So if you want to have a serious relationship with someone who is Asian (or African, or Middle Eastern, or Kryptonian - honestly, these tips will help any couple with a case of Culture Shock Love). Here are the tips:
#1. Meet their friends first, before you meet their family members. This is an important stepping stone in a relationship (any relationship). It shows you are serious about the relationship.
#2. Find the things you have in common - sports you both do, activities you both, a love of art / art galleries, and build upon that connection. So for example if you are in Toronto and you both love visiting art galleries make a weekly effort to go many of Toronto's art galleries. This connection will cement the idea that you two really do have things in common and are not so different as society would like you to believe.
- Guessing his or her ethnicity based on their appearance. Guessing is rude, but you shouldn't just assume either.
- Asking "So what is your real name?" Isabel might be her real name her parents gave her.
- Bow in an Asian manner. You're not in Asia so stop bowing. Do that when you visit his parents in China.
- Say anything like "You're pretty strong for an Asian guy" or "Wow, you sure drink a lot for an Asian chick". If you don't know why that is wrong, you should not be dating them.
- Spend way too much time checking our her hair. Straight black hair is not such a big deal.
- Tell her about all the other Asian girls you dated. You wouldn't do this with a white girl, so don't do it with an Asian girl.
- Don't assume that his family is poor. While it might have been true in the past that Asian immigrants were poor, these days it is the opposite. Asian immigrants coming to Canada these days are often quite wealthy or at least well-to-do.
#5. Don't assume that because they are Asian that they speak other Asian languages too - like asking a Japanese person if they also speak Korean or Chinese. In fact, don't assume they even speak Japanese unless they say they do.
#7. Don't Correct their English unless they ask you to. Yes, they might still be learning, but you don't need to be constantly correcting their English unless they want that extra help.
#8. Treat them like you would any other person. The mistakes people make in Culture Shock relationships is that they make a big deal out of the differences, and this plants the idea that you really are too different to be together. And it is not the culture that is at stake here, it is your obsession with the different cultural differences and treating them differently because of it that will drive you two apart.
#9. Don't watch TV shows like "Fresh Off The Boat" together. Yes, it is a funny show, but watching that together is just weird.
However watching a TV show like "The Walking Dead", which has an interracial couple in it as part of the main cast - but they are not the primary focus of the show, is okay.
On the other hand, watching a show like Marco Polo - that show is over the line. So don't go there.
#10. Don't go to Asian restaurants unless they suggest it first. Go to normal restaurants. Showing an obsession with wanting to visit Asian restaurants all the time indicates you are more interested in his or her background and skin colour than you are in them as a person.
BONUS TIP - When introducing them to your parents, don't mention what their ethnic background is. Their first name is enough. Mention what they do for a living or what they are studying in school - the same things you would do for any other person.
The end result?
Treat them like a person. Treating people differently because of their ethnic background in insensitive and will result in them feeling like you don't really care about them as a person. Show that you care about who they are and that will show you are serious about a relationship with them as a person.