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Written by Andrew Kung. All opinions expressed in this article belong to the author. Beauty is a new section of CNN Style. I always knew that, as an Asian American man growing up in the United States, I wasn't as desirable or "American" as my peers. As a kid, I never saw Asian men dating outside of our race, or with white women especially.

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WHEN she was a philosophy student at Harvard College eight years ago, Liane Young never thought twice about all the interracial couples who flitted across campus, arm and arm, hand in hand.

'he was really persistent'

Most of her Asian friends had white boyfriends or girlfriends. In her social circles, it was simply the way of the world. But today, the majority of Ms. And Ms. Young, a Boston-born granddaughter of Chinese immigrants, is married to a Harvard medical student who loves skiing and the Pittsburgh Steelers and just happens to have been born in Fujian Province in China. They met by chance at a nightclub in Boston, and she is delighted by how completely right it feels. They have taken lessons together in Cantonese which she speaks and Mandarin which he speaksand they hope to pass along those languages when they have children someday.

For asian-american couples, a tie that binds

Young, 29, an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College who married Xin Gao, 27, last year. Interracial marriage rates are at an all-time high in the United States, with the percentage of couples exchanging vows across the color line more than doubling over the last 30 years.

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But Asian-Americans are bucking that trend, increasingly choosing their soul mates from among their own expanding community. From tothe percentage of Asian-American newlyweds who were born in the United States and who married someone of a different race dipped by nearly 10 percent, according to a recent analysis of census data conducted by the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, Asians are increasingly marrying other Asians, a separate study showswith matches between the American-born and foreign-born jumping to 21 percent inup from 7 percent in Asian-Americans still have one of the highest interracial marriage rates in the country, with 28 percent of newlyweds choosing a non-Asian spouse inaccording to census data.

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But a surge in immigration from Asia over the last three decades has greatly increased the of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, giving young people many more options among Asian-Americans. It has also inspired a resurgence of interest in language and ancestral traditions among some newlyweds.

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In Today, foreign-born Asians for about 60 percent of the Asian-American population here, census data shows. Lichter, a demographer at Cornell University who, along with Zhenchao Qian of Ohio State University, conducted the study on marriages between American-born and foreign-born Asians. Before she met Mr. Gao, Ms. Young had dated only white men, with the exception of a biracial boyfriend in college.

Young, who is most comfortable speaking in English.

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Ed Lin, 36, a marketing director in Los Angeles who was married in October, said that his wife, Lily Lin, had given him a deeper understanding of many Chinese traditions. Lin, 32, who was born in Taiwan and grew up in New Orleans, has taught him the terms in Mandarin for his maternal and paternal grandparents, familiarized him with the red egg celebrations for newborns and elaborated on other cultural customs, like the proper way to exchange red envelopes on Chinese New Year. Lin said of his wife, who has also encouraged him to serve tea to his elders and refer to older people as aunty and uncle.

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Of course, race is only one of many factors that can come to bear in the complicated calculus of romance. And marriage trends vary among Asians of different nationalities, according to C. Le, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Le found that in Japanese-American men and man had the highest rates of intermarriage to whites while Vietnamese-American men and Indian women had the lowest rates. Wendy Wang, the author of the Pew report, said that demographers have yet to conduct detailed surveys or interviews of newlyweds to help explain Mississippi recent dip in interracial marriages among native-born Asians.

Statistics show that the rate of interracial marriage among Dating has been declining since But in interviews, several couples said that sharing their lives with someone who had a similar background played a ificant role in their decision to marry. It is a feeling that has come as something of a surprise to some young Asian-American women who had grown so comfortable with interracial dating that they began to assume that they would end up with white husbands.

Intermarriage rates are ificantly higher among Asian women than among men. About 36 percent of Asian-American women married someone of another race incompared with about 17 percent of Asian-American men. Le said she was a bit wary of Asian-American men who wanted their wives to handle all the cooking, child rearing and chinese chores. But somewhere along the way, Ms. Le began thinking that she needed to meet someone slightly more attuned to her cultural sensibilities. That moment might have occurred on the weekend she brought a white boyfriend home to meet her parents.

She looks down when she speaks, to demonstrate her respect for her mother and father.

Religion should offer us faith – and that also means faith within our relationships.

She pours their tea, slices their fruit and serves their meals, handing them dishes with both hands. As I grew older, I realized a white guy was much less likely to understand that. In fallshe became engaged to Neil Vaishnav, an Indian-American lawyer who was born in the United States to immigrant parents, just as she was.

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They agreed that husbands and wives should be equal partners in the home, and they share a sense of humor that veers toward wackiness. He encourages her out-of-tune singing and high kicks in karaoke bars.

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But they also revere their family traditions of cherishing their elders. Vaishnav, 30, knew instinctively that he should not kiss her in front of her parents or address them by their first names.

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Le, who is planning a September wedding that is to combine Indian and Vietnamese traditions. Ann Liu, 33, a Taiwanese-American human resources coordinator in San Francisco, had a similar experience. She never imagined that an Asian-American husband was in the cards. Because she had never dated an Asian man before, her friends tried to discourage Stephen Arboleda, a Filipino-American engineer, when he asked whether she was single.

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But Mr. Arboleda, 33, was undeterred. By then, Ms. Liu was ready for a change. She said she had grown increasingly uncomfortable with dating white men who dated only Asian-American women. Arboleda was different. He has a sprawling extended family — and calls his older relatives aunty and uncle — just as she does. At their October wedding in San Francisco, Ms. Liu changed from a sleek, sleeveless white wedding gown into the red, silk Chinese dress called the qipao.

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Several of Mr.