Ask the Yangxifu: Showing a Chinese Man You're Interested

28 Responses

  1. MR
    MR March 11, 2011 at 2:51 am | | Reply

    “When he looked into my eyes and taught me the phrase 白头偕老 ([báitóuxiélǎo], live together to a ripe old age), let’s just say there was a lot more going on than just language education.”

    Ooh la-la!

  2. Richard
    Richard March 11, 2011 at 9:32 am | | Reply

    I have doubts about this one. It’s only natural in a service profession to smile and chat with customers when they initiate conversation. I do that with my hair stylist, cashier, secretary, barista, etc. all the time and no one has any underlying intention of romantic interest.

    What’s worse is that you showed up with another guy, twice. In my mind, I’d instantly categorize you as “taken” and off limits regardless of your relation to him. It’s just a matter of playing the odds for me. Heck, for the longest time I wouldn’t even approach someone who had a ring on, regardless of the finger.

  3. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian March 11, 2011 at 10:56 am | | Reply

    I think Richard has a point. Bringing along a guy friend, and the same guy, not once but on both occasions, must have given the Chinese staff the impression that you are unavailable and that might explain his behaviour. Better go alone the next time and try out what Jocely has suggested. I think what Jocely has suggested may just work, at least it will give you the opening you want. SO,GO FOR IT and best wishes!

  4. Sarah
    Sarah March 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm | | Reply

    I’m sorry. but usually I find all shop keepers Irish, Chinese etc are generally friendly when I go into there shops. I would find it very difficult to tell whether a shop assistant likes me any more than a regular costumer. But I think trying what Jocelyn suggested is worth a shot,

    Good luck

  5. sam
    sam March 11, 2011 at 6:47 pm | | Reply

    I would suggest that you be a little bit more daring. Ask him if he is interesting in going out with you. Don’t get me wrong here. I m not telling you to lower yourself. Ask him out and be explicitly clear that you intent to further develop the relationship. If he is not into you after that, fine. Move on. Why waste your time, or for that matter his time. Besides, you have nothing to lose anyway. Anyway, after posting this comment, people might scold me for telling you to be TOO daring. Wa ha ha ha ! Fortune only rewards the brave ! And good luck !

  6. Jin Feng
    Jin Feng March 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm | | Reply

    would most deffinetly like to see a part two to this article in more general terms, very useful as always! Love, V. x

  7. Holly
    Holly March 13, 2011 at 6:29 am | | Reply

    OMG…this reminds me of the times I used to have a crush on the tall handsome Chinese boy that worked in the local Asian grocery store! If I can give you a tip, it would be…drop your purse or handbag in front of him. Or ‘acccidentally’ drop one of the items (preferably NOT a glass jar!). See if he helps you pick it up, and then you can spark the conversation. It will be a little embarassing at first but you can laugh it off. I’ve tried this many times, and it’s a great ice breaker. Good luck!

  8. Sarah
    Sarah March 14, 2011 at 12:47 am | | Reply

    ~Up Date~

    First I want to thank everyone for their opinions and give a sort of back story. We’ve been going to this store for years now. He’s always been polite, but never chit chatty or anything like that. His sister, always super friendly and cute. What made me really notice him was when my mom and I were looking at the dvd’s they sell there and he came to let us know which section had subtitles. I said, “This one looks good, what do you think?” He was like a kid in a candy store and pointed out his favorite actor and which dvd’s were worth buying and all that. I was like, o_o So cute!

    Also, my best friend is gay but most straight guys think he’s straight. But because we’ve been friends for so long, I don’t have second thoughts about going places with him. But I will keep it in mind from now on. I remember when we were a lot younger, we’d go to this bar and me and no matter how busy the bar was, the bar tender would always spend a lot of time with me and pay special attention and w/e. Well I brought my friend one day and this girl started hitting on him, and he was like, “I’m sorry this is my girl friend.” The bar tender kept his distance after that. I was like, -_- really? (At my friend.)

