Guy Talk With Michael Yo: Dating As A ‘Blasian’

Story by Paul Nakayama 

This column used to be called The Awful Truth because dating advice can be exactly that. After watching the impossibly racist “music” video “Asian Girlz” by the band Day Above Ground (aptly named since they must’ve been living under a rock), I think the awful truth is that some people just plain suck. But the other side of it is that interracial relations, especially dating, can be a complicated issue. I recently had a chat with comedian and co-host of CBS’ OMG! The Insider, Michael Yo, self-proclaimed “Half-Black Brother with a Korean Mother,” to talk about growing up in an interracial family and his dating experiences.

Q. Where did you grow up?
Michael Yo: I grew up in Houston, Texas, in a predominantly white neighborhood. I was the only “Blasian” growing up. We didn’t even have the term “Blasian” back then. In my neighborhood, they never asked me, “What’s your ethnicity?” It was more like, “What are ya? I don’t understand what you are.”

Q. What were the race dynamics like in your neighborhood?
MY: I had white friends, and small sets of Asian and black friends. It’s weird. Back then, it’s like the stereotypes were kinda true. I was on the basketball team, which was mostly white kids, a couple of black kids and one Asian. You know, ‘cause the Asians were studying most of the time.

Q. What, but not you? You have an Asian mom and you weren’t locked in a dungeon to study?
MY: [Laughs]. My dad has a Ph.D. in nuclear physics, and my mom never went to college. But my mom was always the one pushing me to study while my dad was the opposite. He was like, “School is not your thing.” My dad was very honest that way, and my mom hated to hear that. She was like other Asian moms, wanting to compare their kids to other kids. But she couldn’t brag about my grades. I was the dumb kid out of the whole group. But now, when they say, “My son doctor, my son lawyer,” she says, “Oh yeah? Turn on TV.”

Q. Being on TV, how does that help your game with dating? Inciden- tally, writing for a magazine has zero dating perks.
MY: I’m just a dude who interviews people. So it’s weird to get that kind of attention when you’re on the other side of the camera. The other day I was driving down the street, and this girl pulls up next to me screaming [high- pitched voice], “OMIGOD I love you!” And she almost wrecked her car. They know who you are, but you have no idea who they are. You have to go and find out about them.

Q. It’s similar to how people can stalk someone on Facebook before a date. How do you react to someone knowing so much about you?
MY: Here’s what I like about it: when they say, “I feel like I know you.” That’s like the biggest compliment to me. I’m OK with them not really knowing me, but for them to feel like they know me must mean they have some kind of connection with me.

Q. So, let’s talk about dating with your unique perspective as someone half-black and half-Asian.
MY: Dating is dating. Women are women. I would date anyone: black girls, white girls, Asian girls. With the white girls, you know, they didn’t know what I was, so their parents didn’t know which stereotypes to apply. I mean the biggest thing about dating a white girl is more about how their parents will react. You know, a lot of parents will say they’re not racist or they don’t care until you’re actually dating their daughter.

Q. Do you think this is true for all ethnicities or just the girls that were white?
MY: I can’t say for all the ethnicities, but my own experience with white girls, and it’s not all the time obviously, but there were times when a girl would say, “Oh, my parents will totally be fine.” And then we started dating, and her parents found out, and they weren’t cool. She never knew that side of her parents. And sometimes you experience a side of her parents that [the parents] are experiencing for the first time.

Q. That’s interesting. For me, my first girlfriend was white and her parents were very cool with me. It was actually some of the parents of my Chinese or Korean girlfriends that didn’t like that I was Japanese. I was either a pervert or a war criminal.
MY: You automatically get stereotyped no matter what ethnicity you are. I’m half-black and Asian so what do girls automatically ask? “Oh, so are you big or small?” I get put into a box all the time. It’s just a stereotype, and I get it.

Q. I’m full Asian, so my box sucks. What about your parents? Do they have a preference? For girls to date, I mean.
MY: My parents being interracial, they never cared who I dated. So I never felt that pressure, whereas I know a lot of Asian parents want their daughters to date someone Asian. Now, I’m older so they just want kids. My mom is all, “You have baby? You have baby?” That’s all she cares about. And I do want that. My parents have been married 40 years, so I know what I want, and that’s what makes it so hard to find the right one.

Q. It does take a while to find the right one.
MY: In your 20s, you’re all about hooking up. You don’t really care what they say. True story, I was walking on the beach with a girl, and she looked up and said, “Oh my God, look at the shooting star.” I look up, and it’s an airplane. But all I cared about was hooking up so I said, “Make a wish.” Now I actually care about content. In my 30s I care about what they’re doing, if they’re hungry for life, for a career. Now I want somebody that I can grow with.

