Ask the Yangxifu: Indirect Dating and Chinese Men

Western woman and Chinese man
How do you know if a Chinese man wants to date you -- or is dating you?

Anonymous asks:

I am an American female and began an international graduate program this January here in the US. Most of my classmates are foreign and I’ve gotten the attention from a Chinese male. There is a good chance our relationship is going to blossom, so I have a few questions for you.

At first, it didn’t dawn on me that he was interested, so he stepped it up a notch. He started waiting for me after class, sitting near me in class and initiating conversations. We have spent some time together outside of class. Our most recent encounter was a trip to the movies, where he picked me up and got a chance to meet my grandfather (he was very excited to meet Grandpa). He is currently on a trip for spring break and has phoned me a few times.

Here is the kicker and where my questions come in. He is very indirect. While I’m 99% sure he is courting me, he has never expressed in words his desire to date me (although it is still early). Should I wait for him to initiate that conversation? Additionally, he asks questions in a very indirect manner. For example, instead of asking if he can walk walk with me to the library, he asks where I am going next… I think it is a combination of his culture combined with being male haha. His English is also very choppy, so we have a communication barrier. I do not speak or read Chinese at all.

His indirectness combined with limited knowledge of the English language is difficult for me to understand his intentions at times (especially when he is hinting that he’d like to get together). I am an outgoing and honest person, so it’s difficult for me to know how to react to him. He is also very introverted and independent, kind of a homebody.

 

I guess I’m writing you for some advice. I don’t want to be too forward by asking him direct questions or disclose too much information that may turn him off. My instincts are telling me to find the balance between expressing interest and letting things happen naturally. I don’t know him well enough yet to know how I feel about him, but so far he’s caught my attention. Any advice/suggestions would be helpful.

———-

Thanks so much for the question!

Your experiences remind me so much of courtships in the past with Chinese men. In general, Chinese men are pretty indirect about their feelings, and dating.

My first Chinese boyfriend kept me guessing for a while. We spent over a month together in this “dating limbo”. We took late evening walks, our shoulders dangerously close, and he would say things like “I love the color of your eyes” or “I think foreign women are beautiful.” He would also inquire about what I was doing at certain times, or, if we were together, what I would be doing next — and then casually suggest we do something. But it wasn’t until we were crossing the street one day (to escape a beggar running after me) that we finally locked hands together — hands that didn’t part after crossing. Then he kissed me at my apartment, and I knew we were together.

With my second Chinese boyfriend, there was also a “dating limbo” before we became a couple. He offered hints to me (he told me “China welcomes such a traditional girl like you” and that he hoped I would remain in China, so he could take care of me). He spent generous amounts of time with me, including one day where one activity naturally lead to another and another, until it was very late. But it was really this one moment, when we were in a taxi, that I knew we were serious — because I naturally leaned on him, and our hands came together.

With John, who is now my husband, it was hard to know his true feelings, because he — and my matchmaking Chinese friend — joked about love all the time, like high school kids. But then John began dropping more hints. First, he did it through indirect text messages. He acted like a gentleman towards me at work, always the first to offer me a chair (next to him, of course). Then he accompanied me all evening after work for an entire week — leading up to my birthday. And, finally, he planned my birthday evening for me, and gave me some gifts — that was the evening we finally kissed, and I finally knew we were dating.

But, in all three cases, we didn’t really discuss love and dating directly. The transition from just friends to boyfriend/girlfriend happened so seamlessly — with a kiss or holding hands. Only later on did these men choose to verbalize our relationship, whether by referring to me as their girlfriend or even, affectionately, as their “wife”.

Why the indirectness about love? Most Chinese men grow up in a family where love is expressed through indirect actions. For example, my inlaws show they love my husband and I by making lavish meals every time we come (including a large helping of vegetarian dishes for me, because I don’t eat meat); or by even building entirely new additions to their home, just for us! I’ve never seen my inlaws kiss, hug or say anything suggesting “I love you.” It’s just not done publicly in many Chinese homes — and when it is done, in private, it means so much more.

So it’s no wonder that courtship in China can be so baffling to a Westerner. We often verbalize our intentions or feelings before making a move (or expect our partners to, lest they intend to “take advantage” of us for the moment). But in China, those intentions or feelings may not be spoken, because of the culture. We also are more likely to see a hug or kiss as something more casual, compared to the Chinese — so when they happen with a Chinese, they usually mean more.

