A Reflection on Self-Efficacy

Have you ever had the situation where you believed in something so strongly that it happened? Were there times you didn’t take any action because you could not properly predict the outcome? Just like all the Asian Men out there, I too have experienced many times of being humbled.

Do you remember the first time your dad took off the training wheels on your bike? I still remember it. It was the time where I felt supremely invincible. Well maybe not that invincible, but I was able to pick myself up from any pain or adversity endured. The first time I fell off my bike merely moments after those two little rear wheels were taken off. It was the first time I realized you had to keep pedaling to stay balanced or come tumbling onto the pavement. I remember the tears that came along with the minor cuts on my knee, but I wasn’t crying because I couldn’t do it, it was simply because I was in pain. I fell for a second time because I didn’t know how to properly ascend a sidewalk from the road, and a third for not properly counterbalancing my turning. Yes it hurt, but I truly believed that I was capable of riding a bike.

In other words this was the beginning of building my own self-efficacy. Now you may confuse this with the term confidence, but this much more than the strength of belief in a particular outcome. I would describe self-efficacy as a belief that competencies are attainable, regardless of the setbacks that occur along the way. Now everyone will choose different skill sets and interests, but they tend to gravitate to areas where there are levels of success.

Who would enjoy doing something that you always lost at? For every sport, video game, or interest we experienced some sort of success that kept us going forward. There was just the right mix of challenge and skill that kept our interest levels up. We knew there were opportunities to improve and eventually achieve a high level of success.

The biggest problem for Asian Men is that societal expectations and popular culture does not emphasize self-efficacy, but place a perceived value on a pseudo-confidence that borders arrogance and selfishness. There is no secret that a tall athletic built male with a chiseled jaw line can be forgiven for his bravado, but is that a true qualifier for Asian Men to be attractive? Certainly it is an uphill battle, but the most important thing is not to be discouraged. I simply say this is because the “confidence” that mainstream society is accustomed to perceiving is not as readily apparent in Asian Males, and thus they may seem less desirable.

If I reapply this to our TCAI Model at AMWF Love, the expected behavior will differ depending on the primary archetype of the Asian Male:

  • Technophiles will be more assertive with themselves – stepping out of their comfort zone
  • Comedians will take a chance to say something funny – a natural swagger
  • Ambitious will depict a bold masculine presence – a dominating approach
  • Individuals will listen to their own heart – just being themselves

So be sure what archetype you identify with – that goes for both ones looking for an AMWF Relationship or who are already in an AMWF Relationship.

 

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The Public and Private Life of AMWF Relationships

Despite my Western upbringing, I still retain some conservative tendencies when it comes to relationships. When I tried to trace the roots of my behaviour, I found it fairly muddled. I suppose the majority of the tendencies came from watching my parents as an example and perhaps the Asian notion of love in general. In any regard, what I wanted to focus on was the difference between the public and private lifestyle in relationships with a focus for AMWF.

Background Information

There should be no surprise with the onset of an Asian shame society; appearances play the number one role. I would take it another step further and say it is how you are perceived by others. Probably the very first thing people notice in an AWMF relationship is the fact that it is an interracial relationship but a lot less common than the WMAF variety. After the initial shock, they will probably think of “how” the relationship was even possible.

AMWF relationships also do come with a preconceived notion of White Females being hedonistic or at worst promiscuous. While it may be true for a small select proportion, it is simply unfair to label the entire population as such. Many of us forget the great strides White Females (and other minorities) have done to progress society for equal rights as well. They didn’t just think about it, they committed themselves to change, bonded, and took action. Back to AMWF – When it comes to a serious committed relationship, White Females also have the ability to involve themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. It means they are willing to establish a connection while also risking their own pain and suffering.

For the Asians, most of our ancestors have vivid memories of coming from impoverished and war-torn societies. The majority of the time was spent on hard work and survival and less on love and relationships. If anything our expression of love came from our actions – primarily through going out of our way as Asians to do something (with no expectation of reciprocation).

