Is Mr Wrong RIGHT for you?    

Is Mr Wrong RIGHT for you?

Singer Winnie Hsin says she left her latest lover because they were too different. But can that be a good thing

Popular singer Winnie Hsin, from Taiwan, recently broke up with her boyfriend of three years – he was 15 years younger than her.

Given a second chance, Winnie, who
's in her 40s, says she could have saved herself the heartache.

"Yes, I know 15 years is a huge gap. At the beginning, I told myself that it was impossible for us to work out. I told him that too, and even wanted to be just friends," she says quietly.

"But he was undeterred and became even more persistent about wooing me. I think I was overwhelmed and thus, didn't consider the consequences. Which is quite shocking, because I a usually a rational person. Well, that's fate for you."

Best known for her crystal-clear soprano voice, Winnie is now promoting her latest album, Winni
e's Greatest Hits, a 30-track compilation with new songs and hits such as Taste and Realisation.

When she talks about her last love, Winnie smiles. But she admits that the initial rush of romance fizzled out when problems began surfacing in their relationship.

"We had different perspectives and values, so arguments were common. I think we spent most of the three years sorting out problems," she reveals.

On top of that, her work means she travels frequently. So her
"dates" and "quarrels" with her boyfriend often took place over the mobile phone and email. Little wonder that sharing feelings and intentions was an uphill task.

After each fight, Winnie
's realistic side took over. "I think I gradually regained my usual lucidity," she says. "After I realized what I'd done, I became aware of the progress of our relationship. So, I analysed the cause-and-effect in situations more thoroughly.

"Compared to him, I was probably 1000 times more discerning about what was happening to us – right up to the day when I initiated the split."

Actually, all relationships face problems, says Saras Atre, a counsellor in Couple and Individual Therapy at Raffles Hospital.
"Differences are not the problem," she asserts, "The crux here is how the couple reacts to them."

"Say a high-achieving wife marries a laid-back husband. While she will initially feel happy and fulfilled, she may start feeling resentful when she sees him unwilling to take up responsibilities. Over time, this unhappiness will take the form of personal attacks and criticism."

She suggests that couples stop wasting time and energy trying to change each other.
"It's better to learn to adjust to and accept the differences between you. Be open when you approach the topic and talk about it objectively. This is not a power struggle, so negotiate your strengths and weaknesses. Both of you have to work together, so don't let an emotional outburst get in the way of solving a problem," Sara suggests.

Good advice, but Winnie clearly feels there was little point carrying on. She explains,
"Many people thought that because I am older, I would be more nonchalant about the whole situation. But I felt I didn't protect myself enough. Anyway I feel it's best we remain friends. Friendship usually lasts longer than a romance, and friends tend to be more forgiving of each other."

Good thing her friends rallied around. She reveals,
"I'm the sort who doesn't like to keep unhappy thoughts to myself, so I poured out everything to my close friends, who advised me not to be so na
ive in future."

Her first single, I
Can Also Fall in Love with Someone Else, from her new album, is a ballad about a failed romance. It signals that Winnie's recovery process is almost complete, and she admits that the lyrics mirror her life.

Insisting that she is cheerful and assertive, Winnie says she still looks forward to falling in love again.

"I'm not saying I will not go out with younger men anymore. It's more important that our social and ethical values are similar. I have a weakness for filial guys, because filial piety is such a fundamental aspect of good character," she says. "But let's leave it to fate, shall we? If it happens, it happens."

Joanne Chua/Singapore Women’s Weekly – October 2004