Logan Lo wrote, “Life limits you enough, why do it to yourself?” That’s true in many things, including the dating scene he writes about today in his guest post. An Asian-American blogger in New York City who authored the book The Men Made of Stone, Logan stepped outside of his own comfort zone in interracial dating — and eventually met his Irish/Italian-American wife.
Thanks so much to Logan for sharing his story!
When America was young, the last place you’d expect to be the preeminent United States city was New York. After all, it was solidly occupied by the British for the entirety of the war. It should have been Boston, Philadelphia, or even Charleston.
But a great fire happened in 1776, which burned much of Manhattan; so much so that the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811 allowed them to re-map city streets into the current, orderly, grid-pattern. Immigrants – like my parents – who then came to America found that they could navigate the streets, even if they couldn’t speak the language well.
We all have these fires in our lives, don’t we? And we face that choice to let it leave us broken, unchanged, or better.
Essentially, all of your life’s problems can be divided up into three categories: Health, wealth, and relationships. When I was 33, all three of these things took a massive hit. It was my great fire, if you will.
As I tried to right myself, took it as an opportunity to not just get my life back to where it once was, but to make it better.
Health and wealth each probably deserves their own entries so let’s just talk about relationships.
On that front, I realized that, like most people, I just kind of ended up with the people I dated. They were always women that were just hanging around with people I hung around with and we just gravitated towards each other. At 33 years of age, I never walked up to a total stranger and said, “Hi, what’s your name?”
So that’s exactly what I did for few years.
Along the way, in addition to meeting and finding out about all of these really interesting people, I found out more about myself.
For example, I learned that there are a lot of 22-year-old women out there in the party scene. Unfortunately, I also learned that 22 year olds and 34 year olds generally do not have a lot in common.
Something I found out about myself was that I liked girls with colored eyes.
It’s just a thing. Everyone has a thing.
But this particular thing meant that I – as an Asian-American – was often asking out people that weren’t Asian. And I heard something so often that I had a pat answer for it:
Her: You’re the first Asian guy I’ve ever been attracted to.
Me: Ah, you’re missing out. We’re lovely. Plus, wait until you meet the really good looking ones.
Which brings me to the point of this post and the most important thing I learned about myself during those dating years: Life limits you enough, why do it to yourself?
Let me be honest and tell you that the first year or so of me talking to complete strangers was absolutely terrifying. I’d never done anything like that before. I always had one reason or another to do it because it was outside my comfort zone.
After all, things outside your comfort zone are, by definition, uncomfortable.
And when you’re not comfortable, you either stop what you’re doing or stop making excuses and deal with the discomfort. I decided to do the latter.
I cannot tell you the number of times where I’m out with friends and one of them shot themselves down before someone else could.
Him: Let’s get outta here.
Him: There’re four or five guys to every girl here.
Me: Come on, we’re having a good time. (laughing) Besides, there’re four or five regular guys to every girl here. There’s only one set of you and me. These, my friend, are great odds.
Along the way, I met a beautiful girl who has become my favorite person in the world. She has green eyes, an easy laugh, and a surprising tolerance for all my little idiosyncrasies.
And I was the only non-white person my wife ever dated. And this was true with almost all of the women I dated.
The thing is, I wouldn’t be happily married to my favorite person in the world, nor have met all these people, if I let kept shooting myself down before someone else had the chance to do so.
Do you know the story of the four-minute mile?
Essentially, for thousands of years, it was thought that it was impossible that someone could run a mile in less than four minutes. But in 1954, a fella named Roger Bannister ran it in 3:59.4 minutes.
Since 1954, so many people have broken the “four-minute barrier” that’s it’s gone from an impossibility to “the standard of all male professional middle distance runners.”
Even more interesting is the fact that Bannister did it while he was a full-time medical student! The world limited him enough and he chose not to do it to himself.
So then, I end this entry with a conversation I had dozens of times while I was out and about.
Me: So what’s your story morning glory?
Her: (rolling eyes) Does that line really work?
Me: You’re talking to me aren’t you?
Life limits you enough. Why do it to yourself?
Logan Lo is a native New Yorker who’s been blogging since 2006. In between practicing law by day and teaching Filipino fencing by night, he’s managed to get married and write a popular article on online dating titled “eHarmony vs. Match,” as well as a book on Asian gangs titled The Men Made of Stone. He currently lives in Manhattan with his wife and his plant, Harold.
We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.