Despite the benefits that directional coupler based parity-time symmetric systems may offer to the field of integrated optics, the realization of such couplers relies on rather strict design constraints on the waveguide parameters. Here, we investigate directional couplers built of asymmetric waveguides that do not fulfill parity-time symmetry. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that for properly designed parameters, at least one mode of such couplers shows a behavior similar to the one observed in parity-symmetric systems. We find an analytical condition relating gain and loss that enables such a behavior. Moreover, if the individual waveguides composing the asymmetric coupler are designed such that the propagation constants of their modes are identical, the behavior of both super-modes supported by the coupler resembles that of the parity-time symmetric systems.