    So now for the update. I went back to the store but I was with my brother. When we went to the register, the guy was being kind of cute (which is a rare thing for me to see because he always seemed the serious, quiet type) and super smiley to me. Well, my brother made me carry the heavy stuff, and without thinking, I said, “[insert friend’s name] carries it for me!” I was just trying to be obnoxious to my brother because I knew he didn’t care. We weren’t at the register when I said it but I had to turn back to say it as I was approaching the door and I saw that the guy was looking at me and when I finish my sentence, he kind of scowled and turned away.

    So I know, it’s totally my fault and I am probably dooming everything. But I will ask him for help with something and see how he reacts to me and go from there. Worst thing that can happen (unless I be bold), is that we remain our polite customer/store clerk relationship. Right?

    Oh and thanks to Richard about the ring thing. Recently I’ve lost weight and can fit a ring that I haven’t been able to fit for about 6 years and started wearing it again. I started wearing it about two weeks ago. I shall ditch my ring when I go in.

  9. jenny
    jenny March 15, 2011 at 4:12 am | | Reply

    Do Chinese men make the first moves? If you start befriending them how do they take it to the next level?

    I’ve started chatting to a Chinese guy and he said if I ever need any help to ask him. I think he was sincere.

    I would like to get to know him so I’ll ask him to to help with something. However how do you know if they want to take it further
    Jocelyn how long were you friends with your husband before you started dating?

  10. Sarah
    Sarah March 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm | | Reply

    Oooh. Jenny poses a good question. Say that I do all this to let him know I’m interested, will I continue to have to make the first move?

  11. Sarah
    Sarah March 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for the links and all the advice. ^_^

  12. Andreia
    Andreia March 20, 2011 at 2:33 pm | | Reply

    Sarah, I find myself in a very similar situation, so I’m interested on what’s going to happen next. My cute chinese boy works as a cashier at a local chinese shop. I use to go there with my grandparents and I haven’t really noticed him the other times but the last two times I could’t help feeling very attracted to him. I don’t know what to do, really :/

  13. Sarah
    Sarah March 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm | | Reply

    Andreia, I think that everyone here is correct. I think the best step is to ask him for help looking for something or ask him questions about something in the shop. I haven’t been there since I last said, so I haven’t had a chance to do so. I do plan to go there soon and I will talk to him and I will update on here how it went.

  14. Andreia
    Andreia March 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm | | Reply

    Yes, that’s probably the best thing to do. Otherwise, we’ll never know. But this is too recent… I’m still so unsure about it. But I can’t help thinking about him… and his smile xD
    I’ll update on here how my next trip to the shop went. But I’m even afraid of entering the shop!

  15. Sarah
    Sarah March 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm | | Reply


    That sounds awesome, I can’t wait to see how it goes for you. Good luck!

  16. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh March 21, 2011 at 1:55 am | | Reply

    Copy & paste from the blog of someone living in Japan:

  17. Sarah
    Sarah March 21, 2011 at 4:29 am | | Reply

    @ Henry

    I had to use google translate and I’m not really sure what it means because it was all choppy.

  18. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh March 21, 2011 at 9:35 am | | Reply

    Sorry, I posted it under the wrong entry. Please feel free to delete it.

  19. Andreia
    Andreia March 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | | Reply

    Good luck to you too, Sarah 🙂

  20. Andreia
    Andreia April 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm | | Reply

    Today I went to the forementioned Chinese Store to buy some stuff I needed and I was in a good mood because I was going to see him. As soon as I entered the store I didn’t saw him on the check out as expected. Instead of him there was another guy, the guy that’s usually on the check out in front of him. I wandered around the store for a while in hopes to see him, but without any luck. I just hope it was his day off, or that he was ill or something like that, though I have this bad feeling telling me he’s not working there anymore 🙁 I’m planning on passing by tomorrow just to confirm.
    I was thinking of telling him “Nǐ hǎo” and then “Zài jī ēn” but I’m afraid that he somehow feels offended or that I’m being forward. What do you think?

