There are a number of reasons why I shouldn’t be dating an Asian man. Here are a few of those reasons.
Food heaven for some, food hell for me
1. I hate Chinese food. In fact I hate most food but I can’t cope with the texture of most of the meat in Chinese cuisine, or taste of the sauces. This also means my boyfriend’s Mum thinks I’m a bit strange and quite unhealthy.
2. I think you should live your own life, not your parents. I’m not saying this is true with every Asian family but my boyfriend’s parents decide a lot of things for him, including which University degree he took, and I find that very hard to deal with. My parents would never dream of being so controlling and honestly, listening to my boyfriend having to argue with his parents to be allowed to do every little thing when he is 21 years old winds me up.
3. I’m generally not very understanding of other cultures. I just can’t help but thinking the Western/UK way is the way to go (even when it might not be). I know I should open my mind up more to these things…but if Chinese medicine worked, it would just be called medicine.
4. I can’t speak Cantonese. His parents can’t speak English, I can’t speak Cantonese; It’s fairly hard to communicate. I can barely remember any of the 5 years of French I did at school and I remember absolutely hating learning it and not understanding anything I was saying or writing. If I can’t learn a language similar to English, I’m sure I’ll have no chance with something that involves different characters and changing the tone of your voice. I might manage the odd words and phrases but never a proper conversation. (Luckily my boyfriend considers English his first language)
5. I can’t cope with the fact he can’t speak fluent English. I know. I’m a horrible person. I expect him to speak perfect English when I can’t speak a word of Cantonese (Hey, we are in England and I didn’t even know Cantonese was a language until about 2 years ago). Every time he gets the tenses wrong or forgets to pluralise a word, I feel the need to correct him and he hates me for it.
I wish I’d been in Hong Kong when the duck was there…
However, there are also reasons why I should be dating an Asian.
1. I love Japanese things. Ok, my boyfriend is from Hong Kong, but he still grew up with anime films instead of Disney. My interests in manga and anime films means we have something in common. I’m not crazy obsessed like a few people I know, though I definitely had an obsession with Pokemon when I was younger, and I certainly didn’t choose an Asian boyfriend he looks like the Japanese do, but I was very happy when I was lent my boyfriend’s brother’s entire collection of the Love Hina manga.
2. I don’t have the same expectations as many Asians do. I’m not saying that all Asian women only date men who are rich and successful, but my boyfriend is under the impression that a lot of them have very high expectations and are rather controlling. I’m sure this isn’t the case, but I am aware of the pressure that people can be put under in some Asian countries. I don’t want my boyfriend to be a high flying, rich business man, all I ask is that he isn’t too lazy to not get a job at all. As long as he is happy in life, i’m happy.
3. I’m interested in his culture. At my school, everyone (and I really mean everyone) was white British. At college, I noticed a few people of other ethnicities but not many. University, where I met my boyfriend, was a different story. I don’t think I had ever spoken to a Chinese person before meeting my boyfriend. I’ve learn so much about other cultures – you find out a lot more first hand than you can from anywhere else.
4. I get to go to Hong Kong. I would never have been there without him and I was able to experience an amazing place I had little idea about. He was pretty pleased (and maybe a bit surprised) that I wanted to go with him and let him show me around the city he was born and spent his childhood. He was especially pleased I let him fill the suitcase with Asian snacks.
5. I don’t care that he is Asian. In fact, I don’t care too much about anything I have written here! Ethnicity doesn’t make a person – personality does. I never wanted an Asian boyfriend (I never really wanted a boyfriend), but I fell for my best friend and that would have happened regardless of his ethnicity.
Images: flickr.com/photos/samsmith, flickr.com/photos/zanthia/