Ask the Yangxifu: 5+ Years of Dating & Still Haven't Met His Family | Speaking of China

42 Responses

  1. Sara
    Sara March 30, 2012 at 2:42 am | | Reply

    I totally agree with Jocelyn’s advice and I’ve been to a similar situation before. I dated a Chinese man in Finland for five years and his parents never accepted me. First he hide the through that we were living together, then he didn’t told his parents when we got engaged.

    It’s a long story, but to put it short it all ended when my boyfriend went back to China for a holiday. His parents introduced him to a Chinese girl. Well, my boyfriend just forgot to tell me about this and I had to find it out myself from a photo where he was hugging a strange girl! We broke up after that and later he married that Chinese girl and had a child together.

    So break up with him even though it feels hard. I got a feeling that he is hiding something in China, perhaps another girl like my ex. But what ever it is he clearly isn’t good enough for you. If in so many years he have never mentioned you to his parents, he probably never will.

    I know how you feel, it’s not easy, but I think it’s best to end it now.

  2. Christine Tan
    Christine Tan March 30, 2012 at 2:54 am | | Reply

    Aiyoh. Jocelyn’s right, his culture and traditions are just an excuse to keep you dangling. After seven years, his family should have at least acknowledged your presence as his girlfriend (if not wife-to-be). I’d say work on your relationship if you’d been with him 1-3 years. But so long? Too much.

    He is a coward who only loves you enough to secretly live with you and turn off his phone when he’s with them.

    I am also from a relatively traditional Chinese family, but I can’t feel sympathy for this boyfriend. My family greatly opposed my relationship; their anger continued for two years, and it caused me heartache and grief, and I wonder whether all that pressure contributed to my pregnancy loss. I hung in there because I was sure about my partner and wanted him in my life. Can’t say the same for your boyfriend.

  3. Mika
    Mika March 30, 2012 at 3:05 am | | Reply

    I agree with Jocelyn, he’s a real jerk.

    From my experience 99% of Chinese guys date girls with the intention of getting married and the remaining 1% doesn’t because he’s already married. I heard about this kind of stories from my friends before and most of the times the reason behind this behavior was because they were either in a relationship or already married. I know I’m being skeptical but I keep wondering why he turned off his mobile when he went to Taiwan. Nobody is that scared to turn off the mobile if he has nothing to hide and this is something guys do when they are worried to get into trouble.
    Maybe I am wrong and you are the only person in his life but think about it, even if it’s like that, if he didn’t have the courage to stand up for you in front of his family in the past years and give you what you need (and what he promised), who says that he will change?
    I guess that after everything you went through with him, you can actually start thinking about the possibility to break up with this guy. I’m sure there are lots of men who could make you happier and give you what you asking for. Hope my message is not too straightforward but my husband is Chinese and in the past years I’ve got to understand better how Chinese guys think.

  4. C.
    C. March 30, 2012 at 5:46 am | | Reply

    I would not be surprised if he were already married and he saw you as his er nai. I’ve seen a lot of situations like that, and this fits the pattern.


  5. Rebekah
    Rebekah March 30, 2012 at 6:22 am | | Reply

    I so totally 100% feel your pain. I have been with my Taiwanese guy for almost 6 years, and it looks like it’s going to explode in our faces really soon. All the lying to the family, the secretive behavior when there are family gatherings. It hurts so SO much! I feel such a connection to your story, except you don’t have a child. That is my bf’s biggest issue with me, my child from another relationship. I have even heard the “you need a certain level of education to be accepted” comment way back when we started dating.
    You will be fine, even if this is a ridiculous, painful and unacceptable situation. If you choose to move on you CAN do it. I know it is hard, and with you two living together it will be very difficult. If you have close friends and family it may be best to turn to them for support. I have been since I laid down the law last weekend about my relationship.
    It hurts, it’s unfair and you don’t deserve it…these are words from my best friend to me last Saturday. I’m passing them along to you. If you feel the courage to do it, do what I did. Tell him it’s all or nothing, and stand your ground. You will be OK. All of us reading your story are sending our positive thoughts your way. 🙂

