‘I felt like I needed to propose & just confirm chope this person’: Andee Chua, 33 & Hugo Liu, 36, on how they knew they’d found ‘the one’

So cute they gave us cavities.

Natalie Teo |
July 4, 2023, 11:26 am

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Andee Chua, 33 and Hugo Liu, 36, have finally gotten hitched after six years of being together.


♬ Marry Me – Jason Derulo

Like many modern couples, their story begins on a dating app.

Andee recalls thinking that Hugo’s profile was fake at first, because apparently no one puts such good pictures of themselves on an app.

To confirm that he was not in fact being catfished, he added Hugo on Facebook (this was 2017) before they met for the first time at the National Gallery Singapore.

The connection for the two was instant.

“It was love at first sight,” Hugo says.

Andee agrees, adding: “When I first met him, I really [felt] like, ‘It’s home.'”

Living in Singapore

But something else was “love at first sight” for Hugo too: Singapore.

After his first visit to Singapore 10 years ago, Hugo, who is Taiwanese, was so impressed by how “organised” and “modern” the city-state was that he made it his goal to eventually relocate here for work.


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A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

But he never put his plans into motion until four years later when he met Andee, who pushed him to actively apply to jobs here.

Of course, it also helps that Hugo can command a higher salary here than what he can draw back home in Taiwan.

Finances, the couple shares, is one of the reasons why they have decided to remain in Singapore for now, so that they can save up for when they are older.

“We won’t be staying in Singapore forever,” Andee says.

Hugo, who is a single child, also hopes that they can return to Taiwan eventually to spend time with his parents, after being away for six years.

The pandemic made him realise how much he misses home.


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A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

“When the borders [were] closed, whenever I [saw] any scenes or photos of Taipei… I would just cry,” he confesses.

Singapore does not recognise same-sex unions, but the pair enjoy full legal rights as a married couple in Taiwan.

Same-sex marriages between citizens were legalised in Taiwan in 2019, while transnational marriages became recognised in January 2023.

Holding hands

Aside from not being able to have their marriage recognised, I asked the couple about some unique challenges that they’ve had to face navigating life as a same-sex couple.

They shared that even though they have been together for more than six years, they only started holding hands two years ago, on Chinese New Year in Singapore’s Chinatown.

“You see heterosexual couples just holding hands naturally in the streets, and it’s something that almost feels like an obstacle or hurdle that we have to cross,” Andee says, adding that he remembers how “shaky” he felt even with this “simple gesture”.


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A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

For Hugo, he was inspired to do so after seeing couples back home do it too.

“After we legalised same sex marriage in Taiwan, there [are] so many gay couples and lesbian couples that are willing to hold hands on the street. [Even if] they are very low profile people, they’re still doing this,” he says.


@Andee C. & @Hugo Liu tell us about their first time holding hands in public 🌈 #couple #fypsg #sgnews

♬ Closer – Tegan and Sara

This positive energy that Hugo felt is what made him finally respond to Andee’s advances to hold hands in public, despite being “very shy”.

Now, holding hands in public has become “almost a normal gesture” for them.

Cultural differences

Like any regular couple, however, their relationship is not without disagreements.

For example, coming from Taipei, which is very humid, Hugo is careful about avoiding water damage and will wipe any water drops on the kitchen or bathroom surface once he sees them.

He expected Andee to wipe the floor dry after he was done showering too, something Andee was perplexed about, since he never did it growing up.

Hugo shares that a wiper is a must-have for those who live in Taipei. Image via eezee.

This, the couple admits, has been one of the “major problems” from living together.

Another difference is their communication style.

Andee feels that Singaporeans speak more directly, while Taiwanese tend to be more “humble” and “passive”.

Hugo agrees, jokingly adding that he often reminds Andee: “Please say ‘thank you’ a million times a day.”

Living together during the pandemic, Andee shares, was a “make it or break it” event for the couple.


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A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

Being cooped together in a small studio apartment, there was “no way to escape” if they had problems.

