It seemed natural and normal to do the same in China. I didn't know much about China back then -- a time when I could only communicate in Mandarin with a dictionary and lots of patience, and where my entire cultural knowledge was amassed from the library books on China I borrowed during the summer. But I figured surely I wasn't alone in my feelings. Surely the other female foreign teachers at my college had secret crushes of their own. On the streets of Zhengzhou, China, the city where I first had a crush on a Chinese guy Or so I thought, until one day when I was sharing lunch with my colleagues.
As we stopped on the corner of a side street and watched the mostly-male populous pedaling past us through the intersection, she grimaced. How could these women just write off all Chinese men as undateable? The question haunted me as I pondered my crush on Tian. But it wouldn't be the last time I would find myself up against these ideas.
As I continued to date the locals in China and eventually married a fellow from Hangzhou, I would come to realize that most expat women in China agreed with my Zhengzhou colleagues. And sometimes, their dislike was just shocking. A European woman I worked with in famously told me that, while she found all Chinese men completely repulsive, she considered Chinese children so adorable. My husband posing with our nephew.
I think they're both adorable. But some of my most fascinating and educative encounters with this idea of "Chinese men as undateable" happened online, when I came face-to-face with these opinions distilled into the cold, black-and-white reality of blog posts and expat forums. Back in , I discovered a post on a now-defunct blog authored by expats in Shanghai. The post was written by a white American woman based in Shanghai and titled, "So, how's the dating scene?
In the still, he's locked in an awkward slow-dance embrace with a girl an entire head taller than him, but that's not even the worst of it. While she leans her head on his in perfect contentment, he has his cheek buried in her bosom while staring at it with a prurient curiosity that surely would have snapped the girl out of her reverie. At the time I was only beginning to learn about negative stereotypes of Asian men that American TV, movies and the media had perpetuated over the years: The woman who wrote that post never specifically said any of these things about local men in China, but she didn't have to.
Long Duk Dong took care of that. Then again, her post appears downright classy in comparison to what I've read in the free-for-all world of anonymous expat forums across China. There was a brief time when I tried combing these forums in search of discussions about dating Chinese men, hoping to gain some insights, but I soon gave that up. Both talk about their relationships with their Chinese significant others. Here are some of our insights about dating Chinese guys: They date for marriage Chinese guys, with pressure from their parents and coming from a different culture of dating, by-and-large date to marry.
So much so, that my husband didn't ask to date me, he asked me to be with him for the rest of his life. I guess that was his marriage proposal! So, if you're dating a Chinese guy, make sure to figure out what the both of you want out of the relationship so you can manage expectations. All of the Chinese women that have married Western men that I know of have returned to his home country soon after the wedding. Read more about what Chinese women love about Western guys.
Part of this comes from their obligation to care for their aging parents and grandparents. Also it's easier for them to continue their career here, especially if they're older and already established in their career. As for free English lessons, although my husband and I only communicate in English, I know of several couples who speak Chinese because their boyfriend or husband doesn't speak a word of it.
They take their parents' word seriously With filial piety being taught in school from first-grade on, I've found that Chinese adults take their parents' word very seriously. Jocelyn's now father-in-law told his son that he was welcome to be friends with a Western woman but not to date her. This must have been a huge letdown for him, but fortunately love won out. My husband's parents are always telling us what to do, not to do, how to do such-and-such properly and how to raise the kids.
I try to listen out of respect, then choose whether or not I'll follow what they say. They're okay with living apart Presumably, you meet your boyfriend while you're both in the same city as most couples do, but a large number of Chinese couples live and work in different cities. My sister-in-law and her husband spent their whole time dating and the first four years of their marriage living in different cities, countries even, due to work.
At least half of the kids I tutor only see their dad once a year because of this. The opportunity to earn more money is often more lucrative than staying at home. I didn't realize just how common this is when we were dating and I got lucky and found a guy that likes to stay close to home. The two times he's been given the option to go to Inner Mongolia, and triple his income, he's turned it down.
They can be shy and insecure When it comes to dating Western women, we've noticed that Chinese guys tend to be shy and insecure. In a post on her blog, Speaking Of China, Jocelyn recalls the story of a Chinese taxi driver telling her that he couldn't satisfy the needs of foreign women in a previous relationship.
Why Won't Western Women Date Chinese Men?
Asian Guys and White Girls: The Secret to Success
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