The Public Life

Dating is almost synonymous as intentionally being around each other (just the two people together) on an occasional basis. While this may not seem like much for a White Female, it means a considerable amount for an Asian Male. For the most part, they are looking for someone who they can introduce to their parents. When his Asian parents accept the relationship that is an incredible milestone, because not only does the Asian Male have to worry about public opinions, his parents are the most important to please. That being said, if you can have Sunday night dinner with his parents at a restaurant without a hitch that is something to be proud of.

While you may think you have to show your affection for your Asian Male constantly, there is nothing more Asian Males love having their White Female be present physically, and show commitment through attentiveness.  You don’t have to show how madly in love you are with each other in public (which you both should already know), but showing a willingness to be together is something that will make an Asian Male very happy.  In other words, the absence of hostility and the pure comfort about being around each other is really plenty. For the most part, being calm and well-behaved is exactly what the older Asian generation likes to see.  This does not mean you have to be weak and submissive, just refrain from being obnoxious and outspoken.

Again, I reiterate commitment is something Asians value strongly (especially the older generation). I would personally have to say one of the worst feelings about relationships is being in a limbo. When you aren’t really sure of things: “Does she really like me, or is she like this to everyone else?” Whatever you do to show that you care, it’s important to reconfirm it and make sure the intentions are clear.

The Private Life

As many Asians know already, expressing the word love in our native tongue is a very difficult thing to say. This is not quite like how we can use the word love in English. We may love chocolate or ice cream in English, but when it comes to Asian languages, I would say it really means more of a total commitment than anything else. This is probably why we tend to use some form of “like” in our language in contrast to utilizing “love”. Yes there is a “really like” and if I recall in Cantonese there’s a “caring by spoiling” word as well. What I mean by that is the nature of how Asian Males tend to use actions like gift buying to show that they really do care.

When it comes to communication in private, the truth is Asian Males really want to communicate, but it’s not something they will immediately warm up to. Sometimes I would say it stems from the whole family system of filial piety and authority. Traditionally we have to defer to high authority as our thoughts and opinions are replaced by the wants and the needs of the family. Sometimes it’s a really strange notion to wrap your head around, but for me, it was just second nature.

In all honesty there is usually one type of love that almost every Asian Male will experience, and that is motherly love. With the exclusion of the psychotic Asian mothers, they are often very loving and caring. Perhaps it may not be in the same way through words, but through their actions like making their favorite foods or deliberately doing all of the cleaning duties. A woman truly willingly to do things like that for her Asian Male will probably win his heart instantly. A White Female does not have to be a supermodel, but she has to be attractive in his eyes. Of course this is not always the case, but if he’s willing to do most of the household chores anyways, it probably means he’s head over heels for his woman.

How about physical intimacy? Well, I will leave the up to the discretion of each couple. It does vary, but we are definitely not against things like that “behind closed doors”. The toughest part is actually the beginning of a new relationship. By default Asian Males will play the conservative approach, trying not to be too touchy-feely, but with enough trust and communication, things can definitely change. Remember that nerve-wracking first kiss or hand holding? Yes Asian Males sometimes don’t take enough proactive action, probably because they are too busy trying to analyze the situation to see if it is the right moment or not (getting embarrassed is a really bad feeling).

Just like the public life, there is a certain level of bonding and commitment, but usually there are more opportunities to speak candidly about issues. Unfortunately if there are language barriers, it is a little more difficult to convey thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the pride of Asian Males also is something to be aware of. While females have a vast supporting network of close friends and family, Asian Males will tend to keep their own problems to themselves. While he may talk about the external stresses, like his oppressive boss, when it really comes to talking about the intangible things like emotions or spirituality, he’s usually at loss.

Personal Commentary

Nobody enjoys having retarded moments in life. This is especially true when other people witness and recollect your embarrassing moments. The fear of shame is still deeply ingrained in our Asian mindset. Consequently we resort to waiting for the perfect moment where we are almost guaranteed success, but we forget the many opportunities pass by because we weren’t willing to take a risk. I have missed many opportunities because of my own conservative nature. It didn’t matter if I had the future planned, I totally forgot about the present. The travel plans, adventures together, and plans to be together went up in smoke because I was so self-absorbed in the future.

