Why do Western Women follow Asian Men home?

I recently received an email from a girl in an AMWF relationship, trying to decide whether her boyfriend should move to Europe with her or if she should move to Asia with him. Being concerned about the way people would treat their relationship in her country compared to his, she included a very interesting question “Why do so many AMWF couples live in Asia?”, or more specifically:

“Why is it that so often Western Woman follow Asian Men home, rather than the other way around?”

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There are many pros and cons of moving to another country or staying in your own which differ with each person, so what makes western women choose to move to Asia? Is it the personality of woman who chose an AMWF relationship, a stronger sense of adventure, a lower sense of family commitments?

Here are some possible reasons I’ve thought of as to why AMWF couples tend to move towards the Asian countries to live are:

1Image. The woman travelled to the Asian country in the first place, then she met a guy, and decided to stay.

2. Westerners in general have a stronger urge to travel and experience new things than Asians. (very stereotypical)

3. Asian culture is very family orientated. The man and his family don’t want him to leave which means the woman has little choice if they want the relationship to continue.

4. Asian culture is more accepting of AMWF relationships than western culture. (debatable)

5. Asian countries are better economically, with more employment opportunities for foreigners, cheaper costs of living and therefore more disposable income. It’s harder for an Asian man to get a good job in a western country.

6. Asian countries are generally more expat friendly.

7. Asian countries have a high quality of life and better weather. (depending on the country and what sort of weather you like!)

8. This isn’t a true statement, it just so happens that the woman who move to Asian countries blog more/comment more on the internet.

I feel like I am in the minority. My boyfriend followed me home. It is possible my situation is rather different than others, as it involved choosing between the North and the South of England rather than 2 different countries. My boyfriend moved from Hong Kong to the UK with his parents, long before he met me. While he may technically be an expat, he comes from a country which, before he left, was a British colony.

I never really considered staying in the North after I left university, even though I was dating him. I’m very close to my family in a way my boyfriend doesn’t seem to be with his own and I always wanted to go home. In the end we came to the conclusion that I would be happier going back to the South than he would be staying in the North, and he would be happier to come to the South than I would ever be staying in the North.

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It’s a completely different story with other countries though. While I could have managed living in the North, I would never in 1,000,000 years have been able to move to Hong Kong. This doesn’t seem to be the case with many AMWF couples though. From my time writing on this blog, I’ve noticed the vast majority of people I come across in AMWF relationships either moved to Asia and met a guy or met a guy, had a long distance relationship then moved to Asia. There are obviously a lot of AMWF couples in Western countries too, but I tend to find that a fair few of the Asian men have been in the Western country for all their lives, or moved at a young age with their parents.

Another interesting consideration would be – does this trend purely relate to AMWF couples? Is it gender based rather than relating to race? Are women more likely to follow a man half way around the world than a man would follow a woman?

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This is where all you guys come in. I’ve made a little survey primarily for AMWF couples so we can find out a bit more. Please respond in the comments and spread this around. (If you’re in any interracial relationship, not just in an AMWF relationship, please still respond. It will be interesting to look at this from a gender point of view.)

1. Firstly, what is your gender and what sort of relationship are you in?

2. Which countries have you and your partner lived in together? – Woman’s, Man’s, Other

3. Where is/Where do you anticipate your permanent residence to be? – the woman’s home country, the man’s home country, a completely different country or unsure?

4. Why have you chosen this country to live in?

5. Do you think white women are more likely to live in the home country of their Asian partner than vice versa, and why?

6. What are your opinions on the idea that women are more likely to follow men to another country?

Looking forward to the responses!

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 country 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! 😉

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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

It’s Christmasssssssssss! (Almost)

I’ve been busy…again! Graduations. Doctor Who. Work. Illness. Blah blah blah.

December is coming! Christmas isn’t a really big thing in my family…but it’s certainly a thing! My boyfriend however has never received a Christmas present from anyone except me because his family just don’t celebrate it. This year he’ll be celebrating with my family and will get to experience Christmas like I think it should be for the first time.

On the 1st of December, we get cheap £1 advent calendars to count down until Christmas. It’s purely for the chocolate. We put up the Christmas tree and decorations. We also recently bought a light up reindeer that goes outside in our garden.

