Why Some Asians Don’t Outright Express Romantic Affection

For some of us stereotypical Asians, showing physical affection and love doesn’t come easy. For some of us stereotypical Asians, expressing one-on-one intimacy like holding hands, hugging and kissing someone who matters to us feels hard or doesn’t cross our minds often.

All throughout school in Malaysia and Singapore, my Chinese-Malaysian parents wagged the finger at dating and romantic escapades. Physical contact with any classmate whom I fancied was frowned upon. Part of me resented this, part of me didn’t.

Love and physical affection may or may not go hand-in-hand in harmony | Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony.

Love and physical affection may or may not go hand-in-hand in harmony | Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony.

Love is often entwined with affection. When it comes to expressing love by the means of touch, at times we hold back because of what we’ve always known.

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Why Asians Don’t Say “I Love You” To Their Parents

“I love you, mom, dad.”

That’s something we hear children and adults alike say to their parents in movies and TV shows. And in everyday life, of course.

Love is something that I will always treasure. Love locks on Southbank footbridge. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure.

Love is something that I will always treasure. Love locks on Southbank footbridge. | Weekly Photo Challenge: Treasure.

But funnily enough, be it in reality or the fictional worlds, the phrase of affection “I love you” is rarely uttered by Asians to their parents, whether in English or in their mother tongue.

I’m admittedly one of these Asians. Never once have I said “I love you” to the folks face-to-face or even over the phone. To me, it’s a strange thing to do.

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