Hey Vince! First question to kick things off: describe yourself in a maximum of five words
Oh, let's see: Ambitious, determined, caring, empathetic... okay, ambitious, determined, caring, empathetic, optimistic?
Perfect! Next question, who would play you in a movie about your life and why?
Okay, that's more fun! Who would play me in a movie, oh boy, and why? Probably, I would want like an Asian actor to play me, maybe like Simu Liu or like Henry Golding, one of those guys. I think my life so far is, you know, it's a romantic comedy. And I feel like in every romantic comedy, there's always peaks and valleys.
I feel like my story has not, it's not close to being finished. So I think by the time my life is, I guess towards the tail end, I think it'll be a romantic comedy... is what I hope. I think we all hope our lives are a little bit of a rom com. And if that's the case, yeah, I feel like Henry Golding could play romcom. Either one of those guys. I think they'd do it. And there will be some good Asian representation there.
So yeah, I'll get one of those guys to do it, probably. Or yeah, maybe even Godfrey Gao, but he's passed away. He would he would have been great because I've gotten doppelganger comparisons to him. And he's a great actor, too. But yeah, I think Yeah.
Can you tell us the stories of your worst and best dates?
Worst and best dates? Huh. Okay, well, just off the top of my head, I think when I first started dating again, you know, I feel like I was very new to it because I was in such a long term relationship for nine years. And once I became recently single, you know, I didn't really know how to date. I was very new to it. I went on this date with this girl and she just kept on ordering wine. We had a really great time, don't get me wrong, but the bill came out to like, it was like, I don't know, a few hundred bucks for a first date. And I was like, "Oh my gosh, like, what am I doing?"
Like I needed to be doing these like Boba dates or like, coffee, or like a hike or something, because it's just like, too expensive. And I was just, like, every time she ordered, I'm just like, "oh my gosh, like this is gonna be expensive." It ended up still being a fun time, like, don't get me wrong, you know, I gotta be a little bit more financially savvy with my dates. And yeah, that was kind of a funny experience, I think it was just a life lesson, is what it was.
But in terms of my best date, you know, for me, like, when I think of best dates, I'm not even thinking about what we did like, it doesn't have to be an extraordinary event, like a hot air balloon or anything like that. It's all about just the conversation and the comfortability and the openness that we have with each other. One of my memorable dates - and it was actually [with] a girl that I just went on a couple dates with - but it was really fun, because during COVID, it was really tough to date, and nothing was open. So I remember just going on a date, and it ended up just being kind of like a car date, where I would just drive around. And, I think car dates, you know, [are] heavily underrated because, it was really fun, because you can play any music you want, right? And it's like, you can turn it into a karaoke session, which is what we did.
We found our interests of like old school music and like, you know, singing like Whitney Houston together. And so it kind of bonds you. What I like to do is, you know, I'll put on like an instrumental or something like that. And then a beat comes on and I'll try to freestyle, freestyle rap, a little bit... and it would be just horrible, right? But it will make her feel comfortable to freestyle rap. So that's what we did. And then when she started freestyle rapping, she was like, I don't know, I don't wanna, I don't wanna. And I just like kept on hyping her up and gassing her up, and she was like, spin bars. And then it was just really funny, we just had such a good laugh doing that together.
We ended up by just getting like really comfortable each other really fast. You know, and 'cause also like, like, she's physically very close to me too, because she's in the passenger seat. So I feel like we kind of have that, like, closeness, we can feel a bit touchy as well. And we have privacy, we're not being interrupted by anybody. I think after the end of that date, we had so much fun. And in the back of her mind, she's like, "Oh my gosh, like, I had so much fun just being in a car with this guy. Like, imagine if we actually like, went on a real date, like how great that'd be. Or if like, we would like Disneyland or something." And so, you know, I think that was like a really good first date, because we got to really know each other, being super open and vulnerable with each other. And we didn't really have to do anything.
That's kind of a hallmark of a real relationship too. You're not going to be going on dates all the time. When you're in a relationship, you're gonna have those down days where you're not doing anything [and] you're trying to figure out what to do. And if you can have fun on those down days, on those days where there's nothing going on, then you know that there's real chemistry there.
