It always amazes me when people judge an entire population of people based on just one date alone. But people do it all the time — including the author of this blog post.
To be fair, I give her credit for going on a date with a Chinese man. There are many women who go to China and won’t even try — women who have already made up their minds perhaps even before they’ve set foot in the Middle Kingdom. So, definitely, kudos to her.
I don’t even mind that her account of that date is largely negative and unflattering towards Chinese men. She has every right to share what happened and voice her own opinions.
What does bother me, however, is how she presents the information. She titled the post “On Dating Chinese Men.” A title like that suggests that the author is bringing a great deal of experience to her topic — that perhaps she has dated a number of Chinese men, or at least dated one long enough to get a better sense of the dating culture, and she wants to tell others about that overall experience.
But in fact, the post is focused on only ONE date! Just one, with only ONE guy. It was also a blind date — which, as anyone will tell you, can be a thorny situation no matter where in the world that date happens. Now, she does preface this date as her “first Chinese date,” suggesting she probably did have more than one experience. But if that is the case, then why doesn’t she write about more of her dating experiences in the post? She misleads people by titling it “On Dating Chinese Men” — when it really ought to be called “My Bad First Date With a Chinese Man.”
But here’s another thing that really troubles me. When you do a Google Search for “dating Chinese men” (with the quotation marks), her post comes up as the number one result. People searching for information on this topic will probably click on it first — after all, the title is exactly what they were looking for and it’s on the top, even though the actual content doesn’t really deliver on its promise.
The reality is, there are all kinds of Chinese men out there, and the potential for all kinds of dating experiences with them — both positive and negative. One date alone cannot possibly even scratch the surface of what dating Chinese men is really like.
So I’d like to rectify this.
First of all, I’ve used “On Dating Chinese Men” in the title of this post. But in addition to what I’ve already written, I will end this post with some links to other posts on my site on the topic of dating Chinese men, so that anyone who lands here might find a more nuanced and comprehensive perspective on the subject.
Second, if you’re a blogger and have the kind of experience that merits titling a post “On Dating Chinese Men,” then I’d encourage you to write your own post with that very title. The more of us that publish thoughtful pieces that transcend the usual stereotypes and assumptions, the better for those readers searching for information on this topic.
Recommended Posts on Dating Chinese Men:
Western Wives, Chinese Husbands. I’ve often referred to this post as “Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about dating Chinese men in China, but were afraid to ask.” It was a collaboration with three lovely yangxifu — Melanie, Jessica and Susan — and worth a read for anyone new to China and the dating scene.
How Western Women Can Meet Chinese Men in China. Before you start dating Chinese men, you have to find them first. This post — a perennial favorite among readers — offers some great suggestions.
Indirect Dating and Chinese Men. Another classic Ask the Yangxifu post about what I refer to as the “dating limbo” — a time when even though you’re not quite sure if you’re dating him or not, he might actually be into you.
Frequently Asked Questions on Dating Chinese Men. I maintain a page that, chances are, might answer that burning question on your mind right now.
The Double Happiness Archives. These true stories of other Chinese men and Western women in love cover their dating experiences — so you can learn about dating Chinese men from many more voices than my own.
Books on Dating Chinese Men. I’ve compiled a list of all books that feature Western women and Chinese men in love — some are better than others in offering a glimpse into the dating experience, but all of them will help you realize you’re not alone. Additionally, I also posted about memoirs that feature Asian men and Western women in relationships, since many of their experiences have resonated with me and others in the community. One of my favorites, which I frequently recommend for anyone dating an Asian guy in a Western country, is Diane Farr’s Kissing Outside the Lines.
Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men. Another great way to explore dating Chinese men is through the many other women who have been there and written about it. Check out my 2012 blog list, and stay tuned for my 2013 list this coming March.
What do you think?