Ask the Yangxifu: The Subtext of Frequent SMS Texts from Chinese Men

SMS from Chinese men
What's the subtext of frequent SMS text messages from Chinese men?

Just Friends asks:

My question concerns Chinese men and gauging their interest level, especially through modern means of communication like texting! I’m trying to figure out if I need to put a couple Chinese men frequently calling/texting at an arm’s length in order to keep from leading them on (does this mean that they’re interested romantically?)

If male friends of mine frequently text and call to make casual plans, either just the 2 of us or with friends, should I assume this means they have a romantic interest in me? In the U.S., I would make this assumption if a single guy repeatedly texted or called to see me, and honestly in China I’ve also begun to wonder about the men that are spoken for. I don’t want to be rude by unnecessarily giving a friend the cold shoulder, but I also do NOT want to lead on any men in whom I’m uninterested!! I don’t want to keep agreeing to meet or continue texting if they’ll interpret that as positively receiving their advances.

Could you speak a little about this modern communication and what it means in the dating world of China? I would really love to hear your thoughts! Thank you!


JF, China may be the land of indirect dating, but sometimes, a text is just a text.

I’ve had close Chinese male friends who would often message me to go out to dinner, or to watch a DVD, or even for a walk. But I never doubted we were anything beyond friends. Why? Because of context when we’re together.

He wouldn’t shower me with romantically charged compliments (i.e. “foreigners are beautiful,” “you have lovely eyes,” — two I’ve heard), or try to get too close to my personal space, or be unusually interested in what I’m doing next or on a certain date (and then offer to accompany me).

If that’s your guy too, then chances are, he just wants to be friends.

Look at his text messages, too. When Chinese guys were interested in me, they’d often text things like “I’m so glad to get messages from you” and “Your company makes me feel so happy.”

If you’re not reading that kind of love in his cold, hard words, or how he behaves when, say, you’re a dinner, you should be safe (apart, that is, from the roaring traffic you might have to cross to get that restaurant). 😉

Do you have a question about life, dating, marriage and family in China (or in Chinese culture)? Every Friday, I answer questions on my blog. Send me your question today.

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