  6. Been There
    Been There March 30, 2012 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    I have been a long time lurker here, this is my first post. I feel this. I have lived this, not quite to your exent, with a Taiwanese man too. He is my heart. He is also the eldest male child in the family. It seems to me that the filial duty far surpasses true love. I don’t know what to tell you because my situation, 2 years later, still rips my heart every time I think about it. I guess, I was just moved to tell you that you are not alone. I found Jocelyn’s blog because I felt so alone. I did not understand and I still do not understand. However, there is a sense of *sigh* relief to read about people who have shared similar experiences. I wish you the best. Follow you heart and have faith. *HUG*

  7. BRUCE
    BRUCE March 30, 2012 at 9:05 am | | Reply

    Yes, I agree for a breakup!!!!!!!!!!! Having a doctor degree doesn’t make you a genius in relationship. If I’m your bf for so many yrs, I will never turn off my phone instead I switch to an int’l SIM card. We have internet nowadays. No,no,no this is totally wrong that you have to get a higher degree for his family whereas another Chinese woman needs no degree (just be a traditional wife). Love hurts and I do understand because his/her HEART is not here with you or doesn’t belong to you. “His mind is here but his heart is somewhere else”. MOST traditional chinese families still can’t break away their ways of thinkings yet. Let’s tell you that you want to break up and see how he reacts and then the answer is front of you.

  8. Marcus
    Marcus March 30, 2012 at 9:32 am | | Reply

    I do feel sorry for your situation. But why are you with him for all these year when you knew that he was lying? Relationship is a two way street where both partners contribute and are in a level playing field. Your Bf is your typical commitment phob guy (they come in all races). You should break up with him when he turned off the phone (that’s very insulting to you)?

  9. Catherine Yigit
    Catherine Yigit March 30, 2012 at 9:51 am | | Reply

    I agree with Jocelyn dump him. I have very little tolerance for guys who waste a girls time (and vice versa).
    My Turkish boyfriend did not tell his family when we were living together in the States but when I rang him after he returned to Turkey and told him I was thinking of visiting he was happy to tell them all about me. He defied tradition and we stayed together in the flat above his parents even though we weren’t married.

  10. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh March 30, 2012 at 10:46 am | | Reply

    I feel like pulverizing the face of that a-hole next time I go back to Taiwan.

  11. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian March 30, 2012 at 10:56 am | | Reply

    If he is not a jerk, he is probably worse. Turning off the mobile while in China must tell you something. He’s probably got some one already. And what’s this about a doctorate?! Another c & b excuse to justify tradition? Nah, Chinese tradition does not demand nor expect a wife to be highly qualified. Just a considerate and loving wife. I should know because I am Chinese myself. You have to decide for yourself whether your bf is really worth wasting your time for. Sorry, it does not look too good. There are other good Chinese guys out there. All my best wishes and be strong.

  12. David
    David March 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm | | Reply

    Same crap as Alex below!

  13. SBC
    SBC March 30, 2012 at 2:06 pm | | Reply

    Wow… Just wow. You have been together for five plus years, you got a doctorate for him ( I am doing one on my own wish and it’s still hard), and he does not have the decency to introduce you to his parents? Of course they will not accept you with open arms if you are not a traditional Chinese ( I doubt if a Korean would fare better than you in this case). But that does not mean he should hide you from his parents. Listen, it’s natural to want to hide a new relationship. I hid mine from my family for a few months. But when my bf told his parents I decided to tell mine too, even if it meant annoying questions from family about when we would get married. His parents didn’t approve, mine have a better attitude, but despite the ups and downs we communicated and tried to work things through.

    There is a difference between a traditional person and a coward. I think your bf is the latter. As everyone here has pointed out. Do yourself a favor and give him an ultimatum. You have nothing to loose. If he is twiddling his thumbs because there is no pressure, he might get the much needed push. If he is keeping a wife back in China to please family, he will run. Either ways you will be better off.

    Being from a traditional family, I can empathize with the kind of pressure families put on kids. It’s inane and stupid but they do it. However that does not give him a license to treat you in this horrible fashion. I know of many cases where the other person withstood a lot of family pressure to be with someone. And even in cases where it fails, there is still mutual respect. This guy is just a jackass who should stay in his mummy’s lap and never bother another woman again. All the best and I hope only good things come your way and help you cope and be better off ink life. Truly.

