Relationships, Marriage, and the Four Horsemen

Regardless of the fact that the level of relationship may be dating, courtship, or even marriage, there are always trouble signs that will greatly predict the success of the relationship. Strangely enough I stumbled upon literature from Dr. John Gottman using the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse analogy from the Bible. Bear in mind that disagreements and fighting every now and then are signs of a healthy relationship. In any case here are the four key behaviors:

Criticism

Criticism in my opinion has two variants, a positive form and a negative form. Positive criticism is about improving the situation without any intentional personal attacks on your partner. There is possible frustration expressed, but definitely not offending. Take for example you were watching your favorite reality competition and one of your favorite competitors was sent packing. I know for one I would be in absolute shock. “How could he be eliminated?”  I would exclaim in discontent “that’s not fair.”

In that situation I do not wish harm on the judges, but I am clearly disgruntled by the apparent unfairness. Now when it comes to negative criticism, this behavior may start out as dissatisfaction but then becomes unbearable. They start with phrases like:

“I can’t believe you…”
“Every time you…”
“What kind of (noun) is this?”

The usual intention is to claim that you are right, and the offending partner is clearly wrong.  Unfortunately it comes with a vicious attack on your partner’s character. I can honestly admit criticism in this regard is almost considered normal in Traditional Asian upbringing. Not only do we get criticism from our parents, we are expected to accept it, as it is supposedly their way of expressing how they care.  The tragedy is that then if we start to believe our actions bring criticism, then as Asian Males we resign ourselves of apathy, and stop believing in anything.

Contempt

Although contempt is very similar to criticism in the fact that there is intent to draw some form of mental abuse, it differs by not focusing on a particular event, but as a global degrading feeling. You could almost say that criticism occurs as a reaction while contempt is a lingering feeling no matter if it is premeditated or reactionary.

Examples usually come from verbal insults, mockery, and most often through body language combined with tone. Since most of contempt is something that is “read between the lines” I will describe obvious situations where it could happen. A couple fictitious examples I have spontaneously thought of is as follows:

Example One:

Shen and Ashley decide to spend their Friday night window shopping at a local trendy district. While passing by an eclectic store Ashley stops to point at a cute summer dress.

“Are you kidding me?” Shen said as he rolled his eyes in disgust, “that dress makes your arms look even bigger.”

While Shen was able to voice his opinion, Ashley would be more disappointed over with the implications: he shows indifference to her opinions, and reinforces her apparent weight issues.

Example Two:

Han and Angela have been officially dating for a couple years. In preparation for Han’s cousin’s wedding, there is a banquet party group dance that both of them are involved in. Unfortunately being a typical male with two left feet like Han, the steps do not come naturally. To make matters worse, Han not only has to remember his steps, but also has to lead Angela. Trouble arises with alignment issues. Angela stops and glares at Han.

“I don’t get it” Angela voices in frustration, “this is so easy.” Han recollects his composure and tries for a second time. Failure ensues. “Nope,” she says while biting her lip. Completely petrified Han tries for a third time, only to get a tongue lashing.

While not as direct as the first example, there are many situations when the male feels emasculated by his partner. This is something that comes with experience, and no video game is going to teach you this.

Defensiveness

Just as criticism and contempt are more offensive approaches, there are defensive approaches that Gottman classifies as action and inaction. In a sense it is an approach that minimizes the incoming threat to give an opportunity to respond back offensively by both criticism and contempt. The defense comes by evading a perceived attack or using a victim mentality. It is only natural for us to protect ourselves from harm, but things get muddled when things are tense.

“It wasn’t my fault…”
“But remember the time you…”

Now by developing the two examples above, we can create both a defensive and non-defensive approach.

Example One Development – Shen & Ashley

A: “That burger you had for dinner isn’t helping your waistline either.” Ashley quips as she pokes his belly.

B: “Great,” Ashley smiles, “I’ll be sure to wear it next weekend for your mom’s birthday dinner”

Development A used a diversion to place the weight issue onto Shen, while B turned the situation from displeasure to humor. Mind you Ashley may get the last laugh if she gets all genuine compliments for the dress next week.

Example Two Development – Han & Angela

A: “It is sooooo easy” Han responds.

B: “Backseat driving.” Han grins.

C: “As expected from your formal training” he sighs.

