How can Western women and Chinese men get along - as a couple?

17 Responses

  1. Jessica
    Jessica February 26, 2010 at 2:57 am | | Reply

    That’s a great response Jocelyn.

    I had to smile at the question because it is very typically Chinese “the food is so different!”

    The food is small stuff. Different holidays, different education, even different languages that’s all small stuff that can be overcome.

    Tony, I think you’ll find that for most international marriages, whether they’re Chinese/American or Turkish/French or Korean/Brazilian or any combination, the main thing is that you and your partner have the same set of core values and similar outlooks on life. Despite my husband being Chinese and my being American, we find the same things important in life and we approach our lives and how we relate to each other and to the world in similar ways. Despite coming from different cultures he and I, as humans, are very alike.

    I wouldn’t get too caught up on all of the differences. Of course there are many, and many aspects of culture are certainly deeply ingrained, but I think that if you give them a chance you’ll find that there are many women of many nationalities who you have more in common with than you think.

  2. maria (ma rui)
    maria (ma rui) February 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm | | Reply

    Ok now not only do I envy Jocelyn more than I already did but I am more curious because i want to be in your position, I am a major fan of chinese people, not only have I dedicated myself to them i have started learning the language, taking interest in their culture, eating their food, and i have started to make sure there is not one thing i dont do to grab their attention, how did you do it, and what would u suggest to me, please desperately need your help Jocelyn i want a fantastic hubby like you have been blessed with one and i want a fantastic job, all in CHINA !!!

  3. Friend
    Friend February 27, 2010 at 12:42 am | | Reply

    My parents told me this regarding how couples live.

    同聲共氣

    Or ask yourself do you see the same thing as your partner. Which pretty much is what does he/she values.

  4. Gerald Schmidt
    Gerald Schmidt February 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm | | Reply

    Even if marriage can be something of a business proposal, living together is a very different challenge to intercultural communication than doing business negotiations or the like.
    So, given that all couples can have their problems, it’s not surprising that this is a popular concern..

    I like looking at it from a different perspective, though: One of the main problems couples experience seems to be that, not least in the thrill of a romance’s beginning, everything seems to work out so easily, one never notices the small things. Exactly those kinds of small things, such as what you talk about and how, that are more obvious challenges when the couple is from different cultural backgrounds.
    Is it really easier, more likely that a couple stays together, when both never have to think about their cultures, their upbringing, blissfully assuming that it’s the same, and therefore not going to be any problem?

    Of course, that does not mean that there wouldn’t be differences and that both will have to learn to deal with their significant other’s idiosyncracies. The situation still reminds me of that regarding culture vs. individual in general, though: the difference between people is much greater than that between cultures.
    If you lack in self-awareness and understanding for your partner, it can hurt your relationship regardless; if the two partners want totally different things, it probably won’t be a good relationship, either.
    On the other hand, going into a relationship knowing that there will be misunderstandings and working to really get to know and accept each other, making each other happy and, not least, wanting to work through difficulties – sounds like a good foundation to me, whatever the language, whatever the culture.

  5. RC
    RC February 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm | | Reply

    Hi Tony,
    Jocelyn’s answer in regards to communication is, I think, very important. Being a man from the US and my wife from China, we communicate about everything. Due to language, at times, it takes us longer to communicate but we need to do this (but really think this is more of a woman/man issues, rather than culture).
    The other key ingredient is I had lived in China for 5 years before meeting my wife, and then her family, thus I knew a good amount of the Chinese culture, the language, and allowed me to understand more of what my wife is thinking and why.
    Communications and understanding are important, but my wife is more independant than other Chinese woman (which was/is of extreme importance to me…needed to know she could take care of herself and wasn’t permanently in need of her parents or future husband’s constant care) meaning she has lived away from her family, is able to take care of herself (cook for herself, clean for herself), and her thinking is more open because she has been exposed to and is more keen to listen to other people’s ideas and accept them.
    Bottom line in my view is that every person is different, whether they are Chinese, American, African, etc. ,. and communication and understanding will help.

  6. Roueen
    Roueen March 3, 2010 at 2:29 pm | | Reply

    i think finding a true partner can not be related to nationality. in any country , there are different cultures . but many people are adapting it.

