AMWF Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Asian Male, White Female Couples)

Shy of my 21st birthday, I learned the valuable lesson “Love is not enough.” It wasn’t a personal learning experience – I Just witnessed the fallout between friends. Relationships need love, but love cannot conquer all. Relationships also those other silly things like respect, the ability to change, stability, and understanding.

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

Basically, Love is not enough (which goes against everything Disney taught me). 

It was heartbreaking to watch my friend’s intercultural relationship fall apart (and even harder to not pick a side). I wondered where it went wrong – but the answer was pretty obvious to everyone involved. If you do not respect and appreciate your partners culture (to the extent you are willing to forsake elements of your own culture for their benefit), intercultural and interracial relationships are nearly impossible. I started to wonder if there were any other couples “out there” like me.

[For more, check out: AMWF the Unfinished Wikipedia Article]

Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful place that connects people from all walks of life.

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

As of last month, I am part of the AMWF community. AMWF stands for Asian Male, White Female, meaning couples composed of an Asian Man and a White Woman. It represents a small minority of interracial couples, most American, Australian, and European women dating Korean, Japanese, and Chinese men. However, hundreds of other countries and nationalities are also represented.

Now I want to share my own story – regarding the good, the bad, and the ugly of an AMWF relationship.

Literature about AMWF Couples:

There isn’t a lot out there. The term “AMWF” has only popped up in the last couple years.

Of course, I wrote a (comic) book about AMWF relationships. I highly recommend it, it’s called My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy

The other two books I know of AMWF relationships are:

Actress Diane Farr’s book, Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After

She is married to a Korean man; the book is a lighthearted and sarcastic take on interracial dating. I love it. I also love her as an actress, which was a happy coincidence.

Wendy Tokunaga’s book, Marriage in Translation: Foreign Wife, Japanese Husband

More than anything, it is a collection of stories from eight foreign women who are married (or were married) to Japanese men. It shows an honest look at what AMWF relationships look like, ten to twenty years after the couple first says “I do.”

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

I was born in Texas and raised in Texas/Ghana/boarding school in Japan. My husband was born and raised in Japan.

I’ve lived in eleven houses (spanning three continents); he was raised in a single house in a single city.

By my fifteenth birthday, I had traveled to fifteen countries; before he studied abroad in America, Ryosuke had never left Japan.

My dad was a pastor; his dad was a cop.

My first language was English; his first language was Japanese.

I love writing, music, dancing, and politics; he loves boxing, business, and working out.

I like to read; he likes to cook.

Our relationship is fantastic, frustrating, and full of fun. However, most of it is defined by the fact that I am white and he is Asian. My relationship (like any relationship) is a compromise between the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

1. You’re in love!

Being in love is one of the best feelings in the world. The only comparable feeling is probably when I won tickets to see a live taping of Stephen Colbert, discovered chocolate soy milk (milk allergy), or, like, my future kid gets married. Love is not enough to keep a relationship going, it is definitely not enough to conquer all problems, but it certainly helps.

Being in love is really fun.

[For more, check out: Things I love about Japan: Couple Wear]

2. Everything is different and exciting

We were interviewed a month ago for Akita's Hottest Man spread. They did a special about us, since we were interracial

We were interviewed a month ago for Akita’s Hottest Man spread. They did a special about us, since we were interracial

Intercultural dating is a lot of things. Boring is not one of them. Two years later, and I never know what to expect on dates. A romantic walk on the beach is never just a romantic walk on the beach. It’s also a trip to go squid fishing, a tandem biking adventure, or making bibimbap.

A little bit of mystery keeps the romance alive. I love not knowing what will happen next.

3. It’s a live-in Anthropology project and adventure

I always found Japanese culture fascinating. But I really fell in love with the culture once I started dating Ryosuke. He has taught me so much about Japan. He was the one who helped me understand the types of sexism in Japan (for more, check out this post)

But living with him, his family, and his friends, I have been given the enormously unique opportunity of doing participant observation of the Japanese culture. And, well, I started this blog to document what I found.

Romance couple dating Japanese man American woman interracial relationships

4. The AMWF community is fantastic, loving, and supportive

As I mentioned before, I recently connected with several AMWF communities. They have been a fun, interesting, and informative support group – especially the bloggers. Here are some of my favorite:

If you want your blog or website added to this site, just leave a comment and I will add you :)

The Bad:

1. Everything is different

Change is fun, but every day is a struggle. There is no way to coast in an interracial relationship. And it is a little bit scary trying to live day by day.

Sure, this week I think it is a bit silly (but adorable) that Ryosuke makes me wipe my feet off with wet wipes before climbing into bed (even if I have been wearing slippers all day). But what about in ten years?

AMWF couple drawing art comic Ryosuke and Grace Japanese Husband Thinks I'm Crazy

He likes the fact I am ambitious and want to have a solid career, but what about in five years, when his family is pressuring me to quit my job to have (and take care of) kids?

The instability and insecurity is scary. It never quite goes away.

2. You will have to compromise on un-comprisable subjects

The hardest part of an intercultural relationship is deciding when to compromise, when to fight, and when to draw the line. Nothing is safe. Everything is up for discussion. Some of the time it is simple trade-offs like “I will wipe me feet off before getting into bed if you don’t do laundry every day.” Or “I will shower in the evening if you will buy beer instead of sake.”

Inner racial, innerracial Japanese American couple

Other times it is complicated things you don’t know how to compromise on. What are you supposed to do if your partner is completely opposed to your religion? What if he thinks you should quit your job after marriage to become a housewife? What if he is racist against other Asian countries? What if he thinks infidelity is not a problem?

I talked about some of the cultural disagreements I’ve had in this post about the differences between couples fighting in America and in Japan. I’ve been with my husband for almost three years; we are still finding things we need to compromise on.

3. If language barriers exist, you (or your partner) may be unable to fully integrate into the other’s family

I’m lucky. Ryouske speaks English fluently. I speak Japanese fairly-fluently (can understand everything, but have trouble formulating all of my thoughts in a timely and concise manner). But there is a understanding no matter how much we study each other’s languages, we will never be an integral part of each other’s families.

I was the only foreigner at Seijinshiki, and didn't wear a kimono

Quick, spot the foreigner!
(let’s be honest here, I’m never going to fit in)

He will never catch all the sarcastic jokes my sister whispers under her breath; I will never be able to reply quickly enough to his father’s drunken ramblings. Those social keys, elements of sarcasm, and play on words expressions will never come naturally to each of us in a foreign language.

And sometimes you just have to accept the fact and move on.

The Ugly:

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

1. Racism is real

Racism is one of those things that you can’t fully comprehend unless you are a victim of it. During race discussions at my school, most of the white women I talk to say things like “I’ve never seen racism, so I don’t think it still exists” or “racism isn’t real – they are just imagining it!” Or men that say “sexism isn’t a problem, women over exaggerate everything!” On that same tangent, people think that interracial relationships don’t attract stares, criticism, or whispers. Unfortunately, racism is still alive, all over the world.

If you’re ‘lucky’ no one will come up to you in the street and ask “why are you dating him? You should be dating a white guy.” If you’re not… well, prepare for people to talk.

I wrote a piece about this that went viral, “dear world, saying my husband is ‘attractive for an Asian guy’ isn’t a compliment, it’s actually kind of racist.”

2. Family, Friends, and Acquaintances often won’t understand

No one seems to like the people their friend’s choose to date. The closer the friend, the more you tend to dislike their choice of a partner. Expect the roles to be reversed on you, except this time, your friends and family have a whole new way to judge your partner – race, religion, culture, and cultural beliefs.

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

Cultures are inherently different. In the course of your AMWF relationship, you will run across old friends and new acquaintances who want to ‘save you from ignoring this obvious problem.’ Most of them mean well. They really do. But people’s words hurt a lot more than they realize.

Some people have difficulties separating an individual from their culture. I am not marrying into Japanese culture. I am marrying Ryosuke. While it would be foolish to ignore the impact Japanese culture will have on my relationship, our foreign cultures are not the determining factor on whether we can have a successful marriage.

Our ability to love, compromise, and respect each other is the key.

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

3. You will need a coping mechanism to deal with the question “Why don’t you just date a white guy?”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve hear this phrase I would, well, have like $20. Which isn’t a lot, but it is still $20 more dollars than I should have.

When people asked me this question, I used to just respond “Why should I date a white guy?” I stopped after a while, because people would actually give me lists on why I should date a white man.

[For more, check out the Huffington Post article: 8 Questions Interracial Couples are tired of hearing]

The lists ranged from he shares your culture (what culture exactly? I’ve went to high school on three different continents) to your babies can keep your eye color (who picks a mate on the basis of what color they want their children to have?) or white men have larger penis’ (Ew. No. Stop. Why are we having this conversation?)

amwf couple foreign woman  asian man couple dating romance japan interracial intercultural

If you see two white people holding hands, no one bats an eye. If you see two Asian people shopping for baby clothes, no one thinks twice. Seriously guys, if you see a white woman and an Asian man at a restaurant, leave them alone. Don’t press them about their relationship. Don’t judge. Don’t stare. And above all, don’t ever assume you know more than someone else about their own relationship.

AMWF and interracial/intercultural relationships do not come with a manual. And, two years later, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I think it is amazing that my best friend is from a different culture; every day spent with him is a learning experience. We have our days (some good, some bad); if I could go back in time two years to the day he asked me to be his girlfriend, there is not a single thing I would change.

Not a single thing. 

If you like this and want to read more, I please buy the autobiographical comic book I wrote, on Amazon!  My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

295 Comments on AMWF Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (Asian Male, White Female Couples)

  1. Just discovered your YouTube channel, and found it so intriguing that I subscribed! I’m a Filipino male married to an American female (https://www.facebook.com/rodericktiangco). We’ve been married since 2002, but have been together since 1995. We love seeing how other interracial couples live in other countries. It’s just fascinating! My wife and I both enjoy watching your videos and look forward to more of your adventures! One of these, we’ll have to visit Japan. Cheers!! –Rod

  2. Thoughts when looking at the photo posted above:

    1) Is this Ryosuke’s family? No I swear he hasn’t got that many female relatives… (Casts mind back to long-ago blog posts)
    2) Grace should be in this picture
    3) Where’s Grace?
    (Scans round all the faces)
    4) I can’t see her. Why would she put up a random photo of some women on here? Surely she should be in the photo….?

    Reads the caption “spot the foreigner”

    5) Huh?
    6) She’s GOT to be in there somewh- Oh. There she is.
    7) She was in the middle and I didn’t see her.
    8) There is something wrong with my eyes.

    To all the commenters out there: there are some deep feelings being expressed by you all. Keep pushing to make this world a better place.
    :)

    “I have made you into nations and tribes so that you may recognise one another, not so you may hate one another”
    – Holy Qur’aan

    Our diversity is a miracle of our existence. :) I love our beautiful variety.

  3. I feel like this is less about race, and more about culture. Being white certainly doesn’t mean you’re American, and being Asian doesn’t mean you’re a foreigner. You’d see many interracial couples in New York that aren’t intercultural.

  4. This is a great post, Gracie. Thank you so much for being an non-conforming caucasian female who go for what she wants.

    Here is an article that we have written for young Malaysian students who are interested in dating white females but are socially conditioned that the white chicks are out of their league:
    http://malaysianstudent.com/dating-white-chicks/

  5. The way I see interracial relationship is that when an an Asian guy dates a white girl people do get weird looks but everything seems to fine if a white guy dates an Asian girl which kind of bothers me I mean if it’s okay for white guys going out with women of my race why is it almost taboo if we date a white girl. I never actually dated a white girl but brother’s girlfriend is white and they said they get weird looks when they go out plus they vert happy together so why are people so against Asian male and white female relationships. But are fine with white male and Asian female relationships I would never know.

  6. My boyfriend was adopted when he was two, so most of these are issues that I (fortunately) don’t have to worry about. But I didn’t realize people would actually question our AMFW relationship until we went on a day trip and an old couple offered to take our picture, after which the man told me that “I could do better” and walked away. I was in shock, and I wish I had had a stronger appalled reaction, because it was quite obviously about his race.

  7. I have recently been introduced to your YouTube videos. I am very impressed, as you seem to share my unique sense if humor. Reading this about international or interracial relationships is very true. The same can be true of any relationship. Love isn’t enough. My husband is my closest and best friend, a sounding board, a partner in crime (not real crime, he is more cop than robber), and a lover. He can irritate me and flabbergast me in a blink of an eye. But we are in this trip together. His family is just as crazy as mine, and we are lucky enough to share the same type of craziness. But even if you are world’s apart in your history, your future can be uniquely solidified into a harmony of something new. Everyone forgets that any romantic relationship takes work, but it is harder for people who have visual differences between them. I think you are touching a lot of people with your social media sites. Keep on rocking!!!!

  8. I am a white woman living in Minnesota and my husband is of Vietnamese decent. I am lucky to say his parents are unique in that they allow their children to make their own decisions and live independently, as long as they are working hard and making a living. I know there is likely some small disappointment in that he did not marry a Vietnamese woman, but his parents have been nothing but supportive, and are always kind to me.
    We have experienced some racism sadly, which has mostly been negative stereotyping toward my husband. It’s usually quips about his “size”, which I think has also been some strange masculinity/power-struggle…men who barely know him put him down to feel better about themselves. I have to say it is pretty pathetic. Other than that, we have had nothing but support and love from family and loved ones in the Twin Cities.

    • Nicole, can you blame those poor souls for making fun of your husband? They are the ones hurting with their egos torn apart because deep down they know they are nothing more than just wimps. Their only weapon is their mouths, controlled by tiny brains that utters nothing but bile. What woman would want to claim such so-called men?

  9. Who on earth is asking you why you won’t date a white man? Is it anonymous people on the internet??? Is it people from your hometown???? Why??????
    I’m from Oregon and just got married to my Japanese significant other after three years of dating/living together and not one single solitary person has ever said that to me.

    • You are in Oregon, not in Texas

    • I was born in NJ and am of Chinese descent, my wife was born in rural Tennessee. After moving here to Tennessee, I have found that the stereotype about southerners is incorrect. I have not found southerners to be more racist than northerners. The other stereotype is that conservatives (politically) are less tolerant and more racist than progressives. I have found that the opposite is true.

      • So the so-called ‘Liberals’ are the real racists, but subtle and enough to do harm. Living in big metropolitan cities (in L.A.) one might thinks that everything would blend and melt nicely in one big pot. Come to think of it, the people I used to know from Montana, (Yuma) Arizona, Ohio, and Savannah, Georgia were some the best and dearest, if not the nicest people I have known and spent time with. Most of them have ranches and horses, plus the Georgia Peach I once dated more than 20 years ago was the sweetest little thing. I regret losing her because I was a young rebel (and arrogant asshole) punk.

    • I agree, it is strange. It would be nice to a have a reference as to where theses kinds of comments are being made? Outside of Tokyo or a small town in Texas? I know many similar couples in Seattle, Philadelphia, NY, Connecticut and California that havent experienced this and find it a non issue. I think as a ‘writer’ it is important to site this. The writer quotes friends at school who don’t think racism still exists. The quote in its entirety sound fairly uneducated and/or living in a upper middle class bubble. All one would have to do is read the newspaper from time to time. Racism is everywhere. It is seething everywhere in the fibers of societies. However I haven’t experienced AMFW in U.S. metropolitan travel. Excluding southern cities, where there are higher conservative religious populations. Although they preach thou shall not judge…they spend most of their time deciding what is right for others.

  10. Chihiro Saito // 27 September, 2015 at 5:21 pm //

    I’m the reverse of the AMWF; I’m a Japanese-American woman dating an Caucasian-American man. :)
    The funniest thing is that his family constantly thinks I’m a gold-digging whore who is trying to get into their son’s pants, marry him, steal all his money, and run back to China (yes, China. Because apparently, “Isn’t Japan some place in China?”).

    It’s one of the most difficult things when your partner’s family is completely against your relationship. And my heart goes out to all those who have to go through that.

    I hope that your partner is as supportive as my boyfriend, because they can be the greatest source of strength when faced with something like this. Just a simple, “I love you no matter what they say.” does a lot. :)

    Head up, chin high!

    • Back in Indiana in 1984 a Caucasian woman literally threw up when she found out that her son was engaged to a Japanese American woman. Then in 2005 in Indiana a Caucasian man’s family thought his Chinese wife was a gold digger and they did not believe that she was the daughter of a Chinese billionaire. After all only white people can be rich.

  11. The eye colour issue is one I find intriguing. I’m a blue-eyed white guy married to a Chinese lady, so yes, I gave up the possibility of my kids inheriting my eye colour. Today I look into my little son’s eyes and I see a beautiful brown that I love to look at. I’m quite sure the reason why is because they look so much like his mother’s eyes. So not being able to pass on blue eyes to the next generation has been no sacrifice for me at all.

  12. As a white woman being married to a asian man things are terrible. I love my husband but I am treated terribly. And it can be hard to predict because so much of Asian racism is under the surface. His mother and sister say backhanded comments and give me dirty looks. His mother even hits me and steps on my feet on a regular basis. Asian women that are strangers when they find out that I am not part Asian are instantly hostile to me which is interesting because so many asian women date and marry white men, so what’s wrong with the reverse? As long as I stay away from his family and the Asian community everything is fine.

  13. Kenji Yamasaki // 15 August, 2015 at 2:48 pm //

    58 year old Japanese male married to a 52 year old Caucasian from Louisville, Kentucky. (Yep, she has the southern drawl and all. ) we have been together for over 20 years now. We had our share of racism and stupid ignorant remarks. But we have and continue to overcome. We have a biracial daughter and an adopted Chinese daughter. We are both stubborn (ishi atama). Maybe that’s why we still together. But mostly it is because we still love each other. She stil is and forever be my heart. ( Like the character in Massan. )

  14. English/American 66 married to a Japanese man 64 from Japan living in California. Given we both came to the U.S. young we adapted well. But it was hard blending six kids from two different cultures into one. Lucky our kids were all over 21 when we married. But I sometimes see the racist looks, hubby never sees anything thank God. It’s mostly from older White people who remember Pearl Harbor or older Japanese who remember Hiroshima. But we only see each other and how lucky we were to find love at our old age.

  15. Move to the San Francisco Bay Area! It’s 2015 and hardly a day goes by without you seeing an Asian Male/White Female in public. Don’t believe me? Go spend a few days there and see for yourself.

  16. Anonymous // 8 June, 2015 at 7:26 pm //

    I think its great to have a multicultural relationship! Its much tougher than relationships with people of the same culture because of the tiny quirks that you need to learn. I think I’ll subscribe to your blog! PS: Don’t mean the promotion but if you want customized quote images! I’ll design it for you for just $5 here:https://www.fiverr.com/irickdawinan/create-a-custom-poster-style-image-with-quotes

  17. As a woman who have dated several Asian men and is currently dating one, I can relate to all of this. Thanks for opening my eyes to the AMWF groups online. Suddenly I don’t feel so alone. Thank you for a great post. You guys look awesome together. Much love from Sweden.

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  18. Although I’m not dating an Asian man, (he’s Cuban), I can relate to the problems with becoming a member of the family. His parents only speak Spanish, and have very little knowledge of English. I took Spanish in school, but let’s face it, didn’t learn that much. Most of our conversations consist of hand motions and exasperated smiles. My boyfriend has to translate back and forth, but when I’m alone with them it’s a lost cause.
    I’m currently studying Korean and Japanese, leaving me very little room to focus on Spanish, but I’ve had to make it a priority to practice my Spanish at least once a week.
    Unfortunately, my boyfriend doesn’t like helping me practice- I still haven’t figured out why.

    Anyway, I love your blog, and wish you and Ryosuke the best!

  19. hello Grace. I want to marry my Japanese boyfriend, but there seems to be a lot of things to discuss, like where will we live, does he have a house, does he have a plan and what job should we do etc. etc. did you and Ryo talk about all these things (and maybe more) before you married each other? How did you guys go about it?

  20. Comics, video clips and blog about Grace and Ryosuke brings me back fond remembrance of my own life.

    My American wife’s family was against her marrying me, a Japanese man. After hearing about so many conflicts my wife had with her family, I decided to go to her house and ask for a permission to marry. This was back in 1980. My wife’s parents were old enough to remember the WWII.

    “But you are a Japanese.” my wife’s mother exclaimed. “What would you do if you had a daughter one day, and she comes to you wanting to marry a foreigner?” To her question, I said, “If I had a daughter, I hope I would have raised her right to be able to trust her judgement. ” My wife’s mother looked at the father for help, but seeing that he wasn’t going to say anything, she left the room with tears in her eyes.

    My wife’s father shook my hand and told me “I’m pulling for you.”

    We were married in 1981, and left for Japan in 1985. My wife was totally color blind in terms of races. A few times I had to protect her from curious eyes and vulgar comments of drunk people on the train, but we have been fortunate enough not to have to directly deal with negative comments about our intercultural marriage.

    Our life together has been a true adventure for the past 35 years. Rather than struggling with each other’s culture, we created our own traditions with pieces of cultures from the US and Japan.

    Our life is winding down now in expectation of retirement for the both of us. Our intercultural marriage has been fruitful and rewarding. I wish the best of luck for all of you in the similar situation.

    • This was an incredibly sweet read. You and your wife sound like pretty incredibly (and interesting) people. I’m glad you were able to carve out a little life for yourselves :)

      • Thank you, Grace. Your relationship with Ryosuke is very similar to ours especially at the beginning of our life in Japan. Humorous, fun and spontaneous. I am very thankful to my wife for always kindling little fire in our life together through the years. Challenges make our lives interesting and special.

  21. I’m really glad I could find your blog, I’m from the UK and have been with my Japanese boyfriend for nearly a year now ^-^ Unfortunately we’re still doing the distance but not one minute goes by where I regret any of it. Distance is worth it!!
    I can relate to your blog I always have similar concerns about how it will work in the future, but he’s very progressive and open-minded.

    My biggest issue so far is about animal rights in Japan, I am so shocked by the ignorance towards the suffering of animals, especially of fur. I am a long term vegetarian and my boyfriend has been so great to.accommodate this in Japan but when I saw that he had real fur on his hood I couldn’t stay quiet and I think we had a big misunderstanding >~< Ethical concerns are my biggest problem I dont want him to stop eating meat but to me people wearing real fur are ignorant, even if I love them. I wont let something like this ruin my rationship though, I think we just need time to work out this issue -_-

    • Katerina // 14 May, 2015 at 11:19 pm //

      Wearing fur is a very cultural thing. People may understand that it’s cruel or that the animals are treated badly and only used for fur but not be able to associate that with the fur coat in their closet. It’s also one of the warmest things to wear in winter which is why many northern cultures persist in wearing fur. Also, most fake fur looks and feels really bad and cheap. You can try seeing if there is any high quality fake fur on the market and present it as an alternative.

  22. J. Shoshanna Brin // 7 February, 2015 at 1:52 am //

    I saw where you said you get the “why not date a white guy” question a lot and my mom use to get that question a lot about black guys (she is mixed and my dad is super white or french as he prefers). So my mom would answer back with “I’m saving them all for you” :D

  23. Hi there. I found this blog while browsing through some YouTube videos, first I was watching some japanese food cooking videos and then I came across your channel (don’t know how haha). Anyway, I’m a japanese-brazilian male, born and raised in Brazil, both my parents are from Japan and my girlfriend is polish; She can barely speak portuguese but we can work things around by speaking english to each other. Here in Brazil is very common to see a japanese-brazilian guy dating a white girl and none of my japanese-brazilian friends have experienced “racism” so far when it comes to relationship.

    Keep up the good work!

  24. Thank you for writing this article two years ago. I stumbled across it when reading some of your TokyoCheapo stuff. My wife and I are also an AMWF couple, myself being Filipino, her being Minnesotan. Although I was raised in Philadelphia, we have had many of the problems you brought up in our lives. Our families view things differently, and she’s had experiences I’ve never had! Sometimes I wonder if we are fighting against the odds, but articles like this are amazing.

    I had never heard of the AMWF, and usually I see Asian Females with white husbands. Thank you for touching on some of the most sensitive topics that we do face (Especially in the Central US…). It made me feel a lot better.

  25. chimamanda // 6 January, 2015 at 11:45 am //

    I’ve been with my Chinese-American boyfriend for over six years now… I think the biggest issues have been figuring out how to act/bond/be tolerated around and by his family as well as dealing with the ramifications of having been raised in two completely different cultures.

    Although he was born in Boston, his family is very traditional. His family came over as refugees with nothing and speaking no English, so they have had to work very hard. He and his siblings were basically raised by his grandparents while his parents worked day and night. When he did see his parents, interactions consisted of criticism, coldness, and stress being taken out on them. An obvious amount of love being shown through the food they cooked and how hard they worked to provide a great life for them, but not the outward display of love, affection, and support I grew up with. In recent years, the differences in how we were raised and how that affects our character has become more obvious, and at times, very difficult to understand and cope with. It’s a learning process for sure and I’ve had to work hard on self-reflection and realizing when I subconsciously impose my morals, communication strategies, and social expectations on others, especially him.

    His family (minus his siblings) had a huge issue with me for the first 3 or so years, but for the most part, I’ve finally won them over. It was all behind my back though, or to my face but in Chinese. I’m a tall white woman (actually 2 inches taller than my boyfriend) and knowing I was so physically different from what they wanted for him made me very self-conscious for a while. I’ve really tried hard to immerse myself in every cultural tradition, learn some Canto, and be generally respectful. I have to say though – the thought of our parents meeting makes me veeeeery anxious just for the amount of awkwardness that will occur.

    Thank you for your post – it was very interesting!

    • One interesting thing I’ve noticed about Asian/Western countries is that there seems to be a different way of expression love. It took a while to figure it out, I guess.

      In general, Asian cultures tend to express love through cooking, providing, doing laundry, etc. They show their love through actions.

      On the other hand, Western cultures tend to express love through words and emotions. They say “I love you” often.

      To an Asian culture, just saying “I love you” or being emotionally connected isn’t necessarily showing love. And do a Western culture, just because your partner cooks and does laundry for you doesn’t mean they are expressing their love.

      It’s complicated.

  26. Alice Rose // 3 January, 2015 at 9:47 am //

    Hey, I found your blog through YouTube and it makes for super interesting reading! I had no idea the AMWF thing existed, but it certainly articulates a lot of things I’ve felt. My boyfriend is British Born Chinese, so I didn’t really consider him from a different culture when we started dating. However his parents both grew up in Taiwan so culture shock is still a thing. (Their favourite thing about me for a long time was that I could eat udon with chopsticks…) Also had the slightly strange (but very sweet) experience of going on a date to a Dim Sum place and the AMWM couple opposite us not being able to stop staring/smiling… Thanks for sharing your experience- even in a country where I have the privilege, I still get to be the awkward one that can’t read the menus!

  27. Grace, i found your blog some weeks ago and honestly i ‘m hooked and i must say this was a very interesting read. I think you guys are an awesome couple. God bless

  28. 34 Filipino male here. Just started dating other ethnic group ( mostly caucasian). It always fascinates me when a woman see you as something mysterious. It keeps things fun and interesting.

  29. history reasons // 21 December, 2014 at 7:24 pm //

    As a matter of fact, less than a century ago, it was illegal in Texas for a white person to marry someone colored. That ended when S.C.O.T.U.S. struck down bla bla bla…..the rest is history.

    • Uh, not just Texas — all of the USA had a ban on interracial marriage until the mid-20th century with the Civil Rights Amendments.

  30. Congratulations! You’re a really sweet couple and truly in love, that’s all it matters.
    Who’s been bothering and asking you to stick with White men? White guys/folks? Asian women? Why couldn’t people tell those WM/AF to stick with white women instead? If anyone comes up telling me that I should only date Asian women, I’d tell them to go pound sand, or better yet, go choke on a BIG YELLOW banana!
    Luckily, I’ve never encounter this problem, maybe because my girlfriend is middle eastern (Persian) but people shouldn’t be so quickly to judge. We’ve been together for over 13 years and funny enough, the only unpleasantness we’ve come across are from ‘certain’ Asian women, or White men with Asian women.

  31. should be changed to AMWW = Asian Man WESTERN Woman ..

  32. Thank you ever so much for making this blog!!!
    I’ve been following it for a while now since this summer and I figured here would be the best post to place a comment.

    This summer I worked for two months in a hostel in Japan and that’s where I met my boyfriend. I speak extremely bad Japanese and he barely speaks English but somehow it worked! I’ll save you my whole dating story and how it developed (unless you want to hear it xD). I never had a relationship before so I didn’t know if this would work out but I made the decision that I wouldn’t regret it. We kept in contact and when I got back to my country he expressed the desire to stay together, to try to make this work. He knew that we wouldn’t be able to see each other for a loooong time so I did trust him when he wanted to make this commitment.
    So….that’s how I became an idiot.
    I booked a plane 3 days after and I’m going back for the winter holidays. Even though I have important midterms barely a week after I get back, skip obligatory Christmas parties AND spent a good chunk of my savings…….I’m crazy! But being crazy is also quite exciting.

    Reading your posts made me feel encouraged. I never heard of a LDR community or even a AMWF community. Your writings make me feel comfortable in being crazy and make me understand the small things about Japanese culture that used to annoy me (about relationships). I have no clue if this will work out but I’m ever so ready to try because I DO feel this connection. It’s just so weird that I had to cross the globe to find it :p

    Thank you

  33. A couple of points here.

    Firstly, I have always found the use of the term “asian” to be problematic. If you read Joseph Goebbels, you find that he talks about the “die asiatische Behörde” (the asians hordes) but, by that he means the Jews and Russians. Israel is, strictly speaking, located in Asia and therefore Jews are asians. Likewise, Russia lies mostly in Asia: Russians are mostly asian. When Chiune Sugihara saved the lives of some 6,000 Jews fleeing the invading Nazi forces in Russian territory by granting them transit visas to Japan, the Jewish refugees explained to the Japanese authorities that they were persecuted for being “asian”. Berlin demanded that Tokyo return these Jews to the Nazi, but Tokyo remained staunchly silent throughout the war years, thus allowing thousands to survive the Holocaust.

    Americans in particular love to create these black-and-white racial distinctions, just like the Nazis. For example, in the early American film, “Birth of a Nation”, the term “Aryan” is used to distinguish those of Northern European origin from Latinos of Southern European descent. Yet that is not a distinction made by the Nazis, who were perfectly happy to form close alliances with the Spanish fascists under Franco or with Italian fascists under Mussolini. Both Spaniards and Italians are Latin peoples, or, in the modern American parlance, “Latinos”. Modern Americans are more racist than the Nazis in prescribing to this perverse White vs Latino terminology. As far as the Nazis were concerned, both Latin/Southern European people were just as Aryan as Nordic types. Little wonder so many Nazis fled persecution by fleeing to Latin America!

    And as for “white” people vs “black” people? What a stupid terminology! Look at President Obama’s hair – that is black, and you can see his skin colour is lighter than his hair colour. So his skin colour isn’t actually pitch black. Likewise, the expression “white as a sheet” suggests that if a person isn’t pink and healthy looking that is a terrible thing. “In the pink” also means healthy and well. The very expression “white and black” serves only to create diametrical opposition where none exists.

    The term “Caucasian” suggest origins in the Caucasus, which is today considered part of Asia. So, I guess that means that all Caucasians are Asians???

    As for “Asian”, in the UK, whenever the police say they are looking for “a male of Asian appearance” it usually refers to someone of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi origin. But it could refer to someone from East Russia, Israel, Iran, Mongolia, as well as Papua New Guinea or Japan.

    Sadly, modern Americans prescribe to ideas of race that look like they come straight out of the annals of Nazi propaganda. Even when you get discourse that asks whether “Asian” (what’s that????) men can be considered attractive, that already prescribes to the inherently racist ideology underlying it.

    Or to put it another way when people talk about an “asian male” you should ask: what’s that? Jewish, Indian or Russian? Or maybe Cauc-ASIAn?

    Really, we humans are truly all fundamentally all part of the One People.

    • Actually Asians in the UK are never confused with East Asians…using your example. the police have different call signs (IC3 I think for asians (indians, pakistanis etc…. brown, basically), IC5 for Chinese, Japanese etc (slant eyes, basically))

  34. My least favorite (and my most commonly stated) Ugly is, “You’re one of those girls with an Asian fetish.”

    Um, how about no? My preference has nothing to do with a fetish. Also, why is it anyone’s business? Would you tell my half-Japanese daughter that she’s “just a product of a fetish”? No, because that’s a jerk thing to say and it’s not true.

    • Ewww. That’s sucky. I can’t believe people actually tell you that – even with a daughter. That’s a really jerk thing to say…

    • That’s as racist a comment as I’ve heard about “Asian fetish”; insensitive, rude and just shallow whoever that ass was.

      I’m Asian and deeply respectful of who I am as we should be of all other races.

      Love knows no boundaries and I am heartened to read the comments here and the blog which provided great insight.

      I do think LDRs are difficult and exciting, and yet the practical day-to-day without the partner physically present will test the resolve of most couples. Absence makes the heart grow fonder but it will reach exasperation point and that’s when the heartache sets in.

      I would love to explore being with a white woman, cos she’s different from Chinese or Asian women – she looks different and am attracted to that.

      Thank you for the informative read.

      Wish one and all the very best in love and companionship. :)

  35. Virginia and South Carolina, Asian man and a white woman…it has be careful written all over it…at least until you move back to California.

  36. Thanks for sharing. Very informative. I’m an Asian man and I dated a white woman of Irish and Italian descent, Katherine. We only dated for a short time, but because of that short time, we never really got to really know each other and our cultures. We dated over 4 years ago in high school and after we broke up(and I moved back to California), we tried to work things out but to no success. She is from Pennsylvania. But what makes an interracial relationship even more complicated, is the distance. Especially when you’re trying to start up again. Now she is in Virginia for school and I in South Carolina. I hardly hear from her. Now I’m just thinking about letting her go for good because I don’t know if she’s serious about us. I hardly hear from her. She says she is busy, but I don’t know anymore. Now there is another, who seems genuinely interested, Stacy. Does it make me a bad person? To let Katherine go for Stacy? I’ve been waiting for 2 years for Katherine, should I be more patient?

    • I guess you’re the only one who can really answer that question. But I do know (from experience) that it’s best to date someone who is JUST as crazy about you as you are about them. If they’re only lukewarm now, that’s not fair to either of you.

  37. Thanks for sharing your story! I’ve been dating a Japanese guy for going on 5 months and we’re long-distance right now (I finished the JET Program in August). I’m enjoying reading your story and how long-distance things worked for you guys.

  38. It’s so great to read a post like this! I’ve been in two long term relationships with Asian guys, and sadly the Ugly aspect applies to both. My ex-boyfriend was Filipino and had immigrated to my hometown two years before we met. Outside of work, he didn’t really know anyone besides the tiny Filipino community he was a part of. His younger sister wound up introducing us and I eventually wrote him a letter to ask him out. We were together for two years but things ended sort of abruptly, mainly because we had too many personal differences (not cultural) that made it difficult for me to stay with him.

    At university, I’m really involved with international students, as well as exchange students who come here from Japan. My current boyfriend is from Malaysia and I love him more than anything. The issue is is that people like to make comments because the only guys I’ve dated happen to both be Asian, and that most of my friends happen to be too. My boyfriend is the most open minded, talented, and smart person I know. Since he’s from Malaysia he’s already fluent in English (as was my ex). His mom is super nice and so is his brother. I haven’t talked to his father yet. I’m moving to somewhere in Asia after I graduate since that had been my original plan before meeting my boyfriend. I’m hoping to work as an ESL teacher and work with recent immigrants when I come back to Canada. My boyfriend is very vocal if anything bothers him, which is great. lol I don’t notice any cultural differences between us since he’s Malaysian. We like all of the same things and love food so it’s great that way. But people can still be ignorant. I hate people watching us in restaurants or in public. I’m more used to it because of my past relationship, but it bothers him and makes him want to leave.

    I HATE the “Why don’t you date a white guy?” comment. lol My friends do too who are in interracial relationships. What’s worse is if someone finds out my boyfriend(s) is Asian, they then ask, “Oh, so you must be attracted to every Asian guy, right?”. I just…. I want to ask them “Are you attracted to every guy you see? No.”. lol Some people show disgust and I just stare blankly at them and tell them to grow up. It’s better now at least. I think my relationships have made me much more aware of the world and have built strongly on my own character.

    • Ewwww. I’m so sorry to hear that. That kinda sucks.
      Thankfully (?), Ryosuke happens to be the first Asian guy I dated. Oddly enough, when I dated a guy from Mexico no one made any comments. And, of course, when I dated white guys, no one said anything.
      I guess as soon as people think you have a “type” that doesn’t fit with their “type” they start to make awkward comments. Don’t worry about what people say (though, you already know that, hahahaha) – people love to talk. Most don’t even know what they’re talking about :)

      • Anonymous // 8 December, 2014 at 8:21 pm //

        So true. And actually, most people who give one the benefit of their opinions don`t actually care that much about the people they`re ostensibly directing them to. They are talking to themselves. Great blog!

  39. Love your article! Thank-you! I had no idea about the AMWF online community until now. I’m an English Australian… basically as white as it comes freckled female madly in love with her as Asian as it comes, Chinese Singaporean partner. I truly believe the cultural differences in our relationship make us stronger together because it almost.. forces you to be patient and communicate more. We have talked non-stop since we met and no topic is off-topic, we have so much to learn from each other and its just fascinating every day. Not to say we don’t have miscommunication issues… we do…. more often than we’d like, but we talk about them, and it brings us closer together. We teach each other about each other every moment to prevent insecurities about our differences and social pressures raising their heads. While communicating with each others parents can be really intimidating with our mutually jumbled accents, laughter sounds the same in any language and we have a lot of that!
    (though i’m definitely picking up on a few words and phrases)

    We couldn’t be happier and are really excited for our future together and our families future together. I love that other people are expressing these thoughts as well! For our trip to Singapore next year we are getting t-shirts “token white chick” “token asian guy”, very least give the haters a giggle.

    *subscribes!*

  40. I find it much harder to deal with the fact that all of his friends think I’m an insatiable sexual monster and probably really kinky in bed, simply because I’m not Asian. Because all white girls are like the ones you see in porn, right?

    • Oh my gosh. This comment. EXACTLY.
      My husband’s friends have the weirdest preconceptions about our relationship/sex life because I’m a white, American woman. And they all watch WAY too much porn.

  41. My hubby is Japanese, he doesn’t speak English, was raised his whole life in a normal fairly traditional family and went abroad twice in his life. And we have NONE of the problems mentioned above or in general about interracial relationships. Isn’t that kind of interesting?!

    The only thing which is different is that he peels most of the fruit he eats and I don’t lol but that is pretty much it. Yes, he can’t communicate with my family welll, but he was welcomed with open arms and he felt that even without words. I translated as much as I could of course and while my family tries to learn Japanese he tries to learn English.
    (I also have a blog, since I can’t talk about many differences between me and him, I write about our Japanese life together and daily things http://lifethejapaneseway.wordpress.com/)

    • That’s really sweet :)
      I’m glad y’all don’t really have any of these problems. I guess because my husband and I have travelled pretty extensivelly together (as well as living in Texas/Philly/Tokyo/Ibaraki/Akita together), so we’ve been in all sorts of interesting situations.

      On a side not, I just found your blog and LOVE it. I totally subscribed and look forward to reading all the new posts~

  42. This post really hits home for me. Being an Asian-American male there is some slight differences than if I was born in Asia but for the most part there is still the stigma. My preference is for white women and I must admit that it puts a smile on my face when I see an AMWF couple (which I didn’t even know was a term until I came across your post) and seeing the pics of you and your husband had me smiling from ear-to-ear. I feel that this is one of the minorities when it comes to interracial couples so my first thought when seeing it is “Kudos brother, good for you!”.

    I myself have had experience dating white women well as Hispanic-American and Asian-American but in the case of non-Asians I always felt that the women were open-minded to dating Asians but that I wondered if there were non-Asian women who seeked out the Asian man as I seeked out the white woman. This is what I felt like would be successful in the long run but have yet to find it. So my question to you is were you open-minded or did you have a preference to Asian men?

    I am going to read more about your blog and the AMWF communities. Thank you for turning me onto this. It is very encouraging to me.

    I too love Japanese culture and would love to visit someday. While I haven’t been, I assume that it can be difficult there to have people be less than enthusiastic in your interracial relationship but I still believe that it is your life and your love, not anyone else’s. The negative stigma of interracial relationships luckily isn’t as bad here in California as the rest of the US but it still exists. But I still wish to offer support in the fact that I appreciate you for breaking the stigmas and opening the dialogue.

    • Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you got a kick out of this post.

      For the first year and some change when I was dating my husband, we didn’t know about the AMWF community. Looking back, I can’t quite remember how I found it.

      Like every community, it has good and bad points (ugh), but I confess, it’s nice to be able to read the blogs of other couples who have gone through similar things (being a white female in a traditional Asian society, etc) and see different coping mechanisms in action.

      Best of luck in your dating prospects!

  43. Thanks for the links on AMWF sites, I have been married to my korean husband for over a year and often read ‘My Korean Husband’ (go figure!) because it is so easy to relate to. Only in the last few days did I do some decent googling and find out there was an acronym of AMWF and from there I discovered more blogs like yours and great forums like Hey-Ai! where we all talk about things related to AMWF couples. It’s been such a great community. I live in Australia and many media sources call our country ‘racist’ but in dating my husband and marrying him, I never encountered an ill word against us, which was lovely. I’ve started making Keeks recently to share with the AMWF community, check them out if you like! https://www.keek.com/profile/yongtamelia

    • I looooooooove “My Korean Husband.” Her comics are awesome. And they seem like such a fun couple~
      I was really surprised to hear about all the AMWF sites. It’s kind of nice to read other people’s experiences~

      • I’ve got a huge crush on a man that I believe to be Korean. He also seems to like me, because he stares at me like I’m the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and he is very kind to me. What do you recommend that I do? I don’t know if he is single, married, etc. I’m very old fashioned, would it be rude for me to ask about his availability or do something else? Or should I just wait? I’m a pretty white woman.

  44. My name is Joel. Im an asian boy or islander to some of those. Filipino to be exact. I have always dated within my race or asians only until the past few years. I served the Marine Corps for awhile and opted out to the private sector. I got burned out and wanted to escapem I went to a friends ranch in Montana. There I met this beautiful country girl. She was a sassy classy and smartassy. She blew out the stereotypical (within asian stereotype of white women) as lazy. Hell she taught me to mend fences and muck stalls and brushdown horses and saddle them. I taught her the art of long range marksmanship lol. Im now just into white girls. Theyre more adventurous and willing to explore and not close minded. However I cant same the same in reverse. I was once on a dating site and Id say out of 20 white girls only 1 would respond. That totally sucked. I wish there were more open people. I loved your story and your blog and your pictures. I couldnt help but laugh at how your husband has wiping your feet before bed or showering twice a day. I do that. Its a cleansiness thing. I was stationed in Camp Hansen and Fuji in Japan I loved it.

    • Wait, what? You say you’re into white girls now because they’re more adventurous, willing to explore and open minded… yet 95% of white girls you talked to on dating sites wouldn’t respond??? And you still think they are open minded, based on this one white girl you met??

      • White American women particularly from the South very close minded or outright racist. Very few like Grace…and most of the AMWW couples are better off living in the Asian country…too much racism against IRs in this country especially in Texas and other areas of the south

        • Actually, most of the racism we have experiences as an interracial couple has been in Japan. We lived in Austin, which is incredibly liberal (as far as Texas goes), and never had friends/family members comment about or say rude things about our relationship.
          I think there is this stereotype that Texans are rude, racist, and close minded… but you can find rude, racist, and close minded people in EVERY country.

          • Totally agree, Grace! That’s been our experience as well in both the Atlanta area and the Greenville, SC area. No problems! Many more stares, comments, questions in Japan.

          • You folks are very lucky…Greenville, SC? Really? In Japan there is probably a lot more verbal racism, but little or no violence from what I have seen…been to Japan ten times in the past fifteen years….in the US, when you get it you really get it…violence like Jasper, Texas.

          • Yes, some areas of Texas experience pretty extreme racism. However, we choose not to live in those areas. There are plenty of wonderful places in the Texas that don’t really have problems with racism (especially Austin/San Antonio/Dallas).

            I think there is racism in every single country.

          • Yeah plenty of racism in Asia…however, mostly passive racism, and people get annoyed when I make an example of Athens, GA…when I say that it is a one way street..that a white male could go into Hong Kong and Japan and date Asian women…however, if you try to do it in Athens, GA the electorate will respond and elect a guy like this…

            http://www.salon.com/2014/11/05/americas_worst_new_congressman_why_georgias_jody_hice_is_so_frightening/

            Does not talk much about his rants on talk radio about foreigners “chasing American girls”….only about his anti Islam rant

            When this happens in any electoral district in Japan you can say Asia has caught up with America or at least the US South.

          • That is very frightening…

            Except no, you can’t just go to Asian and do whatever you want (even if you’re a white male). Just take a look at how the internet is responding to this guy (Julian Blanc), who claims white guys can have sex with as many Japanese girls as they want:
            http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/11/06/voices/campaign-take-pick-artist-julien-blanc/

  45. I’m Chinese and I’ve been dating my long time friend for around four months now, and she is white. I have lived in California since I was nine and she’s actually the first blonde person I’ve ever seen. Well, I suppose I could’ve seen some in LAX when my family first touched down, but riding the school bus for the first time in elementary school, even though I didn’t talk to her until we were in junior high, I’ll always remember staring at the color of her hair and thinking how strange it was. At that point I’ve only ever seen blonde hair in anime that I would watch when I was little and I associated it with super saiyans. Seeing it in real life was something else to my nine year old mind!

    Maybe it’s because I live in Southern California, but every time we’ve been on dates or go to the market together, we don’t really get any more attention than the longer than usual stare. We don’t really mind, though occasionally some men would try to stare me down. I find them hilarious, because their jealousy makes me feel lucky. We haven’t really experienced anything more hostile than that, but I don’t doubt one day our luck may run out.

    I’ve become so Americanized during my stay here there isn’t much of a language gap between us, but a lot of times she would be surprised at how little I know about musicians, songs, artists, politicians, etc, especially things to do with pop culture. I’m glad she knows so much though, because they’re great opportunities for me to learn. For example, I’ve never been very well informed about world affairs or politics, since my family has always focused on Taiwanese news. My dad watched that religiously, even though we lived in California. So I never really developed an interest in it, in fact I kind of just ignored American news and world affairs in general, because I thought, well, what can I do about any of the things I do occasionally hear? Nothing, and quite honestly, growing up as an avid gamer, I didn’t care either. But her on the other hand, she grew up in a family that was very well informed on current affairs and in the beginning stages of our dating, she would mention a few things that she would come across at home watching Colbert with her parents, or even just read about on a news app on her phone. I would never know what to say about anything, and that frequently left me a bit embarrassed. So with her help, I started paying more attention to what goes on in the world and I actually find it a lot more interesting than I used to when I was in high school.

    She is also very direct and bold in her mannerisms, whereas I grew up in a big household living with my aunt’s family and my grandparents, and my father has always taught us how to wear a mask and be tactful in what we say, even lying through our teeth, smiling all the while talking to someone we disliked immensely. We learned flattery and manipulation from him, he was a retired officer from the Taiwanese Air Force and not a particularly successful businessman, so he has always taught us values that he found useful in his own life, and unfortunately truth and honesty wasn’t something he valued. Except when it came to telling the truth about whether or not we did our homework. Lol. I would not have been able to get along with her if it wasn’t for a certain experience I’ve had in college that made me seriously review the way that I’ve been conducting myself throughout life, particularly the bits concerning employing the lessons I’ve learned from my dad. I realized that I have to change and be honest about everything, or else I would never be truly happy, or find true happiness for that matter. Fortunately I never attempted to ask her out before I’ve had that revelation, or I would have messed up any chance of having a future with her completely. This is a reflection of the differences between our cultures, and being with her has taught me so much about how to be a noble man, someone that I’ve always wanted to become.

    I already know my dad will not be happy with my choice in my partner. He has expressed many times that he wants me to marry a Chinese or Taiwanese woman. His reason? He said I’m not just marrying for myself. He says he is also a part of that decision because he would have to interact with my partner’s parents. Think of how much happier if I could drink and have a blast with your wife’s parents, Frank! No. No, fuck off. He has tried so many times over my life to brain wash me with story after story of how every single Chinese man that he has known that has married outside of his race has met a tragic end to his marriage, due to infidelity or cultural differences. Wtf. Leave me alone. I will marry because I love, not because of your stupid ass.

    I love my white friend whom I am dating. I can’t call her girlfriend yet because we’re not there! I love the shape of her bones and her personality. I love how she is so different from me and think about things differently than me. I love the way she conducts herself and how she is the opposite of everything I’ve been trained to be. She is my role model and I love her.

    Please don’t make it about race. Make it about the person you love and everything, the good, the bad, the ugly that comes with race will disappear. I’ve never been happier in my life. I’m not religious, but I pray that this will never end.

    Good luck.

    • I do get dirty looks from Asian girls too when I’m with her. I can understand that. I used to judge the Asian girls that would only date white guys too. My thinking used to be, well, what’s so bad about Asian guys that you’re so abhorrent to? So I just smile. Whatever. She says they’re just jealous bitches and that’s a good way to think about them too :P

    • Wow, thank you for sharing. This was an incredibly interesting read.

      Oddly enough, I’ve heard your dad’s excuse (marry someone of our culture, so I can be friends with her parents) several times before. My husband’s dad was like “Marriage is a chance for two families to join.” They’re close with the family members of my husband’s two older (and married) siblings.
      At first, I felt a bit awkward about it. Like, my parents live in Africa. You’re not exactly going to be “buddy buddy” with them AND y’all don’t share a single common language (more than the standard “Hello” “Goodbye” and “Thank you” that his dad knows in English).
      But he finished it off with a “I can’t wait to meet the rest of your family, please!”

