Updated: Jun 12
Most ‘mixed couple’ and ethnicity questions are asked innocently, although there are some that could be gone without. Being Asian-American, and adopted, has invited many interesting topics of conversation throughout my life, including those that involve my relationship with my husband.
Here are some of the ‘mixed couple’ questions I'm asked most often:
What does his/your family think (or, were his/your parents weird about it)?
This kind of question implies that one or the other's family is so small-minded that us not sharing matching skin color would be an issue. If it had already been established that someone's family did have an opinion about these things, this question would make more sense to ask.
My parents adopted me as a 3-month old baby from Seoul, after having two children (biologically), and happen to be white. Growing up, it wasn't necessary to mention anyone's race or ethnicity as a means to describe the way they looked, so naturally, I've never heard anything from them or others in my family about being with a 'white guy'.
Based on what I know, his family hasn’t ever had any qualms about the fact that I’m Asian-American. Sure, it may have been a descriptive term used to describe me to those who I hadn’t yet met, but I’d be surprised if it was ever any kind of a negative issue for anyone in his family. They’ve never said anything to me that felt crass or offensive about the way I look or where I was born. There have been the occasional ‘oriental’ references from older relatives who mean absolutely no harm, and I'm not bothered by it since that term really just comes from a different era – although, for the record, and contrary to belief… I’m not a food, or a rug.
Do you only like white guys?
I know this isn’t really a loaded question, but it could be, and it does seem a little juvenile. Do I only like white guys? No, I don’t only like white guys. I like a lot of people, of all backgrounds and ethnicities. I am in love with my husband, and he happens to be ‘white’.
Do you guys get weird looks?
That’s, unfortunately, still a fair question to ask. Sure —sometimes we do, but I can’t say if it’s relative to being a ‘mixed couple’ or because I sometimes go out in public looking like a potato and have a loud laugh or some other oddity. When we were planning a trip to the Nashville area, years ago, we had several people make comments to us about preparing for funny looks from those who don’t approve of interracial couples – and yes, its sadly still a thing in some areas around the world (or at least it was then). We didn’t think much of it, until we were a restaurant where the funny looks were quite obvious, and we happened to be the only ‘mixed couple’ in the room. That was definitely eye-opening for us both, and makes me a little sad to think about as I write this.
What do you want your kids to look like?
Whenever this question is asked, I never know how to respond, because I’ve never really thought much about it. I’m adopted, so the jury is still out about my exact ethnicity (since any of our Korean friends insist I’m not full Korean), and Tyler is a ‘white’ mix of backgrounds, so I’m sure our kids will look, well, mixed.
Is it weird?
Is it weird? Is what weird? That is literally my response to that question, and it has been asked many-a-time. My proceeding responses are probably “no”.