Wife sets husband up on Tinder dates; husband does the same for her

Wife sets husband up on Tinder dates; husband does the same for her
Mr Eddy Azar and his wife, Ms Asha Jacob.
PHOTO: Eddy Azar's Facebook

Their version of marriage is not something most couples would want to copy.

And marriage counsellors also advise against such marriages, saying that it could lead to problems later.

Canadian Eddy Azar, 22, and Singaporean Asha Jacob, 20, believe in letting their spouses date other people.

The couple's marriage arrangement and their use of social media app Tinder to find dates for each other did not go unnoticed.

It caught the attention of British newspaper Daily Mail, which interviewed them. The online article appeared last week.

Mr Azar, an analyst for international start-up companies GrowthCast and OneBit, told The New Paper: "If we were at a bar and we saw a guy she would like, I would try to get his phone number for her because she would like the experience."

Ms Jacob, a freelance writer, does the same for her husband, saying that it was a mutual decision to "open ourselves up to others".

She added: "We fell in love hard and fast when we were young and I love my husband for it.

"But there are still so many things I want to experience."

DATES

Since last November, the couple have been using Tinder to help each other meet dates.

It all started when Mr Azar was frustrated at his lack of success with the app.

He said: "I was complaining to her that the dating game in Singapore was unfair to men.

"Next thing I knew, she grabbed my phone and set up two dates for me within 30 minutes."

Mr Azar and Ms Jacob regularly ask each other's opinion on what to reply in chats with strangers and help update each other's profiles to get people interested in them.

"My wife is one of the best pick-up artists I know or at least when she is wearing my face," he said.

The pair met via the app in August 2014, when Mr Azar was living in Bali and visited Singapore on a visa run.

"It was love at first sight and I could not believe how attracted I was to her," he said.

They decided to maintain a long-distance relationship and Mr Azar travelled to Singapore to see Ms Jacob whenever he could.

After a year of dating, he decided to pop the question and they got married here last October.

But being exclusive has never been something that Mr Azar subscribed to and he said he made this clear to Ms Jacob when they first met.

"On a philosophical level, I don't believe in the concept of monogamy because people aren't like that," he said.

"But I wanted to keep Asha in my life always because there is no one like her, so we got married."

The key to maintaining an open marriage, according to the couple, is communication.

Mr Azar said: "We have one rule - no lying or hiding.

"We understand each other at such an amazing level and we know we both have this desire to experience life.

"As long as we keep talking, it works."

And when one gets a date, they work together to find a date for the other.

Mr Azar and Ms Jacob allow each other to do as they please when on dates, but they stick by a rule: They have to go home to each other by the next morning.

"I love that we both get to have fun, but know that we are each other's soulmates and no one can replace us," he said.

Counsellor: No such thing as open marriage

Marriage counsellor John Vasavan from Congruence Counselling Service Singapore, who is in his 50s, said that there is no such thing as an open marriage.

"Marriage is supposed to be a bond between two people. How can it be open?" said Mr Vasavan.

"The legal bond of marriage means that two people are bound morally and religiously to one another."

He added that while relationships are varied and people are different, marriage should remain an exclusive institution.

Marriages like the one between Mr Azar and Ms Jacob are very rare and extramarital affairs could be detrimental to their marriage.

Mr Vasavan said: "If it becomes a way of life or an everyday affair, then the marriage has no meaning.

"You can be as open as you want, but their actions are going to offend the other party for sure."

Psychotherapist Simon Neo, 46, said that Mr Azar's and Ms Jacob's open arrangement has to do with their young age.

He said: "They are still young, so they are finding tremendous amounts of pleasure from this freedom to enjoy the company of others."

While their relationship may work now, Mr Neo said this happiness might be temporary because any issues that the couple will run into will be "magnified".

"It will come to a point where they feel insecure and their spouse might feel more emotionally involved with someone else," he said.

"Jealousy and miscommunication happen in every marriage or relationship, but this makes it worse."

harizbah@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on February 24, 2016.
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