Only if the “Undo” Command Worked in Real Life

Our favorite geeky command – whether it is Ctrl-Z or Command-Z, this is the quintessential keyboard combination when things don’t work the way we want it to. Didn’t like the line you drew in your graphics program? No problem, “undo” and try again. Renamed the wrong file? There’s an “undo” for that too! This was the beauty of technology. In a way you could say this was a form of trial and error in a more unemotional and analytical procedure. Now only if this worked in the real world.

Just like many of you I have had my relationship blunders. I’ve been paralyzed by complete fear of messing up conversations, forgotten many important dates (uh oh), or came off a little too intense in relationships. While I am not proud of those moments, I look back realizing they were important life lessons. I have done it all. Missed the kiss on her lips because I prematurely closed my eyes? Yup, did it. Confessed my feelings to a girl who I thought was interested but got completely shot down? I did that too. Being completely oblivious to a girl interested in me when I ditched her to go cram for my final? Yes I actually did that.

As much as I would like to fix my embarrassing relationship blunders (good thing I don’t talk about the other things), there is no “undo” command.  I have learned to accept my tribulations with a smile. Then it kind of hit me. I was certain that I was not the only Asian Male in the world that royally screwed up things. Had I been raised in a very tradition Asian environment filled with shame as the social regulator, I would have burrowed deep into my shell to avoid contact with the public. Friends and family would endless harass me for my gaffes. Instead having guilt as a form of social regulation in Western Culture, I feel somewhat liberated sharing my mortifying moments in life.

Back to the “Undo” command, when it comes to actual real life situations, there is no reversal button we can press when we stumble.  This is very common with new relationships as well as long-term ones. For the Asian Male, this now becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy “No mistakes will happen if we take an inactive/passive position”.  Who needs to “Undo” things when there is nothing to “undo”? In other words, it comes back down to our favorite Asian Male inhibitor, fear. The fear of utterly embarrassing yourself and face a lifelong earful of shame from friends and family is definitely a strong deterrent for Asian Males when it comes to approaching women (and also while being in a relationship).

So what can Asian Males do? The first part is to realize that perfection in real life does not exist. While theoretical and analytical procedures allows us to create hypothetical models, that’s all it is, just theory. As much as we want that 100% in love and relationships, it’s okay, you aren’t going to get lectured by your Asian parents for the missing 2% when you get a 98%. The next thing is to go for it. Just give it a try. Yes you will stumble and blunder, but it’s still better than doing nothing. Finally, look back at the moments learn the important life lessons and try again (with the newfound knowledge). When you can look back and laugh about it, you will be fine – no Ctrl-Z or Command-Z required.