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Dating an Asian Guy
#1
So now I am talking to another guy since things with the other guy just seemed to stop. All that is in the other thread. The guy I am talking to is from Cambodia and I'll jump to the main point. He's very nice, very ambitious on wanting to date and I think he's cute. So great. What I am worried about are cultural differences and things I would be completely ignorant to, things I ought to be aware of. I did try to search around for some tips for white guys dating guys who moved to the US from XYZ country. Things that he might not be aware of when it comes to Western/US culture and things that I would not be aware of. I mean these are all things I can learn, adapt and understand and deal with but without knowing those thing it can be a setback or he (or I) might think I'm a jerk and so on. Basically I'm looking for tips for a white guy dating a guy from an Asian country (Cambodia in this case).

I do recall reading some article a while back generalizing guys from Thailand as being immature. I can't remember what it said but I feel that is not really a fair assessment. All I can say it that he was very much focused on his work and school and never actually dated anyone up until now, just fwb to my understanding which would make me the person person he's actually dated...so yeah this could go sideways. Am I being misled? I don't think so, I do not get the impression he has lied about anything at all.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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#2
I've dated several Asian guys. My first boyfriend was a guy who is Filipino and was raised in Japan, he moved back to Tokyo after completing his degree in the US.

Another guy I dated is Taiwanese and from Taiwan. He is currently working in the US. He became a friend of mine, and just moved to a different state. It has made me feel extra lonely the past few months, but he has to do whatever he can do to maintain his visa status. It would break my heart if he loses his right to work here and is deported.

The main cultural misunderstanding I had was how dating works in Japan. Breaks ups are non-confrontational. One doesn't usually say they are breaking up, one simply fades the other out, stops talking, ignores text messages. Whenever I went too long without messaging my first boyfriend, he thought it was me breaking up with him. Then he tried breaking up with me, and I didn't know what was going on until I learned it's common in Japan to break up by ignoring. He ended up asking me back and I declined.

That article that generalized guys in Thailand is racist bullshit.

There aren't many tips I can think of. Coming up with generalizations can lead to failure. I mean, I watch anime and read manga, but that didn't make me an expert on dating a guy from Japan. In fact, it was the opposite - in Japan, those who obsess over anime and manga are called "otaku". My ex HATED otakus. He said he didn't care that I like anime and manga, and he loved how geeky and nerdy I was, but that made me feel weird, because he hated geeks back in Japan but liked how geeky I was. I am what I am, and I'm a geek, a nerd, a dork, so if that's your thang, then feel free to fetishize me for it, whatever, but don't go knocking my fellow dweebs down!

There are some language communication problems between me and my friend from Taiwan. But I don't judge him for not knowing every word and idiom in the English language.

If this guy you are talking about never dated anyone up until now, I wouldn't discount him. If he's still a student, he's still young. All of us in the lgbt+ are too busy grappling with both self-acceptance and outside acceptance. It's also hard as hell to find a boyfriend, so you can't put that on him for only having a FWB so far.

At the end of the day, whatever happens, happens.

Then again, I've been single for almost three years, so maybe I'm not the best person to be taking advice from.
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#3
English is my second language and in the beginning of dating my American bf, we had some issues in conversation where he was trying to read between my lines, when I had problems just getting the lines out and not even thinking about double meanings or being evasive Or whatever.
Bernd

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#4
@Chase is breaking up (the ignoring bit) unique to Japan or is that something shared with other Asian cultures?

He's not dated anyone officially, he has had fun with guys but nothing serious. I guess I'm not used to guys being ambitious when it comes to me, like I'm used to having to do all the nudging. By that I mean I'm used to having to ask if they want to go on a date or be the one to break the ice. That being said, not holding that against him. I'm more concerned about doing something unknowingly that might be seen as disrespectful or something.

The language barrier isn't really an issue with the guy I'm talking to. The one other guy I did date that was from Thailand there was a language barrier, it was bad and I was much younger and let's just say stupid. I didn't think about any of these things being an issue back then...

