Dating Asian Guys 101: Dating Asian GUYS...

15.8.13 ShaSha LaPerf 8 Comments

Wow! It's been over a month since I've done a real post! Are y'all still you there!? I've been busy dealing with the wedding stuff. Also had some visiting family and a trip to Detroit to visit more family pretty soon. Now I'm dealing with folks trying to bring people that aren't on the RSVP list, work being super busy and my stomach is in super cramps mode this fucking Advil isn't working at all. I know, I know a lot of excuses! And since I don't want this blog to be all about wedding stuff I want to try to get back on track here.

So here's a Dating Asian Guys blog post! Well this actually started from a comment made by reader Joyful, but I felt it fit into this category. Because the comment was a comment, I didn't want respond and turn a different topic into a long thread of comments. So I decided to make a full post out of it and also would love to hear others chime in. Joyful actually made two comments, and I've put them together hear so folks can get an understanding of the topic:

I have been chewing over the concept of circular dating and how it is not really working for me to do that with Asian guys (from Asia). I've had to explain lately to several Japanese guys that just because I am casually dating a guy, that does NOT mean he is my boyfriend, and I might be casually dating 2-3 guys at once. This is normal, common, accepted best practices in the US. I'm not kissing any of these guys, let alone doing anything more intimate than that. Just going to dinner or for coffee, talking and getting to know each other before becoming exclusive (boyfriend/girlfriend status).

This concept blows their minds and seems to leave a scent of hoe-ishness in the air when really it's not like that at all. It seems that I come as being a female Michi, when I'm really not. I just want to get to know a guy well before becoming his girlfriend.

Recently I spent like 40 minutes explaining this concept to a Japanese PhD (not a fool by any stretch) and then told him I was dating a Korean guy. His response: "Oh, I didn't know you had a boyfriend." Face-palm. The concept just is not getting through!

I don't know, I think I have to do something different. I'm not a kid, and I'm not going to claim a guy as my boyfriend right out the gate as appears to be quite common in Japan. Do any of you ladies have advice on how to manage the romantic interests of a few guys at once? Especially Japanese guys? 

I'll be moving to Japan in mid-March and I think I need some kind of strategies in place. I know how quick people are to label a woman as a slut with very little evidence. Especially because (just being honest here) I am a very beautiful woman with serious curves. Other women have their finger on the trigger to call me a slut just out of jealousy, and I don't want to give them ammunition to use against me.

The problem is that the guys think I'm using them, playing games, etc. I've acquired a bit of a reputation as a heartbreaker now among the J-guy group in my city. This isn't good. 

The one thing that's been helpful that I've figured out is to date men who live in different cities and of different nationalities. So, a Korean in one city and an Indonesian in a nearby city. They travel in different circles and won't know each other. 

In Japan, though, I noticed when I went last year that people were VERY aware of where I was, when I left, what time I arrived, what I had on etc. So people will probably notice which men I am keeping company with too :S

Welcome to the wondering world of dating multiple guys. And I have to say...sometimes it sucks LOL. Whether it's American guys, Japanese guys, Martian guys, it can be a pain. This is a very tricky topic and something I had to think a lot about before I really sat down to write.

Let's talk about dating a few people at the same time. People do it for various reasons. For example, some people aren't interested in being tied down just yet so they like to hang out with different people. For others maybe some guys have some of the qualities you're looking for but there still isn't enough spark to completely commit. I went this route once in my life, and it did happen while I was living in Japan. In the states I was so damn busy with school and work, just going out with one guy was a lot of work, no way I was going to try to deal with more than that. But in Japan I had plenty of free time and liked meeting folks. I'll get to this in a minute. Of course this style of dating will mean different things to different people. To some people it's not "dating" at all, just a bunch of friendships. Others may assume that it means you're sleeping with every dude under the sun. And then there are those that don't seem to care one way or the other.

Now this is where the "it can suck" part comes in. It's not even a matter of remember names and places you're meeting and who looks like who. LOL well those mix-ups can happen but it's not just that. The biggest issue is that both parties have to have a clear understanding that you aren't exclusive. Feelings need to be mutual between everyone involved so you're not getting a mix of jealousy or any other drama you don't need in your life. If you're dating two guys and one starts to appeal to you more and the two of you agree to be exclusive, then by all means take that route. Either way, there needs to be an agreement between everyone involved that this is okay, whether you're exclusive or just happily dating.