What has been the reaction of your family and friends, from your participation in The One That Got Away?
So far I've watched the show back with my dad, he only wanted to see my scenes. So we kind of fast forward through things, but he being an Asian dad, he's very, like, kind of stoic and just like, you know, like criticising like,"oh, why'd you wear this shirt? You need to wear dark colour shirts, because it makes you look better" or like, "what's wrong with your hair?" So he was just kind of like criticising my choices on the show.
But, you know, I try to have him watch the whole thing and he was impressed by the dates. He loves hearing about what other people have to say about me. So like, listening to like, my dates talking about me when I'm not there, and he was very interested in that.
Seeing my dates as well, he felt like it was very entertaining and he saw a very different side of me, that he's not used to seeing because at home I'm just like, you know, the good Asian son. I'm not rocking the boat too much. I'm always just like, very, you know, one way but then seeing how I am with my other cast mates, you know, as friends and also going on these dates, like they've never seen that before. It's I think it was very eye opening for them. My mom hasn't watched it yet. She hasn't taken the time. She's watched little bits that my relatives would send her and stuff. But I know she does want to watch it with me eventually. I did actually film my dad's reaction. I kind of interviewed him about what he thought about the show that I'm actually going to post on Instagram. And so, It's gonna be pretty funny. I think my parents are honestly just like really funny characters. So I'm excited for my mom to watch it.
In terms of my friends, they've all really loved watching it. Like, they love roasting me, they love hyping me up too. I hosted a watch party, the day of the premiere, and we all were just so engaged watching and laughing, and they're really happy that they think I represented myself truly to who I am. And that I didn't get caught up in unnecessary drama or anything. And that, you know, I made the right decisions and did it and, you know, I guess acted in the right way that was respectful to the people who came to date me. And, you know, I didn't act any way out of character. So I think they're really proud of me, I think a lot of people were told me that they're very inspired by the way I carry myself and the way that, you know, I conduct myself. The way I speak to them, and my other dates, and I think they were very impressed.
I've only gotten positive feedback, which is very surprising from, like, a reality TV show. I was expecting some, you know, negative comments here and there, but it really has been overwhelmingly positive, which is very encouraging. It's really nice to see those messages.
Why did you decide to get involved with the show? And what was the process like?
So I decided to get involved when I got reached out through a casting producer on Bumble. My life was really private and my Instagram was private. I didn't really put myself out there. I guess a dating app is the only way to really find me. And, you know, they reached out to me about the premise, and I just thought, like, "wow." I remember, like listening to the Katy Perry song The One That Got Away, and that was like, one of the songs I cried to when me and my ex broke up, with my ex of nine years, and it's just like, I feel like it's been kind of just a theme in my life. That you know, it was such a long term relationship, I had a lot of missed connections.
So I thought this was a perfect way to explore it and, you know, actually got reached out to you by The Bachelorette first for that show. And, you know, looking at it, like, I thought the premise of dating complete strangers and expecting to find love was a little bit... I didn't feel like it was going to be as real as this premise. Because I'm actually dating people that I know from the past. And I felt like that really hit home for me as well. And there could really be some potential love there that I've missed out on, because I was in such a long term relationship. So I think that really got me excited.
I didn't know, I didn't think I was gonna get casted, when you get first reached out to there's so many people applying by just go through the interview process. I think the way that they did it was, they had us in pods, which they would basically have me and the girls that are interested in dating me, and that we would be one pod. And I think they were looking at all the different types of pods, you know, in terms in deciding how to cast us and my biggest thing was, I didn't know who would come through to date me. So I remember they asked us for a list of girls, and I gave them a list of like, like six or seven. And none of those girls showed up. And then they asked my friends for a list of girls and then they went through my social media to really dig deep and find these women. I remember some of them actually been DMing me asking if this was a scam or not.
Somehow they were able to find some girls that you know, actually wanted to come in and date me. I know, actually because I closed my portal pretty early on I actually know that there were a couple other girls that were ready to come on to date me but at that point, I wasn't really interested in seeing anybody else. And so I closed my portal but that was yeah, that was a I guess a casting process you know, they do did a live interview towards the end to make the final decision and you know, honestly, I just kind of felt like this show was very was really you know, I was meant to be on the show. I really felt like it really hit home for me, and I think I came into the whole process with a very with good intentions and genuinely trying to find somebody, which I feel like people just come on reality show because they want they offer I don't know whether it's for followers or for like notoriety itself, I was never really looking for that.
