Thursday, January 07, 2010

Email from an Asian guy with a Caucasian boyfriend

A couple of days before Christmas, a reader sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

I've been reading your blog for a while now, never thought that I'll write to you but here goes.

My bf and I have been together for more than a year, quite a large age gap between us, him a Caucasian and me Asian. If you see us on the road, the first thing that comes to mind is: Caucasian and toyboy - we are anything but that. It took me quite a while to get over how others view us.

I'm sure he loves me but I have a nagging feeling that I'm not that important to him. He's independent and travels quite a bit for work. In the past he used to sms or call when he's away, but now I do the calling or initiate the sms. I try not to be a bother but I can't help but wonder if you really do love someone wouldn't you want to contact them even if you are tired after work? I would, but am I imposing my values onto him? Somehow, now that the relationship has stabilised somewhat, I feel that I'm more like a good-to-have. I do wish that he'll give me a little more attention.

One more thing, when his family is here, he'll be with them 24/7 without even an sms. His family can visit for 2-3 weeks each time. When I do sms him, he doesn't really reply or replies very late. This I really can't understand, I don't think it takes much time to reply me. Or am I expecting too much? When we do go out, he's always in a rush to go off. He tells me he feels guilty for not spending all his time with his mom when she visits (he's not out to his family). And I'm not asking for much time with him, even I can take time out from my family to spend it with him.

I think that I'm putting a lot more effort in maintaining this relationship. I have hinted to him many times and he always says that he'll try harder. He does try for a little while, but then goes back to his own routine. There are some days when I ask myself whether I should just let go cos it can be quite draining. But I hold on as I do love him and I think he does too. Sigh, what should I do? Should I just accept that it's his character and accept it? Or am I being unreasonable or blame it on an Asian vs Western expectation?

I hope I make sense and thanks for reading my rant.

(Btw, congrats on your relationship with your boyfriend T)


Having read this email several times, I find myself very much siding with the reader, because I don't think the reader's expectations are unreasonable at all. It sounds very much as though his boyfriend is taking him for granted. I also don't think that Asian vs Western attitudes explain the reader's boyfriend's lack of attention. Indeed, my boyfriend T is Asian and I'm English, and in our case I sometimes think that he feels that I pay him too much attention!

It's a bit surprising that the reader's boyfriend isn't out to his family. Many Western guys find it easier to address that issue if they become able to support themselves. Given that the reader's boyfriend is quite independent, and clearly has a good job because he travels for work, this is a bit of a mystery. Similarly, as guys get older they're more able to face the issue of coming out to family, and the boyfriend must be reasonably mature since there's a large age gap between the two of them. As one gets older, the excuse that "I just haven't met the right girl yet" wears a bit thin! If the relationship between the two of them was healthy, then the reader should be at least as important to the boyfriend as the rest of his family, so no contact when he's with his family doesn't make sense to me. Clearly the boyfriend has issues about being gay that need to be resolved.

One thing that the reader doesn't mention in his email is whether the relationship between the two of them is healthy from a sexual point of view. Since the boyfriend is quite independent and goes travelling a lot for work, he has ample opportunity to have sex with lots of other guys if he wants to. Perhaps the two of them have agreed an open relationship, but if not then I'd suggest that his lack of attention to the reader makes it more likely that he's having sex with other guys without the reader's knowledge.

Apart from the sexual side of the relationship, I also wonder if they have a good social life. To what extent have they met each other's friends, and perhaps made friends as a gay couple with other gay couples? That's just normal gay life, but my guess is that that aspect will be a bit thin too.

If the social and sexual side of the relationship is weak, then unfortunately my advice to the reader would be to try and find himself a new boyfriend who'll give him the love and attention that he deserves. The reader says that he's "hinted" to his boyfriend about his issues many times, but that the boyfriend never improves his behaviour for very long. Perhaps it's worth having a serious discussion, rather than just "hinting", but in any case I feel that at this point the reader does need to be prepared to let go and move on.

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this situation?


Anonymous said...

leave him, aimple as.

and here's a piece for you GB. beware, the author is known to have anti-semitic views. (

Cash said...

This email sounds quite fucked up. I feel sorry for the guy. If the bf cant learn proper sms etiquette, somethings gotta give. You don't have to have insanely long sms convo's but a simple(timely) reply would suffice. For example, " hey there, running around a bit, Call you later"and then actually call him back. . . .If this guy isn't getting what he needs out of a relationship with this character, he should tell him so, if it still persists, he should prob consider leaving him.

m4m said...

Honestly from my point of view. I think the white bf is taking the asian boy for granted. I bet all that white guy wants is companion so that he doesn't feel lonely, and sex with a young guy, period - not bf type so to speak. My 2 cents! If I were the asian guy, I would not stick to this type of relationship knowing that my expectation is not met.

Was Once said...

Respect is not there, leave him.

Rich said...

I agree with the other commenters. The Asian guy is being taken advantage of, this is a very one-sided relationship, and he should move on with his own life.

Anonymous said...

like the rest have said - leave him!

Anonymous said...

Large age gap? Are you in your 20s and him his 40s/50s? He's unlikely
to change at that age. If you're not happy with the way he treats you now, no amount of hinting will change him into the attentive, affectionate man of your dreams.

Plus the guy is a middle-aged western closet case. I know a few of these. This lot has made their choice, made peace with a life in the closet and will never change. If you're not happy with that, don't waste your life waiting around. Good luck.

Shawn LI said...

With all been said, the reader should really think about the criterias are for a compatible boyfriend - Not simply "I love him" Just make a list see how much he qualifies. Given the fucked up situation the reader described, this bf failed miserably... Just move on and there are so many guys out there, especially the reader is still young

GB said...

Yesterday I got an email from the reader who sent me this email. It turns out that the answers to my queries about their sex and social life were quite positive, so he's had a frank discussion with his boyfriend and they're going to try and work through these their problems and stay together. However, the reader admits that if this doesn’t work, then unfortunately he'll have to follow everyone's advice.

In that context, by co-incidence the 'quote of the day' on the Bloomberg professional system today is relevant:

"Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice," George Jackson.

But whatever happens, I wish them both the very best of luck :-)

GB xxx

Philip Ong said...

Be understand as he has his reason which he might not want to be shared.
Love him and be patience.

Anonymous said...

i think his white bf might be seeing anothr asian guy for 2-3 weeks at a time!