Double Happiness: Dreaming of Ariel in Australia

A black-and-white photo of a young Caucasian girl
In this Friday's Double Happiness, L. Han writes about why he loves Western women -- a fascination that started with Disney's the Little Mermaid, and continued through to his first crush on a white woman in Australia. (photo by Fran Priestley)

When I opened up the series “Double Happiness,” I originally called for stories from couples about why they love each other, or how they met.

But then I met L. Han, who had a story for me about why he loves Western women — even though he didn’t have a girlfriend or wife. After reading it, I decided to run it. It speaks to the people in our community who haven’t found their Double Happiness yet, but still have something to say about it.

So, thanks to L. Han, I’m adjusting “Double Happiness” to welcome your own stories on why you love Chinese men or Western women — even if you’re NOT in a couple (submit yours right here). 

Here’s his story:


At the very curious age of 5, I always wondered why women from the West had colourful hair, as opposed to women in Asia. My fascination started from watching the Disney cartoon the Little Mermaid with Ariel, the lady with the red hair and sea shell bikinis who had far-fetched dreams of marrying the prince on the shore.

Soon I realised, I was becoming more like Ariel, with dreams of finding someone beyond my own world. At an early age, I never had a physical attraction to Asian women. Yes, I might watch some Hong Kong serial dramas but hardly any women looked attractive to me. I was merely watching because I didn’t want to be alienated in school when they would bring up the topic, “hey, did you watch that Hong Kong drama yesterday?” Sooner or later, I just found myself glued to dramas of the West, such as the Pretender.

When I was 19 and starting my life in Australia, I had my first face-to-face glimpse of how white women really were. I had met some Norwegian and Swedish girls who were at least 5 to 10 years my senior. They were very nice and prepared a large birthday party for me (which turned out to be the best I ever had).

One day, I was able to befriend this girl online. She went to my university, but stayed in a different campus that was at least 30 minutes away by car. We talked a lot every day, especially about Japanese anime. Often I would send her some anime files, so she could watch them and laugh with me. She was bad at spelling, but I still liked her. Gradually, I found out she was an American girl who was living and studying music in Melbourne, Australia at that time.

One day, she was all sad and suicidal. This local Australian guy she had been interested in turned cold on her and made her feel very depressed. I made the decision to find a payphone and ring her up to calm her down. I was worried she was going to kill herself. I told her, “life is a great one ahead and you don’t need to focus yourself on someone who doesn’t care so much about you. I care about you very much.” Even though we were friends that never met, I believe everyone needs a friend in life.

Days passed and she realised she didn’t do very well in school. Her parents told her to return to the USA. Before she left, she promised me that she will come visit me one day, maybe in a year’s time. While she returned to the USA, we kept in touch and I sent her a nice Christmas card I designed with her favourite anime characters. That was the last time I ever heard from her.

She wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the world and she spelled terribly. But she was still a girl with a great, kind heart — and the first non-Asian girl I ever liked.

L. Han continues meeting girls online, and still hopes to find the “Ariel” of his dreams someday.


How did you meet? Why do you love him/her (or Chinese men/Western women)? How two different people “complete each other” in unexpected ways? We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

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25 Replies to “Double Happiness: Dreaming of Ariel in Australia”

  1. I’m really sorry to hear that she did not get back after that. I would really like to find out what happened, this is such an interesting story.

    I don’t like when we don’t get closure or answers to important questions in life, but that’s the nature of it….

    I wish you will find your perfect girl when you are ready and that she will love you until the end of time.

    I really wish you happiness and a wonderful life.

    Best rgds,

    Jin Feng

  2. Wonder where the white woman was from? Some folks will call this Hollywood brainwashing. Yep, even in Hawaii five o based in Hawaii where IRs are very common, they will never show any IR couples. For Kelly Chin Ho (Daniel Kim) they desparately tried to find an Asian love interest…many Asian actors turned down the role, until they got a near white looking Reiko Ayelsworth, who has some Japanese in her ancestry to justify coupling her with Daniel Kim…it wont last too long because she looks near white and the viewers wont generally be accepting of that couple. Then again the pretty Grace Park does not have any love interest either. In the real world of Hawaii O’Laughlin will fall for Grace Park. Movies and shows always sell when it is not set in the real world. Why? Many parents, whatever they may say about the acceptance of IR, dont want their kids to engage in it and dont want Hollywood promoting it. Sad but true!

