Guest Post: I Shouldn’t Be Dating in My Own Country

Going abroad can change you a lot — sometimes, enough to realize you were never meant to date your own countrymen.

That’s the conclusion Lena, the blogger behind Lena Around, has come to, who believes the cultural differences between her and the local Danes are too great for her to go out with them. Read on for her story!

Do you have a surprising story to share or other guest post you’d like to see featured on Speaking of China? Visit the submit a post page to learn how to have your words published here.
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12471704_445388395651061_2637610516889358724_oI’ve been at home for a few months now. 2015 was a crazy year. I started out with a broken heart and a lost soul. But there wasn’t much time to think about it because I was going to Australia and then moving onto China. My heart was growing back together during the month in the beautiful nature of Australia, and when I came to China I was getting stronger again. I started to believe a little bit in love or I thought so.

I met a great guy in Beijing and I was determined to move on from past experiences and be happy with this person. He was a great match for me and he loved me just like I am. I should have been happy and I tried. I fought for him for a long time while I kept wishing my heart would open up, but I was afraid. I wasn’t ready to open up yet so I had to move on again.

I travelled through China, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong and Taiwan, I met loads of amazing new friends and hot fellas I could fall for, but I didn’t. I was just having fun. I told myself it was okay to still be nervous about the pain another person could cause you, so I let it go and travelled on my own discovering, exploring, thinking, learning and growing.

Coming back to Denmark, I was tired. I was just exhausted after 10 months on the road. I’d seen so many things and now it was time to sit down, relax and reflect. But it didn’t take long before my wanderlust came back with even bigger power than before. I felt the need to do something, so I quit my little vacation at my parents’ house and moved back to my university town. I thought to myself that now everything would be nice and I could be happy with friends around.

The problem is just that when you come back from such a long trip, not many people are around anymore. Or if they are, they are doing tons of other things. So I sat there in my new apartment thinking, Why not try Tinder? I’d tried before and it was a fun way to meet nice boys. I’ve got to be honest and say that I was pretty bored, which was probably the reason why I turned to Tinder.

886940_444090602447507_3285781544130795302_oAfter a few days, I had a match. You see the problem here is that I just do like the Asian look. I’m not saying that I only date Asian guys but I am just quite fond of them. So if I see an Asian-looking guy, I’m just more curious than a blue-eyed, blond-haired tall Dane. But anyway, the match was with a Vietnamese-Chinese guy born and raised in Denmark. I know from experience that this doesn’t mean they have any interest in Asia but I always hope a little bit anyway.

We started talking and the conversation quickly turned to the topic of Asia. I said that I’d been around. I didn’t want to mention all the places because I wouldn’t want to sound like a show-off, but he insisted on me telling. I told him about my last trip and he asked me if I spoke Mandarin. I said yes. He himself had only been to Beijing and Hong Kong for a week like most other tourists and I felt a little disappointed deep inside.

I knew I was comparing him to my first and only great love. He had the same background as this guy. But instead of not giving a s… about China, he was totally in love with China, just like me.

In the end, this guy left me hanging. Twenty minutes before meeting up, he told me he was going to play football instead. I was furious. I told him what an ass he was and deleted his number. Even though he chose to screw things up, I think it was for the best anyway. I should not date around here. My China stories can be pretty overwhelming. I don’t know why this guy didn’t want to meet. Was it because of my greater knowledge of Asia or did he really just want to play football? Who knows?

Now I know that I shouldn’t try to find a guy in this town. With a big population of pale people and no Asian studies at the university, I don’t think there’s much for me here. Also, I’m planning on moving back to Beijing immediately after graduation so why start a relationship here, right? I think it would be better to just deal with the boredom myself, become stronger, and not think too much about boys right now. I’ll just have to wait for my prince charming, who’s probably sitting on a subway in Beijing hoping for my arrival.

Lena is a 20-something Danish girl who is currently working on a master’s degree in Beijing and writing about her travels, China (her favorite place) and love. You can follow her at lenaaround.com.

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28 thoughts on “Guest Post: I Shouldn’t Be Dating in My Own Country

  • February 26, 2016 at 10:16 am
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    You never know where or when you’ll meet “the one.” But if you have your heart set on living and working in China, I’m guessing he will be someone you meet in China or someone who wants to live there. Life is full of surprises, though. I met my born-in-China Chinese husband in Sedro-Woolley, WA, USA. How unexpected is that?!

    Here’s the link to part of that story: http://nickichenwrites.com/wordpress/china/how-i-met-my-chinese-husband-part-1/

    Reply
    • February 26, 2016 at 10:52 am
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      So true, Nicki! And I love the story of how you met your husband in Sedro-Woolley. It is totally expected and delightful!

      Reply
    • February 28, 2016 at 2:14 am
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      Hi Nicki! That’s a great story. I know I can’t expect to meet him over there but I also know that it probably won’t be around this town because the Chinese society is minimal and mostly made up by married engineers and young girls coming to study for a year or so, haha, so not much to do but it’s okay because I’m soon going over there again and I do expect there will be more material on the dating market in Beijing lol.
      Your story is so lovely as well 🙂
      Cheers

      Reply
  • February 26, 2016 at 11:23 am
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    I think it’s a total loss for that Danish Asian to stand you up. I have no doubt you are going to find a cute Chinese guy in your upcoming stay! Good luck! 😀

    Reply
    • February 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm
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      Thanks for the comment, Jonathan! I feel confident Lena will also find a wonderful guy.

      Reply
    • February 28, 2016 at 2:15 am
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      Hi Jonathan. Yes I know we probably could’ve had fun but that’s what happens, maybe next time 😉
      I just hope I’ll meet smb who’ll like me, that’s the most important for me 🙂
      Cheers

      Reply
  • February 27, 2016 at 6:47 am
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    Lena,

    If you are seriously considering paring with a Chinese man from China, then you must observe the tenet that “when in Rome, do what the Romans do.” That is, you must learn the language, culture and even mimic some of the characteristics of Chinese girls (e.g. try to stay thin, pout like a little girl when you don’t get your way, giggle with your hands covering your mouth, no low cut dresses, etc.).

    By the way, did your friends or other family members in Denmark criticize you for your decision to seek a relationship with a Chinese man?

    All the best.

    Reply
    • February 28, 2016 at 2:20 am
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      Hi Fred
      I’ve been dating several Chinese guy but when it comes to cultural differences, I think I would be more suitable for a Western-born Asian guy. I’m too sarcastic for a Chinese or that’s what I’ve experienced until now. Not saying it couldn’t happen but still. I’ve been in China for almost three years and I know by now that I’ll never be like the Chinese girls, my size is much bigger, I’m louder, more independent (not saying all Chinese girls are dependent but you know what I mean about the tendency for guys to pay the full party). Btw I also don’t hope the guy will choose me because of my dressing but I’ll keep that in mind though I think the short dresses are seen in many places in China as well, just go to any club and you’ll bump into Chinese girls wearing lower than the lowest cut, I would never do that (don’t have those thin thighs lol).

      My family is fine with whoever I choose though my mom is still hoping that I could find somebody closer to home. My friends have by now accepted the fact that I’m internationally dating though I had to listen to a lot of shit from people I just meet on my way around but I think you get used to that..

      All the best to you too.

      Cheers

      Reply
      • March 1, 2016 at 5:14 am
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        Hi Lena,

        Thank you for your comments. You made me laugh a lot when you wrote about comparing the local Chinese girls to the Western ones: louder vs. quieter, bigger vs. thinner, and low cut dresses vs. even lower cut, et. When I was younger and had just begun my dating experiences, I (as a short and scrawny Asian Chinese boy), only wanted a petite, pretty, and slim Asian girl (i.e., no Western women ever and never). But time made me change and my destiny was to be married to a white Western woman, and now I am married to white girl. Don’t you think it is strange?

