Guest Post: Odd Questions I’ve Heard About My Interracial Love

Anyone who has ever dated outside their race will relate to this wonderful guest post by Chi, who blogs at Talking of Chinese.

Do you have a guest post you’d like to see featured on Speaking of China? Visit the submit a post page to learn how to have your words published here.
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The vast majority of people (whether consciously or unconsciously) date and marry within their own race.

According to Wikipedia, 97% of married white men and women in America are married to another white person, 89% of married black men and women are married to another black person and 91% of married Asian men and women are married to another Asian person.

If you happen to be in the less than 4% (according to Wikipedia only 3.9% of married couples in the US in 2008 were interracial couples – this is a big increase from less than 1% in 1990 but still an extremely low percentage) you are almost certain to get a question or comment about your interracial relationship at some point.

Both my fiance and I are Australian. I was born in Australia to anglo parents, he was born in China to Chinese parents.

While most people I’ve encountered don’t (at least openly) say anything about us being an interracial couple, I have encountered curiosity from both westerners and Asians as well as a few rare comments that are at least misguided if not racist.

The most common question I have gotten from Asians is a surprised “but how did you meet/get together with a Chinese guy?” while I’ve had both Asians and white people ask if I am “attracted to Asians”.

The first question stems mostly from curiosity, I think. While it’s fairly common to see white men with Asian women it is far more rare to see Asian men with white women (although I am happy to see it does seem to be getting more common).

The first question is also easy to answer – we were flatmates, we didn’t get along at all at first but slowly became friends and eventually fell in love.

The second question I honestly find bizarre. Imagine you asked that of a white person who was dating another white person “so, you are attracted to white people?”

No, I am not attracted to white people, or Asians, or black people or any race.

I am attracted to the man I am with because of WHO he is not what race he is.

I am attracted to him because he is strong but also prepared to show true vulnerability with me (something I have found to be incredibly rare).

I am attracted to him because he takes responsibility (for himself, for his decisions, for his family). He doesn’t expect anything from anyone.

I am attracted to him because he has an adventurous spirit and finds ways things can be done rather than putting them in the too hard basket.

I am attracted to him because he doesn’t shy away from things that are difficult, he faces challenges as they come up.

I am attracted to him because he knows what he wants and is prepared to work hard for it.

I am attracted to him because he prioritises what’s important to him and doesn’t let other things or other people run his life.

I am attracted to him because he’s upfront, he doesn’t manipulate or play games.

I am attracted to him because he is great at solving problems, an excellent traveller and can fix things.

Most of all I am attracted to him because we get each other on a level I find hard to explain – I haven’t felt this in any other relationship (even one that lasted for years).

Also, I think he’s pretty cute and his snuggles are second to none 🙂

Chi (her real name, no exotic background, pronounced Chai, like the tea) is engaged to a man who was born in China and grew up in Argentina before immigrating to Australia. Chi writes about her experiences (mostly her struggles trying to learn Mandarin) at www.talkingofchinese.com. —–

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19 thoughts on “Guest Post: Odd Questions I’ve Heard About My Interracial Love

  • February 23, 2017 at 10:36 am
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    Exactly. I had my husband’s former Taiwanese colleague asked me if I like Asian men. I simply replied, “I like men.” He nodded and understood.

    Reply
      • March 23, 2017 at 12:17 am
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        Love that answer, as well….But then again, I would never dream of asking any woman whether they “like” Asian guys….And most of the non-Asian women I am aware of who are “open” to having a relationship with an Asian man are usually immersed in some aspect of the culture….

        Reply
  • February 24, 2017 at 3:03 am
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    Eileen, that comment reminds me of the time I was asked by a group of Taiwanese women the question, “Who is the most beautiful, American women or Taiwanese women?” I truthfully answered “women are beautiful all over the world”. They were not pleased, since I think I was supposed to say Taiwanese women, but at the time I wasn’t flirty enough to realize that.

    Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm
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      I think that was a good answer…but yeah, given your audience, I guess it wouldn’t go over well. 😉

      Reply
  • February 24, 2017 at 4:09 am
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    Andy –
    People are something else. ????????????

    Reply
  • February 24, 2017 at 8:22 am
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    No one uses the term ‘interracial’ any more. Can you imagine describing a courtship or marriage between Caucasian and black as ‘interracial?’ You’d be PC’d out of town.
    A relationship between a Caucasian person and a Chinese person or a Jewish person is a relationship, pure and simple.

    Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm
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      I’d be curious to know who told you that “interracial” is somehow passe or not used anymore; that’s not true.

      As much as we would all love a relationship to be a relationship, the thing is, when people of different races date or marry they do have different experiences from a couple who is of the same race. That’s a reality and fact. When you dismiss those differences, you’re engaging in harmful “colorblind” racist behavior.

      A few years ago, I wrote about Why Ignoring Cultural Differences in Cross-Cultural Relationships is Harmful. You could substitute “interracial” for cross-cultural and the conclusion remains the same. I would encourage you to educate yourself.

      Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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      That’s interesting. Look up the movie Loving, about a marriage between a white man and a black woman in the 50s (the movie is from last year). Absolutely every info website, review, piece of news, etc, includes the word interracial to describe it. Just sayin’.

      Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 8:49 pm
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      On the one hand I agree – relationships are just relationships no matter what race the people are. Ideally “interracial” relationships wouldn’t be seen as any different to any other relationship.

      On the other hand, I agree with Jocelyn – the reality is that people in interracial relationships do have different experiences.

      At the risk of opening up another can of worms – I think it’s a bit like saying marriage equality isn’t a thing. It shouldn’t be, it should just seen like any other marriage but the reality is that it isn’t.

      Reply
  • February 24, 2017 at 6:47 pm
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    Hi Chi! Good post 🙂 I have never been asked that kind of questions (yet) but if someone does I will reply like Eileen did: I like men!

    In my case, given that I’ve been living in China for years, I think it is only natural that I ended up with a Chinese man. I mean, statistically it makes sense, right? It would have been weirder if I lived in China and only dated foreign men 😀

    Reply
    • February 24, 2017 at 8:42 pm
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      Thanks for your comment Marta ???? I agree it seems only natural if you’ve lived in China for years that you’d end up marrying a Chinese man, I imagine there would be some people who would still only date/marry within their race no matter where they lived though.

      Reply
  • February 27, 2017 at 7:53 am
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    The stats aren’t correct. Asian women marry out 37% of the time in the US.

    Asian men marry out 16% of the time. Asian women are the ONLY group that marry out to such a large extent.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/12/interracial-marriage-who-is-marrying-out/

    Oddly enough many Asian women go for white supremacists Richard Spencer for instance only goes after Asian women.

    200 years of brain washing and dehumanising Asian men has these sort of effects.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2017 at 7:15 pm
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    Chi! What a wonderful post^_^ It’s so true it’s not the race of the person but who they are! As a fellow Aussie married to a Chinese man I’ve often been asked if I’m only attracted to Asians. People seem intent on finding some explanation or cause and affect relationship as to why I married a Chinese man. Rather than assuming that people who are in an interracial romance are just like any other couple in love, people tend to be stunted at the differing racial backgrounds. Curious questions are fine but when people seem fixated on your partner’s race it can get extremely frustrating, especially when they overgeneralize countries, cultures and peoples under one banner of “Asian-ness”.

    Reply
    • March 22, 2017 at 11:06 pm
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      Indeed, Britany, as an “Asian-American” male, I completely agree, but I think that’s one of the problems associated with the AMWF scene and other such social phenomena, which is why, outside of occasionally reading these blogs and looking at pics, I tend to shun anything remotely related to these so-called “movements.” Oddly enough, I believe that the more we emphasis the “uniqueness” of such relationships on social media, the more it refocuses on the “racial” aspect….

      Reply
  • March 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm
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    How did your parents come up with the name “Chi” for you? Does it have a particular meaning?

    Reply
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