Peace All! It’s been a minute, but WHEW! It’s been a wild several weeks. For those of you all who know me personally and were with me when things were going crazy, you definitely have my love. Anyway, you all are well overdue for some updates, so let’s get right to it! You might remember that the first person I actually dated since beginning this quest for my soulmate was Asian3. We’ve gone out quite a lot, and as such I‘m dedicating this whole post to him and our adventure together! I think he would be pleased. Let’s begin.
To start with, let me go into a little more descriptive detail about this person. He’s a Chinese-born, Physics PhD student nearing the very end of his program. He’s over six feet, solidly built with average body type – meaning not thin, not fat, not necessarily muscular or flabby. He wears short hair and glasses with no facial hair and looks exactly like you would expect a Chinese scientist to look, lol. Well, maybe he’s a little sloppier, but there are plenty of men who leave their clothes shopping to their wives, so it’s not a problem. He definitely seems like that type, and by month and a half into our acquaintance, I was definitely starting to consider him. He’s very genuine, very thoughtful, and though he may be 27, he has a level of maturity that I would expect from someone in their late thirties/early 40’s perhaps. I can only chalk that up to his particular personality and the cultural differences between what is expected of a man of his age in China vs the US.
Don’t get me wrong now, he’s not perfect.
The Cons: His manner is altogether super awkward. I could say that part of it is because he’s coming from a different culture, but on the real, I don’t think he was an Olympic smooth-talker or game-runner in China either. He lacks an understanding of some of the basic nuances related to the art of “pushing up” as it were, and those are kind of culturally universal. There are also some things related to general manners that he is clueless about. For example, he kept walking too fast and getting in front of me since he’s almost a foot taller than I am and because I might be wearing stacked heels which make me look hot to death but require me to walk in a certain way. He also seems like he doesn’t understand the concept of holding the door for a woman. Yep. He’ll just walk right in the door and let it slam back in my face. Where they do dat at??? You won’t tell me that this is Chinese custom. His table manners are terrible, too, cuffing his food and wolfing it down, bent over like he just got out of prison. Now these are small things, very small in comparison to the big picture. But taken together, they equal work, and I’m not talking that learn-to-cooperate-together work that’s a part of every relationship. I’m talking that basic socialization (MGT&GCC - Mannerly Groom Training and General Civilization Classes lol j/k) type work. Honestly though, if other aspects of the relationship are good, this type of work is fine with me as long as he’s receptive to learning, and he has seemed to be so far. I will say though, that these little things make it hard for us to establish a rhythm of flirtation which would build up to…other stuff.
The Pros: What I enjoy most is his inquisitive and compassionate nature. Because we are from two different cultures we tend to view things and situations differently. He’s always trying to learn something new and move out of his comfort zone. I enjoy listening to his point of view; I often discover new things in situations when I speak with him, and that pleases me to no end. It’s the true nature of good conversation imo. He always tries to find a very humanistic point of view in any situation, and I like that. For example, his perception of the Godfather series was that of a regular man trying to take care of his family in the best way he could. Not at all what comes to my mind when I think of those films, but I like that point of view. Variety is the spice of life! Also, he’s very direct. Somebody said Asian guys were shy? Uhhh, No. He was nervous when we first started communicating as was I, and I think most people would be in that situation. But he has a very take charge attitude which I find quite manly and attractive. Whenever we want to go out on a date, we figure out the times when our schedules both allow for it, and then he researches different fun things for us to do and presents me with options. It might seem a little systematic and less than spontaneous, but I enjoy this about him. I’ve come across so many guys – especially the younger ones – who look to me to decide what to do. I’m not opposed to coming up with ideas, but I do enjoy it when a man takes on his traditional role.
After we went on the first date walking about Lake Johnson, we continued to talk mainly via email. He remarked upon the fact that he didn’t think I sounded like he thought I would, or perhaps I should say how he thought a Black girl would sound lol. I admit that I am somewhat nonstereotypical. It’s not the first time I’ve come upon a non-Black man (sometimes this goes for Black ones too) who had something else in mind in his wish to date a Black female. Well I don’t know what type of television programs this man had been watching in China, but I needed him to know that my conceptualization of “Negro” does not fit within the narrow scope of an episode of The Wire, despite what he may have heard about certain areas of the Triangle. I told him that I was trying to keep the slang to a minimum so that he’d be able to understand me properly. But he’s a bold one, so he stepped up and asked me to teach him some slang words! I thought I’d test him a bit. As a lil hint about the basketball-playing attire he wore on our first date, I taught him the phrase ”G’ed Up” e.g. dressed up. He got the hint, and for our second date, he borrowed something suave and took me to a nice little Spanish restaurant. He also bought me a gift, a gesture I appreciated most highly. I’m not the kind of person who usually accepts gifts from someone I’m not committed to. Mixing too much money or physical interaction before you’re certain you want to be with someone is a no-no. This is how people get shanked or how well-meaning, somewhat-significant others come up missing, imo. No thanks; I choose life. However, this was right before my birthday, so I really felt that it was a show of thoughtfulness. The gift wasn’t anything expensive; in this case it really was the thought that counted. He got some bonus points for that.
