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

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.

Chinese Buffet

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.

Hong Kong Duck

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/