal revenue figures but says it provides "additional income for the family".

Besides, she had also quit her job to spend more time with her son. By day, she is a housewife and often organises dating events in the evenings and on Saturdays. Last year, she hired two freelance event organisers to help her.

What is your parenting style like?

Ms Goh: My dad is hands-off. My mum is hands-on. She took care of every need and wanted to know my friends.

Madam Tan: I was very strict when she was younger. In kindergarten and primary school, if she had holiday homework for that month, I wanted her to finish all the homework in a day.

In secondary school, I just reminded her to check her homework. My husband is more relaxed. After work, he comes back, reads the newspapers and has a drink.

Mr Goh: I leave everything to my wife. I bring home the bacon, running the home is her job.

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