Nancy writes, “I am interested in someone who is younger than I. I don’t know how to approach him, because he is Vietnamese and I am Caucasian in the Seattle area. He is very nice, and when I smile at hime he smiles back! How can I let him know I am interested, because I am rather shy around men I like!
Based on our research with Asian men, many of them are rather shy too, particularly when dealing with non-Asian women, and even more so, if they did not grow up in the United States. There are other things that complicate things. Many find it hard to believe that a non-Asian woman will like them. Others think of dating only in the context of marriage and since many do not want to or cannot marry a non-Asian woman, often fail to respond to advances from American women like you. And finally, the whole age gap thing is becoming mainstream for us but for many Asians it is still something new, and probably, scandalous.
Having said that, I think there is hope for you because I like to believe that we should never assume anything. I think he is being merely polite at this point and may have no idea what is brewing inside you. Regarding the age gap, I would say just don’t even think about it for the time being.
So how do you tell him that you are interested?
Actually, a woman needs to do little since men generally get a hint quickly. For instance, you should start off by talking to him – go beyond smiling. Ask him a few questions. Grab any chance you can to talk to him. Once you find out out a little more about him, you can suggest something that you can do together. If possible, ask him to join you for lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant (trust me, it is delicious food, if you have not tried it – my wife and I love it). You could even lie that you have never eaten it and would like to try it with someone who knows more about it. A casual lunch like this is a great way to find out if he will be willing to go in the right direction without actually going on a date.
Chances are that he will take charge from there; if not, you will know that he is not the right man for you.