In response A, Han repeats what Angela had said earlier, with a slightly altered tone. This has the intention of having her believe that Han was listening. For response B and C, Han diverted the perceived threat by countering with a comment that may actually escalate the situation. While this may seem the most viable option, it does nothing to help the relationship. The problem really is not the small disagreements but the fact that this will accumulate over time and the behavioral response will be the same. Only when enough is enough, then a sudden change tends to follow.

Stonewalling

I confess that growing up this was my main arsenal when it comes to dealing with conflict. It made perfect sense to me, keeping a neutral tone would make the other person feel that I not offended and won’t retaliate. I was always taught to turn the other cheek, but it often is with physical conflict. When it comes to an emotional connection with a woman and especially a White Female, it conveys actually a lack of effort in the relationship.

Examples include:

  • A blank face
  • Crossing arms and refusal to communicate
  • Leaving the situation without any explanation during or afterwards
  • Using the pseudo-agreement of “yes” responses

Granted that the natural response for a male is to hide in his cave to regenerate himself, constantly disconnecting yourself as a male towards a female is extremely hurtful over time. This is a serious issue when it comes to Asian Males as we are taught to maintain a stern disconnected composure.

Fortunately this can be worked around by giving signals that you really want to connect as an Asian Male. Get into her personal space, hold her hands, tell her how much you really care for her – she will forgive you for the lack of expression and recognize your sincerity to be with her. Remember it is a healthy relationship to encounter conflict, but what is important is that you both ultimately respect and acknowledge each other.

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The Connection Gap – Neglected AMWF Issues

Physical attraction is a funny thing.  As an Asian Male what you need to know about most is that it begins with a pass or fail. What I mean by that is that even before someone is remotely attracted to you, there needs to be a minimum level of hygiene, grooming, and overall image. Otherwise you will face some form of rejection from a female of interest. Even before you open your mouth you have already been pre-categorized into a no, maybe, or yes kind of guy. The reason for this is that people do not enjoy being emotionally torn apart by a relationship that could have been easily avoided.We do our very best to avoid the creepy, abusive, or twisted individuals, sometimes they manage to slip through the barriers.

When it comes to short-term relationships, the short-term criteria doesn’t necessarily equate to a fulfilling long-term relationship. In the short-term relationship, the excitement lies in the intensity and mysteriousness of the relationship. I would even go as far as to call it the honeymoon phase where passion often expressed in a physical manner. This may also include the provision of gifts or gestures that Asian Males use to show their affection. It is not uncommon to see gifts early on, or have him decline your offer to split the bill. To this day I still witness the typical feud between family friends and my parents when it comes to paying the bill for dinner. Being a provider is one quality Asian men pride themselves on.

Perhaps that may draw parallels to why Asian Parents tend to pressure their kids into taking a professional career. With a generous amount of remuneration, they would be capable of being solid providers and not struggle financially. Traditionally it would be common to have the husband of the family be the sole income earner while the wife would allocate the household resources. This is what Asian men believe makes them a man. To this day, even I still believe it to be true – well at least partially true. Enter long-term relationships.

While being a solid provider is great, that is also the problem in a long-term relationship with an Asian Male. That’s all it is. You believe him to be a good person – someone trustworthy, loyal, and attentive. You know for sure he cares for you, but deep down inside as a White Female, you still feel incomplete.  This is what I like to call the Connection Gap.

The Connection Gap

The easiest way to explain this is to break it down from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Essentially it is as follows:

Level of Need Asian Male White Female
Physiological As the provider, this can be attended to financially. A healthy lifestyle and a place to call home.
Safety/Security A stable job, house, and car. A comfortable lifestyle, extravagant is bonus, but not required.
Social Some friends, co-workers, neighbours, and family. Always large gatherings for special events.

Parents may play a large role in the decision making process.

To enjoy an event with others (i.e. sport event at the bar with the boys).

The “status” of being taken.

A network of family, friends, and partner to share life with.

Establishing and maintaining a strong connection with her partner. A close support network to turn to no matter how tiny the issue is.

Bonding as a group through conversation (girls night out).

Being surprised with signals of affection every now and then.

 

Esteem Largely based on having a happy marriage often with direct family support.

“If the partner is happy, then I am happy.”

Friends are present physically and virtually to share milestones and accomplishments.

