White Lotus asks:
i have a long distance relationship with a married chinese man ..he has never been in love with his wife, they married because she was pregnant. He is a great man, a loving father. he wants to marry me after the divorce . I ‘m afraid i’d be a burden for him since it would be hard for me to get a job in China. I’m not a native speaker of English and despite being an English teacher in my country .. i think i won’t be able to get a teaching position ( i don’t have an internationally recognised degree in my cv). i don’t have other skills and i’m just starting to learn chinese.
Sometimes i think i should set his heart free before he gets the divorce and spare him the pain we might inflict to his daughter. He doesn’t earn a lot of money so it would be hard for him to support us while i’m looking for a job. He doens’t live in a big city so i think opportunities will be scarce.
it’s difficult for me cause i love him a lot… he is more confident than me saying that i can do it, that i will be able to find a job ..we have only one shot at love cause it’s taking me half a year to save the moneyi need to fly to china.
What job opportunities are there for me? Should i set his heart free?
White Lotus, you will face more challenges as a non-native English speaker if you want to teach in China, though opportunities exist for the persistent, and especially those willing to move to smaller cities. Get the scoop on this at Middle Kingdom Life. Still, shooting for only one small city in China — where your lover lives — might be asking a LOT.
Which, given what he is asking you to do, brings us to the more salient issue at hand: should you go?
I’m reminded of the advice my friend Gaby passed on to me many years ago when I contemplated moving to the United Kingdom for my Chinese boyfriend, a move that also had me tied in knots over finding work and more. “Tai mafanle!” (Too much trouble!)
Let’s consider some of the mafan (trouble) you’re facing here:
- Moving to a foreign country, with a foreign language you still barely understand
- Looking for work in only one small city, where you have few chances to find work
- Saving up half a year’s salary for a plane ticket
That’s already a heaping rice bowl of problems, and we haven’t even considered your relationship.
Speaking of that, doesn’t it bother you that you have to do everything in this relationship, and he just sits there and waits for you? I know, I know, it’s his “situation” and so on. But all of the pressure is on you, not him. It’s no wonder he’s so confident. If you go there and things don’t work out, you’re out half a year’s salary for the plane ticket and stuck in a foreign country you barely understand. He, however, will only have a little heartache.
That’s, of course, assuming he’s sincere. But I wonder, can you even trust this guy? He says he plans to divorce, but for all you know, he might continue to stay married and just enjoy you on the side like an ernai, the modern version of a concubine. It’s not uncommon for married couples to live and work separately for long periods of time, so he could conceivably get away with it. Most Chinese men wouldn’t risk the shame of divorce (see my article on cheating with a married Chinese man).
Instead of setting his heart free, why not set yours free instead? You could do a lot better than this guy (I know my Chinese male readers are nodding at this one). Love doesn’t have to come with so much mafan.
What do you think?
Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture (or Western culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.