“I’m not at all a typical Chinese!” That’s what a Facebook friend, a guy with a European wife, wrote to me in a message. But his words could easily have been spoken by my own husband.
When I first met John, he was anything but “typical.” I’d never known anyone in China with such a passion for psychology, or such chutzpah (he once threatened to file a lawsuit against polluting factories in his village).
As we dated — and eventually married, I discovered just how unconventional he was. Whether he confronted an exploitative boss in China or the US institutions that discriminated against him, John displayed a courage most would never have imagined in a man who only stands 5’4” (1.65 m) tall. While most Chinese would covet US citizenship and a life abroad, he wanted to keep his Chinese passport and return to China to start his career. He even loves my curves, something you probably wouldn’t expect from a Chinese guy — especially one thinner and lighter than his wife.
And I feel as if that atypical Chinese husband/boyfriend might just be the norm for Western women. I know at least three yangxifu married to musicians who seem to dance to the beat of a different gong (including Jessica Larson-Wang’s husband, who once had very long hair, and Ember Swift’s husband, who still has dreadlocks). I’ve met audacious entrepreneurs who, together with their Western wives, opened successful businesses (such as Alexandra, of Hunli-ing, and her husband, as well as Cause Haun and Gang Chen of See Kai Run). Kelly Sandor-Yang’s husband, who loves to do hip-hop dancing and keeps a whole menagerie of exotic fish in their home, seems anything but ordinary. And I’m certain you could say the same for Michael, the husband of Life Behind the Wall‘s Jo Gan, since he dared to marry an African-American woman more than 10 years his senior.
So I have to wonder — are more unconventional Chinese men also more likely to date and marry Western women?
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?