Have you heard of the name Ryan Tan before?
At first glance, the name doesn’t ring a bell.
Let me jog your memory.
Remember last year’s NOC saga? Remember the guy in the watermelon helmet?
Yep, the co-owner of the fallen Youtube channel NOC, Ryan Tan, has come back to do an interview that revealed his life recently and his viewpoints on specific topics.
Men, Explain with Sonia Chew
Ryan Tan did an interview with 987FM’s radio host Sonia Chew on an interview series named Men, Explain.
The podcast features different male personalities providing their interpretation and perspectives on certain issues.
The NOC saga
First and foremost, they cleared the air about last year’s NOC saga.
He said it was a real eye-opener for him, and he is now doing much better mentally.
With the entire blow-up last year, he said that many fake friends started to surface (or rather sink away) and that he is now in a circle of much more supportive friends.
“I lost a lot of friends after the saga… I started to see who are the real friends.”
He has revealed that many of his business clients who were originally in for only a professional relationship have turned into some of his closest friends because of this.
Now, he is “way, way, way happier.”
His 11-Year Age Gap Relationship
Next, they addressed the elephant in the room: the massive age gap in Ryan’s relationship.
In conservative Singapore, relationships usually have a marginal age gap, only a two or three years difference.
However, Ryan’s case is a little different. The age gap between him and his girlfriend is a staggering 11 years.
Ryan, 34, is currently dating Cherylene Chan, 23, which has attracted the attention of many. After all, it’s not common to see the age gap enter into the two-digit zone.
Adding salt to the wound, he mentioned that the age gap was further highlighted because Cherylene looks younger than her age.
The guest shared his experience facing the judgement of two different parties: the parents and the public.
Firstly, facing the parents. In this case, Ryan shared that Cheylene’s parents were “cool parents,” and they did not think much about the age gap. Initially, they were worried for their girl but slowly grew comfortable about it and were okay with the relationship.
“As long as she’s happy and I can take care of her,” Ryan shared on the topic of Cherylene’s parents’ opinion on the relationship.
In agreement, Sonia said her parents were of the same stance. For those who didn’t know, she is currently dating an investment banker, and their age gap is 14 years.
Fortunately for both Ryan and Sonia, the parents were chill about it and let them make their own decisions.
Meanwhile, my parents don’t even let me choose the music in the car.
Secondly, the social stigma. Ryan mentioned that the revelation of his relationship came amidst the NOC saga last year. Because he was so fixated on the saga, he did not pay much attention to the public’s comments on his relationship.
However, as the NOC drama began to subside, the stigmas started to surface.
Many criticised them for being 11 years apart, highlighting that at the time, Cherylene was still schooling and that Ryan was already a divorcee.
Ryan revealed that it initially got to him, but he slowly learned to ignore it.
“A relationship (shouldn’t) have parameters or expectations set by the public to see what’s a good couple,” Ryan rebuked.
“If it works, it works. If it clicks, it clicks. I don’t feel like parameters should be set.
“Those are their parameters; let them be.”
He then described our society as “very critical” and “very judgemental,” criticising the toxic zeitgeist of this generation.
Telling the haters to worry about their relationships instead of caring much about others, he said, “Worry about your own relationship, don’t come and worry about mine.”
Wrapping up, he reminded others in his situation to ignore the hate and focus on themselves.
“You don’t want to live by other people’s rules.”
Relationships: Then vs Now
In a retrospective episode, Ryan realised that in a relationship with a smaller age gap, things were competitive as both parties in the couple would compare their progress in their careers and life in general.
“I used to date people with a lot of ambition… but as it crosses into an unhealthy competition, it’s very stressful to go home to,” Ryan explained.
Concerning his current partner, he has revealed that the reason behind dating her was not specifically the age gap but because she made his life more peaceful and easy.
“She just lets me go home to a sanctuary.”
Comparing his current and future partner, he said that he now “looks forward to going home” but previously “avoided going home.”
At this point, he addressed a rumour that circulated last year: that he drove the girls from work home every day.
He clarified that he would send everyone home, not only girls but guys too.
The reason behind this?
He wanted to escape going home to his wife.
“I don’t want to go home and fight another war.”
With the drastic age gap, Sonia asked him what the power distribution was in his relationship now.
Addressing his previous marriage, he said he was the beta, while his ex-wife was the alpha.
Now, he feels like both parties in the relationship are betas, which has made him way happier.
With this structure, his household is more considerate and more caring for each other. He was very unhappy in his old marriage but now says he feels very fortunate.
Ryan said he’d rather have five years of true happiness in a relationship than be trapped for 50 in a quarrelsome and forced one.
Beta is better.
How His Current Relationship Benefitted Him
Moving on, he mentioned that in his previous relationships, he was usually the one bearing the costs and was the “breadwinner.”
He has revealed that this relationship is different because his partner is now proactively paying for expenses instead of leeching off him like his previous girlfriends.
“Financially, I was not doing very well after the saga, but she would bear half the costs or even treat me sometimes, on her own accord.”
Ryan said he initially felt out of place, but having such a pillar to rely on was comforting.
“Age is just a number because the mental maturity could be very different,” Sonia said, encapsulating that portion of the interview.
Ryan said that “things are looking good,” and if they “continue in this trajectory,” he could be married soon.
Considerations in Choosing a Partner
Ryan mentioned that it was important for one to understand the workings of his/her partner’s industry.
For him, he was in an industry where socialising and networking are essential, and there are many good-looking people around him constantly. He himself is desensitised to it, but his partners may not be, which forms a point of conflict between them.
After his divorce, he briefly dated another girl before moving on to Cherylene, and he mentioned that the reason for their split was that she did not understand and accept how his industry was.
She constantly questioned his loyalty and whereabouts, which eventually led to their breakup.
Clarifying the statement, he mentioned that they need not be in the same industry, but as long as they had mutual respect and care, they would be happy together.
Sonia added that without that, they end up being “not a part of each others’ life.”
In essence, the partner has to have a sense of maturity and not be insecure.
In a nutshell, no matter what you do, it’s wise to stay in your lane and focus on yourself.
As Ryan said, people will only judge you for a minute and then move on, but when you focus on what people think, you won’t move on.
Just remember to work on yourself and don’t take negativity to heart.
With this, you can become a happier self.
You can watch the entire interview here:
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Featured Image: itsclarityco / Youtube + @cherylenechan / Instagram
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