8DAYS.SG: You mentioned that you “just knew” that the time was right to propose to Xenia. How would you describe your relationship?
SHAWN THIA: Xenia’s not… not the girl that a lot of people think she is. She’s really loveable and her personality is very straight-forward. When she’s unhappy, she’ll just tell you straight. And I don’t have to play the guessing game, which helps a lot.
Sometimes, work goes on for up to 16 hours, and I just know that when I return home, I’m coming back to someone who is excited to see me, excited to run to me, give me a hug, and ask me if I wanna eat supper. Which is why I’ve gained so much weight (laughs). Yeah, it’s been good lah, it’s been very good.
You guys kept your relationship a secret until you were engaged. Was there any reason for that?
The reason behind that? There were [multiple reasons]…
Let me think ah. When we entered into a relationship, we never actually confirmed it.
It was more of an ‘unofficially together, unofficial official’ kinda thing.
But another reason was that I didn’t want to have anything premature going out. I felt like if I were to announce that I’m dating someone, it’s like… Do people really want to know that?
You’d be surprised at how many people are interested in things like that.
Okay, maybe… I don’t know. But to me, I want to play it safe.
I know that I want to build a future with someone and if I have to be accountable to the viewers that watch us, then I will do it when things are more confirmed.
And I feel [being engaged] is when things are more confirmed, you know. But if we’re dating, then it’s better to be private. And I enjoy that privacy a lot.
So honestly, it took a while for me to kind of like psych myself up to announce our engagement.
There’s also a very old-fashioned mindset, that a lot of [management] agencies have, that I sort of picked up along the way.
It’s like ‘cos I’m a young artiste, I shouldn’t tell people that I’m attached as I might lose fans.
But my mindset is that the people who like watching me, will just watch me. I don’t need them to be a die-hard fan. If they stop supporting me ‘cos I’m attached, then I’d rather you all don’t like me.
Yeah, that kind of mindset, where fans stop supporting someone ‘cos of their relationship status, isn’t very healthy.
Yeah. Like I said, I want people to know me for my craft. If you like me ‘cos you think that oh, I’m good-looking and single, and that we might have a chance together, then I feel like that’s doing a bit of a disfavour to the effort I put in [as an actor].
So now that your relationship is public, has anything changed? Do you feel like there are more eyes on you?
I think more eyeballs for sure. I’m going to be very honest ‘cos I’m very low-key. On social media I’m actually very quiet. But Xenia’s quite known on social media, YouTube and everything. And that’s where a lot of the younger audience are.
So… now that we’re engaged right, it’s very random, but like out on the streets, I’ll get stopped and they’ll go like ‘Eh congrats!’ Then I’m like ‘Thank you! But for what ah?’
And they’ll be like, ‘You’re Shawn right? Congrats on your engagement with Xenia’.
There’s more of that, for sure.