The restaurant was really nice, but the food was meh… The chef thought too highly of skill, I think, and I didn’t really care for his manner as he was trying to force food purchases on us. His near eye-rolls of disapproval were lethal, like “What? Whatchu mean you ain’t gon’ get no tapas??! You’re a vege-what? Bitch, if you don’t stop makin up words, and eat this pork…” The conversation between Asian3 and I was great though! He kept me laughing the whole time picking on the chef a little bit and discussing plans for the future. At the end of the date, he saw fit to kiss me. I was completely shocked, first that it had occurred at all because he really snuck it in when I wasn’t expecting it, and secondly because he’s actually a really good kisser! I don’t know if I expected him not to be…? Yeah, I think that was a little subconscious racism on my part. Anyway, he handled his business, and in my email to him thanking him for the date, I taught him a new slang phrase, “holler at your girl,“ (e.g. call me; continue to court me) because I was definitely interested in seeing him again.
After that, we made plans to go jet skiing at Jordan Lake when I returned from my Birthday Trip. But I had some other things going on and had to cancel. Instead we met up briefly, and he introduced me to bubble tea. We laughed and have a good time, and he made a veiled reference to the fact that he’s interested in knowing how creative I am sexually. I laughed about this probably a lot harder than I should have, but his action normalized him in my mind. A man, is a man, is a man, no matter where he’s from or what he’s accustomed to. I redirected his attention a little bit but continued to flirt shamelessly, the point of that action being to convey not only that one should enjoy the gifts before him in the present, but also that the pace of our interaction will be set by me^_^
For our next outing, he invited me to see a movie. He was right on point with that as we both enjoy a good flick. As usual he researched some films I might like and presented me with his findings. He was particularly interested to see the latest Madea film @_@ Go figure. Now, I didn’t disapprove of this choice at all. Like a lot of Black people, I too have a love/hate relationship with Tyler Perry’s Madea character and, to a somewhat lesser extent, his work in general. However, not being Black or American, I fully realize that this understanding had escaped Asian3. He just wanted to please me, and I appreciated that. He had done a thorough assessment of viewer reviews versus critics' reviews, paying particular attention to Spike Lee’s comments on the film. I tried to explain to him a little bit, but I didn’t feel it necessary to get into a whole philosophical discussion with him over no freakin Madea, not just to decide whether or not to see the movie. Not that serious. From his point of view, it’s a funny movie with some Black people in it, and he’s trying to embrace Black culture. It sounded like a plan to me. I expressed to him that I would be more than happy to view that or any other film with him. However I cautioned that if he had never seen a Madea film before that he should watch the previews. I didn’t want him to get into movie and be confused or feel uncomfortable. His response was that he in fact had seen Madea’s Big Happy Family, and started discussing it with me, like, “I loved it when Aunt Bam was hitting on the doctor even though he was much younger. She’s a spirited lady!” Mkay, first of all, why does he know the characters’ names? I don’t even know their names lol. I didn’t know whether to be impressed or what. So yeah, we decided to see the movie. Needless to say this prior knowledge of the characters should have given me an indication of his enthusiasm for the new film. He was straight rolling in theater, leaning up against the seat in front of him in excitement, laughing super loudly. I found the film a little less funny than usual – I know I always say this, but it really is my last Madea movie. I enjoyed seeing it with him though. Still, there were those “pushing up” opportunities that he missed altogether. I had thought it was common knowledge that the purpose for going to a movie with a girl you’re trying to court isn’t really to watch the movie. I guess that’s not the case in his home province.
#5 and #6
We had a couple more outings. We had Southern food in one instance and Indian food in another. All the time we are sending each other these long emails. At this point we’d been in contact with each other for over a couple of months, and our conversations kept getting deeper and more intense, to a point where I was reasonably certain that he was going to pop the gf question when we saw each other next. I had a decision to make. He had expressed a desire to take things to the next level as well as a concern that he felt our physical interaction seemed to be going a little slowly. I’ma say that chemistry and physical interaction are things which are unique between two individuals. It happens as it happens. I’m the type who enjoys a man who can be a little forceful without being overpowering. I like him to lead, but in the end how far we go and when is still up to me. I could feel him wanting to lead the physical interaction, but not being sure of himself. The little awkward things about Asian3 weren’t a big deal, but they did tend to throw wrenches in our mojo. Times when we could have taken the opportunity to get a little close physically would be interrupted by this sort of cultural disconnect, and there’s not really a way around it. Either we’d have to commit to learning each other and working together to plough through that circumstance and find our groove, or we’d stall out. I expressed it to him basically in that manner, and we decided to stay friends rather than move forward. He’s a great guy, just not my guy. And that’s that. XOXO Asian3!