I always thought the true commitment came from doing the trivial things together. Things like going to her little sister’s graduation or just really being there for her when she was on the verge of an emotional breakdown. While it does sound nice, the fact is that we tend to meet people in a public setting first. As much as we want to completely open up as an Asian Male, it would be inappropriate at such an early stage because there are no connections built. I would probably say it would reveal a level of desperation or insecurity more than anything.

Somehow as a result it just hit me. That’s exactly why as Asian Males we go for the friend into lover approach. It makes perfect sense as it reflects the transition between the public and private side of Asian Males. Initially as friends, it is about getting to know each other without divulging too much into any intimate details. Things are lighthearted and fun, and until there some sort of chemistry or connection it progresses into the private and more candid things.

The key is that there is usually some sort of opportunity be together privately. Say it was some mutual friend’s birthday, the opportune moment would be the time when the two would be alone together. Take for example the car ride home. If there are no other passengers, this is actually an opportune moment for one of the parties to speak up. There are many other possibilities, and for the White Females that want to give their Asian Male of interest a little helping hand, provide a situation that allows just the two of you. Have him walk you to your car, ask for technical assistance with some sort of technology, or just simply flat-out approach him (if that is your style, it’s really not a turn off for Asian Males – sometimes it clears things up really fast).

So Asian Males, take more chances, and White Females, recognize the difference between the public and private life. When in doubt, just be upfront about it and communicate.

Stuck in the Middle – My Dual Identity

The majority of my Asian friends were the ones that progressed with me through my academic years. Almost all of us were born and raised in Canada with a Hong Kong background. Honestly I would say we progressed together as a tight-knit group from Junior High, to High School, and onto University. To the outsiders we may have been perceived as a clique not accepting non-Asians, but this was not the case. Since we all came from similar cultural backgrounds, it was only natural that we gravitated towards each other. Somehow we were raised pretty much the same way. All of us had to go through piano or violin lessons as a child, and of course the wonderful Chinese school on Saturday mornings.

There were a few White Males that did manage to hang out our Asian group as well. This was probably because they made an effort to join us. Fortunately being a Westernized Asian group, we still conversed in English; all they had to do was have the intent to hang around us.  As far as I remember there was actually never a single White Female in the massive “Asian Group” of friends. It never struck me as that being odd; just perhaps the passive nature of Asians may have been the reason for them not to hang around us. The group was large enough as it was already, and there was no need to seek out more members.

Maybe times have changed, but as I remember dating White Females, I was the one who had to depart from my circle to join her circle of friends. Had I not done that, I probably would not have been in a relationship with a White Female. Fortunately when things did not work out, my Asian friends still took me back as if things never happened. Looking back I laugh at myself because the group was really just a group where we shared common interests. There was nothing really beyond that. We celebrated birthdays, watched movies, went to events, but never really established lifelong bonds.

As I progressed into Post-Secondary education, I was in the shock of my life when it came to Asians. You see, the majority of the Hong Kong Chinese came before the 1997 return to China. This meant that the only Hong Kong Chinese left were my friends I attended school with. Now the Mainland Chinese students dominated university campus in the analytical fields of mathematics, statistics, engineering, chemistry, and physics. Great, now in my head I’m experiencing “FOB 2.0”. For those who are unaware of the term FOB it is a slight derogatory term for Asian immigrants. During the Vietnam War there were many families who fled Vietnam in boats all across Asia. However the term “Fresh off the Boat” or FOB probably more accurately means “Fresh off the Plane”. While it wasn’t their appearances that bothered me, it was the lack of social etiquette for North American standards. I could deal with the scent of moth balls and loud voices, but it still baffles me when I watch someone with seven small containers heat up one individual dish at a time to monopolize the microwaves with a lengthy line waiting behind the user. Then I remember that it is shame, and not guilt that often regulates their behavior, and if nobody tells them they are doing something wrong, they will assume that everything is normal.

