Sharon Au now has local beau

Age is nothing but a number to Sharon Au especially when it comes to the matters of the heart.

The 37-year-old is seeing a 50-year-old local after breaking up with her French boyfriend - whom she had previously told The New Paper was "the one" - early this year.

Au's ex-boyfriend is eight years younger than her.

She is, however, rather "superstitious" when it comes to talking about her budding relationship.

"I don't want to comment too much because I don't want to jinx it. We have only just started dating," said Au to The New Paper in a recent interview.

Au will be hosting the upcoming President's Star Charity alongside local celebrity Soo Kui Jien.

She added that she felt stressed now that the relationship is in the spotlight.

It's too early to tell if her current boyfriend is the one for her, she said.

Nevertheless, she shared that the new man in her life has never been married and has built his career from scratch. She stopped short at saying what he does.

He didn't even know that Au is a household name as "he rarely watches TV".

He only realised Au is a local celebrity when people on the streets recognised her when they went out.

She added: "I like that he's solemn, sincere, calm , kind and very generous. He has a big heart, always lends a hand and never second-guess people's intentions.

"He loves to exercise, jogging and swimming every day. A lot of my friends said he looks 42."

While Au was reticent to talk about her current romance, she was more candid about why her three-year relationship with her former French boyfriend whom she declined to name ended.

Au admitted that maintaining a long-distance relationship was difficult, adding strain to their romance.

He lives in Lyon, France, and she returned here in April last year to fulfil her contract with MediaCorp. Au works as a manager in the strategic marketing department.

Previously, the ex-boyfriend tried looking for a job here but was not successful.

Au said: "(The break-up) happened naturally because of the distance between us. No one betrayed anyone and there wasn't much pain. I'm not scarred," she said.

They are still friends.

"I used to think love is everything and love can conquer anything. When I had to break up with him, I had no choice but to believe that sometimes love is not enough."

In late 2005 after a decade in showbiz, Au left her successful TV career in Singapore for Tokyo, to enrol in Waseda University's School of International Liberal Studies.

She met her ex-beau while on a university exchange programme to Universite Jean Moulin Lyon 3 in 2008.

He later went on an exchange programme to Waseda University. The couple also travelled frequently to see each other.

Before she returned to Singapore last year, six months was the longest they were apart.

In an interview two years ago, she told TNP he was the one and that they were planning marriage.

Distance was not the only issue that came between them. Au found it difficult to adjust to life back in Singapore and that drove a wedge between them.

"After my return, it wasn't easy adjusting to life back here and to the corporate world. I had already retired from showbiz but I was still recognised on the streets.

"On top of that, I was maintaining a long-distance relationship and that was when I realised love isn't enough.

"I needed a healthy state of mind but I wasn't feeling very stable. I wanted to return to Japan and I was lovesick. I lost 8kg during that time.

"I'm much better now and I'm happy to see him happy."

He is attached to a girl his age and Au feels the current couple is a better match.

"Sometimes, when something is disrupted, something else is invented. I feel a synergy in them that never would have been the case with me and him," she added.

While things are looking rosy for her on the love front, Au appears to have resigned herself to not being able to have kids because of her age.

She is a godmother to her best friend's sons, aged eight and six.

It's an experience she calls pseudo-motherhood, adding that she's a scary godmother who tries to take over the mother's role.

"I think of the traditional course of life where you meet a guy, date for a few years, settle down, get married and have kids. It takes a few years," Au lamented.

"I love children but I don't think it's in my cards to have any. That's one regret in my life. But I won't deny myself if the opportunity of a sperm donor or a surrogate mother arises."

karpengk@sph.com.sg


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