So how does this relate to Asian men? Joyful seems most concerned with how this will affect her dating life in Japan. So here are my thoughts based on my experiences from living in Japan and dating Japanese guys. If anyone feels like I'm getting into a generalization mode, feel free to point it out to me. While I don't think the idea of dating more than one person in Japan is all that foreign or an idea, I think there is a much stronger push for people to get into monogamous relationships, mostly so they can get married and have the babies. And let's not forget how days like White Day, Valentine's Day, and Christmas are pushed as romantic days. even a standard summer festival can quickly turn into a big romantic date. So having that one special significant other is a big deal for these things. With these ideas in mind, I think this may discourage dating multiple people to become more commonplace. Now I can't really even say this is a Japanese things though. Yes America may be more open to the idea, but let's face it, women here are still called sluts when they choose to play the field. Japan just may be a bit slower to the idea. Generally, I think 付き合う  (tsukiau) is a term/verb people like to bring out when they want to be exclusive with someone. I think デートする (de-tosuru) is also used but might not be as common. I'm sure there probably is a phrase the young folks use when it comes to dating multiple people. Unfortunately my Japanese has gotten pretty shitty over the past year and my Mixi account is collecting dust, so I don't know what it could be.

So it can be a bit tricky to date more than one guy in Japan. However just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's impossible. The key thing when it comes to this style of dating really boils down to what expectations you have of each other right off the bat. Your definition of what dating is will have to mesh with his. I really can't say how often you'll meet guys who are okay with this, I don't think you'll know until you starting meeting a few guys there. But the earlier this is established, the better. For some guys "dating" period is breaking out the "付き合う" and there is no such thing as saying this to more than one person. For others dating is just mild flirtation, going out and about the city, just enjoying each other's company (sexy time optional), and it's something they are comfortable doing with more than one person (and I know we're adults here but I still feel obligated to say if sexy time is happening just make sure it's happening with protection :) ).

Think about your expectations. What is your purpose for wanting to date different guys at once? What do you want to happen with them? Is it about just meeting new people? Hoping one of these people will turn into a boyfriend? When I was in Japan, I never expected to stay in the country so I didn't take dating all that seriously. So while I enjoyed most of the guys I dated, I was also clear with them that my interest would only go so far since I had planned to leave and was not a fan of long distance relationships. This probably worked for and against at the time. So it's a lot of think about, but I think it's good to have a basic idea of what you want from dating someone. Next think about his expectations. It may be difficult to just ask someone, "so what do you want from us going out?" or "Is it cool with you if I'm seeing other people?" Especially with the latter I think some people may see it is they aren't good enough for you or don't fulfill you if you're dating other people, even if it's not your intention for them to feel that way. But there are others thing you can use. Pay attention to how guys are treating you. Is the flirtation minor or is he writing you love letters after the first date? Is 90% of the conversations he's having with you about how he wants to have a girlfriend? And how comfortable are you with these things? At some point you might have to have a chat about this. If you're dating multiple people because you want to check all your options before you decide to be exclusive, say it. If it's just because you know you won't stay in the country long, say it. Just be honest with people.

But you'll also have to be prepared to deal with some guys who just won't get it no matter how you explain things to them. Some might think you're slutty regardless of what you're actually doing with the guys (and there are those who may think this works in their advantage for nasty reasons). Others may think it's just a wacky American thing that's just too much for them. Honestly, it doesn't matter how you say things to some guys, if they don't get it, they don't get it. There's only so much you can do to help a person change their ideas about you and at some point, it's just not worth it. Some guys may have a negative opinion of you if he finds out that you're interested in other men, and if that's the case, let him go. You may run the risk of news getting out that you're dating style is more open, but is that really a bad thing? Would you want to date people who see that as a negative about you? Means less drama you'd have to deal with trying to explain things to them. But I really don't think your well would run dry over this.

You mentioned people be aware of you while you were in Japan. And you're right, people probably will take notice of you. That will happen whether your with a guy, by your self, with girlfriends, etc. Just being a black chick in Tokyo is a big deal since there are still so few in the country. So some people will glance your way regardless of what you're doing and who you're with. I don't think you should pay too much attention to what others think. Shibuya was my hangout spot and it was a place I hung out with different men. And frankly it's not the business of other people who you're dating. I'm sure I probably got looks but I didn't think too much about them. Unless I was caught with a guy who wasn't cute. LOL okay, okay I'm kidding about the last part. But I really didn't think much about other people. And for that matter I don't think it helped not hurt my chances when it came to meeting new guys or people in general. I don't think it will hurt your either.