I think it’s good to give a Chinese man the space to feel comfortable, so that things can happen more at his pace (which may be slower than what you know). In my experience, it usually took at least a month or more of spending time with a Chinese man before we progressed into dating. Moving things too fast could have negative consequences — because he might decide you’re “too easy” or “too loose” (the unfortunate stereotypes about Western women), and therefore not girlfriend, or wife, material. So, if you can, let him initiate that conversation about dating — realizing that sometimes holding hands or even kissing might actually come first before any words describing your relationship.

It helps to remember — especially when you doubt his affections — that Chinese men usually aren’t casual about showing interest in women. From your description — waiting for you after class, accompanying you around campus — I sense this man does want to date you.

Good luck, and let me know how things turn out. 🙂

——–

Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China (or in Chinese culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.

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47 thoughts on “Ask the Yangxifu: Indirect Dating and Chinese Men

  • March 12, 2010 at 2:45 am
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    Awww, I like the guy that Anonymous describes! I don’t even know him but he sounds really courageous to me. His English isn’t that great, he’s in a foreign country, and yet he’s putting himself out there. And it sounds like he picked a nice girl to court – how cool that she went online looking for advice! I’m rooting for these two, I hope this relationship works out.

    Reply
    • March 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm
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      @melanie – thanks for the comment! He does sound like an awfully sweet guy, doesn’t he? I’m definitely crossing my fingers and hoping this works out as well.

      @louie – thanks for sharing. Not sure I would agree that “if you take too long it may fizzle out.” From my experience, if a Chinese guy is interested, he doesn’t need things to go faster than what’s comfortable, and usually there is no need to artificially speed it up. He usually won’t just stop being interested.

      Not sure about “it’s ok to be ditzy” either. I don’t think a girl should ever have to behave like she’s not as smart just to get a man’s attention.

      Reply
  • March 13, 2010 at 3:05 am
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    Aw man if you’re too forward the romance may be ruined, but if you take too long it may fizzle out! Make a point to get him in a situation where he’s comfortable (familiar restaurant, or park), neither of you are distracted, and drop obvious hints like mess with his hair or *stumble*, grab onto him, and then not let go. Ask him about what guys in China do when they want to have a relationship, or have him teach you how to write a couple of characters – making sure he guides your hand in proper penmanship. It’s ok to be ditzy with someone you’ve spent so much time with. Given the circumstances, you’re obviously not stupid.
    And before people start bitching at me for giving bad advice – i don’t feel comfortable talking about sex. So insult me all you want just don’t expose your own latent homoerotic tendancies, please. Not saying names.

    Reply
  • March 14, 2010 at 3:16 pm
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    Thank you Jocelyn, Melanie and 路易师傅 , I have a little update.

    My Chinese suitor and I have been spending time together since he returned from vacation. There is definitely a powerful connection between us. Jocelyn, your description about dating Chinese men is very similar to his behaviors- compliments me often, gifts, etc… He also told his parents back in China that he met a beautiful and kind American girl! He’s so wise, intuitive and his understanding of human emotion is greater than any male I’ve ever encountered. We plan on going to a park on Lake Michigan to watch the sunset, but the weather is still a bit cold.

    mentioned his interest in me from the moment I walked in the classroom on the first day of school, and he’s very pleased we have become so close. Before we met, he preferred to go back to China after completing the graduate program; however, he said the last few weeks with me have changed his mind and he wants to stay in the US. I have not come out and directly asked if he likes me as more than a friend, because this “dating limbo” we are in is enjoyable. I forgot what it felt like to have the suspense build up in a relationship.

    I did, however, ask about his ex girlfriend and discovered some information that concerns me. He is very traditional and has only had 1 girlfriend. They broke up a few years ago only because he was still a student and not able to provide for them. As a student in America, he’s still relying on his parents and I got the impression that he doesn’t want to be in a relationship until he’s financially independent (around age 28). I hope I’m wrong and he was just explaining to me why destiny did not allow things to work out with his former girlfriend. Or if this is a concern for him, hopefully it won’t deter us from growing closer.

    And 路易师傅 , thank for your suggestion about having him teach me a few Chinese characters.

    Reply
    • March 14, 2010 at 4:37 pm
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      Hi, nice to hear from you again, and thanks for the update. 🙂

      I think what this man says is pretty typical for a lot of Chinese men. The reason is that most Chinese women (and their families) expect a man to have a steady job and own their own apartment before marriage (in fact, the apartment issue is a big one, because real estate is so expensive that most women and their families do not want the insecurity of no apartment, and financial issues). So, he is simply voicing a concern that most Chinese would have, and may think that you would expect the same (if not more) from him, financially speaking.