To not be hated by anyone.

Being appreciated and needed by her partner and close network.

Sharing accomplishments first with the ones she loves the most.

Having love reciprocated in a genuine manner

Self-fulfillment Engage in activities that require sufficient skill and challenge.

Technical: Photography, Model building

Creative: Music, Acting, Singing

Generosity: Volunteering

Transcend beyond the physical and engage mentally, emotionally, and possibility spiritually.

Engage in charitable (youth group), creative (painting), or spiritual activities (yoga).

Now this is just a hypothetical example illustrating the two different viewpoints that applies to males and females and not just AMWF exclusively. Where the Connection Gap lies is when the Asian Male is focused on the Safety/Security or Social Level when the White Female is looking for Esteem and Self-fulfillment needs. Consequently the Asian Male will feel content with the relationship because he clearly is doing his job providing. While having basic needs and safety taken care of is excellent, there are often higher levels of esteem and self-fulfillment that are neglected in an AMWF relationship. If left unattended for extended periods of time, the relationship risks deterioration.

Dealing with the Connection Gap

If not already in a relationship, a White Female may choose to find someone who she feels able to meet that social, esteem, and self-fulfillment needs. As a result, instead of choosing Technophiles, the White Female may opt for the Comedian archetype. Asian Males who are naturally the Comedian type will attract many through their jovial temperament. Others prefer the Ambitious to provide the energy and intensity she craves on a social and esteem basis.  Individuals are few in numbers, but are often the most suitable to meet the self-fulfillment needs given their creativity, expression, and awareness.

What about the poor Technophile who was pushed aside? There’s nothing to fear – the most important thing to remember regardless of TCAI group is the ability to open and maintain healthy channels of communication between each other. While there is no perfect formula, there are two general steps. The first is to encourage healthy communication by taking a proactive stance. Instead of her always trying to bring up issues, take the opportunity as an Asian Male to genuinely let her know that you care and want to listen to her. After that is done, be sure to carry out actions deemed necessary.  Even though there are inherent gaps in the connection, by making an honest effort you move one step closer. Continue the process and grow together in the AMWF Relationship. The sooner you address the situation, the better. Don’t wait for things to get to nuclear levels as an Asian Male. Not only will the relationship become unmanageable, but it may lead to its eventual demise.

Welcoming her into the Asian Family

There is a process, oh yes. Even if you never thought it before, there is a clear process of how a non Asian woman gets welcomed into an Asian family. Not only have I experienced this myself, but also I have had the privilege is see and hear about many other women who go through this “rite of passage”.

Pre- Engagement Meetings

The first time a women meets the Asian family, it is usually at a family style gathering. You may attend a few of these. Maybe the family is already celebrating someone’s birthday, memorial day, or etc, and it’s a perfect opportunity for everyone to get a glimpse at the women he has chosen. Now we know that an Asian man would never bring home women unless he was serious about her, and the family knows that too. So these meeting are often not only the first few times the family will see you, but the first impression they have of you. Often you will find that your Asian guy’s cousins or friends may be at this party and will talk and welcome you. You may also find although that the uncles/aunts and grandparents may not. Why is that? Well, it’s not that they have anything personal against you, but you are an outsider and they are not always confident about making contact with you. Some will and some wont, but don’t take it to heart, because in time they will. So although this initial meeting may seem a bit uncomfortable, even more so than meeting his parents, don’t worry.

The Engagement Party

So after some time your Asian man pops the question and you say, YES!  He most likely visited your parents, and asked for your hand in marriage with respect and honor. The next thing will most likely be a gathering held in your honor, nothing fancy, just a time for the families to come together and officially meet.  There will be lots of homemade foods, champagne, and a cake. His father will make a speech about how he welcomes you and your family into theirs, and your parents may do the same. Everyone eats and drinks, and life is good. You will start to talk about your wedding plans, yes already, and talk will come up about where, when, how, and if you’re going to do anything traditional. Keep an open mind, and try not to feel pressured. Yes, you may have to compromise by maybe having a small traditional ceremony and also a western wedding, but know that it’s just that the family now see’s and welcomes you as one of their own.  Again, some of the uncles/aunts/ grandparents still may not talk to you all that much but just wait till your married, because the next things you will hear from them will be, when are you going to have  kids?..lol, yup really, and you may hear it until you actually do…lol

Committing to the Asian Family

When a woman commits herself to an Asian man, she also commits herself to his culture and all the duties that go along with it; anything from frequently visiting the family, new foods, holidays, and language. At first it may seem a bit intimidating and even scary at times, but as you go through this “rite of passage” you see how wonderful it can be. For you and for him, nothing will be more memorable as looking back at that journey you took together…. the first time east meets west.