You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelYo, or his website, MichaelYo.com.

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here.

Throwback Thursday | How The Internet Changed My Sex Life

This story was originally published in our Fall 2011 issue. Get your copy here.
Story by Paul Nakayama and Lena Chen

PAUL SAYS: 
My editor asked me, “How did the Internet change your sex life?”

“It gave me one?” I replied. Never mind that she didn’t laugh. It was sort of true what I said, but it’s not the whole truth. Now, I’m not talking about learning some power moves from online porn and changing my sex life that way (though that’s cool, too). I’m talking about how it became a conduit for getting more dates.

Years ago, after one particularly demoralizing break-up, I went on Match.com and did a quick search to see how many other fish were really in the sea. After inputting just two parameters, my zip code and an interest in women, I eagerly rubbed my hands together to see what lay in the digital land of opportunity.

Well, not much. Sure, there were hundreds of girls, but guess what? Just like in real life, when I walked up to girls in a club, saw them tower over me in their high heels, and I skulked away mumbling, “Sonnuvabitch,” size seemed to matter. Profile after profile, I saw the same damning words: Height must be at least 5’9.” With age, superficial rejections don’t bite as much, but to a 20-something me, it was a spirit sucker.

So, what did I do? I went onto my AsianAvenue.com blog and bitched about it. And then I bitched some more on Livejournal. I guess it was sort of like how I’m bitching again on Audrey. Point is, I wrote about it … a lot.

Before I knew it, people started reading what I was writing. Better still, female readers would start messaging me, asking if I wanted to grab coffee. All right, to be fair, there were more guys than girls wanting to hang out, but whatever, I figured it was due to gender proportions in my city.

I’m a would-be writer, so maybe I could use that to get a would-be sex life. That’s what I tried. But it was an early time for the Internet. There were things I had to get accustomed to. For instance, instant messaging started as a great “pre-date” method: getting to know someone, flirting, building a rapport. I thought it was great since I was better at typing than talking. But my own issues would come to the surface. I’d scream at the computer screen, “God! It’s ‘they’re,’ not ‘there!’” I’d sabotage potential dates if I didn’t like their grammar or if their screen name looked like tHiS. I know, what a snobby dick, right?

But it wasn’t just me with issues. There were women that used question- able photos. I mean, I was pretty sure that I wasn’t talking to Lucy Liu. Or, there were other photos where I had to ask, “Why are you hiding behind this house plant?” There were women that loved the buffet lines more than a conversation. I even had an eerie encounter where a girl invited herself over and refused to leave. Fearing a murder-suicide, I fought hard to stay awake, but losing the battle, I scribbled my last will and testament on a magazine.

Eventually, though, I started figuring it out. I met some really great women online, some that I dated very seriously for many years. I’m a true believer that the Internet can help you find someone suitable, open some doors. Just don’t crawl through someone’s Facebook page before you even get to know them. Nothing says “creepy stalker” or “restraining order” like telling someone everything that you know about them on your first date. But if you’re conscious that the Internet is just a tool for dating and not a crutch, it could totally lead to something great. In fact, you know what? I’m going to try and snag a date with the real Lucy Liu. I’ll just follow her on Twitter and see where that goes.

 

 

LENA SAYS:
When I started an OkCupid account, it was 2008 and online dating seemed to be the exclusive realm of the marriage-hungry or the hopelessly awkward. I went on some dates, but the site’s matchmaking formula, an algorithm that calculated compatibility using answers to personality tests, seemed hit-or-miss, no more effective than meeting a stranger at a bar. Overwhelmed by pages of search results and underwhelmed by e-suitors I met up with in real life, I never found much success with the site. Nowadays, I’m dating someone I met offline.

These days, however, OkCupid has become the go-to destination for Millennials short on time or opportunity. For those skeptical of venturing online for romance, don’t underestimate the prospect for finding lasting love. I’ve witnessed more than one longterm relationship come out of web-arranged dates. (One blogger I know met her husband on MySpace.) Online dating can be charming in its ruthless efficiency and democratic nature. On the web, everyone is fair game — just a wink or a poke away. People I might not otherwise encounter in day-to- day life are suddenly potential romantic partners. In some ways, that’s fantastic. (Who wants to only date people exactly like themselves?) In others, it’s terrifying. (How do I know Casanova666 isn’t an ax murderer? I don’t, so I carry pepper spray.)

When my friend, Danny, 30, was dumped by his girlfriend, one of his first steps toward recovery was to sign up for an account. Soon, he was booking himself two dates a night. Within a month, he’d shared coffee or drinks with so many women he could no longer tell them apart. One evening, he spent the first half of a date trying to figure out which profile belonged to the woman in front of him and what they had previously chatted about. Though his method may be questionable, if Danny wanted to remind himself of the other fish in the sea, then the World Wide Web is perhaps the biggest sea of all.

With the array of choices online, it’s tempting to rely on search features that comb through user databases to spit out results based on age, ethnicity, religion, education and even dietary preferences. The criteria with which you can assess potential partners range from the trivial (pet ownership status) to the maddeningly obscure (foreign languages spoken). Should a romantic decision really come down to whether someone is more of a dog person or a cat person? The Internet can make dating seem like an interview process. It’s easy to get caught up in looking for the next best thing or to falsely believe that you don’t need to compromise on your vision of an ideal partner or relationship, because there’s always that elusive better offer.

Cyber romances also blur the line between reality and illusion. Since you can chat extensively with someone before ever meeting, you naturally develop impressions and attachments that color your expectations. While I cringe at the thought of all the grammatically inaccurate spiels I’ve encountered, I’ve also encountered the flipside: a particularly crafty wordsmith might be able to wield a thesaurus and throw in an esoteric film reference or two, but they can be dismal conversation from across the dinner table. Unless one plans to carry out an entire courtship through electronically submitted data, what goes on online has to eventually get tested out in real-life. When people enter dates believing they’re meeting someone they already know, they can find themselves disappointed by a wildly different in-person impression or an unexpected real-life quirk.
Just as most offline marriages end in divorce, for every MySpace engagement, there are countless deactivated profiles. Citing “burnout,” Danny has recently cut down on the number of ladies he asks out for in-person meetings. This isn’t to say that online dating is any more or less desirable than traditional avenues of courtship. Romantic or not, online dating isn’t a passing trend or a substitute for the “real thing” — in today’s world, it is the real thing. So if you decide to venture into the abyss, just keep the following in mind: winks or pokes are far more effective electronically than in person.

 

More stories from Audrey Magazine’s Archives here.

 

Flashback Friday: Secrets To What Guys Want Finally Revealed

This story was originally published in our Summer 2012 issue. Get your copy here

Story by Paul Nakayama

To be perfectly honest, I’ve been dreading writing this issue’s Awful Truth for weeks now. Seeing as I’m currently stuck in my hotel room in Jodhpur, India, awaiting the passing of a brutal dust storm, I guess it’s nature’s way of telling me to get off my ass. I just wish my to-do reminders didn’t consist of strong winds scooping up cow dung from the streets and whipping them around town. I prefer the carrot to a stick made of hepatitis. At any rate, the topic for this issue is what men really want, so here’s what I did: I asked my single friends what they look for, and I asked my married friends what they love about their wives. If this works, the answer hopefully lies somewhere between a booty call and a divorce.

 

The Single Guys
Now this is a no-brainer, but with single guys (as with single girls), the company in which you ask this particular question will determine the political correctness and validity of the answers. For example, while I was having dinner with friends in Tokyo last week, I asked a guy what attracts him to a girl. Looking at the two women at our table, he remarked that he’s attracted to pretty eyes, a sense of humor and intelligence. He might as well have winked conspicuously, pointed finger guns at me, and clicked his tongue.

It’s not that he wasn’t telling the truth; those are things that most men would value, single or married. But it’s only a partial truth, a safe truth that can be uttered in the company of women without the threat of eyes being rolled or being gouged out.

I asked some single buddies of mine the same question while we were all crammed in a cab together. Now, keep in mind that alcohol was 90 percent of our stomach content at the time, but based on their answers, it would have been easier to post a multiple choice quiz, like so:
What do you look for in a girl? Is it:
1. A pretty face
2. Awesome bodunkadunk (or replace with your favorite slang term for buttocks)
3. Life-changing tatas (or replace with your favorite term of endearment for breasts)
4. All of the above

You get the picture. Everyone shouted all at once about something superficially physical followed by an unending round of high fives. I wanted slightly more definitive answers, so I asked them, “How about what you definitely don’t want?”

Immediately, I was bombarded with all sorts of things (excuse the graphic — yet verbatim — responses): “Bitches … gold diggers … naggers … trainers [girls that try to mold you].”

It was a laundry list that these men had pent up inside and had simply been waiting for someone to ask. Frustrations were just pouring out of them, like I had just grabbed hold of their gag reflex. If I had given them each a hug and a new car, it would’ve been like an episode of Oprah. It dawned on me that single men might know more of what they don’t want than what they do want. It sort of made sense. Let’s say single guys wanted a cake. They can’t define all the ingredients to make it taste right; they just know that there’s no vinegar or fish oil in the mix.

