DiscussionsThe Asian Dating Experience

  Our discussion panel chimes in on their dating experiences and how race has factored into their love lives.   1. How has being Asian impacted you in your dating/relationship? What were some positive or negative experiences that are of note?   Amy Truong (@generic_dreams) Being Asian and a woman has allowed me to date many types of people. I’ve dated mostly Asian and mixed (Asian/white) men but have dated Peruvian, Persian, white and black....
Discussion PanelOctober 23, 2018131972 min

 

Our discussion panel chimes in on their dating experiences and how race has factored into their love lives.

 

1. How has being Asian impacted you in your dating/relationship? What were some positive or negative experiences that are of note?

 

Amy Truong (@generic_dreams)
Being Asian and a woman has allowed me to date many types of people. I’ve dated mostly Asian and mixed (Asian/white) men but have dated Peruvian, Persian, white and black. Any guy who has dated me with any type of Asian women stereotype quickly found out that I’m not submissive at all (have a crazy temper actually). I would rather the guy cook (although I’ve been learning the past year, haha). In terms of dating, I’ve definitely had to deal with yellow fever and will stomp any guy down who comes to me or says “I like Asian girls!” For me, it’s much easier to date Asian men or hapas, because I don’t have to explain our culture or customs and if I do date a non-Asian guy, he has to be open into learning and experiencing the Asian and Vietnamese culture. For example: eat everything I put in front of you that isn’t a chicken tender. I’ve definitely had a few male Asian friends lament to me about their lack of dating prospects if they went to a white high school, but I also lived in Nova where we had a lot of diversity. There, some high schools were Asian, Hispanic and black. In my area, the majority of men were Asian men. They didn’t have much trouble dating, UNLESS they wanted to date non-Asian; something I noticed.

 

Ivy Ngeow (@ivyngeow)
Well, I think it’s made a stereotype of me as a frugal, piano-playing girl who’s a great cook and who wants to marry a doctor, lawyer or engineer. Unfortunately, only the piano-playing bit is true.

 

Spoke (@wintersparv)
Here goes. The impact of being Asian on my dating: In hindsight, I’m kinda happy that I had to bail last minute, because I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the question, trying frantically to piece my thoughts into something coherent. And after thinking about it on and off for a day, I think it comes down to one main factor: my parents. For reasons I’m not gonna bore you with here, my parents primed me—albeit not deliberately—for a mindset not oriented towards the Chinese social context. It was never their intention to white-wash my brain, but the result was nonetheless that my exposure to the Chinese community was fairly limited. It didn’t help that I disagreed with a lot of the conventions and values communicated by the Chinese community when I grew up. It also certainly didn’t help that I actively stayed away from anything remotely resembling my cultural heritage after I had a clean break with my parents due to my coming out. Or maybe it was more like me moving in and out of contexts that were void of anything Chinese and I chose not to pursue it. It’s amazing how honor-based violence messes with your head. Thus, this is the first time in two decades that I find myself among Asians. It doesn’t mean that I can’t relate to many of the aspects of being non-white in a society in which that is not the norm. Dating and sexual attraction is just not one of those aspects. It’s not that I haven’t given it a shot—I have—but too much is being stirred up, and at the end of the day, it’s just not worth it. So, I stick to my white guys and blame my parents. Or, to answer the question, my being Chinese has distanced me from dating anyone resembling myself. I need therapy, just reading that sentence. Ha!

 

Nathan Kato (@kahtonotkayto)
I’ve yet to actually have a relationship myself. I dated a white girl for a couple months during my freshman year of high school before I started coming out to myself, and though we’re now on decent terms I’m not sure that I’d qualify those months as a real relationship.

