Am I Selling Out For Not Dating Within My Race?


Dear Evan,

I just read your post on the difficulties that Asian men have in dating interracially. You don’t address racial dynamics much on your blog, but I have a question for you: I’m a very attractive, westernized Asian female in my early 30’s. Fun-loving, outgoing and attract all kinds of men easily. According to a number of studies and also, based on my own observations, most Asian women have a preference for white men over their own and aren’t likely to consider blacks or Hispanics.

To be blunt, I’m convinced most Asian women seek out white men because a) they are generally seen as more desirable catches by society b) they want their children to have as many advantages as possible in life – infusing some “European” blood in the mix will increase the odds that they will have more physiological advantages. However, I’m a little different: though I have dated white guys, I deliberately don’t gravitate towards them because I can’t let go of that Utopian ideal in which one day people truly will be “color blind.” As much as possible, I try to give the “other race” category more of a chance. I suppose it’s my own twisted way of trying to contribute to a more just world.

But, it’s a bit more complicated. I kinda feel guilty about the fact that I’m not attracted to Asian men. Dating white men makes me feel like a sell out! And so, I opt for “other.” Thus, in the end, I still haven’t escaped being prejudiced in some way. A truly open minded person wouldn’t discriminate the way I would. Anyways, here’s my problem: As I reflect on my dating history, I’m keenly aware of the fact that in my past I twice rejected white guys who were perfect complements for me (and handsome, to boot). The “other race” categories of guys that I had the hots for, all in some way had the same psychological issues that I had, and so what drew us together also pulled us apart.

I’m now in my 30’s and still single. White men love me. Just accept one and — ta-da- this grueling thing called dating will be over. They won’t understand me the way that a minority, “other race” person would, but they will probably be more devoted. But why do I feel so defeated in accepting this idea? It’s as if the gravitation pull of the natural dynamics of interracial dating is just too strong for my feeble attempts to want the world to be different than what it actually is. I am simplifying things here, but this is the gist of my issues. I’m sure there is a non white guy out there who could also be devoted to me, but, hey, the clock is ticking and I don’t have forever to wait for the perfect guy. Please Evan, give me the blunt truth on where my blind spots are.


Dear Lily,

A few years ago, I got a call from a journalist from an Israeli newspaper called Ha’aretz.

It wasn’t so much of an interview as an assault. It kind of went like this:

“What’s wrong with Jewish men?!”

“What’s wrong with Jewish men?! They’re screwing up an entire generation of our religion. They’re mamas boys with God complexes. And they refuse to settle down with nice Jewish girls. As a Jewish man, what do you think is wrong with Jewish men?”

To this highly biased and subjective question, I tried to give the most objective answer I could:

“I don’t entirely disagree with your assessment of Jewish men. But I think that the larger issue is that Jewish women are largely the same way. Highly intelligent, highly accomplished, highly demanding, highly unrealistic in their expectations. This creates friction when both the man and the woman have the same strengths and weaknesses. The only difference is that Jewish men are willing to sacrifice a Jewish wife in return for happiness. Jewish women are more likely to try to insist upon Jewish husbands.”

(For analysis of a different, but similar interview, please click here)

And it’s true. My six best friends from college are Jewish. My four male cousins are, too. NONE of us married Jewish women.

Not because we didn’t want to, per se. Hell, I was on JDate for nearly 10 years!

The reason I didn’t marry Jewish was simply this:

a) We make up 1.8% of the population.

b) We’re kind of difficult. And for a 40-year marriage, I wanted easy. Lots of others come to similar conclusions. In Judaism, the intermarriage rate is over 50%.

I’m not endorsing this necessarily. I’m just pointing out that the phenomenon is real and trying to draw logical conclusions from the statistics.

To parallel this to your situation, Lily: you want to stay within your race. I get that. I had a Chinese client in Los Angeles last year and an Indian woman in New Jersey who felt the same way. But they didn’t just want an “Asian” or “Indian” husband; they wanted a first generation-American whose parents were from the same exact caste/region as her parents. That narrows their opportunities considerably as you can imagine.

Life is about tradeoffs.

For some people, staying within the tribe is more important than anything.

They will marry one of the ten men in their city who qualify demographically and make the best of the situation. They may have to compromise on wit, kindness, looks, money, compatibility and 50 other things, but at least they’ll have little Jewish/Asian/Indian babies with 100% pure ethnic blood. That is their prerogative.

It’s the content of the character that matters most, not the color of the skin.