        Yes, I am certain you had to take criticism for your decision to go with a Chinese man and not your fellow European or Danish man. I, too, had to take “shit” from people. Once, a Korean male friend of mine criticized me and he said something like this:

        “I honestly do not see what is so great about those white American and European girls. They are so mean and nasty, and they rarely give an Asian boy a chance in their dating practices. Besides, they may look extremely pretty when they are young, but once they age a little, the become fat so fast and their faces wrinkle much worse than the Asian girl’s. Then many are not so faithful and they will cheat at the first chance they get, and then when the divorce comes, they take most of your money.”

        I was deeply hurt by his comments, but I did not give up and eventually I married a white girl. So, if you suggested to me when I was teenager that I would marry a white girl, I would have thought that you were crazy.

        So, keep up the greatness.

        Fred

        Reply
    • February 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm
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      I have to disagree here, Fred. If the guy is looking for those traits then he can just date a Chinese girl, no? (BTW, I don’t understand why any man looking for a serious relationship would like pouting, tantrums and all the “acting like a small kid” thing).

      Reply
      • March 2, 2016 at 8:52 am
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        Hi Marta,

        You raised a valid point. I am simply saying that in the Chinese dating culture, a girl playfully pouting is viewed as cute in the eyes of Chinese men. Of course, if she were seriously pouting, then it is not a good trait to have. So, if Lena learned to playfully pout, she would be viewed more favorably. Remember, when in Rome do what the Romans do. So, the more she mimics the Chinese girls, it will increase her acceptance rating. This is all I am simply saying.

        Fred

        Reply
        • March 2, 2016 at 6:28 pm
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          It is strange that you ended up with a white woman but I think in the end a relationship is only working if you were attracted to personality. Of course looks are important as well but if you met a beautiful white girl or Asian girl if one of the personalities was better than the other then that’s the one you would choose, right? 🙂

          I don’t think all Chinese guys are looking for girls like that. Actually I like cute dresses and bags but my last guy wasn’t into it. He is full-blooded Chinese but liked me better when I was wearing more practical clothing and keeping my makeup down. Different taste though I do agree about the cute girl style in China (and most other Asian countries).
          Anyway, I already wrote a post about it, which you can write here:
          http://lenaaround.com/to-be-cute-or-sexy-cultural-differences-in-society/
          So I do know about this but I won’t change myself just to get a Chinese guy to like me and I also don’t think I can be that cute anyway, I’m also too independent. I’m just saying that I like Asian looks, though I’m pretty sure in the end I’ll fall for an ABC of some sorts with the same dark humor as me but who knows, that’s what my article is all about, we never know before it happens 😀

          Reply
          • March 4, 2016 at 1:59 am
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            Hi Lena,

            Thanks for your reply and for the link to your site. I will be following your site now.

        • June 1, 2017 at 6:32 pm
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          @Fred

          Lena does not need to be like Chinese girl. In fact, many Chinese men don’t like many Chinese girls behaviors and attitudes these days!

          Reply
  • February 27, 2016 at 7:05 am
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    Ugh! Men. Well, if a guy is going to stand you up for football, it’s better to find out on the first date than the 20th.

    The older I get, the less time I feel I have to waste. Although the strangest people make for the best stories.

    Reply
    • February 28, 2016 at 2:22 am
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      Hi Autumn
      Oh yes, I am very happy he did it the first time because then I knew for sure he wasn’t good enough for me 😉
      I know what you mean. I would give too many second chances before but now it’s like if you don’t have time the first time around, then do your own thing without me ..
      Cheers

      Reply
  • February 27, 2016 at 1:08 pm
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    Nice post, Lena. It does show how people change as they travel or decide to live in other countries (including dating or life choice in general). I have to say, I’ve changed a lot after travelling a lot and lived aboard for a long period of time. My home country, Hong Kong, doesn’t feel entirely like home, even thought I’m currently living there.