  21. Sarah
    Sarah April 3, 2011 at 11:02 pm | | Reply

    Hmm. I hope it is his day off. If it is, then I think that exercising your Chinese would be a good idea. I think he might be impressed by the effort. It won’t hurt to try.

    This past weekend I went to the store as well. It was really strange to me. I’m pretty positive that he’s not into me and if he is, I’m not going to chase him around. Here’s what happened:

    My mom and I went to buy some things we need. Well, he was there and I was going to try and make conversation with him but there were these younger girls in front of us at the register. Well suddenly he was very talkative with them, which is fine obviously and I was talking to my mom but I could see that he kept looking at me. I did my best not to glance back at him but idk I guess his glances drew the attention of the girls and they turned and looked at me and then turned away and started talking louder in Chinese. So then they moved out of the way indicating that they were going to be staying. Then he clammed up and treated me the exact same way that he did when I brought my friend into the store with me. I even tried to say hi and he just kind of mumbled hi back and rushed us.

    So, I’m not going to try pursue him anymore.

    By the way, feel free to message me if you want at [email protected]. If you’re uncomfortable messaging me, I’ll just wait till I’m notified that you commented here. ^_^ Good luck again!

  22. Loo Wen
    Loo Wen April 5, 2011 at 5:10 am | | Reply

    Loo Wen,

    Sarah, I feel that when he glanced at you, he was trying to assess your feeling by reading your reaction.

    When he clammed up, he was trying to hide his insecurities from the others and from himself especially when he is unsure of his chances of success.

    In the affairs of heart, Chinese men can appear to be a mystery sometimes especially in their apparent inconsistency. Communication can come in the form of body gesture and when agitated in the presence of third party, Chinese men can suddenly excommunicate in an abrupt way. This can be rude and hurtful but I do not think that he was intentional.

    The apparent lack of progress is actually progress in itself. Have faith. You are doing fine.

    My French wife and I are still discovering ourselves after 13 years together.

    Best wishes.

  23. Sarah
    Sarah April 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm | | Reply

    Loo Wen,

    Thank you for your message. Your words give me courage and hope, even though I’m not so sure anymore. Something I have noticed though, he’s never like that when my brother is there with me. Even when other people are around, he’s always really friendly and polite. I don’t know if that means anything though, I’m just putting it out there.

    So, I’m not going to actively pursue him. I’ll be the same that I always am and if he does like me and get the courage to let me know and I am still single, I will definitely say yes to him. I don’t actively look for someone to date, so I can’t see myself in a relationship any time soon but I am also not going to wait for him.

    I would just be direct with him but his actions cause me to be too nervous to do so.

  24. Bernard
    Bernard December 8, 2011 at 10:47 am | | Reply

    Having a guy friend accompany you to the store probably not a good idea at early stage.

    Have you ever wonder your chinese guy might be thinking that you have a boyfriend already!?? You came to the store twice in the row with a guy in tow, what do you think your chinese guy thinking?

    Try “discreetly” telling him that, that guy is only a friend… then you might be getting somewhere…

  25. Sarah
    Sarah December 10, 2011 at 10:34 pm | | Reply

    Thank you Bernard.

    It probably wasn’t a good idea but I’m certainly not going to have my friend sit the car or something like something to be hidden, just so the guy I like doesn’t think I’m dating him. So idk, it’s kind of a catch 22.

    However, I am seeing someone now. He’s coincidentally Chinese as well. I still go to that store but I’m less aware of him as I once was, so I honestly can’t say whether he still seems interested. But I’m assuming not since nothing ever happened. He’s still super nice and helpful as he always was.

  26. t
    t April 16, 2013 at 7:56 am | | Reply

    Great tips.

    Chinese men love showing off their abilities to help.

    Maybe asking him to get your computer fixed is a good idea.

    From a Chinese with a European gf.

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