In terms of my experiences as a young gay Asian American, a lot is negative. Many guys I try to talk to just straight up won’t respond to me. Some guys compliment me and ask why I don’t have a boyfriend, and I tell them it’s because I look the way I do, and in the gay community that’s not the desired target (which is young, lean, muscular, and white). Some (mostly white guys) try to follow up with, “I love Asian guys,” which is, as we all know, not a compliment. Other times, guys will tell me that they’re not into Asians. (White person voice: is that racist?) This is something you won’t change my mind on—if your preference in people precludes you from seeing a certain group of people as attractive, that’s racism. And gays, I don’t care if you’re a POC and you say that—it’s something you need to examine yourself. Why are you only attracted to white standards of beauty and/or masculinity? Why does someone being black, Latino, Asian, Native, or anything other than white automatically remove them from being attractive in your book? Logically speaking, you haven’t met every single person on earth who fits into that category, so it makes no sense to say that you’re “not into Asians.” Not to say that you should automatically throw yourself at everyone who comes your way, but the next time you find an average white dude more attractive than another man of color, just think for two seconds about your internalized prejudices. Are you free to date whoever you want? Yes. Should you be aware that your preferences are heavily influenced by the racist society we’re in? Yes. These are two very conflicting ideas, but we as humans are complex beings—we can hold these two concepts and make them work.

As I mentioned earlier, I know I’m not the desired target on the dating market. And at the same time I don’t think less of myself for it. If a man of color tells me he’s not interested in me, sure, it’s upsetting. I can try all I want to get him to understand that white supremacy dictates standards of attractiveness, but at the end of the day, I’m not going to change people’s minds. Regardless, I don’t think any less of myself. It’s hard to hold two wildly conflicting ideas (not being in the desired group AND not loathing myself for it), but I’m better for it.

 

Edmund Zhen (@ZhenEdmund)
Dating Asians only my whole life, a positive experience I’ve had was definitely learning more about my own culture and language. I managed to pick up a few mandarin words here and there from speaking with my girlfriend’s parents and I’ve taken that knowledge to other fields in my life. I’m kinda happy to say that I can sort of read a lot more Chinese characters now than I could before.

 

Louis Leung (@ricedaddy7)
In my twenties, I’ve dealt with my fair share of “I don’t date Asian guys”; most of it from Asian-American women. Most Asian-American men born before 1990 will tell you a very similar experience. This was a very real thing for my generation, but I’m seeing it drastically reduced in the newer generations. It made me feel like an ugly swan and I couldn’t help but wonder if I had confidence from the get-go, that if I didn’t feel emasculated, that my love life would’ve been much different. Sometimes, I’d hear Asian women talk about their love lives, how they’d be taken to their boyfriends’ homes, had Valentine’s, and it would sound so NORMALLY American, and I wished I knew what that was like. Instead, I was usually home with my parents because the girls I asked out said they wouldn’t dream of dating an Asian guy. I felt like Asian men were in a bus stop and we missed the bus, and Asian women got on it. I didn’t know what dating was like. Thankfully, I didn’t succumb to a dark turn and let the bitterness consume me. It’s easy to want revenge after going through pain, but it’s not healthy. I will say that it took me a very long time to trust Asian-American women, let alone be friends with them and finally, to completely dive in, understand their struggles and fight for their causes.

There’s very little positive I can say about growing up Asian, male and dating in America. The only positive I can say is that if you somehow survive it, you’ll learn a deep love for yourself AND, more importantly, a deep love for others, that, in spite of all those negative experiences with society telling you that you have a little penis, or you don’t look handsome because you’re baby-faced and can’t grow facial hair, you can still care about people as people. I used to see white guys dating Asian girls and it’d remind me of that prejudice I faced, but no one is monolithic. You can’t hate people for who they choose to date just because they remind you of people who hurt you (and sometimes memories can be greatly distorted by fears). Even if one has reason to be bitter, bitterness is unattractive and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have no problem finding dates now with any woman of any color. I don’t see every Asian-American woman as an Asian man hating person. In fact, most aren’t. I still encounter some, but I just shrug and wish them luck and live my life. I’m lucky I didn’t let the bitterness succumb me. That saved me and opened me up to healthy relationships in my thirties.