  7. Amber
    Amber March 15, 2010 at 10:33 pm | | Reply

    I love chinese men I have just started dating one recently though I must admit it is very challenging sometimes. Hense me finding your page trying to research stuff lol

  8. Jo Gan
    Jo Gan June 7, 2010 at 8:32 pm | | Reply

    Ahhh.. I get this question all the time… and Jocelyn you answered it very well… I just want to add… that every relationship is give and take… you both have to give a little and you both take a little… it is not a matter of if you are American or Chinese.. or in my case Black American and he is Chinese.. our differences might seem even greater.. but.. it is not the outsides that have to match but the insides…. as long has you have the same goals in life and you want the same things… it doesnt matter what the outside looks like… My husband and I want to have a good relationship… we want to communicate with each other… yes we have disagreements.. but we take the time to listen to each other… that is important in every relationship… as for food, and holidays and lauguages… if you are open minded enough to want to have this relationship.. then you will be openminded on most everything else…. Some Chinese guys asked my husband if he liked western food… he said.. not really.. but if she can eat chinese I can eat western sometimes….. compromise is the key.
    .-= Jo Gan´s last blog ..Please Just Stop Staring … =-.

  9. vyara
    vyara October 20, 2010 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    well i sure hope that the communication thing can be worked at too! i speak very little mandarin and my guy speak better english than me but still very basic. we like eachother, let’s see if words are really that important in the language of love. ; )

    speaking of words, Jocelyn, what is that chinese saying you said about lovers being a thousand li apart? I haven’t been able to find it anywhere in english or chinese!

    Best regards, keep up the good work!

  10. Laura Nguyen
    Laura Nguyen January 1, 2011 at 8:13 pm | | Reply

    Communications and understanding is important, even for the little things! For example, Sometimes my husband and I will eat some different foods during the same meal because there are some textures in the Asian diet that I just don’t enjoy. Overall everything we do is a compromise , and we always respect differences and celebrate the similarities!

  11. Pamela
    Pamela January 22, 2011 at 2:08 pm | | Reply

    Hello! I want to share my story with you. I hope it can help me in somehow.
    I’m a student from Costa Rica (Central America), and I had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program to NY. This was for one year (2009-2010) and I can tell you it’s been the best in my life until now, I made one of my dreams come true.
    I worked in green house as a trainee, with others people in the same situation and from many different countries. I always say to myself that maybe I watched too many Disney’s movies about girls that “wanted more than a provincial life” and made it. Opened my mind and made my a very dreamy person.
    Well, the thing is that I’d always dream on having a boyfriend of different nationality, to allow me to see places and have adventures, haha, and also enrich the DNA of our babies in a future together.
    To start with my story, I most say that I fell in love with one of my mates… He’s from China. The time we spent together was amazing, he was my second boyfriend but I really didn’t know what was love before him. A few time after we started dating we moved together, and it was wonderful. We always thought of getting married and have kids.
    But there was one concern: we would have to go back home eventually. We really didn’t want to think about it, and avoid the topic for some time. Then when we saw the time to go home was coming the stress and presure grew and the problems started. There was a lot of tension and we fought very often, and he started to drink and smoke. (I forgot one detail: his visa expired before mine but he overstayed, to be with me).
    I know that couples aren’t perfect and that they fight sometimes, but for him, couples shouldn’t fight. So this was very bad for him.
    I haven’t finish school yet, so I always told him I was going to come back home, but wasn’t going to brake up with him. On the contrary, I just wanted to have my career to open more oppotunities for both of us.
    Sometimes I had to have a lot of patience because he didn’t express his feelings and thoughts.
    Summarizing. Other points that affected us were:
    1. He wanted to marry me but I didn’t, because I didn’t want to marry in a rush, I just didn’t think that was the way. And don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to but I hold myself for that reason.
    2. I didn’t bring him with me to CR. Actually we planned to do it and we were so excited! But I live with my parents, and after talking with my scared mother, she told me that my father wasn’t going to allow me to bring to my house.
    3. I didn’t stayed with him. I thought we could hold a long distance ralationship while I could get the means to bring him to my country. I thought he was sad about the idea but that he agreed. He never said anything.
    I came back to Costa Rica one month and one week ago. For my surprise (not a nice one) he didn’t want to talk with me by skype, or phone. He barely spoke with me the first days. Then he changed, he started drinking a lot, and didn’t pick up the phone anymore. He wrote me an email telling me that he started a new life and that he has a girlfriend now, which is one of the new trainees from China. And that he will go back to his country on this fall.
    So that’s my story, and here I am with my broken bleeding heart, loving him still.
    I wish I can understand why he changed like that so fast, and I wish I could be with him again…
    Thank you for giving me the chance to express myself.

  12. Pamela
    Pamela January 25, 2011 at 6:31 am | | Reply

    It is nice to know that someone really understands. Sometimes I feel I have the strenght to move on but sometimes I feel lost, and just want to have a time machine to go back in time.
    And as you said, it’s strange (or more than that) how he could so easily bury his love for me. Why can’t I do the same, haha?
    Thank you so much for your words, they really mean a lot to me. You inspire me to keep walking. And maybe someday I’ll accomplish my dream to go to China 🙂
    Greetings from Costa Rica!

    Pam

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