I’m sure they are very good people, but somehow it’s extremely difficult to relate to the Asians from Asia. Despite my Asian features of black hair, soft skin, and single eyelids – I find it difficult to connect with non-Western Asians.  This is probably because my interests do not match up with many traditional Asians. My taste in arts and entertainment takes me to South America and Europe, somewhere completely unrelated to Asian popular culture. The irony is that when I move to social groups primarily of Caucasian individuals, I still feel a lack of a true belonging.

Thus I find myself stuck in the middle as a Westernized Asian. Fused with both Eastern and Western values, I went to school learning the Western Culture, and learned about my Eastern roots at home. You could say it was living two lives, but I found it completely normal. With a large Asian group of friends, it was bound to break off into small groups. Eventually people began to pair off, and commit their time into their careers and relationship partners. The large group that hung out in the circular group tables in the student lounges was no more.

The most difficult part of two identities is the fact that you have two. Sometimes it feels like you have to choose between the two, always in conflict between your Eastern and Western identities. I’ve always wondered if having a single identity would have been a lot simpler. Instead of being pressured to take a professional career, I may have been encouraged to pursue something I truly enjoyed over stability and security. Maybe by being “just Asian” would leave me in a mindless state having to constantly submit to parental pressures.  At the end of the day, I would end up being with one group, and not between two different groups.

So why not pursue a Westernized Asian Female? Well the answer is twofold. The first part really comes down to the numbers game. Even here in Canada there are CBCs (Canadian Born Chinese) in every major urban area but attraction does not occur just because they are born and raised here. Yes, they understand my upbringing, but my past experiences did not leave anything memorable. Perhaps it was a matter of personality, but even my prior relationships with White Females have been such a pleasure regardless of the outcome.  They were open to share their thoughts and viewpoints as White Female, and very emotionally generous. This was something I felt difficult with Asian Females born and raised in North America. I could never fathom their obsession with the latest status accessories, and was unwilling to be just a provider by Asian traditional standards.

These days I really have learned to embrace the dual identity. It’s what defines who I am, and I would not change anything if I could go back in time.  While I might be more Western than my Asian counterparts, I have learned so much about my own identity that I would never would have learned remaining in a tight-knit Asian group. Instead of always trying to fit in with a group, I’ve learned to love myself instead of seeking constant approval from others. I definitely am who I want to be.

The Technological Crutch

When we look back to how our parents met, they did not have the vast array of technological tools we have in modern times. Text messaging didn’t even exist, nor did Facebook. So how did people manage with the absence of Internet and Communications Technologies? You guessed it, real human interaction.

Our Technological Crutch

Information has not only shared knowledge, but it has completely transformed our society. Had it not been for the Internet, I would have never been exposed to the Popular Culture of Europe and Asia. To be honest, the majority of the information was purely for entertainment purposes – but it was a refreshing alternative to the typical Top 40’s radio stations and mainstream television channels.  However, being compromised primarily of music, video, and pictures, a strong emphasis of visual and auditory sensing was used.  What made it worse was that organizations picked up on the information and began feeding us a lifestyle we wanted to believe in. From the nature of how to behave, think, or feel, we tune into the shows we enjoy. We buy products that we identify with, live the lifestyle, and surround ourselves with people alike.

Information is at our fingertips. Instead of purchasing a product at a store, it may be even more effective to purchase the product online and have it shipped directly to you. We can look at product reviews, read about the user experiences, and make the best informed decision. However, when we apply this concept to human relationships, it does not exactly work out the way we expect – especially as a typical Asian Male.

Our Online Presence

The anonymity of Internet works as a perfect foil for Asian Men. We are able to assess the situation, learn about information, without having to expose ourselves (assuming we are careful). With the modern developments of Social Networking, we are able to share immediate information with our friends, but does that apply to meeting new people?  Honestly there is no clear answer as its effectiveness varies on the situation.

In a situation where there are no prerequisite criteria, this is essentially an open door policy for Asian Men. This is made possible because of the lack of shame from public opinion. A social network group devoted to interracial dating and open membership will have a vast amount of members.  Despite the high membership, the real success rate may be much lower than perceived initially. Again, the immediate feedback nature of information works against us.