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The Married Guys
Now that I had some sense of what the single men were seeking (or avoiding), I wanted to see if what married men had sought as bachelors was the same as what they love about their wives now. A tricky question to answer, I know, but that’s the beauty of anonymous sources (and blackmailing said sources).

A friend I had just met in Tokyo was more than happy to answer the question, from his perspective anyway, but I feel it’s a commonly respected trait.

“I love that my wife trusts me and gives me space when I need it,” he said. “Independence is key.”

“That’s nice, man,” I replied, “but does she know that we’re headed to a strip club right now?”

“It doesn’t matter. I trust her to have healthy fun, and she trusts me to do the right thing,” he answered matter-of-factly. A great situation for him, but I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be blackmailing him for free sushi.

Several other friends agreed that having someone they can mutually trust and believe in is one of the great things about being married and in love with your wife. They also agreed that in their previous lives they would have traded trust for a 34C-28-36.

It’s funny, though, because as several married men touted the beauty of their independence to watch sports or drink with the boys, I got a different story from the wives. Cynthia, who’s both a wife and mother, laughed at what my married friends had said. “They may talk a big game now, but once they have kids, and their wife is now focused on the baby, they’ll be desperate for attention.”

She even recounted some stories where the men became jealous of the baby, then lonely, and eventually cheated on their wives, which of course ended in an ugly divorce. A cautionary tale for us all, to be sure. She bought me a panna cotta to curb the growing cynicism within me.

Guys in General
Having heard some depressing sh-t, I took a shot of Johnnie and then decided to go back and talk to my male friends some more, one-on-one. This time, I asked the single guys what they looked for in a girlfriend. Yes, the words “hot” and “sexy” came up more than a few times, but after signing affidavits that I wouldn’t attach their names to anything sappy in the article, I managed to squeeze out the mushy truth from them. In hushed, whispered tones, so as not to have their masculinity whisked away from them by the gods, they confided in me that in the end all they really want is a girl who can also be their best friend. Well, and sex. Lots of sex. But mostly a best friend.

Then I went back to my married friends and mentioned Cynthia’s comment. Things got real— like they were Bruce Willis realizing he was a ghost all along in the Sixth Sense. The fear that this trust and independence would turn into spousal neglect scared the crap out of them. I didn’t even have to ask them what they really loved about their wives; it was clear they just loved them. Rather than a follow-up interview, we ended up just chatting about recommendations for romantic restaurants. I pictured them slowly canceling their premium sports cable package and taking up ballroom dancing.

Last issue I talked about bromances and how men will often say to their best friends, “If you were a girl, I’d marry you.” Well,after this column, I realized that men do end up marrying their best friends. They just didn’t know it because it was all camouflaged under the boobs and stuff. So when it comes down to it, men, including yours truly, all want the same thing, whether we know it or not: attraction, mutual respect and companionship. And sex. Lots of sex.

 

5 Lessons Learned From Online Dating

Story by O.D.D. (Online Dating Diary) Girl

When Audrey unleashed its new look last fall, it was also the beginning of this column. Around the office (and to some of my close friends), I became known as O.D.D. Girl. What I didn’t disclose one year ago was that I had had my heart broken and was wavering on the idea of going online to find love. Nonetheless, it didn’t take too much convincing for my editor to get me to chronicle my adventures as an Asian American woman trying online dating for the first time.

Of course, it wasn’t easy. For the first time in my life, I was forced to look at myself and come to terms with what I really wanted in a partner. I’ve had my share of short-lived flings and semi-relationships, but I’ve never been in a long-term exclusive relationship. But after months of exchanging online messages and even going on dates, I realized it was time for me to think about getting serious with someone — and to be more serious about myself as well.

Over this past year, I managed to convince some of my peers and friends to try online dating for the first time, too. As I was coaching some of them, I gleaned some lessons from my experience. In no particular order, here they are.

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1. Don’t let the creeps get to you.
I know that online dating sites have horrible reputations for the kind of men on them. They’re slimy, they’re looking for hookups, they have weird fetishes — I won’t go on and on, but I’m sure you all know what I’m trying to get at. Just remember, they’re there. They will always be there. But the site is not 100 percent full of horrible men. For example, if some guy is projecting his Asian fetish onto you, you can (1) reply back with a sassy remark (with dignity, of course) to let him know he’s a racist prick, and (2) block him. Don’t allow one bad egg to ruin your entire experience, just like you shouldn’t allow the douchebag you met at the bar to define the rest of your love life either.

