Being in a mixed race relationship (Asian/Western) can be both rewarding and challenging. I have listed below what are for me my Top Five Pros and Cons that I have encountered from being in a mixed race/cross cultural relationship. With the right partner it can be a magical experience and for me personally I thrive on the adventure of our life together as we both introduce each other to different cultural experiences and customs. We try to blend the best aspects of our two cultures together and through this process of sharing we are brought closer together.
I am an American with English/Native American heritage. My wife is Thai with Isaan heritage. This cultural difference in itself has provided us with countless hours of joyful interaction through both conversation and the sharing of each other's cultures. Are there challenges? Definitely! Is it worth facing the cultural obstacles? Absolutely!
My Top Five Pros
1 - Cultural Immersion
As a person that has extensively traveled the world I have always had a fascination with learning about different cultures. Being married with someone from a different cultural background has so far been my ultimate life experience and I truly treasure her for the person that she is. Please don't misunderstand me. I am not meaning to objectify my wife by her cultural background. Her heritage is only a part of who she is and I fell in love with her for the person she is and not because of where she is from.
2 - Changed Perspective
Being in a cross cultural relationship helps you see things from a very different perspective. I am sure that everyone has experienced the joy of having a visitor to your local area that isn't familiar with local activities, cultural sites or scenery. My wife has told me that she took so many beautiful sights around her for granted prior to us being together. We live in a region in Thailand where there are quite amazing historic sites to see and explore. There are several of these sites that my wife never visited prior to our being together and she has a completely different perspective of her surroundings now that we share these experiences together. The same goes for me in regard to my local surroundings from where I lived in the USA. When you mix in the fact that these new experiences are taking place in a country that is new and exciting to you it only adds to the pleasurable experiences that you share and brings a new perspective to your horizon.
3 - Romance Inspired by Mystery
From the perspective of a "western culture man" I find that the mystic nature of a foreign female to be an attractive inspiration for romance. Of course being "foreign" in itself is not enough to inspire romance but it adds an element of mystery to the relationship. I love a good mystery and for me going through the process of trying to understand the mystic aspect of a foreign relationship only adds to the erotic pleasures that are shared.
4 - Beauty
First I must make it clear that I fully realize that there are very beautiful women from all parts of the world and beautiful women are not exclusive to Asia. For me it is the woman inside that matters most and there is no woman that can have such physical beauty that the inner person would not matter. That being said I believe that it is fairly common knowledge that western men find Asian women to be very attractive (both inner and outer beauty) and I am no exception. I am not certain but this might fall into the same category as where I have found that women with straight hair want curly hair. Women with curly hair want straight hair... People of light/fair skinned cultures want darker skin and dark skinned people want to have a lighter color skin tone. I know that here in Thailand it is big business if you sell "skin whitening" beauty products as the majority of Thai ladies want to be whiter. The bottom line is as stated above, many western men are attracted to Asian women!
5- Attentive Nature
This is a trait that very much drew me to my wife (mentioned in a previous article) and as stated before I don't have an expectation of her to wait on me hand and foot but she makes it very clear that It is very important to her that she takes good care of me. She is never selfish and always places my needs ahead of herself. I see this repeatedly with women of Asian culture. I am certainly not saying that I have an expectation of my partner does this without reciprocation as I believe that a couple should take care of each other. Your partner should be your number one and you theirs. I believe that the majority of Asian Women believe in and try to live up to this same standard.
My Top Five Cons
(I prefer to use the term "challenges")
1 - Communication
The top Con (challenge) in a cross cultural relationship is most definitely communication. Unless both you and your partner are bilingual in each other's language this can present a major challenge. I was fortunate that when I met my wife she spoke fairly good English are we were able to communicate well enough to really get to know each other. As our relationship continues to grow so does our language skills. Her English continues to improve and I am slowly learning Thai. I have known (do know) couples where they don't speak each other's language and I must honestly say that I don't understand how they are truly able to know each other. If you are in this situation it is likely that you are taking advantage of the world of modern technology where we now have aids such as phone apps, Google translate and other means to assist people of different languages with communication. These tools are not without drawbacks or function error free. I have actually seen couples end up being upset with each other because Google translate did not provide the correct translation. The key here is that if you are truly attracted to each other and want to make a relationship work you will find a way.
2 - Visa's and Legalities
This is one that can be a major challenge to work through depending on what country you are trying to either repeatedly visit (during courting) or move to. For some countries obtaining long term non-resident or resident visa is a very difficult process and often quite expensive. Once you have obtained a long term visa you still need to look at the necessities such as obtaining a valid driver's license (I have an article in my blog about obtaining a driver's license in Thailand), Insurances (auto - health - home), purchasing a vehicle and vehicle ownership and then there is home ownership. In some countries foreigners are not allowed to own property and the land must be in the wife's name (provided you are living/buying in her home country).
