Disillusioned after years of being single, DJ Cheryl Miles reveals how she finally found the love of her life and got engaged in her 40s.
Just over a year ago, Cheryl Miles was happily single. She had just bought her own place, and had a fulfilling career as a presenter and producer at ONE FM. “I had many close friends who loved me, but they were concerned that I had been single for four years, and encouraged me to put myself out there again,” the 42-year-old says. At her friends’ persuasion, Cheryl downloaded a dating app, but was disappointed by the lack of serious suitors there initially. “I was getting disillusioned about dating as everyone i met on those dating apps were only interested in hook-ups. I wondered if I was the only one who still clung to such old-fashioned values like wanting to be courted by someone who would take his time to get to know me better.”
Cheryl’s luck changed when she met Matthew Nixon, a 38-year-old American and the vicepresident of client services at the Bank of New York Mellon. At their first date in October 2016, they met at Hard Rock Cafe - Cheryl was 30 minutes late, but Matthew refused to sit down without her and waited at the door while it rained outside.
“He treated it like a real date, which really surprised me because most people you meet on a dating app are still sizing you up on the first outing and it feels more like an interview than a date. But I felt at ease with Matthew and knew straight away that he was different and special.”
TAKING THINGS SLOW
Cheryl was won over by Matthew’s charm and humour, and was also relieved to discover they had mutual friends in common. On their third date, he insisted on going out of his way to pick Cheryl up at her front door for dinner, instead of waiting for her at the restaurant. It reminded her of her parents’ advice that a real gentleman should pick up his date at her doorstep if he wanted to take her out.”
“That day, I knew Matthew was the one I wanted to marry. I mean, who picks you up at your doorstep on the third date! He was so chivalrous and took things slow; maybe too slow – he didn’t kiss me until after six weeks, which made me wonder if he was interested at first.”
Born to Eurasian parents, Cheryl grew up in a strict household and wasn’t allowed to date until she was 18. Her parents are divorced, which she says may have affected her belief in love. She rose to fame after winning reality TV show Talentime in 2001, along with her pop trio Cherry Chocolate Candy (also known as CCCrush). After winning a one-year recording contract with Mediacorp, she was a TV host and theatre actress, before becoming a radio DJ.
“My longest relationship lasted six years; it could have led to marriage, but I didn’t feel ready, so I ended things. It was very, very painful: Since then, I dated a few people in the entertainment industry, but none of those relationships lasted more than a year and a half.” Fast forward to today, and Cheryl is engaged and less than six months away from her August wedding in Matthew’s hometown of Springfield, Missouri. Dressed in her gym attire with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, she is down-to-earth and candid about how Matthew popped the question after about 14 months of dating.
“When Matthew proposed during our holiday in Australia last year, by a large tree lit with fairy lights, I was wearing a T-shirt, shorts and slippers! He presented the ring and said he couldn’t wait any longer to propose; we were overcome with emotion and squatted down, crying. It was so un-glam, but so romantic at the same time,” she recalls.
FINDING MR. RIGHT
Cheryl thinks she and Matthew are blessed to have found each other: They are both Catholics, share similar values and goals and a “cheesy and corny sense of humour”. They love surprising each other with affectionate gestures: Matthew signed up for dancing classes with her “though he has two left feet”, and Cheryl goes fishing with him, though she initially disliked it.
“I’m happy to have found a man who respects me, my friends and my lifestyle. I waited for damn long already, so good things come to those who wait,” she says with a laugh.
For those who have yet to find Mr. Right, Cheryl says the key is to recognise that “women don’t need to look for love, because love is all around you - in your family, friends, and yourself.
“Don’t let your biological clock rush you into making a commitment. I think it’s good to wait a long time for love. I wanted to get my own life in order first,” says Cheryl, who adds that she and Matthew are eager to try for babies soon after marriage. “Our chances of conceiving may be slimmer at this age, but we are willing to try.” “I don’t know if soul mates exist, but I think love is a daily choice. Marriage is a huge step, so you should wait as long as it takes.”
TEXT: LISA TWANG / PHOTOS COURTESY OF CHERYL MILES
Clockwise from left: Cheryl learning to share Matthew’s love of fishing on Lazarus Island; enjoying date night at Peranakan restaurant Candlenut; holidaying in Portugal; and in Penguin Island.
Clockwise from left: The happy couple in Bussleton, Western Australia (the trip where Matthew proposed); at Ristorante Da Valentino; and at Cheryl’s friend Sara-Ann Krishnamoothy’s wedding.