Does It Matter if a Guy Contacts Me Just Because I’m Asian?

I’m Asian-American and was born and raised in the United States. I think I’m just as American as about anyone else, but I was raised by Korean parents. I’m pretty open minded when it comes to race and background and like your advice about observing his actions and how he treats me. I notice in online dating I tend to be targeted for my ethnicity, and I’m pretty exotic looking but I also defy a lot of Asian stereotypes. For instance, I’m tall and loud and outspoken. I’m also independent, educated and work in a technical field. Sometimes I feel guys are disappointed when they get to know me more and I don’t meet their expectations of what they think of the typical quiet, subservient Asian woman. I’m not sure if I should be offended that people are drawn to people of my race or offended I’m being lumped together or stereotyped into a larger group. And some of these guys will proudly admit they only exclusively date Asians like that should make them more attractive to me. I want to know that the guy is trying to get to know me beyond stereotypes or looks and among any race there is such a wide gamut of personalities. I’ve had friends tell me who cares why a guy is initially attracted to me as long as he is good and sticks around. Sometimes it just feels like guys get stuck on a certain look and they are constantly trying to find that versus getting to know people. Should I just not care if a guy specifically tells me he only dates Asians and that’s his preference?

Sandra

A man commits a crime and is sentenced to thirty days in prison as well as community service.

For his community service, he has to walk along the highway in an orange jump suit and pick up trash.

While he’s there, he sees a small band of conservationists doing the exact same thing.

The criminal is serving his punishment and cleaning up the highway.
The conservationists are choosing to clean up the highway.

The net result to the environment and all the drivers passing by: the highway is now clean. Doesn’t matter to me how it got that way – it just looks better than it did before.

We all rely on creating attraction to help the opposite sex take notice.

Does motivation matter when it comes to dating? Sort of. But if we’re being honest about it, we all rely on creating attraction to help the opposite sex take notice.

Men spend countless hours working to get rich – not just for their own self-worth, but because having money gives them an advantage when it comes to courting women. Do these men feel bad that they’re being “used” for their money? Occasionally. But, for the most part, a rich guy understands that his money is part of the package – and if it allows him to get a woman he wouldn’t otherwise get, he can usually make peace with it.

Now, understand, these aren’t apples to apples comparisons. Your ethnicity isn’t something you worked for, nor is it something you want to be desired for. You were born into it and you have every right to resent men who fetishize you for it.

“I like Asians = I like Asian stereotypes = I like you although I don’t know you = super creep factor.”

So what’s an exotic, atypical Asian woman to do, Sandra?

Should you hold it against any guy who has a thing for Asians?

I guess my first question would be whether you have any “types” of your own?

See how a man shows up in courting you and committing to you, and judge him on what kind of boyfriend he is – rather than automatically penalizing him just because you’re his type.

I like curvy brunettes. My wife likes funny and charismatic guys. Some women really like tall men.

That’s just attraction – a good place to start, but not sufficient for a long-term relationship.

So if I’m advising you, my friend, I’d just tell you to appreciate the attention, see how a man shows up in courting you and committing to you, and judge him on what kind of boyfriend he is – rather than automatically penalizing him just because you’re his type.

It would have been awkward to tell the stranger at the potluck dinner that I was attracted to her because of her hair color and bust size. Now that she’s my wife, I’m pretty sure she’s fine with it.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Christine

    As another Asian I do understand where she’s coming from.  First of all, rest assured that not all men are looking for that stereotypical subservient Asian.  If so many loud Asian women I know can get (and stay) happily married, so can she!

    One Asian woman in particular is one of the loudest and most brash people I’ve ever met.  In my own family, I’m the only quiet woman in it.  If it wasn’t for the physical resemblance, I’d seriously wonder if I’m actually related to my mother, sister and aunts (who are much more aggressive “alpha” females).  These women are all happily married.  So there are men who welcome loud Asian women–she just needs to find one.

    I never did come up with some instant shortcut for differentiating the guy interested in you as a person vs. a stereotype.  All I could do was observe his efforts in getting to know me, and deciding whether I was happy with them–and that took some time.

    1. 1.1
      GoWiththeFlow

      Hi Christine,

      I think you are right that the OP should focus on, “differentiating the guy interested in you as a person vs. a stereotype.”  If we are honest with ourselves many of us have a physical type that is guaranteed to set off the bells and whistles in our heads.  I know I do!  But I can be and have been very attracted to men who don’t fall within those “type” parameters.  And many guys who are physically guaranteed to set off the attraction part of my brain, either are unlikeable, or have something else going on that makes the total package unattractive to me in the end.  So a man can be physically attracted to you because you ring his bells, but also like that your personality runs counter to the meek and subservient stereotype.

