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"[But] the whole idea of an achievement can come from this feeling of …

not being good enough, because you're doing something that people aren't expecting."Dating coach Iona Yeung says Asian men are represented largely through "nerdy stereotypes" in the media, with few positive role models to draw confidence from when it comes to dating.

It's fitting that some of the people I spoke to have embraced their backgrounds as they negotiate the challenges that come with dating as Asian Australian men.

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A little taken aback, we told him we weren't together but had friends that might fit the bill."Oh, sorry," I remember him saying.

I identified with Western values over my birth country of Singapore in almost every aspect of my life but food (rice At the time, I rarely felt that assumptions were made about me based on my ethnicity, but things changed when I moved to Melbourne for university.

In a new city, stripped of the context of my hometown, I felt judged for the first time, like I was subtly but surely boxed into an "Asian" category.

But I also know that those thoughts and feelings come from the comfort of our relationship.

So, I decided to start a long overdue conversation with other Asian men, to find out if I was alone in my anxieties."There's always this subtle pressure to fit in and assimilate, and when I was growing up, I thought the best way to assimilate was to date a white person," he says.

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