    Reply
    • February 28, 2016 at 2:24 am
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      Thank you Phil 🙂 I’m happy you enjoyed it.
      I do agree on everything you’re saying. I don’t think you’ll ever really fit back into where you came from. It was another you when you grew up there but if you are going back, you need to accept that it is not the same life you’re going back to but another you in the same town. Btw I love HK, it’s a good place to be yourself, be international, different or whoever you want to be.
      Cheers

      Reply
  • February 29, 2016 at 11:51 am
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    I think its a bit similar to why I feel alienated from Americans, American-Jews and Russian-Jews. My mom is an extreme introvert thus from the time I became a teen I never had a chance to socialize or to be best friends with someone from my own background.

    Story itself is complicated to get into, and I’m not really sure how to explain it; ever since I arrived to America everything about my background worked against me; I had a weird name that is hard for people to pronounce, I had a background that I was never given a reason to be proud of, I am an immigrant from a country that tries to continuously destroy my ethnic heritage,and many people beyond using the hell and brimstone conversion tactics aren’t very familiar with it, and language wise, my formative years in America included me struggling to learn English instead of socializing with kids, which is how I went overboard with reading. Kind of interesting that now I probably know far more words in English tongue than an average American. With a background like that, who out of Americans or American-Jews experienced what I went through as a child? I think its ultimately the main reason why I became interested in Asian men, because I felt that they might understand me.

    Reply
    • March 2, 2016 at 6:30 pm
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      But why do you think Asian men in particular will understand you better than others? 🙂

      What a story. I hope you feel better now 🙂

      Best,
      Lena

      Reply
    • July 16, 2016 at 5:50 am
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      Sounds highly similar to the Asian Immigrant experience actually. In the past it seems , and possibly now , Asians were also looked down upon in America, with all the sterotypes attached to the asian immigrants coming from various countries , and Asians being perpetual foreigners in America , never seen as true “Americans”. It does sound similar to the Asian Immigrant experience in the US.

      I must say though , we don’t all love studying , nor are we all intelligent. We just work hard.

      Reply
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  • March 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm
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    @Lena My apologies for answering quite a bit late. I feel guilty of saying that I also bought into the myths that Asian men are intelligent and love studying is probably one reason. I was a nerd in school and wasn’t capable of trying to make friends. Growing up, white guys I knew in school didn’t care for reading or studying or anything like that. They were interested in the topics I could care less about. (Cars, sports, comics, etc.) I also think that I felt a lot like an alien, someone incapable of assimilating and never feeling like I’m part of America, which does explain a lot as to why I sought out Asian men that are straight from Asian countries instead of ones that are born here.

    Am thinking maybe I might write about my story and ask if Jocelyn would like to post it on the blog.

    Reply
  • March 23, 2016 at 8:15 am
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    @ Svetlana.

    Yes, I would love to read about your story. Please write it soon.

    Reply
  • April 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm
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    There’s no formula in finding our perfect match. Sometimes they are already in front of us yet we didn’t notice. Or maybe it’s not the perfect time. Your story is one of a kind that serves an inspiration to many women out there. Like, my story I’m shy type person and dating is not my thing. Until my friend introduced this online dating app called DateTix, it’s new and easy to use. And guess what, I have a constant date now. Yes , it’s true we’ve met already and I think I’m falling for him. Download DateTix app for FREE now to enjoy dates on demand : bit.ly/1RgbnRJ

    Reply
  • June 1, 2017 at 7:24 pm
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    The dating culture in China is just not right at the moment!

    For example, a guy is not judge by his personality and attitude towards life anymore! A guy is judge by his wealth!

    The society has unrealistic expectation on men in China at the moment! You just can not expect every men are rich as some tycoons. That is why so many women remain unmarried! The expectation is just way too high! Its like every girl wants to date and marry a tycoon but guess what, there are just not so many tycoons out there!

    Dating and marriage has been twisted, it has became a business, it is like you are trying to buy a girl friend or wife from her family!

    So, I am not surprise more and more Chinese men will look elsewhere! Somewhere which has a bit more emphasize on love and care!

    Reply
  • June 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm
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    The funny thing is when a girl like that do met a rich guy, she often found out later that she is not the only girl around him! How ironic!

    Reply
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