Asian Dating – 9 Reasons it Rocks

Love is in the air... a pic from a gala in Northern California, during the Jammie & Bjorn dating days...

Regular CultureMutt readers could be forgiven for thinking that I am against international dating and specifically the huge international trend of dating Asian women, (Asian dating for short) because of posts like my last one. But they would be wrong.

I think Asian dating rocks. I married an Asian girl for goodness sake. I’m against exploitation in dating but I realize that the mere fact that a foreigner dates an Asian girl doesn’t at all mean anything wrong has taken place. (Nor does the fact that they met online… I’ll do another post on Asian dating sites). In fact, I completely recommend Asian dating. Here’s why:

1). Asian girls are often very classy – I am obviously going to have to over-generalize in this kind of a post. Not all Asian girls are going to match the broader trends. But in general, Asian women are extremely classy. I would venture to say that they are the classiest women on earth. Everybody has their own taste but most men want a classy woman… Asian women are the answer.

2). Asian girls often have solid values – I don’t want to understate the impact of culture clash in interracial and inter-cultural relationships but the simple fact is that Asian culture is big on respect and the importance of loyalty and family. Asian women take this very seriously. This is a huge plus.

3). Mixing it up is exciting – Why be boring and always stick to your own race while dating? This is the 21st century. Get out there and date across cultures. Asian dating allows you to discover a very different culture and this will help you grow. This is fun and exciting and gives life some flavor that would not be there if you stayed in Kansas, so to speak.

4). Asian women make great wives – This is not just something that people say. Asian dating often leads to marrying an Asian. Asian women value faithfulness and the family unit. Asian women will generally stick with their husbands through thick and thin. They are supportive and caring. Respect her and love her and you will have yourself a wonderful marriage. Trust me, I consider myself very fortunate in my marriage.

5.) Asian dating includes the whole family – Much of Asian life revolves around the family unit. Yes, this can mean that you have to talk to that nosy aunty more than you would like but it also means that you really nurture the relationships that should be most important – those of the family, both nuclear and extended. If this is not yet a reality for you, Asian dating will cure you quickly. By the weekend of the first week Jammie and I dated, I was over for family dinner.

6). Great food is ever-present in Asian dating – This may sound like a superficial reason to promote Asian dating but I’m sorry, it is a great reason to date an Asian girl (or guy BTW). It is very hard to go wrong with Asian food. If you date an Asian girl, the restaurants you go to, the meals you eat in and the potlucks you will inevitably find yourself hitting, will be fantastic.

7). They are up for it – This varies a little or a lot depending on what Asian country the girl or her parents are from and where you are from but generally speaking, Asian girls are very open to dating someone that is not from their culture. Trust me, this is your golden opportunity. Go for it!

8). Asian dating helps YOU grow – Healthy dating that is mutually respectful can be one of the most helpful experiences in life. This goes for dating anyone. Add to that the element of international flavor brought by Asian dating and you have a genuine growth experience that is very, very good for you, especially if you are someone that has never traveled. You will be better rounded and more open-minded thanks to the relationship.

9). Cute, cute babies – Yes, there are some definite exceptions to this rule, but most often, mixed babies that are half Asian are super cute. My little nephew was born just before Jammie and I got married. He is half Filipino, half Mexican, bias aside, he is a seriously cute little boy. Be fruitful and multiply.

OK, that’s it for now. Add to my list or tell me I’m wrong in the comments. But whatever you do, if you are single, consider the possibility that Asian dating may be just the thing you were looking for :)



Bjorn Karlman Bangkok, Thailand

43 thoughts on “Asian Dating – 9 Reasons it Rocks”

  1. I love the positive vibe of this article! Always thinking about this topic in terms of possible exploitation does a dis-service to everyone.

    1. Thanks Karin!! And yes, I think that reframing the whole issue and focusing on how to do international dating right is a lot more effective than just harping on about the possibility of it all going wrong. I am definitely not saying that exploitation is not a problem but surely promoting mutually respectful and loving relationships is a good option….

  2. Asian dating, I think, could replace the word “travel” in this quote by Thomas Fuller:

    “Travel makes a wise man better, and a fool worse.”


  3. #5 is what appeals the most to me. Even just being friends brings you into a larger circle. After being isolated and fairly lonely in NH, it was great to be a part of an awesome circle of friends at Andrews who had a type of bond that I never really experienced before until then.

