Over the past two years of running my blog, there has been one clear topic that causes the most clicks and inbox messages. My stories of dating Asian men has been a cause of controversy, of which I had only seen the tip of the iceberg from family, friends and media portrayals. It wasn’t something I had openly talked about with other people besides close friends, because of the strange looks and ignorant questions I had received about my past partners. But with the anonymity of the internet I felt the freedom to be brutally honest about my experiences. And it opened a floodgate.
It wasn’t until I started reading and responding to messages from Asian Australian/American men who asked me for dating advice that I realized a pattern. They had a pattern of lack of self confidence, timidness and overall feeling that, despite their efforts, they were seen as a last choice when it came to romantic relationships with non-Asian woman. They also had massive setbacks when it came to making the leap in cross-cultural dating.
All of these feelings had been culminated as a side effect from being a minority in countries that their media portrays them as inferior, nerdy and speaking broken English up until recently with new Asian American role models, especially online, such as Eddie Huang (Who Says I Might Not Steal Your Girl), Just Kidding News, and Steven Yeun’s role as Glen in “The Walking Dead,” who finally weren’t portrayed as 2 dimensional foreigners for the first time, and it was mostly through their own hard work.
It wasn’t until I got older and realized just how cringey past movies had continuously portrayed Asian males as eunuchs. Roles written by white males with no understanding of Asian culture stigmatized how generations of women saw Asian men.
Although I have received hundreds of messages, I never replied to this question: “How do I talk to white girls?”
My hesitation came with three obvious truths: I was not a relationship guru, I’m hopeless with hitting on people myself (at least without a gin and tonic in my system) and the third most obvious truth is that I’m indeed not an Asian male. Why were people asking my advice? Does the hunter ask the prey how to best catch it? And how can I best answer the question without stereotyping a whole continent? So as a disclaimer, this advice is based solely on my personal experience and asking Asian male friends for their advice.
Besides the obvious advice I would give to anyone regardless of their race—be yourself, smile and have confidence—, I would say from dating Asian guys many times that I’ve had to make the first move. If I can stop this from happening for my own personal benefit, that would make me happy.
1. “I’m not like other Asian guys.”
Do not try to disassociate yourself from other Asians for the sake of pulling a girl. So many times men without knowing my personal background have said, “Yes, I am Asian, but I’m not like the prejudiced type of Asian man so don’t worry,” or “I’m like a banana: white on the inside yellow on the outside,” almost as if this is a kind of self sales pitch. I know this is an attempt on their behalf to make me feel more comfortable, as if after saying that I was going to drop my shoulders and wipe the nervous sweat off my brow and say, “Hew I thought you were Asian but now you’ve told me you’re not we can date!”
Don’t throw your brothers under the bus just for the sake of impressing a girl. If she likes you, she will like all of you. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, pitching yourself as ‘the white asian’ is not going to work in the long run when you have to introduce her to mum and dad.
2. If she’s not into you, that’s her problem not yours. Keep trying.
Girls who who are simply ignorant and—let’s face it. racist—in cross-cultural relations may have influenced the creation of non-Asian Asian self sales pitch. Asian guys who experienced same when first immigrating to an English-speaking country for being the foreign kid might have felt the need to feel inclusive or alleviate any prejudice the girl they like may have against them in their adulthood.
It’s easier said than done. But don’t be discouraged just because of some people’s ignorance towards you. Don’t put white girls on pedestal. We’re just the same as everyone else with just as many flaws and insecurities, just as much as the image of Asian males has been pushed down by the west. The image of white females has been standard for what is universally attractive. Understand our prejudice is just as much curated as your preference.
I know for many guys it can seem that approaching a girl from different cultural backgrounds is daunting.
I’ve literally seen men in Korea approach me, open their mouth as if about to say something and then suddenly get nervous, pivot on one heel and turn back around shaking their head. Why are you putting the girl in such a position of power?
But if you come at her with the attitude that you’re both equal, it can really be a game changer for how she views you. No girl likes to feel as if she’s intimidating the guy she’s talking to. We’re just as nervous talking to you. Trust me, if you appear nervous then the girl won’t feel comfortable and put her guard up. Go in strong or not at all. If her interest is not piqued, don’t over analyze it and assume it’s because of your race. The first step is getting over the fear of rejection. It’s easier to have a girl reject you if you don’t put her in a position of power.
3. Move out your parent’s house. Living alone is a sign of independence and leadership.
A big question for any modern woman in their early twenties for potential partners is, “Do you still live with your parents?” The biggest cultural conflict I have with potential partners is they still live with their parents well into their twenties (sometimes thirties!!).
A man still living in his family home raises a lot of red flags.
(1) He’s not financially independent
If the reason is you’re looking for a job and in between periods of your life, foreign girls will be more understanding. But if you work at a company and make enough money, what is the reason you’re staying at home? For American women, staying at home even with the financial means seems like mooching rather than sticking with the family. It can be a turn off.
(2) He’s a mummy’s boy
You have a nice job and car, but you come home to eat dinner that your mum cooked for you. And she does your laundry. It’s a HUGE red flag of what our future together will look like, that you might expect us to do the same if the relationship gets serious. We don’t want to see you still under your mum’s care. We don’t want to have to replace that role if things get serious because you’re not domesticated. We’re not in the 1950s. Women are partners, not maids. We’re lovers, not mothers. We don’t want to compete with being the main woman in your life.
(3) He’s not a real adult
In the west, a huge part of becoming a responsible adult is living alone and becoming independent. Guys who still live with their parents beyond their mid-twenties won’t be able to keep up with us. Dating someone that still lives alone reminds us of dating someone back in high school. We don’t want to skulk around for fear of his parents catching us and meeting them too early. We don’t want you to not be able to sleep over because someone is expecting you home. Also, if there’s ever a chance your parents are out, we don’t want to see your bedroom that hasn’t changed since high school. Just thinking about it makes me dry. I’m sleeping over not having a sleepover.
Good luck in your search for love and random hookups. If you have any other advice or future questions please comment below.
Xoxo Livliv’s love guide.