Do You Prefer An Older Or Younger Lover? Japan Responds

They say that age is just a number, but apparently people still have their preferences. For many of us, there has been a long-standing belief that older men prefer younger women and younger women prefer older men.

Recently, this trend seems to have shifted.The rise of terms such as “cougar” and “MILF” have increased in popularity. This has become so evolved in mainstream media that even “Hot Mom” photo competitions exist. The idea of “the attractive older woman” has been embraced.

In the past, if you were a woman who dated a younger man, you were laughed at, called a “cradle-robber” and even called desperate. Women were led to believe in finding an older man to ensure that they were nurtured and cared for. Times have changes and more and more women are leaning away from this path.

Sandra L. Caron, a professor of family relations and human sexuality at the University of Maine, told The New York Times, “For a long time we’ve been fed this idea that women should look for a man to take care of her, a man that is more educated, has a better job and makes more money. That might be fine and dandy if you’re in high school and have this fairy tale Prince Charming. But when you look at adult women, most are self-sufficient and they don’t have to look for that.”

When NBC News looked into this trend, they noted that women may be more interested in younger men because,

-Older women are looking better every day, thanks to creative medical advances and a gym on every corner.

-Women are more likely to come back on the dating market because of divorce and a longer expected life span.

-Not as many women are looking for the picket fence and two cars. Now companionship, travel, and fun are coming to the forefront.

-Women may also want a man with a less-developed career who could follow her or take care of children, if that is a factor.

-For their part, younger men often find older women more interesting, experimental, fun to talk to, financially settled, and more adept sexually.

 

While the U.S. has begun embracing the idea of older women with younger men, Japan has kept true to their traditional views on relationships.

Earlier this month, a Japanese dating app called Match Alarm asked nearly 3,000 singles if they preferred dating someone the same age, younger, or older. The response was unanimous for women- 81.3% responded that they would prefer an older lover. This percentage is not as large for men, but a majority (46.9%) still prefer dating younger women.

Despite this preference towards traditional ways, Japan was still surprised that one in three men want an older lover. In fact, once the numbers were separated by age group, more than 50% of men between the ages of 20 and 24 preferred older women.

Japanese women generally seemed to agree on older men. Even the oldest age group, 35-39 most preferred dating older men. Check out the results below.

menwomenage 1 menwomenage 2

 

So tell us- do you prefer an older or a younger lover?

(Source)

Adorable Engagement Photo Idea: Paint War

Story by Taylor Weik.

Typically, newly-engaged couples opt to send out their “Save the Date”s on fine stationary with elegant calligraphy. Jagdeep and Jasleen decided to take their engagement to the next level by smothering their announcement on a white wall with paint.

New York City-based wedding photographer Amandeep Nagpal of A.S Nagpal Photography, who shot the couple’s messy, bright engagement photos, fell in love with the idea after Jagdeep suggested bringing paint into the shoot.

Nagpal brought his studio setup to the indoor location, laid out cans of vibrant paint and brushes, and let the paint war commence between the white-clad couple.

“I love couples that want to go the extra mile to help create something fun and different,” Nagpal wrote on his photography website.

Check out more of his photography here.

 

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(Photo Credit)

Throwback Thursday | How (NOT) To Pick Up An Asian Girl

Lets just make one thing clear: If you’re going to include race when trying to flirt with a girl (which we don’t suggest you do), you’d better choose your words wisely. Apparently, some people have an awfully strange approach to flirting with Asian women and (trust us) a lot of the time this won’t end in their favor. We’ve come across quite a few no-no’s ourselves and we’re here to share them. Continue reading for a list of things NOT to do to pick up an Asian Girl.


1. Do NOT make her part of your collection.

Stamp Collection

“I’ve always wanted to date an Asian girl”
“Asian is the only type I haven’t dated before”

The last thing we want is to have someone date us just so that we complete their collection of ethnicities. We understand that you may be intrigued by something new, but this is definitely not the way to show it.


 


2. Do NOT come up to an Asian girl saying “NiHao”, “Ahnyoung”, or “Konnichiwa”.

One Direction (even though I love them)

“I was at a bar with my language partner from Korea, mind you she’s fluent in English and German, and this guy approaches us and drunkenly says “Ahnyoung” in a really bad accent. She looks him dead in the eye and says in flawless English, “You’re not even saying it correctly…” and we walk away laughing. Wongfu Productions was incorrect in their “Yellow Fever” video, it is NOT true that Caucasian guys can get an Asian girl by saying hi in a foreign language with a bad accent.”

