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:
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?
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.