    1. Yeah, I think I experienced a similar situation with my Latino friends in college… that kind of family community really speaks to a part of human nature that is real and needs attention…. Thanks for the comment!

  4. Of course I already knew this about you! I loved your last post, mostly because provoking and thoughtful! The only issue I am against is exploiting~ I am all for any realtationship between two people that is nurturing, loving and one of respect …. Man, still looking for it!

      1. My criteria? …. Teeth are pretty big in my book … self sufficient … HAVE TO LOVE, I MEAN, ADORE CHILDREN…. Fishing, camping … eating …. wine ….. and just be nice. And…. Know God, Know what he expects of you .. and try to live up to it … Not that hard right? ….Oh … and dude has to like a big tall, vocal woman …just saying…
        Big Love from your buddy in Paradise!

  5. A fascinating ԁisсussіon is worth comment.
    I believe thаt you shoulԁ write mοre about this issue,
    it might not be a taboo subject but tуpically fοlks ԁon’t discuss these topics. To the next! Many thanks!!

    Also visit my web page – Shawn
    Shawn recently posted…ShawnMy Profile

  6. Jammie – waiting for Swedish dating – 9 reason it…. hahah

    Great tribute to Jammie Bjorn – are you going to do the shortfalls or issues with Asian dating – let’s see, family, reputation, drama, soap opera, mother in laws, family living with you, criticism, comparisons hahahahah and that’s just from your parents.

    Now on the food point, are you suggesting the other person be able to cook Asian food or just that you can enjoy Asian food at events, family gatherings?

    1. Yep, that sounds like awesome material for a follow-up post… the shortfalls, that is… As for the cooking I was definitely talking more environment… Jammie and I take turns on the Asian cooking

  7. As an Asian female commenting on this post, I feel weird about trying to add another quality to all the reasons why people should date women like me =) hahha… but you have compiled a great list! I’d have to say that my personal favorites are #5 and #6 – I always hope I get along with the family because that’s so important to me, and really, who doesn’t love good food! Although I can make that a compelling reason to date Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, or really anyone who can cook =)

    1. Hahahaha!! Why NOT add to the list? I should do another one to smooth the way for Swedish men:) But Swedish food would not make the list….

  8. Hey Bjorn,
    You and your wife sound lovely and happy together. I just wanted to make a few points based on my 31 years of living as an Asian American woman who has lived both in Korea and in the U.S., and has dating in both counties. Beware, it’s not all roses.
    As an Asian American woman, nothing bothers me more when people have this mentality about dating Asian women, as it feels reductionist, exoticist, stereotyping, and nothing more than a perpetuation of the myth of the model minority.
    Sure, there may be some people who find that “no one talks about this enough.” It may be that they are not Asian women who reside in a dominantly white county, so there is no reason why they would hear that a lot. But actually, people talk about it A LOT, and often AT asian/asian american women. Quite frankly, this perspective has been the majority of my dating experience, and I can can’t find enough ways to dodge it. In my individual experience (and some points agreed upon by a slew of my asian american girlfriends) it’s usually white, upper middle class, educated, well-travelled, able-bodied straight men that approach me to taste some sort of “Asian flavor.” I really don’t like feeling or being treated like, or thought of as an ethnic flavor. Furthermore, they find it necessary bore me to death by inserting needless words in banal statements they make at me from whatever Asian country they spent two weeks in as a means of figuring out exactly what “flavor” of Asian I am. Nothing turns me off more in the dating world. While you acknowledged that you may have been “over-generalizing”, and that not all Asian women will “match the broader trends,” there are probably millions of Asian women who fit hardly ANY of your descriptions. I’m just making that guesstimate, which is also probably an under estimate, because Asian people make up a third of the world’s population, which would be about 3-4 billion people, considering half of them are women, maybe 1.5-2 billion women? You generalized about 1.5-2 billion people in a list of 9 points. To summarize our tendencies, qualities, etc. suggests you are some sort of cultural expert on Asian women, and maybe that’s because you married one and maybe dating a few more, and maybe travelled a bit.
    I hate being dated or even hit on for racial/ethnic qualities. They are perceptions and constructs, and when I have dated people with similar generalizations, I felt incredibly dehumanized. Obviously I do not represent “Asian Women,” and I am by no means an “expert” on Asian women. But I am one and that’s what I think.
    Generally, I like your blog when I stop by, but this one just rubbed me the wrong way.