  3. @David, stop lamenting. Get a grip on life. Why are you so disturbed about racial prejudices? You can’t change anybody. But you can do something about yourself. We hear your message, LOUD and CLEAR! Enough is enough. You can quote, you can cite figures and polls and even personal observations. Is this going to change anything? Come on, man. Move on. Nobody is asking you to fight any battle nor is persisting in your constant harping on the matter going to bring about any change anyway. And don’t take this as a personal attack on you or anything. I repeat, we hear you LOUD and CLEAR!

  4. I have taken on the fight about lack of Asians in Hollywood and will continue to take the fight to Hollywood through blogs and hurl abuse if necessary, but not for showing Asian-white couples, but at their attempts to white wash shows especially shows such as Hawaii five o. As far as the lack of white and any other race couples in the shows…I was not ranting..just making statement of facts…and I cannot do anything about that! But, I wont hesitate to state facts, especially when white people complain about affirmative action and claim colorblindness but at the same time turn around and warn their daughters about racism their children will face if they married someone Asian. Twist the truth when it suits them and that is what I am against.

  5. Thanks for adjusting the double happiness 🙂 That will allow me to share some stories I have. (At least I won’t share sad stories so to speak.) But still, an interesting story and I do wish best of luck to L. Han

  6. The people saying there is “constant harping about the issue” and “it won’t change anything” …
    are usually those that are currently benefiting from the portrayal of IR in the media.
    i.e. WMAF (they’re one part of that component).
    They don’t want Asian men to have any other options. Because Asian men with options – means that they cannot be “last resort choices” for those who make bad life decisions.
    And they’ll use all sorts of means, including relational aggression and disrespect in public, to accomplish that.

  7. @David I wish more shows would also portray Asian Male and White female couples, but alas it’s not happening, and I doubt it will happen, (especially in Korean dramas…) the way I sort of resolved the problem of constantly being upset by it is by writing my own stories with Asian men and white women, and they can be set in any time I please and have any characters or personalities that I desire. Since you are unhappy about Hawaii 5-0 recent show, perhaps you can write your own fan-fiction with that show 🙂 Just an idea, not trying to dis you or anything.

  8. “The people saying there is “constant harping about the issue” and “it won’t change anything” …are usually those that are currently benefiting from the portrayal of IR in the media.”

    …or those living in Asia (countries which I visit at least once a year) who know nothing about the racial dynamics of the USA….people who run into white people, especially white Christian missionaries who have nothing in common with other white people in America. To be honest with you the only white American women I have good opinion of are those married to Asians or in a few cases other minorities. I have had bad experience in one form or the other with other white women….either work not being upto par, conniving, backstabbing and in most cases plain racist. People ask why I take issue with white women not wanting to date outside their race. That is not my concern. The answer is this preference carries into the work place and they are also the people who wont hire minorities or pay them less….this is my experience….so that is a concern. There are white women in positions of power in Asia, although still few, who dont date or mix with locals and these are the women who will try not to hire locals. Many in Hong Kong, but mostly from the UK…and this is my concern.

    As far as the Hollywood shows go, they have not even shown even one AWWM relationship let alone the reverse. Hawaii Five 0 is the place to start. However, I am glad that they are not trying to show Hawaii as all white that some shows in the past tried to do!

    Now to this blog. For every one of Jocelyn Eikenberg’s husband John, there are at least three cases of L. Han. There was exactly the same case in Singapore. The woman promised to invite her SO to Virginia and she took off and he has not heard from her in three years…emails bounce back, the telephone number did not work, etc. She is around here in Northern Virginia..saw me a few months ago in a super market and told me that I looked familiar. I claimed I did not know who she was and this woman definitely is not a failure, and her SO is still one of the managing directors of a well regarded transport corporation in Singapore. Then there was a case of a Texas woman, I explained earlier where her parents came to break up the pair although they had everything in common other than race and skin color. The probability of Han’s experience is a lot higher than the experience of Jocelyn’s husband. The reverse is also true particularly involving South Asian men and I shall come to that at an opportune time!

  9. “I had my first face-to-face glimpse of how white women really were”

    Really? And how are “white women”? White is a skin color, not a culture or a personalty trait.

    Sorry, but to be honest this focus on “white women” is kind of creepy, and I say this as a white woman who lives in China. I am very interested in cross-cultural relationships and friendships, and that’s why I read this blog. But I hope that no guy would be interested in dating me solely because I am white.

    I’m sure the author of this piece is well-intentioned, but it just seems to me that his thoughts on attraction are kind of superficial (based on the fact that he lumps all white women together and talks about no reason why he likes “white women” other than the fact that they are white; and actuallly, that is the only thing that all white women have in common) and based on the idea in CHina that white skin is “most beautiful”; and idea which is kind of sickening to be honest…

    I’d really appreciate stories from people willing to examine prejudices and cross-cultural experiences.