      So I guess I passed that test.

      I can imagine it’s harder if you’re an only child (or the oldest, though).

      It’s also kind of rare and nice to see someone so reflective on their own life. I’m glad your good friend (but not girlfriend yet, right?) has helped shape you into a better person. I’m sure you’re helped her too. Love is great.

    • Frank, that was incredibly well-written and expressed, thank you.

      While it is true we don’t just marry our partners but into their families, our parents ought to realise their prejudices and respect the choice their grown children make when they fall in love. They should and will naturally guide our choices out of their parental love, but not dictate.

      Wish you the very best, Frank and I hope you’ll both find sublime happiness together.

      Cheers

  46. Really enjoyed this article (enough to make myself post.)

    As a white male in a five year relationship with a Japanese male, it’s very interesting to see how cultural attitudes effect everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. I find some of the unique features in regards to public acceptance of your relationship to be similar as to how same sex couples (disregarding race) are currently accepted in the US.

    As a soon to be emigre, these posts are extremely enlightening! Thank you!

    • Congrats for 5 years! Through this blog, I’ve actually run into several couples in the same pairing as you (American/European dude married to/dating a Japanese guy). It’s rather rare to see “open” same-sex couples in Japan.

  47. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interracial_marriage_in_the_United_States

    It may appear that there is more White Husband/Asian Wife than Asian Husband/White wife, but that is not the case. In the U.S. White Husband/Asian Wife is 529,000 which is only 1%. While Asian Husband/White wife is 219,000 which is 7%. Total population-wise, Asian men married out more than White men.

    Married Couples in U.S. in 2010:

    White Husband n/51594000
    With White Wife 50410000/51594000 = 98%
    With Black Wife 168000/51594000 =.3%
    With Asian Wife 529000/51594000 =1%
    With Other Wife 487000/51594000 =.9%

    Asian Husband n/3111000
    With White Wife 219000/3111000 = 7%
    With Black Wife 9000/3111000 =.3%
    with Asian Wife 2885000/3111000 =92%
    With Other Wife 28000/3111000 =.9%

    White Husband with White Wife is 98%.
    White Husband with Asian Wife is 1%.
    Asian Husband with Asian Wife is 92%.
    Asian Husband with White Wife is 7%.

    • Interesting.
      I think if you compare the numbers, though, the White husband/Asian wife (529000 people) still has a bit more than the Asian husband/White wife (219000). The numbers are much closer than I realized, though. Thanks for sharing!

    • This is a very misleading way to look at it. From just these numbers we can already see there Asian female / White male marriage (529,000) is more than twice as numerous as the Asian male / White female marriage (219,000). It would be much better to directly compare Asian female statistics to Asian male statistics.

  48. I do believe those comments about “why you are not dating a white guy?” are just a natural surprise, possibly because Japanese people unfortunately tend to feel much lesser or lower than foreigners. I am yet to go live in Japan, but I don’t think such comments would bother me much, it’s rather seen on one hand as a form of self loathing humour to me. On the other hand, if asked by Japanese women, maybe they would like to date a white guy and really surprised. Maybe concept of romantic love is still not that en masse in Japan? :) If I get asked why not a white guy, I guess I’ll reply with some joke, or compliment to Japanese, because I don’t like if some really feel inferior. Btw, my fiancee (we’ve been together over 6,5 years already) does not ask to wipe feet with wet wipes before going to bed, does not do laundry every day, but he takes a shower…two times a day, sometimes three. I don’t mind, as long as the water bill is not enormously high. It really is a personal matter, just like in the “west”. In any case, I am really happy that in modern world our relationships are made possible, and not “illegal” :)

    • Thanks for sharing :)
      Recently my husband has also been showering 2 times a day (and washing his hair each time!). It really is a cultural difference, I guess?

      • Well, given the case, perhaps it really is cultural difference :) Even if I had short hair, to wash it everyday would be to destroy it… It probably also is difference in hair structure. Mine is soft and wavy, and reading about rainy season in your blog, I bet mine too will curl up a lot. Thank you for this great blog! I really learned a lot more about life there before going to Tokyo for my first time :)

      • Lol she can wash it however many times she prefers and that’s ok!

        I would be happy to have a sweet-smelling and clean partner on daily basis. :)

  49. I’m a white American guy, and my girlfriend is Korean-American. Luckily, we haven’t encountered much backlash, but I have a feeling that some people probably quietly view me as “that creepy white guy who likes Asian girls.” Ugh. Just because I’m attracted to them doesn’t make me a creep. What difference would it make it were white girls who caught my eye more? :/

    • Yeah… I know a couple other white guys who have had pretty awkward encounters with people who say stuff like “Oh, you just have ‘Yellow Fever’.” People can say the rudest things…

  50. Hi. This is an interesting read. I’m a huge fan of Japanese culture and would love to live there for few years. But about the AMWF… I’m Finnish woman and married to Singaporean man. In our case the cultural differences are very small – his first language is English which I speak fluently, same religion, same values in life, both cultures are very family-oriented etc. Dating him has never felt that exotic, we just look really different. We both appreciate each others cultures.

    About Racism – few people feel very strongly about Asians in Europe, one way or another. My family approved, extended family liked him, in Singapore, and within his family, mixed relationships are common, so his family liked me too. Only stares and comments ranging from weird to mean have been from Chinese here in Britain where we live. Once a whole group of Chinese language students discussed behind us in a restaurant why my husband was with a white girl and that did he think he was too good for his own kind etc. From that I gather that interracial relationships are still rare in mainland China and Taiwan. Not that I care, I’ve always thought that mean comments from total strangers are minor nuisance compared to being mistreated at work etc persistent problems that have actually made my life hard before.

    Finnish culture has some similarities with Asian ones, so for me his culture is more familiar than many European cultures. Neither of our cultures are famous for suave sophistication :)

    • Awwww, thanks for sharing! That was really fun to read!
      I find the comments from strangers… interesting.
      I get most of the negative comments from white men – he gets most of the negative/”why are you dating a white girl” comments from Japanese women.

      I’m really glad y’all cultures are so similar (and that you don’t have any problems in the family for dating interracially, etc)

      • I read this a lot and from my own experiences, have found the most racism from white men and asian women. I think in both cases, it really shows their owm insecurities and an inferiority complex mixed in with jealousy. Both those groups are use to being “top dog” in their culture and always being told theyre the most desireable and when an am or wf chooses someone that isnt them, a whole lot of insecurities and jealousy rears up. I find a lot of wm and af think theyre superior and should be too choice, but really they are not. So when someone acts like that, all I see is an entitled, insecure, jealous little person.

  51. As a white guy attracted to Asian females(my gf is Japanese) I’m always glad to see it the other way around(doesn’t really matter what race really). On my recent trip to Japan I met a guy at an art show in Osaka, he was the only person that spoke English and as I was the only foreigner there(that doesn’t speak much Japanese,) he came up and started talking to me, this lead to us going for some dinner and beers, during the course of conversation we started talking about girls and I asked him why not find a hot white girl, his reply was – white girls don’t like Asian men, now this guy was a good looking dude, I asked where in the hell did you hear that? Then told him he’s not going to meet any women with that attitude! Date who you want, after all it’s the person inside that counts :)

  52. Hi Grace, I stumbled upon your Blog through your Selfie on Agness’ Blog (etramping). You both are such a cute and sympathic couple. I wasn’t interested in asian guys at all till my second trip to China April 2013 (I have been to ten other asian countries and to China before) where I got in closer touch with a few locals. I had to find out that chinese guys can be indeed very handsome, nice and caring. I returned to the Middle Kingdom only six months later in October 2013, not because of the guys but because I love the country so much, and I hope to travel to China again still in 2014. I don’t think that I will become part of the AMWF Community, but I wish you and all the other AMWF couples all the best, no more racism, no prejudices and no more outrageous questions. Btw, I also hope that you guys are not affected by typhoon Neoguri.

    • out of curiosity, why do you think you won’t become part of it?

    • Awww, thank you so much! I really love Angress, she’s such a travel inspiration (and blogging inspiration).
      The AMWF community is interesting because we can all share our experiences dating (like a normal support group, but with a little twist). Most people find themselves a part of it without even realizing it. No worries.
      In any case, best of luck with you travelling! I haven’t made it over to China yet (for a real trip, at least). It’s so cool you’ve been able to see the country!

  53. Matilda // 1 July, 2014 at 8:55 am //

    Hi Grace!!

    I want to sincerely thank you for this post! It means so much to me.

    I’m a white, European girl and I’m helplessly attracted to asian men and sort of always have been. I’ve at least always been attracted to anything but the familiar, like black, hispanic and asian men. And it’s sometimes not as easy to deal with as I’d like, since people (who are not as integrated with international cultures as I am) always question why. And I can’t always answer off the bat, because it’s just something that simply is, for me. I can’t really explain it. Sometimes I just feel like it’s in my blood, because my mother was married to an Iranian man when she was my age as well (in the 70’s when it was more than unusual) and she was sort of the same with this whole thing.

    And this other thing is that people at home always sort of hint that I should marry someone alike since I have blue/green eyes and blonde hair, and they don’t want that gene to go lost and blablalbla… I’m sure you’ve heard it. It’s so tiring, because, okay, yes, blue eyes are a minority and they’re nice, but I’m not in the least attracted to men who look like that. And I’m sick of feeling like I’m the one in the wrong because of it. I only like brown eyes, and that’s me.

    I know this comment is turning out a bit messy, but bare with me. I’m getting to the real point (^^’). I know I have a lot to take into consideration if I ever want to have a really serious relationship with/marry an asian man. At times it feels a bit impossible when I think about how all the differences just pile up like roadblocks, but then I come across things like your blog, and it makes me so freaking happy I just wanna hug you for existing!

    So I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Best Regards,
    Matilda, Sweden.

    • Wow wished I’d met girls like you when I was in Sweden!

    • Hi Matilda,

      Thanks for sharing. I’m glad you wrote from your heart.
      I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with being attracted to who you’re attracted to. Everyone has their own preferences – sometimes it’s messy and difficult trying to explain it to others.

      For instance, I’m kind of in the same boat. I find myself attracted to tan or darker skin. For me pale skin was always a turn-off. I love the outdoors – so biologically I assume if someone has very pale skin, they don’t spend much time outside (which is a turn-off).
      I have dated “white” men who have tanner skin – just not pale skin.

      That was really awkward to try to explain.

      Thankfully I don’t have to anymore – I’m married to someone who is terrifically sexy and perfect.

      But, you know, don’t let someone make you feel bad for having preferences. That’s ok. It really is.

      • Matilda // 4 July, 2014 at 3:10 am //

        Thanks for responding ^.^

        Yeah, it sort of feels like we’re in the same boat, except you don’t have to explain to anyone anymore because of your gorgeous husband (you’re so lucky)!
        I hope I can find someone like that some day.

        Yeah, I mean, I’ve always been a very sporty girl (currently work as a ski instructor and I love it), but other than that I started liking the indoors in my teen years so I’m more inside nowadays… But yes, I definitely think a tan belongs to a healthy lifestyle – unlike in South Korea where it’s a bad thing apparently…really dunno why.

        Yeah, I try to not let it get to me. Thanks for the advice! Cheers!

    • My ex gf is from Sweden, we have a baby boy, cheers! From Manila, Philippines

    • Matilda, the heart likes whatever it likes, regardless. :)

      I’m Chinese and therefore Asian and it feels nice to be appreciated by any woman, regardless of race. It’s nice to know there are white women into Asian men and vice versa!

      Most important thing is to be happy. The whole world can crumble and be cynical, rude, insensitive and just plain archaic in its views, as long as we are happy.

      It’s our choice. :)

  54. Hi Grace!! I found this very interesting! I am an American living in Taiwan. I have been here for about 2 months now. It is a bit of a culture shock for me, especially learning Chinese. I came here for a great job and I will be here for awhile. I live with my co-workers and it is a great setup. I like one of the guys here very much. He is one of the few people who can speak English. I believe it is a heavy burden on him to take care of me. Back in the US I was a very independent person.Here not so much. Is it because I flew half way around the world and don’t know to much or speak the language, probably. We were really close but now not so much, I am not quite sure what happened. I hope it’s just a stepping stone. I want to learn as much as I can about the culture, but I am not learning as fast as I should? Should my 40 year old brain know it by now? I believe that he thinks I should, am I wrong?

    • Sorry to hear y’all suddenly aren’t so close anymore. It might just be a stepping stone – it’s hard to tell. I’ve met a lot of Asian men (including my husband) who, unless they know you very VERY well, won’t really share what’s going on in their head.
      So you kind of just have to guess.

      I was also very independent in the states – so living in Japan has been good (but frustrating at times). I also feel like I should be learning things faster; that’s a very natural reaction.

      • Thanks for your reply back! I do believe it is a stepping stone… I also learned yesterday that the men here do not like it when women cry. I am a wimp when I get sick or hurt, it is imprinted in my American brain to cry. I think things will get better, I think I need to be patient but they also have to be patient with me. Do just just keep my head down and mouth shut for now? So hard to tell… Thanks again!!

        • What’s wrong with crying? We are not robots! :)

          And while old school Asian men don’t cry, new age ones do! Well not buckets (lol!!!!) but when the occasion presents itself, like a certain scene from a great romance movie “The Bridges of Madison County”, the tears do well up. :)

          Or the scourging scene in “The Passion of The Christ” which was almost unbearable to watch.

          Emotion makes us human.
          That’s different from being a wimp. :)

  55. AMWF guardian angel // 19 June, 2014 at 2:22 pm //

    Taiwanese guys here, thanks for talking about the racism which some people don’t focus on it, back in the day in FL when I was with my ex, White guys are the enemies to me, I didn’t have any one of them as friends, thay hate me because we are the first AMWF in the school and other White girls saw us together, they start to date Asian guys as well lol. Now I am back to Taiwan, what I see over here is Asian girls don’t like to see AMWF couples but they want to date White guys so badly WTF?! that is something I can’t stand. I’ve created a habit…..when I see AMWF couples I will look out for them if anybody wanna start shit I will slaughter those racist people because I already heard too many AMWF got physical attack, is dating Asian guys a problem? it seems like it is a BIG ONE for some people.
    anyway, stay strong and have a great day :D

  56. Hi Grace,
    Great article…. I hope your article at least causes people to actually think for themselves when it comes to love between all races.
    As an adopted Korean male growing up in a predominately white small Midwestern town, I actually have mostly dated white girls. It wasn’t until I moved off to college that I found a lot of stereotypes against me. I too never realized the greatness of other cultures until I moved to California, so I am just as at fault for having certain stereotypes influence me. I hope you continue to spread your experience and love to the world!

  57. Wow. I just want to say thank you. I am an American Women who is attracted to Asian men. And I have so many issues with that I often feel like daring the type of man I want isn’t worth the skeptism. But this article helped me realized that everyone else can suck it and I do what I want. Honestly thank you for this.

    • I’m so glad you found this helpful.

      I have a couple other friends who are mostly (or only) attracted to Asian men and run into all sorts of weird stereotypes. Like if you’re white and you’re only attracted white men, that’s ok (people are like, oh ok, cool). But as soon as you say you only find Asian men attractive, people start freaking out. It’s stupid.

      People are allowed to date and/or be attracted to whoever they want. Good luck!

      • Anonymous // 4 August, 2014 at 2:56 pm //

        It it is so true. I even get bullied by some family members who don’t understand why I like Asian guys. I try not to let it get to me and I have noticed lately when I do feel down about this issue I find myself reading this article again. And everytime I am so happy you wrote this article

        • Oh man… I’m sorry to hear your family hasn’t been 100% supportive. That sucks.
          I’m glad what I wrote helps.
          And I do really know tons of other women who have dated/find themselves attracted mostly/only to Asian guys. It’s not even that rare~

  58. ok theres somthing we are shying away from that i have to bring up. Bascially asian guys have litte dicks….. if you got a little dick its going to hard to get the white chicks who go for black guys with big donky dongs

    • Another crucial thing we are shying away from that I have to bring up… how do you, as a man, know so much about penises? In order to make your statement, you must have seen literally billions of penises to have taken a cross average from each race, and compared them with each other.

      • Hahaha. Wow. This is wonderful.

        I’m never quite sure how to answer that question (and you wouldn’t BELIEVE the number of times people have emailed or commented asking). I’m going to steal this answer.

        • Go for it! I’m asian so I’ve had practice with this, all my life. I’ve always found it odd that men comment on other men’s genitals as if they had intimate knowledge of them.