    1. Hi YJ,

      I really appreciate this comment and first off, I want to thank you for the time you spent responding to the post so thoughtfully. After reading your comment, I asked Jammie to read it too. We both decided that we agreed with you on a lot of what you said.

      Before I list these points, though, I want to tell you why writing this kind of a post was important to me. I have spent over 12 years of my life living in Asia (Hong Kong and the Philippines, mostly). Some of my closest male and female friends are Asian. I obviously married in to an Asian family. I am immensely concerned with shaping conversations regarding how Asians and Asian culture are perceived in the Western world. I want to make sure that there is healthy, mutually beneficial conversation on topics that are of mutual importance. This is a very big deal to me.

      Having said that, any post like this last one is going to have to overgeneralize. There is simply no way to cover all the angles. That is why I put in all the qualifiers at the start of the post. I was tempted to put in even more. With culture and people there simply is no absolute truth.

      OK, on to what I think you were right about:

      1) Raving about dating Asian women merely because they are Asian is ridiculous, narrow-minded and plain wrong. I see nothing wrong with men or women having a preference in the “type” they go for (although I would encourage everyone to be flexible) but if, for example, someone had wanted to date me in my single days simply because I was Swedish, I would have found that hollow and ridiculous. You are right, that IS dehumanizing. Clearly decisions in dating and love and marriage should be based in more than ethnicity and culture.

      2). I agree that, in certain circles, the idea of dating Asian women gets a lot of air time. I am not interested in idle chat about Asian women. I have no interest in making them out to be some kind of commodity. I tried to make this clear in my previous post about Thai women. (Thanks for the kind words about this previous post, BTW) I certainly don’t want to talk “at” them. I am really disturbed that this kind of disrespect characterized the majority of your dating experience.

      3). The guys that date Asian women for the “flavor” and that use the 15 words they learned on their little trip to Bangkok are extremely frustrating and at times I get myself into to trouble railing against them on CultureMutt and elsewhere. The point in the post was to encourage a healthier approach to dating Asian women, not to embolden these boneheads.

      4). I fully acknowledge that this post cannot speak for Asian women as a whole in 9 points. I did run it past a lot of Asian friends to get their feedback and I am basing it on having lived almost half my life in Asia but, just as writing a blog post on European men will never cover everything (and will inevitably rub some the wrong way), so will a post on Asian women never completely do the topic justice.

      OK, this is turning into a blog post of its own. Thank you once again for the excellent feedback. This is what makes blogging meaningful. I appreciate your thoughts and support.

  9. Hi Bjorn,

    I always enjoy reading your posts and I admire your ability to speak your mind. It’s interesting to hear your perspective about Asian dating, and I might share it if you don’t mind. I completely agree with you that, “The mere fact that a foreigner dates an Asian girl doesn’t at all mean anything wrong has taken place.” I don’t like it when people make assumptions about my marriage to a Chinese girl based on the racial configuration alone. I also love the statement, “This is the 21st century.” I completely agree with “Asian dating includes the whole family.” This is something we don’t fully appreciate here in an individualistic America, where people elope without the family’s input. There’s something nice about having a family’s involvement.

    I only have two concerns. After being married now for over 5.5 years and immersing myself in a Chinese American community and studying cross-cultural marriages as part of my profession, I’m concerned about reinforcing stereotypes here and exploiting what I’m slowly realizing is “white privilege” or a very subtle form of racism that us whites may not be aware of until we’ve been in the community for awhile.

    First, the idea (#2 and #4) that Asian women are loyal and committed to the institution of marriage through “thick and thin” is somewhat misleading. This is usually because to divorce is highly shameful, but this puts them in a powerless position of unhealthy dependency when stuck in a relationship that doesn’t benefit them. They might put up with it in Asia because of the status that comes with marrying a white guy. I’m not saying this is you, but white guys tend to like this because it gives them a position of power in the relationship. However, if they move to the U.S. where everyone is white and divorce is less taboo, they quickly realize that they don’t have to put up with stuff, and the guy who thought he had it made is now threatened.

    I hate it when people here assume that I married a Chinese girl because I wanted a passive woman who doesn’t express her opinions. It’s quite the opposite. In fact, I wasn’t looking for an Asian girl, but fell in love with my best friend precisely because I thought she was intelligent. Nevertheless, I do know many guys who have an “Asian fetish” or met their wives overseas, and they seemed to like the idea that their wives were more passive and did not have opinions. I certainly don’t want to be associated with that.

