What I thought being in an AMWF relationship would be like vs reality

When I first started dating my boyfriend I thought that him being from a different countryย would be amazing, interesting and I would get to learn a lot, but I also thought that because he was Asian, his culture and his family life might be too different from mine for me to cope. In reality, you can’t know how a relationship will turn out.

Here are some of the things I thought would happen in our relationship vs the reality:

1. He would whisk me away to lots of new and exotic Asian countries.

Reality – His parents invited me to Hong Kong, all expenses paid, when they went a few weeks after we got together. My boyfriend didn’t even bother asking me and told them I would hate it because it was too hot. And he was probably right. (We did go to Hong Kong the Christmas after and it was amazing but I don’t think we can afford that again any time soon.)

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2. Asian people place a lot of value on family and have big, extended families. I would have to meet them all and be judged by them.

Reality – I’ve only met his Mum, Dad, brother and cousin. His parents like me and his brother and cousin are pretty much like him (but slightly more into Asian culture) He won’t let me meet the rest – clearly embarrassed of me! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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3. He would love Asian culture and he could introduce me to lots of new, awesome things!

Reality – By Asian culture, my head was thinking of Japanese culture – I thought he would be really into anime and manga. While he does watch anime from time to time (we’re currently re-watching the original Pokemon series together) but other than that he isn’t into anime culture. He even told me he thinks Studio Ghibli films aren’t very good! (I almost dumped him at that comment) He has cosplayed with me a couple of times, but I think that was him just being nice…

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4. He would teach me Cantonese.

Reality – Cantonese is DAMN HARD, especially for someone like me who is useless at languages. Not only that, he can’t remember half of it any more, nor can he remember how to write it.

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5. People would comment and look at us because AMWF relationships aren’t common.

Reality – People DO look at us and comment, but it’s rare. A lot of the looks tend to be from Asian guys and the comments seem to be from ignorant, young, chavy white people. I hope we’re getting to a point where interracial relationships are 100% normal.

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I prefer reality. I do hate the hot weather, I hate social situations, I have to be in the right mood to be interested in anime, I’m too lazy to learn a new language and I certainly don’t want people looking at us! It’s just a normal relationship and I like being normal.

What did you think it would be like being in an interracial relationship and was it different to reality?

All images via Google Images – labeled for reuse

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41 thoughts on “What I thought being in an AMWF relationship would be like vs reality

  1. you live in multicultural country, that’s why it’s not really dragging attention, same in Hong Kong but cross boarder to China and you two will be like superstars haha, Sing heard clerks talking to each other like ‘that guy must be good to have a foreign girl’ and people in Guangzhou were just turning around to confirm if they really saw AMWF couple haha. For Cantonese – don’t count on partner, my husband sucks as a teacher too, I have to teach myself ๐Ÿ™‚ so work hard! the rest in our case is what you expected to be, sometimes I’m worried I lose my culture to his. but anyway – great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I pretty much was not too surprised how everything went along. But I was indeed pleasantly surprised by my in-laws how well they accepted me and support us to this day.
    In Europe no one really looks at us in a weird way however in China we get alot of bad looks and comments, mostly by male Chinese:(

    • I really though my boyfriends parents wouldn’t like me…so glad they do ๐Ÿ˜€

      I think in Europe when it’s a Western Guy and a Asian Girl, for some unknown reason, that isn’t considered as strange. I certainly see a lot more WMAF couples. But I think both are considered less weird in Europe than China. I think Chinese men can get very jealous!

  3. Pretty much. In the west and China, a white guy and asian girl is common as muck, for different reasons. In the East it’s because white is seen as “superior” – its why you see so many mismatched WMAF couples e.g. an old fat pretty ugly looking white guy (Not saying its all of course, but quite a significant number compared to other interracial couples) with a young, quite attractive asian girl. In general, asians have a bit of an inferiority complex about themselves, so to marry white is the same as marrying someone in status.

    The weirdness you mention for AMWF in the East is more of surprise – that the white girl would accept such a guy (that’s how they think) more than “oh, that’s wrong”. Whereas in the West, that’s how a lot of white people think – that asian men are the bottom of the pile when it comes to relationships, thus not worth considering. On the flip side, people in the West are not surprised with WMAF because the asian girl is “marrying up” – whether that be wealth, appearance, standard of living etc.