          Another one that I use is the “get them out” approach, which plays on male bravado works well in a public setting. I’m daring a guy who just insulted me on the size of my genitals, thinking he could get a laugh with his social circle. By daring him, I’m putting him in a humiliating situation – if he refuses, what is he afraid of? That he is smaller than an asian? But then of course, showing genitals in public is gross indecency. Just how far is he willing to go for male pride? It’s a no win situation for him.

          You won’t be able to use that comeback however…

          • Hah. Probably not. But I’m glad you can! (and that you have a sense of humor about it)

          • I realise that this discussion is now half a year old, but maybe someone will come across it in the future the way I did right now and find my comment helpful. I just go with the honesty and explain that Japanese men laugh at foreign penises because they are so flobby and call them “funya funya”. Shuts everybody up.

  59. First of all, you are a sweet person and opened mind. I like that. I am Asian and married to a Burmese woman. We both went to US university for our undergrad so we communicate in American English. I agree that the language barrier is the most difficult thing to deal with, especially when dealing with family members who can’t speak English. But I move on because I married my wife for who she is. I don’t know about Western culture, but Asian family consider marriage as integrating two family together. For example, my mother-in-law cooks me Burmese food while she stayed with us in California. I could not eat spicy food at first but later I get used to it. Also, my dad could not speak English so he never had a real conversation with my wife at all. For our 3 years marriage, I still don’t see how can my family integrate with my wife family. Probably never, but that is okay. Everybody is nice and that is the most important. We are lucky that we are both buddhism, so sometimes I bring religion topics to get them involve. We are expecting a baby and I hope this could bring two family closer.

    In my opinion, love is enough to keep our marriage but it has to come from both side. Both side have to contribute 150% to make it work. :)

    Good luck with your marriage and nice blog.

    • Thanks for sharing (and congrats on the upcoming baby!).
      The family integration thing is difficult… His family doesn’t speak a word of English; no one in my family speaks Japanese. My dad met my husband’s father once (when he had a layover in Tokyo) – it went well, but my husband and I had to stand by and translate everything.

      My family in America is very close and involved with each other. Lots of food, love, and “getting in each others business.” It used to freak my husband out quite a bit. In contrast, his family is more “reserved.” They care, but they have different ways of showing it.
      Even though I know that, I get so lonely spending extensive periods of time with his inlaws. In our 3 years together, I’ve been able to hug his dad twice and his mom once (which, I guess, is more than my husband has hugged them in the last ten years). It’s very different.

      As much as I wish our families would be close, I don’t think that will ever happen. It’s just not feasible.
      Thankfully both sets of parents (and extended family) blessed our relationship and love both of us dearly. I do wonder if having a child would change things, though.

  60. Jason Song // 16 April, 2014 at 4:02 pm //

    wow! it’s very intersting post! appreciate your opinions. but I have quastions. don’t you have sexual problem with your boyfriend? honestly, I’ve heard amwf couple has problems which is called the racial, cultural…and sex. a matter of my interest. lol. I want your sincere answer about my quastion. thank you. God bless you.

  61. Richard // 5 April, 2014 at 5:59 am //

    Hi Grace. Randomly came upon your article.

    I’m a Korean born male who immigrated to US when I was very young and adapted to the American culture. It is really hard for me to relate to Asian culture/women, so I prefer dating white females (although I have dated Asian, hispanic, and black women in the past).

    I always get these disgusting looks from people in public when I’m with a woman of other color and sometimes even some horrendous looks from girls themselves if I try to approach them for a talk. I feel like I’m a pretty stable person with good values and would be good for a lot of women. However, a lot of women can’t see past the race unfortunately.

    It is refreshing to read an article from the other point of view and I’m glad you published it. Thank you and good luck.

    • Hi Richard,

      Sorry to hear people are turning you down/judging you based solely on race. That’s stupid and childish (but if they’re going to NOT date you based on something as silly as race, those aren’t the people you want to be dating anyways).
      Good luck and keep looking. I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few friends who are married to/in long-term relationships with someone of a different race and/or culture, so I know “good people” exist out there.

      I’m glad you found the views refreshing. Thanks!

  62. Victoria // 3 April, 2014 at 12:38 am //

    I really like your writing; it sounds very genuine and is so easy to connect to.
    My background is 100% White-Australian and I am dating a Vietnamese-Australian man. He is quite Aussie in his attitudes and I am lucky enough to have grown up in a very multicultural area, so we don’t have the same difficulties as those from completely different cultures. However I find it hard to understand his familial relationships and am wary of this becoming an issue in the future. He is very integrated into my family, however I have never even had a meal with his mother (who immigrated to Australia just before he was born), and his siblings don’t seem interested in getting to know me. (We have been dating / been best friends for two years now).
    Fortunately though, this isn’t a huge problem as of yet, and overall it has been really positive. I have just loved being introduced to things like proper Vietnamese food: I can’t get enough of bun and pho!
    We are both educated and he is an extremely thoughtful and open-minded individual, so I feel we work perfectly together. Considering my two previous relationships with white men who were quite closed about their feelings and beliefs, I am relieved to be with someone who, for example, can see the sexism and racism in the world, rather than remaining blissfully ignorant.
    Despite that, we do live in the wonderfully multicultural city of Melbourne so are yet to encounter any blatant racism specifically regarding our couple-dom; but if it comes, I’m ready for it. Although my mother definitely seemed overly surprised when I told her who I was dating, she’s never said anything out loud. And given that I also have a sister who is dating an Indian-Australian, I suspect she will keep her mouth zipped, or else suffer the backlash of two very strong-minded women, haha.
    Anyway, despite my rambling, I just wanted to say thank you for your post and I look forward to reading more of your blog!

    • Thanks so much Victoria,

      I love reading stories like these. Before meeting my husband, I dated a couple of people (nothing serious or more than a month), of different races. Because it was never anything serious, we didn’t encounter any racial problems.
      It was really only after my husband and I got engaged that we started seeing that maybe the world wasn’t as forgiving as we though, which, of course is sad. It doesn’t matter where we live (US, Texas, or Japan), we get stares and awkward questions.

      But really, it’s ok. I love hearing about other interracial couples, and I try to use any opportunity (awkward questions, etc) to educate people about the normalicy of “atypical” relationships. I think being in an interracial and intercultural relationship is one of the most interesting things that has ever happened to me.
      And it’s lovely that your mother hasn’t said anything negative about you (or your sister’s) relationship. I don’t know what I would have done if my parents had said anything negative – it probably would have broken my heart (thankfully they are so supportive).

  63. I’ve been with my Japanese boyfriend for more than 2 and 1/2 years and I completely agree with this whole post. I’ve had all these things happen to us but none of it matters because we are so happy together!! <3

  64. Hi Grace, this is such a fabulous blog. I love that you said it out loud, “If you do not respect and appreciate your partners culture (to the extent you are willing to forsake elements of your own culture for their benefit), intercultural and interracial relationships are nearly impossible.” I too am seeing the marriage of my Puerto Rican friend with a German falling out and it seems like theirs is spiralling downward because the husband isn´t willing to talk about their marital problems. From what I´m seeing I´ve concluded that an intercultural marriage is even more challenging if the couple isn´t only dealing with cultural differences but also with religious differences. My friend is a Seventh Day Adventist and her husband is a Jehovah´s Witness. They´re fighting more over religion than culture. Saying “yes” to a mixed marriage requires thourough care, but never underestimate the challenges of an interfaith marriage.

    I also have featured a AMWF at offbeat marriage, I´d like to feature your story at the blog too. Let me know.

    Best,
    Glee

    • Hi Glee,

      I actually just spent the afternoon reading through other couple stories on the “Offbeat Marriage.” I LOVE your segments. Thank you so much for collecting all those wonderful stories.
      I would love to do a guest post for your site. And, as I write this, I’m about half-way done with a guest post following your question template on “Offbeat Marriage.” (This is really a blessing because I’m trying to do one guest post a month, it’s near the end of March, and I still haven’t done one).

      I have a couple other friends in interracial, intercultural, and/or interfaith relationships. It’s hard. Some succeed; others fail. All you can do is keep and open mind, be respectful, and be willing to change. The rest is up to your partner.

      In any case, once I finish the guest post, can I attach it as a Word document to your email (gleenn@offbeatmarriage.com)?

      Thanks
      Grace

  65. I believe you and anyone else that does so, should stop using the term “white” it’s technically incorrect as you are not at all of the colour white when measured on the colour spectrum and the notion of white and black is a concept built on racial segregation and has been used historically as a tool to reinforce racial segregation. Black and white people don’t actually exist in reality. If you colour matched human colours against the true colours of black and white, that would become obvious. Using the term “white” in your context does a disservice to your good efforts to maintain a cross cultural relationship.

    Describing people as black and white re-enforces generic racial stereotypes and thus is racist in its effect, even though that might not be intended. I suggest change the notion of AMWF to Asian Male Western Female.

    The general concept of inter-racial dating would apply regardless of race or ethnicity. Its racially exclusive to label Asian / White relationships and it does seem that your group of like minded people extends beyond just Asian/White couples. The term black and white when applied to people needs to be banished forever from the dialogue of describing race relations. It’s dehumanizing and removes and devalues actual race and cultural identity.

  66. Anonymous // 22 March, 2014 at 1:36 pm //

    I believe you and anyone else that does so, should stop using the term “white” it’s technically incorrect as you are not at all of the colour white when measured on the colour spectrum and the notion of white and black is a concept built on racial segregation and has been used historically as a tool to reinforce racial segregation. Black and white people don’t actually exist in reality. If you colour matched human colours against the true colours of black and white, that would become obvious. Using the term “white” in your context does a disservice to your good efforts to maintain a cross cultural relationship.

    Describing people as black and white re-enforces generic racial stereotypes and thus is racist in its effect, even though that might not be intended. I suggest change the notion of AMWF to Asian Male Western Female.

    The general concept of inter-racial dating would apply regardless of race or ethnicity. Its racially exclusive to label Asian / White relationships and it does seem that your group of like minded people extends beyond just Asian/White couples. The term black and white when applied to people needs to be banished forever from the dialogue of describing race relations. It’s dehumanizing and removes and devalues actual race and cultural identity.

    • While I understand where you’re coming from, I have to disagree. Of course on a pigmented scale my skin tone is not white, but I choose to identify as white. I don’t find the term dehanizimg and immoral – but I find your idea that all white people identify themselves as Western a little bit racist.

      When I lived in Ghana, I had several friends with white skin, born in Africa. A couple came from South Africa – and they did NOT identify as Western.
      It’s a bit unfair to assume anyone with my pigment is Western.
      As it stands, AMWF or AMXF stand for couples who identify as white women and Asian men. It works for this group.

  67. Re: “Because he’s half black down there”

  68. I feel like one of the big things this article left out is the way other Asians will look at the white female in the relationship. My husband is a tall, handsome Chinese American, and when we were stationed in Korea, everywhere we went people glared at me. Not to mention, his mother disowned him when he told her he wanted to propose to me (before he even had a ring)! The racism, that whole “Why aren’t you dating a white guy?” thing is equally as harsh coming back from the other direction, if not more so. None of my friends or family ever questioned my relationship, even though I’m from an extremely old school Italian background… I’ve always been the one taking the brunt of the ignorance.

    • Interesting. I’ve actually never heard that side of the story before. My husband never had any problems with his family or friends – they were all incredibly supportive (even though no one in his entire family could speak English). A couple months after he proposed, both his mother and father started taking English classes at a local community center so they could one day talk to my parents.
      The entire time, they’ve been nothing but supportive – even inviting me to family functions or the dad invited me to climb Mt. Fuji with his branch of police officers.
      Every other white woman dating/married to an Asian man in Japan I’ve met shared similar stories. Some parents weren’t “thrilled” their son settled down with a white girl, but I’ve only rarely heard stories about outward anger or disowning.

      I’ve very sorry to hear about the racism you (and especially your husband) have experienced. That sounds very rude.
      Do you think his family or just other strangers are the most opposed to the relationship? Sorry for asking all these questions, I’m just curious because I haven’t heard this side before and I would love to add it to the article.

      Also, if you don’t know this site, I recommend “Speaking of China.” It is a blog run by a woman married to a Chinese man:
      http://www.speakingofchina.com/

    • I too have had to deal with this issue. I have dates 2 Asian men in my life and I am a white american woman. And not only dod I get criticism for being g with an Asian man. But everytime one of my boyfriends would take me out with his friends. the Asian women there were very unhappy to see me. They would scold me and make rude comments and it put a lot of stress on the relationship because I never wanted to spend time with his friends. Which of course was unfair but it was hard dealing with that on a daily basis.

      • Yeah… that’s one of the awkward things – trying to find a good friend group. My husband and I have also encountered difficult people on both sides…
        I hope y’all are able to find a good group of friends soon!

      • Anonymous // 4 August, 2014 at 6:20 pm //

        That’s quite ironic when you think about it. They don’t want asian men themselves, yet they don’t want other womens to have them. It’s as if they want asian men to be forever single…

  69. Being a mother of a girl in a relationship with a Japanese national makes me want to reply.
    My daughter talked about this blog. I will be honest in saying that your young age made me kind of curious and doubtful at the same time. Don’t want to sound judgemental. My girl is committed to a man as well..- Older than you, and happily levelled out about life and..man.
    After reading, looking at pictures, trying to understand you both as a couple, talking to my daughter about it..I came to the following conclusion, everything could be advertised, shared on the internet with its pros and cons.
    Many things made me think about your story line. For example, I asked myself how does a almost freshly graduated boy becomes a businessman..
    According to your writings, he got a very good job in a pharmaceutical company which would be able to support you two in Japan, if needed. We know that businessman means a person who is involved in business matters, right? Still it carries a whole experience that takes years to gain and at this point he doesn’t have, yet.
    if it were to be differently, there wouldn’t be people posting about the beauty of being married at a very young age about trying to get a couch from X in their house cause they didn’t have enough means to afford it and how nice it felt to manage in getting one..
    I recall reading it somewhere..-
    Honestly speaking, I might be one of the few parents who wouldn’t be happy with my daughter’s attempt to fund her honeymoon by a website, despite other couples doing that. I would ask myself all sorts of questions and you would like not hear them.
    Whereas I am sure about your parents being very supporting about you both and willing to be there no matter what future holds, I have my share of doubt as for the japanese side.
    Reason is that..you as young couple decided to marry, and obviously they couldn’t stop it from happening. When things will become though, eventually they will, they know that they will be forced to stand out for you. Its a thought not all parents like, believe me ..especially Japanese ones. This is out of experience.
    In short, internet has a huge power in spreading news, advertise, .. but a close-look things are different. So far, you are making a good use of it to become known.

    • Hi Barbara,

      Thank you for your honest message. I completely understand where you are coming from – the internet allows people to share their story (or selective parts of their story) in an open forum that can influence people easily.

      I would like to respond to a couple of points:
      1. My husband got a job at a pharmaceutical company this early because of the Japanese employment system. Many companies choose to ONLY hire current college students – they travel to the school, give a lecture, and interview a select number of students. My husband (then-fiance) got a job about 7 months before he graduated, set to start in April. He signed contracts back in November, so he is currently registered as a company employee. He receives an additional bonus because he is married (under the assumption he needs to support his new family). The company also gives us a company car, pays for 85% of wherever we choose to live, and allow both him and I to be under full insurance. He worked incredibly hard to land that job and I am very proud of him.
      The work side of the job doesn’t bother us; since we started dating, both of us have been working full/part-time to pay for college.
      2. Both of us were able to pay for college almost entirely out of pocket. Both sets of parents helped pay for room and board, but we were able to get various scholarships and grants to pay for our entire tuition – and even a generous grant from the US Dept of State paid for my study abroad. However, as you mentioned, we are young. We chose to use Honeyfund.com to help pay for our honeymoon because, quite frankly, it made sense. My parents live in Africa; I moved to Japan less than a month after the wedding with only two suitcases. Even if people wanted to give us wedding gifts, we had no room. Instead, we asked for money – and thought using a website was less “rude” than asking for cash.
      3. I love being married so young. I think it is fantastic that I found my husband my Sophomore year of college. Why not? We still have plenty of time to travel, work, and enjoy marriage before having children. I don’t think it is fair to judge someone based on how old they are – who is to say that a 21 year old is “out of experience” in regards to dating? I think it is easier to get married so young, since neither of us are set in our ways and are very open to change.

      In any case, I hope I answered some of your questions. I hope your daughter does well with her Japanese lover – and that both sets of families are fully supportive.

  70. Or it could be that God made the Chinese that way as a test for people like you.

    Guess how well you’re doing.