      Of course, it’s different here. We marry people without necessarily worrying about home ownership (we figure that will come later) — and sometimes we even marry when we’re still in school.

      Maybe, at some point if and when it makes sense, you can tactfully try to explain to him how things are in the US, that the expectations might be a little different (movies can sometimes help to illustrate things, and start a conversation).

      @louie — I agree w/ Anonymous, that teaching Chinese characters would be good.

      Reply
  • April 1, 2010 at 9:18 am
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    Oh Anonymous, a few months ago I also met a wonderful Chinese man. We are a bit older than you, so circumstances a bit different, but the dating limbo gets me still too, hahahaha. Like yourself I am VERY outgoing, open and honest, so it’s sometimes confusing for me to understand what he’s thinking or what he wants, LOL. Sometimes our relationship goes from intense fire, to “I have responsibilities to take care of today”. It’s been a few months, so I’ve learned that this is 100% accurate, when he is with me, he dedicates 100% of himself to me, but when he needs to take care of his family, or job, or school, he his 100% there. (Although I’d say it’s more like 85-90% now because he always takes breaks to call me or text me, hahahah.)

    As hard as it is for you, do your best to let things unfold naturally. Something that can be hard for us aggressive western women who know what we want 😉

    I can’t get over how amazingly helpful this site is. I would probably still be going crazy if I couldn’t come on here and read about the experiences of others, or if I couldn’t ask Jocelyn questions. Thank you SO MUCH Jocelyn! You have no idea what a beautiful service you are providing here. And who knew Chinese men were SO amazing?!?

    Reply
    • April 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm
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      Dear Michelle,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with Anonymous! I’m sure she’ll find it helpful to know she’s not the only one experiencing this.

      I’m glad you find my site so helpful — thank you for your kind words! It truly is readers like you that give me the inspiration to continue my writing, and this column. 🙂

      Reply
  • August 15, 2010 at 1:21 am
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    Hi Anonymous and Jocelyn, I’m a 24 yrs old European girl in China also attracted by a Chinese guy.. I was so glad to find this post, which is being very helpful for me too! I’ve been working in a Chinese company for only a month and as soon as I met this Chinese collegue I couldn’t stop thinking about him..and wanting to know him more. We only shared short conversations twice, because unfortunately we don’t work in the same department and have few chances to be together without having people around or work to do.. At the beginning it felt like I was back to teen age: giving him long looks and smiling at him shily haha. He’s a little weird.. he seems he’s interested in me too, sometimes he stares at me or waits for me to look at him and then keeps the stare.., but he doesn’t talk much to anybody and seems a real mystery at times.. After we talked those two times, things changed a little and he seems like being more confident around me, made me some questions… and then..a gesture that might sound so banal..: i was sitting with 4 other foreigner girlfriends and he comes in and offers me a candy… Then I added him to a chat programme and as he accepted it, sent a massage with a rose flower.. haha I really have no idea if these gestures are just a way to show kindness or if like you Jocelyn say, it is their way to express their interest? Things seem to go so slow…and I die to ask him out, but I know I can’t..because I am a foreigner and I would look too easy to his eyes and those of the other Chinese collegues… It seems so hard, and I don’t know how to understand if he really likes me or not.. Any suggestion? haha. Thank you so much again for this post, it is very interesting 🙂

    Sara

    Reply
  • September 10, 2010 at 4:13 am
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    I am a 34 year old american female and I have been dating a chinese man that is 30 off and on for over a year now. In the beginning our dating was very similar to what you all have spoken of. Dinner, romantic walks, and by our third date he kissed me. For months everything was going great he met my friends and everyone loved him, then he just stopped calling out of the blue. Months later he called and texted me. We got together and he explained that he was very busy with work and trying to purchase his first home. So we continued dating and now he seems very interested in my home decorating advise. I don’t know if I am being naive and he just came back because nothing better came along. I believe he didnt date anyone else during our time apart but I wonder if I am too gullable. Furthermore the house decor thing makes me wonder also, why is it so important that I be involved with picking the wall colors and art? It seems very personal almost like he is nesting expecting me to put the house together so eventually we can live there together. So it is hot and cold, I don’t know what to think. Do any of you have any suggestions or insight?

