Double Happiness: A Kiss 12 Years in the Making

Kissing lips
(photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert)

Twelve years after she first met her Asian high school crush, Rebekah never imaged she would finally get her chance at love with him — including a kiss that, as she put it, was 12 years in the making. She originally published her story on her blog, and kindly gave me permission to edit and reprint it here.


We first “met” in high school, way back in 1994. He was a senior, I was a freshman. From what I can remember, I just loved him the instant I saw him. The big movie at that time was The Crow, Brandon Lee’s last movie (which, coincidentally was my first Asian guy crush). Imagine my surprise meeting this adorable Asian guy at school, with long hair past his shoulders and a gorgeous smile, the kind that just lights up the room. I always saw him either outside of the lunchroom or in the music room. It is so funny for me to tell this now. At age 14 I was the girl who was so shy, I could barely make eye contact with a boy. I remember actually making eye contact with him once, and I could feel my face burning. He remembers this too, and he recalls not only me turning bright red, but “cutely” covering my face with my hand before looking away. I knew I could never talk to him because I was way too shy. So off he went to college and I never thought I would see him again.

Fast forward twelve years to 2006. By this point I had already been through two serious relationships that failed. I also had a five-year-old child.

On this one particular August night I set off for another date, to meet up with this guy I had met the prior weekend for karaoke and a few drinks. I never thought this date would develop into anything, and it didn’t in the end. So I decided to send my date on his way — he didn’t seem to be the type of guy I wanted to get involved with. I felt a little down about it. But I had run into some people I knew and decided to finish out the night by singing a few more songs. I definitely wasn’t thinking this night would end in any way other than me going home and going to bed.

And then there he was. He was sitting at the end of the bar quietly sipping a drink.

I should add here that I am no longer shy, but instead I am now an extremely outgoing person. I don’t even think about it, I just go right up to people and start a conversation. I also want to add that I had quite a few cocktails by this point, so I had no fear.

So I walked right over to him and said, in a slightly tipsy voice, “Hey, didn’t you go to my high school?”

I really cannot say what went through my mind at that point, but I knew he was receptive to my advances. We left the bar and sat in his car, where we talked and caught up with each other. This person I had felt so strongly about at such a young age was amazing. We spent all night talking to each other, learning about our lives and families, past failed relationships, and what had happened to us since 1994. Finally, I got to kiss this man. A kiss 12 years in the making is surely something to be proud of. It was a kiss worth waiting 12 years for.

I didn’t want to let him go, as amazing as that night was. Also, I knew things still weren’t finalized with his last relationship, and I was so afraid he would never call me.

How wrong I was.

Since then, days have turned into weeks, weeks have turned into months, and months have turned into five and a half years together.

We have had our ups and downs. It is really hard on him to have to deal with the mess that is my son’s emotions and how hard it is on me. My son has a lot of emotional problems, partly from his father and partly from all the deaths in my immediate family. As a single Asian guy with no kids I really am amazed he has stuck by me all this time, and I feel so special that he loves me this much to deal with all of this. He has even started coming to my parents therapy with me, and has been the most supportive person in all of these struggles to help my son with his emotional problems.

Another down is that his family still doesn’t know we are dating, or that I have a child. His family is a very traditional Asian family. They have a certain idea of what his perfect woman should be like, and let’s just say I don’t fit the ideal. It really hurts that I miss out on all his family gatherings and celebrations, something I am missing from my life since both of my parents are gone. In the years we have dated I have missed out on six Thanksgivings, six Christmases, his siblings’ weddings, and two births. Sometimes it really hurts that I can’t be there for all of these family times.

I love my boyfriend more than any other man I have dated. This is the man I can see myself spending my life with. I’m not really sure what the future holds for us, but I am certain that whatever we decide, we will always be close. I always hope for the best, but sometimes life throws you a curve-ball. You never know what tomorrow will bring, so you need to make the most of it while you can.

Rebekah Patton is raising an 11 year old boy while she dates a Chinese man, and she writes about everything and anything going on in her life, from love to generous helpings of her Chinese cooking.


