I am an American girl living in China and feel extremely confused about this one Chinese guy I started spending time with. I started developing feelings for him, but tried to keep my feelings to myself because it was so hard to read him and tell if he really liked me. He treats me just like a regular friend for the most part, and most of the time if we spend time together, it’s with other people. But recently I noticed he’s been signing e-mails to me with “Love”. His English isn’t perfect but it’s not bad and I just keep wondering if this really means something. What do you think?
For some Chinese, “love” isn’t always the love you imagine.
I know a Chinese man who regularly signs his texts with “love” or “love you.” He sent those texts to — wait for it — my husband. (His English, by the way, is decent.)
Another Chinese man I once flirted with consistently signed off his e-mails with “Love.” He spoke great English. But that love wasn’t really there, either, because he refused me months later.
As long as you’re navigating in a language that’s not his own, you can’t always trust he means what you think. It’s possible that he grasps the connotation of a word like “love” in Western cultures, with all of the seriousness it carries — maybe he really paid attention to his English studies. But it’s just as possible he let the “L” word slip without realizing how you would respond.
Remember, many Chinese grow up in homes where “love” is never spoken aloud. More often, Chinese prefer to imply their love through actions, instead of words. Instead of analyzing his e-mails, notice how he behaves with you. If he seems wont to leave your side or if he’s spending copious amounts of time with you, there might be something there. But his behavior makes you feel like a common friend — well, you probably are.
Give it time, and see if your relationship changes. It just might. But, that said, don’t let the word “love” fool you.
What advice do you have for Confusedoverlove?
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