      I crack up every time a red pill guy posts on the blog promoting “bride shopping” in Asian countries based on the stereotype that Asian women are meek and subservient.  What they miss is that wanting to be respected, have your voice heard, and be treated with dignity in interpersonal relationships is a universal phenomenon, not limited to just western societies.

      I am good friends with two Asian women who married American men.  One met her husband when he spent two years in the Philippines working for an NGO, and the second was a resident of Guam (of Philippine descent) who came to the mainland U.S. to go to college where she met her future husband.  Both women are educated, intelligent, outgoing, and opinionated, and have each been happily married for over 20 years.  So while I don’t doubt their husbands were attracted to their physical beauty, I don’t think they were looking for a quiet subservient wife because their wives are anything but!

      1. 1.1.1
        Christine

        I know a lot of couples like that too. I crack up when people assume that my Asian friend must be the “subservient” one, and her tall white husband is the dominant one–believe me that it’s the reverse!  In fact, sometimes I wonder how he can let her boss him around like that.  But this works for them and they’ve been happily married for many years, so who am I to judge?

        That’s a pattern I’ve noticed among all the loud Asian women I know.  Their husbands all tend to have more mild-mannered personalities.  These men are content to sit back and let their wives have control.  They’re often the cooler heads, who calm their wives down.  I wonder if the writer might benefit from a man like that.

        1. Henriette

          That’s hilarious, indeed.  I live in a large Canadian city where white guys with Asian women make up a large percentage of the couples.  I always assume the man is a hen-pecked dork with terrible social skills while she is the domineering one who is in charge of all interpersonal interactions required by them as a  couple bc he’s so socially inept.  I have yet to be proved wrong!

  2. 2
    John

    There is an assumption by Sandra in her letter that she should maybe be offended if a guy likes her because she is Asian. Is a guy supposed to like her for her winning personality if he just glanced at her from across the room? He hasn’t even met her yet, but he may think she is cute and that’s the first step of a guy’s attraction to women. I’m a tall guy and I have an interesting job. Women I meet often say, “Wow. Your tall.” I try not to be offended by this observation.😀 I could get upset and say that she is filtering for tall guys and reprimand her for ignoring all the hot looking short guys, but I strive to be the bigger person. (pun intended) If a woman can get past my height and ask me about myself, she usually will inquire about my occupation. Is she a gold digger trying to figure out what the average salary is for my career? Hell if I know? I usually say I’m a spy with the KGB and let her know that I’ll be the one asking the questions. She usually laughs. All this sensitivity around “preferences” is amusing. If a meet a woman and she has a “fetish” for tall guys with interesting careers, I try not to hold it against her.

  3. 3
    Steve in Big D

    I’m with Evan.  Many of us have “types”.  I hope women with brown hair and blue eyes don’t hold it against me if I find them attractive.  And I’m pretty sure some women have been attracted to me because I’m tall.  I don’t find that offensive.  I’m grateful.

    So I think Sandra should be grateful that some men reach out to her because they find her attractive.  For whatever reason.

  4. 4
    silver

    It’s just like the beautiful woman wondering if the man is interested in just having a trophy vs. her as a person, or the rich guy wondering if the woman is interested in a big bank account or him as a person. I can understand where she is coming from, but I would agree with Evan that we should appreciate the (respectful) attention we receive and pick the one *we* like from the pool of ones who like us 🙂

  5. 5
    Christine

    Hahaha….own that sh!t gurl!  Asian Persuasion baby!   I am Blasian..men are attracted to me because I’m exotic.

    Who cares why he’s attracted to you?!    What matters is how treats you and makes you feel.

  6. 6
    Noquay

    I am Native, Black, European and I often get fetishized for the more obvious Native features. Problem is, most Native and city dwelling Black men who seek me out have nothing in common with me apart from ethnicity. However, Evan and other commenters are right; we all have our preferences; one has to choose someone with characteristics you’re attracted to, then see if you’re compatible with the real person.

  7. 7
    Bob!

    Did Sandra honestly tell us what kind of guys she is attracted to or, better, about what kinds of guys she has seriously dated in the past?

    The latter would show her parents and therefore her preferences

    She seems critical of guys being attracted to her because they have preferences but she does not seem to be aware of her own

    Ignorance is bliss and so too is hypocrisy

     

  8. 8
    Nisha

    As a Black woman who gets approached by men of all different backgrounds and has been called “chocolate goddess”, “chocolate fantasy”, “born to be f*cked hard” (yes, VERBATIM, and racially-motivated), and all kinds of crazy stuff, I can certainly identify with the OPs insecurities. Yes, many people do have racial fetishes and stereotypes, and many times, these fetishes can feel offensive. Sometimes people DO treat you like you’re an animalistic piece of fantasy ass, and yes, it can be hurtful.

    Having said that, though, 1. there’s nothing stopping other Asian men from also treating you like a piece of fantasy ass. Like with all other men, no matter what their backgrounds or motivations, you’ve gotta sift through the Lotharios.