    Reply
    • September 13, 2010 at 12:37 am
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      @Interested, thanks for the comment. There’s definitely something very bizarre about a man who suddenly disappears and then reappears just like that and now he wants your decorating help. I don’t have any explanation, culturally speaking, for why he might do this — this seems more just about him as an individual. But disappearing and reappearing like that, in general, just seems like a bit of a red flag. You have to wonder about his sincerity.

      Anyone else care to jump in?

      Reply
  • October 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm
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    OMG I am totally going through the same thing- dating limbo! lol

    I am so relieved that I could share this experience with you girls. Who knew Chinese culture is so intricate?!

    So my guy- he is just a dream. I like so so much. He noticed me first, first there were the long looks, then he started conversation and eventually I visited him and exchanging pictures and laughter. When I next saw him, we both exchanged a very happy smile that only we shared like too little kids, no one else new about and I think this was the moment I felt for this guy.

    I only had a one month stay in China, and by the end of this he finally asked me out for dinner, he took me around taxis the whole day and treated me to massage… Can I also add that he took this day off work especially for me, he didn’t take a day off for three months! But even at this point I didn’t really clock on whether he likes me or not…

    I find it very beautiful that the Chinese name I chose for myself without any knowledge of it’s symbolism matches him perfectly. I chose the Phoenix (Feng) and as he over heard while I was discussing my new found name, he suggested I use his family name Jin for good luck. So we were now Jin Feng and Jin Long. So many of our Chinese friends made jokes, teasing me… Only after when I left China I realised that the Long and the Feng symbolise marriage = ) And without realising just before I left I wrote him a poem about a dragon and phoenix dancing together. Jesus!

    Anyway, I completely changed my trip around and went back to China! I’ve since then had my second date with him, he spoilt me rotten and this time I deffinetly had a feeling that he is more into me. For example, when I asked him to translate a note from a friend, he was particularly relived and tapped his heart racily when he discovered that it was in fact from a girl, instead of a boy!

    So now I’m back to London, how lucky is it that out of all of the places in the world he is coming to work in Belgium! That is two hours on the train! But like you ladies, it is so confusing to read a chinese guy..

    so when the emails and calls stopped coming in I got worried.

    I mean, yes, ok, he obviously liked me while I was there but what makes me think that he would actually date me? After all I’m not a girlfriend! After seeking help and advice from Jocelyn and a few other people, I gained hope. I decided to find out what has changed this current of positivity.. Instead of sending hiim the long message I planned out, I decided to get to the bottom of this simply.

    Here is the conversation:

    Me: What’s wrong? Don’t you like me anymore?
    Him: No wrong! I am waiting for my visa trouble! I’m sorry!
    Me: So you do like me?
    Him: No no no non no! hehe I am very busy at home too! Please understand me!

    Jocelyn was very to suggest that when a chinese guy may be going through things they become more aloof. So this simple example illustrates much of the conversation on here like limbo stages, taking it slowwwwly, and indirect ways of showing feeling. So all in all, it’s bloody difficult to get a Chinese guy to speed up the process! lol But at least you can judge from the exclamation marks how passionate they are! lol Hope this helps xxxxxxxxxxxx

    Reply
  • April 15, 2011 at 10:04 am
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    All I can say is Thank You! For writing these posts. I am not a western woman, I am Indian and I am dating a chinese guy. Given the obscurity of our particular combination, I found little to no advice online. And given that I am no expert on male behavior anyways (race and nationality notwithstanding) some of the things about my friendship and subsequent relationship with me constantly baffle me, even after almost a year of being together! Also, the holding hands and kissing preceding any conversation and the indirect remarks about physical appearance (big eyes etc)… ! I thought I was a one off weird case till I came across this blog! The advice is REALLY helpful and I hope it will help me through sticky times. 🙂