 

Sylvia Geers (@sylv_unscripted)
Hey Louis, something that really struck me about your thoughts was how it took a great deal of self-awareness on your part to come to terms with ALL of the variables of the dating world as an Asian-American male.

I didn’t start seriously dating until I reached seventeen or eighteen years of age, and in that stage in my high school, we knew who we enjoyed hanging out with. Since we could drive, in retrospect we enjoyed a fair amount of autonomy. By the time I was in college, my ethnicity certainly was a factor in certain conversations. In hindsight, even situations that were contentious or negative, taught me a lot about how I wanted to invest my time and energy and with whom.

 

Frankie Huang (@ourobororoboruo)
Sylvia, I haven’t thought about this in a while until I read your story, I forgot about how judgmental the Chinese Americans were towards me when I was in high school, because my family was much poorer. That definitely impacted my decisions on dating, and I wanted nothing to do with those smug, preppy people that looked down their nose at me for not enjoying all the privileges they viewed as prerequisite for even engaging with them. This probably contributed to me avoiding any and all Asian-specific events and clubs because I was expecting to just see those snobs again. Pretty unfair on my part, I probably pissed out on loads of cool people I could’ve bonded with.

 

Addie Brook (@addiebrook)
The ways in which being Asian has impacted me in my dating/relationships has been as complicated as my own relationship with being Asian. My father is Chinese and my mother is white, so I’ve definitely struggled with imposter syndrome. Although I was mostly raised by my father, he made a decision not to teach us Mandarin, which furthered my feeling alienated while also having been raised in an Asian household my whole life. I am also queer, and so these are two liminal spaces I operate from in my dating life. When I have dated Asians, I’ve felt both healed from a shared understanding of customs and etc., but also felt not Asian enough. When I have dated non-Asians, I have, at times, struggled with being seen through the lens of the tropes that have proliferated on American cinematic and televisual screens. Because of the way that Asians can often be seen as the model minority or invisible race, there are times I’ve been in situations with partners’ families where they would either say things about Asians or other minorities that were offensive but didn’t think it would offend me personally. And certainly, I’ve dated white men in the past who have said things like “I thought Asians looked like aliens” when I asked if they’d dated Asian women in the past, or “my friend told me Asian women were tighter,” and etc. So, regardless, it is always a struggle.

 

2. Do you see any kind of trend in the kinds of races you have dated in the past, and what do you think contributed to that? In other words, do you have a type?

 

Nathan Kato (@kahtonotkayto)
Having never dated before, this question isn’t super applicable to me. However, the types of guys that I find attractive tend to be fairly muscular and traditionally attractive. (I myself am trying to unlearn a lot of white standards of beauty and masculinity!) For the most part I haven’t noticed any trends in race, though given my location there’s a dearth of men of color. Not to say that I don’t like men of color—I’ve only ever been on dates with men of color because white guys won’t give me the time of day.

 

Amy Truong (@generic_dreams)
Nathan, I totally feel you on what you said. Why would someone be only attracted to white standards of beauty and/or masculinity? Why would someone being black, Latino, Asian, Native or anything other than white automatically remove them from being attractive in their book? I’ve had to talk to friends about that a LOT and say – why is it ONLY white girls? Or only Asian girls? To my female friends – why’s it only white guys? My sister’s one of those. Grrr.

To Addie, yeah, most my Asian friends that don’t know the mother tongue tell me their parents didn’t teach them because it was easier to assimilate. They didn’t want to alienate their kids in school, etc. I guess it’s good intentions, but kinda sucks later down the road.

As for me, I tend to date Asian American men (1 or 2 might have been hapa/half but definitely related to their Asian side). All the men (non-Asian and Asian) I’ve dated were vastly different EXCEPT most tended to come from divorced families (except 1) – I find that weird since my parents are still together. I find myself relating better to people with a sense of culture (whether it’s Asian or not) and embrace wherever they are from instead of just plain ol’ American. No trump supporters or hard-core Republicans (haha).

