Asian Households Don't Say 'I Love You'

The Unspoken 'I Love Yous' In Asian Households

Hi, mom and dad.


My Asian household doesn't do feelings. We don't really say "I love you." You may be shocked, but don't think that we don't love each other because we don't say these three words. Instead, we show it in subtle ways.

My dad would be careful with his money but would always be there when we needed something. My mom would be cutting up some fruit, not for herself, but for us when we're studying. "This is good for the brain," she'd say or when I stayed home from school because of a cold, and my parents would come back from grocery shopping with lots of fruits.

I'm twenty-one years old and living in an apartment away from home for college, but I'd come back from visiting home I always have with me, bags of groceries. Dad would call to check up on my location, seeing that I'm 0.7 miles away from the apartment at 6:30 PM. Mom would insist on taking food after food back to the apartment.

As a five-year-old, I never really realized how big the world was. All I knew of the world was school, my family, this big tv set from the '90s (one of those CRT televisions- I actually looked this up) that would play teleseryes (Filipino soap operas) and kids shows, and the outside that served as our playground. I didn't have an idea of extravagance nor simplicity. I was just being a kid.

As a twenty-one-year-old, I saw values. I saw the gravity of simple things. I would fall in love with life through the lens of simplicity.

I never heard "I love you" in the household growing up, but I still felt the comfort and warmth of those words.

"I love you" poetically hid behind my family's actions. They were in "because you need it," in every "kumain ka lang" ("just keep eating") words a tired college student who missed home-cooked meals loves to hear. In that one lumpia in the center of the dinner table, in every game of Mario Kart, and in the home that sheltered us. I would hear them as my sister would cheer loudly for my name when I walked across the stage on graduation day. I would see those words written under the pseudonym "don't forget to pray."

I'm not saying that my family's the best or I was raised perfectly. We all have imperfections. We all have something we don't have but, if you've known me for quite some time, you'd know that my favorite quote is "happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light." These gaps in our lives are under our control: either leave them empty or do something about it. In this case, not having heard "I love you" means I got room to hear it under different lenses.

Popular Right Now

When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend


Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

Related Content

Facebook Comments