Too Much Too Soon – The Suppressed Emotional Intensity of Asian Men

Learning about relationships definitely does not come easily. Even I experienced many growing pains and life lessons when dealing with the emotional intensity. What I mean by this is that in general Asian men tend to be cautious and reserved, but when we see the one female we absolutely want to be with, we focus all our energies trying to make it happen. As a result, we either get immediately rejected or our perceived “seeing each other” relationship crumbles. Both situations have happened to me several times and I vividly remember those discouraging moments in my life.
For our readers who are not Asian Males, I will do my best to divulge into the minds of the Asian Men.

Examples of Emotional Intensity

The best way to illustrate the concept of emotional intensity is to describe various situations.
Ren a drummer for a youth orchestra has been eying Katie, a first violinist, for quite some time.   With a performance nearing, practice has been increased from once a week to twice a week. There’s this aura of elegance around Katie, a warm natural glow surrounds her when she plays.
“Hey Katie,” Ren starts as the practice has just finished and everyone is packing “are you interested in a movie with me sometime?”
“Sorry Ren,” She sighs, “I’m seeing someone right now”
Another week passes and Ren decides to try again.
“Yo Katie, I know you didn’t want to go for a movie, but how about coffee?” Ren asks. Katie shakes her head.
“You just don’t understand,” Katie says as she rolls her eyes.

Although this was just conversation, it happens commonly to females have to turn down males because they are not interested or already taken. For Ren, he has been thinking about Katie quite often. This is quite true for Asian Males as we tend to think about situations on a daily basis – probably how we imagine the woman to say yes and accept our love. Of course in this situation Katie is already seeing someone, and she has no choice but to decline. Problems will occur if you persist as an Asian Male, she will not change her mind and it will definitely worsen the situation. This commonly happens in the digital world as well. A random White Female won’t message you one day confessing her love for you – so why should you do that as an Asian Male?

Another situation deals with an AMWF situation when the couple are “seeing each other”. This means they are hanging out on a regular basis, but have not made it publically official that they are dating. Hyun-Soo and Jamie were mutually introduced by friends on a “double date”. Things went well, and they exchanged contact information. After a month of seeing each other, Hyun-Soo realizes how happy he’s been around Jamie.  To show his appreciation, he decides to purchase an eco-friendly purse and a small flower arrangement. His plan is to give these gifts to her when he picks her up from work to take her home.

“You know Jamie,” Hyun-Soo smiles, “I really appreciate being with you.” After a long hard day at work, Jamie smiles back. “I really want to thank you for everything.” Hyun-Soo starts as he reaches for the gifts, “So, thank you.”
Jamie takes the gifts and places it on her lap. An awkward silence ensues. “Thanks.” She smiles.

The hard lesson to learn is that even though Hyun-Soo has been seeing Jamie for some time, he has committed too much, and too soon. Yes, he’s probably thought about how he wants to take care of her and be a really good person for her, but it’s not quite the same for Jamie. Yes they have both hung out for coffee and meals together, but the passion and emotional connected has not been developed. For Jamie, she has no choice but to accept the gifts, but she is probably freaking out with the intense commitment from Hyun-Soo. It’s not that she doesn’t like him, it’s the fact that what Hyun-Soo is doing is similar to placing her into chains of commitment. Most women prefer having the choice, so being forced to comply is definitely not desirable.

Other situations can deal with the usage of digital technology – notable text message and online messaging.  Wen has been seeing Allison for a few months. Things are going well.
“Good morning, how are you?” Wen would write via text message every morning to her.
“I am fine thank you.” Allison would reply. The novelty would soon wear off. Later it turned into instant messaging.
“I miss you.” Wen would often use this phrase online as he wanted to show how much he cared for Allison. Instead Allison would give a smiling face icon in return.
Shortly after endless hours of consulting with her friends, Allison decided to end the relationship with Wen.

Wen is overcome with passion and truly has feelings for Allison, but trying to display his affection for her on a daily basis using technology starts out nice and quickly turns to clingy. Just because things don’t work at first doesn’t mean you should continue doing it more frequently. Now Wen is left alone, completely devastated, even though he does not actively show it.

The Green Light

One of the toughest things to understand as an Asian Male is that after a female gives the signal of “yes I am interested” is that we automatically turn on the afterburners and do everything possible to make the relationship work.  We suddenly take on a different character. Sometimes it is goofier, other times it is serious, or sometimes we get nervous. The problem with emotional intensity is that we need to learn to control it as Asian Males. There really is no other place for emotional release, maybe the closest thing we have is activities of video games or sports. We are not taught how by our parents, nor by mass media – in fact, I’m not even sure who we turn to.  The point is that the White Female isn’t looking for a male who is highly sensitive emotionally, or is he emotionally intense. She is looking for someone to share an intimate emotional connection with. Instead of you wanting to tell her how you feel about yourself, maybe it’s time to let her know you care about her and want to be an important part of her life.

