I Date Outside My Race Because My Race Won’t Date Me

As some of my friends have noticed, none of my last few girlfriends were Asian. My usual response is, “why, am I supposed to have an Asian fetish?”

Okay, okay, I know what they’re implying: I’m Asian. And Asians are supposed to like other Asians. Right?

Sure. And eat rice. And love math. And know just how much starch to add to your laundry…..

Point being, my last few girlfriends have been of the noticeably non-Asian variety, which has led to my unceremonious branding with the “twinkie” label. (In case you aren’t hip on your urban speak, a twinkie is an Asian who acts white—that is, yellow on the outside, but white on the inside.)

Whether or not I really am made up of a gooey white cream center and can now be found in heart-wrenching deep-fried form at the county fair, the truth is that I rarely meet Asian women who are interested in me. For years now, I’ve wondered if all is not harmonious in the land of Rice Rocketry. For years now, I’ve suspected that a disproportionate number of Asian women here in San Diego only want to date non-Asian men.

Well, I finally decided to verify my suspicions by turning to the ultimate refuse… er, refuge of superficiality: Match.com.

On Match, not only can people list their own ethnicity, they can also list every ethnicity they’re willing to date. So, I ran a search for women between the ages of 21 and 40, who list themselves as Asian, and who reside within 50 miles of my zip code. Of these women, I wanted to see what percentages 1) specifically include Asian as one of their preferences, and 2) specifically exclude Asian as one of their preferences.

My query returned the profiles of 687 Asian women. Well, this was turning out to be a daunting task. So I enlisted the help of a programmer friend, Joe, who wrote a piece of computer code to scour these profiles and collect the data.

Not only did Joe’s code fail miserably at collecting the data, it proceeded to send “winks” on my behalf to 18 of these women. (On the plus side, two winked back, and one was pretty cute. So, Joe, you’re forgiven.)

Eventually, I did manage to collect the data for 396 women. Here are the results:

169 list no preference
116 include Asian as a preference
111 exclude Asian as a preference

Basically, nearly 30% of the Asian women in San Diego who are on Match.com openly refuse to date Asian men.

I suspect the actual percentage is even higher. No doubt, some of the women who don’t specify preference also refuse to date Asians, but won’t admit it publicly. In technical terms then, I think the results can be summed up as follows:

Dude, this is some major suckage.

So what’s the deal then? Why this pattern? I have a few guesses:

Traditional Asian cultures can be notoriously xenophobic. As such, a second-generation Asian-American with traditionally-minded parents will probably have to shoulder a ton of pressure to marry an Asian. I wonder if some Asian women date outside their race as a way to rebel against their parents.

More cynically, though, I suspect another reason:

Status.

I believe that many Asian women (as with many minority women, in general) feel a sense that they are raising their social status by dating white men. This status issue isn’t alleviated at all by the stereotype of the Asian male as the symbol of non-virility and sexual ineptitude.

No matter the reason, the statistics leave me with a dearth of potential dates. If Match.com is any reflection of the general population of San Diego, one out of every three Asian women I meet here—if not more—has already excluded me from her dating pool. Yikes.

I mean, I’d understand if I’d done something stupid to get myself banned from the pool (like, you know, getting drunk on the first date and peeing off the diving board). But, these women aren’t even letting me in their pool in the first place.

I’m the Asian kid standing outside, rattling the gate in envy as I watch all the other kids slipping and sliding around and having a splashing grand time.

And all I can do is sit here and seethe while I do my calculus homework.

This is why my last few girlfriends haven’t been Asian. And this is why I started dating mostly non-Asian women. In a way, it’s my “eff you” to the Asian women here in San Diego:

“You’re Asian, but you won’t date an Asian guy? Eff you. Two can play that game.”

Is it jaded and bitter of me?

Perhaps.

Do two wrongs make a right?

Perhaps. (Hey, don’t you make me invoke my math superpowers and remind you that a double-negative does indeed make a positive. Math, that’s where I’m a Viking.)

The bottom line is… it’s reality.

I’m not opposed to dating an Asian woman. (I know my mom, for one, would be eternally grateful.) I’ll date any ethnicity. But I’m not going to waste my time pursuing a segment of the population that has already ruled me out.

So, if my last few girlfriends weren’t Asian… oh well. They were wonderful, meaningful relationships, and I never felt that I was missing out on anything. My race doesn’t want to date me, but I’ve learned to adapt and be okay with that.

Then again, another side of me wonders if the true reason I don’t date Asian women is because I’ve been subconsciously traumatized by Star Wars:

Because, by dating outside my race, I’ll never accidentally make out with my long-lost twin sister.



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By day, I engineer happiness at WordPress.com. By night, I am a relationships and comedy writer, which can be redundant or an oxymoron, depending on your perspective. I am the creator of Musings, the blog you're reading right now, and LemonVibe, an anonymous relationship advice site. You can also find me on Twitter (I am not the creator of Twitter).

113 comments

  • chinqs are discusting

  • IMO this post and many of the replies are extremely discrimitory. First, it is pretty shallow to go out of your way to date members of your own “race”, second it is extremely insulting to white guys in relationships with Asian women to suggest that they are being used for a perceived status upgrade. You clearly don’t have much respect for the women involved so I won’t go into how insulting it is for them too (seriously, you have a picture of yourself with a girl on a blog post explaining how you’ve been forced into dating her because you couldn’t (in your mind) do any better). Stay classy man..

    • a blog post explaining how you’ve been forced into dating her because you couldn’t (in your mind) do any better)

      I never actually said that, but you’re free to interpret this however you want. Thanks for reading.

  • Hey Dennis, nice article you got here. I’m an Asian male who feels the same way. My last few gfs are non-asian too..