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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10 Replies to “Double Happiness: A Kiss 12 Years in the Making”

  1. What a wonderful love story!!! You know your story is exactly like my friend’s relationship.. exact the same!! Fate I’m telling. I’m not kidding here. very similar!!! Now my friend is married to his over a decade in the making love interest!!

  2. Well, well, well.. what a story! 12 years wait for the first kiss! Like Bruce said, yuan fen 缘分 (destiny) at work? Looks like it. Well, what’s preventing the relationship from going further? If both of you are feeling missing out on so many things, why not come out and let families know? You don’t deserve to suffer further. You deserve to have a happy life. Your bf seems like such a wonderful fellow and supportive. You both can make it happen. All power to you guys.

  3. Honestly, I truly believe that our women love asian men like us is because we are extremely supportive . Our women’s problems are our problems! My wife said ” I can’t live without you. There’s no one like you. Everything I look for in a man” I said” there are lots of prince charmings out there” . There is always sometimes that turns you on about that person so you just love him/her more and more.


  4. When I was in middle school I had a crush on this guy that was a mutt; quarter Hawaiian, quarter Native American, quarter Irish and something else 😀 He looked extremely handsome, like an Asian guy haha. For one reason or another he and I always ended up in same classes and when I was in tenth grade he was my first official kiss! For two years I had a crush on him and finally he was my kiss. I wish the relationship could have led to marriage (wold have been sweet since we knew of each other for so long,) but alas, he broke up with me. At least he was my first kiss. How lucky is it that I get to tell people that my first kiss was my first long time crush?

  5. Wow! Rebekah, that takes me back to my own high school days. I had a boyfriend, but he was useless, so I would have gladly given him up because I had a crush on the Chinese guy in my business class. We actually used to talk a lot and I wish he would have made a move. I was also painfully shy at the time so I wouldn’t have been the one to initiate anything. I doubt things would have gone as well as they have with Rebekah’s story. But I would have liked the chance to try.

    Hopefully, Rebekah has moved forward with her man and taken steps to become more a part of his life. It’s hard sometimes to do that, but if you’ve waited 12 years for a kiss and worked through 5 more years of a relationship, I think that’s all you need to know you’re heading in the right direction. I’m sure the parents will see it too.

  6. What a heart-wrenching story. It sounds like it was meant to be, but it’s too bad she can’t go to his family functions. That would bother me. Sometimes families will surprise you when you least expect it. I married into a traditional Catholic family when I was a single mother of an 8 year old boy. It was scary at first to meet the family, but they were very accepting and treated me just as well as the other in-laws.

  7. Hey there everyone! 🙂
    Thank you all for enjoying the read, I do love sharing that story and had not done so in a long while.
    To clarify why we haven’t moved forward yet – YES, my boyfriend is a darling, but sometimes it’s just too much for him.
    I have felt this was fate for years, but like I originally said – sometimes life like’s to throw you a curve-ball. At the moment my bf and I are barely able to see each other. He hasn’t been here overnight more than once in over 6 months. When we do get to see each other it’s in the daytime when my son is at school. Our first date in months was back around Valentine’s Day. The reason for this is because the moment my boyfriend walks in the door my son wants ALL of our attention. He’s not like other kids that will go off to their room and play(or go to bed depending on the time). My son has been through so much and the emotional toll it took on him makes him extremely clingy. It is very, VERY hard on my boyfriend. He wants to take that next step, but really doesn’t know whether he can deal with what I go through 24/7. When I say I have no help, I really do not. Both my parents are gone and my ex – well, he’s a story best left untold…haha! My boyfriend does all he can to support me emotionally, but I think as of late it is taking it’s toll on him.
    Anyway, I didn’t want to leave you all hanging. Thanks again to Jocelyn for publishing my story.
    Take Care. 🙂

  8. Rebekah,

    Normally, kids won’t be soo attached when they reach 11 or 12 yrs old. Well, if he loves your boy then he doesn’t mind spending all his time with him. Just my thought. It’s alot of work when you have kids.


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