Stuck in the Comfort Zone

Do you have your comfort zone? Maybe it was under the bed sheets as a child, or It’s really hard to depart from a comforting familiarity. Everyone has that place, whether it would be the people, objects, or environment. This is the refuge we create when adversity strikes. It is almost an automated response manufactured by our habits.

While this is universal, I find it very interesting when applying this to relationships of Asian Men and Non-Asian women. As I have mentioned before, a relationship such as AMWF may face more challenges because there are different societal and cultural upbringings between the two parties. I would not say this is a setback, but it requires a different approach compared to an Asian Male Asian Female relationship. Regardless if the female is White, Black, Hispanic, or of another ethnic background we have to understand that these relationships are more of a complimentary paring rather than a similar (compatible) matching.

Both may value family (similar/compatible), but the Asian approach may have more family influence with children over a Western mentality. Weekly Sunday dinner visits to the parents would be almost expected – only to have a mundane conversation of work and weekly updates.

Now back to the comfort zone. What I find most striking looking back at my Asian upbringing was the creation of an environment where I was mostly unwilling to venture off to the unknown. I approached things when I was sure the results would exactly meet my expectations. Working hard would result in good grades and minimal scolding from an over controlling father. Video games provided a virtual challenge that failures would be less embarrassing. Not only that, I soon surrounded myself with like-minded individuals who enjoyed video games, computers, and other technological devices. Life was good.

There is only one problem with spending so much time in the wonderful comfort zone, relationships such as AMWF is next to impossible without some form of compromise and understanding. Traditionally Asian Men are measured by their social status and economic contribution to the family – so a car, house, and job would deem him dating material and additional cars and houses would make him even more attractive, and probably more respected by the Asian public. Don’t be surprised if an Asian Man makes gift giving gestures to signal his financial status.

While Western females recognize this, many also realize there is much more to life than just the collection of material items. Comfort to them is being able to finally take down the emotional barriers and be able to express their feelings candidly with a positive feedback. As a result, we realize that there are adjustments that have to be made when dealing with these kinds of relationships. Otherwise the woman views the Asian man as unresponsive or indifferent.

So how do we change our comfort zones? The simple statement is hard work, and the longer explanation is to create and develop a new environment which will result in a new comfort zone. It takes a lot of time to change behavior and habits, but it is possible – but not easy. Remember, nothing risked is nothing gained.