Confusing Asian Dating Advice
As rojak as Singapore may be, our traditional Asian values still reign supreme.
Even though Asian parents are less open to discussing things akin to dating, love, or sex, we still know where babies come from— the stork delivers them after pollination because the birds and the bees love each other very much.
We’ve come to realise that our parents’ words don’t have to be taken at face value. And sometimes, we can’t tell if their advice is out to help us, scare us, or mess with us.
1. Be yourself. But no, not like that!
They say “be yourself” and the right guy will come along. But only if “yourself” includes being demure, pretty, obedient, and a good cook. If not no man will want us.
They suggest we wear makeup, otherwise, we’ll look like a hantu. But when we wear makeup, they say we shouldn’t be trying to attract that kind of attention. They also encourage us to drink papaya/soy milk for fuller breasts, but scream at us to cover up because “you look like a prostitute!”
Isn’t it ironic how the submissive Asian girl fantasy we despise of, was in fact contributed by our own kind?
2. Their fickle standpoint on relationships
Parents are always encouraging sons to get girlfriends. But for daughters, bringing a boy home was like committing hara-kiri. Throughout teenagehood, we were told that boys were a distraction from studies.
But they go 0-100 real quick. Come Chinese New Year, they’ll bomb us with “why never bring your boyfriend, don’t have meh?” as if we were expected to have latched onto Mr Right with a single swipe by now. And if we’re apparently dating, they’ll go “so when are the two of you getting married?”
3. Assuming what’s best for you
I think we’ve all heard variations of award-winning words, “but he’s a doctor.” Even if you guys have nothing in common, our parents are always keen on marrying us with the best possible candidate. In their eyes, we’re always their child, and they’ll forever treat us as such.
Asian parents prefer to show us they care through actions when their words don’t suffice—by bringing us tributes of husband options. Kind of like how cats bring dead mice to their kittens as prey.
4. Complaining about your social life when they encouraged it
When parents encourage us to meet new people so we can expand our circle of feasible love prospects, we often try to be more socially participative.
However, we forget their selective memory will come back and slap us with a “what kind of reputation do you want?” Or the classic “you think this house is a hotel ah.”
Conversely, if we’re already attached and we choose to stay at our partner’s house, it indicates we’re homeless. And if we spend too much time apart, they’ll ask, “Why haven’t you met him in so long, did y’all break up?”
5. Their expectations of your partner
Mom stipulated very strict guidelines for the potential mate. He has to be able to support our lifestyle and future kids, and educated with a law degree because God forbid he works in the Arts. But not too handsome, he might cheat.
To top it off, he must love you more than you love him.
Oh, the unrealistic, unequal, inherently sexist Asian-mom expectations of a man. Note: It may leave us single. Forever.
Key Words Of Wisdom
Sometimes, the expectations of Asian parents can sound ridiculous, but they always come from a place of love and concern. They only maintain high standards because they think we deserve the world. So, we’ll forever be grateful for the way they simultaneously instil fear and affection into the hearts of the ones they love the most.