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My parents have informed me they are banning stockings this year (ruining the fun 😦 ) because me and my brother are too old and they’d have to make one for my boyfriend too. We used to wake up each morning and spend an hour opening lots of tiny presents in there while we let our parents sleep for a bit longer before going downstairs for our main presents under the tree.

We then spend the morning eating pain au chocolat’s or croissants (breakfast treat!) and opening our presents under the tree. After that we spend a bit of time just messing about with our presents before getting ready to go out to our Grandparents house. This year I think they are coming to our house though.

We have a massive Christmas dinner, usually of beef because none of us really like turkey, with lots of vegetables and roast potatoes. We have crackers and all wear the funny hats that come out of them. We then have puddings; things like jelly, Christmas pudding or cheesecake, which normally none of us really want because we’re too full. The leftovers usually last us the rest of the week.

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We then just relax a bit or play games until tea time. We have a mini buffet because we’re all still full! Just things like crackers, cheese and crisps. We then all watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special and any other Christmas-y TV that is on.

Everyone then goes home and we all go to bed tired! I hope my boyfriend will enjoy it. I always feel like Christmas is something you can look forward too all year. I wouldn’t want the feeling that there is nothing to look forward too.

How do you guys celebrate Christmas in your family, and in your country?

(P.S In December 2012, I went to Hong Kong for the first time with my boyfriend, so I’m going to be posting about the trip over December this year. Sorry if you’re not interested in Hong Kong but that’s probably all you’re going to get for the month!)

Image: the-pink-vodka.deviantart.com, christmasstockimages.com

How I met my boyfriend

This is the story of how I met my boyfriend. Not how I got together with my boyfriend – how I met him and how we became friends, way before he became my boyfriend.

I had just arrived at my halls of residence. I knew that the next day my parents were going to leave me in this place, 250 miles away from my home, where I knew no one at all, and I was pretty scared! As we moved some of my things into my room, an Asian guy appeared in the corridor and my Mum started the conversation for me as I am shy and awkward.

My Mum: Hi, do you live here?

My boyfriend: Err, no, I live in the room here. *Points to the room next door*

(That’s what she meant!)

We introduced each other, shook hands (we’re British!) and he told me if there was anything I needed, to ask him. That was it for day one. I knew nothing about him except his name. I assumed he was a Chinese international student because of his accent. Little did I know his accent wasn’t as Chinese as it could be. I’d never spoken to a Chinese person before so I had no idea.

I’d chatted to some of my other flat mates, but mostly I just stayed in my room. I decided I needed to take the opportunity to chat to someone, so a couple of days later when I saw him coming out of his room, I said…

Me: Hey, I was just going down the shops, I wondered if you wanted to come?

My boyfriend: Oh..err…I can’t. I have to go to university. Maybe another time though.

Me: Oh, ok, see you later then.

And I walked off to the shop, feeling rejected. Normally at this point I would give up, I’m really that lazy when it comes to being sociable. However, I managed to chat with him a few times in the kitchen over the rest of the week. He offered to take me around the city, as he had lived here for 9 years at this point and I had no clue where anything was. He gave me a mini tour of the city while I talked non-stop and he just nodded occasionally. It was at this point I found out he wasn’t a Chinese international student, he had lived here for a while and he actually knew English quite well. He took my phone number just in case of emergency, like getting locked out of the flat. (Something he had already done several times)

I was going through a really bad time in my life when I started university. In the second week, my Mum came up to visit me and give me some bad news in person. While I was crying in the hotel, he text me. I told him what had happened and he text back saying sorry…he didn’t seem overly sorry but at least he hadn’t made a horrible joke like I know some people would have. He then asked for my MSN address so we could talk a bit more.

From that moment on we talked on MSN for ages, even though we were living next door to each other. It was easier for us both to have long conversations on MSN, then message “Going to the kitchen now, want to come?” and have a chat in there while we cooked. I found out an actor I liked was at the theatre in my city, so I invited him to come with me to “stalk” the actor after the play ended. He agreed to come along, and I think that moment revealed just how truly mental I am…and he accepted me for it. We sat outside the theatre eating fish and chips, and he took photos for me as the actor left out of the stage door. That was the start of a beautiful friendship.

