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As far as good news goes, the reality is that one's ethnicity shouldn't make a difference in how we choose our partners. We've all got the same parts, more or less, so there really isn't a whole lot to argue about there; but perhaps it should still be a good idea to keep in mind that there are certain cultural differences that come into play when looking at how a person's mentality is shaped, how their values and ideas of what a relationship might look like, and how they behave in the real world that might affect the way they make decisions every day. Of course, when we break it down this way, we can clearly see that there can be some truth to the cultural differences of people raised with various, diverse upbringings.
So what we are going to try to do here is to play a little bit of true-or-false with ten of the most common myths about Asian men, according to my own experiences:
(Before I am accused of making any sweeping generalizations, please remember that my points here are 100 percent biased according to what I've seen or experienced growing up around Asian men, dating Asian men, and spending copious amounts of time around Asian men. Oh, and as an Asian woman, I suppose there is that point, too.)
Myth #1: Asian guys never make the first move.
False. Sometimes it might take an Asian guy some time before they go off confessing their love, but it's mostly because they like to take it slow. Most Asian guys are taught at a young age—and usually by traditional parents—that the right person will come around when they're ready, and in order for that to happen, they must be successful in all other aspects of their life: their career, their future, their lifestyle. So when Asian guys start seeing someone as serious, they need to be sure she's the one. Asian guys will feel the need to be prepared when going into a relationship by being a successful individual with a lot to offer because their ultimate goal of dating is to marry. A lot of Western cultures are usually told that they'll meet a lot of different people before they find the right one. Recognize the difference?
Myth #2: Asian guys always live with their parents.
Sometimes. Well, traditionally, it's until they get married, at the very least. Despite being Asian myself, I'm a great example of the struggle to balance between the Western and traditional culture since I moved out at the tender age of 19. Most Asians who were brought up in a traditional home— men and women alike— often choose to live at home with their parents, some even staying with them well after marriage for a number of reasons. By far, the most common reason is that the Asian culture emphasizes family and the responsibility of returning the love and care your parents gave you as a child to them when they are older and are less able to take care of themselves (despite the fact that you are more likely to save on future babysitting and childcare expenses because of Grandma and Grandpa). Additionally, living with a romantic partner before marriage is generally looked down upon, which is another big reason why a lot of Asians usually wait until marriage before moving out.
Myth #3: Asian guys will always fight you for the bill.
True. The swift technique of swooping in like a well-versed dinner ninja to attack the cheque before you can pretend to reach for your wallet is an ancient move passed along well into his ancestors. It is a studied behavior he's probably gained through many years of watching his parents challenge their dinner opponents for the cheque first, traditionally a practice demonstrating how to be considerate and courteous to the people you've been dining with. Think of it as a way to say "thank you" for the excellent dinner conversation and time he's spent together with you.
Myth #4: Asian guys aren’t masculine.
False. I feel like this stereotype is in part due to how Asian men are portrayed in today's media. They rarely—if ever—portray the sexy, masculine protagonist of any movie (with the odd Jackie Chan movie as the only real exception). The strange thing here is that, in the 19th century, Asian men were often portrayed as the other extreme in pop culture: sexually dangerous and wildly desirable; but this is the extent of Asian masculinity, and the media eventually continued to downplay the accessibility of masculine Asian men. In fact, I'm not even encouraging they stop doing it this way if that's what a movie or film needs! But if less of that influence is reflective of reality, then maybe the Asian man might finally get a break (Sidenote: I'm pretty certain that the majority of Asian guys I've dated are definitely more masculine than the minority of Western world-ers I've had the chance to be with. Just sayin').
Myth #5: Asian guys aren’t romantic.
False. Asian guys will almost always say "yes" to dessert as a first date venue, if anything simply because bubble tea and waffle crepes are a swoon-worthy treat for his special lady. It's their way of romanticizing the occasion with a bowl of shaved ice or strawberry crepes before letting their lady to pick a place that might be more along the lines of her taste. Ever seen an Asian guy holding his girl's fluffy little pink purse, or maybe carrying her shopping bags? It might look a lot like he's whipped or perhaps even a bit un-masculine, but that is by far the truth; he's really just trying to be helpful. In the Asian culture, the men are raised to ensure the females they are around are always comfortable and that they feel provided and cared for. That's their idea of romantic.
Myth #6: Asian guys are lightweight drinkers.
True. The real truth is, it’s an enzyme thing. When it comes to alcohol consumption, the "Asian Flush" occurs due to a deficiency in an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase, which is part of a vital process that digests alcohol. Headache, red flushing, even itchiness can occur after the few sips, but the reality is—enzyme or no enzyme—pick your Asian-drinking -game-opponents carefully. Challenge him to a game of Big Two and he’ll drink you right under the table.
Myth #7: Asian guys constantly seek their parents' approval.
True. It is pretty common for a lot of Asian guys to take into consideration the advice of their parents when it comes to deciding on potential marriage prospects (although rightfully so, this is also true the other way around, for any of you men out there wanting to date an Asian girl). It, in a lot of ways, is more a form of respect and to garner making the right decision instead of making a few wrong decisions in order to make the right one. Essentially, when one chooses the Asian man, keep in mind that you're also getting married to his family as well—occasional Tiger Mom included.
Myth #8: Asian guys are not good at expressing their emotions.
Sometimes. In the Asian culture, men who cry have a weakness. When a young boy gets hurt and starts to cry, it can be quite common to see Asian parents scold the child instead of console him. Sometimes this method of scolding-instead-of-consoling can eventually become a part of them as they grow up, and some Asian men may continue withholding these emotions well into their adulthood. While you may not hear traditional Asian parents tell their children “I love you” as often as many other cultures, you might find instead that Asian kids also grow up on the receiving end of harsh verbal demands and loud scoldings for a variety of random things. Asian parents as better known for trying to educate and push their children to achieve more by using negative language versus complimentary language. Because of these deciding factors, this one definitely depends on the person, and shouldn't be stereotyped across the board.
Myth #9: Asian guys don’t like PDA.
True. Most traditional Asian parents show love through disgusting amounts of generosity, being able to provide financially, and ensuring you are fed 365 days of the year. In a culture where your dignity, pride, and how you are seen in the public eye is exaggeratedly important, it often results in an emphasis on always being able to be composed and cool in the face of others. They might steal a kiss or two when no one’s looking, but in retrospect the Asian male would much rather prefer it behind closed doors. This one can easily be explained like this: The public eye = mom and dad. They may not necessarily mean to be as conservative as they are, but considering the fact that "displaying emotions is strictly not encouraged" in this culture, it is easy to see where their tendency to shy away from PDA might come from.
Myth #10: Asian guys have small “packages."
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(Good try though.)