You know, I have a stable career as a lawyer, I mean my life was pretty private, I didn't have any reality TV dreams before I even thought of applying. So I just saw it more as an opportunity to hopefully find somebody. That's why I acted throughout the whole experience. And I'm happy with how things ended up and it turned out to be a very beautiful story in the end for people to enjoy.
What were your favourite three moments on the show?
My favourite three moments on the show...
I think the first one would be my first date with Yurika. I think that date felt so real. Like it just felt, I think, you know, I kind of had jitters in the beginning, coming on to this, like was the cameras start rolling. And by the time I got to first date with Yurika, that's when all the cameras really disappeared. Like I was just, I didn't notice anything else but her. I was so engaged and it just felt so real on that day, like the feelings were real, the chemistry, the conversation. You know, there's so much that wasn't shown but like we really had, like, you know, personal conversations about our family and a lot of stuff. And it's the connection I felt that night everywhere. Like, it just it just felt like there was definitely a spark there. And that kind of set the tone for the rest of the show for me after that date.
My second favourite moment... felt like the camp out was actually a really fun one. Because I remember we were all gathered around that fireplace. And there's a lot of group stuff like, you know, when people were on their one on ones during the campout, we were all huddled around the fireplace, and it was very much like a kumbaya moment where everyone was talking about, like, how this experience you know, being on the show has really like, like uplifted their lives. And I remember just talking to the whole group in front of the fireplace about how like, you know, you get so caught up once you start working in like the day to day like nine to five type of grind that, you know, you never really take the time to focus on just finding love and focusing on what you really want in a partner.
You know, journaling after dates & having producers as how you feel all the time, like you really, really get to hone in on what you're looking for in terms of a partner. And fighting on these dates and just talking to everybody and I felt we all kind of connected the main cast all there live as we all kind of connected in that way that you know, it was so nice to be able to finally do that because we you know, this such a unique experience that I think in real life this never would have happened. And so that was very touching to me how I felt like we were all just on this journey together. And it really felt like I thought we were sharing something special. And yeah, that was that was really cool moment.
Then I will say my third, probably the proposal. You know, I remember we were about to wrap filming and no one even came up to me was like "Vince, how do you want to like leave?" Like, you know, and I remember actually had an off camera conversation with Yurika. Or I thought it was off camera. I later found out she had a mic pack on her back. But I thought that was off camera. We were in my living room and we were just having a one on one conversation and she brought it up to me where she said she wanted to leave as more than boyfriend/girlfriend.
I was like, “oh wow.” I didn't know that she was thinking that at all. I really had no idea. I knew we had a really good connection, but we were there for like, a month and a week like, it's very fast, right? But at the same time, when you're there, and you're completely immersed in the environment with no cell phone, no Internet, and you're just trying to find love, things accelerate so fast. And so when she told me that, I think my whole mindset shifted, and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I need to propose. Like, I need to get a ring."
We were done filming in like two days and no one's even asked me how I want to leave, and we weren't prepared. And then I remember talking to producers, like, "Can we get a ring? Can we do this?" And then once that happened, I was like, "oh my god, what am I gonna say for the proposal like, like, how am I going to do this?" And I remember just like, trying to write, like my proposal. And then like, I was like, “No, it's scratch this. Because It just needs to come from the heart.” I need to just freestyle this or create an outline or something. Because the thing is, like, people think reality TV might be scripted or not, like it's completely unscripted.
I just remember, every time I would talk to Yurika, even if I had some talking points I wanted to get to, like once I see her, it literally all goes out the window. And I just feel like I black out sometimes. Like, I'm just like, "Wait, what did I say?" Like the whole proposal? I couldn't repeat it back to you at all what I said. I literally decided, okay, I know, once I see her, the words are just gonna, like, come out of my mouth and I won't even be able to control it because like when I see her just like these emotions just rush and I just say how I feel in the moment. And so that's kind of how they proposal went, I had like an outline going into it, but it just, I just feel like I word-vomited all of the things I was feeling at the time. And a lot of it actually didn't even make it onto the, to the show a lot of my proposal, because I made a lot of like, little references to things and like, the way I enjoyed the little things that she did, like, I feel like the little things that she did were so cute.
