Chapter 23: The Sound of Silence in Love | Speaking of China

7 Responses

  1. Liu Fenxue
    Liu Fenxue October 3, 2010 at 10:47 am | | Reply

    I absolutely love this post. I think for foreigners, silence as chinese see it, it’s really hard to understand. My chinese boyfriend is really quiet too, but just around his family. With me, he is completely different. I’ve never been in a situation like the one you describe on this post. My country is famous around the world for our way of talking, often too much. And I think he was aware of it.
    I’ve learned how to overcome “chinese silence” in other situations. But still, it really makes me unconfortable.
    Your blog is GREAT.

  2. vyara
    vyara October 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm | | Reply

    Same here! it makes me soooooooooo uneasy that I end up talking rubbish. but then a part of me remembers that everything i learnt about him is through his actions and less through his words. but i also get very uncomfortable from the silence because I’m thinking he is not interested because he is not asking questions about me or just using the gap to talk about myself so he can get to know me better.

    oh dear. it is one of my fears anyway, because i too need a lot of reassurance and mental stimulation, but if his actions continue to speak so loud then I will make every effor tpossible to hold on to whatever it is we have.

  3. Iknowwhatyoumean
    Iknowwhatyoumean May 2, 2011 at 9:03 am | | Reply

    I actually would get into bog fights with my boyfriend over his silence. Not the regular day to day silence; thats the part I actually enjoy. That we can be completely quiet and still OK with it. In the beginning though, with all the “He’s just not that into you” anecdotes in my head, I would equate his silence with disinterest. Especially since during our friendship, we could talk for hours into the night. But I soon realized not to base my opinions of him on dating jargon but his personality. And it made me comfortable with silence because I knew that even when we will reach a point of familiarity where words arent necessary, we wont feel we fell out of love or something.

    There is another kind of silence though. Like when you disagree, or state a different set of opinions. I used to think I was the most conflict avoidant person till I met my boyfriend. He maintains this stoic silence during our ‘arguments’ (one sided), simple because he probably answered my concerns a month ago in a separate argument and wont repeat or because he doesnt feel like talking. On the flip side, he has always been equally measured in his affection. The idea of a guy who will reiterate that he loves and cares for me every time we make up, made me feel insecure about this behavior too. And I am still learning how to be comfortable with this kind of silence…

  4. Annie
    Annie August 19, 2011 at 1:21 am | | Reply

    I grew up in the States and my boyfriend is chinese too. He doesn’t like to talk much either.. I’ve tried to learn to accept it but at the end it is not who i am. I hated it when he kept quiet and did not want to talk to me about “us” (I respected that he did not want to talk to me about his work or his personal stuff but not about “us”). At the end, I knew i couldn’t take it anymore.. not talking pushed us apart and I finally told him i wanted to break up…because I could not live like that.. relationship should be about sharing..and compromising. Now he starts to share things with me and we have never been happier. Good luck to you =)

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