Confession #489 on this blog: I’m not great at romantic relationships. With the exception of a few relationships and a handful of casual dates, I tend to be that perpetually single person. As I progress through my twenties, more and more of my peers are jumping into the engaged/married pool. I would be lying if I said I’m not getting a little worried about when I’ll reach this next milestone..if ever. Next year I will be in two weddings. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride? I’ve been proudly touting the title of Miss Independent for a while now and I’m finally getting to the point where I want that to change.
I know myself well enough to know that I definitely have my hang-ups regarding relationships. Among them, I’ve realized that not being colorblind is creating this inner conflict. For a while now, I’ve been tossing around the idea of attending a nearby Korean church. A few of my relatives have encouraged this with the hope that I might actually meet my future husband there. I guess I’m a little touched that they’ve thought of this. I have voiced my sense of isolation growing up without an Asian community to be a part of, so it’s nice to see that someone is listening. My mom has already said she would not mind at all if I married a Korean guy, adopted or not. I’m pretty sure she just wants adorable Asian grandbabies (which is completely understandable because Asian babies are astoundingly cute).
The thing that really has me confused, though, is how much of that sense of Asian community do I need to feel fulfilled and accepted in life? Is it enough to have Korean friends? Do I need to have relationships with other Asians as family members? I think I mull this over even more now, knowing my omoni’s response to my birth search. Maybe that door has closed for good and I will never truly be a part of my biological family. Marriage may be my only chance to experience anything even remotely close to that. I have wondered over the months if I should only focus on trying to find a Korean or Asian boyfriend, which seems ridiculous. A person’s ethnicity should not be my deciding factor in whether or not I should date them. I’m just scared that I might be missing out on something if I am never to be part of a Korean family. I don’t even know what that ‘something’ is!
I look at other Korean adoptees I know and most of them have ended up with non-Asian significant others. And they seem happy with their lives. In the scheme of things, I’m sure that ultimately marrying a non-Asian guy would not be a negative thing. I don’t want to focus so much on what I’ve missed that I actually miss out on someone standing right in front of me. I don’t want to make the mistake of committing to a Korean guy just because he is Korean. Relationships are built on many, many things. It’s not necessarily one isolated piece of a person’s identity that makes it all click. It comes down to more than common interests or common ethnicity. I don’t want someone else to date me just because I’m Asian or just because we like the same music. Maybe those are good starting points for sparking a connection, but those factors alone don’t build a foundation for a lasting relationship. People are wonderfully complex and need to honored as such. I just need to keep my heart and eyes open enough to see the big picture.