13 Responses to Too Much Too Soon – The Suppressed Emotional Intensity of Asian Men

  1. Hummingbird says:

    Hmmm… I would be careful of stating what all white women want, much the same as I would refrain from assuming all Asian men want the same thing.

    For every white female out there who wants to take things slow and wants a guy who has a little distance emotionally, I’d wager there’s one who appreciates a guy who can lay it on the line and say or express how he feels. Maybe it comes with being older, but I’m exhausted from men who want to eat up months or even years of my life hedging their bets, saying things like, “Let’s just see what happens, ” or “I don’t really know what I want right now.” To me that just says they are reluctant to commit, hoping something better will come along.

    One of the things I like about some of the Chinese men I have met is that once they like a woman, they are not afraid to show it. I guess it’s a matter of finding a woman who is a good match for that intensity. We are out there!

    • AMWF Love says:

      Actually the real reason behind this composition deals with the social complexities of relationship and the apparent double standard Asian Men face. My writing can be viewed on the controversial side and that’s exactly what I want to achieve. I am willing to put myself on the line everytime and face the critics – both good and bad, because I write about what I truly believe in. 🙂 In regards to your comments I appreciate all comments for our blog. It betters AMWF as a whole. If I remember correctly, you are at a different stage in life than I am and I completely understand how important it is to find someone decisive and willing to accept you, and your family.

      This does not only apply to Asian Men actually, but to men in general. It is really as simple as “yes means yes, and no means no.” When a woman clearly indicates no, it really means no. As much as I appreciate Asian Culture I do see the other side of our emerging selfish hedonistic nature as well. This is not to say the North American born Asians don’t feel the same, but there are some social standards over in areas such as Mainland China that can be viewed as creepy. I’ve experienced many of my friends with troubling incidences with Mainland Chinese men – they do come off intense or downright creepy.

      This intensity often works against us as Asian Men, because we are willing to be in a committed relationship but our energies tend to give “too much, and too soon”. This awkwardness coupled with daily reminders of our feelings to the person of our romantic interest turns from cute to needy. At the purest level, it is just our overflowing internal emotions – but a real realtionship isn’t just about how one person feels, it takes both sides. For many of my peers ranging from teens to mid 30’s it is a very frustrating situation for them. They would like to give and provide for someone, but it seems as if it isn’t what exactly what their romantic interest would want. I would presume very few women would accept a man after he confesses his love to her after meeting her a day earlier. (that’s just an extreme example, but you get the point)

      To meet an Asian Male who truly can express his feelings with words and not downright physical rage is something to appreciate. There are very few who truly have the intrapersonal gift as that. Anyone can say if they are happy or sad – but those who can truly express empathy are rare. 🙂

      It sounds like you are blessed with an Asian man like that. 🙂

      – Brian

  2. AMWF Love says:

    Most Asian men I have met are not afraid to show how they feel, and they will be very persistent… which can be good and but as a women we do want a man whom which we can have a intimate emotional connection with. Relationships are partnerships that means you need to be on the same page about things. I would make sure right away and be clear about what your looking for as a man. Even if she does not feel the same way, at least you can say that you were honest and upfront about it, and can learn from the experience.

  3. Albert says:

    This article touched on a topic that I can relate to, but I hadn’t really thought about until now. I know asian men, including myself, who will go after a girl full-force if we believe that the girl is “the one.” The problem with this is that either we move too fast, become too emotionally attached to the girl, or simply don’t know what to stop and move on to the next fishy. For a couple months last year, I was helping one of my asian friends become closer with a girl he liked. Even when her signals hinted at failure, we still kept trying. He ended up going down in flames. Like as in the girl didn’t even want to see him anymore.

    I think with more positive images of asian males, desperation and intense emotional attachment will become less of a problem, especially in America.

    • AMWF Love says:

      Hey Albert,

      Thanks for commenting. At least I feel I’m not the only one who has had friends who have experienced that. I’ve seen it on both perspectives with Asian Male friends and White Female friends.

      No matter how much we are willing to give into a relationship as an individual, it requires both parties. Otherwise we run into problems of passive-agressive behaviour, or just sheer “crash and burn”. As much as every Asian guy loves someone good looking, a pretty female who approaches us is someone we will definately not slip away. We run into problems when they were looking for friendship but when we thought they were actually interested in us. Of course no risk, no relationship. That’s just how it is. 🙂

      – Brian

  4. Dorcas says:

    So generally, how would the asian male display this emotional intensity after marriage? Does he continue to be romantic and loving or do those grand gestures drop off after the ring is on the finger?

