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I Never Knew Dating A White Guy Could Cause So Much Problems In My Family

Where to start?
So many problems that stem from me being a Korean American coming from a traditional Korean family. 

My parents were against me dating my boyfriend because he is White. My mom finally came around to say that she will accept that I will date outside of my race but doesn't want me to date my current bf because he comes from such a different background as me. His parents are divorced and his dad has a girlfriend but doesn't live together. His mom left him when he was a baby. He doesn't have a college degree and doesn't have a respectable job. People won't take him seriously because of the fact that he doesn't have a college degree and he has a mediocre job...these are all the things that my parents were saying about my boyfriend. 

I understand that my parents want the best for me and wants me to find a better guy suited to be part of my life and my families' life. Every fighting with my parents for about 1 month I finally told them that I will just be friends with him and keep my options open. They wanted me to go out to a church and network there; expand my social network and surround myself with Christians. I was just tired of fighting with my parents because in their eyes my mom compromised and said as long as I continue going to a Korean church she will be open about me having a non-Korean boyfriend as long as I bring home a "suitable" boyfriend. However in my head I saw that as her trying to control my life, even in my mid 20s, telling me who I should be associating with and where I should be networking. I don't understand why they can't just accept that this is my life and they need to respect my choice in who I choose to date and who my friends are. If I'm happy, they should be happy for me. I know I'm fully capable of finding another guy who might be have a better education or a job or who comes from a whole-some background but I'm happy with my current boyfriend and my life. 

Recently my secret got revealed and my parents found out that we were still dating. After long conversation of tears and frustration in both parties, I told my mom that she needs to leave me alone and let me do my thing. I can try to do what she wants "just be friends with him and surround myself with the people that she wants me to be surrounded with" but I don't know how much longer I can pretend to be what I'm not. Until when do I have to keep wearing the shoes of my parents' child? We hung up the phone lost in words and my mom repeating "I'm not going to call you after this conversation. Is this really what you want? You are choosing him over us? Why do you act like you were never loved by us? This is it." Of course I want to say "I was wrong. I love you guys. I want to please you guys." But I don't just appeal to them all the time. 

As a 1.5 generation child I struggle with trying to become independent and establishing myself as an individual in my family. OBviously what I think and believe in is looked down upon in my family. My parents still think there is something wrong with me for thinking that I want to just move on and not be super close with my family. There is something wrong with me wanting to stay with this guy and choosing to be apart from my family. In my eyes, its them who are choosing to let me go. They can be in my life but are choosing not to because I won't listen to them. 

What to do at this point? 
sarahkb23 sarahkb23 22-25 8 Responses Jun 7, 2011

Your Response


Girl, I'm so glad I found this post. My ex is a Korean American. He decided to follow his parents' "wisdom" and broke up with me just when I had made up my mind to take our relationship seriously. He said he wanted to "tell" his parents about us, that we were in a serious relationship. I didn't know that "tell" means get-their-approval-if-they-said-no-i'll-dump-you kinda deal. This is the first time I got rejected by a guy's family. I'm still trying to understand how this happened.

I felt like I was robbed of a relationship. The guy is a "very good" Christian and told me that he was just honoring his parents' wishes.

I feel terrible about all these. He pursued me and proposed me the relationship just to dump me because the parents didn't think I was "good enough" for him.

Your mom's a's a sad's her problem don't allow her to make it yours.

I think that if people are going to comment with a ridiculous amount of text, they should just send a private message. Or maybe butt in less lol. Good luck with your situation. No one can tell you what to do with your life.

Oh my darling Sarah :) All parents want a man who is suitable for their dear baby girl. I had the same convos with my daughter about her choices. To me it is not racism, just bestism. We want the best for our daughters and for them to have a happy and secure future full of love and stability. We want you to date someone who is on the same level with you. If you are independent and have a good job and a place of your own and your own car and the boy has the same, then it feels like he is more equal to you. We want him tryng in life as we know you are. Asians , from what i have learned from my Asian friends, just have a more methodical way of going about their approval of a mate for their daughters. It seems to be a time honored tradition that has lasted throughout thousands of years and in some ways, i wish we did it in America. I think many young people feel like it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack to find the person they are truly suited to be with. To me it is a wonderful thing that parents take so much time to try to find someone for their dear children. It is an act of love as i see it. <br />
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I do believe that no matter what the family background of a man may be that he can create his own original life and rise above any less than desirable circumstances. So i don't think it is fair for him to be judged by any standards other than those he has set for his own life, his own values, his own morals, etc etc etc. <br />
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If you see potential in this man and you have taken the time to really get to know him and feel like he could be your best friend, then maybe he is truly compatible with you. I would wait a little longer though and see if he fulfills his potential before i committed myself to him in marriage. Don't get pregnant. Just be patient and wait it out and maybe date others to see if there could be another who is better for you. They really are not trying to meddle in your life honey. They just love you more than life itself and want the best for you. Another thing is say is always be independent. Have your own independent life no matter if you are with a mate or not. If anything happens to the relationship, at least you still will have maintained your life and that will supply you with an anchor to hold on to in times of trouble. Your life will not totally fall apart even if a relationship does. I just tell you all this from experience and a desire for you to have as happy a life as you truly deserve. Try not to think of your parents harshly. Just let them know you appreciate their love and tell them you will consider all of their advice and feelings and just really sit quietly sometimes by yourself and think over all they have to say and think about why. You are still in a period of learning about yourself and a potential mate, so take that time and give yourself that time. It is like a gift to you. You deserve that gift. As time goes by your opinions of life and people will change. <br />
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Everything seems very emotional in your 20s, it will get better in your 30s. You will feel more confident of your decisions and making them more slowly and less in rebellion. I know it can be hard to sort it all out now but just take your time and don't make decisions on haste that you might regret later. Try to look at things ob<x>jectively. I wish you all the best. I hope you will have a long and happy life with the right man dear. God bless you :) xox

There are consequences when a cultured and learned lady pairs up with someone of lesser stature in financial standing,without a degree. I hope he is not using you.

It is always something to think about when backgrounds do not match. Time is needed to evaluate the person's true intentions. Getting to know them well or at least trying can provide some insight. Just be open to all ideas that come your way and think about them. People truly mean to give you the best advice.

I can understand what you're going through. I am dating an asian girl and we are together for a couple of years now, so I am aware of the cultural barriers and the issues that this create. It's difficult to tell you who is right or wrong, what you should do or not do but one thing is obvious, you will always be challenged by your parents if they are not happy with your choices. I believe you've being exposed to another culture more than them, so there is nothing wrong with you or your parents. <br />
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I want to understand this better. Do you live in the same country as your parents?

Yes, we live in the same country but different cities.

I see. I would try to give you some advice but I believe @phatnhapi has already given some good ones. There are some wise words there, so read and think about it. Good luck.

im on a similar boat, i'm 1.5 generation korean, my (ex?)boyfriend white... although my ex/bf/(or whatever you want to call him), graduated from the same college as i did, and his parents are still together, my parents blame the whole not agreeing thing to him not being christian. they don't want to get to know him, they plainly don't want us together... i've gotten to the point where i feel like i need to end things for good, to please my parents, but its unfair for my relationship with him. we are "broken up" mainly because i felt like i needed to think things over, needed ppl off my back, needed time to "prove" something to me. i'm miserable, sad, no one to turn to except God... but i'm still holding strong, and my guy has been a great supporter in this whole thing.. reassuring me everything will turn around, being determined to prove to my parents our love and his potential as a male. we've known each other for about 6 years, together for almost 5... its hard but i've still got some hope left in me.. i don't have much to say but stay in there..

YF - i feel for you. I truly hope that your BF will prove to your parents that he is worthy of you. If he is living up to your standards and you truly love him, then your parents will eventually have to see that and respect that. Sometimes we just have to give up and let our dear children love who they want to love and just be there for them when they need us. That is the place i am in with my daughter and we are very close. She knows no matter what happens in her life i will be there for her and she appreciates and loves me for it. You must not be unhappy. Maybe you can visit with your parents without him for the time being and still have him in your life. That way you have them both in your life. I wish you well. God and turning to Him in prayer will really give you the answers you seek. That is the truth. God is your best friend who loves you unconditionally. So keep praying and my prayers are added. xox

I'm glad there is God to turn on, too. It has only been 20 days today since My Korean Amerian guy broke up with me. I was devastated. We are both Christians but his family didn't like me. I'm southeast asian and fortunately, my parents give me liberty when it comes to love relationships.

I'm sad because I know he loves me and we have a good relationship. I just couldn't accept how he was able to give me up so quickly :( Are Korean American parents really strict? I mean up to the point of controlling your choices when it comes to love relationships? I still don't get it and it really hurts.

your parents are being parents - trying to provide you with some guidance so you don't screw up your life; with that said, your parents are wrong about not wanting you to date someone just because they are not Korean; but they are right about your boyfriend not being a good choice in a boyfriend/husband at this point in time; yes, you should get to know more guys who actually practice their Christian faith (observe their actions, which always speak louder than words); yes, you need to honor your mother and father, but also need to make your own choices (hopefully wise ones) in life - not out of spite, but out of discernment; move on from the boyfriend, keep the communication lines open with the family, and seek out healthy hobbies with koreans & non-koreans to develop a life of your own

wonderful and truthful advice wmaf :) As my family always says, we will always be there for each other :)