3 Ways Asians Got Marriage Right


May is Asian Pacific Heritage Month! On Facebook and Instagram I'm hashtagging #slanteyesforthewin all month. Because I can.

I was going to write a tribute to the hotness of my men, but I didn't want all y'all white girls to steal them, so instead, I'm going to share the Secrets of the Orient on Staying Together.  (No, you can't use the word Orient anymore. Only yellow peeps can.)

These aren't perfect traits - like anything, when taken too far they can damage. But there's wisdom to be found in an old-school Asian relationship, and I'll show you how you can apply it to your non-Asian life.

Quick beat: I'm not here to discuss politics. This blog is about loving and coming more, not about what defines "Asian" and who's the exception and what's a stereotype and blahblahblah my Harvard theory days are over. Now on to how being raised Chinese helped my love life - and how it can help yours!

3 Ways Asians Got Marriage Right

1) Die before you divorce

I was raised in a community that did ANYTHING to prevent divorce. Sleep in separate beds, separate bedrooms, separate floors - hell, my aunt and uncle live on separate continents. 

Sounds like hell to us young-country, trigger-happy Americans? That's because we've lost all meaning of commitment. Asians, especially my men, are committed to their word. If they tell you forever - especially in public - they'll stay with you until their loyal hearts stop beating. 

If there's one thing Asians hate more than wasting food, it's quitting. You can fail, but you can't quit! Actually, you're not allowed to fail either. So stay married and work that shit out!

Why we should learn from them:

I don't recommend emotionally divorcing like the example above. The fix is to realize you made a choice to commit and that choice comes with not just responsibility, but the delicious opportunity to grow and love like you never have before. Don't squander it on doubt.

Be true to your word. 

2) Don't cheat

This sounds like a duh. It should be a duh. But somehow western culture forgot.

Another vow you made when you married was to be faithful. My father, in one of his signature no-words-minced lectures, told me as a teenager that I was a person, not an animal and I had to control my hormones - he and all married adults had to. 

My mother fucked this up big time. She had an affair. It destroyed my parents' marriage - resulting in the huge deal of divorce (see #1). The entire community ostracized her. It hurt not just my father but me deeply. (She did wait until I was about to graduate from college before she strayed, following the Chinese "keep the family together for the kids" values so I could have a 2-parent childhood.)

For a decade I feared I would be just like her. That I wouldn't be able to commit. It drew all kinds of loser guys into my life. Luckily, I overcame to become the sex and spirituality coach you see today.

Why we should learn from them:

Cheating is another method of emotional divorce. Some therapists believe you can get past affairs, including the otherwise spot-on Dr. Pat Allen - but she's also about 70 and believes men are naturally polygamous, which I'm not sure about. At least not the Asian guys I've loved.

I understand why my mother cheated. I understand the feeling of stuckness. But that's a victim mentality. You have the choice to change. You have the choice to choose someone you have great sex with and not to marry until you do. You have the choice to go to counseling, to work a couple's program together, to go into individual coaching before you step outside your marriage. Behave like a person, not an animal, and make the better choice.

3) Have the highest standards possible

I've dated the gamut: recovered addict, cheap-as-shit investment banker, blond hick, even the general counsel to a famous mayor. Guess which ones my parents approved of?

While I never made dating choices based on my parents' opinions - I should have. The times I dated high school drop-outs and actors didn't go so well. The times I dated the kind of boys my family liked, I was taken care of and cherished.

Asians didn't just come up with their standards out of nowhere. My parents encouraged me to date similarly educated men with stable jobs from good families not just to prevent me from shaming the family, but because they wanted the best for me. They knew these men would commit, take care of their wives, and put their families first.

Why we should learn from them:

You should want the best for you. The guy who's couch-surfing while building his career as a professional hipster is not the best for you. Yeah I saw his Ryan Gosling goatee. I don't care.

The guy who's got two kids with different mothers and didn't marry either one? That's a Tyrese movie. And also not good enough for you.

Don't date good abs.

Don't date good "potential."

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