    Second, it is true that many Asian girls are “up for” dating a white guy (#7), with notable exceptions–in my understanding, Korean culture strongly discourages marrying out. However, in my experience, Asian families do not encourage dating ANY culture–just “marrying up.” In fact, Asian girls are less likely to date somebody of a darker complexion, because that would be “marrying down.” At least in Chinese culture, white skin is admired as an ideal complexion, and that may be why they consider “Eurasian” babies cuter (#9). Some Asian girls would not marry anyone outside their culture, but SOME girls ONLY want to marry white guys! It’s tempting for both white and Asian people to think that it is because white guys are more Westernized, more charming, more in touch with their feelings, or more superior, etc.–but this actually would be racist justification for internalized racism. I feel uncomfortable when we encourage Asian girls to not like their own race, because it is encouraging internalized racism. They might not be aware of it, but America exports media all over the world, and the media influences them to think that white guys are superior or wealthier, when the reality is that I can think of MANY reasons why Asian girls would want to date Asian guys. (Asian men may be more other-oriented, and, hey, they can cook better than we can. lol) Plus, I’m certainly not as wealthy as they think that I am simply because I’m white.

    I’m certainly not against dating an Asian girl, or I wouldn’t have married one! That’s why I can laugh and appreciate much of what you wrote, like about the great food and potlucks. I’m just saying that us whites need to be conscious of the power and privileges that we have in the world so that we don’t inadvertantly exploit that or perpetuate assumptions. As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

    Take care, Bjorn!

    1. Thomas, thanks a lot for stopping by. I really enjoyed your comment and I think you hit on some good points. I think we can both agree that stereotyping in general is fairly unhelpful when it comes to cultural dialogue. It is never going to be accurate and it will never speak to the whole picture. It can be damaging. I tried to acknowledge the fact that this kind of a post is going to have to talk in broad terms because it is just that: a 9-point post. Of course, some people say that you should never try to tackle a topic like Asian Dating in a post because you will never to it justice. That is where I disagree. Blog posts open the conversation. The topic is done further justice in the discussion that follows. That is one of my favorite things about blogging. So thank you for allowing for that to happen!

      Yes, points 2 and 4 are less applicable in the West but even there I know of several interracial marriages (where one party is Asian) of personal friends that I believe are sound at least partly due to a respect for marriage that is not simply based in the shame of divorce. There is simply a deeper reverence for it.

      As for the assumption that guys marry Asian women because they are “passive”, I don’t have much time for that either. We both know they aren’t! People are always going to have erroneous ideas. The more we can build bridges and forge understanding over cultural divides, the more we can speak to such ignorance.

      As for your penultimate cluster of points RE internalized racism, Asian women marrying outside their race and the merits of Asian men, I see where you are coming from. I think I see a lot of what you are saying. I think we should actively discourage the idea that marrying white is marrying up. That is an idea that will eventually be disproved. But I do believe that creating avenues for cross-cultural relationships to flourish is foundational to allowing these kinds of realizations to organically come about… And yes, obviously a good Asian man is a good catch. Any good man or woman is.

      Finally, white power is quickly fleeting. When I was growing up in Asia 20-30 years ago it was far more pronounced than it is now. I am glad it is receding. I hate that old colonial garbage. But yes, if white people still find themselves in a position of influence, it is obviously best used responsibly.

      1. Thank you for accepting my feedback graciously. Yes, I agree with you that we need to have more conversations that foster cross-cultural relationships, and you make an excellent point–I probably would not even have been sensitive to issues of power or what non-White populations put up with UNLESS I had married a Chinese girl. Having had that experience in places like Singapore, I realize that the “old colonial garbage” isn’t quite over yet, and is still alive and kicking in many places around the world. We may not see it as much (and power/privilege is always hard to see), but even when they hate us, they still privilege Whites. Nevertheless, you’re absolutely right. As long as we do it with the right intentions and are conscientious about power and internalized racism, cross-cultural relationships can help facilitate greater awareness and better understanding between cultures.

