Things I've Learned from My Chinese Husband: Not Everyone Does DTR (Defining the Relationship) | Speaking of China

18 Responses

  1. Autumn
    Autumn October 19, 2015 at 10:20 pm | | Reply

    I’ve got a friend who always says, “If you actually have to have ‘the talk,’ your relationship is doomed.”

    She’s got a point. Andy and I were both so crazy in love that neither of us wanted to date anyone else. It was simply understood that we would be together forever.

    Or at least until I go to jail for murdering his parents. 😉

    1. Cat (talkingofchinese)
      Cat (talkingofchinese) October 20, 2015 at 9:59 pm | | Reply

      Haha 😂 I love that your comments have the same humour as your blog Autumn!

      Given my Chinese fiance and I were flatmates when we got together there was definitely no conversation about moving in but even a lot of other things that people traditionally agonise about we just did and it seemed very obvious and natural.

      I think because we were good friends before we got together it meant there really wasn’t any game playing.

      I also believe that guys tend to know very early on in a relationship how serious they are about a girl – I truly believe the quote “If a man wants you nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t, nothing can make him stay”.

      1. Autumn
        Autumn October 20, 2015 at 10:42 pm | | Reply

        Thanks, Cat!

        And, yes, Jocelyn, I am kidding.

        Or maybe I’m blogging from San Quentin.

  2. Holly Hollins
    Holly Hollins October 20, 2015 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    Communication is really important in any type of relationship. Well, at least to me, depends on the relationship. But, if some people know what type of relationship they have without expressing, I’m so jealous of them.

    Lastly, that quote you added… I feel like I now finally understand WHY my best friend, whom is Vietnamese, didn’t want to start dating all those years ago. Long story short he told me if he was to have a girlfriend, he would pick me…but never got it until now.

  3. Svetlana
    Svetlana October 20, 2015 at 8:02 am | | Reply

    Really wish I would have read that post years and years ago…although even then I would have been confused about the relationship status. Seriously, if you and the guy sleep together, but he refuses to acknowledge you as a girlfriend what kind of relationship would that be? He saw it as casual I guess, while I hoped it would turn out to be serious. Guess despite the length, it was a casual relationship.

  4. Constance - Foreign Sanctuary
    Constance - Foreign Sanctuary October 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm | | Reply

    My husband and I fell for each other real hard and I honestly can’t think of having ‘the talk.’

    I knew it was serious when I met the parents and the entire family at a wedding a couple of weeks after meeting.

  5. Ruth - China Elevator Stories
    Ruth - China Elevator Stories October 20, 2015 at 4:50 pm | | Reply

    Interesting you write about DTR. It’s not common to do this in Austria either. You would probably talk about moving in together beforehand, though.

  6. Betty has a Panda
    Betty has a Panda October 20, 2015 at 5:17 pm | | Reply

    Yeah We don’t have that kind of talk here in Austria. Our conversation was like “My roommate quit the renting contract.” “You can live with me, my parents will be ok, I guess.” That said I only slept 3 nights in my so-called apartment and was already “living” with him for half a year anyway.

    And how we started dating? “Will we meet again?” “Yes, you must come to visit me next weekend!!!”
    I guess some “cultures” just make a complicated matter out of a simple one 🙂
    Because when you know it’s “the one”, you don’t need to talk much, you are just crazy for each other.

  7. Christina Gleitze
    Christina Gleitze October 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm | | Reply

    This was such an interesting read to me, because I encountered exactly the same thing with my Taiwanese boyfriend.

    We went on a date (overnight trip), we kissed and had a wonderful time.
    The following week this conversation took place over sms.

    Him: “My friends and their girlfriends are going to this lavender garden on Thursday, would you like to go with me?”

    Me: “Uhm, sure! But isn’t that to imposing? I mean they are taking their girlfriends and you are just taking a foreign girl who you know for just a couple of weeks?”

    Him: “It’s okay, you are my girlfriend now”

    Me: (thinking to myself: okaaaaay, didn’t see that coming)
    ” Wow, sure let’s go”

    That was pretty much our relationship conversation and definition, under 2 min.
    That was 4,5 years ago, though I questioned it at first, now I see the similarities in a lot of his decision processes.

    To tell you the truth I really love this point, why make something uncomplicated become complicated, it saves you from so much unnecessary stress.

  8. Christina Gleitze
    Christina Gleitze October 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm | | Reply

    This was such an interesting read to me, because I encountered exactly the same thing with my Taiwanese boyfriend.

    We went on a date (overnight trip), we kissed and had a wonderful time.
    The following week this conversation took place over sms.

    Him: “My friends and their girlfriends are going to this lavender garden on Thursday, would you like to go with me?”

    Me: “Uhm, sure! But isn’t that to imposing? I mean they are taking their girlfriends and you are just taking a foreign girl who you know for just a couple of weeks?”

    Him: “It’s okay, you are my girlfriend now”

    Me: (thinking to myself: okaaaaay, didn’t see that coming)
    ” Wow, sure let’s go”

    That was pretty much our relationship conversation and definition, under 2 min.
    That was 4,5 years ago, though I questioned it at first, now I see the similarities in a lot of his decision processes.