    Reply
  • April 17, 2011 at 5:22 am
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    I am so thankful to have found this site.
    While most of you here are Westerners liking or dating a Chinese guy, I am Asian and still it got me to a LOOOOT of thinking why there’s this limbo…
    Although i haven’t really gotten out with him on a date, he has told me he likes me and we have been constantly communicating, like almost everyday. So when that first incident happened (he did not communicate for days), i just had to ask and all i got for an answer was “… am busy…” I said to myself,
    what the heck, how busy can one get not to even send a single message of hi or hello?!!!
    Then after that, things would get back to how we were before but again there would be days that i would not hear from him. In those times, i would think, maybe he does not like me that much, maybe he lost interest. Then he’d be back, saying he misses me and asking if i miss him! It’d feel so weird. So then i would tell him that maybe he’s just playing around with me, especially since he knows i like him too. He would say,
    “I don’t like to play or joke about love. Understand?”
    So what am i to do? i tried to understand what happens each time. There would be times when i just can’t sit back and wait so i would contact him then we’d be talking… And i would also at times not communicate with him, trying at giving him a dose of his own medicine.. But then i would miss him so my scheme blows off on me. hahahaha…
    I am actually at the moment experiencing the SILENCE time with him. I’ve asked what’s up and told him i miss talking to him and happily, i got a message that it’s not that he does not want to talk but that he’s just BUSY and tired. I actually also know he is going through something and i now understand the no-communication part. so now i would go to sleep not worried or maybe just a little.
    Would it be wiser to just let him be? to just wait for him to communicate back with me? Cant i even say I MISS You? I don’t want to be like a clingy girlfriend cos i am not his girlfriend (not yet! :P) but i also don’t want him to think that i don’t care…
    Apparently i still have these questions but i am really grateful for this site… Thank you, you just don’t know how much worry you’re able to chase away from my mind… xiexie

    Reply
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  • December 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm
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    Hi Jocelyn,
    I love your website 🙂
    Maybe You can help me figure out if my chinese male friend is interested in dating me ?
    I am an 40 year old white woman , and my chinese friend is 3 years younger than me.
    We first meet 5 months ago when he came to my home to give me akupunkture for backpains. He usually once a week and we talk about all kinds off stuff : family, religion, culture, art, etc… I help him learn my language after treatments, he goes to language school and I help him with his homework.
    He gives me a lot of hugs when we meet and when we say goodbye ( and sometimes in between ). He often brings me gifts : flowers, christmas decorations, a souvenir he bought for me from a trip to Spain, a gift certificate to give my daughter in law. Last week he gave me a beautiful scarf for christmas. I gave him a christmas gift too, and he texted me on the phone on christmas evening that he liked the gift.
    He gives me a lot of compliments, and tells me I am lovely, and that he likes my personality. he often tells me to take good care off myself sometimes by texting me.

    He helped me decorate my chrismas tree and he lately sugested that he visit me to practice language, even when I am not having treatments.
    He allways stays between 1½ – 4 hour ( treatments are 45 minutes), and we are having a really nice time when he is here.
    I really like this guy, but I don’t want to scare him off – do You think he is interested in dating me ?
    Best regards from a scandinavian woman

    Reply
    • January 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm
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      @Scandinavian, thanks for the comment! I just e-mailed you. Sounds like he is interested in you, from what you tell me. Maybe you can try suggesting doing something together — such as dinner or those language lessons — and see how he responds. Good luck!

      Reply
  • January 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm
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    Thank you so much Jocelyn!
    I am a 31 year old Canadian woman. My mother is of European decent and my father is Caribbean. I’m 5′ 9″
    I went on a blind-date with a Chinese man (28 years old, about 5′ 8″) a few days ago and then another one the next day that lasted all day. He picked me up, took me for food, skating (a bit of hand-holding), mini-golf, a movie (more hand-holding) and dinner and then dropped me off and walked me to my door and gave me a fairly chaste kiss (I hope I didn’t kiss for too long, was that bad?). He sent a text five minutes later that he missed me, which I responded to similarly. I havn’t heard from him since. It’s been almost 45 hours (sad that I know). I have not texted again. I am restraining myself. It is very hard. It was such a great date! I’ve never been treated with such care and respect before.

    I’d love more advice on how this courtship process works so I don’t mess it up. I had a fairly strict upbringing, so it’s not like we’re incompatible (but I’m not 18 anymore). It sounds like this is going to be the norm for at least a month (or more?) and if I push for more physical contact (or allow more) I’ll won’t be seen as girfriend/wife potential.

    Help!

    Reply
    • January 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm
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      @Serena27, I am not sure why he hasn’t contacted you since your date. I hope he has by this time.

      You should read this article I did, with the help of other yangxifu: Western Wives, Chinese Husbands. That pretty much covers most of what you need to know about the courtship process.

