Twenty years ago, when I wrote "The Struggle To Marry Asian," I was nine years into my marriage and my first daughter was just born. As I look back on my life, I think about the journey I've taken. There was so many experiences growing up that shaped me into adulthood and I was about to experience parenthood as well.
When our daughter was born, I wondered what it would be like being her father. I was similar as a parent as my dad was. But as she grew, I wondered what kind of woman she would turn out to be and what kind of future I could give her.
From time to time, there are thoughts during marriage that make you wonder if you married the right one. But with the downs comes to ups. As I learned over time, communication back and forth was key to the ups. But communication can be hard for Asians, especially those with immigrant parents. There wasn't a lot of talking between my parents. My dad was the silent type while my mom ran our house and family business.
Of all my parents' demands while growing up, priority one was marrying Asian with education a close second. Though my wife prefers that our daughter marry Asian, I'm not so tough on her. My parents and my wife's parents were very strict about who our friends were and who we could date.
During college I fell for one of my Caucasian friends and it was like how relationships should be. However, deep down, I could feel several impediments; the big ones being religion and ethnicity. She was the one, but she couldn't be "the one." It would take a chance meeting in New York for me to eventually meet the woman (and, yes, she is Asian) to whom I have now been married to for 29 years.
I don't want my daughter to feel like she has to hide her relationships from us. She shouldn't have to hide the person she cares about deeply as I had to when I was young. When my mom found out that I had gone to a school dance with a Caucasian girl, I was punished hard at home at the end of the night.
My daughter has an independent streak in her and she has her own mind. I trust her instincts and know that any guy that is interested in her will go through her vetting process.
What I do want her to know, and what I've learned through my own experience, is to fall in love with your best friend. Fall in love with the person who will care for you no matter what. Fall in love with the person who makes you laugh and is willing to compromise. It shouldn't be such a struggle to eventually find your happiness. And if that guy is Asian, don't stereotype him with anecdotal bias. Give him a chance. There are good Asian guys out there who will relate to you in many ways. That's what I would tell her.