The award for the first celeb engagement news of 2017 goes to… Sheila Sim! As surprising as the news is, we can’t say it came as a complete shock, considering the model-actress had been Instagramming envy-inducing photos of her and her beau, who she called "the man", while on vacation in Japan recently. Except we still don’t know who’s the guy, or even what he looks like.
8 DAYS: Congrats on your engagement! Tell us more about the lucky guy!
SHEILA SIM: (Laughs) No lah, I’m the lucky girl also lah! He’s a very simple and sentimental man. I feel very paiseh to have to praise him. (Laughs) He’s a 36-year-old Singaporean Chinese, and he works in the finance industry. But I don’t want to reveal his name or face yet. I decided to keep things private for the time being since it’s not a very seasoned relationship — we’ve only been together for six months. It’s less pressurising this way. We don’t have to entertain questions when we go out. It’s not in his nature to [deal with attention] so it can be quite overwhelming for him.
Tell us how the both of you met.
We met on a dating app last year. Why did I download the app? I was looking for a dating partner lor! (Laughs) My friends forced me to set up an account two years ago ’cos I had been single for a while. Initially I was like, “Huh? Don’t want lah, so creepy.” But they went as far as to help me choose my profile pic and they were making comments like, “Okay, you look kind-hearted in this photo.” (Laughs) Who would have thought that I’d find my partner on a dating app?
So who made the first move?
I don’t know who swiped first [due to the mechanics of the app], but we mutually ‘liked’ each other and I started the conversation first. Guys can be quite shy. Usually I don’t give out my mobile number on that dating app till a few months down the road, but I felt very comfortable with him and gave him my number on the same day. We have mutual friends, and he didn’t seem desperate. (Laughs) We met up after five days of chatting and things developed from there. Back then I thought, “Even if we cannot be lovers, we could at least be friends.”
Did he know that you were a star when you guys 'matched'?
I don’t think of myself as someone famous. And no, he didn’t know. “What do you do for a living?” is a very basic question, but my answer was damn dodgy. I told him, “Can you don’t ask this now? I’ll tell you later.” I sounded like I was involved in illegal stuff! He was quite cool with it though. When I finally told him, he said he didn’t like the idea of dating an actress ’cos he’s very private. But then he realised that I’m a siao char bor (crazy woman in Hokkien). (Laughs)
Let’s address the elephant in the room: why get hitched after only six months of dating?
If this was not my engagement, I’d also say, “Wah, so fast.” I’m not even pregnant! When we first started going out, marriage was already something we discussed, since we’re at a marriageable age. I didn’t want to be in another [long-term] relationship that goes nowhere, so from the start I wanted to make sure we were on the same page. But the speed of [the engagement] happening was unexpected. We’d always have random chats about our future, like the kind of house we want, and kids. We’ll eventually like to have children, but not so soon. We already have a verbal agreement with a real estate agent to buy a house in Singapore, though I can’t say where. We’re just waiting to do the paperwork. My parents and my friends also gave their blessings. When I first introduced [my fiancé] to my parents two or three months into the relationship last year, it was my dad who said, “Aiyah, you two will get married next year lah.” He was the first one I called when [my fiancé] proposed. My parents were jumping up and down with joy and my father even teared up. (Laughs)
How did the proposal in Niseko, Hokkaido happen?
We were on a ski trip high up on a freezing cold mountain. When he proposed to me, I couldn’t absorb what he was saying ’cos internally I was going, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.” Very kan cheong one leh! But he’s very clever lah. He parked a GoPro camera near us and recorded the moment so we could look back at it afterwards. I was like, “Oh so that was what you said!” He proposed with a customised blue sapphire ring (see main pic). I’m not into diamonds. I prefer colourful and fun things.
So when’s the big day?
We haven’t had the time to discuss it. Maybe later this year? I’m not traditional. I don’t need to be in a gown and heels. When I was younger I used to know exactly what kind of wedding I wanted, down to the colour of the table setting. As I got older I realised it shouldn’t be like that. I think I’ll be a very chill bride lah. But I shouldn’t say this now, in case I turn into a monster on the actual day! He mentioned that he could do without a wedding ceremony. That was when I said, “Um, you gotta give me something to work with!” (Laughs)