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Wedding Essentials

Real estate queen finds Mr Right at 49

Told she was too old by a dating agency, real estate queen Ivy Lee is having the last laugh - or blissful wedded smile - eight years later.
Asia One - March 25, 2013
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Real estate queen finds Mr Right at 49

Ms Lee, now 49, is marrying her 52-year-old beau this month after a year-long courtship.

In 2005, the divorced mother of two, then 41, was turned away by a dating agency. She went public with her story in Sunday LifeStyle in 2006 - prompting a flood of more than 100 e-mail messages from potential suitors (she did not follow up on any; "it was too overwhelming"). Older singletons held her up as a poster girl.

In February last year, the chief executive of real-estate company Ivy Lee Realty met managing director Chua Choy Soon on a Saturday. A mutual friend introduced them and they started texting each other the following Monday. And just three days later, MrChua asked Ms Lee to be his wife - via SMS.

She did not accept, but says "it was so bold, it got me interested in him".

Nor did he give up. Fast-forward 13 months and the pair are set to be hitched on March 23 at Marina Bay Sands' The Sands Grand Ballroom, before about 800 banquet guests.

When you meet them now, it is obvious that the couple are still in the heady stages of new love.

They touch often and coo endearments, calling each other "darling" during the interview.

Mr Chua reveals that they hug while riding the escalators in malls, unfazed by stares from other shoppers.

"We purposely hug more to see their reaction," he says cheekily.

But theirs is not a teenage love affair, and the two are certain that they are good for each other.

Mr Chua, a self-confessed workaholic, says Ms Lee brings balance to his life and "gets him out of the office earlier than before".

Meanwhile, Ms Lee says her fiance, who has two children from a previous marriage, has taught her to control her hot temper.

She adds: "We think alike. We both have children, we can discuss business and we seem to be able to read each other's minds.

"We talk a lot and communicate a lot. That was missing in both our previous marriages."

While she has had two boyfriends since her divorce in 2003, she says, they "didn't work out".

Only Mr Chua has been able to sweep her off her feet.

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