As a follow up to last week’s piece on “What do Korean American Women Want”, this week we will take a look at the opposite perspective. There isn’t much of a background story to tell except that these reflections are based on my personal experiences, either first hand or stories I have heard from those around me.
Simply put, Korean American men are one of the most insecure species on this planet. When I say planet, I’m including not just humans, but among all mammals. For now, I’m going to exclude Korean men from my discussion because they have their own set of issues that are vastly different than the Korean American male.
In the United States, when it comes to dating and social culture, you can’t get much lower on the totem pole than being a Korean American male. Growing up, we’re the most sheltered among all our peers (a lot of girls like the “bad boy” vibe which we are not, we’re not genetically built to stand out in any American sports except for maybe tennis, golf, baseball, and perhaps soccer. Lastly, Asian men, in general, aren’t considered sexy or hot. I’m not saying this applies to all Korean American males, but from my experience, this has been more common than not. The cultural history of our “species” has shown we’re not the high school quarterback that all the girls cheer for on the sidelines. We’re the dorky, smart, or quiet “Asian guy” when compared to those around us.
As a result, we are really insecure. We don’t have the confidence to ask girls out, especially the outgoing and good looking ones. And if she’s non-Asian, we probably barely have the courage to even have a conversation with them. Of course we think we’re smart and sometimes have a sense of humor, but we don’t get the feedback from girls that give us the confidence to just go for it and ask someone out. But, a lot of this is due to Asian girls also having the similar insecurities and what would solve this whole dilemma is for girls to show a little more effort or feedback when she think an awkward Asian dude is trying to talk to you.
At the end of the day, I think what Korean American Men want is rather simple. We want security. We want to date girls that can shelter us from the stereotypes of the real world and make us feel like we are the alpha males we want to be. We want the person we date to be like our mothers in a way; someone to take care of us and be supportive no matter what we do. We want a Korean American girl who knows how to adapt to the modern customs of American dating, appreciate the value of career development , and understand some of the “Asian values” taught to us by our parents.
In talking with a bunch of my peers, there were some common things we as Korean American men want in a girl:
1. A Looker: Someone attractive (to each his own and Korean is probably the preferred ethnicity, but we all want to date a “white girl” once, right? jk )
2. Options: Is willing and capable to pursue and develop her career or raise family or both.
3. Bi-lingual: There’s no better way to win parents over than speaking in Korean to them.
4. Says “No” to: Smoking, Drugs, and perhaps once in awhile Alcohol
5. Modestly Outgoing: We want girls who know how to have fun, but not too much fun!
6. Anti-cling: For some reason, clingy girls were cool to date in high school, but now someone who can balance affection and independence is ideal.
7. Material Girl… Not: Well dressed girls definitely can catch a guys eye, but too much bling and all we think is “$kaching!”
I think this is a good start, but feel free to provide feedback or add to the list. One disclaimer is that because we Korean American men are so insecure, it’s tough to know what we want, but at the end of the day, if you make us feel like Tom Brady’s got nothing on us, we’ll love you.