Do Asians date or is that a western idea? I know this sounds like a dumb question, but it really has me wondering. Obviously I can’t speak for other Asians or pretend to know what everybody’s view is on that so I will just have to go off of my own.
I am thirty seven years old and I tell you my age to give you a perspective on my point of view. I grew up in the eighties, listening to Madonna’s song Like a Virgin and Papa Don’t Preach. Obviously, she didn’t listen to her own advice because if you know what Papa Don’t Preach, it’s about teen pregnancy. I bring these two songs up because growing up in an traditional Laotian household you had to remember two things: 1) don’t have sex before marriage 2) don’t get pregnant! If you were not married then you shouldn’t EVEN be thinking of either or put yourself in that situation.
My parents forbade us not to date. They just wanted us to focus on school and that was it! I would look at my American friends and envy their freedom to date while I wasn’t supposed to even talk to boys. It was so unfair. Some of you might wonder if I listened to my parents and the answer is yes and no. For example, I had my first “boyfriend” when I was fourteen and his name was Lado. I met him in Louisiana when I was visiting my cousin and working for the summer. I wouldn’t call him really my “boyfriend” since we didn’t hold hands, hug or act like girlfriend/boyfriend. He was more like a really good friend, one who I played baseball with, board games, and he always farted in front of me. I know really romantic. I think I just said yes when he asked me out because I was too nice to say no.
To get back to the question, is dating a part of Asian people’s culture? For me traditionally, no we were not supposed to date much less have a boyfriend. Nowadays, I know many Laotians are more lax in their views in regards to dating. I have seen parents let their daughters date, go places by themselves and yes even allowed their kids’ boyfriend or girlfriend even come live with them. Time has definitely change and so have values and beliefs. Are Asians picking up American ideals when it comes to dating and relationship? Is that a good or bad thing?