      Reply
  • April 29, 2012 at 1:45 pm
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    Is there a point eventually when Chinese men generally are more open and direct with girlfriends/wives. My amazing chinese “friend” seems to be interested in me. He initiated our “friendship” this far. We are spending a lot of time talking about pretty much everything including the kind of future we both see for ourselves. We see each other daily thru work. Talk via the internet nightly with rare exceptions, share a meal at least once a week. We were recently having a conversation about his cultural value of direct communication being a sign of disrespect and how these clashes with my needing more direct communication but we got interrupted. I am struggling a lot internally with giving him the time to unfold everything in his own time. I have let him know gently that I have feelings stronger than friendship for him. Those dancing eyes and that smile make me week in the knees. Also I was wondering if my child from a previous relationship will affect how any of this unfolds. He has been so amazing with her. He has spoken a few times of how she and I need to visit the area of China his is from and how his family will love some of our traits. He has no intentions of ever returning to China except for visits and will soon be an official first generation Canadian. Some insight would be very much appreciated. Thank You

    Reply
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  • July 11, 2012 at 1:23 am
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    wow, I thought im the only one who wonder about how chinese guy when inlove, in my case my boyfriend was my student before oopppsss I know other might think that im a cougar ahaha, no my job is an online english teacher here in my country and we are at the same age should i say almost haha, im 1 year older than him, one thing that I noticed my boyfriend isn’t that vocal when it comes to his feelings like saying “wo ai ni” I think thats the most important for those couple who are in a LDR I talked to him about it but the good thing is he’s more comfortable now saying those three beautiful words there were times that I doubt him with his love on me (ofourse I dont wanna sounds so critical) but I never told him that, because our relationship is kinda whirlwind though we felt some attraction at the first when we were still teacher-student but I never pay attention on that thing due to I work professionaly our communication continues though he had finished his course on me its been how many months now that we spent our weekend together through skype (so im missing some part of adventure on my weekends girls nyt out) video call for almost 9hrs every weekend and this year I am going to Beijing in the city where he lives and we are planning to get married (wow can’t wait) its my first time to be involved in LDR do you think he is serious on me? or should I say am I on a right track? (though I feel it) but just wanna make sure and hear some feedback from you it’s a big help for me xiexie.. 🙂

    Reply
  • July 11, 2012 at 9:59 am
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    A lot of girls from western countries are raised to be friendly and outgoing. So your Chinese guy can be confused too. They might think you are being friendly and miss all the signals. Sometimes you are just being friendly and can be misinterpreted.

    It does not hurt to give them some encouragement. “I am into you” translated to Chinese to be “I like you”.

    Reply
  • July 11, 2012 at 11:34 am
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    Having a strong foundation for a serious relationship is important. Without understanding the purpose of the relationship can lead to misinterpretation. In the past , I asked a girl if she liked me directly. If she’s shy , still throw it out there. Sometimes, holding hands can be a good signal . You just have to feel his vibe.

    Bruce

    Reply
  • July 12, 2012 at 1:17 am
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    hey bruce, I have read most of your comment for this column esp. with the topic about “sex” you really proved that you’re a modern image of a chinese guy compared with the traditional one I like your perception about life in general well since I trust your perspective I would like to ask you this question do you think he’s really into me? I mean my LDR bf we spent time always on the weekend through VC at skype and he even sang a song for me coz I love music and he’s not really interested in it (hehe:D) and even he told his parents about me I mean marrying me in the future according to him his mama refused to marry me coz im not chinese but he said he explained well it to her mama that I’m the one who would like to spend the rest of his life with, good hing his mama agreed but left a condition that I must learn to speak chinese or else she wont cook for us even take care of our child in the future (a challenge though haha and he even set YAO MING as an example that I should be confident in learning a new language because for all we know yao ming became a good english speaker when he played for NBA ahaha peace :p) and is it normal for a chinese guy to propose marriage? though we were just in a month to relationship sounds kinda weird for me because that kind of actuations leaves a bad impression I mean like the promise witty witty stuff and left you broken in the end (this is for the players it’s their way to catch girls attention :P) I hope you’ll help me out on this “LIMBO” haha xiexie.. 🙂

    Reply
  • July 12, 2012 at 1:19 am
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    oh btw im also an asian girl who lives in the Philippines..

