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Teuila Blakely: single and sexy at 37

Why the actress is happier than ever before

As Vasa on Shortland Street, Teuila Blakely was, for a long time, happily settled with her on-screen partner Maxwell, played by Robbie Magasiva.

But the real Teuila is a million miles removed from bossy Vasa in temperament – and far more independent. The gorgeous actress reveals she’s been single for nine years – and she’s never been happier, or felt sexier.

“I never imagined I’d be single at this stage in my life, but I’m truly happy with where I am,” says Tauranga-born Teuila, who turns 37 this month.

Although she’s mum to son Jared, and she always figured she’d be married and have more children by now, she’s fine with the status quo.

“One of the reasons I have been single long-term is because I am a single mother and have been since I was 17,” she admits.

“It’s difficult trying to be with someone when you’re quite immature and you have a dependent.

“But I worked really hard, Jared is almost 20, I’m in a great space with my career, I’m financially independent and I have a healthy body,” she smiles.

“I truly believe I’m in the best situation for me, right now.”

Her relationship with her son is incredibly close. “He remains my priority,” she says, suddenly breaking down in tears, surprising even herself.

“I can’t believe I’m crying – I’m not supposed to cry!” she laughs, as she recounts moments of “what might have been”.

“You have to make sacrifices. I didn’t want someone to come in and be a stepfather. Even though I split from Jared’s father while I was still pregnant, I wanted him to be the main person in his life. And that’s what happened.”

In fact, her last significant relationship was with actor Oscar Kightley, a few years ago.

“We split a long time ago, but we still have an incredibly close friendship and he is one of my greatest supporters in terms of my career, as well as one of my biggest allies,” she says.

The pair continued to flat together after the relationship ended and he is the only man she has ever lived with – and that’s because they were engaged.

”I don’t believe in living together before you’re married – it’s the way I was brought up,” she says.

Despite the relationship not lasting, Teuila says she believes that even when life doesn’t eventuate as planned, it can still work out.

“We get what we are given in life. People come in and out of it for a reason. We should embrace our situations, no matter how hard they can be.”

Far from lamenting her lack of a partner, Teuila says being single in her thirties has helped her get to know herself.

“A lot of women my age have careers, young children, husbands, or all of the above. Having a child who is a young adult has given me freedom. I love being able to wake up and think, ‘What do I want to do today?’”

Her hectic working life, which includes Shortland Street and this month’s movie release Sione’s Wedding 2, plus her large extended family, leaves little time for anything else.

As for men, Teuila is philosophical. “I always say, ‘Nothing will teach you more about males then raising one!’ I have a wonderful young man who makes me proud.”

Teuila says she has close male friends who are great for advice. “It’s been interesting exploring different types of relationships with the maturity and sense of self you have at this age.”

Although she has moments where she’d like to find that special someone, Teuila knows that, while a relationship would be lovely, it’s not the be all and end all.

“There’s still time – life isn’t over at 37!” she laughs.

“I’m excited – I have more avenues open to me than ever. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am and I feel good about it. I have freedom I’ve never had before.”

And she’s open about wanting more kids. “If I was to meet someone and fall in love, that might make me want to [have more]. But this time, I’d want to do it within a relationship.”

However, would-be suitors need to know Teuila’s not easily won over.

“I’m incredibly critical about who comes into my life,” she says. “If I never meet a person who makes me want to commit for life, that’s okay. I’m never going to be in a relationship for the sake of being with someone.”

And the most important lesson Teuila has learned? “Being single in my thirties has taught me who I am and what I have to offer,” she says.

“No-one will come into my life until they can offer me as much as I have to give them. I’d rather be single than compromise.

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