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! ūüėČ

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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

No sex please, we’re Japanese

My boyfriend and I have started watching some of the BBCs “This World” programmes that have been on recently, presented by Anita Rani.

The first was on BBC Two called, No sex please, we’re Japanese.

The show essentially was about the lack of people in Japan having children. There are now far more older people in Japan, to the extent that nappies for the elderly are outselling babies nappies. They showed a town which once had 21 primary schools, and now has just 1. The town had to close their maternity ward because there was no one having babies at all. The people said that the town had nothing to attract younger people, but also the birth rate is dropping very dramatically in Japan in general.

They started looking into the reasons as to why the birth rate is dropping. The reasons included culture, distractions, the economy and immigration.

Japan is so different from the rest of the world. Anime and manga, for example, is created not just for the younger generation but for the older ones too.¬†One guy on the show was married, but he had a virtual girlfriend on a game called Love Plus for his Nintendo DS. He considered this his actual girlfriend and didn’t want to tell his wife about it. These men were called Otaku – geeks who are obsessed with anime and manga and tune out of the real world to live in a fantasy. It’s a common thing in Japan. A place in Tokyo called¬†Akihabara (I want to go!) is full of anime and manga to please these sorts of people. They said that with entertainment and distraction like that, why would you want a complicated relationship?

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The state of the economy means that men in Japan have confidence issues, believing they will never amount to a lot and never make any more money than their parents did. They therefore want to revert to a childlike state of computer games and a virtual world to make them feel more comfortable. It is easier to deal with the virtual world than a real woman.

Other reasons for the dropping birth rates included that there are a lot of immigration rules in Japan making it harder for people from other cultures to come over, keeping the culture very traditional. In Japan men often think that women should stay at home, have children and be a housewife, whereas the women want a career. If you have children in Japan, in many ways it can end your career. Basically they were saying that if they were more interracial relationships, maybe there would be a population boost!

One survey said that just 27% of couples in Japan said they had sex every week. I’m not sure if it is just me…but that’s really not a lot is it!? Why do you guys think the birth rate in Japan is dropping?

You can read a more in-depth article by Anita Rani here. It focuses on the part of the show about men preferring anime and manga to real life women. Those in the UK can watch a clip of the two men with virtual girlfriends.

“Your children are going to be Asian”

It’s far too early to think about this (if my boyfriend is reading, don’t get any ideas) but I do wonder…what will my kids look like? My friends like to tell me i’m going to have Asian children…but that’s clearly not true, I’m not Asian. They’ll be half Asian and half white. They may however look more Asian than white, and that does make me wonder just how different they will look from me.

So what colour will their hair and eyes be?¬†In my head I always assumed they would be blonde, but that is unlikely to happen now thanks to my boyfriend’s genes (unless I leave my boyfriend or they dye it). To explain why, it’s time for a (very simplified) lesson in genetics – the only thing I managed to remember from GCSE Science.

Everyone has 2 genes relating to hair/eye colour. There are two types of gene (in my simplified version); B and b. If we just focus on hair colour then:

B = Brown/Black hair

b  = Blonde hair

You will get one gene from your Mum and one from you Dad.

B is dominant, meaning if you get a B gene from a parent, you will have brown hair.

b is recessive, meaning while you may not have blonde hair, your child could.

I have bb genes as I have blonde hair. My boyfriend has BB genes as he is Asian Рpretty much all Asians will be BB.

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The graph above shows my genes, bb, and my boyfriends genes, BB, and what will happen if our child gets one gene from each of us. As you can see, the only result is Bb. As B is dominant over b, this means our children will have black/brown hair. The same works for eye colour. Brown eyes are dominant over blue.

In my situation, however, the children would become carriers of the blonde hair gene, meaning there is a possibility of blonde haired Grandchilden (thinking way too far ahead now!!!)

Of course there are always exceptions, but the chances of anything other than a dark haired, brown eyed child are about 0.1%. I never did like science…

So that is how colour comes about, but what about the facial features?

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From the majority of the photos I have found, it seems that the half Asian/half Caucasian children have quite large eyes but slanted like an Asian. The nose, mouth and facial shape seems to vary between mother, father or a mix of the mother and father. They also seem to have fair, Caucasian skin and a Caucasian facial shape. The general view of Asian/Caucasian mixed race people is that they are very attractive!

Of course it is different for everyone and the degree as to which a person looks like one race or the other can change. Looking at celebrities as an example,¬†Keanu Reeves, Ne-Yo and KT Tunstall are a quarter Chinese, and Kristin Kreuk and Eddie Van Halen are half Chinese. It’s not always obvious!

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Smallville actress Kristin Kreuk is half Chinese 

I found this website called MorphThing. You can put in a photo of yourself to see what your baby would look like if you had one with various different celebrities that they have loaded onto the site. You could also put in your own photo, so I decided to try it with photos of me and my boyfriend. This is the result.

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Kinda scary! (Probably should have found a photo without glasses too). I decided to put in photos of my Mum and Dad to see what the baby looked like, and the boy and girl version didn’t look a thing like either myself or my brother, so I’m fairly sure my child will not look this this!

So in conclusion, I’m probably going to have a little Caucasian child with Asian eyes and brown hair. But it’s far too early to be thinking about that anyway!

…I wonder what names would be good…

Images: itsxandy.tumblr.com, weloveinterracial.tumblr.com, morphthing.com