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Pet Sins May 2006

Non-East Asian women on their experiences dating East Asian men

I used to date a Japanese man while I was living in Japan. Whenever I disagreed with something he said, he would think I was angry and try to placate me. Maybe I voiced my disagreement in a manner which is more forward than what he would use when he disagrees with me. He always thought I was angry even when I wasn't angry. He proposed marriage at some point, but I refused though I was attracted to him. There were just too many little communication issues that would make day-to-day living together difficult.

But there are some aspects of Japanese communication protocols I appreciated. People tend to show they care about you by doing things for you, instead of verbally declaring their love or friendship. I like how they don't say it, but just do it. Some Americans tend to talk a lot and claim too much, and we sometimes fall far short of our words.

White American woman

I had a boyfriend while I was studying in China. He said he could read whatever I was feeling right on my face. That amused him to no end. On my part, I found him hard to read. When I first asked him out, his verbal response was cold - at that moment, I thought he hated me, but after that, he showed he was interested in me by bringing me little presents every few days. It just wasn't his style to declare his crush openly like I did. In Chinese culture, people try keep their emotions under wraps but in my culture, we're more openly expressive.

Later, when we had arguments, he would eventually apologize even if he didn't agree with me. His priority was to get along and keep the relationship smooth, not to "win" or "be right". When the arguments became more protracted, he said that we were too different culturally and that those were the reasons for our problems.

West Asian woman