    And 2. I do agree with the course of action that others on this thread have suggested. Intention is everything; if the guy seems great and just happens to prefer Asians, and is RESPECTFUL (key word!), I think it’s fine to give him a shot. We all have our preferences and likes. If he’s targeting you because he just wants to ride the proverbial yellow train and doesn’t want to see you as a human being, then honestly he probably takes the same Lothario approach to most women and isn’t someone you would want to date anyway. Any decent guy would have enough respect for you to treat you like a human being and not as just a stereotype, even if you guys are in a short term or casual rship.

    As with everything, all people reveal themselves in time. I say, if he treats you well and is what you want in a man, go for it. We’re fighting gross objectifications and racial oversimplifications, I think. Not preferences. 🙂 Just my 2 cents. Good luck, boo!

  9. 9
    Michelle

    I can see how this would be a real ick factor especially with the long history of Asian female fetishization by Western men. But if you can suss out the difference between a guy who indicates “I like you because you’re probably a subservient nymphomaniac, like all Asian women!” from the guy who just prefers your phenotype, I’d say run a mile from the former but wait and see if the latter is worth getting to know.

    I live in New Zealand and have a couple of friends who love, love, love Polynesian men. I don’t know if it’s the body type, skin colour, accent, tattoos or the (erroneous and long-standing) stereotype of these men as exotic or more “primal”. I can’t identify as I’m more into general body type (slim as opposed to stocky or beefy) than skin colour or other ethnic markers but it seems like women can have these preferences too.

  10. 10
    Karmic Equation

    Hey Sandra,

    I’m Asian as well. When I was dating online, there was one guy who made a point that he always had “yellow fever”. Maybe I would have been fine with it if he were young and cute. But he was neither, so that comment didn’t sit well with me.

    Personally, I’ve only dated caucasians, so I guess I have “white fever”? Lol

    Anyway, none of the men I’ve dated were silly enough to say anything along the lines of “I’ve always wanted to date Asian”. If any of them had ever said it, I would have taken it as an opportunity to find out why.

    I would suggest you date men you find attractive and not worry about why they’re dating you. During the dating process, you’ll find out whether he sees you as a person or is a fetishist.

    I would hazard a guess that most are  NOT fetishists. In some foolish way, they probably believe they’re complimenting you.

    I like blurters. They are almost genetically predisposed to telling the truth because there is no filter between the brain and the mouth, unlike politically correct people, who always watch what they say for fear of offending this or that person, or looking bad. Blurters are predisposed to unintentionally saying hurtful things, not to hurt you, but because they don’t think about the effect of their words. Some would call this lack of forethought a sin, but I never have. I think it’s a flaw that is easy to live with because blurters don’t tend to think through (e.g., premeditate) other aspects of their lives either, such as hiding cheating or other forms of deception.

  11. 11
    Bob Mckenzie

    Here’s an idea: be happy that someone is contacting you at all.

    As a guy, I have faced many rejections, often for reasons I cannot fathom. I have tried talking to them about what’s on their online profile, only to get one or two word responses. I have tried commenting on their appearance, only to get blocked. I tried to make jokes, only to be blocked. Often, I just try to say anything at all, hoping that the law of probability will work in my favour.

    Because of years of constant rejection, I decided to go full herbivore and let women come to me. Do you know how many women contacted me in the last 2 years of online dating? One.  Be glad that anyone out there is taking notice of you.

    1. 11.1
      Kyra

      These sort of comments upset me because you’re attempting to tell someone to not be offended at behavior and come ons that ARE offensive to her. As a woman of color I, too, get inappropriate comments and come ons in my inbox in regards to my color and ethnicity. It’s vile and disgusting.

      We have the right to feel the way we feel about it.

      Telling someone to be happy they’re being targeted with racially fetishized comments and attention isn’t cool. A person who knows their worth would not and should not “he happy” with inappropriate attention just because it’s attention.

      Rejection and non-returned messages happen to everyone in online dating. You’re not alone. But, it isn’t cool to tell women to be happy about inappropriate attention because you feel anger that you get no attention. It’s misguided and projection directed toward the OP that isn’t fair or right.

  12. 12
    AmíTheKat

    I’m at the point where I’d rather give up on dating, given the lack of men attracted to ME and not just their perceived stereotype of me, ie  ‘promiscuous mixed girl w/ daddy issues’.  I eschew online dating because, no matter how flattering the photo, I only (only!!) get responses from black men. I can write to all the men I feel would be compatible, based on interests etc., but do they respond? Nope.

    Ive been dumped more than once for “not being really black” and have even had a guy tell me in disgust that he felt misled and lied to because I’m “so white”!

    TL;DR – racial fetishisation makes it harder for mixed and minority people to find respectful, loving partners.

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