So many times we can probably see on the show, but like she would hide behind a blanket and cover her face. And there was always a blanket, always a blanket for some reason, because she would just get really shy when she talked to me sometimes. And because she's just so thoughtful, like the way she was like she would play with Leo and just like, let him lick her and stuff. Like, there's just all these little things I just noticed I really loved and a lot of that I didn't make it to the screen. But yeah, I would say that whole process of realising she wanted to get engaged and actually proposing that whole process was definitely a favourite.
How do you think your Asian heritage has influenced your approach to dating?
Yeah, you know, I think being Asian, we have a very unique perception of love. I think we grew up with parents that show us love very differently. You know, we like it. Like, a lot of times you don't get those words of affirmation, you know, you don't get all the “I love you’s” and things of that nature. But, you know, when you're, when our parents showed loves, you know, they would, they would do little things for you whether it's like, you know, like cutting fruit for you to eat, or making sure you never went hungry and feeding you all the time, or if it was just getting your favourite snacks. I feel like that's how they showed love. I feel like that, that seeps into how we perceive love and how, what we end up looking for in a partner and how we express love, but I think what's unique is being Asian-American.
My parents were able to assimilate here in America and adapt to American culture. I grew up with a lot of diverse friends that come from different backgrounds, and my friends aren't just like all Asians. There's a lot of people that, you know, they kind of just stick to their own background, but I think I was exposed at a young age to meeting different people and being curious as to how their cultures have shaped them. I think that's really brought in, you know, who I am. So, my heritage, my Asian heritage definitely plays a big role in my identity, but I think having that mix with you know, American cultures and understanding that you do need to be more expressive, and you should, you know, you should learn how to communicate; which is why I feel like I pride myself in being a very good communicator and being expressive of my emotions. I think doing that really helps build a strong relationship with a partner. I think, you know, that's a good thing to adopt.
But you know, I think what you see in Asians too, is we always are in long term relationships, like, me: I was in a nine year [relationship] even Kasey, she was in an almost eight year one [relationship]. We were the only two that really had, I think, a solid relationship experience that came on this show. I think that shows a lot about just Asians in general, how we are very much are long term. We're always looking for commitment because, you know, we're looking to build with each other.
That seeps out to our culture, right, like, like divorce rates of Asian families: very, very low. There's a reason for that, you know, we are incredibly loyal people that, you know, always try to make things work and try to grow in the relationship together, and we value that type of partnership. And that's deeply in our culture. And I think because of that, you know, I've had such a long term relationships. They don't mention this on the show, but after my nine year relationship, I had a three year relationship. I don't really have flings, and I feel like in American culture that's very common, you know, having flings, having like two month relationships, having relationships that kind of come and go. I don't do that. I think a large part of that may be because of, you know, being Asian and looking for, for something, you know, real and long term, because that's just kind of in our culture.
But yeah, I think, Asian love is something that we don't really see on screen. It's very, very rare, especially in American television, literal reality TV, I think this might be the first time you ever see, you know, Asians, like, you know, me and Yurika, leaving the show together. That's, that's probably the first time in American reality dating TV that anyone has seen that. I think, you know, I live in LA, and we see that all the time; but there's places in America where they don't even see an Asian person, let alone, you know, experience and witness Asians being in love together in America and [we] Asian Americans do exist, right?
We aren't just like, you know, those typecast, kung-fu characters and very foreign characters – like no, we've assimilated and we are here – we're here to stay. And I think, you know, you're seeing it more and more on screen nowadays. We have Simu Liu who's like the first Asian Marvel superhero, [and] Henry Golding, who's playing you know, an Asian romantic lead in Crazy Rich Asians. I think reality TV is now – I feel like – finally catching up, and you're seeing more and more than anything, this is one big step towards that right direction.
You are incredibly accomplished in your career, how do you find this has or hasn't affected how you manage relationships?