  14. Sveta
    Sveta March 30, 2012 at 2:54 pm | | Reply

    Sounds like a jerk, excuse or no excuse. My Korean ex boyfriend was with me for two and a half years and his family never knew about me. Even though he never promised me marriage or anything of that kind, still hurt when he would say “we are friends.” Friends don’t sleep together. I do know because I do have a close male friend. But that’s not the point. What does the guy have? Does he have a PhD? How can a person not be worthy to meet a family? Even though it will be painful (and I know how painful it is…) please break up with him.

  15. HAMLover
    HAMLover March 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm | | Reply

    Ahh sorry to read about your situation. He is selfish & hiding behind ‘Chinese tradition’. You need to think about your future & really think whether you can accept continuing on as things are now. Because the chances of him changing is nil. Be strong & realise you’re worth more than this. You can find your Prince 🙂 he is just waiting for you to find him. Good luck!

  16. AG
    AG March 30, 2012 at 4:10 pm | | Reply


  17. namenotgiven
    namenotgiven March 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm | | Reply

    Sorry to see this happening to you. On the plus side you have:

    1. Your degree
    2. No children by this guy.
    3. Limitless potential, and someone, somewhere, who will fall in love with you someday.

    Hope you find the strength to break up with him. It is hard because you love him, but in the long run you will probably be happier. I am saddened that he wasted so much of your time, but I am sending you good wishes, and my prayers are with you.

  18. melektaus
    melektaus March 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm | | Reply

    I’m not surprised by the lack of tolerance, understanding and sensitivity I see in many westerners. I wonder if “anonymous” ever considered the possibility that it has nothing to do with her? Maybe he, like many people, Chinese or non Chinese, simply don’t get along well with his family? Maybe that is why he wants to keep distance between his own relationships and his filial duties separate.

    He may still want to maintain a cordial relationship with his family and be a decent son even if he does not want to be otherwise close to his family and that may be why he continues to visit them but not tell them about aspects of his life even if those aspects mean a lot to him.

    Not everyone gets along with their parents and may not even want his parents to know about his private life. Not everyone is blessed to have caring and understanding parents. In any case, it is hard to talk about one’s parents and even harder to talk about one’s personal relationships to one’s parents when one does’t get along with them.

    Maybe in criticizing others one should look within. It easy to judge others without the complete facts available but I see there’s lots of possibility that your judgments are presumptuous.

    I don’t know what is up with him but it seems presumptuous to assume that it is a character flaw on his part, that he is a “jerk” when he isn’t even here to speak on behalf of himself.

    That seems like just as much a possibility from the letter as the possibility that he is a “jerk”.

  19. Bruce
    Bruce March 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm | | Reply

    Tell his ass to come here and explain himself and then dump him. No need to help him w/excuses. Final decision!

  20. sam
    sam March 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm | | Reply

    I would say the guy is a real jerk. But then again, I would say Anonymous is pretty naive. It is clear that the man is messing with her yet either she is deceiving herself into thinking it’s not or that she’s just plain dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not laughing at her or anything. What I’m telling her is, in any relationship, keep your eyes and ‘mind’ wide open. it’s for your own protection, err ‘safety’.

  21. Jia-qi
    Jia-qi March 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm | | Reply

    If he truly loves you, he would’ve told his family about you. He would’ve married you years earlier. You don’t deserve this, chickadee.

    Doesn’t matter the culture, if a man loves you, he would be proud to tell his family about you and endure all hardship from family and friends that don’t like you.

    Ending a relationship is hard enough. But if you can’t move on, can’t let go, then try to have a serious talk with him about all this after he comes back from China. (I suggest waiting for at least 2 weeks or so.) Tell him what you want, tell him you wish for him to tell his family about you. And if he’s TOO stubborn to listen or even acknowledge your own feelings and hopes for your future, then you must let go.

    Hope this sort of advice works~

  22. Giora
    Giora March 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm | | Reply

    The answer is obvious. You must leave him. He’ll never marry you. If you don’t believe me .. just tell him that you live together and that it’s time to get married in 2012 .. and then wait for his many excuses why he can’t marry you this year.
    Meeting his family is not the issue .. his refusal to marry you is. Now that you know what to do, you can only blame yourself if you stay with him and waste your time. Best wishes in finding another man this year ..a man that appreciates you.

  23. cvaguy
    cvaguy March 30, 2012 at 9:49 pm | | Reply

    I don’t usually judge how couples treating each other. But going on a unreachable trip seems to me a sure sign of cheating.
    Do yourself a favor and dump him! Find yourself a better man, you deserve better.