  10. Beth,

    I agree with ya that we shouldn’t date someone solely being White. It’s kinda scary when you think about it. If I was a single chinese man and a white woman just dates me because I’m Chinese/asian I will be freaked out seriously. Once you know a person you don’t see if he/she is White , Chinese/ ASian. You just love/like him/her as a person, a human being. No special treatment! I treat all my white friends the same. no special treatment and everybody appreciates and respects me.

  11. Such a sad story but I’m sure it is just the beginning for you!

    ‘She was bad at spelling, but I still liked her.’
    Sounds like true love to me… 😉

  12. Hey Beth

    The original story was 1700 words, which was trimmed down by Jocelyn to make sure it fit the box. So a lot of the story was trimmed down and made no sense. There is an original edit elsewhere in my email.

    It was not a case of “being white”. It was someone who was born in a third world Asian country, in a small country town, who’s never seen anything like that where I live.

    This story was in 2003 and the ability to actually fly out to Australia was a blessing in many ways. Many people yearn the ability to travel there.

    As life moved on, I encountered more people and met someone who flew all the way here. Coming from the UK, she was disgusted of the idea of a skin whitening cream. And then, there was the separation of races in this specific country. That is so different compared to the UK. A lot has been learnt over years and I understood women better, any color in fact. But I still felt that, it was usually the western culture that got me interested. The sheer diversity of everyone’s culture made me loved it. Having been able to fly Europe, was the ability to see cultures and people of the other kind. This secures my thought about how wonderful the western culture is to mine on certain aspect, yet very much I’m still a Buddhist.

    Hope this helps, Beth, ask Joce for my email if you need more clarification

  13. Beth:

    “But I hope that no guy would be interested in dating me solely because I am white. ”

    Generally it is a necessary but not a sufficient condition among 90% of white women in America. They will date Indian or middle eastern men if they have a bit paler skin whether they have anything in common or not and even claim that their bfs look Greek or Italian (read Gori Girl website). However, they will never date an Asian male even if they have everything else in common.

    “based on the fact that he lumps all white women together and talks about no reason why he likes “white women” other than the fact that they are white; and actuallly, that is the only thing that all white women have in common.”

    Agreed! That is however, more than enough for many white women in America. For many people it is ok for white women to feel that way but Asians cannot feel that way..both cases it is bad!

    “based on the idea in China that white skin is “most beautiful”; and idea which is kind of sickening to be honest…”

    Many white women in America think that way…Hollywood believes this and it is centuries of brainwashing by Hollywood. Now if they show some scenes where at least Asian women are love interests of white men it may change, but even shows based in Hawaii do not show that. They have to get a young lady who is at least one-eighth Asian to be a love interest for an Asian guy.

    L. Han

    “And then, there was the separation of races in this specific country. ”

    I thought White Australia Policy disappeared in 1972. However, I did notice separation of not only races but ethnicities in Australia. The worst is in Perth where Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese live on one side of the track (an imaginary dividing line) and white South African expats live on the other side. And back in 2007 white SA women used to threaten to beat up Singaporean Chinese women for being with white men..gender equality. But, the Singaporean women were also aggressive and provoking things. They used to purposely visit the other side of the tracks with a white guy in their arms with a look of contempt on their faces…”I have got your man” look! Now that is gender equality! The ring leader in this group is my ex-boss’s niece. She was harrassed while girls in school in Australia and she is getting back at them!

    However, this phenomenon is occuring in America as well. Gretchen Whitney High in Cerritos, CA and Mills High in Milbrae, CA used to be 80% white and now all the whites have fled. The motivation is slightly different in the US than in Australia. In Australia it is the grades, and the whites cannot keep up with Asians. In the US it is grades as well as fear of interracial dating. Statistical evidence indicates that as the school becomes more Asian and female white parent of boys try to move their sons from those schools.

    “The sheer diversity of everyone’s culture made me loved it.”

    Agreed! But, Asian culture is diverse. Filipinos have more in common with the Poles than with the moslems of Indonesia, who in turn have more in common with the African moslems than with Thais or Japanese!

  14. Hey David

    I forgot to mention in the story that I have graduated university and returned to my country of origin. It was hard to adjust as I headed back in my own country but family business means I have to stay here, unfortunately.

    I live in a South East Asian country which I do not plan to disclose because I do not know anyone here. But you have to trust me on the fact that racial discrimination is still at large where I live. It’s not more so about someone’s color, it was the choice of religion. Who’s religion is more superior than the other was the usual case that separates people into colors and such.