 

Addie Brook (@addiebrook)
To Amy, my father always claimed that he thought it’s confusing for us, but I think as a single Chinese father with three kids, it’s just a lot for him to deal with. But he surrounded us with his friends, speaking in Mandarin (we weren’t allowed to hang with our own friends. He was overprotective, so he had us go with him to be with his friends, who all spoke Mandarin and very little English) so it was very isolating. On the other hand, we didn’t really hang with Americans all that much, so we couldn’t fully access that world either. Definite shame/imposter syndrome stuff around that. My stepsisters are Taiwanese, so I also felt they were able to access the “real” him in a way I never could. Ah, #halfAsianprobs! Oof, I wasn’t trying to get into all that history, but it’s hard not to with these kinds of questions. He was abusive, but also came from trauma himself, mostly from his mother. It’s complicated! But my mother mostly bailed and so I really admire how hard he worked so that we’d have a successful life. Because of our difficult history, both my siblings struggle in their own ways. We all definitely have our own struggles with being split between Asian and American identities though. I have a five-year-old nephew who’s now 1/4th Asian and 3/4th white and I’ll be curious to see how he grows into his identity. But he does eat all the foods! That makes me happy! lol.

To answer this question, I don’t really have a type where race is concerned. I think a lot of it has to do with who I end up meeting because Houston isn’t the easiest town to meet people. For me, it’s more about how one sits within gender. In other words, as a queer non-binary femme (you might also think of me as pansexual, although I prefer using the term queer more), I feel more excited by partners who express a similar fluidity between gender expression. That expression also tends to accept the way I sit within gender and sexuality as well. There were times I felt in my youth that the Asian men I met wanted me to behave within gender roles in a traditional way. So, that became difficult in relationships, but I also feel it might just have to do with the kinds of people I end up meeting here. My current partner (and spouse) is a white, gender non-conforming man. If you look past how he may first appear, he’s queer and the first to really allow me to have my own definitions around gender and sexuality.

 

Louis Leung (@ricedaddy7)
I date almost exclusively Asian women, but what’s interesting is that a lot of them are first-generation Asian women (i.e. women raised from Asia). A lot of this is because I feel comfortable around women who openly like Asian men. Growing up Asian-American and male, there’s a big difference in experience between myself and an Asian-American women. I found them un-relatable. Maybe it was my own insecurities, but I sensed that they didn’t like Asian men, not just romantically, but even as friends. Now I retrospectively realized that Asian women, first and foremost care about independence and feminism above race. This isn’t to say they don’t care about Asian issues at all, but I think there’s a difference in what most Asian-American men and Asian-American women see as Asian pride. I would also say media representation and how it distorts beauty contributes to it, but that, I believe, is an overrated factor. I don’t believe Asian-American women, as a whole, are so idiotic that they’d let media totally dictate what they think. I’ve met too many smart and independent Asian-American women to believe that. I think it’s mostly because Asian-American men and Asian-American women experience different struggles. What Asian-American men struggle is mostly due to race, therefore they see things from primarily from the lens of race, whereas Asian-American women see things primarily from the lens of gender. I rarely see second-generation Asian-American couples even if I’ve known thousands of Asians (unless they’re from, say, church). The pattern I see is, Asian-American men dating Asia-raised Asian women and Asian-American women dating men of all color (mostly white). This doesn’t make anyone evil. We date who we relate to and the ones who find us attractive. Maybe Asian-American men and women don’t realize they find each other attractive.

As for a type, now that I’ve dated both Asia-raised Asian women and Asian-American women, I prefer Asian-American women. While first-gen Asian women are often nice to me, I don’t relate to someone born from the other side of the world. I’m generalizing, but I feel that even if things start well between myself and a first-generation Asian woman, the relationship will take a deep challenge because of severe culture differences even in things like humor. Whereas, even though I know it’ll start rocky in the beginning between myself and an Asian-American woman (because racism has screwed us all up), at the end of the day, we’re both American and we can learn to understand each other. It starts hard, but it lasts strong (inadvertent sexual innuendo, sorry). It’s really, really hard to explain to someone born and raised in Asia about racism. If I can’t explain race in a relationship, I can’t have a relationship with that person. It’s such a big part of my life and what shaped me.

