Am I Selling Out For Not Dating Within My Race?

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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.

Lily

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.

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Comments:

  1. 161
    julian

    so u problem is u are an Asian woman that is into  black and brown  men, but u are finding that minority guys are not as into your race as white men are

  2. 162
    Charlotte

    While I can appreciate that Stacy is stating her honest opinions, there is no denying that her comments are dripping with white privilege, consciously or not. Are there other people who have similar opinions? Yes, absolutely. Does it make it right? Not necessarily. I won’t go into the details of why the comment is offensive (and of a narrow-minded nature), but I do make my comment based on personal experience as well as professional experience having studied this topic somewhat extensively.

    For Lily… I think that perhaps it would be beneficial for you to do some self-reflection on why this racial issue is so important to you in the context of dating, and why you feel like a “sell-out.” Examining your motives by seeking other opinions on this blog is a start I suppose 🙂 It seems to me, that you are experiencing some internal conflict over whether or not it is “right” to date certain men based on their race. Some part of you feels guilty or wrong, and that in itself is cause for examination. Until you come to terms with accepting who you are, what you like, and begin to see other men for who they are as a person, you’ll find dating to be a challenge.

    I think that the most important thing, is to identify what values are important to you first, and then seek out men you find attractive and who have those values, regardless of their race. It’s not about being “colour-blind” but rather, seeing a person for who they are… someone who is influenced (but not defined) by their heritage and experiences, and celebrating that.

    For myself, I am a westernized Asian who grew up in a neighbourhood where we were probably the only Asian family within a 1 km radius. Am I influenced by the culture and values of my family? Absolutely. It’s a part of my life, and influences the way I experience and see the world. But, do I necessarily agree with all those ideas? No. As a result, I find it difficult to connect with other individuals who come from more traditional Asian families (friend or date) or non-Asians who aren’t open to understanding a different culture, because their world views are in conflict with my personal value system.

    My boyfriend is Caucasian, but we are compatible because he shares my values. The family structure we would have one day, would be so different from the one that I grew up with. A few of his close friends are Asian, so he’s somewhat familiar with the cultural “quirks” so to speak. We both find each other attractive, and I’m pretty sure that any preconceived notions or stereotypes he may or may not have had about female Asians were dashed pretty quickly… I’m a bit of a unique and spunky duck, haha. He’s had a life with a lot of white male privilege, and doesn’t always understand some of my experiences (e.g. how as a minority, you sometimes need to work twice as hard, to get half as far). But, we balance each other out. He’s incredibly intelligent, has a good career, but is definitely not the over-achieving professional type (which I am). And I’m glad. Because of him, I relax more and don’t work as much all the time, and because of me, he takes on extra projects to learn new things.

    Long story short, find someone that you’re attracted to, who shares similar values, complements your personality (even if they’re not exactly the same), and makes you feel happy. Let go of what you think you “should” be doing, and go do what you really want deep down inside. Good luck!

    1. 162.1
      Sean

      Love the last paragraph. Nailed it.

  3. 163
    janey

    I don think any of you truly understand what she’s even talking about (including evan) I think she’s feels guilty for liking white men cause deep down she knows she likes them for THE WRONG REASONS. Want the cold hard truth girl? Your attraction to white men, and non attraction to pretty much EVERYONE ELSE, is based on your generalizations about race. You feel like a guilty sell out because deep down you know it’s true that you see white men as better choices simply for being white. You said yourself ” white men are more devoted” “white men love me” (really? every single one? David Beckham too?) “minorities have the same psychological problems i have” really? you think white people are the sweet tempting kryptonite for the rest of us as well? Cause, they’re all just such great catches right? Look, not even trying to be a jerk. Speaking from experience here, if you really want that true love void of racial influence (or any other influence for that matter) you need to not worry about the “im single and alone” monster, and do some SERIOUS introspection before you even THINK about dating ANYONE. Ask yourself why you don’t like men who look like you? Why do you feel like any pick from “x” ethnicity will do the trick? Do you see your romantic prospect as an individual? or, a “White Guy”? Judging by your question and the background you gave, I suspect latter, and am baffled the commenters (as well as this evan guy) cannot see that. I assure you, there are plenty of asian/other men, capable of devoting themselves to you just as much as a “white guy,” you’ve probably passed up quite a few by now cause you’ve got your eye on the “prize” … whatever that is… Im all for interracial love, but then again i remember, there no such thing. love is love plain and simple. Most people who “date interracially” say “im colorblind” because usually when it comes to dating its only a select few colors they see, and their own is usually NOT one of them. Im “black” and my husband is “indian” but we see ourselves as a union, not a mating strategy for “optimal biracial offspring” and before him ive dated plenty black asian and WHITE men who were no where near what I really needed in life.

