Photos: Toggle, Sheila Sim/Instagram
SHE SAID YES: Wedding bells will soon be ringing for Sheila Sim and the new man in her life. The newly-engaged model-actress revealed that she has plans to “get married by 2017” after she was proposed to by her non-celebrity boyfriend, whom she got to know via a dating application, during their recent ski vacation in Japan.
Over a phone interview with Toggle yesterday, she dished more details about her fiancé, how they got to know each other, and why she agreed to his proposal – despite only knowing each other for six months.
To protect the privacy of her partner, Sheila declined to reveal any details about him and would only share that her 36-year-old Singaporean beau (he is four years older than her) hails from the banking industry.
“He is a very simple person, I don’t want to give him extra pressure although he didn’t reject the idea [of going public],” she said. “But I think this is the best arrangement for the time being.”
Their love story, according to Sheila, began after they exchanged a few messages on a dating application, which she used for the sole purpose of making friends.
She decided to go with her gut feel and gave him her number eventually “because the feeling is right”, they met up in real life and got together “naturally” over time. The rest, as she said, is history.
Snaps of Sheila and her fiance during their Hokkaido trip.
The proposal that almost didn’t happen in Hokkaido
As if fulfilling Sheila’s wish of seeing snow isn’t enough, her then-boyfriend tried to outdo his original surprise—he changed their travel destination to Hokkaido because he was worried there was “not enough snow” in Hakuba, Nagano—by proposing to her at the top of the mountain on New Year’s Eve, when they were there to watch the sunset.
She didn’t see the proposal coming and was caught off guard when he suddenly pulled out a ring box from his pocket.
“I looked at it and said: ‘Don’t tell me you want to propose now ah?’ I was super nervous! And he replied: ‘I asked you how can I make this trip better, so will it be made better if I proposed now?’ … but I told him I was not ready and he asked if I wanted to change [the proposal] to another day,” she laughingly recalled.
The “hilarious” episode ended when she asked him if he was going down on one knee to propose, which he did—albeit clumsily, said Sheila. “He was in full ski gear and there were so many layers of clothing, but he eventually got down on one knee and I started crying.”
(Continued on the next page: Sheila would have rejected the guy if her '118' family did not approve of him)
Sheila and Hanwei play an onscreen couple in 118 Season 1 and 2.
Getting her 118 family members’ stamp of approval
While Sheila was in the dark about the surprise in store for her, 118 co-star Chen Hanwei revealed that her boyfriend had informed him about it prior to their vacation. “She called me the moment he proposed to her in Japan, he’s a very nice guy with a stable career and dotes on her a lot. It feels as though they are destined to be together.
“They are very compatible in terms of height and their looks too,” he let on.
Apart from getting Uncle Niang’s (Hanwei’s character in 118) endorsement, Sheila shared that her fellow 118 family members also gave her new beau their stamp of approval and that was important because she trusted her co-stars’ sense of judgement and saw them as family.
“They have met him before because I’ve brought him along for a couple of family gatherings too and they think quite highly of him… if they didn’t approve, I wouldn’t have gotten together with him,” she added.
Heaping praises on ‘the man’ for his honest and simple ways, Sheila also shared that he is very sentimental and takes good care of his friends and family members. “He says what he means and he is a very straightforward person, like me. This makes it easy for us to communicate with each other. We have endless topics to talk about and we’re on the same wavelength.”
“Flash marriages are in trend now and some might feel that [getting engaged after] six months is too fast, but we got into this relationship with marriage in mind and we are comfortable with each other.”
Apart from meeting her fictional onscreen family, the both of them have also met up with their partners’ respective families and have recently purchased a house together. She shared that they will move in together when their new place is ready.
Catch Sheila in 118 Season 2, weekdays, 7.30 pm on Channel 8. Watch it on Toggle-It First or catch-up TV.