  71. You are welcome to hang out with us if you want to have a chat and make new friends
    http://tinychat.com/amwfact

  72. Great post :) I agree with your thoughts and what you said! The only problem my hubby and I have experienced , well that goes more for me, is that he’s parents can not speak English at all, and my Chinese is ok, I can understand everything but I am not good at answering.. My hubby sometimes gets questions from his friends, “How can you be with a foreign girl?”.. And he always answer them with “If it’s true love, then it is just the same as dating someone from the same city as you”

    • My husband has gotten similar comments. I really wish my Japanese was better; I feel a bit guilty – but I don’t like spending extended periods of time alone with his family because of lulls in conversation.
      True love can make basically anything work :)

  73. Anonymous // 8 February, 2014 at 3:31 pm //

    I’m also in an AMWF relationship, check out our story at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVsNOQt14yM. Thanks :) Xx

  74. My wife and I found your blog really interesting and were discussing it in detail the other day. One thing we’ve noticed quite frequently is that unless we are physically touching each other, no one ever assumes we are together. We’ve noticed this while lining up to board a plane, cashing out at the grocery, and most commonly at restaurants. We would walk up to the restaurant together and one of us would ask for a table for two…and then the waiter/waitress would immediately turn and ask “and you?”

    Thankfully we haven’t had to deal with some of the more difficult issues you’ve laid out so nicely in your blog. We’ve lived in North America and in Australia, and while we do get looks occasionally, we’ve never encountered any hostility. Similarly, our families are great which has made things super easy. But this one little quirk always makes us laugh a little.

    Looking forward to reading more from you!

    • Finally! A situation I can ‘almost’ relate to.

      It has happened to me more than once where We would walk into a situation as a couple only for the person in charge (like the maître d’) assume we were not together because she is unbelievably beautiful and I would be considered only good looking.

      Pretty much guys would say I am the luckiest guy etc etc. how did I score such a babe etc etc. But in reality, her looks are nut just a part of why I am with her. If it was just looks without substance, I wouldn’t be with her. I can be and am that selective. As can she be.

    • Interesting! Glad you and your wife found my blog interesting!

      Oddly enough, I haven’t had the “and you?” question asked too often. My husband apparently looks “Japanese,” so when we are at the airport, restaurant, hotel, etc, people typically speak to me in English and him in Japanese, even if we are together. We are rarely addressed both in English or both in Japanese.

  75. I’m filipino and been married to a Caucasian woman for 24 years with 4 boys and I never experienced what everybody’s talking about. The only difference maybe is because we are both catholic. My advise to Asians guys: good communication between each other is the key to a happy marriage.
    Good luck to everyone

  76. Good read. :) Thanks!

  77. Pressena3@yahoo.com // 5 January, 2014 at 3:19 am //

    Wow! And people thought my comments were mean spirited.

    My opinions seem like a baby kitten now, don’t they.

    See? Perspective people. Perspective.

  78. Kevin Lee // 4 January, 2014 at 12:31 am //

    Redirected from Jocelyn’s blog :

    I perhaps have been in the AM/WF sphere for almost 10 years, most of my relationships from the first half of my life were mostly net based. Then it gradually moved on to real life basis. On the internet, there would be no barriers at all, it’s just an interaction between you and your loved one. There is no input from either friends or family which made it look so perfect.

    After moving on and making relationships more real and having had relationships with someone from UK, Kazakhstan, Russia and now Ukraine, I see the challenges and differences from different cultures and upbringing. The people whom I was with, had no AM/WF fetish going on in them. They loved me for just being me. I appreciate them being that, as they do not have unreal expectations, where teens in these AM/WF group tend to fantasize having Korean Pop or Japanese Rock looking boyfriends, which I am not at all.

    I also get to discover a lot about post-soviet countries and realised they are perhaps more cultured and more traditional going as compared to West Europeans and American counterparts. It makes them much easier to integrate to daily lives in Asia. One good thing I have to say is that, living in Malaysia, all you need to know, is English.

    But yes, making one girl wanting to stay here and live with you, has always been the biggest hurdle. Most girls I knew are from East Europe. Life would be much better here than their own country, but they do not always get job offers due to the fact they were not born in first nation countries, like USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc. But they are the one’s that are much easier in being satisfied with a simple life.

    I had some bad experiences going out and dating girls from the USA and UK. I find them to be a bit lunatic, pardon me as compared to Eastern European women, where they are much polite and sensible. I just felt that the one’s from America and West Europe tend to have unreal expectations.

    But yes, there’s always a culture and language gap. Solve that and everything would be great.

    • Interesting perspective. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a long, in-dept comment from someone who has been in AMWF relationships with women from outside the US/UK/Australia. This was interesting to read.

      I read part of it to my husband and he laughed. He also agrees that “American girls are crazy.” I think he likes my crazy (hopefully), but has certainly noticed the trend of unrealistic expectations, loud arguments, etc.

  79. I like your post about successful love stories of Asian men with white girls. However, I admitted that many white girls don’t like Asian guys. Asian men usually hang out with Asian friends. It does not matter how long Asian men live in the West, they don’t like to hang out with non-Asian friends. So, white women who date an Asian guy will have a hard time to get used to with it. That’s the true. So, if you are a white woman who date an Asian man, you may deal with it.

  80. If it were a white male dating an Asian female, most of the negative attention from the others would disappear… :( After seeing the comments AMWF potential of wealth creating, no wonder no white girls ever liked me back in Canada. lol

    • Awwww, sorry to hear :(
      I think there is a bit of negative against WMAF couples, too – I don’t know which is worse, but AMWF is certainly more rare…

      • Sure, there is negativity towards WMAF couples. Comments can range from “You must really like Asian women” (actually, no, I never gave Asian women a thought before I met the Japanese woman who became my wife) to “Can’t you find a white woman to date/marry?’ I don’t know which is worse either but in Japan it always seemed to me that Japanese man who scored a WF was looked upon with envy … I knew a local bochan who married a Canadian woman and it was all very atarimae, as if that because he had been spoiled and had the best of everything growing up that certainly a Japanese woman wouldn’t be good enough for him.

        • Wow. That’s kind of… weird. I feel like interracial relationships draw far more criticism/stares/”need an explanation” than “typical” relationships. It’s very unnerving. I kind of wish people would just let it be.

  81. I’m WM, of WMAF IR marriage for 45 yrs.
    Some reading that you might enjoy:
    Kate Bagnall, Golden Shadows On A White Land: An exploration of the lives of white women who partnered Chinese men and their children in southern Australia, 1855-1915 [Univ. of Sydney, March 2006];
    http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/1412

    • Wow, thanks! This looks really interesting. I’m going to download it and transfer for my kindle (I’m going on vacation soon, so this looks like a good read), Thanks!

  82. This is wonderful. I was with a Japanese guy and while it had its difficulties, it was so fun to learn about each others’ cultures… I’ve lived in Japan for 4 years and learned about the culture hands-on and through studying it, but being so close with someone helped me gain an understanding on a different level. This article makes me miss that!
    Also, I studied in Akita for a year. Right on!

    • Nice! What a great experience :)
      I’ve learned so much about Japan through my fiance – something I wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. It’s hard… but very rewarding.
      I take it you’re no longer living in Japan?

      • I’m still here for the time being – in Sapporo! Apparently I can’t get enough of cold places…

        • Wow. I actually went to boarding school up in Sapporo for one year, called Hokkaido International School (back in 9th grade, in like 2006-7). It was so cold. I went snowboarding every weekend. It was kind of my first experience with snow; by the end of the year I was done with the stuff. Hah.

  83. So good to read your blog! I am just recently moved to Korea to be with my Korean partner, I am European and I must say every day is challenging, funny and amazing

  84. Is that Jason guy blocked yet? Jon is right–he needs to blocked.

    • Yeah. I’m working on it. So far I’m just kind of deleting his comments.

      I feel bad, I kind of should have blocked him earlier… I’m going to try a blocking plugin and see what happens. Sorry!

  85. I am actually AML[atina]F! I first read your blog about long distance relationship! I was glad I found your blog because at that time I was going through something similar. My fiancée is also Japanese and we have been together for 6 years. It’s very true what you share, there is always the good and the bad but I wouldn’t change one single thing. It’s all a growing experience…

    I was a bit nervous when I went to his home in the countryside of Japan… it was a but more difficult because all though I was “American” I didn’t look white, or their stereotype of what an American should look like. However we were able to educate our families too. Even in my family, we explained that not all Asians are “chinos” and my hunny is not an emotional unavailable person either. In fact, when we met other Japanese people, they ask him where he is from because he doesn’t seem Japanese… You should see him dance salsa!

    I hope to one day connect with you. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I always love hearing from other AMWF (or just other couples). It’s fun. Your fiancee sounds like a great guy – 6 years is incredible! Congrats.

      A lot of Japanese people ask if my fiance is America – which is funny because he only started learning English a couple years ago. He’s obviously not, but he’s so outgoing and silly, many assume he is foreign. It’s interesting, I think.

      Anyways, I wish the best for y’all. Do you live in Japan together?

  86. Have been married to a Japanese woman for almost 20 years and the comments following the linked blog post below are quite insightful but don’t let them get you down if you find them negative like I did because those in a happier relationship are less likely to write about it … just start from comment #1 and read them through to the end and you will see another side that would have been hidden. Most White Man/Japanese Woman relationships don’t end well research says. Surprisingly, Japanese Man/White Woman relationships fair much, much better, better than average actually.

    http://www.stippy.com/japan-culture/is-japan-really-sexless/comment-page-1/#comments

  87. I’m a Japanese man in a interracial marriage. I live in Los Angeles and never have to deal with those questions about race. But the one thing I get a lot when people meet my wife for the first time is “oh, I thought your wife would be Japanese” so I suppose it is still out of norm even in urban areas, maybe just more accepting. I have 3 beautiful children that look like a perfect mix of both our race. Congrats you two,I’m glad you found each other. BTW, we have that exact picture of my wife in a Kimono.

    • I’m glad to hear. It might just be because we were still in college for the majority of our relationships (Texas/Japan). I’ve discovered that the “real world” is a lot more accepting.

  88. Svetlana S. // 17 December, 2013 at 12:30 am //

    I really enjoyed reading your article on huffington post today on what not to ask interracial couples and followed you to your blog through there. All i can say is its nice to finally read about others women’s interracial relationships and experiences Japan because i can totally relate. It is definitely different and more rare when the woman is white and the man is asian and you do get more questions and looks. I studied in tokyo for three years and met my boyfriend there who is mixed japanese/chinese but grew up in japan and texas. we left tokyo earlier this year and now live in LA and i can definitely say that there is a big difference in the way our relationship is treated here and when we were in japan. In tokyo it wasnt as bad but in inaka and even kyoto i could sense a difference. I wouldnt say that we got a lot of bad reactions or looks but there was always one or two every three four months. I stand out a lot as is (tall & blond) but when we were together i felt more staring and whispering than usual. all i can say is that i got used to it and decided that the stares were worth it in the relationship, i was proud and happy that he was my boyfriend and i encourage others not to give up that chance just because you get a look or an odd question once in a while. I think that the stares and questions were not always to discriminate but it was curiosity, because to most japanese that is just so unfathomable, even though there are more and more interracial marriages in japan. we do definitely plan on returning to japan in the next 5 years, hopefully by then there japanese society will be more open and used to interracial couples like us. Oh by the way i have the same confusion when it comes to japanese women and their high heels as well! Anyways i look forward to reading more of your posts! i wish you a lot of happiness with your fiancé you guys look like a really wonderful couple and will definitely make it through all the confusion that comes with being an interracial couple in Japan!

  89. It’s too bad that you experienced the whole ‘gook’ experience. And it’s too bad that you feel so self conscious in your relationship that it draws such unwanted attention.

    If or my personal experience, I have never been called a chink, gook, nip etc because…well, I don’t really know why I never experienced iit.m I truly do not know that stuff like this occurs.

    Perhaps instead of feeling like a constant victim, how about start feeling and acknowledging you and your relationship as two people in love and wanting to be together. Rather than he’s an Asian guy and I am a white girl. The moment you think that…whether you like it or not…and I could care less what you think of me…is when you become racially aware and sensitive to the subjects you know, racist.

  90. Jason, Why do you feel you have to call me the ‘racist’ one for noticing racism in my personal experience? Just so you can win what you want to be an argument? Just so you can deny your fear of people maybe someday judging you for being Asian, or for being an Asian who dates white women? Again, glad you haven’t noticed the racism or jealousy in your personal experiences. Have you thought that maybe SHE gets glares or comments from white men? I didn’t admit I noticed (or was told I was asked “Why are you married to a gook?”) this to my husband until years into our marriage due to me not wanting to hurt his feelings. Anyway, doesn’t matter any more. I’ve stated my case and you’ve stated yours. I’m done. Wouldn’t hurt for you to get a smaller head and broader mind.

  91. Awesome article!

    But I thought that your 2nd last paragraph in which you mentioned how nobody bats an eye at WM/WF or AM/AF couples could’ve also used this: the fact that nobody bats an eye at WM/AF couples.

    Sure, some super-traditionalists may disapprove, but the “What the hell?!” reaction isn’t there because after all, White men are supposedly the wealthiest and most attractive men according to Eurocentric standards, so if Asian women get the chance to be with them, why wouldn’t they take it?

    In contrast, when people see an AM/WF couple, they scour their minds to figure out what in the world that Asian guy could have that would entice a White woman to date/marry into a lower racial caste. Maybe she has an extremely weird fetish. She can’t possibly be normal.

    • What you say about WM/AF couples certainly isn’t true in Japan: my Japanese wife and I got stared at so much in Japan (a regional town) that she often didn’t want to be seen in public with me much less hold hands. I got used to it and didn’t notice it anymore but she never did. And her parents weren’t exactly jumping for joy when she told them about me …

      And in the States there is this idea that (some) white men marry Asian women because they can’t get a girlfriend from their own country/race … so there you are again …

      And again in Japan, a Japanese male dating a white female may be envied/admired because he has a white girlfriend …

      • WM/AF relationships have been going on for a while in Japan and are nothing new. Ever hear of the term “yellow cabs?” As I said, there may be some traditionalists, such as in regional towns, where such relationships are disapproved, but people are usually not confused as to why these pairings may happen. In contrast, AM/WF are still considered out of the norm because it pairs the supposedly submissive East with the dominant West. Even Asians themselves have internalized this mindset.

        And in America, the WM/AF is by far the most celebrated of all IR pairings, which is not a surprise because it’s the one that benefits White men the most. Look at the type of Asian American literature that’s held up to be representative of their experience (“The Joy Luck Club,” “Woman Warrior”). Look at how often Asian American characters the media tend to be female without an Asian man in sight, unless he’s an enemy that needs to be killed by the hero. Look at how prevalent it is to see Asian female news anchors.

        The WM/AF relationship is the one that challenges Eurocentrism the least, which is why it, by far, faces the fewest obstacles compared to other types of IR relationships.

        • The “yellow cab” phenomenon was largely created by the Japanese media over the late 1980’s novel by the same name. The author’s research was later found to be fraudulent. The same thing has happened with topics that range from hikkikomori to enjou kosai to sexless young Japanese: a sliver of *research* suggests (maybe) that a minuscule tribe of people exists within Japan and the Japanese media picks up on it and plays it up for ratings. Then the foreign media does the same thing. The story then arrives back in Japan, now blown out of proportion (now morphed into a country-wide phenomenon) and of course it must be true because every non-Japanese media outlet reported on it.

  92. You may have mentioned it but there is research that claims that Japanese man/White woman marriages have a divorce rate below average while White man/Japanese woman marriages have a divorce rate higher than average. Even though I have been married to a Japanese woman for quite a while I can’t explain it. Here is a link you may find interesting, not so much the article itself but the comments from foreigners married to Japanese nationals. You may be surprised. http://www.stippy.com/japan-culture/is-japan-really-sexless/

    • Aside from the interesting “sexless marriage” comments you will find in the link above something else came to mind … a black woman in Japan told me something I had never considered: an Asian man cheating on his wife will keep everything under control; he won’t leave his wife and he won’t screw up his kids; a white man probably keep everything under control and probably won’t screw up his family life. A black man (according to her) will probably get out of control and screw up his family life. I have no direct experience with this (not being black) but from what I have seen in Japan there may be some truth to it.

    • Really? I would kind of expect that the other way around. I’ve met several women who are divorced (with Japanese husbands), but I haven’t met any divorced Japanese women (with foreign husbands). I always though WM/AF couples were stable, committed, and strong.

      But then again, I think relationships vary depending on who is involved. One divorced AMWF woman (or WMAF woman) does not mean that ALL AMWF/WMAF relationships are doomed to fail.

      • You couldn’t be more wrong (but I am referring to American male paired with a Japanese female and not a generic WM/AF pairing). You won’t meet Japanese women sharing their experiences with the ex-American husband freely. What has often happened is that the Japanese woman flees America (and her husband) with the kids and doesn’t say a word to the American husband. The angry husband then shows up in Japan demanding to see his kids and is promptly arrested. I think though that Japan may have finally signed whatever international treaty that would allow the husband the right to see his kids.

