That’s what newlywed modelactress Sheila Sim says she and her husband share – and now that they’ve settled down after their whirlwind courtship (he proposed within six months!), she’s never been happier.
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Sheila Sim may now be married, but the actress and model still prefers to go by her maiden name, thank you very much. Since she wed banker Deon Woo, 37, in January, only a few family members have teased her with her married title, “Mrs Woo”. “‘It sounds like what people would call my mother-in-law,” Sheila says with a laugh. “I’m definitely sticking to my own name, but I have a new couple name for us – the WooSims. It’s cute, right?”
Cute fits Sheila to a T: She laughs easily and heartily at our cover photo shoot at restaurant-club FOC Sentosa at Tanjong Beach. Her elfin features and down-to-earth charm make her instantly endearing, and she greets the crew with great big hugs.
As one of Singapore’s top models, Sheila, 33, is also a true chameleon: She’s playful as she grooves along to the strains of Beyoncé’s “Love On Top”, but exhibits a panther-like grace as she poses on the beach and by the pool – even as the sun’s glare makes it hard for her to open her eyes. Ever the professional, she works through the harsh sunlight, fixing her signature smouldering gaze on the camera.
Sheila is the perfect person to grace The Weekly’s cover for our Love issue. She looks as radiantly happy as a new bride can be. “When I married Deon, I felt like I had come home,” she shares. “It sounds like such a cliché, but it’s true. There’s that sense of belonging that comes from being with the right person.” Love also means everything to her, she reveals. Her Instagram posts are often tagged #sheilalovesherlife, #sheilalovesherjob and #sheilalovesherfood.
When Sheila and Deon first met on a dating app, they were attracted to each other’s looks (“that’s expected, because the other person’s photo is the first thing you see”, she says), but they soon found they had a deeper connection. “I usually don’t give out my number to a guy until we’ve been chatting online for about two months – but somehow, I gave Deon my number that very night!
“Later on, I almost ruined the relationship by drunk-dialling him one day and saying all kinds of offensive stuff,” she continued with a laugh. “However, the next day, we ended up talking for four to five hours on the phone, and five days later, we met in person for the first time. Because he was between jobs, and I was between projects, we met every day; and I really mean every day, unless one of us was out of the country. It’s why we got to know each other so well in such a short period of time.”
From diffusing fights to finding Mr. Right, Sheila shares how she’s making her relationship work YOU KNOW
YOUR PARTNER IS THE ONE WHEN…
“Your friends and family are all in favour of your relationship. Sometimes, you feel like your relationship is right, but your loved ones have doubts and are all telling you it’s wrong. In my case, my family knew Deon was the one for me even before I did – when my dad first met him, he predicted that we would get married, and he was right!”
THE KEY TO A HAPPY UNION IS…
“To have tolerance for each other. People under estimate the power of tolerance. So many times, I may get annoyed with my husband, but if I just hold my tongue, the issue will blow over. So you need to pick your battles and learn when to hold back.”
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Sheila accepted Deon’s proposal atop a snowy mountain in Hokkaido, after just six months of dating. “It came as a complete surprise to me: He took me to our special spot, planted his GoPro camera in the snow, and I instantly knew something was up. He got down on one knee with the ring, and I laughed and cried because I thought the proposal was so funny and sweet.”
Getting engaged within six months was “crazy”, Sheila admits. “From an outsider’s point of view, it definitely sounds mad. But it felt so right, and I thought it was so romantic that he was so sure that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.”
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Fresh from her minimoon in Japan, which included a three-day foodie pilgrimage through Tokyo and five days of snowboarding at Nozawa Onsen in Nagano, Sheila is missing her holiday but happy to be home. Her star-studded wedding at Andaz Singapore, which was attended by celebrities including her 118 drama co-stars Chen Han Wei, Chew Chor Meng, Pan Ling Ling, Dennis Chew and Elvin Ng, was fun but tiring, she shares, and she was happy to simply catch up on sleep and enjoy some much-needed couple time while in Japan.
The newlyweds are also eager to start expanding their brood. “We love kids, and at our age, we want to start trying for them right away.”
Currently filming the drama Reach For The Skies, which debuts on April 2, Sheila laments that her character “isn’t allowed to get pregnant” until filming wraps in September. But don’t expect her to slow down after starting a family. “I don’t think the arrival of a child should change my entire life; I still want to do my own thing. I’m inspired by the veteran actresses around me who work, but still have very good relationships with their kids.”
Sheila muses that her own parents’ split when she was 12 (they have both since remarried). It never changed her belief in love, but it did affect her feelings about marriage. “All along, in my previous relationships, I would just keep thinking, ‘My relationship cannot fail, my relationship cannot fail,’” she shares. “It inflicted a lot of unnecessary stress on me. Later, I learned not to let my past control my present; it was around this time when I met Deon.
“With Deon, I decided that my relationship didn’t have to be perfect. I wanted to just go with the flow, and not let the idea of ‘what if’ affect me. Now that we’re married, there’s a sense of relief that the dating game and wedding planning is over, and we can enjoy our lives together.”
THE MOST ROMANTIC THING I’VE EVER DONE FOR MY HUSBAND IS…
“Surprising him on his last birthday by planning a meal at Restaurant Andre with his twin brother and sister-inlaw. I wanted to celebrate Deon’s birthday with just the two of us, but I knew he really wanted to be with his family, so I surprised him on the day by making it a group affair. He was really touched by that. This year, we’re planning a surprise birthday bash for him on a yacht – just to up the ante!”
THE BEST WAY TO GET OVER A FIGHT IS…
“To fight objectively, and quarrel logically – which means to fight about the heart of the issue, and not about past baggage and emotions, because that will just open up a can of worms. I’m still learning how to do this, actually.”
“The world to me. It is always the answer. Whether it’s love for friends, family, work, or your partner, it comes in so many forms and no one can live without it.”
FASHION DIRECTION: JANICE PIDDUCK / PHOTOS: MARK LAW, ASSISTED BYALWIN OH; INSTAGRAM: @SHEILA_SIM / STYLING: SHAUN CHEN/ HAIR: DEXTER NG FROM HAIRBYDUO, USING KEVIN.MURPHY/ MAKEUP: SHAUN LEE, USING DIOR/ LOCATION: FOC SENTOSA