Yeah, I think being a lawyer makes it tough to date because we don't have as much time. You know, that's probably the biggest thing is just being busy, you don't really have as much time to date. And you know, I'm not necessarily surrounded by people that are, you know, like, potential partners for me, so it's like, I really have to go out of my circle to date; which is why I ended up trying online dating for a little bit before. But also, you know, having an established career, you want someone that can also relate to that, right?
Someone that also has a career going for them as well, that relates to the stresses that you go through, that can relate to your daily struggles, and have conversations, you know, real conversations about your careers, and what keeps you excited every day to go to work, right? I feel like, given the nature of my work, being a lawyer, it's nice when I'm able to have conversation – whether it's with another lawyer, or just a working professional –they understand the commitments we have to our clients, the commitment and the reputation that we try to maintain, and doing a good job and, you know, zealously advocating for our clients, like, those are all things I feel like, you know, are a big part of my life and having someone that can relate to that, and that, you know, can converse with me about that is important.
So, it definitely has shaped my daily life. Also, I think sometimes people use their career as their identifier, you know? I know a lot of lawyers that love to mention that they're lawyers. I'm one of those lawyers that I've never really ever mentioned that “I'm a lawyer”, maybe it's not the best for marketing purposes, but I feel like there's kind of a stigma that comes with it. And I don't I try not to let it be my identifier. I really tried to help people get a real impression for me, just from a conversation and getting to know me before they try to, you know, prejudge me based off my career, but I am proud to be a lawyer, because I think we we are I'm able to make a meaningful impact on a lot of people's lives and I'm really proud of that. And I'm happy that I'm able to do that. But yeah, it definitely doesn't make it easy to date.
If there's anything you could do differently from your time on the show, what would it be?
I don't know if I would have changed anything. To be honest, I think I really tried to make the best decision and conduct myself in the best way possible. And be respectful of all the people who came through the portal for me. I think at the end of the day, they all left with a good impression. They were all pretty happy. Now, I think, at least I know from what they've told me, like, they are really grateful for their experience.
I think they all know that I did generally try my best to not hurt any of them. At the moment, you know, there's a lot of emotions–no matter what– but I think it's been a year since then and they look back and they're happy with how things ended and how things were portrayed. I do think I… I don't know what I would have changed, I think. I feel like my storyline was very much focused on romance. I really tried to find somebody.
There were a lot of scenes [that showed] different sides of me, like, I wish that that would have been portrayed a little bit [more]. I'm not always, super serious, trying to find love. I feel like, a lot of times with first dates and stuff, like I want to see if we can have fun together. I want to see if we can be goofy and silly and joke around. And I feel like a lot of that wasn't necessarily portrayed on the show. But you know, there was a lot of fun times that were just like, very casual and light hearted. But yeah, I don't know, I don't think I, you know, all things considered, I think I'm proud of the way I conducted myself. And yeah, I don't think I would have changed too much.
Is this an experience you would recommend to friends and family, there are so many different dating shows out there.
Do you think this kind of reality experience could work for everyone?
Oh, absolutely, I highly recommend it. I highly recommend it because I think out of reality TV shows considered this [to be] so real, it's so personal. It feels like you could actually find a genuine connection here. There's a lot of shows where you're just meeting complete strangers, and you know, maybe the premise of is not as serious but I think this is very a heartfelt experience because it really brings back your past and, you know, people from different phases of your life can enter into your... you're a different version of who you are in every single phase where like, like, I had Yurika from high school, and then Manouche from college, and Andrea from law school.
Isabel, you know, that I just met relatively recently, like, all these people had met me at a different time of my life. and I was a very different person. Having them see who I am now and how I've grown, I feel like there's something very special. And they were, you know, part of my life when I didn't feel like I was the best version of myself, and I'm really glad I'm able to show that to them.
I think it's very eye opening for yourself, because you can kind of reflect like, who is coming through the portal for you? A lot of times, people that do come through the portal for you kind of reflect who you are as a person, right? There's a reason why these people are interested in you, you know? Sparking up connection and seeing their character I think tells us a lot about you, right? And I think I had some wonderful, wonderful, amazing women come come through the portal for me, and that just makes me almost like reassures me that I feel like I have been living my life in a very like, like, you know, positive and you know, a way that I can be proud of.
