Don’t believe your Asian parents: Marriage does not equal happiness

japanese man american woman wedding

"We have a 50% chance for divorce, honey-san."

Many Asian parents start pressuring their kids to get married once they become adults. They say they want to see their grandchildren sooner rather than later. They start to get worried if you are getting up there in age, meaning age 25! They are afraid you’re going to hit your expiration date, and that nobody will love you like a box of curdled milk. They start trying to set you up with their friend’s friend’s daughters, like the girl that works at the teriyaki shop who looks like Margaret Cho. Meanwhile, you’re having a hard time because you never dated or developed your courting SKILLZ since these same parents locked you up in a room until you graduated and made you study without any sort of romance. What the hell?! Totally raised to fail.

The weird thing is that many Asian kids actually get brainwashed in the process, and really feel that they NEED to get married in order to be happy. Some Asians really feel that once they get married, everything will be great, so they often rush marriage and marry the first person they can. Others just want to get their parents off their back. I know even the most independent of single Asians hears their mom’s critical voice in the back of their heads, telling them they are a failure for not being married. It really nags at them, and they feel bad at times.

The dating scene is hard, man. Back in the day in Asia, everybody was set up to get married. I mean, how the hell do you think your fugly parents and relatives got married? In this day and age, they wouldn’t stand a chance! These days, especially if you’re an Asian American, there isn’t that traditional system of arranged marriages. You’re on your own, competing against everybody else in the states in order to find your mate. Online dating makes things easier to make contact, but it’s still competitive. Asians are taught to be humble and self-deprecating, which isn’t a strategy that works in the states when it comes to dating.

I think when many Asian parents raise their kids, they make one big mistake in their calculations. They don’t realize that we can’t rely on the old school system of arranged marriages like they once did. Taking this for granted, Asian parents often push their kids so hard in academics that they haven’t developed any social skills, and although they might land a job after school, many don’t land love. Asians living in America have to compete with the white and black kids who were getting bad grades and chasing tail since elementary school. Asian parents get frustrated when their kids can’t get married, but it’s because they didn’t have enough foresight to develop their kids’ social skills.

In any case, SAMs, I will say as a married man, that marriage does not equal happiness. Marriage isn’t an end but a start, and once you become married, you have to deal with all sorts of responsibilities and challenges. You have to deal with supporting your spouse, feeding your kids, paying your mortgage, and maintaining a healthy relationship. If marriage did equal happiness, the divorce rate would be much lower than the 50 percent that it is at in the states. 50%!!! That means half the marriages fail. It’s really sad. And among the people who remain married, how many of them are truly happy? You hear about so many people complaining about their spouses. You hear about spouses that suddenly become mean once they are married. Be careful SAMs. Don’t get me wrong. I am happily married, but my point is that just because you are married you don’t arrive at a point of happiness that is eternal. There’s lots of work to keep a good relationship going, and there are bumpy times.

Being single has it’s challenges, but it also has it’s advantages, too. You can go anywhere you want, and you have nothing tying you down. You can date as many women as you want, and you can hang out with your buddies whenever you want. You can spend all your money on yourself. Enjoy it, guys and gals. The most important thing is to date lots of people and get a feel for what type of partner suits you. Plus, the more people you date, the more likely you will meet that special someone. It might be hard if you were raised by strict parents, but you’ll get the hang of it. It takes time, patience, and lots of practice.

expensive wedding ceremony

"Honey, can you believe we spent $10,000 dollars on this wedding when we won't even last 3 years?"

And, don’t believe what your parents tell you. It is apparent that unlike the old days, not everybody is going to get married in this day and age. You see it around you already, I’m sure. You have relatives who aren’t married who have no prospects. You have siblings who are past their prime. You have single coworkers who are married to their pets. And, that’s the way it is, and that’s fine. It’s much harder these days to find quality partners, and if you haven’t found them, don’t sweat it. Your life is your own, and the path you walk is unique to you. You can find just as much happiness in other things like friendship, hobbies, and work.

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9 thoughts on “Don’t believe your Asian parents: Marriage does not equal happiness

  1. You know, when I see/meet those single people who are in their 40-50’s and their entire social world revolves around their dog…that’s just sad, sad sad sad. I mean, it’s great that they have a pet that they love so much. but often times, it’s all they have. And these people don’t have kids.

    I do NOT want to be that person! The day I adopt a puppy and I’m 45 yrs old…somebody shoot me in the mouth. That would be a sign of GIVING UP.

  2. I know many stories of Asian couples who divorced because they were initially forced or pressured into marriage. It’s sad because both bought into the notion but in reality, it didn’t work out.

    Here’s the thing about Asians and Marriage that I’ve seen across most Asian cultures:

    1. AGE. In most Asian cultures, there’s such thing as being TOO OLD to marry. I’d say it typically starts at about mid 30’s. Once you hit 35 and you’re still not married, they think something’s wrong with you and that your ‘stock value’ is nose diving thereafter. Asian can be so judgemental and they believe the older you are, the less “marriage-able” you are.

