Dear Joe, Military Bride & Online Dating

I hope you are not hurt when I tried out online dating last week. After I wrote a letter to myself, Dear I, Bumble & Be, I want to let you know my motivation. 

You see, we often say that life is short. After I went through near-death experiences this summer, I no longer afraid of death. However, I do want to have someone, a human being, to grow older together. I fantasized that it could be you. Then, I realized that you are not going to show up. I would not find you either. You are precious, beautiful, and exceptional in my memory. I have never met anyone who was such protective of me. I would not forget your deep and clear blue eyes that matched with our blue scrub. You are a beautiful person, just like G in my heart. I would not taint any parts of my memory of you by any means. 

Let me get back to you on my motivation. I wanted to experience online dating. I found myself too feeling more open and friendly toward White males. How come? I had to admit that there was bias against other ethnic groups of males. I tried to fight my bias and stereotypes against them. How would you find your match if you were me, Joe? If you saw me on a dating app, would you reach out to me? I did not post my background and brief profile at all, such as my career and ethnicity. 

Joe, as you know, many Asian women, especially those who were born in their homeland, came to the United States. I was a part of them. Many of them met their spouses when they were stated overseas. I met my ex-husband in Texas. American men, loosely speaking, could have a ticket to get out of Asian women’s poverty. These women are called the military bride. Not every military bride sought after American men to get out of poverty. However, many military brides suffer from social bias toward them because of the notion of Mail Order Bride. Mail-order bride applies to a woman who lists herself in catalogs. These women are mostly in developing countries seeking in men more developed countries. Then men select her for marriage. It is similar to the dating app, except Bumble, as far as I know. I do not know whether this catalog still exists, but it is now online where many Asian women list themselves. I wondered how other men on the dating app would see me.  

I was aware of this notion of a “military bride” when I met my ex-husband. I did not realize the impacts on my social relationship until a couple of years later, when I moved to more culturally diverse areas. I often voluntarily told people that I met my husband in Texas, not in Korea, mostly when interacting with older Koreans. There were hidden messages about whether I was a prostitute working near the military base. In Korean, Juicy Girl refers to women selling their bodies and/or trying to find American military men to move to the U.S. These older Korean wanted to know whether I was a Juicy Girl or not. Unfortunately, I had multiple experiences when I was misunderstood as a prostitute. I am talking about this summer, when I stayed overnight alone at the downtown in Annapolis, MD. It was an eye-opening experience. The stereotypes against Asian women being submissive and exotic still play in many ways. I wonder whether I would experience those stereotypes when I tried the dating app, Bumble. 

What do you think about my motivation? I feel a bit silly about it. I found my own bias toward White males over other ethnic groups, and I pay more attention to their first impression, especially for the kind eyes. Just like you, Joe. I miss your deep blue eyes that shined your kindness. Kindness grows and flourishes in our eyes. I hope you spread your kindness while you walk around the D.C. I promise you that I will share my kindness to two men whom I found their eyes being kind. Let’s see what happens. Be with me and watch over me, Joe.

In love,

C.S. Taylor

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