Double Happiness: A Kiss 12 Years in the Making

Kissing lips
(photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert)

Twelve years after she first met her Asian high school crush, Rebekah never imaged she would finally get her chance at love with him — including a kiss that, as she put it, was 12 years in the making. She originally published her story on her blog, and kindly gave me permission to edit and reprint it here.


We first “met” in high school, way back in 1994. He was a senior, I was a freshman. From what I can remember, I just loved him the instant I saw him. The big movie at that time was The Crow, Brandon Lee’s last movie (which, coincidentally was my first Asian guy crush). Imagine my surprise meeting this adorable Asian guy at school, with long hair past his shoulders and a gorgeous smile, the kind that just lights up the room. I always saw him either outside of the lunchroom or in the music room. It is so funny for me to tell this now. At age 14 I was the girl who was so shy, I could barely make eye contact with a boy. I remember actually making eye contact with him once, and I could feel my face burning. He remembers this too, and he recalls not only me turning bright red, but “cutely” covering my face with my hand before looking away. I knew I could never talk to him because I was way too shy. So off he went to college and I never thought I would see him again. Continue reading “Double Happiness: A Kiss 12 Years in the Making”

Double Happiness: A Journey Towards China And Love

Red Chinese lanterns at nighttime
(photo by miguel ugalde)

This is the longest story I’ve ever published in my Double Happiness series. But Mayte’s unexpected journey towards China and love really touched me, and I’m really excited to share her story of two different, surprising and beautiful relationships with Chinese men.


I came to China to enjoy my dream trip. But before I arrived, I met and fell in love with a Chinese man who was by far the most amazing person I had ever met.

It began as a language exchange so that I could improve my Chinese enough to get through a backpacking trip I had planned in China. I wasn’t looking for any relationship at the time but as I prepared for the trip, it made sense to start working on learning Mandarin if I was going off on my own for the latter half. I met C.J. when he responded to a post asking for a language exchange. We talked briefly by phone before meeting and the day I met him, I thought he seemed sweet. When we talked, it was like talking to your best friend after not seeing them for years. We laughed a lot and shared lots of stories. He told me about China and I told him about life in the States, among other things. We closed down a cafe and a bar while we talked that night.

When I went home, I remember thinking that this was the kind of guy I could marry. I think that’s when everything changed for me. Continue reading “Double Happiness: A Journey Towards China And Love”

Double Happiness: A Chinese-American Christian Love Story

A white American Christian woman and her Chinese fiancee
Kristen and Keke (photo courtesy of Kristen)

Kristen, a white Christian girl from America, never thought she’d marry someone different from her. But then she met a Christian man from China on a road trip, a man who would bring her unexpected love and blessings. 


I always wanted to end up with someone different from me, but would that ever actually happen? I was pretty cynical.

Instead, I pictured myself ending up with someone who, like me, had grown up in small town New Hampshire his whole life. The people I met at college were all basically male versions of myself: native New Hampshirites of French and Irish heritage. That’s when I decided to make a voyage to Italy to study abroad — and, perhaps, meet someone there.

At the same time, life seemed to be taking me to the Midwest. I found myself on my way to St. Louis, Missouri for a large Intervarsity Christian conference called Urbana. Of course, sitting beside me in our van was this random guy from China, who I ended up talking to about my plans to travel to Italy, as well as everything else we could think to share with each other. Conversation flowed easily despite my shyness and his imperfect English. I never mentioned the part about finding my man in Italy, but I was secretly hoping that this guy wasn’t developing feelings for me. Continue reading “Double Happiness: A Chinese-American Christian Love Story”

Speaking of China’s Top 5 Friday Posts for 2011

J.T. Tran, the Asian Playboy
J.T. Tran tops the 2011 Friday posts with his exclusive interview with Speaking of China, where he doles out his dating advice for men. (photo from

Once again, we’re revisiting the best of 2011 by views for our Friday posts. Whether you’re new to this blog or looking for some classic articles, check out these top five posts:

  1. Ask the Yangxifu: Dating Advice for Chinese Men from J.T. Tran, the Asian Playboy. My conversation with J.T. Tran early in 2011 still remains one of the most popular posts on this site. A must-read for any Asian men wondering how to find the Western women of their dreams.
  2. Six Western Women of the Past Who Married Chinese Men. My post on these “yangxifu grandmothers” of the past inspired many of you.
  3. Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese Boyfriend Seems Too Chinese to Western Girlfriend. When a Western woman tells her Chinese boyfriend he’s “too Chinese,” he wonders — is “too Chinese” unattractive to Western women?
  4. Ask the Yangxifu: Staring in China at Couples of Chinese Men-Western Women. A Chinese man loves the Western woman he just started dating, but not the stares and attention from his fellow Chinese when they’re in public.
  5. Ask the Yangxifu: Western women in China are NOT all sluts. Despite what you might have seen Samantha doing in “Sex and the City,” all Western women are not sluts.

