marriage and race

June 12, 2016

“You have boyfriend?” 

One of the daunting questions at family gatherings. Yikes.

Although, it has never phased me, the pressure gets real when I am surrounded by family (and sometimes, peers) who are embarking this path. I know you’ve probably faced this, too, when your Facebook feed is comprised of: engagements, weddings, and babies.

I totally get it. 

We are in this modern era where our first marriage doesn’t happen until our late-twenties, pushing towards thirties, and some may not even wedded at all. This is common now. There are things we are still trying to solidify in our lives, like our own identity and grasping adulthood – how can we even figure marriage?

Here is the twist, the ongoing conversation between my family is not about marriage, but it is the fact that I don’t want to marry within my own race. I have relatives and family friends (you know, your “aunt”) who have been fixated on this. When they asked me if I have found a nice and wealthy Cambodian man, and I respond with an obvious “No,” followed by, “I don’t date Asian men” I’m flooded with questions to why not?

For the record – I used to, okay. 

I grew up in Pomona, where the demographic is predominately Hispanics. Now, living in New York, I am bound to meet people from different backgrounds and ethnicities. I am surrounded by diversity, and I cannot help who I like! It’s 2016, where interracial couples are common, right?

Also, note that Asian men don’t date Asian women like me. I discovered this through my college years – I have strong opinions and some men aren’t very fond of that. If you have not seen Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra Stand Up comedy bit, you need to watch this. She nailed it!

Although, I know my relatives’ intentions are well and they don’t mean any harm, they come from a time period when you are 22, you are already married with your first-born while trying to make something of yourself if you are presented with such an opportunity. I understand to why they’re asking me such questions – what’s next, Chary…?

I’m in this age bracket when one is “supposed to have” X, Y, and Z. Read: marriage, buy a house, and have kids.

Trust me, I do want to get married and own a home, but my timeline and preference is just a little different that’s all.

– C

PS: thank you for all chiming in to ready this – I have been requested to write a follow up to answer all of your questions. Be on the look out (: