I am a Chinese guy who is going to graduate next June. I am majoring in English simply because I want to know more about this world. You mentioned a lot about the cross-culture relationship which is something I desired for years. I always wanna a life different from the ones that most people have in China. I know it is gonna be tough, but I have faith. No difficulty no fun. Life itself is that way. Anyway, it is rather hard for a Chinese mainlander to seek the chance of meeting any International women especially those who want to marry chinese guys. If you have any good channels or tips, why not tell us?
Aiden, I salute you — you’re daring to imagine a love and future different from many Chinese men. The question is, where can you dare to find her?
Why not start with your future job? Consider working at a company that employs foreigners — such as a multinational company or a school with foreign teachers. After all, I met my husband at an Internet company.
Still, you can’t put all of your hopes on a job — and fortunately, you don’t have to.
One of your best bets may be a Chinese language school or department in your city. From my experience, foreign women fascinated with Chinese language and culture tend to be more open to Chinese men. Some schools, such as Beijing Language and Culture University, even have Chinese corners. Do a search and find out if there’s one in your area. Even though you’re an English major, open yourself up to the possibility of connecting with a foreign woman in your native language.
Another option is getting involved in an international organization or NGO. Many foreigners gravitate towards service like this as a way to enrich their China experience and “give back.” You also tend to meet a lot of nice people along the way, as I did when I participated in birdwatching with a WWF China group in Shanghai. You may not necessarily meet someone right away, but you could build relationships with foreigners and Chinese that may lead to that special someone, and do some good at the same time. The Beijinger, for example, has a long list of NGOs and options for volunteering.
If volunteering isn’t your thing, why not try other organizations or activities? Consider joining a gym — a lot of foreign ladies do, and, again, it’s a great way to build relationships over time with a foreigner (though, realize we’re more often into the cardio, aerobics, yoga/pilates, instead of just weight lifting like many guys). Get involved in sports or outdoor activities you like (which many foreigners love as an escape from big-city life), everything from long-distance bicycling to hiking and camping. When you meet people through these activities, you already have a shared foundation to start from, and it makes building a relationship so much easier.
What about English corner? You could try it, but you may find less success. Some foreigners — myself included — experience what I like to call “English corner burnout” after getting mobbed by too many English learners at once, or entertaining the same questions (well-meaning though they may be) over and over. And even if you do find a receptive foreign woman at an English corner, you’ll have to compete with other English learners for her attention.
Avoid expat bars — they’re more a refuge for homesick foreigners who want a break from life in China, or want to meet other foreigners. The demographic here isn’t really in your favor. (I take this back — give the expat bars a try because, after all, many single foreign women do go to them. But just realize that not all expat bars are created equal and every place has a different atmosphere — some more welcoming, some not. Do your homework before you go and remember, you don’t have to depend on the bars to meet people!)
But it’s one thing to meet a foreign woman, and another to charm her. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t be too aggressive. For me, it was always a turn-off when a Chinese man would, for example, shove his phone number in my hand moments after saying hi, asking if he could be my friend, and then expecting to have lunch with me that day. That doesn’t mean that you can’t give us your phone number or e-mail or even suggest coffee or tea sometime — just realize that we need time to get to know who you are to develop a friendship, and more.
- Realize we’re often looking for true love or a soulmate — not merely someone who will “make do” as a husband, or simply because he has an apartment or a car. Personality and interests often mean a lot to us. Be willing to share of yourself, and let her really get to know you, instead of simply offering “love” without a reason why she should love you. I think of one Chinese man I flirted with for a while — he kept on showering me with romantic poetry and declarations of love, but he had the personality of a Ken doll. Needless to say, the flirting ended pretty fast.
- Maintain language equity — in other words, make sure that the relationship is not monopolized by one language, if the foreign woman can speak or is learning Chinese. Otherwise, she will feel disrespected (as in, why won’t he give me the chance to improve my Chinese?) and used, as if she were just an “English machine” there to serve you.
- Don’t let what I like to call “the inferiority factors” get in the way of a good relationship. We’re often taller, heavier, earn more, and may even have more education than many Chinese men. But if you’re willing to let go of cultural expectations, you may find the love is worth it.
Good luck Aiden — and if you find a foreign woman, please let me be one of the first to know!
Do you have a question about dating, marriage and family in China (or in Chinese culture). Every Friday, Iâ€™ll choose one question and answer it on my blog. Send me your question today.