I go to China frequently for business and I have this friend there (she is the younger sister of our business partner). I knew her for many years. She is a pretty and hardworking. We develop a more personal relationship over a trip together to Beijing. She expressed to me several times that she wants to marry me and move to the states with me.
Here is the dilemma, I don’t really want to marry her because I don’t have any chemistry with her? She is very nice and sweet but I didn’t see any spark when I was with her. I hear that in China and in Korea (where I’m from), marriage is more of an arrangement for the betterment of the FAMILY. I am a totally westernized Asian so I just don’t buy into this argument that you need to get married for the sake of marriage itself. I need that special someone who I can actually love right away, not eventually love while married?
If I do marry her, I can see that my business can expand because she is already closely involved with the business. But if I say to her that I am not interested, I’m afraid she will tell her sister so my business can be adversely affected?
I am in my 30s and she is also in her 30s. So in China we’re already too old to not have gotten married. She is also a divorcee with a child (she don’t have custody of him which is a whole another sad story in itself). I don’t have a problem with her being a divorcee.
How should I proceed with this? Eventually I will have to see her again when I’m in China. We have been communicating via emails, I did say that I wasn’t ready for marriage with all my business issues going on right now. She found that weird that I’m in my 30s and not wanting to get married.
This is a dilemma indeed.
You’re right about attitudes towards marriage in China — something captured in the title of this article: In China, Looking for Mr. Right (Enough).
And you’re right to worry about the business relationship — because in China, business is more than just about business. It’s about the people involved and their guanxi. While nothing’s ever certain, there’s always the chance that refusing a business partner’s younger sister on the grounds that you’re not interested could potentially affect your business.
I would approach this with a two-part strategy.
Part one is to use an approach I’ve suggested in the past — act as a matchmaker for this woman. It’s a great way to demonstrate that you’re not interested without actually saying it. And at the same time, you’re solving her “personal problem,” which is really all the woman wants in the end. The fact that you’re helping her will make your business partners in China very happy too.
As to who you should match her up with, consider finding bachelors in the US. After all, since she seemed so interested in moving with you to the States, perhaps what she really wants is to start a new life abroad. You might take a cue from Fred, who tried to hook up his cousin in Hong Kong with some American women, if you’re wondering how to approach this. As for getting her to meet them, if she cannot come to the US you can always arrange for Skype meetings.
Part two is to make yourself less available to her. You’ve been spending a lot of time with her in China (such as that trip to Beijing) and e-mailing with her — and in doing so, you may have unintentionally sent her signals that you’re interested in her (see my indirect dating entry for some insight into this). I’m not saying you should ignore her or completely avoid her. But you might want to reduce contact with her. Avoid taking trips with her, avoid phone calls unless there’s a business issue you need to discuss, and e-mail her less often (with shorter e-mails). Eventually, she might get the message. But if you couple this with introductions to eligible bachelors who would love to marry her, then she won’t really care that you’re not as available as before.
Hope this helps!
Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China/Chinese culture or Western culture? Send me yours today.