        • I actually do have a friend (America) who recently filed for divorce against his Japanese wife. He was under the impression he could file for sole custody of his son… and probably won’t be able to. It’s kind of heartbreaking to watch.
          I know Japan signed some sort of law so that fathers are occasionally given joint-custody, but it’s hard.

    • Kayu, I can see the truth in this, even just in my circle of friends and acquaintances. I know quite a few Japanese women that are divorced from foreign men, but out of my many foreign friends (which actually comprises a much larger circle) married to Japanese men, only one has divorced!

  93. What I don’t get is how AMWF relationships get lots of negative vibes vs. other interracial relationships such as Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn, Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Lane, and other high profile relationships that i can’t comprehensively name. Honestly, I don’t see anyone complain about them, but as soon as there’s an AMWF relationship, then questions start coming up.

    Must an an Asian guy be famous before he dates a white girl? I mean, would that stop people from talking? It just seems like a double standard when it comes to asian guys dating a white girl, but when other races date a white girl, then nothing isn’t really mentioned.

    • I’ve noticed that too. It’s a bit weird. I have no idea why – any ideas?

    • tiger woods is Asian he’s actually mixed but hes always referred to as black

      • I don’t know what negative vibes you are talking about. I have dated a lot of white girls and never ever had a racist incident occur. In fact, I have had guys come up to me and shake my hand saying congrats etc in being with such a gorgeous girl. Mostly with my white girlfriends (woof which, all have been natural blondes).

        If all your references of approval comes from the media…then you are in for a very lonely life absent of any true meaningful relationships.

        Who cares if Eldrick Tont Woods is dating Lindsey Vonn. Whoop dee frickin do. Btw. My girlfriend is hotter than Lindsey Vonn (because my girl is a natural blonde) and his former wife (though she is a natural blonde).

        Stop obsessing over white women. It’s creepy and pathetic at the same time.

        • But isn’t the fact that people come up to you and say “congrats” for dating a white girl an acknowledgment that you are dating outside the norm? s
          There is “positive” racism and “negative” racism. Nearly all the “racism” I see from interracial dating is “positive,” but just because it is positive does not mean it does not exist.
          Racism has a very broad definition.

          And I think it is a little uncalled for to call people creepy and pathetic. This blog is for people to chat and share their experiences, not to belittle or attack others. If you can’t be nice… just walk away. Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion.

          • Hi Grace.

            The congrats was never because of the fact that she is white. Mit is because she is amazingly stunningly drop dead gorgeous. I have been out with plainer white girls and I don’t get the congrats that I do when I am with over the top beautiful women.

            The last Asian girl was also very good looking and she also got a lot of stares of approval from guys etc.

            The most negative vibes was always from other women. White, black and especially Asian. Because she is with a really good looking guy. And guys like me are very hard to come by. I know that. Much harder to come across a guy like me than any smoking hot girl.

            I have had always positive comments from guys of all races, Asians, blacks, whites….except Latinos. Latinos hold back for some reason. But they sure do the little cat calls to her even when we are together. It’s a compliment.

            Racism will be presnt IF you look and read into things. Or feel uncomfortable/awkward together. I work and live in a VERY white part of the country and state. So, please do not think that I live in a more tolerant area/demographics.

          • Good for you for scoring such an awesome girl. I wish you the best in your relationship – regardless of where you live.

  94. Ater reading about your experience with dating an asian guy, I will have to disagree with pretty everything you have gone through with your asian boyfriend.

    I am of Chinese descent born in America.

    Your experiences with your Asian boyfriend is because you are dating a FOB. Fresh off the boat. I do not go to the beach to go squid fishing. I go to the beach to lay in the sun and try and get some color in. I hate being white as a ghost (which most Asians love being).

    Dating a FOB is very different than dating an American born Asian.

    Your observations and experiences, while unique to you are borderline offensive for someone like me.

    In my experience, I have never considered the race of the girl I was dating. I had to like the girl for who she is. Not what she is.

    The majority of the girls I dated were white. All blonde come to think of it. And all were and are very attractive.

    Now, despite being born in America, it doesn’t mean that I have forgotten that I have Chinese heritage. I have taken all my girlfriends (White and Asian) to dim sum etc. After a brief explanation and knowing what may gross them out…they didn’t feel any uneasiness.

    Racism? I don’t know. I haven’t felt it as you have described it.

    In fact, since I am over 6′ feet tall and she is 5’10”. We don’t look odd together. No one as ever come up to her and say that she should be dating a white guy. In fact, the only evil glares she gets are from Asian women. Why? Probably because she snagged one of the few very tall good looking Asian guys out there (yeah, I am good looking and not shy about it).

    None of my family, friends or acquaintances have ‘not understood’ why I am with a white girl. And neither is anybody on her side. To me, it sounds like you have a very close minded circle that needs more variety to understand what real life is all about.

    And, it sounds to me that you are making an issue out of something that I have never noticed to be an issue.

    • I think you make a couple of excellent points. A majority of our relationship has not, in fact, been in America – it has been in Japan. So while our relationship has never gathered many stares in Texas (or Philly), we get many more “reactions” in Japan, especially in his hometown, a very very rural part of Japan.

      Lots of people never notice the race of their partner and if you can get away with that, good for you. As for the stereotypes about squid fishing and other “Japanese” things… my fiance is Japanese. The first time he left Japan was to study abroad in America. I’m not expecting him to be “American” and I really do love the unique “Japanese” aspects about it. I wouldn’t even consider him an FOB, he’s fully Japanese.

      But if you’re living in the rural parts of Japan as the only foreigner in a 100km radius, it starts to be a much bigger deal than you initially bargained for. Keep in mind, I only starting noticing/writing this well into the second year of my relationship.

      But then again, every couple is different.

      • Hey Grace, love your blog. I love reading stories like this, great stuff. By the way, this Jason person is a total liar and nothing but a troll. He or She is the same person (calls themselves Brandon on AMWW). He keeps trolling on other interracial sites. I have a feeling this person is a non asian in real life and is just really jealous for whatever reason.

    • While this comment wasn’t directed to me, it seems you have the limited experience, Jason. So you’ve had a different experience than Grace. Perhaps the difference is that she lives in Japan. Her fiance is from Japan. So then, why do you even compare your experience with hers? It’s a completely different situation. And even if it weren’t, who are you to use her situation to make yourself feel better? Just FYI–I am married to an American born Asian man who is 6’1″ tall. We’ve been married 9 years. He is good looking. I am blonde. (Sound similar to your experience?) However, over the years I have received rude, critical glares, and even rude comments, from American white men about why I was dating or am married to him. It sounds appalling. It sounds archaic, right? But what Grace (and I) are saying is that IT STILL HAPPENS. Racism still exists, and it’s sad. We’ve experienced it first-hand, and it seems that you’ve been fortunate enough to NOT experience it. Well, good for you. Now, get over it.

      • True that everyone’s experience is different. But! If you feel that there is. A difference then ther will be a difference.

        I have never even knew that interracial relationships were a big deal until I was older. I was just with girls whom I liked and they liked me. I never saw myself as Asian. And I never saw my girlfriends as white or Asian etc. I just saw them.

        We have NEVER experienced the racism that you have. No white guy has ever come up to her and told her to be with a white guy. Nor has a white guy ever come up to me and told me to leave their white women alone.

        My reason for us not experiencing the racism that everyone here seems to have? Because we own one another. We look like we being together we look like we are together and belong together.

        It doesn’t hurt that we are both very good looking and turn heads whether we are together or by ourselves.

        Looks aside.

        If you as a couple look odd. You are going to get negative reactions. If he lacks confidence being with you. People can tell and will comment in it. If you look uncomfortable with him, despite how many years with him, you will get comments.

        It wouldn’t matter if she was in China with me, japan with me, Vietnam with me, Thailand with me, Cambodia with me, phillipines with me….I think one gets the idea.

        • Hmm I disagree. I still think you hold a very narrow view and experiences. Maybe you haven’t been criticized because of your location. People in different locations, or the people you may interact with, are all different. We haven’t had any problems with glares or comments where we live now, but we have in other places we’ve lived. So I disagree that it has nothing to do with where a couple lives but is based on “how they look” (really?) or if they look comfortable with each other or not. If that were the case, then why don’t same-race couples get the same glares and comments? This proves that there is racism that goes along with it. And it’s only with certain men–not all men. Most men don’t give a second look. Many friends supported our marriage, etc. Again, this tells me it’s either racism or jealousy in some form.

          • Of course couple and their experiences are going to be different.

            Of course we have had looks and glares etc. but, the glares from women are of pure envy as she is incredibly good looking. And the comments I get from men are of congratulating me on how lucky I am to be with such a hot woman. Or they will cat call her with me there etc.

            We do get glares from older Asian women. They look at her with the ‘how dare you take one of our Asian men’ stares. But never ever from any guy directly to her or I to stay within our own race.

            And yes. I do believe it is how the couple looks together. And I do believe that it also depends on how comfortable you appear with one another.

            In my opinion, most Asian guys are not very good looking at all. I don’t know what it is. But to me, they are physically unattractive. Even my girlfriend confirms that Asian men in general are not attractive.

            Nor are Asian men socially smooth. I have a lot of Asian guy friends and they are so awkward that it borders on being handicapped.

          • Racism, prejudice, jealousy, ignorance, bigotry etc…

            Call it what you want but I have never noticed any tension with any ‘interracial’ relationship I was in…because I have never been in an interracial relationship. I have been and am in a relationship. I am with the girl I am with because of who she is. Not because she is hot. Or blonde. Or Asian.

            Perhaps it is you who is racist because you notice the racial difference in your relationship all the time and make it a point of contention.

    • Jason,

      I think it’s pretty sad that you think of yourself as this exceptional Asian American guy who has somehow overcome the handicap of being Asian and no longer wants to be associated in any shape or form with being an Asian guy, especially a “FOB.”

      You’re not that special for being tall and good-looking Asian guy. I know lots of guys like you, except that they’re much more secure with their Asianness and are therefore much more attractive human beings as a result.

      You’ve been, at least according to yourself, blessed with physical gifts. It’s a shame that you use them to look down on your race and use it to suck up to White people. You sound like a guy who grew up in a mostly White environment and was never allowed to forget it.

    • Wait, so this whole thing was a lie too? I’m kind of disappointed…

  95. You forgot my old Asian Playboy blog (http://www.asianplayboy.com) not that it was ever really relationship oriented (although I did talk about it now and then), but it was pretty much the very first Asian male blog dating site of its kind, kind of like the “Sex in the City for Asian Men”.

    And the reason why Asian men don’t like to put their face up (and why my blog was so different when I put my face out there) has to do a lot with shame and fear of ridicule, as well as just sheer intense privacy.

  96. Great post! I came across your blog after a prolonged procrastination session trying to avoid an excruciating paper writing process. I’m a Japanese Canadian living on the East Coast who has started an AMWF relationship after being in relationships with exclusively Japanese women ever since I started dating.

    Growing up, I had the problem of having to deal with traditional-minded parents (I only have a Japanese name, for example {which was delightful in grade school, let me tell you}, while most of my Japanese Canadian classmates had English ones as well, and was engaged in many cultural activities in order to “maintain my culture”), as well as the problem of having an introverted personality and extensive social awkwardness.

    A problematic emanation of this was the expectation that I would eventually marry a “nice Japanese girl”, paired with the criticism of Canada that it “has no culture”, the implication being that the greater culture of Canada was in some ways off limits or taboo. The effect of this was that it served to inhibit many of my early forays into dating, and remained a damper on my confidence when finding a girl attractive. If she was white it seemed like she was unattainable, or the expectation was that she would most likely not even take me into consideration.

    I suppose what I’m trying to say is that even if you live far away from the social restrictions of your “home” culture, and even if you grow up in a relatively multicultural society (I was born/grew up in Toronto), there is “cultural baggage”, that may not be easy to shake off.

    Other than the problems stated above, I would consider myself to be thoroughly North American in mindset, having gone to school for more years than is good for me, for a Master’s degree my relatives in Japan would most likely consider “useless” (ethnomusicology!). I’ve even abandoned classical music (a strange Asian obsession, I must say) and started performing Irish music (which I picked up in Okinawa, of all places), which has been a great boost to my confidence.

    It’s taken me a very long time to come to terms with the baggage that was foisted on me by the previous generation, and I have to say, It’s a liberating experience. I can honestly say I’ve never felt the way I do in my current relationship with anyone I’ve dated in the past. We share so many interests, preoccupations and personality quirks that race seems like a completely irrelevant technicality.

    You both look great together! All the best with your further adventures with each other and thanks again for an illuminating post!

  97. Love this article. I can completely relate to this. I’m a white woman who is married to an American Vietnamese. What you say here about racism is so true. Often it doesn’t have to be asked–the condescending looks, stares, and glares say it all. And you’re right–there are positives and negatives about being an inter-racial couple. But I have to remember that I didn’t marry him for his race, for his family, or for his culture even. I married him for him, and he married me for me.

    • That’s one of the truest things I’ve seen written about interracial couples (your comment: I didn’t marry him for his race, for his family, or for his culture even. I married him for him, and he married me for me)

      I was watching a McDonald’s commercial during the Coyboy’s game today and saw an interracial couple (Asian man, black woman) sharing a drink at McDonalds. I think the media has gone far in the last couple years – so that it is not completely uncommon to see interracial couples represented (I remember there was a whole scandal a couple months back because a full-length commercial displayed a white woman, her black husband, and their daughters).
      Do y’all live in Texas? And if so, do you think the ‘racism’ (or stares, etc) are any worse in Texas?

      • Hi Grace, Yea, I remember that scandal over that commercial, and I thought people’s reaction was ridiculous. But yes, the media has come a long way, and you do see more and more inter-racial couples on TV. We don’t live in Texas anymore, but we are both from Texas (our parents live there). We live in South Carolina now. Yes I think the racism/stares ARE worse in Texas than they are where we live in South Carolina (we live in the capitol here, and it’s a college town, so it’s more liberal just in our part of SC. The older adults here are also more open-minded). In fact, I don’t recall seeing any dissenting glares here in SC, but I would get many in TX plus got some rude comments from men. However, I’ve also received such looks from men from various other states, so it’s everywhere.

        • I guess it’s a pretty universal thing. I was also surprised by the outrage over that commercial (really guys, it’s the 21st century). I think the BEST was the video reaction to the commercial – where they sat down a bunch of kids and showed them the commercial. It was cute and inspiring.
          (this is it)
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VifdBFp5pnw

          It’s silly, but every time I see an interracial couple in the media (commercials, movies, tv shows, etc – it makes me happy)

      • Great blog! I Love your photos, brings a big smile to my face.

  98. Your blog is so interesting, and sometimes a comfort to read. Just want to share my story and experience: Up until 3 weeks ago I was in a long distance AMWF relationship with a British born Vietnamese guy living in London, and I’m a British born Welsh girl living in Wales. We met at collage 4 years ago, and we’re the best of friends. 2 and a half years of long distance dating, accepting each other’s cultures and embracing them, he is at University whilst I graduated last summer. We’ve had lots of ups and downs mainly due to regular long-distance issues. But there was more. His parents had no idea of him dating me, but he planned to tell them after he graduated. I was worried they wouldn’t accept me based on culture, whereas he assured me it was down to academic and educational priorities and that dating would’ve been a distraction. Now as he’s starting his final year at college, times are getting tough. We’ve had to go our separate ways as the long distance was taking its toll and that he needs to focus on his academics. My mother never questioned my choice but always commented “it’s gonna be very difficult” throughout my relationship which was never encouraging. Also in a multicultural city like London, we always got loads of looks from people as we’re we’re walking down the street.

    • Thanks for sharing your story! Serioiusly, one of my favorite things about this blog is the fact that I get to interact with so many other couples and hear stories from so many other women.
      I struggled with the fact my fiance did not inform his parents of our relationship until, well, right before I met them. I guess it is just an “Asian values” sort of thing.
      It’s really heartbreaking that you and your love had to go separate ways; long distance can wreck even the most stable and wholesome relationship. Sometimes you just physically need them there. I hope things work out in the end!

  99. SurnameOh // 15 October, 2013 at 4:01 pm //

    Ignore the haters or respond with kindness to educate them. Boom.

  100. I suppose I’m lucky in that I am a TCK (Third Culture Kid). I am Chinese Malaysian, my wife a whole mix of white American (I think there’s Czech, German, Irish, etc. etc. in there somewhere). Being someone who was never raised in a “traditional” Chinese household (from 12 onwards I lived separate from my family in another country), I never gave a hoot about “culture” or “tradition”. I tend to see them as restrictions created out of thin air, for no real purpose.