Immediate Feedback

In a sense our preferences are shaped both by predetermined genetic architecture, and social factors such as exposure to television, or other forms of mass media. Being raised in a consumer driven society, the users dictate the needs of society through their consumption. If they do not like a consumer product, it will be reflected by its sales. It’s as easy as saying “no”, because of our inherent consumer driven mentality. This also applies to communication both online, and in real life. If someone absolutely repulsive approached you with the intentions of dating, chances are you would reject them immediately. You could say it was just a natural response to prevent future pain.  Within a split second, we are already able to determine if someone is attractive or not before any real communication is met. How easy is it just to ignore the individual (assuming no prior human interaction) online by a few clicks? It is really that easy.

Back to the Basics

While I speak for Asian Men, this is certainly applicable to every group regardless of belonging. Technology should not be used exclusively in relationships, but as an aide. This is extremely useful for long distance communication, providing that some sort of relationship has been properly built up. As much as we enjoy instant messaging, to be in the actual physical presence with someone you truly enjoy being with is far more effective.  Yes it is also a long and difficult process to develop social skills, and even to this day I still am working on improving myself. If we are left to depend on Information and Communication Technologies, we are merely just a dead face behind a screen. If you seek for something beyond the online world, get out there and experience what life has to offer.

Appreciate the Work He Does – Asian Males & Affection

Without prior experience, one of the most difficult things to understand is how Asian Males display their affection.  Much of this has to do with our upbringing. Even for myself I would almost never see visual displays of affection between my parents. Dad would always share household chores and set aside weekend time to venture out into the city to shop with my mom. As for television, the Asian Television series never quite represented relationships the same way Western series do.

What I really remember about those Asian series growing up was the cute and awkward juxtaposition of a male and female liking each other. Physical touch would occur through some random coincidence such as the woman slipping and somehow miraculously positioned for a kiss. Now in real life, that’s probably not going to happen.

Showing Affection

The truth is that Asian Males tend to take an indirect route when it comes to showing affection. He will be attentive for conversations, and willing to provide for you. Honestly it really does come from our upbringing. To be a man in our Asian culture is not necessarily being macho-alpha-dominating, but being able to provide for his family. What you may not know as a White Female is how much power you really have over Asian Men.  Basic requests such as going to your favourite restaurant can be easily fulfilled. Want to spend the night at home instead of partying? Say the word, and it’s done.  In essence, if the female is happy, the Asian male is also happy.

Beyond the Basics

This is when the problems start to arise. Unfortunately for the most part, as Asian Males we are willing to take care of our romantic interest, but that’s all we can do. Physical contact may be minimal unless the female takes slight charge. The problem is that he is so focused on trying to make you happy, he forgets about himself taking action. While giving gifts shows that we are continually committed, there’s this emptiness that begins to grow overtime. The Asian Male responds to simple questions, but when asked for a viewpoint on a social issue, there’s a long pause, and then a shrug of the shoulders.

Silence is not Indifference

One of the most important things to understand is that the natural tendencies for an Asian male to not engage in debates or display affection on a more physical level often stems from his upbringing. He may simply not know enough of the situation to fully express his opinion, but it does not mean that he is indifferent.  What makes it difficult is that his facial expressions and body language may be “neutral” or “relaxed” but on a Western perception it can be misinterpreted as “upset”.  This can be remedied with strong levels of trust and communication. Make sure there your tone is free from hostility, and maybe place your hand on top of his – reassure him that you are here for him. Tell him how much you appreciate the things he does for you. Knowing that you are also loved and appreciated as an Asian Male is one of the greatest feelings.

Asian Men and Sex

Let me just say right off that the racist myths and assumptions about smaller stature and less sexual and erotic drive are just not true…I am sure you agree with me. I think that there is absolutely no problem with Asian men and from my experience, the best sex I’ve ever had has been with Asian men. Sure like anyone there will be times it’s not good and others when it’s fantastic, but that’s just the way it goes sometimes and it’s got nothing to do with race.