This is especially true if you’re not even sure of a girl’s race. We’ve already had to deal with a lifetime of people assuming Asians are all the same.

 

 


3. Do NOT compare her to “typical” Asian girls.

Angry Asian Girls by Lela Lee

“There was a guy who tried to compliment me by saying the way I speak and even my major in college (English) is not like all the other Asian girls. He went on talking about how Asian accents are unattractive and how it was such a good thing I was so “Americanized”. He thought he was complimenting me by elevating me above other Asians, but he really just ended up insulting my culture. No go.”

If you think that we take this as a compliment then you’re mistaken- especially if it’s clear that your definition of a “typical Asian girl” is distorted.

 

 


4. Do NOT think you’re gonna win her over by saying you like her food.

“Oh you’re Chinese? I love Chinese food!”

You’d be surprised how often we get this. We appreciate that you like our food, but that has absolutely nothing to do with you dating us. This may be an effort to try and connect with us, but really- that’s a stretch.

 

 


5. Do NOT think that racial comments are attractive.

See our post on “The New Alexandra Wallace” here.

“In high school, a boy said, “If i came to your house to pick you up on a date and met your dad, would he come at me with a samurai sword?” “

This tactic is neither cute, nor intelligent, nor charming. Quite frankly it’s just not very nice.

 

 


6. Do NOT point out that you have Asian friends to try to charm us.

21 And Over

“Once I had a guy try and connect with me by saying “I like Asian people. I have an Asian friend actually.” Did he really think that just because he got along with his one Asian friend, I would automatically think he’d be a good boyfriend?”

That’s splendid that you have Asian friends, but just like the food comment- it has nothing to do with us dating you.

 

 


7. Do NOT say you have “yellow fever” or only date Asian girls.

Watch Wong Fu’s Yellow Fever here.

“I once went on a date with a guy who complained and said his options were limited since his parents only approved of Asian girls. I don’t need a guy who thinks he’s settling for me”
“He thought it was cute to tell me he had Yellow fever.”

We don’t want someone who is dating us merely for the color of our skin. Its perfectly fine for you to have a preference to Asian girls (you can’t help what you’re attracted to). We don’t even have a problem if you only date Asian girls, but we don’t want to hear that our race is the only/main reason you’re dating us.

 

 


8. Do NOT overgeneralize Asian girls .

Alexandra Wallace

“I don’t usually date Asian girls, they always get too jealous”
“I don’t normally date Asian girls, I can’t deal with the accent”

Being like Alexandra Wallace when you talk about Asian girls would be counter-productive for you. You are simultaneously assuming that all Asian women are the same and insulting us. Heads up, this won’t work on us.

Why Japanese Youth Have Stopped Having Sex

Currently, Japan has one of the world’s lowest birth rates in the world. Although its population is 126 million, that number is dropping every year and it pales in comparison to the U.S. population of 314 million and China’s 1.35 billion. In fact, fewer Japanese babies were born in 2012 than any other year in history.

According to sex and relationship counselor Ai Aoyama, this number could drop dangerously low with the current views of the Japanese youth. Aoyama is hoping to cure Japan’s wave of ”celibacy syndrome” which has young adults losing interest in both physical and romantic relationships. In fact, many do not see marriage in their future at all. In 2011, a study showed that 61% of unmarried men and 49% of women aged 18-34 were not in any kind of romantic relationship and a third of people under 30 had never dated at all.

There are many speculations as to why Japanese young adults feel no need for human affection. The Guardian argues that Japan is “battling against the effects on its already nuclear-destruction-scarred psyche of 2011′s earthquake.” This scared mentality leaves Japanese citizens with the feeling that there is simply no point to relationships and no point to love.

Some of Aoyama’s patients are in their 30′s and have shut themselves off from the world. In fact, some of these individuals can’t even touch a member of the opposite sex and prefer other forms of intimacy. For instance, Aoyama describes one of her clients who “can’t get sexually aroused unless he watches female robots on a game similar to Power Rangers.” Aside from talks and tutorials with her patients, Aoyama uses therapy, yoga and hypnosis to try and help her patients.