Waiting for the Signal – Internal Fear in Asian Men

While this does not apply to all Asian Men, I have seen this occurrence so frequently that I almost believe it to be normal. What I mean by this is that there is a tendency for Asian Men not to take action unless there is some positive affirmation or signal.

The Dating Process

This is probably very common, and I can attest to this myself from personal experience.  When it comes to first meeting a female, the natural tendency is to be courteous, but action will not be taken if there is no hint or signal that she is even the slightest bit interested.  Of course we do have situations where the Asian Male is completely oblivious (and she’s dropping so many hints), but for all intents and purposes, let’s just assume it’s the Asian Male not taking action.

When he does take action, it almost seems like it is a friendlier approach than direct interest. This is often perceived as Asian Men not being interested when in fact they were merely just trying to open lines of communication in a polite manner.  Now the White Female will take this approach as insufficient interest, and will consequently look elsewhere.  Suddenly the values of being well-mannered seem to work against us.

If the Asian Male has mustered enough courage to make first contact with you, he is interested.  Granted the approach may end up completely disastrous, it is almost a silent offering that he is completely yours for the taking.

Taking Action

When pursing an AMWF relationship, or in fact any relationship, Asian Men have to become much more proactive in their methods. This does not mean being arrogant, but having the personal belief that success is to follow regardless of the adversities. In many cases as Asian Men, we are overcome with an internal fear of failure and shame.  Yes it sounds rather stupid to a Westerner, but it comes from our upbringing. Thus, when we are presented with some positive signal to proceed, we take it. Otherwise we end up not taking any action at all.

So remove the doubts in yourself, and go and try. Mistakes are bound to happen, but that’s all part of growing up and learning.

Why Do I Support the AMWF Relationship?

I get this question all the time. Why do you care so much about the AMWF relationship? Why do you care enough to help Asian men, and western women who are looking for relationships? What’s the motivation? It takes time, effort, and does not offer you much compensation, so what’s the deal?  You have to be thinking, it’s because you’re in a relationship with an Asian man right?  Or, you watch lots of k drams, anime, kung fu movies, and you are just a crazy lady with an Asian fetish?! Actually none of those are reasons why.

When it came to a relationship choice, for me I was always attracted to Asian men. It’s just my preference, but I never expected anyone else to feel the same way. When it came to a life style choice, a way of living, I just found that I liked what eastern cultures had to offer and again it was not something that I expected anyone else to agree with. It was just what I felt was right for me, something that I believed in, and something that I wanted to be part of. To me supporting the AMWF relationships means more then just supporting an interracial couple, but it’s about supporting tolerance and acceptance for one another.

I think that the eastern and western cultures can work very well together. Everything from the way you raise your kids, the foods you eat, the way you dress, behave, and live your life. It can all blend together so beautifully because we can take the best that both have to offer.What concerns me is that people still see race as a barrier when it comes to relationships, and it really should not be that way at all. Maybe there are lots of people who still and always will, use race as an excuse to not treat others with love and respect, but I won’t live my life like that. In my mind we are all humans and therefore no matter what color our skin, the way our eyes slant, or the where we live on this earth, we are all equal. I think we can be better, with more tolerance and understanding then the previous generations. We can all live and respect each other for our similarities and our differences.

So if you’re like me and you want your partner to be Asian that’s fine, If you’re an Asian man and you want to be in a relationship with a white women, that’s fine also.  In the end it all comes down to who you are as a person, and nothing else should really matter.

Men from Asia: Online and Long Distance Relationships Can they Work?

