Have you ever gotten an “Eww!” from your non-Asian friends because your favorite food is kimchi, chicken feet, or raw fish? This is just one of many moments when Asians abroad are suddenly struck with the reality that we are culturally unique. Relationships are hard enough, so it’s only natural for some people to prefer dating someone with a similar cultural background. That’s why we came up with EastMeetEast, an Asian dating site and app. So what does it mean to share a similar cultural background? Let’s take a quick look from a practical standpoint.
You eat food three times a day (and sometimes more because let’s be real—being hangry is no joke!). So does your partner. Meals are one of the most frequently occurring shared activities between you two so it’s important that there’s some kind of common ground and understanding here. While some might be happy eating anything, others may not understand the need for a rice cooker that costs a couple hundred dollars (because who eats rice that often anyway?? I do!). To no one’s surpise, food is the favorite topic amongst EastMeetEast members, so make sure you ask about their favorite restaurants at some point.
Asian parents usually pay for their kid’s college tuition, plus the preceding 18 years of room and board, so the kids are indebted to them forever and ever. No, but all jokes aside, Asian family members are usually super close with one another. And that means lots of family vacations and gatherings, and not putting parents in an old folks’ home when they get older. This is a tradition not to be trifled with.
What’s your definition of fun? Football and beer? Korean BBQ followed by karaoke and soju, or mahjong with close friends? The fact is you probably don’t spend every weekend with just your partner. There will be many weekends spent with close friends or family members. So you need to ask yourself, “Do I have enough things in common with this person? Or are we going to have to play ‘rock, paper, scissors’ every time we want to do something?” In a nutshell, there’s no set formula for the perfect relationship. But you can keep refining your own formula through trial and error. What matters here is your everyday life and how your relationship will fit into it. Focus on what enriches your and your loved ones’ lives with the addition of this important person.