    • AMWF Love says:

      Hi Dorcas,

      After marriage, usually he will tend to show this intensity through his action. In most instances the man will adopt a work-a-holic attitude so there can be a single income family (if that’s how he was raised) It is pretty typical of Japanese society for the female to take a petty job and quit when it is time to raise the kids (and become a full time mom). This is similar for Chinese as well, but times are changing. I think it will really come down to how close the in-laws are. Grandpa/Grandma babysitting sure costs less than daycare or a nanny.

      In regards to a ring, this may be another issue is that traditionally this is a Western ideal for the man to wear a ring on his finger. In fact my dad doesn’t even wear a ring on his finger but I know he is absolutely committed to my mom everyday. It’s shown through his actions. I remember as a kid watching him come home and spend hours winding down conversing with my mom about work and life. In most cases when they go out (shopping, meals, events) they tend to be always near each other anyways.

      So in terms of intensity – the romance part tends to taper off, and he usually tends to work a lot to provide for the family. You could say that’s kind of typical of most families. Same with the domestic issues of how money will be allocated, etc. Very big on providing, less on the romance.

      – Brian

  5. Sarah says:

    I can totally relate to the first example of not knowing when to stop and move on to the next girl. In college I had a boyfriend and a chinese guy suddenly started liking me and started persisting that we should go and have coffee together maybe have lunch together go for a walk together and i politely refused and told him I already have a boyfriend. But he wouldn’t accept it and eventually things went so far as him tricking me to go out to dinner with him. Basically he told me he was going back to China and he had invited some friends to go to a meal… when we got to the restaurant there was no sign of his friends :S he told me they got stuck in traffic and others were delayed at work and we could order without them…. Then the food came still no sign of them…. then we finished the meal and then he told me actually I will ring them to tell them to meet us at a pub.. :S I really should of left at this stage but I genuinely thought it must be true. then we were at the pub he rang his friends and then he told me he couldn’t get true to them :S and he would see them a different night. Then I went home feeling really annoyed and tricked and I tried my best never to talk to him again.

  6. just me says:

    Being a white female, I have to comment that the gifts after hanging out with the guy for a month would not at all upset me. I would think it quite sweet. It was a little hard to tell from the story, but has this guy ever kissed the girl or made any sort of romantic intention known? If he hasn’t, then she would think she’s in the friend zone with him and might not understand what is going on with him or that their past month of hanging out had any sort of romantic overture.

    It’s important to make your intentions known if you want something romantic with a woman, and I think that’s probably true in any culture though the details may vary and be more subtle depending on that culture’s norms. I think from what I’m seeing here, with an American woman an Asian manwould have to be a little more obvious about his intent than he may be used to, otherwise she’s just going to think oh, he doesn’t like me like that.

    Maybe that is what you were trying to convey with the example? I am not sure. Interesting site, though. ; )

    • AMWF Love says:

      Hey there,

      What this post really describes is the problems Asian Men usually face when it comes to relationships. The basis of this difficultly lies in the ability to express ourselves as Asian Males. Ways of showing we care usually is through physical means such as gifts to really show our ability to provide. Showing affection isn’t done by saying “I love you” in Asia, or even by kissing. To tell you the truth, relationships are usually made via arrangements such as parents or friends – not to say that other methods are not possible.

      When I talk about emotional intensity I talk about the problems Asian Males have with regulating the correct levels. Often we are either nothing (almost expressionless) or intense to the point that it’s a complete turn off for women. Even if we talk about it on a more traditional level, Asian Men also learn from their parents, who most often are married with their father being the breadwinner. His mom is often a stay-at-home mom attending to the domestic household issues. To makes things worse, the Asian Mom will have so much control over her son that he does not fully develop his own self-confidence.

      I can think of three situations regarding emotional intensity:
      1. Lack of social knowledge meaning an Asian Man (usually from Asia, not born and raised in North America) will pursue/manipulate females (even ones who are taken) aggressively hoping that the “no” will eventually turn into a “yes”. Sarah in our comments has even described a situation when it has happened to her. This is done to all females and not only is it a turn off, it makes us appear clingy or insecure.

      2. The Asian Male who has planned everything to marriage, kids, etc after the first date. This is after the first date. Kind of scary. There is no romance anymore, it’s almost like immediate companionship they are looking for. If you are at a different stage of life, then perhaps it’s not much of an issue. Now imagine if he was a complete stranger, and he came up to you confessing his love to you – requesting you drop everything and be with him. That’s kind of creepy.