    Reply
  • July 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm
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    YamYam,

    Spending time on Skype is different from interacting in person!!!!Sometimes, in my opinion , talking on internet/skype makes you get excited but in reality he/she doesn’t express this kind of feelings in person. It’s all good talking about having kids etc, but you can’t predict the future and every move he will make. Like many Chinese men, I love to talk but the final answer is still putting talks into action and commit to those promises. Most of the time, I like to laugh and joke around and using examples to make people understand the problems but I’m always serious because I always think about how to solve/finalize the problems. This is called responsibility …not BS.

    Bruce

    Reply
  • July 13, 2012 at 2:54 am
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    woooow… yeah you are right so all we can do is to work things out together and make all of this happened in reality, btw this coming september I’ll fly in his city to give it a shot I hope we ended great and make all the promises turned into reality.. I have to keep my finger crossed though! haha thanks BRUCE!!!

    Reply
  • July 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm
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    Don’t worry too much! You know I worry most of the time on businessses etc etc etc. We just worry all the time because we are human. Yamyam, when you get married, he has to sponsor you to Bejing and you have to worry about paperworks, redtapes etc ..No matter how well you have planned things to become, some things will always go wrong. If your bf is currently mesmerized by your personality and beauty then hey everything will be fine. We men tend to get excited at first but depending on the person.. same men really go thru until the end. SOme men just fade away! Don’t worry, you will experience alot of things and you will learn alot of things. take care.

    Bruce

    Reply
  • July 16, 2012 at 2:38 am
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    Dear bruce,

    yeah I totally agree on what you have stated above some men are cowards some are good and stay until the end and some will kept their promise some will not, some have the balls to say like “hey im leaving you or hey im gonna left you hangin and broken” some will say “i will take care of you and love you until the end” but mostly they are all have been said just for the sake of keeping you happy or hurt, I realized that i should be stand for “come what may” I dont have to worry too much if I succeed then he’ll be my precious price If not still I have to stay positive and go on with my life, but one thing that I’ve learned from you my dearest bruce ‘men are almost 99.9% the same towards relationship if they are fulfilled they will stay if not they will leave no matter which country he came from thank you and may god bless you

    love,
    yamyam

    Reply
  • August 3, 2012 at 10:30 am
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    Hello!
    I’ve just started to find Chinese men attractive after 1 and a half years of living in China. I’ve been with one Chinese man shortly but he had had a western girlfriend before. I’ve recently met a Chinese man (about a month ago) who is SOOOO sexy but I can’t tell if he likes me. He’s a trainer at the gym I go to and we hang out after my workout about 2 times a week but it’s always me who asks him to do something. I think he is just shy- even for western standards. He gave me zong zi for Dragon Boat festival and gives me candy during my workouts- which is so cute haha! I just want to know what everyone’s opinion is. Is he just being nice or is he interested? I don’t want to scare him and just tell him I like him- any suggestions?
    Thanks you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • August 5, 2012 at 11:10 am
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    I would be concerned if he is shy even for Chinese standards. If he is that friendly to you, I doubt he will hurt your feelings. Most likely, he just does not know what to do. So he acts his Chinese ways, kinda typical. Hopefully he won’t think he is not worthy because he works in a gym. As long as he is not getting wrong ideas- your are easy and typical laowai, you can hint by giving some compliments and encourage a bit. It might work when you have opportunity to be completely alone (only two of you) for him to open up. If you are looking for a fling, be careful not every guy is up for that with a foreign woman. Better make some things clear from the beginning.

    Reply
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  • February 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm
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    Hi, I am so glad I found this website too! My question is a little different, because I’m in America and so is the Chinese guy I like.
    So, in one of my university classes last term (fall), I noticed this Chinese guy sitting in front. I didn’t think I ‘liked’ him (I was never attracted to Asians at all), but I definitely noticed little things – like how he dressed so well, wrote in cursive, had an amazing German accent (he was born in Germany, both parents were from China). He would always hold the door open for me as we left class, and even started walking beside me (but I was too oblivious to really notice for half of the semester!!!). It did occur to me eventually that he seemed interested, but I wanted him to speak to me first (I’m kind of old-fashioned). Then, on the last day, after our final, he spoke to me! We talked about our final, walked across the whole campus together, almost like long time friends. There was a moment, just before we parted, when he and I were looking at each other, and it was just a quiet moment that seemed like we were both thinking that we liked each other. Then I didn’t see him again till this term began. I’ve seen him only 3 times so far; the first two we passed each other, smiled!, and said hello. Today though we actually talked, about our classes, midterms, etc. And he said, “I hope I’ll see you around here more often”!!!!
    So I guess what I want to know is, does it sound like he likes me? I am pretty sure he does, but I wish he’d suggest a way to stay in touch. I hope he will. I want to hang out with him sometime, not just pass by and talk!