Folks like me, who have dated people of every race and religion, have come to the conclusion that it’s the content of the character that matters most, not the color of the skin. And while I may have been looking for a Jewish woman because it would be easier for her to understand me, I wasn’t willing to give up my Catholic girlfriend who turned out to be the greatest person I’ve ever known of any religion.

Many Jews would have given her up.

And a disproportionate number of them are still single.

As a dating coach, my loyalty is to YOUR happiness, Lily. I have no vested interest in keeping races pure for ideological reasons; only an interest in helping people find compatible partners.

If dating a man just like you NEVER seems to work and feels like putting a square peg in a round hole, I’d highly consider a relationship with someone slightly different, where the pieces might not look the same, but they fit together perfectly.

Join our conversation (201 Comments).
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  1. 121

    Sometimes I feel like committing suicide knowing that everyone will give me the cold shoulder because of my race. What’s the point to living when all you have to look forward to is a lifetime of being used and alone?

  2. 122

    Therapy begins with T.

  3. 123

    Joe, What an inane thing to say. Try a little harder next time when commenting on   another person’s valid human struggle with circumstances that disfavor their happiness and success.  

  4. 124

    What should be offered to people like T is not only an apology that their reality is what it is, but validation that how they feel in response to that is ok. It’s profoundly unacceptable to pretend like someone is mentally ill because of the valid pain they feel, especially when then person making the judgement doesn’t know that particular pain.   

  5. 125

    “White men […] won’t understand me the way that a minority, “other race” person would,”
    As an African woman who lived in many different European countries and in North America, I absolutely get what Lily meant by the above sentence. Because I have lived on 3 continents so far, I have been lucky enough to have friends from all around the world with different cultures, religions, languages. One thing I have noticed is having to answer some stupid ethnocentric remarks and questions from many Westerners about how things are or should be done. You’d have the same discussion with your   non-Western friend and it’ll go like:
    – We do this like that.
    – Really, interesting! In my country, it’s done this way.
    – Oh cool, it’s amazing.
    End of discussion and on to the next subject! Have the same conversation with your Western friend and you can be sure he’ll give you: “That’s weird” or “This can’t be, the only way to do this is like that blah blah”. After nearly 18 years of this in more than 5   European countries, the US and Canada, I have decided that I’m not dating white guys any. I have tried but it’s too much work spending your time explaining or justifying almost everything. It’s like they do zero effort to acknowledge the fact that there are other things aside eurocentrism. Minorities don’t have any choice but to learn about the dominant culture so I guess they’re more inclined or used to the idea of things doing being done differently elsewhere and that it’s fine. When you’re a minority dating another a minority, it’s true that you’re still gonna have cultural and/or religious hurdles to overcome but you also have a lot more in common.
    The whole “People with different life experiences fare well together” only works when religion or culture are swept under the rug, or worse one of the two people totally assimilates in the culture of his/her partner.

  6. 126

    Anna, you make an interesting point.   I have seen all too often many minorities, who, deciding to “go with the flow” in their inter-racial relationships, become completely assimilated.   Some lose sight entirely of their heritage which they grew up with, or become embarrased by it.
    Then, there are other minorities, who go overboard the other way, and become walking talking ethnic caricatures. I’ve seen this happen with some Hispanic women – I’m a Hispanic guy – who marry non-Hispanic guys   (most do end up being white guys) and get very pushy proclaiming how proud they are of being Latina, etc.. talk Spanish to anyone they think are Hispanic, etc..    I think it’s a psychological reaction of sorts because it does look exaggerated.   Plus, it looks quite hypocritical because these are the same women who, when they were single, would turn down decent Hispanic bachelors left and right.   If I could gather all of these confused ladies in a room, I’d tell them to cut it out, don’t blurt out Spanish phrases to me (I’m an American; let’s stick to English, okay?) and talk to me as you would talk to your husbands’ friends, who for the most part are not Hispanic.   I want equal communication treatment, not cartoonish bufoonery.  

  7. 127

    Your response to Jewish dating is a bit inconsistent with reality. I thought Jewish women are a lot more likely to insist on marrying a non-Jewish man than vice-versa. There are more negative stereotypes regarding Jewish men when it comes to sex.  