Soon after, he sent me an MSN message asking me out. I said no…but that’s a story for another time. 😀

I don’t know about you, but i’m feeling 22

At the end of July, I turned 22. I don’t actually feel 22. (I just felt like getting a Taylor Swift quote in the title)

I’m actually often mistaken for a 16 year old – I think it’s because I do look younger than I am mixed with the fact that I don’t wear make-up and I don’t dress very adult-y. I’m a jeans and t-shirt sort of person. But I’ve finished University and I’m looking for a job. I’m officially an adult no matter how much I don’t feel like one.

Yes, I’ve been allowed to have sex, get married and smoke for 6 years (smoking age actually changed from 16 to 18 when I was 16 but who cares, I don’t want to smoke), I’ve been allowed to drive for 5 years and I’ve been allowed to drink, gamble, go clubbing and vote for 4 years…but due to the fact I don’t overly care about those things, being allowed to do them hasn’t made me feel any older.

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This doesn’t make me feel older. It usually just makes me feel a bit bored…

But I admit, I don’t feel the same as I did when I was 18. I have grown up a lot and I think I have changed significantly. Going to University and falling in love are the main 2 things that affected me. At the age of 19 I moved 250 miles away from my parents to live on my own. At the age of 20 I first had sex. At the age of 21 I left Europe to go to Asia for the first time, and it was my first time on a plane without my parents. At the age of 22, if all goes to plan, I should be moving in to my first real flat or house with my boyfriend. All that has definitely made me a different person but for the better. I am more confident, more independent, more sociable (still not very sociable but that’ll never change) and more understanding of the world. I’m not the same person I was 3 years ago…but that still doesn’t make me feel old enough to be an adult!!!

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Living in halls of residence and meeting my boyfriend really changed me.

Recently, my Mum revealed to me that she met my Dad when they were 22. I had wrongly assumed that they were around 25 when they got together. I don’t know why but it really surprised me to think that they got together when they were at my age. For me a relationship is an adult thing. I don’t believe many people are old enough for a real relationship before the age of 18, though admittedly there are  fair few people who are under 18 and much more mature than many adults. I know I definitely wasn’t ready before I was 18 years old, or after for that matter! Now when I really think about what is happening in my life, with my relationship and with my age…it makes everything seem a bit more real that it did before.

I see all these 13 year old girls dressing up like they are in their 20s and often you can’t tell! You can see why some guys end up sleeping with under age girls, it’s not obvious at all. I’m not condoning it but if a young girl who looks 20 is leading them on, they aren’t going to ask for a birth certificate. These girls often look a lot older than I do. I just think, why would you want to grow up!? Being a teenager is so much fun. I admit, late teens is more fun than early teens – you can do what you want, you can live by yourself, you can have fun and you have no responsibilities. I miss university so much already and I only finished it a few months ago.

Maybe everyone at some point feels like they aren’t old enough for the life they are living…or maybe I am just desperate to not grow up. 

Images: dontstayin.com

What is so great about AMWF?

Some people who stumble across this blog and others about AMWF might be thinking “What is so great about AMWF? Why are so many people in AMWF relationships blogging about it. What makes it so special compared to any other relationship?”

In many ways, AMWF relationships are no different from any other. However, I think there are a few differences that make it a little bit special, and make it rare. Proof of the rarity are in the stares and comments many AMWF couples get in the street. My boyfriend and I have had a fair few comments including:

“Get in their China man!” (I think the guy was fairly drunk)

“Eww, a chinky and a white girl” (Really wanted to slap the chavy teenage girl who said that)

“Why is she going out with you and not the white boys in the flat? (That one was my boyfriend’s Mum…)

tumblr_mrui4vmT5N1ss6hlfo1_400Culture differences can be a problem in AMWF relationships

So why is AMWF so rare? There are many blog posts by different people on this subject including On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese Boyfriends/Chinese Husbands. In my personal opinion, I think the two main problems are culture and stereotypes.

Adapting to another culture is always going to be hard. There are many differences such as:

Food – Rice and noodles vs bread and potatoes. You both have to compromise on which food you’re going to eat, or you’ll never be able to go to a restaurant together! Even me, the fussiest eater in the world, has been to Chinese, Korean and Japanese restaurants.

Language – You may not have a first language in common. One or both of you would have to try to learn another language to be able to properly communicate with each other, and may have to act as translator for their family.

Attitudes – It is likely that there will be different attitudes, maybe not from your other half but from their parents. Diets, social gatherings, education and etiquette are a few things amongst many that you have to learn to accept if you want to get on with each other.

tumblr_mqg4ufRVIy1ss6hlfo1_400Stereotypes can be attractive or off-putting.