    Of course its natural that in any country where you are not a member of the majority male demographic, you will get far more hostility from the local men than if you were a foreign female. Especially in China, where women are hard to get already (125 men for every 100 women), so seeing a foreigner getting one of their girls can’t make them happy, no.

    • It’s such a shame people think like that and that many Asian’s consider themselves inferior to white people.

      Though I suppose it’s less about race and more about where the person is from – it just so happens that the majority of people in China are Asian and the majority of people in Western countries are White, and therefore everyone of a certain race gets stuck into one group.

      • That applies to all races though. The key difference is that most people exhibit an element of “tribalism” – as in, look after/”prefer” your own race as opposed to others. Whereas in the East they subscribe to a sort of racial “hierarchy”, with whites on top – then them. If you look at treatment of many south asians and blacks in the far east, it is similar to what the face here in predominantly white countries.

        Another thing I forgot to mention is that in the East, some of the angry/jealous Chinese men may have come from personal experience. I’m sure you’ve all seen the vid on facebook of a white guy (who turns out is a “pick up artist”), chatting up and “taking away” a chinese girl that a chinese guy was chatting up. The Far East and south east asian is a popular destination for white men because of SEX. They know it’s an easy place to get it – the women there want white men, money and a visa – and the white men know they will give sex in return. Of course over the decades (this has been going on since before 1900, when western dignataries stayed in China and marrying to a local woman was common for them – of course subsequent occupations e.g. WW2 Japan, Vietnam, Philippines US base – has led to US soldiers going there and using the “services” of local women).

        Of course none of this happens in the west – I don’t know of a single east asian guy who goes here to “Pick up white girls” – it’s either for the shopping, the predictable sightseeing or study. So I think Chinese guys have every right to be angry at this “pick up” culture in the east.

  4. Apologies for my bad use of grammar, this computer is chugging and I just wanted to press “post comment” without checking! You get the general gist though

    • I assumed all Asian countries would have the same love of anime/manga as Western countries have of Disney! And maybe they do, but my boyfriend is just strange ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. It’s good that 5 wasn’t true.

    Even in Japan, I fantasized that everyone would be an awesome nerd into so much cool manga and anime! And yet the average person is a casual fan but not that into it, oh well ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  6. My husband laughs at my attempts at Mandarin. I think I’ll enroll in classes in the autumn, since our child is talking a little, now. (There are things our son doesn’t seem to understand in English.)

    We got a lot more funny looks before the baby. The worst comment was when I was heavily pregnant. A lady in the line at the Asian grocery store asked me about my pregnancy and the baby’s gender. She then switched over to speaking in Mandarin to my husband and suggested he find a nice Chinese lady as well, since I probably didn’t know how to cook for him. I wondered why he seemed mad at her until we left and he told me.

  7. I also don’t like being stared at, but in China my boyfriend even received a couple of thumbs up by people seeing us together, it was funny! I am worried about when he will come to Italy next month instead, I hope we don’t receive any attention because my city is quite famous for being a “racist city”…we will see.

      • I thinkit is my city to have some problem,and it is mostly because we have a very influential party that has “purify” the North of Italy as one of their main goals (and separate from the rest of it), but yeah, it is not like they get violent very often, so it’s ok-Thank you very much :3

  8. I missed this part:

    “He has cosplayed with me a couple of times, but I think that was him just being niceโ€ฆ”

    Ooooh interesting! Ash and Misty? Male Shephard and Liara? POST PICS ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. To say the truth, when I started dating Asian guys I didn’t have any kind of expectations… and still now, I don’t see my boyfriend as “Chinese”. He is just a normal guy ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, I don’t know if it’s because I have been in China too long and I don’t even notice people staring at me any more or what, but I really haven’t noticed people staring at me and my bf… or maybe it is just that everybody in Suzhou knows us by now, haha.

    • I notice the staring in China much more when I go somewhere on my own, because then I actually have time to look at people stare at me. When I’m with my husband, we’re often in a conversation and I don’t pay too much attention to other people. For my husband it’s the other way around; being Chinese in China, he doesn’t get any stares if he’s out on his own.