Nevertheless, they have been able to work past their difference, priding themselves on both being “problem solvers”.

“You’re my dream lover”

Their marriage may not even be a month old, but the two have known they’ve wanted to spend the rest of their lives together for a while now.

I ask them what made them so certain that they’d found “the one”.

“One day I told him: ‘I dream[t] about you so many times that you’re my dream lover,'” Hugo shares.

The cultural differences, ironically, also helped because Hugo realised he needed to “set a wider buffer” to accommodate their differences.

For Andee, he decided to take the leap and propose when Hugo returned for the first time to Taiwan after borders had reopened.

“When he was gone, I was just thinking that I feel like I couldn’t live without this man. And that was when I felt like I needed to propose and just confirm chope this person,” he says.

He planned his proposal to be on his own birthday, knowing that Hugo would be too busy planning his surprise party to suspect anything.


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A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

Coming out stories

They may be out and proud now, but things haven’t always been so smooth-sailing, especially for Andee.

It was when he was 18 or 19 that he came to terms with being gay, though Andee admits that he knew much earlier on.

The first person that he came out to was his then-girlfriend, but he was too afraid to admit that he was gay, so he told her that he was bisexual.

It was only after their break-up that he began to explore his attraction to men.

And while he was afraid to come out to his friends, they ended being “very supportive” of him.


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A post shared by ANDEE CHUA 滷蛋 (@andeecys)

With his family, Andee says that he came out to his sister first, then waited two to three years before telling his mother, and another two to three before telling his father.

“It was it was a process because I didn’t want to disturb the harmonious feeling of the family,” Andee explains.

Now, Andee says it’s an “awkward situation” where his family accepts him, but prefers that he keep his sexuality “hush-hush”.

With an upcoming wedding ceremony next year, Andee reveals that his family is a little reluctant to attend since they are concerned about what their relatives will think.

Hugo’s family, on the other hand, is more accepting.


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A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

He recalls coming out to his mother at 18 when he was hoping to change his field of study from industrial design to fashion design.

She then asked him: “You know fashion design [has] a lot of gays?”

But Hugo’s mother also expressed her support for him, saying: “It’s okay, no matter [if] you’re gay or you’re straight, you’re still my son.”

His mother has since attended a few Taipei Prides (the city’s annual LGBTQ+ pride event) with him.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hugo Liu (@hugo_tw)

While the couple have fortunately not experienced physical violence from those who are not accepting of them, they’ve received their fair share of unwelcome comments, both verbally and online.

Growing up, Hugo says he was often judged for not acting or looking more masculine.

Andee, who says he “wasn’t the most manly man” growing up, was also called names and bullied in school.

Even now, they receive hate comments and messages on social media, but have learnt to ignore it.

“We have much much [sic] love. So we don’t care,” Hugo declares.

Advice for young LGBTQ+ people

Having come such a long way, I asked them if they had any encouraging words or advice for young LGBTQ+ people like them.

Image via Saeyeon Lee.

Hugo hopes that young LGBTQ+ people can learn to be themselves:

“My advice for young LGBTQ+ people is to be yourself… I think [that] if you are gay or lesbian or any LGBTQ+ person, you can just be who you are.

And don’t be afraid because there’s so many people like us. There’s always, always support and there’s so many allies.”

While Andee talks about the importance of finding a safe community to be with:

“I would say find your community. I think it’s not easy for us in the Asian context to be fully embraced by our own family.

I always believe in finding your chosen family. Hugo’s my chosen family and I have a lot of other chosen families around me… Never be afraid and once you have your community and once you have a group, a safe circle that you can be with, I think that’s where you will shine.”

Some reading material to make you feel even more single:

‘This is not going according to script’: S’pore TikTok couple has the cutest mistranslated wedding speech

Instagram official: Ex-schoolmates Edwin Goh & Rachel Wan find love 10 years later after acting together

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Top image via Hugo Liu’s Instagram and Saeyeon Lee.

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