  24. Cyril
    Cyril March 31, 2012 at 4:50 am | | Reply

    This man is a woosh, a smuck better still a COWARD. He will dump you during signs of trouble. Selfish useless Chinese guy. Good for you to dump him.

  25. BRUCE
    BRUCE March 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm | | Reply

    We are not trying to pour gasoline on the situation here! Let’s say you’re married now and your husband says ” I am afraid I might accidentally dial int’l call” so he turns off his phone. How much does it cost for one call like that? This is one in a million chance that it will happen. Can he afford $300 int’l phone bill? Trust me a LOVING/CARING man/woman will always call back to check on you once he landed on international soil and call you almost everynight to update on the trip. How do I know this? because I do this all the time. It’s not about the amount of phone bill or not revealing your relationship. He is NOT man enough to deal with his parents. Let me tell you that even his parents disown him for several yrs. Don’t worry because siblings , parents won’t be enemies for life. They will be reconnected again and everything is back to normal. I see it all the thing.It’s a proven fact. Do I sound like a doctor? I want to know this guy’s age. 25 ? 35? 45? damn old like a cow still need parents’ approval?

  26. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh March 31, 2012 at 6:03 pm | | Reply

    This guy is too chicken sh*t to say “no” to his parents, yet at the same time he’s too afraid to break the bad news to you. The result: he wasted 7 years of your precious youth. The temporary avoidance of conflict, to prop up that pretentious facade of superficial harmony, has resulted in far graver long-term damage. And I thought only Japanese people would go that far. Guess I was expecting too much from the civilization that gave birth to Neo-Confucianism. He’s a selfish, insensitive coward through & through.

  27. Miriam
    Miriam April 1, 2012 at 1:48 am | | Reply

    Definitely think this guy to be already married. Is best for you to break up with him and find yourself a real Chinese man. You’ll feel so much relief when you take the plunge. Best of luck

  28. Tody
    Tody April 1, 2012 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    Can we please be very honest here, this girl’s situation is so hard and very wrong. Unfortunately, whether we want to accept it or not, it is fact that Chinese men ARE very good at keeping mistresses and it happens REGULARLY. They DO date for reasons other than marriage, especially if they are already married. It has long been a part of their culture. What’s more, it is well known that they EXPECT both wife and mistress to accept the situation as the men want it. However, we also know that there are a few good men among them who are amazing, true and loyal and this girl sure deserves a REAL Chinese man who is exactly these things. This guy is not being forthcoming and needs to be let go. Only those unique Chinese men who are prepared to declare their love for their western women, despite consequences, are the only ones worth holding on to. Few of them are this brave.

  29. Miriam
    Miriam April 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | | Reply

    My hubby feels for this girl, he even left his comment!

  30. Eric Eng
    Eric Eng April 1, 2012 at 8:28 am | | Reply

    I’m a Chinese American Man dating a French/Spanish woman and totally agree you should dump his ass. He’s a punk coward who can’t seem to realize that this should be his life and whoever he wants to date should be fine with his parents. If they don’t respect that then they won’t be in my life/their future grandchild’s life. If he has balls he should just stand up for you if he truly care. If he doesnt well at least you got a clear cut answer that hes a punk and a coward surely someone you do not want to wed. I think tradition is a bit silly and my parents have learned to live with the thought that its my life my body I’ll marry and love whoever I please if they don’t like it then don’t be a part of my life I don’t need the negativity. OP, you should like a good caring woman, you deserve someone who will be as loving and dedicated as you! and congrats on getting a doctorate! silver lining? and just remember there are douchey guys of every skin color!

  31. Eric Eng
    Eric Eng April 1, 2012 at 8:29 am | | Reply

    sound like*

  32. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason April 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm | | Reply

    I agree with Jocelyn. This guy is a loser and a coward. Don’t think of it as seven wasted years, but as time you earned a doctorate, learned some things about yourself, and grew to become the strong woman you are–who will dump this guy. You deserve better and can find a guy who would do anything to make you happy. Good luck. Once you find the strength to leave him, things will get so much better.

  33. aiyangxifu
    aiyangxifu April 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm | | Reply

    @Anonymous lady

    Show this post and comments to your Chinese boyfriend. See what he has to say. Also he might have chance to tell his side of story if your story is true.

