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Even though intellectually I knew it wasn’t true, but emotionally [I was] blaming myself for not meeting a seemingly objective standard of what is attractive.” MC Maltempo, a 36-year-old Korean American who grew up in Golden, Colo., also met his significant other online.He first joined in 2006, but only started using it seriously in 2013.He needed online dating only to “work once,” he says, and it did.In the process, Montecillo, 25, also learned to not judge himself based on others people’s standards.Maltempo says women occasionally made assumptions about him based on his race.“When [I was] dating non-Asians, sometimes they were interested in exotic factors that I’m not a white guy,” he said.“Even if you give them a little bit of room in terms of looks, that still leaves a really high bar for Asian men to be considered attractive at all.” To improve his success rate on Match.com, Maltempo created a rule for himself.Rather than cast a wide net, he would message just one woman per week.
Part of the problem, she says, is that the white American man has become the standard for what is attractive. There are few Asian American male leads in Hollywood, and only recently have more Asian characters been cast as love interests.“It makes it seem like there’s a dialogue going on from the very beginning,” he said. “Dialogue rather than just messaging.” At first, Maltempo’s wife, Xue Jiang, was unimpressed by his messages. When he signed up for Ok Cupid in 2013, he was in Singapore but began using it more frequently when he moved to Portland, Ore., the following year.It was around then that he saw Ok Cupid’s data on race and attraction.