      • You know, I have noticed less staring than I used to…maybe it is because I just don’t feel uncomfortable (I hate to say this) like I did at the start of our relationship, so I don’t look out for it. I generally pay a lot of attention to my surroundings though so maybe it’s just because we don’t go out as much ๐Ÿ˜€

    • I had expectations purely because I didn’t know any other Chinese people!!! But they weren’t expectations of what I really wanted to happen, I just assumed a few things (which is probably quite stereotypical of me)

  10. Hi there, just found your blog ๐Ÿ™‚
    In the US and UK I never had issues, but in Japan my BF and I definitely get looked at and photographed a lot (possibly because we are both quite tall, so stick out even more).

    As for expectations, since my ex’s family was kinda awkward about me, I expected a repeat situation with the current BF… fortunately they all were thrilled, and have been very welcoming ๐Ÿ™‚ such a relief!

    • Hello! Hope you like it ๐Ÿ™‚

      For some reason I get the idea that an AMWF relationship is considered even stranger in Japan than in other Asian countries but I might be wrong.

      That is good! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. Have you ever tried the “Clockwork Orange” method for learning Cantonese? It might help.

    You can cybersmack me in the face but whenever I come across western women trying to pick up a Chinese language, I’m immediately reminded of a news story about British woman who was knocked unconscious and woke up from her coma with a “Chinese” accent. ๐Ÿ˜›

  12. #5 sounds like me and my girlfriend. When we were in Prague she got most of the attention from guys admiring her beauty, but whenever women were looking at us I knew they were thinking – an Asian guy and a white woman? What is going on between these two?

    • I’m Czech girl and my bf is Chinese…. I’m still worry about that when he come to Prague..how people will look at him (us)? We plan stay there for some years…but I saw many situation of racism on street there. I never mind what people think…but worry what they can do to him (only because he is Asian). I feel that interracial couples are stil exotic and strange for many people there than in Asia.

      • The looks and the comments are clearly directed at the guy more often than the girl, even if it’s the girl they are talking too, so I can see why you worry for him. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ For example, comments towards me and my boyfriend were “Eww, that girl is dating a chinky”…referring to the fact that he is Asian as the thing that is wrong in our relationship, not the fact that he is dating me. It’s always “why are you dating an asian man?” rather than “why are you dating a white girl?”

        It’ll most likely be because we’re in Europe and Europe is full of white people…it’s still very racist though.

    • To be fair, Prague does have that seedy sexual reputation, known for young women looking for a way out to better climes, and happy to go off with anyone to do it. Not saying you’re old or ugly of course, and it’s nowhere near the level of Thailand, but it does create an atmosphere that leads to people being very cynical about the nature of relationships that aren’t “native”

  13. First of all, cool post and blog ๐Ÿ™‚ please keep writing!

    A few points from my AMWF relationship point of view:

    I and my bf (he’s Chinese) do get lots of stares, even if we’re in London ๐Ÿ˜ฆ … usually is: bad stares from Asian ladies, often proud stares from Asian guys, weird or unfriendly stares from most Westerns … add to that the fact that my bf has long (beautiful …envy) hair!

    About the language, I am actually learning some Cantonese ๐Ÿ˜€ (I love languages, in fact English is not my first language) … oh and luckily for me we’re both into anime/manga and Japanese culture ๐Ÿ˜€

    In terms of family, I’ve only met his mum, sis and niece (and his auntie just cause she came around his place) … planning a trip to HK and visit his brother there…I have to say, I am quite lucky as his mum has accepted me with no problems (she seems quite happy actually).

    Hope to read more from you!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you like it.

      It sounds like the stares are purely for the hair ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It’s good to hear his Mum accepted you with no problems. Does she live in the UK too or in China?

      • Hi, ghost30s here (decided to open a blog acc and changed name ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) … she lives here in UK … actually, as she’s alone, she lives with my bf, so I see her every weekend ๐Ÿ˜€ … sometimes is a bit of a struggle understanding each other, but food solves everything lol

  14. It’s not that bad since we’re in the US. I’m Scottish, he’s Chinese. Honestly, I didn’t expect lots of unrealistic things from him. All I wanted was for him to love me properly. We now have a six week old child, a baby boy who I named Noah together as well.

  15. Part 2
    In terms of culture, I told him a little about Scottish culture and he educated me on Chinese life. We plan on having our son learn Chinese when he is 3/4 years old. And when Noah is 1-2 years old, we will take him to China to meet his father’s family. But living in China is out of the question. I prefer to stay in the US as I spent my childhood here.

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