I get a lot of e-mails that end with this question: “Should I pursue him?” (I can almost hear the woman wincing as she asks this.)
Even in these “women hold up half the sky” modern times, I’d say most cultures still leave much of the heavy lifting in dating to the guy, and expect the girl to flirt and wait for his advances. Mine sure does. I heard the exhortations from others — don’t ask him out, you’ll look too desperate or too forward, and on and on.
But when you’re interested in Chinese men, sometimes you have to flip this rule on its head like a wicked gymnastics routine and do a little pursuing yourself — at least, at the beginning. Here are three reasons why:
1. Language Issues. Ah, that bellboy in China, with a smile that could launch a thousand five-star hotels. I melted every time I passed him by to visit the gym in that hotel in Hangzhou, and even caught myself flirting like a high school girl. But even though I dropped every “let’s have coffee” hint in the book, he never dared ask…until I finally talked to him in Chinese.
Later on, he confessed that he wanted to say more to me, but he couldn’t. “My English, not so good,” he once told me.
Whether you’re in China or facing a possible immigrant Chinese who speaks (or is learning) a second language, confidence about language (or even a complete lack of fluency in your language) sometimes messes up the best laid schemes of asking a girl out. And if you’ve never done anything beyond smile back at a guy, you might have absolutely no idea that, say, his English kept him from making that move.
2. The Inferiority Factor. I’ll never forget when a Chinese guy friend of mine revealed this idea over tea — that some men in Mainland China would love to date me, except that they couldn’t possibly see themselves as good enough for me, an American woman.
Yes, it’s crazy — certainly to me, because I never considered any of the guys I ever dated in China as anything but my equal. Not every guy thinks this way, though, and I believe this will wane over time as China continues to rise. Still, for now you’ll probably run into some guys who think this way — guys who will cross you off their lists, believing you’re just some fantasy woman they could never possibly call as their own.
3. Shyness. I don’t buy into the stereotype that every single Chinese man feels too bashful to even say “Ni Hao” to a girl. But if you’re like some of my readers, scratching their heads because this great guy seems to blush every time she gets near him, then you need an intervention. Seriously, ask him out already.
What do you think? What are some other reasons why Western women should pursue Chinese men?
Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture (or Western culture)? Send me yours today.