  34. Kman
    Kman April 7, 2012 at 3:23 pm | | Reply

    OH come on! what is with you white women and your asian boyfriends who are too pussies to introduce you to their families?
    I tell ya what. I am Korean raised in a VERY strictly traditional family. My dad constantly tells me he’ll never see me if i bring a non-korean. Yet, I don’t give a fuck. I’ll bring my non-korean gf home anytime. “Fuck this, this is who I love and you better accept her”

  35. Bruce
    Bruce April 7, 2012 at 7:46 pm | | Reply

    First of all, you don’t need financial support from your parents and you don’t live under one roof. Why worry about the future? All you chinese men should have my kinds of attitude and personality so your parents will submit to you. Because of your presentation mainly when you introduce a person. Tell your parents that this person is very special, he/she is different but he/she is honest, dedicated and loves me.Bottom line is, if they won’t approve of the relationship, you give them silent treatment and disappear for a long while.after a few yrs, they will submit to you. To prove them wrong, your relationship has to work out after a few yrs. Normally,I like to call men sissies due to their weak, indecisive, nooooooooooo action personality but I’m cooling down. I don’t want to take BP medication so Im doing my tai chi right now. Hopefully, my yin yang is back to normal lol :).

  36. Amy
    Amy April 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm | | Reply

    I have been in situations like this with my Beijing boyfriend before. He would always insist that his family would not accept me, and that is because is a FU ER DAI and was constantly getting set up with Chinese women from professional, working families. You are obviously good enough for him, and the excuse that you needed to get a Ph.D could have been his test to see how commited you were to him. It’s not that his family would not accept you if you did not have the degree – how freaking ridiculous is that?! This whole situation sounds like my relationship, and in the end, my boyfriend did have another girlfriend on the side. I do not know if this could be true, but perhaps back home he is getting set up with other females and is allowed to take his pick as different family members find girls for him to be introduced to. Sure, he might find this enticing, but that does not mean that he will go for any of them. It’s wrong of him to keep his cell phone turned off and keep you waiting like this when you are supposedly the one he loves and wants to marry. This is showing no respect for you and the relationship. You should NOT STANDN FOR IT. Blow up his phone when he returns and throw tantrums and let him know he absolutely cannot treat you like this. Be honest and truthful, and in the end, at least you tried your hardest. Do not let yourself suffer through this because you can do sooo much better. Go to China yourself and go find them and meet them. Find where he lives and force yourself into his and their lives. Don’t stand back. That’s what I’d do.

  37. cvaguy
    cvaguy April 12, 2012 at 8:54 pm | | Reply

    @Amy – your suggestion is not a bad one for someone who has strong personality and has a philosophy of “Don’t give up unless all means have been tried”, only it may not be practical. Does she speak mandarin well enough to be able to travel to China on her own ? Will she be able to cover the cost of airline ticket, hotel stay, transportation, etc ?

    It may be easier to seize his phone, somewhere in it must have his parents number. Call in to introduce herself if she could communicate with them. Or may be email them if she could find out the email address. That may be easier.

    I also wonder if you dumped your BF. I don’t see “ex-” prefix. Although it is usual for me to forgive, persistent cheating is something I can’t tolerate, in fact, no one should.

  38. gzf
    gzf May 8, 2012 at 2:04 am | | Reply

    It’s a him thing for sure. He is a completely different type of person from you. They are not for each other. If there is any good in this, it’s good that you have left him. He is incapable of feeling the love you feel for him. Those he told you are all BS excuses.
    Don’t be sad. We are all after love, not just one person. Never give up!!!

  39. gzf
    gzf May 8, 2012 at 2:08 am | | Reply

    对了,忘记跟你说了,你应该对他说 ‘我操你大爷!’

  40. Bruce
    Bruce May 8, 2012 at 7:36 am | | Reply

    You can text internationally for free now.hint hint*winks*

  41. Richard Jones
    Richard Jones January 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm | | Reply

    I agree. There is never a reason to call your love names. Thank you, I have been writing a Chinese Traditional woman for about 5 weeks, all she has told me of her family is her dad is dead, she has 3 brothers and 4 sisters and a daughter 24. I was worried about it, but i see now she is really trying. hehe Nothing to worry about. Thanks again.

  42. i want a boyfriend
    i want a boyfriend February 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm | | Reply

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