2. Dating does not get any easier as time goes on.
Whenever I tell my editor about my dates (from both online and offline), she always looks over to another married person and says, “I’m so glad I’m not dating in this age.” I’m realizing that as I get older, I’m running into guys with a lot of baggage because they’ve also had hard dating experiences, just like me. It’s not like my early 20s when we all pretty much had clean slates. So accept it — you’re not always going to meet perfect guys with perfect backgrounds, but it doesn’t mean that they’re not nice people or haven’t learned from their dating past.

3. Don’t be afraid to tell your Asian parents you met someone on an online dating site.
Not too long ago, my mother asked me if I was a lesbian. I suppose she had every right to, since I hadn’t brought anyone home to meet her. I then told her that I was talking to someone online — and she didn’t try to disown me. Perhaps it helped that one of my older aunts married a guy she met online recently. Either way, don’t be ashamed to let your parents know how you met the guy — it’ll help open them up if they haven’t already.

4. Don’t just go for the guys who look good on paper.
I was really surprised to see how many Asian guys were on these online dating sites — and how many of them looked really good on their profiles. There were so many guys who were tall, handsome, working professionals (with an income of six figures!), did just about every activity in the book, were well traveled, and were quite charming in their messages. Does that make them Prince Charming in real life? Of course not! My point is, take a chance on the guys who may not seem so perfect on paper because I’ve learned that some guys were intentional in not creating the perfect profile — they wanted to see if they could attract the right kind of girl. I actually did that once, and I found a pretty good guy in real life.

5. Be absolutely honest with the guys you date (and yourself, too).
Don’t ever tell a guy the opposite of what you’re looking for because you want to go along with what he wants. It won’t do you any good. Instead, communicate well and let him know what you’re looking for from the get-go — it will save you trouble and time. Trust me.

So how have my dating adventures fared to date, given the first anniversary of this column? I don’t want to give away too much now, because I feel like I’ve gotten into something that’s just starting. However, I’ll leave you with this: I think I’ve found one guy who’s got a hold on me.

Until next time.

 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

Revenge Done Wrong: Girl Publicly Shames Guy She Had A Few Dates With

A 26-year-old Chinese American writer who describes herself as “a connaisseuse of all things entertainment and communications” has set a perfect example of how one should not handle a break up.

Quin Woodward Pu, editor-in-chief of online blog Little Black Blog, decided to share one of her personal dating experiences with her readers. For the sake of the interested parties, many authors try to be discreet about sharing details about their personal life. Pu, on the other hand, decided to go in the opposite direction.

Dishing on all the details (of her side of the story), Pu tells readers about a guy she met at a bar and started emailing. She also adds how sloppy and drunk he was though we get the feeling this was just another jab at him. After a few dates, she invited the man to her birthday party, but ended up receiving the following text message:

text

At this point, we’re on Pu’s side. One should never have to receive such ill news via text. But on the other hand, it wasn’t a very mean text at all. Honesty is best right? If he wasn’t looking for a relationship, it was best that he expressed that early on. It’s irritating, but certainly not unforgivable… right?

Apparently not for Pu.

“I was stunned into paralysis,” she dramatically explains. “I had no words–this never happens–and I just felt short of breath. There were many things that pissed me off, but I was so flustered I couldn’t even articulate them. Again, this is a serious problem for a writer and effusive communicator.”

Play it cool? Forget that. Pu sends an excruciatingly long response sprinkled with some compliments for herself and some harsh words for him:

response

Now don’t get us wrong. Her anger? Totally understandable. It’s not like she can help that. Responding with the full passion of her feelings? Sure, it’s her life. But involving his boss and coworkers? Sharing their text conversations to the public? A little harsh.

Our advice: Take a step back and calm yourself down after being dumped. Often, the initial reaction is to hurt the person in the way you’ve been hurt, but this doesn’t have to be done in an extreme manner. If you weren’t ready for a relationship, your job should not be suddenly threatened because you were honest about it.

Read more about this story here.

After 10 Years of The Awful Truth: A Teachable Moment

COLUMNIST PAUL NAKAYAMA RUMINATES OVER HIS INABILITY TO FIND THE ONE WITHIN THE PAST DECADE AND COMES UP WITH A FEW PRACTICAL LOVE LESSONS.

 

It’s hard to believe, but this is my 10th year writing The Awful Truth. I joked around with my editor that I was probably the most veteran employee at the company.

“So,” she asked, “in a decade, what have you learned about relationships or love?”