    Reply
    • February 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm
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      @EnglishRose, thanks for the comment! While I certainly cannot look deep into this young man’s heart and give you a definitive answer, his behavior does seem reassuring, that he may feel something for you. If I were you, I wouldn’t necessarily be afraid of approaching him about hanging out sometime (see my article on this).

      Reply
  • February 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm
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    Some guy from Germany doesn’t know how to ask a girl out? It seems to me someone is friendly enough wanting to be friend first. It does not always lead to a romantic relationship.

    Maybe it is time to stop putting all Chinese into one bucket. I wish people stop associate your behavior with your look. But most people do just that.

    Reply
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  • April 8, 2013 at 5:29 am
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    Hi Jocelyn,

    First of all I’ll like to thank you for your blog. It’s been ages since I started reading and I find it very useful to understand a bit more Chinese culture. I’ve been interested in Asia for many years so I’m quite aware of cultural differences and how Asian usually behave. But now I’m a bit stressed, I’m a European girl that has arrived to China just a couple of months ago to study Chinese (by now I can only introduce myself and little more), some weeks ago, while I was at the library a Chinese guy ask me in Chinese if he can watch my hanzi notebook. To be honest I was quite shock, cause in all this time only girls learning English or Spanish have talked to me. So he just sat at my side explaining me, in Chinese, some hanzi stuff and how should take properly my pen to write. After a while a classmate girl of him appeared and also showed interest in my hanzi notebook and she also praised my hanzi writing skills, then she also sat and stayed for a while. At the end, I ended up in their table (with more Chinese classmates) and inviting them to a party at my home. The fact is that the girls somehow speak English but he “cannot”, I’ve seen his class book and it’s not so easy but each time I try to communicate in English he doesn’t understand and tells me to speak Chinese but honestly speaking my Chinese is still crap…
    We have already met some times so he can teach me Chinese and though we spend like half an hour to understand each other (even when texting, he writes me in Chinese sometimes with a word in English or the meaning of a specially difficult word) he seems really interested in me learning Chinese but he doesn’t seem so interested in practise/learn his English. Indeed, I’m interested in him and though I think he may also be interested in me (cause he is like trying really very hard to communicate with me and tell me it would be nice if I can stay in China and learn more Chinese), the language barrier and me being so clumsy about love stuff and my lack of confidence are not helping me a lot. I usually like things to flow naturally and even go the slow path but since I’ll leave China in some months and I’m not sure when I’ll be able to come back I at least would like to know if he is really interested in that way or not.

    Thanks a lot and please keep with this great blog!!

    Reply
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  • August 24, 2018 at 12:27 pm
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    Dear Jocelyn
    I hope you get to read this because its been almost 8 years this was posted, and i noticed through the comments or maybe i missed some, that there were no questions from Afro Women on dating a Chinese. I am Brown-African and I have been learning Chinese for like some months, normally i never let Chinese men get close to me, because if things get too close one day i would get judged for my skin color (which happened with the last guy i was with). So i only went on dates with Africans and Europeans i felt safe and i felt i could handle whatever comes because I’m more familiar with these cultures.
    Now there is this Chinese guy, he is a graduate student. He likes me. But honestly i like him but i don’t know if i can handle anyone been racial to me and ruining a fantastic relationship that might happen in future. So I have decided to keep the liking at bay.
    What do I do when he finally gets out of his “limbo” …. I believe love conquers everything but I don’t know if i can handle the racial upsurge that comes before the conquering. Its even hard when we walk around and get the stairs from people lol…

    Reply
    • August 26, 2018 at 3:56 pm
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      Hi Rinuola, thanks for the comment. I can understand your concerns. I think in matters like this, the key is him. I do know of black women who have dated and married Chinese men (like Jo at Life Behind the Wall), so it is possible to have a successful relationship. Have you ever talked with this guy that you like about these issues? I think that would be the important thing to help you have confidence in moving forward. You don’t necessarily have to talk about it in terms of you and him. You could even bring up other African women married to or dating Chinese men, and how the women may have gotten judged for their skin color, and see what he has to say about it. That would help you get to know his thinking on this subject…and if you like what you hear from him, it might help pave the way for a deeper relationship between you two.

      Let me know if I can help you further.

      Reply

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