    2. GENDER. There’s a huge double standard in asian cultures between men and women. The AGE factor is bigger for women. Meaning, a woman in her 30’s is much worse than a man in his 30’s, in terms of marriage “material”. Asians say a woman who’s 35 “She’s too old!” but a man who’s 35 “he’s ok”. Double standard. In Korea, an unmarried woman who’s 33 is on the verge of being taken off the eligible market because that’s considered OLD. Traditionally, the man can be and is slightly older than the woman in a couple.

  3. Great article. I have witnessed middle-aged Asian women marrying white men more often. To most Asian people and their families, a woman past the age of 35 is considered bad and not good as a potential mate. Caucasian men and their families are more accepting of middle-aged Asian women as brides and mates. They aren’t strict about age. As a result, a huge number of middle-aged Asian women find that they have more potential to get a white man as a husband than an Asian or Asian American man. It’s a sad result.

  4. From what I can tell amongst all the people I know, people tend to fall in 2 groups: they married in their 20’s or they married in their 30’s. The ones who married in their 20’s married some time after college, because they were with their high school or college sweetheart.

    the ones who married in their 30’s either dated around and went through at most a handful of “stable relationships” before settling down, OR they just went remained single before they met someone and latched on for dear life.

    I think when it comes down to it, there is no special someone. You’re just ready to settle down or you’re not. And when you are ready to settle down, whoever comes next or that special someone you’re with happens to be it.


    My wife works at a high school, and she’s noticed Chinese students whose parents divorced. A lot of times the mom ends up remarrying a white guy.

  5. I have to admit I’m lucky my parents didn’t force me into marriage. In fact my aunt is in her 60s and she has been single all of her life. My grandma did at first have a hard time dealing with the fact my aunt was single, and it took my aunt many years to enlighten my grandma that marriage is not something you can force. My aunt never got married and she is very happy. She always tells me marriage is not something you take lightly. It cannot be forced and there is no set time table. The key is you have to meet the right person. Some people meet the right person in their 20s, some in their 30s, some in their 40s, some don’t even meet their mate until their 60s. Marriage to the wrong person is absolutely the most miserable situation you can be in. Just look at the Dr. Phil show and you’ll see many examples of failing marriages.
    I’m a 24 year old guy, still single, never been kissed. I may meet “the one” next year, in 5 years, or hell I may not meet her at all until I’m in my 60s. But when it comes down to marriage, I want to do it right.

  6. It’s a BS meme that “Asians need social skills, and don’t succeed in relationships because of that”.
    Meatheads of every stripe overseas have been getting regular sex and promotions.
    Their social skills consist of getting drunk, telling lies and brushing off blame.

    Many women seem to want that. Or rather, many women want to have babies with this man, while finding the nice, dependable, “no-social skills man” to raise the child with.
    “Oh, I was so badly treated by my previous husband. You can save me. NO, I AM NOT GOING TO HAVE A CHILD WITH YOU!”, is the usual story.

    What is actually happening – but most people are too PC to say it – is that quite a few people running tech companies, as an example, don’t actually have the kind of background for the job. They’re just marketing folk.
    So they hire smooth talkers like them too.
    That’s what the real problem is.

  7. Asian parents are more likely to set up their daughters with a family friend’s son than their sons with a family friend’s daughter. And they pressure their daughters into marriage more than their sons.

  8. I just wanna start off by saying to the OP that single people getting to go out with friends all the time isn’t right. Your friends might end up married even if you don’t want to and then they’ll be stuck with their families and you’ll be stuck by yourself. It happens all the time. It’s a reason many people choose not to be single.

    I also wanna say that you should blame the parents. This arranged marriage stuff died out during their generation and you can probably ask them about it. If they were arranged they probably have friends that weren’t. I can tell you that while my parents were kinda arranged, my mother’s cousins all chose their own spouses and are happily married to this day.

    I definitely agree with Kim Jung Il up there (lol btw) because age is such a huge deal for them. I get the part about gender though cuz girls can’t conceive at an old age. There are lots of health risks that non-asians don’t think about but being at an advanced age for a woman and getting pregnant is dangerous for her and for her child. Besides that I mean lots of people get married just to be married and don’t think about kids so age shouldn’t really matter in that case. One thing I wanna add that I don’t agree with at all is that traditional people want the guy to be older than the girl and that’s just ridiculous. These days we kinda can move past that and give the older girls a chance so they don’t have to rush things and find a loser just because they don’t wanna have their eligibility expire.

    I kinda think that for the older generations that came from very traditional Asian families end up wanting so much to rebel and remarry a white guy because white people talk alot of game about freedom this and choice that. It all sounds good on paper but it also doesn’t go into practice. There are lots of stories about white husbands treating their Asian wives like servants or exotic sex slaves because that was all they were looking for when they were hitting on that girl that bought into all of it to get away from tradition.

    Younger generations are much more worldly and already know about the 50% divorce rates and how drunk white or black husbands totally abuse their wives in every bit as bad as drunk Asians. I also wanna say that these generations are the kids that study great in school, sure maybe forced by their parents, but they also have very good social skills because most of today’s education isn’t in school. You have to apply everything and that’s where the social setting comes into play.

    Bottom line just let people do what they want. Even if they buy into the marriage is happiness shtick doesn’t mean they’re wrong just maybe that’s their path in life.

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