 

Sylvia Geers (@sylv_unscripted)
To Louis, I found myself wondering, are Asian women truly more preoccupied by gender roles and feminism, or is it possible that it’s a more accessible and (seemingly) easier battle to confront head-on than racism in the U.S. for the sheer fact that they face imo abundantly greater discrimination due to factors such as having an accent, having such a strong Asian identity that most Americans of any race find it difficult to seek any common ground with them?

To answer this question, if I have a type, it isn’t confined to ethnic or racial identity. There are definite qualities and personality traits that I gravitate towards.

 

Ivy Ngeow (@ivyngeow)
1. I have a type. I am a bit of a rebel. I try to go against the type my parents would have liked, a nice Christian Chinese boy from home, who’s a doctor lawyer engineer or just fuckin rich.

2. Therefore, I have always had a propensity to choose a dead broke, artistic, musical type. Everyone I dated had to work three jobs, wore rags, played drums, wrote or auditioned nonstop. I find poverty enriching and depressing. It really brings out their character. I find it sexy. Later when I had a career and met rich people who were my clients, I find them vile, vulgar, unsexy. My taste had not changed.

3. I did no date very much. I got married when I was young in order not to date. I am not interested in dating because I find it difficult and annoying and too much like networking. I have too many artistic interests which prevent the dating bug from flaring up.

4. I’m lazy. I only like guys who like me. This is half a job done already. I will never pursue a guy. I think guys who like me have great taste and therefore I should really just like them back unless they look like Frankenstein.

5. Trends. I am a physical person. They have to be attractive (to me). I notice that physically I like short, slight guys. 5’8” or under being ideal. No more than 5’9”. I myself have a 26” waist so I like guys to have a flattish tummy. I like guys who drink as it’s really flirty, social and enjoyable for me, more than eating out. Which I would prefer to do with female friends.

 

3. Have you ever encountered a situation where someone questioned your dating choice because of the race of your partner? In general, how do you feel about anyone giving you unsolicited advice on the race of your partner (or potential partner)?

 

Amy Truong (@generic_dreams)
Hey Addie, that’s awesome how your mixed-race nephew eats all the foods! To Sylvia, when you mentioned “any problems that you might have had while dating will only intensify during marriage. So, the hope of many in serious dating relationships, that ‘things will change once we’re married’ is wishful thinking at best and setting oneself up for failure at worst” is so true! I was engaged and our problems only intensified during the engagement process until we broke it off around December/January. Now I know that the engagement period CAN be a honeymoon/lovey-dovey period, but it’s also a time to realize whether if you should get married with that person or not. I’m grateful our problems intensified during that period versus after getting married, but breaking off an engagement can suck ass. (Side note: now you have me craving sinigang. Yum!)

To answer the discussion’s third question, the only time I ever encountered anybody questioning or disapproving my dating choice was when I was nineteen. I was in college and dating a black guy. We dated for only a few months and it wasn’t anything serious, but my dad caught wind of it (probably from my siblings’ tattle-telling) and called me – HELLA ANGRY. He was threatening to disown me and being shitty about it. I sorta said ‘whatever’. He was 500 miles away. I was too young and didn’t care what anybody thought because my dad’s Asian and kinda racist (he’s MUCH better now though, through the years). So, I listened to my dad’s words and threw it out the window (it wasn’t like I was going to marry the guy tomorrow. Besides, if he disowned me because I was with a black guy, he was the one that’s wrong and he’d have to live with it. Not me). The guy and I ended and Dad just kinda shut up about it. In terms of unsolicited advice, nobody wants unsolicited ANYTHING. Especially advice! My friends and I have spoken about race and dating a lot. We generally agree that dating someone of the same race (if you grew up with that culture) makes things a lot easier. My Asian-American friends frequently say it’s easier to date another Asian American person, because we don’t have to explain our culture. One of my best friends is black. He says he tends to date black women because there’s an understanding of black culture, but he also wouldn’t refuse to date a woman from another race either. He just thinks that dating the same race is easier. When we walk around together, some people assume we’re dating (my black bff and I) and we get some MEAN looks. LOL. We’ll just look at each other and try to ham it up even more.