So you’ve been looking for that special someone and you, like millions of others, have turned to the internet for help. With the advent of social networking, and dating sites, it is now easier than ever before to meet someone. But I am sure you may have experienced at times how unstable, unrealistic, and unreliable, it can be. I know that it can be frustrating, and maybe you look at it as good practice, or an opportunity to build up your confidence. Maybe you see it as a learning experience, a way to practice approaching skills, and practice your English (if you are not already fluent in it). Maybe you partake in short flirtatious conversations, talk about your lives and what you may have  in common, and as long as things don’t get out of control, it can be a pleasant experience.  But as a man living in Asia, what choice do you really have to meet and communicate with white women? Often times within your own country you will have rare opportunities to meet western women, even if you live in larger more modernized cities in Asian.  So what choice do you have? Because if you’re looking for a women in the US, Canada, or Europe, the internet is really your only option. Unless you plan to make the decision to move there and start a new life, the internet is the next best thing.

As you navigate your way through the masses of people, maybe you have a method to narrow down your choice to the right type of people, or maybe you just randomly talk to any women that have cute pictures. But however you do it, I am sure you’re thinking in the back of your mind, can this really work out? Can I meet someone and actually make a long distance relationship work?  Do most women that I meet just want fun, or just want to be good friends, and would they even consider having a long distant relationship with me?Those are really good questions, and I think that it depends on the individuals. Some people just are looking for fun, online sex, and other unmentionable things. These types of people, you can tell their character after only a short conversation. If you’re generally interested in getting to know someone, then these people really should be avoided. Don’t waste your time on someone that it not interested in you for who you are as a person.

Dating and relationships online can be similar to the real life thing. You need to weed out the people that you are not interested in, and start getting to know the people that you think would be a good match for you. Yes it takes time, an investment, and effort, just like in none virtual relationship building.  But I don’t think it’s a waste of time, because if you are honest about yourself you can make some very meaningful relationships.

So, do I think meeting someone online can ever work? Yes I do, and here is how it can:

1. You need to share the same morals, values, and intellectual standards.

2. You need to be honest about yourself, wants, needs, habits, lifestyle choices and etc..

3. You need to be the type of individual who is dedicated to the ones you choose to care about, and treat those people with respect.

4. Be honest about the way you look, personal grooming habits, and etc..

Yes again, it’s just like in a non virtual relationship! You need to do the same things, but it’s just that you are not always there in person to be with them. If you can do this then I think you have a great chance of making a relationship work. Eventually things can become serious, and you will have to start meeting in person. Then there will come a time when you need to decide where you want to live, in which country, which will give up a job, leave family and friends, and all those kinds of issues.

So can online dating and relationships work? Yes they can! When we see them fail it’s because people are not honest, are not true to who they are, and you can not build a friendship or romantic relationship on that kind of mentality.

Passive Aggressive Symptoms in Asian Men

Growing up as an Asian child, I was taught it was completely normal to suppress my feelings. My fellow Asian peers were alike as well. Their parents pushed them to excel academically, without any emphasis on the development of social skills or leadership.  When there was something that made you upset, it was expected as a male that you remain calm and collected. The problem is that it meant that we usually bottled up all the events which made us annoyed or upset.

When the situation became unbearable, I’d often have my temper flare up because I felt that it was unjustified that all the past sequence of events that made me upset went unwarranted. It pushed me over the top and I needed a release. Sadly I used to do this all the time. What’s more disturbing is that I thought this behaviour was completely normal, but it is very unhealthy and unacceptable for an AMWF relationship.

The Silence of Approval and Displeasure

This is one of the most difficult things to understand between Asian and Western Culture. From what I have learned from Western Culture, silence is often associated with displeasure or saddening. Silence can be viewed as the closing of communication between two parties. When there is no active dialogue, there’s awkwardness in the air. There are also instances such as giving a moment of silence to express grief for a tragedy as well.

In Asian Culture, it is both approval and displeasure, and this gives many mixed signals to the White Female. Sometimes it is just approval like agreeing on something trivial like the sunny weather. Actually, we have a sound usually for approval.

She says: “It’s gorgeous outside.”

He says: “Mmm.”

In this case, his quick response in agreement is not expressing any displeasure at all. He simply enjoys your company and the sunshine. Identify a quick firm response to the situation. The tone can be slightly rising, but not excessively – for that is a more feminine response.  Keep in mind that is the positive or neutral sound of “mmm” there’s also an unhappy version of it as well.

