Book Writing Adventures

Why Is Your ‘Ethnic’ Boyfriend Hiding You in His Closet?

True love vs. Family pressure

Due to the popular response and insights in our last discussion about dating and marring ‘ethnic’ men–Asian, Middle-Eastern, Latino, (this one’s for you Tracy) Irish, and others. I was elated to see all the BB&W readers share their good experiences and happy endings. You also gave Janice and me a lot to consider for the book. And it’s a good thing too, because my experience with the two ethnic men I dated didn’t work out so well.

My high school crush was Mexican; I loved that boy’s dirty draws! Later in my early twenties I dated someone from Chile who would have EATEN my dirty draws, but…meh…I wasn’t that in to him. The two things these guys had in common was, both of their mothers HATED me. And no matter how chirpy and friendly I was, I got the cold shoulder, side eye and heard a lot of Spanish words I never learned in high school classes. My memory is a little rusty, but I could have sworn I heard, “Saquen a ese negro de puta de mi casa!” Not sure what they said, but I remember the tone a bit uncivil. I asked the Chilean boy about it and he told me she said, “Welcome to my house, girl of the black race!” Not sure I believed him…

Ironically, I felt more resistance from both these minority families than I ever felt from my husband’s. That’s because black or white, we are both Americans raised within an individualistic culture, says, Faizal Sahukhan, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in multicultural relationships and the author of Dating the Ethnic Man: Strategies for Success.

Ethnic men are often raised with a more collectivistic mind frame. “In his culture, marriage is not between two individual who tell others of their intentions, it is a delicate process of asking parents, elders and religious leaders for permission to [ultimately] marry,” says Dr. Sahukhan. (con’t below photo)

So if your ethnic man hides you under his bed or locks you up in the closet when his folks stop by, it might be best not to automatically assume that he’s ashamed of you. Often, it is more complicated than that.

So before you accuse your man of treating you like a down-low honey, take a listen to a portion of my interview with Dr. Sahukahn (pronounced SAW HO CAN) regarding this issue.

I have to say, Dr. Faizal (pronounced FAY ZIL) breaks it down quite astutely with a lot of good points. To hear the audio Faizal Sahukhan_ethnic man.

Interculturally married veterans, feel free to chime in with your opinion and/or advice for all the single ladies lurking in here who are dating ethnic men!

DISCLAIMER: Dr. Sahukhan, who lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, wrote this book with white women in mind. So if you buy the book and see “caucasian,” just cross it out (in your mind at least) because the information provided about the mindset and culture of ethnic men still rings true for all Western women.

About Dr. Faizal:

In private practice as a Registered Counsellor and Clinical Sexologist since 1997, Dr Faizal is also a faculty member at Capilano University. He writes a monthly advice column (Dear Faizal) published in Canadian Immigrant magazine, hosts a radio advice show (Love Across Cultures) on Link, CBC Radio Canada International, is a media consultant (for print, radio and television) on multicultural relationship issues, and is the National Communications Director for the Canadian Professional Counsellors Association. Visit him online at

Dr. Faizal

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