Jenny Ly, 26, joined Subtle Asian Dating in an attempt to make new friends and possibly meet a boyfriend.
After three years of its launch, and with more than 650,000 members later , the Facebook Group Subtle Asian Dating has grown to be a place for marriages, engagements, and many other long-term relationships.
It was born as a result of an online group that was started in 2018 by a group a young Australian girl called Subtle Asian Tribes. This group became a popular hub for memes about the Asian diaspora experience and discourse.
Subtle Asian Dating, one of many spinoffs groups that adopted the "Subtle Asian” banner for interests ranging in fashion and dating.
Ly had posted Ly as an "auction", a friend posting her in the group. This is the equivalent of a dating profile. Often composed by a friend, it offers a humorous list of pros and con's about the person being "auctioned" along with a series of photos.
Michael Dulay, a 27-year-old man from a faraway town, saw the post and started messaging Ly on Instagram. After a series of online chats, the couple decided to adopt a puppy.
Ly stated that they never expected anything to happen. Ly was just in it for the memes. "
Dulay said that their love story was almost a fairy tale. Ly is the "North Star," inspiring Dulay to be the best version of him. If users are sincere about their intentions, they can grow a real relationship.
Pathik, a 30-year-old Indian man, was in Chicago when he reached Out to Destinee Soubannarath Goe, 28 from Iowa City, after seeing her auctioned. After hours of FaceTime dates, they decided it was worth the wait to make a visit.
Their relationship was more rapid than they expected. They met their families in just a few dates, and were then engaged by last June.
Soubannarath Gwee, a white woman living in a predominantly rural area, felt that dating apps did not offer a large selection of Asian matches. However, Subtle Asian Dating's global reach allowed her to meet Gandhi.
"I thought it would be fun to try it out and see if it works," she said. "
But, because the platform and its spinoff groups include hundreds of thousands users from all over the globe, distance can make it difficult to establish connections. Patricia Poon and Vy Ly, both 29 years old, lived 1,200 miles apart at the time they met through Subtle Queer Asian Dating+.
Ly was in Las Vegas at the time she met Poon, who is from Vancouver. They were married in April 2018 and now live in Los Angeles.
The pair began communicating online less than two months ago. Poon was worried that Ly might question the viability and stability of a long-distance relationship. She "panicked", booked her next flight to Vegas, and saw Ly.
Poon stated that he took a day off to extend his weekend. He said that he was likely there in 24 hours.
The couple stated that they were lucky to be able to travel internationally every month and to then both work remotely when the pandemic struck.
Both Ly and Poon said that the Facebook group was initially a place to vent from the loneliness of being in a small queer community. Ly introduced herself to the group with the hope of making new friends.
Poon stated, "I found her post very endearing and a little dorky. Very funny." "
There are some couples like Winnie Chen, 21 years old, and Oliver Cee (26 years old), who still make long distance work. But they started talking and Cee said that he wanted to take Chen on a date.
Chen stated that he thought he was having a joke because he lives all the way from Toronto. '"
He did it: Cee took some time off from work to make the 12-hour drive. Chen stated that she was convinced by all her emotions and rationality to take a leap.
They were separated by the pandemic's international travel restrictions for almost a year. But they now see each other during Chen’s school breaks. She said that the plan is to move in together and alternate between living in the United States with Chen.
"[The distance] was difficult, but I think what kept us going was just being in touch, showing that we care, and being able call every day. "
Couples said that despite the limitations of such a large network of people, one of the benefits of Subtle Asian Dating was the ability to see the views and values of others before making a decision about whether to start a conversation.
Subtle Asian Traits and its spinoffs were criticised for their focus on East Asian experiences. Subtle Asian Dating is a group that focuses more specifically on South Asians and is self-titled
Fatimah Sarwar (22 years old) had always imagined herself as a tall, curly-haired woman with a "nice mustache." Sarwar was stunned when Arman Mridha (23), walked into her Instagram DMs. It was like meeting my Prince Charming. "
Mridha had sold her friend on Subtle Curry Dating but Mridha was left wondering who the woman behind the post. He said, "Not to be like Joe,' but he knew that he wanted to get to know her.
"I was thinking, "Should she message me?" "I was just thinking, 'Should I message her?'" Mridha stated. I then sent this long DM to her. "
Mridha set aside her phone and waited for the message to arrive. In July 2018, the couple became husband and wife in New York City.
"When I first joined, I didn't expect anything. Then I saw her, and I was like "OK, let's try." '"
Despite living just 15 minutes apart in Sydney, Bradley Prasad, 27, and Ranika Nath (24), might not have ever met each other. Subtle Curry Dating brought them both together in 2020 when Prasad was browsing through Facebook while on his way to work.
He stated that Nath, who was just auctioned by a friend on the group, stood out among the sea of posts. Prasad read her "pros & cons" list and realized she was the person he was searching for. Prasad arranged a dumpling date.
The couple are now scheduled to wed in April.
Although it can seem daunting to put yourself out there on a platform like Facebook, Prasad stated that the rewards can be as intense.
People will wonder if this is a real relationship if they meet online. They won't last. But it works," Prasad stated. "