There is also a slight twist to this. The way we express slight annoyance or displeasure is using sounds like “mmm” but in lingering lower tone. This is one of the sounds we use when we have to agree with our elders or when we get nagged by our parents. The key is to distinguish between the tone and length of the response.

I would believe our true objective as Asians is to embrace a kind of neutrality to it, a bringing of peace and calmness instead of complete happiness. Think of a Yin and Yang, it’s all about balance. Being overly happy is a rollercoaster ride of drama, while being excessively down makes you a bitter person. Thus, being completely at peace is consistently steady. We value that as Asians.

Catching Things Before They Go Nuclear

What’s important for the White Female to understand is to pick up on the subtle clues we leave about our displeasure. It is of course rude to say things directly, and we assume as Asian Men that you think the same way. Usually this is not the case. Problems start to pile up and then suddenly the Asian Male becomes visibly upset over something small, but it’s been a reoccurring problem.

Fortunately this can be worked on together. The White Female has to recognize and make an effort to reinforce the fact that it’s healthy for him to express his feelings, even if they are about unhappiness. Making things disappear today only places a bigger burden on the future.

For the Asian Males, we also have to do a better job to let our White Females know when we are upset. It does not mean raising our voices or any other physical uses, it is simply stating what happened and why it made you upset. Don’t worry she will understand and appreciate that you are making the effort to do so.

In summary, the severity is as follows:

Technophile – The biggest culprit of this usually because of communication skills. Has a decent tolerance for displeasure, but you have to take action to help him.
Comedian – Tends to let anger out the easiest by surrounding himself with people, and will find someone (if not you) to make him feel better.
Ambitious – Vicious. Situtations need to be diffused as soon as possible. Step in, empathize for the situation, but don’t shoulder the blame. He’ll be fine after everything subsides.
Individual – difficult to understand sometimes, but let him know you’re always available to talk, and he’ll seek you afterwards.

A Lack of Public Affection From Your Asian Man, What Does It Mean?

Most Asian families show love indirectly, and that includes love between everyone from husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, and kids. But I am sure you have noticed that the moment you step through the doorway into his parents house, he turns the affection and flirtations down to practically nothing. To a woman from a western society, that can seem really strange. In fact I often will make you ask yourself, what’s going on?

Now it’s not to say that in the west women show lots of affection to their boyfriend /fiancé /husband in front of parents or friends. Etiquette dictates that you should not do things like kissing, and other such extreme displays of affection in public. But you can hold hands, or put your arm around your loved one, and no one will have any issues with that. So when your Asian man does not hold your hand, or sit close to you, or even stay in the same room with you, especially the first time it just seems like something is wrong.

As a women, my first thought would naturally be that something is wrong. Maybe he is upset with me, maybe I did something wrong, maybe he is embarrassed of me? But don’t feel this way, because you handsome Asian man is just doing what he has learned. Try and understand that he is being the kind of son his parents are used to. That means you will have to deal with a little less outward affection while around the family, in public, around friends or etc.

Asian men are no different than any other. They want affection, love, sex and all that good stuff. But in Asian cultures, outside of the home, there exists a more wholesome appearance, one that implies that those kinds of things don’t happen. It’s a world of innocence, where no one holds hands, kisses, or any such things. Of course we know what happens behind “closed doors” but you don’t dare make reference to it in public.

When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t worry about his lack of affection to you around parents, friends, or etc. It doesn’t mean he loves you any less, it doesn’t mean he is any less interested in you, it just means he is being respectful to others and the culture around him.

How Long Has the AMWF Relationship Been Around?

I have always wondered how far back we can trace the origins of the AMWF relationship. At first I thought, it must be in the last 20 years or so, but I was wrong! Below is an example of an AMWF family from the 1800’s.

Mei Quong Tart (1850-1903) was a leading nineteenth century Aussie merchant from China. On 30 August 1886 he married a young English school teacher, Margaret Scarlett. Her family, although friends with Quong Tart’s, did not approve of the union and her father refused to attend the wedding.

I guess it’s been around much longer then I thought, and it looks like they had to face their share of disapproving parents as well.

The Asian Fetish – Part II

I was referred to an article by a fellow reader that pertained to the “Asian Fetish”. If you want to read the article, you can read it here. One of the lines that really struck me was how he described the fetish.