I opened my mouth to answer and instead, changed the subject to sports. If I were going to be clueless in a conversation, it would at least be regarding something I didn’t care about. When I started working on this column, I was an idealistic 28-year-old. I thought I’d definitely be married with kids in a 10-year span. But one minute, I’m watching marathons of 24, and in the next, I’m effing 38.

So, I thought about it. Why didn’t it work out with some of the great loves of my life, or why haven’t I found The One? (And by The One, I don’t mean Keanu Reeves, though at this point it’s better than nothing.) I stared at a blank page on my laptop in hopes of writing out a clever answer. My head started to hurt, so instead I watched five seasons of Mad Men. You probably think that I’m single because I’m addicted to television. You’re not wrong, but there’s more to it.

Half procrastinating, half ruminating, I started organizing a bunch of names into columns as an exercise. Column A: Girls I liked. Column B: Girls who liked me. Column C: Girls from A and B that actually dated me. And in doing this, the answer revealed itself before me — like with dating, I was overthinking things.

I remember my friend telling me about how this girl had sent him a one-page letter from summer camp. Prepubescent boner on full alert, he promptly replied with a five-page gesture, full of wit and passion. She wrote back with another one-pager, saying mostly that camp sucks. This is pretty much the analogy for how I chased girls whom I thought I saw a chance with, seeing signs when there were none. In modern terms, it’s the same as texting a girl, getting a nebulous response a day later, and thinking, “She texted back … there’s a chance!”

Making a small thing seem like a big thing was my thing. I’d break up with girls that offended me in minor ways because I would think, “If she’s capable of that, what else is she gonna do to me?” For example, I called it off with this one girl because she made me eat a spoonful of mayo in front of my friends to prove my love for her. I did it to save her face, but oh, did I loathe her for that. Come to think of it, she made me eat the Devil’s seed, and I’m glad I dumped her.

As I get older, I realize I’ve become a little superstitious. I believe in jinxing myself. I’ve seen enough great opportunities go sour because I couldn’t wait to tell my friends about some girl and how we made a connection. You know, boasts that would end with “Well, I wouldn’t call her my girlfriend … yet.” And sure enough I never did. To me, luck is now a big part of whether it works out with someone. Even if she’s the right girl, it’s just good luck or bad luck as to whether you met her at the right time. So if luck is a factor, least I can do is shut the hell up and not jinx myself.

Another thing I used to do wrong was fall for girls for all the wrong reasons. Just because she can sing her ass off and give me goose bumps does not mean we’re meant to be. Otherwise I’d be in love with Mariah Carey, and she’s insane. Or just because she thinks video games are art and shares my opinion that “Bioshock” is a masterpiece of modern storytelling does not make her Mrs. Right, though technically it makes her right. Sadly, it wasn’t from self-realization, but rather Chloë Grace Moretz’s 12-year-old character in 500 Days of Summer that taught me that nugget of wisdom.

In writing this piece, I had a High Fidelity moment. I considered talking to all of my exes to suss out where things fell apart — you know, what the common thread of my failed relationships might be. But they’re all nice girls — too nice to call me a dick to my face — so I sat and thought on it. As you’ve already guessed, the common thread is me. If there’s any hope for this trend to end, it’s got to start with that. So, finally, the following is a list of things that have caused problems in the past that I will take to heart.

Be honest with how I feel. Not be jealous, or if I am, not be Real House- wives-y about it. Learn to enjoy her interests every now and then, unless she’s into S&M. Don’t dance unless there are strobe lights or it’s dark. Never dress up as Pocahontas ever again. Forcing a schedule on love seems to almost always ruin it, but taking it for granted is a slow death. Don’t be mean to girls who enjoy mayo; they’re people, too.

This story was originally published in the Summer ’13 issue of Audrey Magazine. Buy your copy here

 

 

The Truth About Summer Flings

Who can forget Danny and Sandy singing Summer Nights and reminiscing about their perfect summer romance. Let’s be honest here. I’m sure many of us, even if it was a mere fleeting moment, have daydreamed about the possibility of summer love. And why not? We are led to believe in the magic of summer romance. We are made to believe that these flings are all about heated passion. Its a relationship that doesn’t consist of the usual drama. It’s a time to have fun, right?

Well its these very beliefs, or misconceptions rather, that could get you into a summer mess. Entering a summer fling with these expectations are dangerous because let’s be honest here- love, romance, and relationships are not always like the movies.