And yes, preaching to the choir, it is hard to find a boyfriend, it is even harder to find someone that won't leave you high and dry as soon as things aren't perfect. So no, I'm trying to be open minded about all this and if I held anything against him well there wouldn't be much purpose of this thread.
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#5
So funny you say that, my dad, mom, and many of the older relatives are from Cambodia. I was born in the US along with my sister. My first question to you would be what generation is he? If he is second, or even first, generation in western society I think he would understand any thing that might be offensive and would be nice enough to offer words of advice and caution. If he is new to western society, then it might get a little tricky. 

Growing up, my family was very conservative. Homophobic. Cambodians they tend to be very familial and is similar to Philipinos in a way. Not much you can really do or say that should be offensive unless it is about his family. Speaking to and acting towards a traditional Asian family requires a certain mentality too (that is another topic if you are interested lol!).

I have not been to Cambodia myself so I have no idea how they react with the whole LGBTQ thing. Just strictly speaking from my own familial experience. Also keep in mind that every family and every person is different. So him and his family might be totally cool and liberal. I would just suggest asking him yourself if there is anything he noticed that westerners do that are strange or irritating to him and his family. You can also use this opportunity to kind of pick his brain and see how he views the world. Also how deeply tied he is with his family. Trust me, you DO NOT want to get involved with family drama. Especially if the family is tight knit. What they say is true, if you get married you get married to their family too (especially if they cannot put you as top priority).


TLDR: Just talk with him if you are nervous. If you say something wrong and he gets super angry without being understanding then he isn't worth your time. You might as well establish good communication right now so you don't waste your time with someone who can't be open minded.
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#6
Well from what I know so far he moved here alone and plans on living here the rest of his life. So I don't know how close he is to his family but I was wondering if that might be the case. He has been polite so far but communication has been kind of sporadic here lately. I do appreciate the advice though, I haven't had much opportunity to have deep conversations with him yet.
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#7
I can't speak about anyone from Cambodia. I can mention a dear American friend who met a Taiwanese man when he was studying in the USA. When his friend went home to Taiwan they were rarely able to be together but did keep in touch. PA and I met them a few times in New York and in London last year. What a lovely couple! A couple of weeks ago I had a message to let me know that, after all these years, they had married in Taiwan where they now intend to live.
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#8
The only thing I've noticed is that he never initiates a conversation...If I want to talk to him I have to message him...otherwise it can be days or weeks before I hear from him. Not sure if this is a cultural thing or just him being busy with work and whatnot (he is a CNA and works long hours) and I try not to be to critical...but he is about 60 miles away so it is a pretty good drive down there. I did offer to drive down rather than him come up since he's never been out of the area.

I am supposed to go meet him this Friday...
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#9
Like you said It's not wise for us to generalize any group of people....so I think the best you can do is to keep communicating.

I don't know if he was born in the US or did he move there and speak fluent English, but anyway, If you are not sure about something that he said, just ask him about it to avoid mis-understanding.

I am Asian currently living in France and I had been misunderstood a lot as rude, cold, emotionless or "hiding my true thought" because I don't show as much emotion as French when I speak. Not to mention sometimes I struggle to find the right word to say and so they would misinterpret my tone due to lack of suitable (polite) vocabulary or phrases.
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#10
(07-22-2020, 12:34 PM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: The only thing I've noticed is that he never initiates a conversation...If I want to talk to him I have to message him...otherwise it can be days or weeks before I hear from him. Not sure if this is a cultural thing or just him being busy with work and whatnot (he is a CNA and works long hours) and I try not to be to critical...but he is about 60 miles away so it is a pretty good drive  down there. I did offer to drive down rather than him come up since he's never been out of the area.

I am supposed to go meet him this Friday...

Hmm... That seems like a long drive. The lack of communication isn't too encouraging either. Well I would give him a chance and try at least one date. He might just be a poor texter/message. Could be more of an in-person communicator kind of guy. Keep an open mind but also don't be afraid to put some red flags too. 

PS: That is a pretty long drive!
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