    What you said is really true.. I feel some Asian females date white guys just to kinda “feel white”. Some Asian girls would even sneer at Asian guys while they are with their white boy friends. Oh well.

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  • I wonder why Asian men think that all Asian women date white guys? It might be that they only focus on interracial relationships or have some hang up about them. In reality, if you go to any Asian restaurant, all you’ll see are 99% Asian couples. Asian women don’t even date out of their own ethnicity. Forget studies, observe real life. I live in the SF Bay Area, one of the most diverse areas in the country.
    I’ve met Asian people who are so insular, they don’t even have friends of other Asian ethnicities, much less date white people.

    • I wonder why Asian men think that all Asian women date white guys?

      Well, if you actually read the post, you’ll notice that I never said that. Nor has anyone else here.

  • Reading the articles is great, reading the comments is even more entertaining. I love that it gives everyone a chance to expand upon the ideas presented… Cultural understanding and humor really does come into it a lot. A lot of my friends are Asian -I feel I blend in best with them – and I’m still young, but I know for some reason I’ve always found Asian guys attractive, though I wouldn’t say I’ve gotten to know enough of them to judge if that’s also a behavioural attraction, like with my friends, or something else.

    • (Replying to confirm e-mail post subscription)

    • Hey, thanks for the comment. (And I’m glad you replied to yourself, because I missed it the first time around.)

      Anyway, as an ex-evolutionary biologist, I’d say it’s incredibly diffificult to pinpoint what we’re attracted to. 4.5 million years of natural selection has implanted us with so many innate behaviors that it would be pretty much impossible to figure out why you’re attracted to certain features, physical or behavioral or otherwise.

      I’m just happy to hear you’re attracted to Asian guys. ;-)

    • Haha, no need to worry – there`s someone out there for everyone. Genetically-wise, races differ by a fraction of a percent – if speaking evolution, it`s the different regions and respective adaptations that the gene pool could combine that would make the strongest argument for dating outside one`s “culture.” And then if Cracked is to be believed, humans will pretty much mate with anyone, but throw societal constructs into the mix and you’ve just got a whole heck of a mess… Aaand, is is an endless discussion, really, because of course your initial point is correct – why complicate? Live and let live!
      (Unless of course a ‘Children of Men’ scenario comes about – then we’d really need to work on those compatibility questions.)

    • Ah, so you found the site through Cracked? Thanks for stopping by then!

      I agree that “live and let live” is a great mantra to live by, but I have to admit that I’m also fascinated by this stuff. The way I see it, understanding our basest instincts is how we can learn to be more than “just animals,” ya know?

    • Staying by, really. xD
      And taking a comparative stance is one of the more direct ways to appreciate how far we’ve come, for sure.

    • In that case, thanks for staying!

      So, for what it’s worth, we’re slowing down Musings temporarily because a bunch of us Musings authors are working on a new project. It’s a dating advice site where we crowdsource dating advice. Anyway, if you’re interested in discussing all matters of dating and relations, please check out our new site (it’s also on the banner at the top of the right sidebar):

      http://www.lemonvibe.com/

  • Dennis,

    I share your pain, man! I too have noticed that there are a lot of personal ads from Asian women in San Diego who would explicitly say that they are only looking for white men, or anything but Asian men. I first noticed as early as 1998, in ads from The Reader. Everywhere you go in San Diego, you see the ubiquitous Asian woman with white man pairing (even the local Asian Film Festival is crawling with them!). Some hot spots are Fry’s Electronics, Walmart in Kearny Mesa on weekend afternoons, 99 Ranch, Costco, the list goes on. You can go into one of the popular Vietnamese or Chinese restaurants around Convoy at any given time and it is guaranteed that you will find an Asian woman with a white guy pairing. It’s gotten so ridiculously unbalanced that we would usually mentally determine the ratio of Asian women with white men vs. Asian men with white women in these places. We have a saying, “never bet against the Asian women/white men pairings in San Diego, you will always lose”. Most of the guys in these relationships seem to be ok attitude-wise. But I notice that many of the women have a bad/disrepective attitude towards Asian men, like they are too good to even acknowledge us. I wish they would really get over themselves. I think it’s the Gucci-bag mentality in San Diego. It’s all about status. It’s 2011, time to get over the colonial mindset. Asian men are people too. Plus, some of us are just as American as they are.

    Thanks for having the guts to post your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Please post more about how to meet non-Asian women in San Diego! I feel that my luck is better once I leave San Diego County. Seems like the women outside of San Diego County are more open-minded and will be more willing to date Asian men (and I’m talking about the Asian women here). It’s just too hostile of an environment for Asian men to date within San Diego County. I wonder if that’s the reason why the guys who put out the Youtube video on Yellow Fever, Why Asian Guys Can’t Get White Girls (Wong Fu Productions) are from UCSD?

    • Hey, thanks for the comment. My recommendation? Stop hanging out around the Convoy area. ;-)

      You know, it’s kind of funny. I have a buddy (he’s white) who–yup, you know it–likes Asian girls. He’s not obnoxious about it, so it’s cool, but a few months ago, I was jokingly telling him that I should take him to places where he’ll meet more Asians, and that’s when I realized that the places I go to (I usually hang out downtown) don’t tend to have that many Asians. So, maybe you should try going to places downtown more often….

  • Dude, found your blog from Cracked.com

    Great blog post. Nothing against it, but the best part was when I got to the bottom of the page and there was an advertisement for “AsianDating.com”

  • i suspect –more– than 30% of white women would not date an asian guy, yet you prefer to date white women.

    sounds like you’re trying to (poorly) rationalize your preference for white women.

    • The better question is; what percentage of white women refuse to date white men? Apples and oranges.

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