As I’ve written before, people in China are just crazy about yangxifu (the foreign wives of Chinese men). We’ve inspired two popular forums on Baidu devoted to discussing yangxifu (Yangxifu Ba and Waiguoxifu Ba), while yangxifu regularly make headlines in China news.
So of course, many Chinese men would love to marry a Western woman just like me. For some, it’s even their life’s dream.
But just because a guy would love to marry us doesn’t mean he’s always doing it with love in mind. Unfortunately, some Chinese men approach us with the wrong ideas altogether — things that would surprise and totally shock you.
If you really want to wed a Western woman in China, please – PLEASE — don’t do it for one of these four incredibly bad reasons:
1. To show off
In today’s China, everyone yearns for status symbols like BMWs, Louis Vuitton purses and Burberry scarves. They want to tell the world they’re powerful, wealthy and successful. But for some men, the ultimate status symbol – the proof that they’ve truly “made it” – is a Western wife.
I’ve got news for you, guys. We don’t take well to being treated as nothing more than your accessory. We’re not just some Coach purse, content to swing around your arm in front of your friends and colleagues. And believe me, we’re usually smart enough to figure out that that’s exactly what you’re doing (especially if you seem intent on parading us in front of as many people as possible every time we go out).
If you really want to show off, do us a favor and get a Porsche or something instead.
(P.S.: for a personal take on this issue, read about how my husband’s cousin wanted a Western wife to brag about.)
2. To immigrate to her Western country
Have you been “California dreaming” or hoping to live out a permanent “Roman holiday” in a Western country? Perhaps you’ve imagined a highly questionable solution to your problem – just marry a Western woman. With her by your side, a coveted foreign passport, the rights to work or study in her country just like a local, and tons of enviable visa-free travel destinations are all yours for the taking, right?
Except…what happens when your wife discovers she’s nothing more than your personal passport machine?
I once knew of an American woman I’ll call “Sally” who was smitten with a Beijinger. For Sally, a plus-sized woman in her forties used to being invisible to the vast majority of men, finding a guy who actually wanted to marry her and come to live with her in the US was nothing short of a miracle. So they tied the knot and then her Beijing husband came to Seattle. That’s also the city where he abandoned Sally by disappearing from her life, just after he nabbed his US green card. It’s not hard to tell who (or rather, what) he was really in love with.
She posted the whole harrowing story on an online forum. While it broke my heart to read it, I can only imagine the state of Sally’s heart when she discovered her so-called husband had essentially punk’d her in the most despicable way.
Do you want to be that kind of guy? Do you want your immigration rights at the expense of her happiness? Do want to shatter her trust in men forever (including men from China)? We’re talking about a Faustian bargain that could haunt you for the rest of your life (that is, if you actually have morals).
Besides, living abroad isn’t all champagne and English roses. The moment you set foot in a Western country, you’ve just traded in one set of challenges for another. And let me tell you, some of those challenges will surprise and shock you (like discrimination).
Still gotta “Go West”? Just don’t use a Western woman who you never really loved in the first place to do it.
3. To improve your English
“So you only speak English to her!”
God, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this from Chinese people, who wrongly assume my husband only communicates with my in English. Even worse, some jump to the conclusion that his English is so awesome because he married me.
Sometimes, I just want to cringe because of what they’re implying — a Western wife who speaks English equals your own private English teacher.
I want to be appreciated for who I really am, not because I happen to be a native English speaker. Who wouldn’t feel the same?
It’s bad enough that a lot of Western women in China – women just like me – end up teaching English here, an occupation that sometimes makes you feel like an “English machine” when seemingly everyone and their brother demands a piece of you to boost their English studies. We don’t want that kind of exhausting mess in our marriage.
That doesn’t mean we can’t support your language studies at all. Actually, my husband John and I have enjoyed a bilingual relationship from the moment we started flirting years ago. It’s one of the things that makes our marriage a lot of fun.
But if you’re only looking for love with us for English, believe me, we’ll catch on. After all, we’ve probably all taught English at one time or another – and we can tell if you belong in our bedroom or our classroom. And if you’re only looking for “private lessons”, we’ll dump you and your crazy English ideas.
4. Because you’re racist
To the Chinese guys who exclude all other women in pursuit of a pale-skinned Western beauty with golden hair, I’m talking to you. You know, someone who thinks that mixed-race kids are so much more “beautiful” and “clever”, and therefore must have, for example, a white Western wife.
I get that people have preferences in the dating world. But if you’re dating a certain group of people because of their race (or characteristics only unique to a certain race) to the exclusion of people from other racial groups…that’s racist. I wouldn’t want a guy who loves me solely for my white skin – or the fact that I could provide him with a mixed-race baby. That’s just creepy!
What do you think of these reasons? What did I miss?