So I did mention that I dated  different guys in Japan. But I have to admit that I never went out with more than one guy at the same time. There were some cases where maybe I talked to one of two people online or whatnot, but may not have met them in person so I didn't think of it as dating. And it wasn't because I was against the idea. Sometimes you'll have that initial contact with guys but it fizzles so fast you don't even get a first date. There were times I was so busy just hanging out with girlfriends or just enjoying me time there was little time to fit in one guy, let alone two or three. Or many I just met a guy that had all the qualities I liked so I put little effort into looking for someone else. Or I had moments when I just hated all men because I hated all men so I didn't want to date any of those fools, LOL

And you know what, I bet you'll encounter this a lot. So despite this stuff I wrote here, I'd say it's going to tough to really have a fully laid plan to date multiple guys in Japan because things will change when you get there. Quite frankly, I think you'll be too busy shopping, learning Japanese, shopping, working/studying, shopping, watching Japanese dramas, and shopping to really think about the amount of guys you get date at once. LOL seriously it's really, really hard not to shop in Japan. Even if it's not just clothes, my manga and CD collection got HUGE while I was there (and was expensive as shit to ship back over T_T). So I'm going to suggest not having the expectation of dating multiple guys until you're got your settled and see how it goes. You may meet a guy early on that hooks you enough that you're not interested in anyone else. Or you may meet two guys in the airport and start making a dating schedule for them both. When the time comes, hopefully the previous paragraphs will make sense.

Whew finally got this blog post out! Sorry Joyful that it took me forever to get this one out. And I think my Advil is finally starting to kick in so I can get to bed.


  1. Thanks so much, Shasha, for this well-thought out and lengthy reply. I got my very own post, wow! :D I feel special now \( ^^)/

    My reasons for dating multiple guys is that I was vetting them to see what they were really like. How do they handle adversity in their lives, how well do they problem solve, what are their values? Plus some guys are cute and fun but too young for anything serious. They are still fun to date though :)

    I think your post could be boiled down to: "Do what you like! But be honest." My problem has often been that I wasn't upfront with the guys I was dating, and I didn't tell them I was dating others. I felt like it put too much pressure on them (and on me). So when they found out, it was too much to take. Understandable. I regret not being more forthright, because it would have saved hurt feelings on both sides.

    The thing is, it's so hard to have the conversation about exclusivity even with someone who understands this concept. So when I try to tell a guy that I'm dating circularly, they may hear it as a demand for exclusivity. "Oh, hey, Hyun, just so you know... unless you agree to this higher level of Going Out, I'm gonna be keeping company with multiple dudes. No pressure, just saying that until you agree to exclusivity, I may or may not be getting close with other guys. You know, going drinking, maybe full body massages, etc. We cool?" lol So that makes it hard to do, but it doesn't mean that I shouldn't have done it.

    Life is very funny. I was all set to head to Japan when I posted my original comments... but life threw me a couple curveballs. Firstly, the job in Japan fell through. Secondly, I met a Chinese guy who lives here and we have absolutely hit it off, and are exclusive now. Meeting each other's friends and families and all that. I don't want to jinx myself or this relationship, but it's getting pretty serious.

    I think this topic is a good one to have on the blog though. Most of the things I've seen on ambw blogs are about the "how to meet and greet an Asian guy" variety. That is not even the tip of the ice burgh! We need to figure out how to navigate the other stages of dating and relationships too, especially ones like these that are culturally situated.

    I'd love to hear from other commenters about how they deal with this issue.

    1. Dating is difficult period. It relies heavily on two partly really being able to communicate with each other, being on the same wavelength. And I do agree whether it's being with more than one guy or just one guy, expressing what you want or what your looking for doesn't always go as smoothly as you'd like it to be. I think it is important to let people know early on what you're looking for and that you don't have an issue with dating others, but doing it TOO early can also scare people off. Unfortunately I can't say just when this conversation really should happen like the first date or the third. It will really rely on the chemistry between the two of you.

      Sorry to hear the job fell through but it sounds like you have other great things going on in your life! Getting to meeting the folks is a pretty serious stage and I hope that works out for you. I didn't have any issues with Shen's family (LOL except now the wedding list is growing due to unexpected family members on his side), but I do know that it is a big deal for some folks. Keep us posted!

  2. I've met a Camodian man and am really excited about getting to know him more. He's lived in the US for sometime so American women are not something new, but I never dated a South Asian before and all my Asian girlfriends don't like Asian guys. Language will be a Challenge, he asked me a question last week that I didn't understand and it was only 2 days ago that figured out what he was asking. Such troubles! I guess I need a little support from the inside... Sigh.

    1. As I said above, communication is definitely key! And it is indeed difficult when it comes to dating someone that didn't speak the same language as you. Although I was at a conversational level in Japan, it was still difficult for me to express everything I wanted to when I dated in Japan. When it comes to these situations patience is also key on both sides. If his language skills are severely stunted it's fine to ask him to repeat what he's saying, but I would suggest not doing it every five seconds. Don't pretend to understand him if you really don't. Pay attention to certain words, his hands motions and tone of voice as well. And remember the same goes for you as well. I dated a guy who didn't speak English well (and I'm a fast talker), and he would sometimes give me a look that meant he didn't quite get it. But he was afraid of saying anything because he didn't want to hurt my feelings. Actually I wish he had said something, people tell me I'm loud and talk to fast all the time, LOL. But these are things you may have to pay attention to when you're speaking. Hope that helps a bit. :)

    2. ITA with ShaSha that non-verbal cues can tell you a lot about what the other person means. Don't be afraid to whip out the electronic dictionary, or use google images to find what you are talking about. Learning a little Cambodian will let him know you appreciate his culture, too.

      It's funny, I have met several seriously thugged out Cambodian dudes who were WAY too hood for me. They couldn't believe how "bougie" I am and I couldn't believe how ghetto they were. They thought we'd be a perfect fit but alas, no, lol. If you like some thug in your man, though, please do check out the Cambodian dudes in the Philly area. You will not be disappointed. Gorgeous to look at, and roughneck to the bone.

      Back on topic, I don't usually have difficulty with being understood very often because I am an official English Teacher and I have repeatedly been named Easiest to Understand in my program :) but sometimes complex concepts are just hard to express, period. Patience, patience, patience. On the up side, it forces you to really think about what you mean and choose your words carefully. This makes you slow down and be sure you mean what you are saying.

      And, I am dying for pics of the wedding!!!!

    3. I guess those Cambodian guys you encountered expected you to reciprocate the same gesture to them as they did to you.

      Funny how you brought this up.Not too long ago,I was on A Love Life Of An Asian Guy where he was discussing a similar topic. I commend this guy for reminding guys like the ones you mentioned on are actually some of us Black women who want quality men .

      I remembered you saying that you won't accept Asian guys who are not top notch and I can't blame you. They may thought that you were being "bougie" for rejecting their advances, but I would have thought they were being foolish for appearing to be thuggish. I'm quite sure if it was their daughters, mothers and sisters, they wouldn't want them to date guys like them so what make those guys think that is what you want for your life.

      Some Black women can be very down to earth, but it doesn't mean that we want leftovers and this is where some guys may misinterpret that thought. You can date a truck driver or a fortune 500 guy,but it doesn't mean that you have no standards, morals or regards about yourself. I admired you for your stance on your standards. My folks ,always told me to get a good man on your level or higher but never below you whether economically, spirituality, mentally, etc Those Cambodian guys may think its bougie, but its about you having standards.

      For me,this apply to Black and every race of men out there. I discriminate against no man when it comes to standards and it is those standards that I would pass to my kids (if I had any).I think guys like them thought that Black women are so nonchalant that they'll accept anything... sort of like the LIFE cereal I'm turned off by Black men like this and would be just as offended to see non Black men being this way. I also find it to be insulting because people think it's a Black thing. Oh no..its thug lifestyle, but those guys actions doesn't represent true Black culture whatsoever.

    4. Thanks, M. I really dislike when guys pretend to be thugged out in order to attract me. I've seen more of that from white guys than Asian, but it's a huge turnoff in any case. And we are on the same page for sure about a man being a quality partner; non-negotiable.

      In the case of these Cambodian guys, though, they actually are not "faking the funk". The boat people who fled civil war in Cambodia created an enclave in the roughest ghetto in Philly. Their children were conceived, born and raised in the hood- and it shows.

      I can't do anything with a thug of any stripe. As Shasha pointed out though, not all black women are from the suburbs. Some of them are in fact from the city and may well feel rapport with such a man. Just because he was born in the ghetto doesn't automatically make him the scum of the earth. A woman who feels attracted to that type of guy is probably on his same socio-economic level, so for her it's an equal match- nothing wrong with that.

  3. First, I would like to say congratulations on the engagement! Second, I think this blog post was an awesome post! I think the advice was spot on.

    I need to go through all the Dating 101 posts, because I have been in Korea for over 1 1/2 years, and have not dating at all (not that I even really dated in the States either). Some friends tried to set me up via sogeting/blind date, but it fizzled before it actually happened. I was thinking of heading to Japan after my contract finished, but I may be faced with the same problems there.