There have been studies that have pointed out that Asian men (from Asia) feel less satisfied as a whole with sex than Westerners, but that does not mean that they are bad in the bed, or that Asian men are less passionate or romantic as lovers, it just means that they may not be experiencing sex the same way as the west. Men in Asia can often live in a culture where sex is much more of a no no to talk about, let alone learn about from family or friends. I mean think about it, the expression of love can often be very indirect in Asian cultures, where no one was ever hugged or kissed in public and probably not even hugged or kissed at home.  Parents would never talk about sex to their sons, and I am sure the sex education at school left more questions then answers.

When it comes to sex, Asian men may not be well-informed and not socialized to talk about sex or express their sexuality. So how can a man even be expected to perform well when he’s got no instruction, and no expression of sexuality to draw from? Well I think that no matter how much or how little experience you have, there are some things that make Asian men great lovers naturally. My number one kudos to Asian men is that they are always hard workers, patient, focused, and always willing to please. So when it comes to sex, with this skill set any man can succeed.

Now I know you western Asian men are saying to yourselves, I’m not like that, and some men from Asia also are saying “We know a lot about sex and how to please women”… which is great and like all people in the world there will be different levels of education, and experience. But the point I want to make, without getting into details, is that with a lot, a little, or even no real experience a man can do well…that includes Asian men… and the best part is that whatever  your experience is, your WF will be happy to learn and share with you.

Perfection is Unattainable – The Mindset of Asian Men

Perfection is to be marvelled at, but at the same time it leads to our own demise.  While there are some abstract components like mathematics which have a very clear expression or answer, living a life of perfection is truly another story. Even I must admit I have grown up demanding perfection upon myself, when in fact it was not attainable. Some of it I will admit came from my Asian upbringing as well. Just like every Asian child I was placed in the typical piano lessons and extra schooling. Math became my strongest subject, and I never took a liking to the Humanities during my K-12 years. Now that I think of it, what made English and Social Studies so difficult was the fact that it did not come as natural as Math or the Natural Sciences. I had to feel something. What was that all about?

Perfection Described

I remember the stories of my Asian friends who have parents who get upset at their child’s grades because they were not 100%. Phrases like “Where’s the 4%?” would come up after their child received a 96% test result.  Other times it would be the demanding mother forcing her child to practice piano until the song was error free. Perhaps you could say back in the early days of China with Imperial Examinations, those who achieved the highest grades were often rewarded with the best civil servant jobs. From then on, they were set for life. While perfection is great for theoretical pursuits such as mathematics, statistics, or natural sciences, it cannot be the sole basis when dealing with people. This is especially important in AMWF relationships, and every other relationship for that matter.

This becomes a huge problem for situations that do not call for perfection. Let’s take a look at a few TCAI examples:

Feng is your typical Asian Technophile. He’s great with Math and Computers, but when it comes to social issues – he’s completely lost. Once his girlfriend, Steffi asked him what he felt about the upcoming student elections. Feng shrugged his shoulders.
The problem is two-fold. Feng has never encountered this situation before and has no idea how to respond. Second, he may want the perfect response, leading into an “analysis paralysis”.

Alvin, an academic overachiever, can also be thought as an Ambitious Archetype. Recently he placed second overall in academic standing, and thus losing the Valedictorian spot.
Of course this just an example, but often at times Asians tend to measure their success by being the best. While it is great to win and be the best, there is no win-win mentality for us Asians. Thus we become completely consumed with the obsession of perfection – to be number one.

Hyun-Soo is popular among his friends, being the group Comedian he can always crack a joke to make people smile. While relaxing at the local pool, Hyun-Soo is dragged by his friends to the deep end of the pool for some diving board excitement. Although Hyun-Soo is not the greatest diver, he employs his patented belly flop. After a gigantic splash, hilarity ensues.
The Comedians are usually the best when it comes to dealing with perfection. Instead of being perfect, they tend to do something completely opposite and funny. While it is effective, there is a possible shortcoming if they overuse their humour. Then the excitement is lost.

Don, an aspiring jazz musician, plays the double-bass in his jazz trio. Almost always at the spur of the moment, he has the urge to improvise. His band mates recognize it and follow along.
Perfection for an Individual type is less of an importance than excellence. They understand things cannot be perfect, but just go with the flow.

Aiming for Excellence

TCAIIt’s important to realize not everything can be treated in a black and white manner. This binomial nature of true and false, yes and no, does not always work for real life. Instead of aiming to become perfect, we should aim for excellence – always striving to do our best. It doesn’t matter if someone is better than us, but as long as we put in our best and learn from our mistakes, we’re bound to improve one step at a time. Take for example any sport: soccer, hockey, football, tennis, etc. There is bound to be a winner and loser. When you win, it’s easy – but when you lose it is even more difficult to deal with. As much as we would like a perfect score or record, it’s almost impossible naturally. Aim for your own best, and improve yourself each time. Usually the biggest culprits of perfection-obsession are the Technophiles and Ambitious. This is usually because of their conservative upbringing. This is the old-world mentality. Comedians and Individuals are more liberated and usually deal with perfection issues better. In case you forgot, I’ve included the two spectrum diagram to refresh your mind.

Regarding AMWF

When in a relationship with a White Female, as an Asian Male it would be almost a natural tendency to go through all the “what-if” situations and try my best to make each situation perfect. I’d have the date planned out, what clothes to wear, rehearse the motions in my head – but then forget about being there in the moment with her. What I mean by this is when you are intensely focusing on a future even or past event while being with your White Female, you tend to make her feel disconnected from you. This can be perceived as you are uninterested or upset at her – which is not at all what your intentions are.  So leave perfection at the door, smile, and realize you’re with an amazing woman who loves you. So be sure to reciprocate.

AMWF and Social Change in North America

After World War II, racial barriers began to lessen somewhat for the U.S. as servicemen who had fought and were stationed overseas in Asia began to return with Asian brides; mostly of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnam. Although the AMWF was not existent at that time, this did bring about a change in the way the US viewed interracial marriages/relationships. In 1967, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that laws prohibiting the mixing of different racial groups through marriage were unconstitutional (Loving v. Virginia). At that time, many states still had formal laws that forbid the marriage of whites and non-whites.. Crazy but true!

Thanks to this change, and due to the diverse nature of North America, Interracial dating and intermarriage has increased in the last century. Studies have pointed to the fact that Asians have the highest rates of intermarriage, and most Asians who marry a non-Asian have a white spouse. However, most Asian women have a non-Asian husband, but here is a rising population of Asian men who are husbands to non-Asian wives. So, as the AMWF population slowly beings to grow, I often wonder what we as a society think about it. I mean for so many years it’s been AFWM, that naturally it was bound to happen the other way… right?

I think that our generation of Asian men is no longer afraid to step outside of what was their or their parents comfort zone. Women in North American are raised to be self-sufficient and independent, and I could see how that might intimidate more traditional types of Asian men. But today, Asian men no longer feel the need to be bound to the traditions of their parent’s generation. They realize that their ability to support a family is no longer a major contributing factor in mate choice for women. They see that the different way they look, languages they speak, and foods they eat are not a deterrent to women, but actually work in their favor. I think they are beginning to see that all along that they had the opportunity to have relationships with white women, but just never had the support and encouragement to do so.

Women in North America are also going through a change. We are beginning to see Asian men as a serious option in the dating/marriage market. Not only because of the values and cultural differences that as an Asian male you might bring, but also because of the simple fact that Asian men are here! They are all over North America and are such a part of the society that why would women not consider them as an option. Deciding to date or marry someone of another race is a personal decision, and in that choice you may face more challenges than if you married someone of your own race. But in return, you have the possibility of enjoying a diversity that same-race couples will never know, and you will have an identity as a couple that millions of other couples maybe never have or experience in their lives.

When looking for love, we are beginning to look beyond race, and for that matter, beyond appearance, social status and economic brackets as well. I think that as women in North America we realize that by doing so, we can increase our opportunities to find a satisfying relationship, and Asian men are doing the same.

The AMWF Relationship as a Partnership

When it comes to choosing a lifelong partner, it is important to not only understand what you are personally looking for, but to also understand that relationships are partnerships. Especially in the AMWF relationship, there may be cultural differences that can test the strength of your relationship. So as you enter into, or choose to want to be part of this relationship, here are some things to consider.