    Hope you get what you truly desire in life sweet heart!

  4. 164
    It's you

    Evan, just read this post and I really want to know. Is it that Jewish women  don’t want  to marry out? Or is it that  Jewish women have  traditionally been shamed into not marrying out far  more than Jewish men have? Black women have traditionally  been shamed into not marrying out (specifically white men) while black men make no apologies for dating out  (though  85% of black men  still marry black women) and I think it’s very similar. Am I wrong?

  5. 165
    It's you

    Why do you think that is?

     

  6. 166
    Jayden Fong

    Just try and keep an open heart.

  7. 167
    Nia

    So Asain women only date white dudes to mixed babies to create super race and for their perceived advantage from white dudes wow

  8. 168
    phph

    liam #152. “I’ve heard every excuse in the book (as we all have) as to why so many asian women are with non asian men:”

    Holy shit. Are you sure you are a white american woman? You know our problem so damn well. Many asian man even buy into the stereotypical bullshit excuse that asian women use, when they decide to go along the eurocentric beauty standards for man.

    Asia is patriarchal and bad towards women? Ya, right. Philippines has always ranked higher than USA in gender equality. The gender gap report by WEF have consistently have Philippines much higher every single year. If you are gold digging and buy into that racial propaganda that white features looks better, then just come out with it. Don’t try to make yourself sound progressive.

  9. 169
    phph

    To the author. Better physiological traits? That’s really backwards view about genetics. Most or all of that “physiological” difference between races can be reduced down to dietary reasons and media stereotypes. It is unfortunate that you are very backwards in this matter.

    1. 169.1
      Sean

      Genes are inherited. That’s why you look like your parents.

  10. 170
    Sean

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Love your website Evan, a great help! I’m an Anglo/Saxon male and I live in a very diverse society. I grew up mainly around Europeans and my own kind. I subconsciously only dated my own kind mostly, apart from some Italian girls. Of which I love their people and culture!

    I read a really good quote recently and it struck me hard – ‘Love is blind…’. And it’s so true. I think, you have to think far into the future. What will this spouse want to do with their life? Will they be happy to do what you want to do. Will your parents get along? How do you feel about the different cultural backgrounds? Will their own parents get along with yours? She/he must fit in with your lifestyle. I’ve met some girls who come from cultures so different from my own kind, that you cannot relate to them at all. And it felt uncomfortable, especially knowing that my own kind could relate totally to everything I have ever known. So you must feel comfortable with each other. Also if you marry someone from overseas, where will you live? Will you be forced to migrate to their extremely foreign country in the middle of nowhere? Somewhere of which, you would never consider moving. These are all important things to think about. I’m not against any marriage. But I would say, think far into the future, how will that effect your marriage…

  11. 171
    Lyra

    Hi Lily

    I actually read the comments section for this article cause many people were spitting fire. Fun to see. Anyway something you said struck me; it was about white men who are attracted to you are decent, average men and the non-white men whom you are attracted to (let’s say the top 5%) prefer white women. I sensed a little agitation because obviously you think highly of yourself and you want what you want, but you are not getting it. And yet the clock is ticking and you are thinking whether to settle or not. I can’t say I haven’t experienced the similar situation like you; I did and yes at some points I felt a little ticked off. However I have realized that most things I want are a reflection of how I see myself. I want these superficial qualities because I thought I was not good enough. I wanted validation instead of fulfillment. I am here not to tell you to embark on a spiritual journey to reflect on yourself; I guess what I want to say is that; just embrace yourself. There is a possibility of you keep searching for the one coveted well to do non white male who understands you and you will marry him. There is a possibility of not finding him and you end up settling for somebody and still be happy nonetheless. There is a possibility of you not finding what you want and unable to change how you feel. And it is okay. Embrace all the frustrations for now and then decide on which path to go.

  12. 172
    Rylee

    I’m white, but I’m just not attracted to white guys, based on my experiences dating them. My current relationship is with a Hispanic guy, and it’s the best one I’ve ever had.

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