  8. 128

    I love this other excuse that asian women often use…that they grew up in a white neighborhood…that there are simply fewer asian men than white men in the U.S. …blah blah.
    If it were truly about population stats, then we’d see more asian men also dating out…more black women dating out.   But no, it’s mainly asian women who date out, in droves.   What this indicates is that for whatever reason, the two groups (asian women, and non-asian men) are only too willing to date each other.   But when it comes to non-asian men dating non-asian women, and black women dating non-black men, clearing one or both parties are not interested in dating the other.   The question is WHY?
    Well we all know WHY.   It’s just that it’s not PC to talk about the dating TOTEM POLE which goes by race and gender.   Certain race/gender combos are seen as more desirable than others.   FACT.   And if you say it’s not true then either you have your head in the sand and/or are being ultra PC.   I guess we are all supposed to think that any and all inter-racial relationships are all wonderful and warm and fuzzy, when in fact MANY are formed out of racial stereotyupes, fetishes, self-hate and white worship

    the supposed asian woman who wrote in ‘sorta feels guilty’ about dating white men. of course she feels guilty. is she blind? does she not see all the other asian women around her, with NON asian men? how can she and everyone else on the planet seriously think this is all …what…pure coincidence?…that so many asian women are with non-asian men? it’s always hard to examine yourself and your own possible racial stereotypes and self hate and white worship, but when you see it so prevalent, there can be no denying that many asian women date men based on RACE (ie non asian males) and that this stems from white worship and self hate. She thinks she can deflect her own guilt by saying ‘well…gee…I sorta feel guilty’….cuz she then knows that white boys will run to her and say ‘oh no honey, there’s nothing wrong with having a PREFERENCE for me and guys like me’. White guys who can’t otherwise get dates take total advantage of these self hating women.

  9. 129

    I don’t get the Asian guys who think that Asian women owe it to them to go out with them or marry them, and if they date or marry a non-Asian guy, they’re selling out or betraying the race. I don’t think white guys owe it to me to only date or marry white women. I don’t think twice when one of my white guy friends dates an Asian or a woman of another race.
    Was it Karmic (sorry Karmic if it wasn’t you) who said in another page that she wouldn’t date Asian  guys because culturally, they think it’s OK to  be domineering to  Asian women? That might come across as racist, but it made me think. In China, the one child policy made a lot of parents abort girl fetuses and put up daughters for adoption out of the country. In India, even though there is no one child policy, there are a lot of girl fetuses being aborted and girl babies abandoned (just read this recently). So it only stands to reason that if you are a woman who comes from one of these cultures, you don’t want to perpetuate those negative stereotypes into the new world. You may stay away from someone else from that culture  if you think he might look down on you just because you are female.
    And I’m afraid some of the Asian guys commenting here DO have that mindset. You guys don’t own Asian women. If they have dating preferences by race, let them have them. Some white guys I know have  a thing for Asian women, some for black women. I let them. I don’t make it all about me. I’ve dated guys of other races too, and not once has  a white guy tried to tell me I’m selling out or betraying my race.

  10. 130

    @Liam, well, whenever these posts start we see a lot is INFERRED about the minority women who aren’t Asian (and flat out STATED about white women).   
    I’d love to know why they are so quick to place themselves on a pedestal but ignore the positive qualities of women of other races. We ALL have something that sets us apart and that we should be proud of.      B/c what is supposedly so “feminine” about Asian women that is supposed to make the rest of us butch by comparison?   And why do they always ignore that dark skin ages well, so women much darker than them actually have very nice skin for a very long time.
    None of it matters, b/c at a certain point most people grow out of needing to have the hottest chick in the room, but it is possible to be confident about your best attributes without implying that everyone else lacks them.   
    So far, we’ve seen people implying that all women who aren’t Asian are less educated, manly, less attractive, don’t age well, and have bad figures.
    I can only say that I don’t look at the body type that I see Asian women idealizing(b/c they aren’t all skinny but my Asian friends tend to only compliment females bodies that are skinny and usually lacking in any curves) as being anything I’d say is the epitome of femininity b/c I never see anyone with curves…I would normally think its rude to say, but since many of the women on this thread have no issues bragging about themselves, I personally think women look better with large breasts, round butts, and good waist to hip ratios, and that is not a body type that Asian women can come by naturally in most cases.   Perhaps there is an emphasis on being as skinny as possible b/c their extra weight doesn’t go anywhere that particularly flatters them.   
    At any rate, some people date interracially b/c they happened to meet someone they clicked with, and some people have some seriously messed up issues with internalized racism, and that is a shame.   
    I think it tends to affect Asian women and black men the most.   

    1. 130.1

      Nicole, these comments are kind of weird. You seem to set up a strawman as an excuse to insult Asian women’s bodies, which isn’t very nice, by acting upset that they don’t talk about your beauty or well aging skin. Why would you expect Asian women to talk about your amazing skin, or ‘the positive qualities of women of other races’? We don’t do that ourselves, do we? (I’m white and assume you have darker skin by your comments.) And HOW would you expect them to praise your skin? on social media?