 

MYTH #1:
Summer Flings will reach its inevitable end
Many people enter summer flings believing that the name says it all. It is a romance for summertime and only summertime. A number of problems may arise from this. While you may have the stern belief that your summer fling will reach its end in a few months, your partner may not be on the same page. Don’t get yourself in a sticky situation. If your goal is to have a fling confined to summertime, you owe it to your partner to be open about this.

And even with open communication, this mindset poses a threat. As much as we’d like to think that we have complete control over our emotions, sometimes we simply can’t help who we gain feelings for. You may enter this summer fling under an agreement that it will end when summer does, but then you catch feelings and instead you have a problem on your hands. Don’t limit yourself to these boundaries.

MYTH #2:
Summer Romance will continue
You may be the exact opposite of the previous myth. Maybe you’ve gone overboard on the summer romance films which always end in happily ever after. Maybe you’re under the impression that a summer fling simply means the time you begin dating “the one”. Let’s make this clear: just because this romance begins in the summer does not mean that it magically gains more of a chance to continue.

Do some summer relationships continue? Of course. But similar to every relationship, its dangerous to have fairy-tale expectations. I’m sure that person you met on vacation in a foreign country seems perfect, but its important to stay realistic about your decisions and your feelings. You owe it to yourself to find the balance between your mind and your heart, even if summer lovin’ is in the air.

MYTH #3:
Summer Flings are drama-free
For all of us who have experienced summer romance, let’s take a moment to laugh at this one. Since the sun is out, your relationship will have no complications? Wrong. Summertime does not take away complicated exes, you significant other’s trust issues, or your unwillingness to commit. None of these problems go away simply because of the season. Don’t get caught up in the idea of a glamorous version of summer.

MYTH #4:
People will judge you for having/wanting a summer fling
“You know what they say about people who have summer flings!” Don’t know what they say? Yeah, neither do we. None-the-less, some people continue to avoid summer flings simply because they fear judgement. Quite frankly, its silly to avoid relationships simply because its summer.

This negative perception is largely due to the word “fling”. Suddenly you’re perceived as someone who doesn’t want a serious relationship and you just want to have fun. First of all, theres no problem what so ever if you don’t want to be in a serious relationship and you do, in fact, want to have fun. You are perfectly entitled to feel this way. And maybe you do want a serious relationship, but you don’t want people thinking its a “fling”. This is the moment where we tell you that whats most important is that you know its serious.

MYTH #5
Summer Romance is Magic
Quite frankly, this one isn’t fair to you or to your partner. As we’ve mentioned, people are caught up in the idea of summer lovin’ magic. If your summer does end up being some over-the-top fairy tale, then good for you. But what if it doesn’t meet your expectations? You may ruin a perfectly fine summer relationship because you expected too much. Appreciate your summer for what it is. Fall in love with your summer fling, not with the idea of it.

 

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So are summer flings worth it? The truth is, we can’t answer that question for you. Contrary to popular belief, there is no quintessential version of summer romance that most people have. Summer romance is just like every other type of romance- capable of going many directions. So do yourself a favor and drop these misconceptions and expectations. Your summer romance will not (or should not) be based on what you heard a summer romance will be- its what you make of it.

Ask Audrey Staff | Awkward Love Advice From Asian Parents

There is a saying that Asian parents and older Asians in general like inserting themselves in our lives. They want to pass on their knowledge and wisdom by giving their opinion on everything. Everything. They will tell us how we ought to handle school, how to keep our complexions maintained, and even enforce a handful of cultural urban myths that make absolutely no sense, but must be followed because the elders say so.

So when we finally reach an age where dating is acceptable to our parents (ie. the age we finally stop hiding our significant others from them), our parents and relatives believe thats it’s their born duty to give us love advice. Awkward? Yes. Makes no sense? Sometimes. Funny? Always.

Since we have an abundance of it, we’ve decided to share this wisdom and knowledge with you. Here is our own account of Awkward Love Advice From Asian Parents:

Disclaimer: These are all actual things that our parents/relatives have told us, but by no means do we actually believe in or endorse this advice at all. We find it just as awkward as you do.

shhhhh
“Don’t talk to him/her too much. Then you will run out of things to say and then you will start fighting. And then you will break up. No happy ending.”

date
“If you’re out on a date and he can’t decide what to order, he’s no good. If he keeps changing his taste in food, then he’ll change his taste in women.”

pale
“Don’t date men who are too pale. They are weak sexually.”

mother
“Check out the girls’ mother. That’s what she’ll end up looking like in 20-30 years.”

tux
“Marry someone who is ugly so he will never cheat on you.”

widows
“If you marry a girl with a widow’s peak, you would die early.”

make up
“When your husband gets home from work, put some makeup on so that you don’t look like a sick person. Men are visual creatures.”

mole
“If a man has a mole on his lips, thats good. It means he’s a good kisser. If a woman has a mole on her lips, thats bad. It means she gossips too much.”

mother son
“Be like his mother. Men like women who remind them of their mothers.”