  10. damn, a lot of thoughtful discussion here. Nice job, Bjorn! Is your wife Filipina? While there are definite pros and cons to Asian dating (I absolutely hate sexpats), I do think overall it’s good.. I have to since I’m biased. :P I do think halfies make beautiful babies and this is the first time I’ve ever dated someone that wasn’t white (another Filipino) and my views of ‘asianphiles’ are starting to change. More aware of it, etc.
    janet recently posted…Pandas & Sales Funnels, Oh My!My Profile

    1. Janet!! Thanks for checking in. And yes, Jammie is LA Filipina… We met in Hollywood a few years ago… what can I say, if you grow up in the Philippines it WILL influence your taste.. for the better!! How are things for you nowadays? Your adventure definitely helped inspire us in taking our trip!

  11. Bjorn this topic also works in reverse. After dating and getting married to an Asian i can say food is one of the best parts. food has taught me so much about thier culture and it has brought me close to family. Asian men are very detail oriented and for a girl thats very important. Also i agree with you mix babies are super cute.

    1. Dayleen! Thanks for the thoughts! I really wanted to get your point of view as you had personal experience that was relevant! And yes, as you have proved, mixed babies are super, super cute!!

  12. Howdy! Thiѕ аrticle could not be written much betteг!
    Goіng through thіs poѕt
    remіnds mе of my pгevious roommate!

    Hе constаntly κept prеaсhing about
    this. I аm gοing to send this informatіon to him.
    Fairly certain he’s going to have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!
    Dan recently posted…DanMy Profile

  13. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally еducatіve
    and аmuѕing, and lеt me tell yоu, уou have hit the nаil on
    the head. Τhe іssue іs an іssue that too few
    folks аre speaking іntelligently about. I’m very happy that I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.

  14. I live in Asia for a few years and so many men had the same attitudes mentioned in this article. And so many of them were miserable later.

    First, I am not against interracial dating in itself.

    Second, people shouldn’t date cross-culturally just because it’s exciting and enriching. People should date someone they are interested in and continue dating them if they LOVE them as individuals.

    Third, not all Asian women are great. Some will use men, be mean to them, etc. I met SO MANY Western men out there who just HAD TO HAVE Asian partners and were disillusioned when these women turned out to be evil. Some were after citizenship papers. Some just wanted a baby.

    I personally know a lot of those guys who married those women, just to get divorced a few years later.

    Yes, they do make good babies. They are pretty. Yet in Asia, those kids are looked down upon by society. The kids don’t fit in, and it’s best when they go to international schools and such. I came across some families who were raising kids like that out there, and the kids just wanted to get out of Asia as soon as they got older.

    Yet, if a man does find a good woman, and it does work out, then he is a lucky man. If the Asian wife is good to him, then he does have a treasure.

    1. Christine! These are great points. Thank you so much! I did not know that about mixed kids… Why does society look down on them?

      I really appreciate the comment. I agree with you on a lot of these points!

  15. Sorry for the bad grammar. :)
    I just knew so many guys in Korea who married Korean women and were so unhappy later. One guy in particular was so dead-set on marrying an Asian woman. He married a Korean lady who later was abusive to him. She yelled and screamed at him and their kids. She threw him out of the house sometimes. One kid went to live with the in-laws because she didn’t want to take care of 2 kids. He’s now a single father raising the two boys in Seoul alone. He married a Korean woman so he wouldn’t get a divorce.

    His close friend married a Korean woman and got divorced a year later. She just got up and left for Korea and changed her phone ## the next day.

    I also heard of another guy who married a Korean lady and she made him sleep on the floor sometimes. He went to work with dirty clothes because she didn’t want to clean them often enough. She also wouldn’t listen to him when he wanted to talk about anything important, told him to basically “shut up”.

    I did meet a guy there who was married to a Korean lady for over 20 years. They seemed happy. Their two daughters got out of Korea as soon as they were old enough.

    I met up with a half-Korean girl who was raised in Korea and went to an int’l school there. She said that as soon as she got out of high school in a few years, she was leaving Korea. She just couldn’t take being of mixed race out there.

    1. Wow… talk about nightmare scenarios! Thanks for rounding out the picture! Do you have any idea why the Korean / foreign marriages went as badly as they did?

  16. I am seeing the comments now and see that your wife is Filipina. It seems to me that the Western guys who married Filipina women usually had it easier than the guys who married the Korean women. MANY Filipina women were in Korea as students. I think it’s an easier culture for westerners.

    1. Yes, Jammie is Filipina (born in LA)… I am Swedish (but grew up in the Philippines)… so we have a lot in common!!

Comments are closed.