Asian Americans Are Calling Out The Most Outrageous And Offensive Things Non-Asian People Have Said To Them "Romantically"

    "We stopped seeing each other immediately after that experience."

    Note: This post contains mention of hateful language, vulgarity, racial slurs, and instances of overt racism.  

    As any dating app profile would have us all know, there are tons of factors to consider when it comes to dating. And oftentimes, when it comes to interracial dating, those factors include not being racist. For Asian people (like myself), that generally means keeping an eye out for folks who hypersexualize Asian women, emasculate Asian men, or buy into other absurd racial fetishes or stereotypes.

    So, to center their experiences, I asked Asian members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the worst thing a non-Asian person has said to them romantically. More than 150 people shared their stories. Here are but a few:

    Note: These stories are naturally limited to the responses we received by readers and are not reflective of the experience of all Asian Americans — a diverse identity that encompasses more than 20 ethnicities.

    1. "I'm Korean American. I was adopted by a white family and raised in a rural white town in Minnesota. I was fetishized and tokenized by many of the people I encountered, but the boys and men were definitely the worst. They often told me they had a thing for Asian women or I was the first Asian woman they'd ever dated. Some would even tell me how many Asian women they'd slept with, like they were sharing about their Pokémon cards — 'I've slept with two Chinese and one Japanese, and you're my third Korean.' They assumed I was a submissive, subservient, and obedient Asian woman who was also an absolutely freaky, wild woman in the bed. One man even asked me if I tasted like soy sauce 'down there.'"

    Pokemon card backs

    2. "I'm Indian. A guy once told me I was too pretty to be Indian, so I must be Brazilian or something. It was the most backhanded compliment ever."


    3. "After he introduced me to his parents, his mother said, 'I thought your color was due to makeup.' He and I were in a summer theater production of West Side Story. I played Anita."

    Anita singing in West Side Story

    4. "When I was in college, I was out at a bar with my friends. This guy came up to me all excited, looking at me, and said, 'Oriental, right?' I responded, 'How did you know?'"


    5. "My boyfriend was surprised my vagina opened vertically because his friends told him 'Asian slits are sideways.'"

    —Phuong, 41, Canada 

    6. "I'd just gotten out of a long-term relationship and began dating again. I started casually seeing someone I'd met in the professional field. During one date, he brought his dad to dinner. His dad asked me, right in front of him, 'You're not with my son for papers, are you?' I was born in New York, so I don't need papers. I politely informed him, and the topic changed."

    people walking across 5th Ave in New York

    7. "I'm Indian and dated a girl for several weeks before she said, 'I really like you, but I just can't introduce you to my parents because you're not white.'"


    8. "I matched with a guy on Tinder who had spent a year abroad traveling through India. He asked me what part of the country my ancestors were from. When I told him, he flat out refused to believe me because 'the people there are so ugly.'"

    hands holding phone open to Tinder app

    9. "We went out to dinner on our second anniversary, and he was acting weird all night. I asked him what was up, and he said, 'It's embarrassing being seen with an Asian girlfriend.'"


    10. "I'm Indian, so I've heard every curry- or forehead-dot-related insult in the world. One that really stands out to me, though, is when I was a freshman in college: Some guy told me, 'I want to hook up with you because I have a checklist from my fraternity that I need to finish, and hooking up with an Indian girl is on it. I've never done that before.'"

    sign that says 'fraternity lane'

    11. "An ex once said to me, 'I would never date you if you weren’t half white.' And every single time I had heavy eye makeup on, he'd also tell me, 'I can’t even tell you’re Korean right now, babe. You’re beautiful.' He also didn’t even bother to learn my middle name 'because it's Korean.' We dated for six years."

    "After, I dated a guy who fetishized everything about my mom (who is Korean) and the culture. I'm not sure which is worse, lol. I'm only speaking on serious relationships because strangers say the cringiest things about this all the time." 

    —Anonymous, Female

    12. "As an opening line on a dating app, he asked me, 'Where are you from?' I answered with my home state (where I've lived my entire life), and he responded, 'Where are your parents from?' My parents are from the same state. He then asked about my grandparents. At this point, I just sent back his own questions, and he responded that he was white, as if it answered all of those questions. I told him, 'This must be really important to you,' and then sent him a link to a Reader's Digest article on how asking someone where they are from is racist."

    dating apps in a folder on a smartphone

    13. "TL;DR: My ex defended his racial preference for Chinese women by saying it was uncontrollable, like how horses like other horses. I was dating a slightly older, white man who I met in Taiwan (I know, red flags). At first, I thought he appreciated my culture and deluded myself into thinking it wasn't yellow fever since I was his first Asian girlfriend. I let many things slide — like when he said he could only see himself with a Chinese woman, or how he dreamed of making dumplings with his future in-laws (News flash: That isn't normal in all parts of China; my family doesn't do that since we're from the South). I wish I could say the red flags weren't obvious, but honestly, I was flattered that a 'smart,' older guy was interested in me and had a lot of internalized white worship."

    a city skyline

    14. "During various arguments and debates, my (non-Asian) partner would rudely say that I'd be a better fit with a 'submissive' Asian woman 'because that's how they are.'"

    —Anonymous, 50, Male, California

    15. "I have several, but this one takes the crown: This jerk told me that he was looking to date Asian women because American women are so bossy, in-your-face, demanding, and have no respect for men. He then proceeded to tell me that surely, a Filipina like me (I'm not Filipina) would be 'submissive,' listen, and do what a man tells me to do. I was rendered speechless. This wasn't even 10 minutes into the date! I guess he saw my disgusted face and had the audacity to tell me I must be into white men because otherwise, I wouldn't be here (we met via an app)."

    place settings and cups on a table

    16. "I’m Indian. A white boy on Bumble asked me if my vagina is also spicy because he's heard 'Indian girls have spicy vaginas.' I blinked twice and unmatched him."

    —Anonymous, Female

    Are you tapping out yet? The audacity... Unfortunately, their stories are actually more relatable than not. Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.