Similar Intellect

If you are going to spend a great deal of time with someone, being able to talk to each other is very important. Assuming language is not an issue, things can get pretty boring if you aren’t able to hold a conversation about things that are important and provide you with intellectual stimulation. So if you can’t stimulate each other with dialog, then you will be missing an important part of connecting to each other. For example, if as an Asian man you are reserved, and rarely want to chat with your lady and spend quality time talking, than there is little chance of her feeling an emotional connection to you. Without this emotional connection you have little chance of keeping her happy. Similarly as a woman, if you are not interested in the way your Asian man thinks, believes, and feels, then you will be less likely to spend time connecting to him.

Complementing Strengths and Weaknesses

People say that opposites may attract, but if you’re too much the opposite you won’t stay together. For two people to truly click, they should balance each other out. For example, if you’re the type of girl that’s kind of shy, but your Asian guy is friendly, and outgoing, then you will benefit from his strength and lean to be more assertive yourself. If as an Asian man you speak another or several languages and she does not, she can work together with you to improve her skills and bond with you in the process. Ideally, the person you spend time with should bring out the very best in you, not enhance your more negative qualities.

Interests in Common

Although you may come from different cultures, couples that share a few of the same hobbies will be able to build a deeper friendship than those that don’t. In relationships friendship equals longevity.  For example, although you may have grown up in different countries, or parts of a country, you may share a common interests like the arts or sciences. Regardless of your locations in the world, if you and your mate share a passion for something, chances are it will make you appreciate the time you spend together.

Similar Intimacy and Sex Drive

Physical intimacy is a large part of a successful relationship, and its important to make sure each other is happy. For example, if as an Asian man you may have rarely saw your parents express any physical affection to each other, you may not consider how important things like holding hands, hugs, and kisses are in a relationship. Also if you always want sex and she never wants it, then as a man you will feel unsatisfied.  Couples that share the same level of desire for intimacy will argue less and be happier.

Have the Same Life Goals

To make it simple, if you don’t share the same aspirations for family, children, and home life, it will make things a constant push and pull over the most basic areas of living. For example let’s say you met your WF while she was studying in your home town in Asia, she wants to go back to her native country, but you want her to stay here with you. If you can’t agree on what lifestyle you want then you will always be working against each other rather than together. Couples should talk openly about their wishes for the future and never assume that just because you love someone they share the same perspective.

Sharing Similar Faiths

The couples that have faith together stay together. Even if your religion is no religion, you and your partner should both be on board with what you believe. As I have said before I have seen many couples who blend Buddhism and Christianity with very good results and raising children this way has been successful. Faith is a foundation for many relationships, and if one of you just goes through the motions while the other is devout, it’s likely to cause serious conflicts down the road.

Disagreements

As a couple you are sharing a great deal of time together, and at some point you are going to disagree. How you choose to argue however, will make all the difference in your relationship. For example, your Asian family/ parents expect you be visit frequently and your WF is not used to it. She expresses to you that she, although willing to go on special occasions, would like to have more time alone with you, and less time spending it under the watchful eyes of family. Although her feelings may conflict with the way you were raised and or what your family expects, it’s important that you both are respecting each other’s feeling and work toward a compromise. In this example the compromise may mean speaking to the parents and working out something that everyone is comfortable with. Couples that focus on the issue at hand and discuss things immediately and respectfully often work through issues better than those that resort to name calling and dragging out past events to win an argument.

Share a Sense of Humor

Laughing is the best medicine and the ability to laugh with each other goes a long way in your relationship. If one of you thinks something is hilarious while the other is offended, you won’t be sharing happiness together. For example, as WF if you’re learning mandarin with your Asian man and the pronunciation makes you feel self-conscious. But rather then feeling that way, you can laugh at yourself and laugh with each other while learning. Sharing a sense of humor also helps make the simple moments in life that much more enjoyable. You should be able to enjoy your partner’s company and laugh together sharing in that happiness.

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.