Call this a tale of two singles. Richard and Tricia are from the same ethnic group—Asian—but have vastly different approaches to love and dating.
“When I fill out forms and have to check a box to identify ethnicity, I always check ‘Asian,’” Richard said. “But honestly, I’ve always considered myself a man, not an ‘Asian man.’ I’ve never thought of myself as any different from the next guy. I suppose that’s because my family has lived in this country for generations, and my parents never emphasized Asian roots or culture. That just wasn’t part of my family life.”
Then there’s Tricia: “My Asian heritage was—and is—a big part of my immediate and extended family. The foods, the holidays, the culture—all were a crucial part of my upbringing. And I’m glad. The customs and traditions that have been passed down make me who I am, and I’m proud of that.”
As you might imagine, Richard is open to dating Asian women or quality ladies from any ethnic group. For Tricia, finding someone who shares her love of Asian culture—indeed someone who is Asian—is critical. It’s a choice she made early on: “That cultural identity is so vital to me, it’s at the top of the list for the man I eventually marry.”
If you are Asian, where do you stand on this dating issue? Is dating someone who is also Asian important to you, not at all important, or somewhere in between? To help you become clear, consider these three questions in regards to Asian dating:
Have you determined in advance what you want? The time to think through significant issues is before you’re confronted with them. If you traveled to a large city, you would get clear directions to your exact destination so you don’t end up in an unsafe area. You would plan ahead. The same goes for dating. If holding to your Asian values is important to you, take time to identify them before you start dating. Fortify them in advance with your firm intentions.
How important are Asian culture and customs to you? For many people, their ethnicity shapes what they cherish, the way they relate to others, and how they respond to life’s challenges. For instance, if you plan to start a family, consider that the arrival of children prompts a whole host of culture-based decisions: the traditions you will pass down, the rituals you will observe, the values you will instill. It is wise to have your eyes wide open to the implications of facing all of life’s ups and downs with a partner who may not share cultural aspects dear to you.
Do you know what else you’re looking for? Finding someone within your ethnic group may be a top priority for you—but it certain isn’t the only priority. How will you know who is a perfect fit and who isn’t if you are unclear about the other qualities critical to you? Make a top-ten list of the things you must have in a new partner and a top-ten list of things you couldn’t stand. Finding the love of your life means finding someone who is the “whole package,” a wonderful match in all the essential areas.
A successful love life, for Asian people as for everyone, depends largely on the compatibility and shared values of the two individuals involved. Be clear about your ideals and convictions, then hold out for a partner who will support you in all of those.