MrsChangGlee
“Don’t be like his mother. Men hate when women remind them of their mothers.”

Emotional Cheating Vs. Physical Cheating

“Would you rather be physically or emotionally cheated on?”

Whenever I am asked this question, I always have the same response- I would, without a doubt, choose to be physically cheated on. By no means am I saying that being physically cheated on is a good option. I simply believe that being emotionally cheated on cuts deeper and hurts more. Much more.

When one is physically cheated on, this is often out of lust or attraction towards someone else. In fact, many individuals who have been the ones to physically cheat on their significant other (and when I say physically, I mean that there were no emotions involved what so ever) have admitted that this was a momentary fluke. It was usually an illogical (and often intoxicated) decision that was “in the moment” and with an individual that they could never realistically give their heart to. Many times, the specific individual that they chose for their infidelity didn’t actually matter.

Am I trying to justify physical cheating as a minor mistake that should be easily forgiven? Absolutely not. But the other option?

Being emotionally cheated on means that your significant other was able to see another person in the same light that was only suppose to be given to you. No longer is this a question of attractiveness or your significant other’s moment of poor judgment. These are actual emotions that have potential to be something more serious.

The scary part? You may never actually know when you’re emotionally cheated on. Emotional cheating does not necessarily have to be acted on or even told to you. Quite frankly, your significant other may not even know that they’re emotionally cheating simply because there’s no rulebook that specifies what emotional cheating is. Is it having a crush on someone? Is it having a emotional connection with another person? Is it even simply having thoughts of another person being “the one”?

Physical cheating can be measured and discussed. In fact, this happens often in relationships. Together, you two decide what’s okay and what crosses the line. For some, kissing is cheating. For others, simply dancing in the club with someone else is. But how do you tell your significant other that they’re not allowed to have a crush or have emotions for someone else when, arguably, that is out of their control?

Huffington Post recently tried to solve the mystery of what is considered emotional cheating by surveying 1,000 U.S. adults. They found this discovery:

Emotional Cheating lies in the eyes of the beholder
60% of people said that if their significant other developed a “deep emotional connection” with someone else, they would consider it cheating. Only 18% of people said it would not be cheating. When the question was flipped, however, and they were the ones who developed a deep emotional connection with someone else, only 50% of the people believed it was cheating and an increased 29% said it would not be.

Gender Matters
Men proved more consistent with their responses as opposed to women. About half of the men agreed that if they or their partner developed that emotional connection, it would be considered cheating. Women, however, were quick to change their response. If their partner developed the emotional relationship, 70% believed it would  be cheating. If they were the ones to develop the emotional relationship, only 56% believed it would be cheating.

So tell us what you think. What truly counts as emotional cheating? Do things like gender really matter in this situation. Is physical cheating worse than emotional cheating? Comment below
To view the survey, click here.

Is Your Face “Fling Material” or “Relationship Material”?

 

 

“What do you look for in a woman?”

In this day and age, it seems like we’ve heard all the responses. The romantic will talk about finding a girl with eyes that take his breath away. The realistic man will talk about a motivated and intelligent woman. The intoxicated guy at the bar will tell far too many details about the coke-bottle body he thinks he’s going home with that night (the keyword being “thinks”).

In what felt like an endless laundry list of traits, we thought nothing could surprise us. This was, of course, before we discovered that a man may actually determine what type of relationship he will have with you based on the shape of your face.

A recent study shows that the shape of your face may determine whether you are “fling material” or “long-term material”. Now before you automatically enter skepticism (which I was guilty of when I first heard about this study) it is important to note that researchers believe this may be entirely subconscious for a man.

Researchers studied hundreds of men by showing them faces of women and asking which ones would be chosen for long-term relationships and which would be chosen for flings. Apparently facial features which are considered feminine (such a small chins and full cheeks) were often chosen as fling traits while features considered more masculine (stronger jaws and square faces) were chosen for long-term relationships. The theory is that subconsciously men find feminine features more attractive, but this attractiveness means that she is more likely to enter an affair.

Of course, there seems to be a number of opportunities where this study may have gone astray. Was race taken into consideration? Do full cheeks simply remind men of more youthful girls and they equate youth to flings as oppose to long-term relationships? What about the fact that it seems quite insulting that the woman’s likelihood of cheating is dependent on how attractive she is?

Tell us what you think and comment below!

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