      More to the point, what difference would it make if Asian women praised our qualities? That isn’t going to change men’s preferences, which I assume is what you really care about. Men will like whatever they like. But for sure, they don’t tend to respect women who put down other women.

  11. 131

    @Liam and similar posters   – dudes get a grip. No woman owes it to any group of men, especially those who think such hateful thoughts as you, to date anyone because of race.   If people are happy leave them be.   If you are upset because you can’t get an Asian woman to date you, that’s on you not on her.   Maybe if you improved yourself and your outlook you’d attract more Asian women.   That bitter attitude is definitely not attractive and I bet when you go on a date with an Asian woman she picks up on that.   No one wants to go out with a guy who has already made so many assumptions about her.   And if she turns you down do you comfort yourself by telling yourself it’s about race?   All 6 of my male Asian cousins had no problem marrying great quality Asian American women but they never had the sourpuss attitude you display.   Your destiny is what you make of it.   As for the comments about selling out and preserving the Asian race, there are billions of Asians in this world.   They’re hardly depending on Asian American women to preserve the Asian race.

    1. 131.1

      Do you even care about the consequences Asian men have to face with White people, especially men when we just allow ourselves to be doormats? We’re going to have to avoid communication with white men, and even when we give white men the benefit of the doubt, they’re going to harass us about our manhood wherever we are. Asian women also join in the harassing.

  12. 132

    From what I have mostly witnessed it has been down to money with asian women dating white men. Young asian women with little education and child like minds and having to send money back to their families wanting perceived wealthy white men. They are wealthy to them but not perceived as wealthy to a lot of educated white women who don’t want an old white man who in her eyes is not such a good catch.
    And down to   being more able to control and wanting a young vulnerable grateful submissive woman/girl when white men date asian women. Rather than someone who is equal or above them in intelligence, looks, status. And refuses to be treated like a skivvy.
    The only ones I have observed have been old white men who white women have not been interested in with young asian women from poor backgrounds. And I have then seen them treating these young girls like a skivvy. They still prefer this to how Asian men treat them though.
    So I’ll leave the Asian men to work that one out. What are you offering n Asian woman and how are you treating the ones who will date you? Because if she is choosing a white man over you it stands to reason he is offering her something better than you are.

  13. 133

    @ 135 Excuse me while I choke laughing.

  14. 134

    Laugh all you like mary it is what i have witnessed with every white man I know of personally who is dating or in a relationship with an asian woman.
    Would be nice to know and meet some where this wasn’t the case. That’s not my reality though.

  15. 135

    Once again Rose, you should try to meet more (better?) people

  16. 136

    I know lots of lovely people J, just don’t know any lovely white men who date or ahve dated asian women.

  17. 137

    From what I have mostly witnessed it has been down to money with asian women dating white men. Young asian women with little education and child like minds and having to send money back to their families wanting perceived wealthy white men
    That’s a very racist statement. Putting down an entire group of people as having child like minds because they look different than you? People, date who you want to date and don’t feel pressured to date someone you aren’t attracted to. We live in a melting pot where we have the opportunity to spend time with people of different cultures and that’s wonderful. But hateful statements like what Rose wrote (the irony because she is always going on and on about love, respect, etc) shouldn’t be tolerated.

  18. 138

    Julia every single older white men I know personally who are involved with these Asian women when I have asked why thet like Asian women so much have given me the same answer.
    ” It is the child like niavity, submissivness taught by their culture and that do everything for their man. Shave them, put their socks on, speak only when spoken to first etc etc.”
    Just telling it as it was told to me my every single man I know in this situation. If you find my experience of what I have witnessed and been told racist, that is what you think.
    All the Asian women in question were Thai women. Not chinese or pakistani.

    It had nothing to do with their looks, do not know where you got that idea from.

  19. 139

    From this:
    “Rather than someone who is equal or above them in intelligence, looks, status”.
    For the record, I find your comment racist too.
    Of course, if you narrow down it down from “asian” to “thai” to “men I know” you can make any kind of stupid statement “true”.

  20. 140

    Wow, Rose
    They all said exactly the same thing. How convenient for you and your world view that the world is divided into women, who are easy and gullible prey powerless to prevent themselves from being swept into unsuitable and abusive arrangements… and lecherous and predatorial men, just watching and waiting from the sidelines, waiting to swoop down on their next victim.
    It would almost be amusing as a Count Dracula-type tale, if it weren’t so insufferable to read week after week.

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