    So we get along fine. There hasn’t been a time when we had to compromise on culture or tradition. If anything, I am more red blooded American than anything else. I love shooting guns, big V8s and feel more at home in America than anywhere else. I don’t think her family minds that I am Asian either, despite some of them being deeply Christian and Republican. I guess the real key here is that I appeared to have “assimilated” into American culture, even though I am really a flexible guy with no real culture to call my own.

    On the racism end…, I think it has worked to my advantage. We live in Malaysia now, where locals think marrying a white woman is the penultimate in marriages. It implies that I’m highly intelligent, and a class above the riff raff here. Not that I am actually any of these things. I just happened to be in the right place, at the right time, with the right mindset.

    • I like your last part on being at “the right place, at the right time, with the right mindset.”
      I think our relationship has worked out fairly well on the “racism” scale. Relationships between Asian men and white women are rare, so we are always treated special in our groups of friends (especially Japanese friends).

      I’m not quite TCK, but I grew up in Ghana, Texas, and Japan – so I have a bit of different cultures. I don’t think we’ve had to compromise on too many things (and to be fair, if I was dating a ‘full blooded’ American man, I would probably have to compromise on more)…
      But these kinds of intercultural relationships are great because we EXPECT to disagree on a lot of things. When something does wrong it’s not a problem, it’s natural.

  101. yello fever

  102. Don’t forget the stereotyping that the Asian guy must be loaded with money and the White woman must be a gold digger etc. You mean they can be in a relationship based on love and companionship?? GASP.

    • GASP. A relationship built on love? BLASPHEMY.

      We did have an episode a while back (it’s only happened once), when we were out on a date. Someone came up to us and asked if I was a hostess (prostitute) on a dohan paid date. Needless to say, my fiance didn’t take it very well. He was just like “@$#^@%@%@ I WILL KILL YOU. YOU BETTER RUN, YOU LITTLE @&^*@#*”
      It was kind of cute.
      Afterwards, he turned to me (he wasn’t pissed, he just wanted to defend my honor) and was like “oh honey, if you were a prostitute, there is no WAY I could afford you. You’re too classy.”

      I think that was supposed to be a compliment…?

    • I actually find that stereotype hilariously funny as I’ve heard it several times from white men and occasionally from under the breath of asian females. However (in the US at least), according to marriage statistics, the highest earning among all couples are AM-WF. Also, if we compare against that same group of cynics, the earning and age gap is much lower between AM and WF then it is between WM and AF (which actually record some of the highest gaps). Another gem, is that though in most cases males earn more than females, it is 3X more likely that a WF will earn more then her AM husband than an AF will earn more then her WM husband. So the stereotype (if ever there is one deserving) is that a WM needs to be loaded in order to be with a AF not the other way around.

      • I know! I did a bit of research myself and found the same statistic with AMWF couples making significantly more than other couples. When I told my fiance, he was over the moon.

        I guess all interracial relationships are interesting and complicated – but I’m not a fan of the “bad press” a lot of White/Asian couples seem to get.

        Are you in an AMWF relationship? Or just really knowledgeable about everything?

        • I’m currently in a AMAF relationship though I have had White, Black and Latina gf’s before. I don’t prefer any race in particular though the ingrained inferiority complex that asians in general have is a huge turn off. I know of and have seen white dudes hit on my girlfriend while I’m standing beside her. She’s fortunately one of those strong willed types and she will often embarrass dudes that are hitting on her.

          • That’s not to do with you being with a particular race’s woman though; that’s non asian guys in general, assuming that if a girl is matched with an asian man, no doubt they are far more of a lothario than you are and sweep her feet away. It is that “asian men are rubbish and a walkover” attitude that gives them the boldness to approach such scenarios where normal people don’t. Similarly, there was a HK video on Facebook recently where a white guy just approaches a Chinese girl and hugs her intimately. Right in front of the Chinese bf’s face. What does he do? Punch him in the face? Nope, walk away, sobbing.

            It’s that reputation that ALL asian men need to shatter, that they are not walkovers – not just in relationships, but in anything. It’s just another stereotype that white men have managed to push onto asian men, which is now affecting their personal lives.

          • It’s weird, because my husband and I haven’t run into that stereotype. Maybe because he’s tall/fit/really outgoing, but when I asked him about that stereotype about Asian men being pushovers, he was really confused.

            My husband claims that he’s never run into that.

            Maybe it depends on the country/state?

          • Wow, that’s awkward.

            I haven’t run into that “Asian minority complex” in Texas and in Japan – but I’ve heard a lot of people who have had problems with it.

  103. barry allen wang // 29 September, 2013 at 8:09 am //

    good for you. btw just from those pics i.can tell ryosukes a lovable goofball.

    i think the best thing to do though is to go someplace where there arent too many white people or asian people and just giveyou two some downtime. sad fact is white communities dont have a whole bunch of tolerance especially when an asian guy is involved and asian communities dont often respect asian guys that bring home a “souvenir”

    taking a vaca to south america or maybe dubai mightbe a good escape for a while. btw i know a few couples chinese man not japanese that are already married withkids so its definitely doable. i think the success and i can only speak for their cases is to just indulge and brush off the concerns. i mean their families are from shanghai so that might help. shanghainese are known for their worldliness but one girl is irish and another is a german french girl and they live in vancouver where they recently had an antichinese riot so they still havr to deal. but both the guys are pretty open about the girls side of things and very patient about explaining their side. hell the friend married to the irish girl is even happy to raise their daughter catholic just because his wife wanted it. again shanghainese but i think thats kinda what needs to happen just like ryosukes weird wipe yourfeet and your dont do laundry every day compromise.

    • He is such a goofball :)

      That is interesting. We actually did a trip to Taiwan a while back and didn’t have any problems. He looks “Japanese” enough – and we actually didn’t really get any stares in Taiwan. Maybe Taiwan is just unique.
      I do know several Japanese men with trophy white girlfriends. It’s a bit awkward. I try not to think about it – but we’ve had a couple people ask about the “level difference” whatever that means. I would love to visit Shanghai or South America!

  104. Found this blog from a random google search on AMWF topics – you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as interracial/intercultural relationship issues go.

    I believe the biggest stumbling block for Asian males in their pursuit of White females – and this is coming from an Australian perspective – is CONFIDENCE. While most Australian universities have a healthy mix of Asians (particularly East Asians) and Anglo students across multiple faculties, AMWF couples are exceedingly rare on campus – and of the few AMWF couples I have come across, the Asian guy is invariably a medical/dental/law student (more often than not, careers/fields that require an abundance of self-confidence). Let me harbour a guess – in addition to all the qualities you’ve mentioned about your beau, he must have had a healthy dose of self-esteem/belief going for himself; a trait that I’d imagine is increasingly lost, especially among Japanese men, what with the rise of grass-eaters and all XD

    • Oh yes, among other things, my beau does have a healthy dose of self-esteem. It is wonderful. I hadn’t given it much thought until you mentioned it, but the rise of the grass eaters in Japan might contribute to the fact that most of my foreign friends couldn’t (or didn’t want to) keep a relationship going with a Japanese man.
      I think its a mix of grass-eating, passive behavior, and cultural differences between men and women. I do agree with your claim about the importance of confidence, though.

  105. Thanks for the link to my blog! :)

    You make lots of good points! I love learning all about Hong Kong from my boyfriend. I didn’t even know where Hong Kong was before I met him and I doubt I ever would have travelled outside of Europe without him.

    I think the fact that I am in my own country and he moved here over 10 years ago means there are less bad/ugly points that we relate to. I can’t talk to his parents which is a pain and he has a few personality/cultural traits that annoy me (you do not need hot food for EVERY meal of the day!!!) but other than that, I think we are fairly similar to any other relationship. I got the “why are you dating him? You should be dating a white guy” from his own Mother >_< But no one really has an issue with us at all, if you ignore the ignorant people that feel the need to comment in the street. I think his Mum only said that because she was impressed. :D

    I think interracial relationships are really an amazing thing, just because you can learn so much and gain so much as a person. It extends to friendships too. Before I went to University, I'm fairly sure I had never spoken to an Asian person, and I had no friends from anywhere except England. Now, 3 years on, I have a Hong Kong boyfriend, a French best friend, made friends with the international students on my course and lived with some people from Malaysia. Everyone needs some international friends! (However, I'm very lucky these people all speak English…)

  106. Let’s not forget, what’s wrong with dating Japanese WOMEN? ;-) Being straight is sooo 1999.

  107. I asked my wife if anyone has ever said that she should be dating a white guy and she said, “no”. Sure there are cultural differences, and we actually enjoy experiencing them. There are always compromises. But, we don’t see that as being any different from other relationships. There will always be compromises whether you are in an inter-racial relationship or not. I’m guessing that maybe we were just lucky since we’ve lived in Texas since the end of the Vietnam war. My family have all basically acclimated to the American and Texan way of life.

    • I’m glad to hear. I actually think that intercultural (or interracial) relationships are easier BECAUSE you expect to disagree about, well, everything. My fiance and I never feel under the assumption “love will be enough” – and I think that has helped in the instances when we have to compromise. But I agree, I think there always will be compromises.

  108. So if you can’t be on his koseki, is there a way you could get a birth certificate or some other form of identification if you had children?

    • The foreign spouse is listed on the koseki, but on the side, and not in the normal spot for the spouse were she/he Japanese. I believe that it does not specifically list me as the mother of my children who are listed in the normal section, but it’s not as if my name is completely absent. We have never had an issue, but our kids don’t go to Japanese school beyond kindergarten, so we may not be the best measure. For what it’s worth, I have never heard of any of my fellow non-Japanese mom friends having trouble either.

      We also have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad from the US government (we apply for that along with their first passport), which we use in place of a birth certificate that would normally be received upon birth in a US hospital. That certificate lists both parents. I’m not sure how that goes for people from countries other than the US, though.

      • That’s good to know. I wasn’t sure.

        I have a couple mixed race couples with children who DO go to Japanese school and have never had a problem, but while I was researching, I found a forum where women were complaining/trying to find answers about what to do since they had been barred from getting their children’s school work. I’m not too worried.

        I’m also glad to hear about the Consular Report of Birth Abroad. That sounds very useful.
        Once again, thanks for all the information! (I feel like you’re a professional regarding living as an American in Japan)

        • Yes, I’ve heard of people complaining about the the koseki issue, too, but I’ve never known anyone in real life in all these years who has actually had a problem, so I figure that it must not be all that common. Another thing that occurred to me – and I hate to say it – is that I could imagine non-white moms having more of a problem. It’s a sad fact that white women are often received differently than women from other Asian countries. :(

          • Most of the cases I read involved non-white moms. It’s kind of sad. I think there definitely is a preference over foreign brides, with white and Indian at the top and black and other Asian at the bottom. It’s depressing and very racist.
            The mother in question who couldn’t get schoolwork for her children was Thai.

    • I wasn’t sure, but Sue seemed to answer my questions wonderfully (she is an American woman married to a Japanese man with a group of adorable children!)

  109. “You will have to compromise on un-comprisable subjects” — yes, so important. It sucks, but there it is. This is a great post and I agree that intercultural relationships are a lot more work than just liking each other!

    • In a way, I actually think intercultural relationships are easier, because you EXCEPT to disagree on everything. There isn’t that expectation “love will be enough.”
      Thanks for the comment :)

  110. Great blog. Good luck. My marriage (me a Texan) to a Dutch girl was challenging enough! Cultural differences only become evident when experiencing the fallout they produce, unfortunately. Racism has not been involved though, surprisingly, a large dose of nationalism has been. I got a lot of comments in the beginning … “Why not American girl?”

    • Ouch. On the “nationalist” note, I’ve had a couple family members ask “why not a Texan?”
      My grandmother was nice enough to leave it at “as long as he’s not an Aggie, we will take him.”

      I can only imagine how interesting it would be to be married to a Dutch woman. There’s got to be some fun miscommunications :)

      • I won’t say there aren’t any, but they are few. Mainly when I use comments that stem from something that is very Texan/American. And once in a while there is not a lot of appreciation for using words that are not in their standard usage pattern. When that happens and there is flack in the air, I switch to Dutch…

  111. That’s a very inspiring post! I absolutely agree and I can relate to that. Although my partner is not Asian (he’s European) we still come from different countries and as long as we respect each other’s culture and traditions we are gonna make that work. I agree, love isn’t enough, but it’s absolutely worth it!

  112. Great post, great blog and great you two !!! I hope everything goes well to both of your for your future.
    Let’s see if I can join AMWF, too…
    I totally agree with everything you wrote and I also think you did -and still doing- a great job in this relationiship. Because let’s say it, AMWF IT’S NOT easy AT ALL.

    • It’s really had. But it’s rewarding and never boring!
      I hope you get a chance to join the AMWF community (you don’t actually HAVE to be in a relationship, it’s more of an appreciation group for people who like looking at cute couple/wedding pictures)

  113. Great post! Thanks for the shout out!

  114. It’s interesting reading your thoughts. I’m not sure if I can say that I really identify with a lot of these points, because over the 19 years we’ve been together (counting pre-marriage dating) I can honestly say that we have not had all that many problems in these areas aside from his mother protesting his marrying a non-Japanese (which feels like ancient history, honestly). Maybe part of it is that we have never lived in the US. I know of couples who have had a lot to deal with living there – to the point of saying, “think and pray long and hard before jumping into it.”

    I think that we have been blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful community of people both in Japan and when visiting the US who are so familiar with and accepting of these kinds of relationships that it’s a non-issue. I am also very sure that my husband and I share the same religious faith has a lot to do with the lack of trouble over cultural differences. We are Christians first, then Japanese/American second. I know that’s not the case for many, though. We were also on the same page about my staying home with the kids – in fact, I felt more strongly about that than he did at the beginning.

    Oh, and as an aside – it would never occur to my husband to ask me to wipe my feet before getting into bed at night, and in fact, I would tend to be much more particular about that kind of thing! Some things may be interpreted as cultural when they may just be unique to that person.

    Anyway, very interesting to hear the experiences of others, and to think about our own story in light of that.

    • I think sharing a similar religion (especially the God first mentality) is one of the things that makes any relationship easier. It puts things in perspective.

      I think as I mentioned before, a majority of these comments came before we got engaged (or right after we got engaged). One of the great things about marriage (or engagements) is that people are less likely to pick apart your relationship. Whereas you might pull a friend aside who is dating a man twice her age (let’s say, they’ve been dating only a month or so), you probably won’t voice your opinion with a friend who has been married to a man 15 years her senior, for, let’s say, 15 years. It’s a matter of perspective.
      I’ve also had lots of people I just met (or meet at parties, conferences, etc) who are just curious. They know they will never see me again, so they don’t have any qualms about asking impersonal and awkward questions.

      I do love to read other peopele’s blogs. It’s one of my hobbies. I love how it puts things into perspective and illustrates the lives of other people.
      As always, thanks for the wonderful comments!

      • It’s very true that the passing of time can wear down the opinions of naysayers, and even change their opinions. As I read your comment I thought of my husband’s friend who commented – on our wedding day – “I give it 6 months.” There is some history behind the comment that I won’t go into, but even so we couldn’t believe the gall he had to say that.

        Now, every anniversary we toast each other and say, “we proved him wrong!” He is married now, too, and we are all still friends. I’m sure he would be very embarrassed if we reminded him of the rude comment he made all those years ago!

      • John Snepvangers // 19 December, 2013 at 2:37 am //

        I’m married to my Chinese wife. It can be very difficult at times. We’re both Christian, which is the major thing that keeps us together.

        In China money is more important than human life. Also sinocentrism.

        Han people and culture, tend to brainwash, bully, and generally are aggresive cowards.

        I have met some true Christian Chinese, and they say that most Chinese are animals. No respect. I’ve realised they do not know anybetter. In time through education and true Christianity, many will change.

        • What a horrible thing to say about an entire culture. That’s so sad.
          I always thought that Christianity is all about seeing the good in every single person (everyone has a little bit of God and God’s love inside of them). But I guess it can vary depending on culture/region.

        • John, if you are a true Christian and have read the Bible, then you will know that God creating all humans in his image. To call “most Chinese” animals is to insult God’s creation.

        • John, as a Christian myself, I think you’ve got some serious lack of Bible knowledge … maybe you should read more about the new testament (Christ=Christian) and learn about acceptance, tolerance and forgiving…it is really sad to see people that come from my same religious background acting like this.

          My boyfriend is Chinese, Buddhist, and both of us accept and learn things from each other religions, there’s always a good point of view to learn, share, discuss and so on. I think this makes our relationship even so more interesting.

          I have never met a Chinese who’s aggressive, or bully, or cowards, or that has ever brainwashed me … so said, there may be people like that, but guess what, they’re everywhere, despite the race and the place; as a Christian you should just “accept” this and go ahead doing other things, or maybe talk to them in reasonable manners, explaining your point of you, but never push it onto them (that is just wrong). As Grace rightly said, we should always seek the good in people

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