There are many stereotypes which can make starting a relationship between an Asian male and White female quite hard. They include:

White girls dating Asian guys are obsessed with Asian culture – I know a few girls who are obsessed with manga/anime and would love an Asian boyfriend to cosplay with. However, not every AMWF relationship is based on the white girl wishing she was Asian or having an Asian fetish. (And if it is, it doesn’t really matter! Be with who you want to be with!)

Asian men are ugly – In my opinion, being Asian shouldn’t be the factor that makes AMWF relationships so rare, but sadly I think it is. We all know that personality should overcome looks but I really think the majority of people are attracted to their own race. Whites prefer whites, blacks prefer blacks, Asians prefer Asians etc… Maybe this is one reason AMWF is something special, because it is a rare thing. There are, of course, people that don’t feel that way and are attracted to people of other ethnicities, and there are those who just happen to fall in love with a person regardless of their looks.

Asian men are too feminine and White females are not feminine enough – This piece of text from a forum post by Winston at Happier Abroad explains it.

A White female is more masculine, rough and independent than a typical Asian female from Asia. They need a guy who is more masculine than them, or at least is taller and looks more masculine. A typical Asian guy looks way too meek and feminine to them. They are not masculine enough for them, nor sexually attractive to them either. Asian males look nothing like what her DNA-driven mating instinct looks for. This is why most White women treat Asian men as asexual and do not consider them for any type of romantic relationship. 

On the other hand, a typical white female, especially an American white female of Anglo/Germanic/Scandinavian descent, is not feminine enough for an Asian male. NE Asian women in China and Japan are 1000x more feminine than White women are, even those in Europe, in every way. There is no doubt about that. A modern white woman is more rough, thick-skinned and masculine, compared to a typical Asian female. Therefore, a typical super feminine Asian woman is no doubt more naturally suited for an Asian man, who is not as rugged and masculine looking as a White male is. This is why white women who go to NE Asian countries have a lot of trouble finding decent quality Asian men to date, and often complain about it on the internet. 

Asian families would never accept a foreigner into their family – As the parents are in charge in an Asian family, if they don’t approve of a relationship it can make it very hard to continue. This blog post is AFWM but shows what that disapproval can do. Though it is rarer, there is always a chance the white girl’s family could be unhappy with the relationship too. It can be off putting for a white girl to even want to think about a relationship with an Asian man when it could all go horribly wrong so quickly, but not all Asian families are as against foreigners as it might seem.

tumblr_mqxmkuC0OT1s1tcj8o1_400Many parents are more than happy to have a foreign girl in the family

I think both men and women in AMWF relationship have to be intelligent and open minded and this is what makes AMWF so great. For me, one of the best things about an AMWF relationship is that you get to learn about a new culture and a different way of living. It can give you a new perspective on life and I think if you don’t want to learn, an AMWF relationship isn’t for you. Whether it’s discovering more about the country you’ve moved to, or learning all about a completely new country, you will learn a lot.  You also need to be able to look past the stereotypes, which often takes a very strong person to do when there is so much social pressure to think in a different way. This is another great thing about AMWF. You can prove the negative stereotypes wrong, as well as proving the more positive stereotypes right, and also show that many stereotypes are a loads of rubbish! Everyone is different and no matter what anyone else says, you should make your own decisions on a person rather than judging them straight away for being of a certain ethnicity.

I put the question “What do you think is the best thing about being in an Asian Male/White Female relationship?” to people on tumblr. Here are their answers:

  • “Proving those stereotypes wrong 🙂 Asian men are great lovers and caring partners.”
  • “You get to learn and respect another culture and their view on everything. Although there is a lot more best things about being in a AMWF relationship then just that! :P”
  • “Asian men typically show so much respect to their significant others. They always go above and beyond.”
  • “Well, if I am in a amwf relationship! I think that everything is the most happiness things to me!”

So you’ve heard my views and the views of the people on tumblr. What do you think is the best thing about AMWF relationships?

Images: akosiyavre.tumblr.com, amxf.net, weheartit.com

Reasons why I shouldn’t be dating an Asian

There are a number of reasons why I shouldn’t be dating an Asian man. Here are a few of those reasons.

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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.

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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/