      3. The Asian Male friend that wanted to be with you, but never admitted it. Consequently he got friend zoned. He was totally interested in you, always attentive and there to listen to you, but never made any romantic gestures. It’s difficult for the female to even know that he’s interested because he treats you identical to how he treats his friends. Honestly he has his own self doubts and doesn’t want to make a move because he percieves that there is no “signal” for him to go past friendship. I would call this waiting for the perfect situation. This never comes – and as Asian Males we have to learn and understand that.

      I hope that help,

      – Brian

  7. OMG this is totally opposite to the encounters me and my net friends have been experiencing and talking about. It doens’t help I’ve been long distance with my guy, but last summer, he took me out on dates and made some obvious moves to show me that he likes me but then I came back to Europe and boom, he only calls me once 2-3 weeks, etc etc it had me going crazy for ages. Now, I really wish he was like these guys you talk about,….I really wish that he would confess all haha but lately, I think he considers me to be his girlfriend.. It’s just the feeling I get but I am not totally sure. Anyway, it would be very helpful if he is like those forward guys you mention… then again, we have been in regular contact for 8 months, working together like clock work, planning our summer together… but still yet, due to the lack of verbal confirmation, I still don’t know just how this man feels about me. And then… switch on the video call,…. and he is looking as if he is observing the most beautiful thing ever. So happy to see me, gosh, even asking for my opinion on his very private business matters? Told me he is jealous of some boys he knows when they were talking to me? He quite happily accepts my verbal communication of my affections, yet, there are my signs few and rare. But true say, I did hint that I thought he forgets about me when he calls me so rarely, and this week I have received 4 calls in total since I made that comment. He has even asked me for help and keeps the poem I gave him in my bag. Yet, I also hear that Chinese guys like to stay in the flirting stage before committing exclusively to a woman. But how the hell am I supposed to know that I am exclusive with my Chinese guy? I mean, am I still meant to wait for “the” conversation to be able to answer that he is my boyfriend if asked in public? When I asked how many kids he wants, he said 5, how am I supposed to know if he is planning having those with me? Another great sign was when I asked “so you are planning to stay in europe in the future?” and he replied “yes, but you want to live in China?” ooohhhh I am soooo excited about that “but” in the sentence… still, due to our long distance, I cannot observe these things… I do not get presents… although I guess the phone calls he made to me over the months must have cost quite a bit… So I’m sorry, but I am team “please tell the woman you love/ care for just how much you care” because in our experience, mainland chinese guys are a complete mystery and have you thinking for weeks upon months (if you’re long distance) on just how commited they are to you. And this whole, “we don’t express love verbally thing” should be a little tweeked when it comes to long distance relationshisp, cause if you cant SEE or FEEL how much he cares, then we begin to doubt it so at least let us HEAR something to keep us going. Then again, look at me… I’m still going hehehe!

    • AMWF Love says:

      Flirting is common in Asian Culture, but through my experience, most of the flirting comes from the females. It’s almost as if the woman places herself in a vulnerable position willing to be flirted with. It’s usually just playful, and I would not compare it to the sexual advances made in Western Cultures. There is one big problem with that. Making yourself open/approachable to being talked to and flirted with attracts all types of Asian Men – especially the ones who have nothing to lose. (Which is a considerable amount) Traditionally I would dare to say that real “dating” couples are not a couple until they are engaged/married. In that sense you are still “single”. If your Asian Male relocated over to UK then he is definately serious (and probably has considered marriage). I am sure you can decide the alternative.

      I would proceed with great caution with Mainland Chinese Men. As much as they may seem a mystery to you, there is an element of social irresponsibility I should remind you of. Like in many of my articles, shame is what regulates our behaviour as Asians, and not guilt. If he is hiding something, then he will have no remorse unless he is “caught”. This is different to the Western Christian/Catholic upbringings with guilt regulating our behaviour. Therefore physical or emotional infidelity is not uncommon in our Asian Cultures, but the key is not to get caught. Also make a note that in a very “old world” mentality, polygamy was acceptable. Men were allowed multiple wives/families assuming that they could provide for them all. This signified their financial prowess.

      – Brian

      • Thanks for this, but I don’t think that advice is relevant to this particular love story, as I am positive about the quality of his character and I also know he is crazy about me. The above signs I gave you all come from a very humble, modest, good natured and genuine man. I have complete faith in him, I’m just trying to figure out just HOW MUCH he loves/likes me heeheh Anyway, this summer we will be reunited, and I will calm down with pushing the process and just enjoy the moment as it is… Now due to our longdistance, I have too much time to think… hehe

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