Last month at the Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, matchmaker extraordinaire Hellen Chen talked to singles and married couples who had arrived for her love seminar about how to find the right match and how to keep the relationship fresh as the very first day.
Bestselling author Chen was given the title of “The Matchmaker of the Century” by the couples she has helped because unlike conventional matchmakers, she would specially approach skeptical men and women who have resisted the idea of marriage or have given up on marriage.
This year, the marriage rate in America is continuing its downward slide, with an all-time low in the number of American women getting married.
According to the Census Bureau, for every 2-3 US marriages, there is a divorce.
“Most people think about ‘what went wrong’ only after they have hit a brick wall in their marriages. But the problem starts way earlier,” said Chen.
Indeed, Chen talked about the trend of parents spoiling their children when they are young — giving in to their every need. And as the children grew up, when their future spouse or partner refused to ‘spoil’ them the way their parents had, they would give up the relationship easily.
Chen also talked about the missing love lessons which many young people have not learned as early as high school.
Academic achievements and career achievements have been the focus of most education curriculum. The subtle art of interacting with the opposite sex becomes something a child has to figure out by himself.
When he steps into the working world, he usually has “no time” to learn lessons beyond his job requirements. When one becomes older, those “love lessons” unfortunately do not automatically become acquired knowledge.
“Usually, people learn negative lessons about relationships. They might have a couple of dating failures but the more they date, the more negative they would become. They know what is ‘bad’ about relationships but they never learn how to make it good.” said Chen.
Chen encourages parents to help their children learn about relationships in healthy ways when they are young, and not delay such education until a later time — which usually never comes about as career pressure forces men and women to place more emphasis on other types of skills.
A father of three came to Chen’s seminar on Saturday with two of his teenage sons. After the seminar, Kamran said, “My sons enjoyed the seminar. I am happy they came to learn these lessons at their age. For myself who has been married for close to 20 years, I learned how to make my marriage deeper and better.”
Chen compares the learning of marriage principles to learning a new sport or practicing a new skill.
“We do not expect to know how to drive a car well without having taken some driving lessons and have practiced driving. It does not matter how great of a car or how easy the road is. We still need to practice. Why would someone expect to have a perfect lasting relationship without knowing how to be a good wife or husband?” said Chen.
“We have not planned to fail in relationships. But most of us have failed to plan how to make the relationship last day after day, year after year.” Chen told the audience.
Chen’s work has been featured in over 200 media publications in 18 countries.