In my realm of experience, it’s rarely a man telling a woman she’s not skinny enough or her skin isn’t fair enough. Yes, there are men who require manicured trophies, and women I have seen and heard judge each other so much harsher than men ever could…because women understand a woman’s insecurities so much deeper than an average man could.

Many of us have the capacity to love a woman as she is. I think it’s time that women listen more closely to the men who love them rather than abusive women and unrealistic social media outlets.

I was an English minor in college. In English literature, literary devices are used to exemplify, highlight, or clarify a feeling, thought, or comment. Shakespeare used irony, he wasn’t ironic. Milton used hyperbole, he wasn’t the embodiment of exaggerations.

I’ve dated women who say or have seen women’s dating profile that say things like: I’m sarcastic. Sarcasm isn’t a character trait, it’s a literary device meant to be used sparingly. So when I hear “I’m sarcastic” or “I have a sarcastic personality” this is how I interpret what you’re actually saying:

1. “I say things that can come off mean (and/or I’ve been told that I sound mean)”.

2. “Be aware, I’m not a good/clear communicator.” Like in literature, literary devices can be interpreted in many, many ways…this is how a class of 40 English students can write ‘original’ papers…otherwise we would all have the same ideas from interpreting the same devices.

3. “I’m not very endearing.” I’ve dated “sarcastic women” and they often like to poke at a man’s insecurities. For example, I once said, “I’m pretty proud of myself for having accomplished x.” She replied, “Oh, you’re sooo awesome.” I said, “Yes, I think I’m pretty awesome.” At that moment, I was annoyed. I wasn’t looking for validation- I don’t need the validation of an individual who knows nothing about my field- but I would have liked for her to be more endearing and just say, “Sounds like you know your strengths”, or the simple, “that’s awesome!”

I’m gonna tell you some straight truths:

1. Men are insecure, too. That’s not a weakness.  That’s human. Be careful of men who “don’t” have insecurities; they’re lying. Mature men handle their insecurities EVERYDAY in order to function. Immature men hide their insecurities and never discuss them.

2. Men need kindness, too. STOP testing our ‘will’ to be with you. Some men last one month. Some men last 20 years. Very rarely do men last a lifetime.

3. Men need encouragement, too. Often I’ve noticed the most successful men get the least amount of encouragement. Think about that. Look, being Asian American a lot of people often say to me after finding out I went to a good college: “Oh you’re Asian that makes sense. You all go to good schools.” Excuse me, I worked my butt off in high school. I was president of two clubs, Taekwondo black belt, 4.2 GPA, varsity cross country and track, and on school’s symphony (Yes, I would like a cookie). My parents didn’t push me; I did not receive tutoring; I wrote my own personal statements and sought teachers to edit my essays. And then after college I got a job not because Asians get jobs so easy (‘bamboo ceiling’ is a real thing)…but because if you look at my college résumé you’ll realize I did as much and accomplished as much as 2 or 3 college students combined. I’m not bragging, it’s my truth. Yet so often I’m diluted to just: Oh that makes sense cause you’re Asian. Respect my strengths and who I am and I guarantee you you’ll get the best of me (us).

Listen, these days we’re so focused about who people are, what they want, where they’re going,  we often forget the small stuff. You like a guy? Read below for two easy and simple ways to tell he likes you back. And if he likes you back read below for how you keep it going, without coming off as needy or the God-forsaken-end-all-Armageddon of coming off as desperate (hyperbole is sarcasm meant to shrink to size what often gets inflated).

1. If he asks you a question, ask the same question back. How hard is that? You don’t even need to come up with a question, let us do the work and you reciprocate. If he doesn’t ask any questions then he’s either not interested, distracted, or shy. Ask yourself, you wanna date any of those qualities? Oh, maybe you’re a patient person. Remember, patience is a word with no time limit implied. Think about it.

2. Flirt with us. I’m not even going to explain how to do this cause it’ll give away what I respond to. Even the most logical and reasonable guys will respond to flirting. It’s called hormones. You know it’s working when he gets nervous, smiles shyly, shrugs his shoulders and smiles, or looks you deep in your eyes holding that eye contact much longer than you’re expecting.

Doing the above won’t get a man to propose to you or commit to you. But how many more divorces do we need before we all wake up and realize marriage isn’t the goal; marriage is the consequence of a healthy and happy relationship.

C’mon ladies, you have it in you. Too busy for all that? Well, I don’t know what to tell ya. Goodluck?

Here are some books that will help you better understand yourself and your world. Topics about shame, about handling pressure, about resiliency and personal growth. Go get em!

1. Performing under pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J.P. Pawliw-Fry

2. Don’t waste your life by John Piper

3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

4. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman

This post will only talk briefly about what NOT to wear. What you should wear is a very open-ended topic. What looks good on me, may or may not look good on you. However, there are some things that rarely look good on a first date. First impressions matter- not as much as who you really are- but even the best-of-men can come off as sleezy, disheveled, or just plain dull.

Below are just some suggestions. If you are a working professional, perhaps it would be good to seek a fashion consultant or a friend who has good taste (usually these friends are women or on occasion gay men).

1. Bright colors. Pink, red, orange, turquoise, anything shiny. Who you are should be the focus, not that shirt you’re wearing. Women notice these things and unfortunately when it’s not a good thing, she’ll tell all her friends and they will surely all respond with “eww” and then with LOL. Normally, I couldn’t care less if a woman made fun of me and I would tell you not to worry, but in this instance, let’s be a little more mindful. Some people say that wearing bright colors shows you are confident, not if that shirt makes you look like a douche, cause then you would be a confident douche. Let your confidence shine through your words, your attention to her (and not you), and your actions (e.g., open doors, pull out her seat for her to sit, etc.)

2. Work clothes. Enough said. Don’t even argue with me on this one. I once saw a guy go on a date in his scrubs (he is a physician). If you are too busy to spend 10 minutes to change clothes, you are too busy for a date. Women will prepare regardless of how busy they are. They even risk their lives to do so (i.e., driving and putting on make-up at the same time). Show her the same effort and appreciation. She won’t say it, but she’ll appreciate it. You can subtly let her know too by saying how you didn’t have much time to change but wanted to look somewhat appropriate for this date. Trust me. Brownie points +10.

3. Work shoes or grandfather shoes. Shoes are by far one of the most, if not THE most, important accessory for women. She’ll notice yours. Don’t wear scruff-up shoes, torn shoes (unless they were torn for a reason), or shoes you’d wear to walk your dog.

4. Jacket-less outfit. Try your best to put together outfits that work with some kind of jacket. If it’s summer time, a light jacket. If winter, a pea-coat (e.g., Kenneth Cole and Coach sell some very nice ones). You may not need it, but she will even if she may not be ‘that’ cold.

5. Striped shirts. This one is a shout-out to my friend WW. She abhors striped shirts. I disagree with her on many things, but on this issue, I am in complete agreement. Solid colors only.

6. Flashy belt buckles. Nice, you want a cookie?

7. Loose (or ultra tight) suit jackets, shirts, and pants. I will make a posting about how to choose suits. In the mean time, if you are a working professional, go to a tailored shop to get your suits and sports coats. They’ll cost more (e.g., $200-400 per jacket), but it’ll be WELL worth the cost. DO NOT GO TO Men’s Warehouse. Unfortunately, Men’s Warehouse does not really cater to Asian American males and our body types. Their items are large with large shoulder designs and long (almost draped) coats. Think Snoop Dogg. You’re not Snoop Dogg. If you need some recommendations, please contact me directly and I can direct you to some very good specialty shops in Los Angeles.

8. Hats.


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