 

Sylvia Geers (@sylv_unscripted)
Hey Amy, thanks for sharing your intense learning experience! I’m sorry that you went through such a painful breakup. Having the courage and emotional fortitude to be as honest with yourself is necessary. You prevented even greater heartache down the road. While I’m sure you’re already aware of that, I just wanted to let you know that I see your strength and applaud it! This world needs more women like you: intelligent, unafraid and open to joyfulness at the same time! By the way, what’s sinigang? Is that a comfort food?

To answer this particular question, I’m sure this has happened and most likely, I didn’t pay attention or bother responding. There is no shortage of people in life who enjoy seeking control or stirring up drama.

 

Addie Brook (@addiebrook)
I have had friends of mine who are POC question my relationships with white men; strangely, I do not recall being questioned for being with white women. My father told me very early on, when I started my first teaching job at HBCU, that he did not approve of my dating Black men (that’s the only time he’s ever truly spoken out directly about the race of my partners). I have dated cis and trans Black men, but I never subjected them to my father’s judgment (those relationships also didn’t reach a serious enough level to warrant the meeting).

 

Ivy Ngeow (@ivyngeow)
Yes, I’ve been given unsolicited advice from my parents, of course, and my late grandmother. No one else. They belonged to that generation, so I can’t blame them. They all said white people have no 感情. I don’t know what’s the exact translation; I think it’s “emotional depth”. But as I don’t date, I doubt there’ll be any more unsolicited advice. As we know, the Chinese are the most racist of all. They won’t stop there. There are assumptions they would’ve made toward every race.

 

Louis Leung (@ricedaddy7)
To the first part of this question, no. Since I dated (mostly) Asian women, no one’s going to really question it except for the occasional “do you ONLY date Asian women?” by other women (God, that makes me feel racist). To the second part of this question, no one’s choice of a partner should threaten you. I don’t care what you’ve been through. Even if you meet an individual couple that’s the most vile, racist couple, you should not tell them that they can and can’t date each other. Thinking her or his partner’s race is preventing you from getting a significant other is absurd. It’s insecurity and projection. If that couple were to break up, your love life would still suck and it’ll continue to suck until you focus on yourself and not on who others date.

 

Nathan Kato (@kahtonotkayto)
My answer is really geared towards the second part of the question, just because I haven’t had a real relationship yet. While it’s generally not anyone’s business, I think I’d try to examine myself critically especially with a white partner. Am I falling prey to white standards of beauty, masculinity, and attractiveness? However, I don’t think that’d go far enough for me to end a relationship. For another man of color though? That’s not anyone’s business.

 

4. How do you deal with situations when your date or partner say something hurtful or racially insensitive, whether ignorant or otherwise?

 

Ivy Ngeow (@ivyngeow)
It is VERY unlikely that a date or my partner will say something hurtful or racially insensitive. That is usually my parents’ domain. My date or partner, I assume, will already like me a lot, so there’s no reason for them to start being stupid. Let’s face it: racial insensitivity is a pretty high form of stupidity and it means you can’t accept everybody’s different. Anyway, if they did say something racist, I would say something stupid about a chair or some inanimate thing. “I hate that chair! It’s so yellow and ugly. All chairs must have four legs. They must all have the same design or else I hate it!” Usually, this brings attention away, dispels the tension and makes the dumbass think. Then, later on…and it might be a while later…like, the next day or week or whatever, I can finally say what I wanted to say all along: “What you said was stupid, because blah blah blah” and giving them the reason why their comment was dumb.