The Guardian also argues another reason for this loss of interest. With Japan’s current lifestyle desire, marriage and relationships simply do not make sense. In today’s modern Japan, marriage is seen as a “grave” for career-focused women.The World Economic Forum ranks Japan as one of the world’s worst nations for gender equality at work. Promotions for women in the workplace is difficult as it is. Once a woman is married, it is seen as nearly impossible because of the assumption that the woman will have children. 70% of Japanese women leave their job after their first child since it is socially expected for mothers to stay home and raise their children.  Japan’s Institute of Population and Social Security reports 90% of young women believe that single life is “preferable to what they imagine marriage to be like”.

Men also seem to have no problem in the apathy wagon. The Guardian claims that men have become less career-driven and as such, do not want the responsibility of the traditional household role as the provider.

Despite the overwhelming lack of enthusiasm, Aoyama is determined to put human intimacy back on the map. Hopefully this task can be achieved soon. According to Kunio Kitamura, head of the JFPA, the issue is so serious that he fears Japan “might eventually perish into extinction.”

 

(source) (image source)

MUST SEE: The Most Elaborate Marriage Proposal in History

Back in a time long, long ago, marriage proposals were simple ordeals. You would bring your partner to some place special, get down on one knee, promise the world to them and just like that you were engaged. Simple right?

Well the rise in social media has made marriage proposals everything but simple. Now that we can all see each other’s method of proposing, expectations have shot up. As much as we hate to admit it, we now have grand daydreams of the extravagant moment when our hand will be asked in marriage. This leaves our poor suitor to shake their head at every new marriage proposal that goes viral. What is it this time? A proposal via hot air balloon? A flashmob? Fireworks? Whatever it may be, you can bet it’s elaborate.

A few months ago, we posted a video that turned heads. A woman asked her boyfriend to marry her with her own elaborate planning. But now, we’ve found a proposal that gives the phrase “over-the-top” a new meaning.

Creator of history’s most elaborate marriage proposal is Justin Baldoni. He arranged for his then-girlfriend, Emily Foxler , to meet him at the restaurant where they had their first date. There she finds a giant projected video of her soon-to-be groom explaining that he is not standing her up. He’s doing the opposite.

And this begins a 27-minute long proposal including everything from music videos, flashmobs, and movie trailers. Is it squeal-worthy or is it cringe-worthy? Some women are left in joyful tears and ask if Baldoni has a twin brother. Others have commented, “It makes those last 12 scenes of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy seem positively succinct, and it crosses the line between devoting noticeable time and effort to something and wasting half of your soon-to-be fiancee’s evening.”

Whatever your opinion may be, Baldoni succeeded with getting his love to accept his very epic proposal. Baldoni tells Inside Edition, “I am someone who I loves grand gestures. I love expressing my love in big ways.”

Even more surprising is the guest appearance of Korean American actor James Kyson. The 27-year-old, who is most known for his character Ando Masahashi on the NBC television series Heroes, is a must see in this video. Kyson dancing to Nsync, Boy II Men and Dancing Queen? Check it out for yourself:

 

Throwback Thursday: Is Dating A Co-Worker A Good Idea?

Story by by Paul Nakayama and Naomi Fujimoto.

Is workplace “commingling” a good idea? Guest columnist Naomi Fujimoto says all’s fair in love and work, but Paul Nakayama wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot laser pointer.

NAOMI SAYS:

Workplace dating is the stuff of great drama. Glee and Grey’s Anatomy — where would they be without it? And what about The Office — the shrugging, the fumbling, the knowing glances? Even on 24, with the fate of the world in question, they still found time for love. All in a day’s work. But enough about TV. I’m real-life proof that you can get your honey where you get your money.

Whether you’re looking at each other over an operating table or a corporate cube, your co-workers see you at your best and your not so best. You see how they deal with stress and relate to other people. And whether they can follow through. In the workplace, people are themselves. Sober. Decent. Good relationship material. (If you’re just looking for a hookup, stay away from your nine-to-five crowd. Sleeping your way to the middle is a bad idea.)

I’m Japanese and an editor, so it won’t be revealing much to say that I love rules. I love that they help me figure out how people will act at work — and, possibly, outside of work. While I can’t say that every girl wants a hero, I like a guy with good problem-solving skills. Responding to an IT “code blue,” Sean had a confident walk that made him look like he could handle anything. Including me. I had to find out whether he was a MacGyver or a MacGruber.