3 - Financial Expenses
When you are in a situation where both parties in the relationship live in different countries you need to look closely at the associated financial implications. The initial expenses are primarily travel related. How much does a round trip airline ticket between your two countries cost? Is only one partner in the relationship traveling back and forth or are you traveling together? If you have jobs how do you handle the time away from work? When you are together in the ladies country where do you stay (while courting) and what costs are associated with that? Meals out? Transportation? I think you get the point here. Then there are the expenses you will encounter once you decide to make the full time move to the ladies country (should that be where you decide to live). Visa fees, auto purchase/s, insurances, home... What is your source of income once you have made the move? Just as a note I would like to add that most foreign women have an unfounded belief that all western men are very rich! If you are not please make that point clear to your partner from the beginning of the relationship. If you don't make your financial position clear to her in the beginning she will always assume that you are rich!
4 - Where do we live?
This can be a major obstacle and is at times a deal breaker for some couples. Do you pack your bags (Western Men), sell or rent your home back in your home country and head off to the country of your new found love? Does she do likewise and make the move to the Western World? Do you maintain homes in both countries and travel back and forth? These are obviously major life changing decisions that can be a major challenge to work through. If you are truly in love with each other and determined to have a life together you will find a way to work this out. For myself this was quite easy considering that I had already made the decision to live in Thailand before I met my wife. She is not what drew me to Thailand but she has certainly sealed the deal in me living out my life here with her.
5 - Religious Beliefs
If either or both you and your partner hold a strong religious belief do your beliefs have different or opposing ideologies? There are some religious beliefs that don't align between Western and Asian cultures. If your current religious beliefs/practices are other than your partner's will you convert to your partner's religion? Do you have an expectation of your partner to convert to your religion? If you have children which religion will they be taught and raised under? These are all questions that you need to ask yourself as well as your partner and is a topic that needs to be brought to be approached early in the relationship.
Finding your true soulmate is not easy and unfortunately for some it never happens. Many people end up choosing the wrong life partner simply because they feel a desperate need to be with somebody. Even at times the wrong somebody. If you are considering a cross cultural relationship you need to do some serious soul searching and ask yourself why? What is drawing you toward a foreigner for a life partner? Is your desire financially driven? Do you have a strong physical/sexual attraction toward women/men of a particular culture? What is driving your decision? If you are comfortable in the answers that you give yourself then by all means move forward with your decision. Don't pursue your desires with an expectation of finding your partner quickly. And by all means don't settle for someone that doesn't meet your expectations. Cross cultural relationships can be very rewarding just as any successful loving relationship can be rewarding. It is your life and your decision. You might have noticed that "the opinion of others" was not listed in my "Cons" list. That is something that was never a consideration for me in my decision to be with my wife.
I do not attest in any way to be a relationship expert and the articles that I write are not scientific in nature and are based solely my opinion. It is my hope that some of the information that I provide through the articles on my Blog are helpful to others or at the least interesting to read. My writings are based on my own life experiences through my own relationships and of others that I have observed. I have most certainly made more than my fair share of mistakes when it comes to the opposite sex and continue to work at getting it right.
I believe that I have finally gotten it right and am truly blessed to have the love of an amazing woman. She has a kind, caring and loving heart. She is in no way selfish and places others ahead of herself. She is what I call low maintenance which to me means that she is not a complainer nor is she demanding of unreasonable things. We live within our means and make all financial/business decisions together. We are partners in all aspects of our lives together and enjoy every moment of it.
My wife and I are considering the development of some type of a program or service where we can help connect sincere "Western" men that are in search of a sincere loving long term relationship/marriage with a like-minded Thai lady. You can use the Contact Form link below to let us know if you are interested in this type of service. This will not be the typical dating service style of bringing people together but a much more personalized service where we would only have a very small number of "hand-picked" western male applicants active at any given time. Again, this is still in the planning stage and we have not yet worked out the details or started website development for this project.
Feel free to contact me via the Contact Form here on my site if you have any questions or you can take advantage of my current offer of a Free 30 Minute Consultation Session. I do offer business consulting services as well as Thailand retirement and living consultation. I don't charge for Thailand living related conversations but do charge a reasonable fee for business consulting beyond the initial free 30 minute consultation.
If you enjoyed reading this article you might also be interested in my recent article
"Top Five Things I Love about My Thai Wife"