 

Nathan Kato (@kahtonotkayto)
The one time I’ve had the patience for it on a date, I called the guy out on saying, “I love Asians.” He was black, so he had some understanding of why it was hurtful. Other than that, though, I don’t have a lot of tolerance for racist remarks. I think I’ll need to be a bit more flexible on this though, just because nobody’s perfect and we all can say some pretty terrible stuff out of ignorance.

 

Louis Leung (@ricedaddy7)
I dated a non-Asian woman before and she was way too focused on my race. Every negative thing I did was because of my race; not because I was flawed or I made an individual mistake. If I got a speeding ticket, it was because I was Asian. If I didn’t partake in a fight, it was because I was Asian. It really irritated me and I eventually ghosted her. She still didn’t know why to this day.

I also dated an Asian woman who kept comparing me to her white ex, and that’s literally how she referred to him, “my white ex”. Not ex. White ex. She always had to emphasize that he was white, as though she settled for something inferior. One day, I just told her she was too miserable with me and should do something she’d find happy, like date the KKK.

Finally, I once dated an Asia-raised Asian woman who kept complaining I was like a white guy stuck in a yellow body. “Look at your musical tastes! Maroon 5, Cranberries! So white!” “Why you always eating pasta?” That was a uniquely racially insensitive situation. I have a bad habit of stooping low when others stoop low, so I said something racially insensitive back. It was yellow-on-yellow crime. She said something in Vietnamese and I can only guess it was close to ‘fuck you, banana’. We never saw each other again, though she tried to add me on Facebook. I reported her for spam when she did that.

 

Sylvia Geers (@sylv_unscripted)
I would react much in the same way I’d react to any unsolicited advice: nod, say something neutral/civil and then move onto some other subject. I’ve been married for over fourteen years; we’ve been together for almost twenty years. Even though we definitely have different communication styles, he’s a good guy. So when he teases or makes jokes (politics, taste in movies, music, etc.) that make me bristle, I give the benefit of the doubt, to a point and then after that point I start dishing it back out. As much as he likes to tease about our differences of opinion, he has been respectful about ethnicity from the start.

When it comes to communication differences, I’ve noticed that our differing communication styles became even more pronounced after we got married, since there was a lot more to discuss! I think most problems trend in that direction post nuptials. Communication’s tricky though since almost every other aspect hinges on it in some way, so I’m pretty sure that if I had been more honest with myself, I would have faced that sooner rather than later. Guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m glad that race wasn’t one of those issues.

 

Addie Brook (@addiebrook)
I go through this pretty often, because as a person of mixed race, I never feel comfortable within a racial identity or space of racial conversation. Since my spouse/partner is white, this will inevitably come up. I deal with this by always having the hard conversation. My partner does the work, and I could never be with anyone who wouldn’t, but that’s my way of dealing with it: never be silent, always confront. If it happens early in dating, depending on the situation and how they respond to my addressing of it, it can determine whether I pursue that relationship or not.

 

Amy Truong (@generic_dreams)
I haven’t had a date or partner say anything racially insensitive or hurtful about ME (or my Asian-ness as far as I can remember). If they did, I have a very quick temper and would probably start a fight about how they’re stupid and go on about why they’re a fucking idiot. Later, I’d calm down and try to explain myself, though it’d be pointless now because I’d went off the first time. Haha! For example, there was a local shitting on the Micronesians here when, me, an outsider (non-local from Hawaii) pointed out how wrong it was for locals to hate them. I’m, like, hey, the Micronesians were brought to Hawaii due to Americans destroying their land. It’s NOT like they WANT to be here. Also, they have a lot of disadvantages being in a shitty system. It’s comparable to what the white man did to Native Americans, other indigenous people and similar to black people presently stuck in ghettos. I pointed out how it seemed like locals here were acting like the white man on the mainland and said YOU locals, of ALL people, should have compassion and blame the white man for this instead of them. That shut ‘em up.

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