Our romance started small, tiny even, as workplace entanglements often do. When he stopped by just to say hi or lingered in the hallway, my office mates noticed. One day we went to lunch (Asian fusion, natch). Soon I saw that he could troubleshoot my Mac and share his fries. This unofficial stuff paved the way for our office courtship. Pre-dating can last weeks (if you’re lucky) or years (if you’re me). With all the visits and lunches and hallway conversations, this face time will further your status more than Facebook. Same with those happy hours, where your guy can put his hand on your back to help you throw darts.

Ah, the happy hour. As long as you’re not a boozer or a bimbo, the happy hour is your friend, the one that encourages you and your work buddy to pair off. Enjoy it! But here’s where I’ll come back to the rules again. Keep it rated PG! When you think “workplace grind,” visualize your efforts on a big project, not on the dance floor. (For real. My friend had to see her co-worker dirty dance at the company party. Ew.) Your office friends will be happy for you, but you don’t need to flaunt how in lust you are. Chances are, they noticed the chemistry before you did. They are, after all, people who see you 40-plus hours a week.

Sure, you could meet someone online or in a bar or through a setup. Or you can sit back and see what happens with that guy you always go to lunch with. Maybe it won’t go anywhere. Or maybe it will go somewhere for just a few months, like it did for Sean and me. We broke up recently, and the vibe at lunch has changed. No regrets, though. He was a MacGyver — just not mine.

My awful truth? Workplace dating might seem inexcusable or irresponsible, but it’s also irresistible. If you’re willing to risk a few awkward moments in the elevator, give it a try.

PAUL SAYS:

Imagine an adorable bear cub playing with a ball; you can’t help but fawn over it. You approach, unable to stop yourself from petting it. It coos as your hand approaches its face. It is so darn cute! Then suddenly, the cub growls and bares its fangs and mauls your pretty hand into meat strings. You scream and panic, stumbling over your dumb self as you try to escape, but then you realize that you’re locked in a cage. You slap your forehead with what’s left of your hand and curse your own foolishness as that once cuddly bear cub leaps onto your back and takes you down. It’s a horrible tale, I know, and yet so many befall the same fate, except instead of loving a cute but vicious animal, it’s dating a co-worker.

As my warm little analogy illustrates, dating a co-worker is a dangerous proposition. Think about how many of your exes were brutish, annoying or clingy. You sighed constantly with deep relief when things ended. Now, think about the good ones you’ve had. In an office setting, what are the real odds that you’d meet one of the few good ones and none of the horrible trolls?

Imagine walking to the copy room and running into your ex, the bipolar one who’d refer to himself as “we.” And they’re demanding, “Why did you leave us? Why why why? (And are you done with the copier, skank?)” That would certainly be a good time to run away, but oh, that’s right — you can’t because you work together.

Breakups are manageable when you have space or at least an escape route. Not possible with an office tryst. Or what if it was your heart that was broken? During the Halloween party, you hook up with that longtime crush of yours from accounting, only to discover later he was boofing everyone. Work is miserable enough as it is without having to see some douche bag’s face every five days out of seven. Eventually, you’ll see him hitting on someone new at the office, repeating the same coaxing lines. Your fists will be clenched in anger, and your poor laptop will “accidentally fall down some stairs.” I can’t even begin to warn you against the dangers of being around the open bar at the company holiday party … you’ll be fondly remembered as the drunken mess that flung cheese at everyone like it was poo, all while sobbing openly like a Bieber groupie.

I get why office romances happen. The fact is, it’s hard meeting people after college, and you spend more time with co-workers than your best friends. Things happen. And there are plenty of examples of people finding real love in the office. So why not, right? Well, there’s more to lose in an office romance. These things often end poorly, and you’ll only succeed in making your sucky job even suckier. I’ve been in one or two myself that ended in less than desirable ways where the consolation prize is a giant bag of awkward. In this economy, I think it’s better to have a job than a chance at love, the same chance I could take at my other usual hangouts: the karaoke bar, the 7-Eleven or my parkour club. Because looking for love in the office is a man-eating baby bear that will devour your heart, and it’s just common sense not to wrestle bears.

This story was originally published in our Fall 2010 issue. Get your copy here

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