updated 3 May 2012, 15:17
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Sun, Feb 19, 2012
Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network
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Will her interracial romance work?
by Emily A. Marcelo

Dear Emily,

I'm a 25-year-old-Filipino woman, now an Australian citizen, working as physical therapist in one of the hospitals here. I'm presently seeing a quiet, attractive, single guy who is 41. I find him a lot older than me, though he could pass for 35 because of his quiet lifestyle.

He's very stable, very loving and has a super loving family I've already met. He has a nice house and wants to settle down. He feels strongly about me, but I am bothered by our huge age gap. I know that if you love someone, you will look beyond these things. I've known him for over three years now and he is waiting for my decision.

When I think of the future and our age difference, I am thinking that when he's 60, I would only be 44. Everyone might think I was a gold-digger or used him to stay in the country legally.

People's perception of interracial relationships in this place can be cruel. A Filipino workmate who got her citizenship through her profession and not through her Australian husband was bullied at work, to the point that she had to resign after years of being treated horribly.

I'm being a realist. I'm a sensitive person, not at all the dominant, frank type, and I'm not sure if I can take (or how long I can take) what people will be saying behind my back if I end up with him.


We're talking apples and oranges here. You're not a cheap barmaid or an uneducated prospective child bride desperately trying to hook any decrepit old man via the Internet or pimps to get out of poverty! You're a professional woman who got to where you are, including your new citizenship, through your own sweat and nobody else's!

As to your age difference, why are you jumping the gun on when he is 60 years old? Is your crystal ball that accurate to see how the two of you will look 20 years hence? It may interest you to know that no matter how young or old westerners look, they will always appear older than Asians their age or younger. No disrespect there, just a fact.

Come home and see how most women in their 60s or 70s look nowadays. They're the new 40s or early 50s! No kidding! You'll not only be surprised. You'll get shocked at how young most of them look. You'll have problems with backstabbers with anybody you choose.

So stop putting barriers where there shouldn't be any. Or see shadows where there aren't. As long as you know you are marrying the man because of love and not as a stepping stone to a better life, you will be okay, whatever the peanut gallery may think.

Be proud of your merits and stand your ground against the bigotry and ignorance around you. They don't know you as you know you!

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