    But honestly speaking, it’s the culture that fascinates me the most. In the end of the day, races don’t bother me. I’ve once tried to date a Muslim girl but there were too much of a difference to continue from there. So race and color is never the issue, it’s their cutlure that mystifies me. My relatives are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists. A lot of mixing around to be honest and I enjoyed every bit of it. I get to go to their celebrations and enjoy a good time from different cultures.

  15. Yes, in East Asia and South Asia it is more religion, for countries with white people (mixed European ethnicities, it is race)!

  16. To argue that attraction doesn’t have a physical component is dishonest.
    And then to say “no special treatment” makes no sense.
    If you treat everyone equally … who is special to you?

    I believe it’s a lot easier to accept being fetishized by someone you’re already attracted to.
    So the complaint about being seen as an “attribute” and not a person is more an idea to discourage people who may not have the outer appearance to pull it off.
    If you judge a person based on their popularity, don’t be surprised if the popular person you’re with leaves you for someone else.

  17. Far be it for me to lament about a topic of little interest to the readers, but I feel compelled to mention how disappointed I am that “foreign” girls are always white girls. How triumphant is the story of the Asian man conquering the odds to attain his white princess? And I don’t simply want to lay the blame here, for there is a least a slight awareness of non-white women with Asian men lingering on the internet (such as the rare pairing from Life Behind the Wall). But I live in China, and I’m quite attracted to Chinese guys, but my dark skin and less than European features seems to mean that I’m destined to be forever alone. It’s quite sad that no one’s aware of this growing problem, the plight of the forever forsaken non-white girl. Asians and white Westerners carry on in their pursuits, which are noble in themselves. I do wish for Asian men to be empowered in hollywood and get the western girls they desire. But I do wish also that *everyone* would become aware of the fact that West ≠ White. There are many of us out here, and every once in a while, we’d like some love, too.

    1. @Guguoke, thanks for the comment and I agree w/ Beth. Just wanted to say that I would definitely welcome more stories out there from people like you, and more people talking about this issue. If you ever want to write a guest post for us about it, I’d certainly be game. And that goes for anyone else.

  18. Dark skin women and black women are beautiful ,too. I watch the news everynight and we have two beautiful black news anchors. They are beautiful! Just gorgeous! I understand the feeling of being in love and be loved. I always tell my guy friends that it’s the thoughts and inside that count the most important for a woman no matter if she’s dark skin, blacks, whites, asian or green! I also know that majority of men will hate me and disagree with me that you should pick the most beautiful women to be your wife/gf. However, her personality sucks and she only uses her beauty for leverage in a relationship. If we always show our handsome husbands and beautiful wives, I don’t think it’s that healthy to do that . If you know that you’re good looking or beautiful , you don’t need to show it or say out loud. People will notice but it’s your values and personalities will attract people to another level.


  19. @洋媳妇 Glad to receive your support. I would certainly love to write a guest column some time. I’d really like to shed more light on this issue. I’ll keep in touch about that.

  20. Hi everyone

    Happy Halloween to all. Thing is I believe everyone is Western to me as long as they are adopting religion and culture other than the usual East Asian religion.

    First off, there are hardly any darker skin ladies in Australia. Even so, they would be really scarce. Well, later on in life, I actually met more people of different colour and different races. After all, Australia was my first stop in the Western world. Well, more recently I get to encounter them when travelling around Europe. I get to have a glimpse of how people of different color are and so forth. Well I was definitely attracted to them, but of course, it will be a issue if they were attracted to me, hahah.

    Take it as a story where a kid steps into the Western world. It is as fascinating as you stepping into the Eastern world and these are just first time encounters by me. I have more to write, maybe Jocelyn would want to submit more of my stories.

  21. there’s no such a thing as “being white” soon. The pure Anglo and Nordic race will soon disappear, a matter of fact. Just for your information, look at the fertility rate worldwide. i felt that the racial tension is such a big phenomena in the Anglo world: perhaps it is because the so-called white people there are not that “white”…
    the pure “white” race to me is derived from the Germanic Nordic origin, when encountering with the people of these origins. I have observed that they are the least racist/ regarding the issue of dating white women, i believe the sense of independence and aesthetics are superior than other groups. Larger proportions of white girls (Pure Nordic and Anglo) are also more spontaneous, idealistic and kind in heart compare with women of other races. Of course, this will trace back to a long anthropological analysis. Dating the white women I think is perhaps the best option for asian men, because when it comes to IQ, the asians (north and east asian groups) scores the highest ( Combining with the white phenotypical structure, this will produce the best babies.

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