So I do recommend other people to experience this because it really puts a mirror in front of you; it puts the mirror in front of you to really own who you are, who you've been in the past and who you want to be now moving forward. Because you can rewrite your own story, the next chapter is whatever you want it to be. I think a lot of times [people think] “oh, it's in the past, like I can't change it.” No, you can change people's impressions of you. You can show them how you've changed.
That's the thing, like, we all make mistakes in the past, right? It's all about what do you do from there? How do you rectify? How do you become better? How do you grow? I think that's the thing about life is you're gonna continue to grow, you're gonna continue making mistakes, but you know, it's about taking ownership and showing you've changed. And I think this is an opportunity for me to show how I've become the best version of myself as of today. And I know that I'm just gonna continue to grow and improve upon that. Because, you know, we're never perfect. It's an ideal, we strive to be idealistic and be the best versions of ourselves. And it's never going to be perfect, but you know, that's our life's work is to try to work on ourselves and be the best versions that we can possibly be for the people around us.
What are your red flags? And what are your green flags?
Red flags? Well, I think one of my red flags is you gotta love dogs, I am a big dog guy, I have a dog, my baby is my whole life. And so that's very important to me having somebody that loves animals, and that can be a good dog mom. I think another red flag that I've recently figured out is I want someone that's willing to fight for the relationship that's willing to stick it out. Because there's always gonna be peaks and valleys. And only, you know, it takes two to make it happen, to make it last and to go the distance. Having [had] a nine year relationship, I know what it takes.
The honeymoon phase doesn't last forever, and there's gonna be points in your time together, where it's very tough; and it's how you handle those tough moments that really show what your true character is. That's why I think no matter how tough it gets, if that person is resilient, and is not going to give up, I think that's an important trait to have. Someone that's always going to communicate to you that they want to keep this working no matter what, even in the lowest of lows, you know, still trying to grow together. And of course, not in an abusive relationship, like, There's definitely times where you need to walk away. But when you know, when the going gets tough, and you know, that happens, even the best relationships, you need to be able to work it through. And that definitely takes perseverance and takes resilience. So that's definitely a trait that I look for, that's a green flag. And if you don't have that, that's a red flag.
I would say someone that wants to have a family. I want to have a family, I want to have kids, I want to, you know, be a dad. I could see myself being a girl dad and I'm very excited. I feel like that's one of the joys of my life that I want to have. And so that's definitely a red flag if they don't, green flag if they do.
Give me one more. They'd be someone who is… when you get along with like, my friends and family, that's big. Someone that's willing to participate in those activities and wants to be involved... [who] takes a proactive approach to getting to know my friends, getting to my family, and you know, wants to integrate themselves into those parts of my life. Because I think some people like to keep it very separate. You know, they don't like to co-mingle. I'm one of those people that I do love to have everyone together. I love hosting gatherings.
I love being that guy who brings people together and especially with my family too, you know, I really want my significant other to feel comfortable with my parents and I think filial piety is a big part of Asian culture and that's something that I definitely hold close to my heart. I'm going to be taking care of my parents, eventually. As I get older, they're gonna get older and I want a partner that's going to support that; that's going to help with that, that's gonna look at my parents and my family as their own as well. And I would do the same. That's something I would reciprocate; because I think it's very important to take care of your elders and take care of your family. That's the number one priority, so having a partner like that is very important.
Last question. What romantic movie would you recommend to our readers?
What romantic movie… Actually, I love romantic movies! Give me one second and I'll give you an answer. I mean, I don't know, I guess I have to say Crazy Rich Asians. I think it's such a good film. It's such a landmark film for showing Asian romance. Showing, you know, the different things that Asians have to go through, they're like, I remember the Mahjong scene, like, you know, talking to you know, your in laws and trying to bond with them and trying to get their, you know, acceptance and stuff like that. Those are real things that we have to go through. And, you know, like, finding romance as an Asian person is a little different.
But, you know, I think having those unique things kind of makes it more exciting, it makes it fun. You know, I think having two people from different cultures and learning you know, those different ways to connect with your in-laws, connecting with each other and the different traditions that you have, I think that makes things really fun and so yeah, definitely, I guess just Crazy Rich Asians.