    To tell you the truth I really love this point, why make something uncomplicated become complicated, it saves you from so much unnecessary stress.

  9. Edna
    Edna October 21, 2015 at 2:40 am | | Reply

    From what I understand from my girlfriends in Paris (both local and expat), the French are the same way. Much less ambiguity.

  10. Nicki Chen
    Nicki Chen October 21, 2015 at 4:59 am | | Reply

    Things have changed so much in the United States. When Eugene and I got married in 1967, there were only two relationships, dating and married. Women were still expected to be virgins when they married. And though that wasn’t always the case, living together before marriage was very rare. So there wasn’t much to discuss besides whether or not to get married.

    The pill was approved for contraceptive use in 1960, but it took a while to catch on, especially for Catholics. In 1967, Planned Parenthood was accused of genocide for providing the pill in poor and minority neighborhoods.

  11. MM
    MM October 21, 2015 at 10:51 am | | Reply

    I am not sure about this, I think it comes down to many factors such as the individuals themselves , fate, luck, timing, maturity, quiet understanding, in sync with each other, confidence in yourself and in the other person, both wanting the same thing at the same time.

    Many people don’t have the talk and the relationship flows with an even keel, many individuals however presume they habe “the type” of relationship only to find out the other partner doesn’t see it this way.

    For Jocelyn to accept John moving in without “having the talk” many factors came into play at the same time to make it work, however it may not be like this for other couples.

    It’s similar as when 2 people meet and they instantly know he or she’s the one for them…..the planets must have aligned simultaneously to ensure such a meeting happened.

    As individuals there is nothing wrong with having a discussion …… it clarifies confusion, presumptions, and misunderstandings.

  12. Susan Blumberg-Kason
    Susan Blumberg-Kason October 21, 2015 at 11:02 am | | Reply

    I’ve had the same experience about the dating talk–or lack of. For my ex and me, we went from friends to fiance(e)s. I was fine with that and thought it eliminated the bulls*(# games couples in the US play. Interestingly, though, we didn’t move in together until we’d been married a few months. When I became engaged to someone else years later, my new fiance didn’t move in with me until a month before our wedding. My traditional mother actually begged us to move in together so Tom wouldn’t waste money on rent. I’m not sure what it is that makes guys reluctant to move in with me. LOL.

  13. Marta
    Marta October 22, 2015 at 11:00 pm | | Reply

    Uhm, I don’t think we had a conversation about it either… it was more like: “hey, you are here all the time anyway… why don’t you just move in and save your rent?”. At that moment I was living in an apartment paid by my company so it made total sense, hehe. He could live with me for free!

  14. Crystal Kushwaha
    Crystal Kushwaha February 4, 2016 at 6:58 pm | | Reply

    I was on a hunt to learn more about Chinese New Year, but this caught my eye! It’s actually very similar in Indian culture. In our early relationship years, it went right over my head that he thought of relationships this way, and I was (meanwhile) complaining that he wasn’t defining anything. It sounded dodgy to me, and I didn’t want to get into something just to be told “Well I never said we were together” or something like that, which happens in the US.
    But he broke it down for me and explained that it was already obvious to him that we were together and the next step was marriage. And that’s the story I tell people when I explained that my husband never proposed.

  15. Kate
    Kate October 26, 2016 at 6:58 am | | Reply

    Australians seem to be pretty similar with the relationship defining thing. I don’t know if we get it from American media – we are pretty heavily influenced by America.

    But with my ex boyfriend, who was Cambodian Australian, we didn’t have any awkward talks. We just kept seeing each other and never really had the defining moment of when we are officially “boyfriend and girlfiend”. We always defined the day we began our relationship as the day we met. Same thing with moving in together. I just spent more and more time at his house. We are both quite unconventional people, though, and his family just accepts that he doesn’t ‘play by the rules’. They loved me though and I loved them. We were together for nearly 6 years but I finally broke it off after finally having enough of some serious issues. Leaving him broke his heart (as he is a “one woman” kinda man) but the way I see it is, that actions speak louder than words, and if he wasn’t willing to address these issues which had a MAJOR affect on my quality of life and possibility of a future with him, then why should I keep sacrificing my life, health, and wellbeing for him?

    One thing that honestly puts me off white Australian guys though is the fact that they are conditioned to not take relationships too seriously… Our culture basically teaches “you need a lot of practice before you find “the one” “. That is the advice parents likely give, even my own mum sees it this way. For instance, my brother has a girlfriend who he’s been with for around 4 years (he’s 22) and my mum often wonders if he will need to “spread his wings” before settling down – and that’s what she views as normal.

    I don’t want to be that practice. For me, it’s either a serious relationship or it’s nothing at all. I don’t want any of that play around stuff. The next man I’m with will be the man I marry. I don’t want to have to guess my partner’s intentions and whether he views me as serious future material or just another fling.

Leave a Reply

css.php
%d bloggers like this: