What Would Zula Do

WWZD is a new column where we answer submissions from our readers, from queries to confessions or even recurring dreams. While we are no experts in this thing called life, sometimes all you need is a listening ear from your e-BFF, anonymously.

Write to us at bit.ly/wwzulado.

WWZD: She doesn’t laugh at the same things as me

So this girl I’m seeing graduated with a diploma. Her English isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough. She appreciates poetry—not from poets I think are good, but poetry nonetheless—and literary quotes, and is very open to learning new words. All of which I think slowly improve her command of the English language. That heartens me quite a bit, because I’m extremely particular with the language.

However, we have a noticeably different sense of humour. I read somewhere once, which I am now beginning to realise the truth of, that “you should only marry someone who laughs at the things you do”.

I think the things you laugh about say a lot about your tastes, your interests, your philosophies. And it is true because our interests ARE very different; our taste in music (she likes loud, I like soft), in film (she likes fast, I like slow), in passions, in hopes for the future, in dressing, in food (she is a dedicated foodie, while I wouldn’t mind eating the same thing for a week just for sustenance), in interactions with others, etc.

Nevertheless, I like this girl. She has a fun, talkative, whimsical side. She’s thoughtful and understanding (sometimes). But I don’t know, maybe she really isn’t right for me and I’m holding on only because I’m afraid of being alone.

—Jack, 25

Zula says

Dear Jack,

Taste is subjective and you are coming to a realisation that you and your girlfriend have nothing common in that department. I assume she’s into Lang Leav, which might be a turn-off for people into “real poets” like Sylvia Plath or Virginia Woolf. For all its worth, I consider Taylor Swift a poet.

The arts and language must rank rather high in your identity, because you didn’t talk about your date at Macritchie Treetop Walk or vacation to Bali. You must be contemplative and intellectual; and why you are going on your next date matters more than what you are going to be doing.

I think inherent values matter a lot in relationships and if I had to re-swipe you both on Tinder again, it wouldn’t be a match. Even from your short write-up, it seems like both of you are on completely different wavelengths. While differences should be treasured, it’s our shared values that can keep the love train choo-choo-ing for the long haul.

Her redemptive qualities, while sweet, are but an afterthought. Being alone is better than being trapped in a relationship where you perpetually feel alone, with no friendly way to exit.

Enjoy your Wong Kar Wai movies by yourself or find somebody more suitable.


Hi Jack!

We’ve never met, but I think we’d get along. I once unmatched someone on Tinder because he asked me how long I was going to be “oversea”. I’ve also been told by dates that I’m too atas, just because my idea of a good date involves a museum or play.

But you’d be surprised to know that the relationship I’m in started uncannily like your current situation. My boyfriend is someone you’d consider an ah beng. While In the Mood for Love is more up my alley, his pick for movie night would be God of Gamblers. When I ask him to switch his Jay Chou playlist to an English one, he plays me EDM. Tragic.

What drew us to each other then was our eagerness to learn about each other, and our love for local food. Also, I find him hilarious, albeit in his own crass, ah beng way.

I’d recommend that you go on a few more dates before deciding if your differing tastes are a deal-breaker. Cultivating a shared sense of humour takes time, and more often than not, the people we date aren’t going to fit into our lives straightaway. Human beings are more alike than we think. Try looking out for what you have in common, rather than focus on the differences.

As for whether you’re truly into this girl or just lonely, only you’ll be able to figure out. If it’s the latter, I suggest you break up and hold out until someone more compatible comes along.


Also read:

How To Be Friends With Your Ex Without Catching Feelings