Typically, the issue arises when the assertive, independent Asian American woman (who is culturally not too different from her non-Asian peers) is expected to conform to the fantasy image of a mysterious, exotic and submissive Oriental female.

Although it does imply Asian Females, Moe’s article refers to both Asian Males and Asian Females. Really that’s exactly what makes it a turn off for both Asian Males and Females – the expectation of conformation to the fantasy. There is nothing wrong playfully once and awhile, but if we are almost demanded to do this every day, it makes Asian men uncomfortable.

 The premise of the article describes five traits that are commonly found with non-Asians that have a strong preference for Asians. He uses these five traits to presumably describe five types of people (may also be combinations) that have “intense” attraction to Asians. I use intense, to emphasize why it is called a fetish. I will give a theorized paring to each of the five traits. In a sense, I’ll use HSLA + TCAI to explain this a bit more.  Dyn Moe’s traits are as follows:

Sensitive nature or fragile ego

This is very much related to WMAF more than AMWF. If your society shunned you, but halfway across the world there are people worshiping your presence, you would definitely want to go there.

My theorized pairing: Humanitarian + Technophile. These are both good-natured, but quiet people. Someone very brash and outspoken is definitely not a turn on for this Humanitarian – thus she needs to relate to someone quiet and caring.

Know-it-all attitude

This also applies more to WMAF, but can to AMWF. In regards to the White Female, this is choosing a male who will submit and worship her. He will recognize that she has knowledge in Western Culture, and will appreciate everything she has to offer.

Lioness + Technophile would best represent this kind of pairing.

Verbally competitive

Actually when I think about this one, this is closely related to know it all attitude, but slightly different. While the know-it-all attitude wishes the Asian man to submit, being verbally competitive forces her Asian man into submission. This is more of a cultural thing as Dyn Moe describes how Asians try to diffuse conflict. By agreeing, the Asian male wants to maintain peace, despite the fact that he disagrees with her.

Socialite/Lioness + Technophile (starting to see a pattern?) – These two outgoing types tend to do the most talking.

Uncommon selfishness

In many cases, it is a great pride for Asian males to provide financially for their female interest.  Having a “me first” attitude requires someone who will attend to those needs. It’s to nobody’s surprise that being with someone who wants to play second fiddle will take that role. In Moe’s article he usually refers this to the WMAF as in the male being so self-centered. This is almost a scary signal to an abusive relationship.  It doesn’t have to be physically abusive, but emotionally, mentally, financially, or spiritually abusive.

Socialite/Lioness + Technophile (surprise!)

Tendency to externalize problems

This is one who blames society for their problems – for being such a misfit. This is not necessarily a bad trait, nevertheless is one stated by Moe. The problem is when the White Female idealizes Asian Men to be easily “Accepted and honoured” but as Moe suggests “forgets that people anywhere in the world do not like people who are mean, selfish, or arrogant.”

Advocate/Lioness + Technophile

The Asian Fetish

We have to remember this is the Asian Fetish and characteristics of people who possess the Asian Fetish. The fundamental reason for calling it an Asian Fetish is because the preferences arise from the “Fantasy” of how Asian Men are much less abrasive than their non-Asian counterparts – and possibly will spoil their women.  The reason why I used the Technophile archetype for every “theoretical example” is because they are considered to be the prototypical Asian Male. Of course we know that there are still three other types of Asian men who have been left out – only to never be considered.

Dyn Moe really only describes the Asian Fetish for the White Female seeking the “Fantasy” gentle, quiet, and introverted Asian male – but he leaves out the Comedian, Ambitious, and Individual archetypes. To tell you the truth, these three types are the ones with the White Fetish. Technophiles may not even know they are interested in White Females, and definitely will rarely make the first move to show interest. For the other three, they really do have interest in White Females -–and are not afraid to express it one way or another.

I would almost go as far to say even I have a White Fetish. There are countless times in my life I have been shunned and rejected by Asian Females – and usually immediately. It felt like they shut the door on me. As a result I tend to relate to Caucasian women more and more.

Fetishes are not necessarily a bad thing, but we have to distinguish between Fantasy and Reality. We don’t mind speaking phrases to you in our Asian languages, but we don’t want you to make us someone we are not. We certainly will love and care for you, but people remember we are human too. What I mean by this is the woman who demands her Asian man to wear some Asian costume to bed every night sends a clear message: RUN.