Happy Holidays and Happy 2012!

P.S.: Don’t forget to check out my Favorites page, with my own hand-picked list of the best posts on Speaking of China.

Double Happiness: How A Chinese Man Found Love in Brazil

Man sitting with a Brazilian woman on the beach
Fred, who was born in Hong Kong and primarily raised in the US, never expected he would marry a white woman, let alone one from Brazil. (photo by André Mariana)

It’s amazing how far people will go for love,  even learning a foreign language and then flying to a foreign land to ask for her hand in marriage.

No, I’m not referring to one of the plot lines from “Love, Actually” — I’m talking about Fred and his story of finding love in Brazil, a story I couldn’t wait to hear after he posted a comment and e-mailed me.

I figure, maybe his story will inspire more of you to “think outside the borders” for love. 😉 Continue reading “Double Happiness: How A Chinese Man Found Love in Brazil”

Double Happiness: The Date In China That Changed Her Future

A hand holding a pair of chopsticks
When Jemma arrived in China in 2008, she expected to stay two years and then move on to another place. But that was before she met her Chinese boyfriend. (photo by Penny Mathews)

As Jemma’s story reminded me, I’m not the only one that never expected to find love — and more — in China. I’m also not the only one who had a few friends intervene on my behalf to find a better man. 😉 
When I arrived in China in 2008, I figured I would stay two years and then move on to another place. But that was before I met my Chinese boyfriend.

I dated a few men, all Chinese, and had some horror stories and some that just didn’t work out. One night, I happened to share my latest bad date with friends. The date was a nice guy, but seemed only interested in me because I was a foreigner. After hearing this, one of the friends decided to give my e-mail address to a man he met at the gym, a guy who had jokingly asked him to set him up with a foreign woman.

At first, this man and I only spoke on the Internet, until he finally got the courage to ask me out for dinner. When we met that night, I liked him straight away — maybe not tall, but definitely handsome. He was a perfect gentleman in the corny, traditional sort of way. He opened doors for me, pulled my chair out, always checked to see if I wanted more food or drink, and refused to let me pay even though he was still a student. After dinner, we went for a walk in the local park and talked for hours, until he finally walked me home and said good night.

But the next week, I heard nothing from him. I was devastated. I thought, maybe my loud Western ways scared him away. Continue reading “Double Happiness: The Date In China That Changed Her Future”

Double Happiness: Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back

When I published a story several weeks ago for Double Happiness, one comment caught my attention:

…I feel compelled to mention how disappointed I am that “foreign” girls are always white girls…. I live in China, and I’m quite attracted to Chinese guys, but my dark skin and less than European features seems to mean that I’m destined to be forever alone. It’s quite sad that no one’s aware of this growing problem, the plight of the forever forsaken non-white girl…. There are many of us out here, and every once in a while, we’d like some love, too.

After reading these words, I immediately thought of Chenyin Pan. He and I struck up a conversation this past summer at the Shanghai reading for Rachel DeWoskin’s latest book, and he happened to mention he once dated some non-white women as a university student in the US. In previous e-mails, he even mentioned the striking words of a Korean friend (who wrote them with respect to dating non-white women): “The world is getting smaller and we should try new things.”

Well, Chenyin definitely has, and I’m really thrilled he agreed to share. While I normally don’t run Double Happiness columns consecutively, I wanted to put this one out there as soon as I could — if nothing else, to give some non-white women out there a little love. 🙂 Continue reading “Double Happiness: Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back”

Double Happiness: The Accidental Online Dater

A Chinese groom and white American bride
Samantha tells the story of how a free online dating account she never intended to use ended up connecting her with her future husband (photo from Samantha Mead).

When people ask me why I chose to live in China, my answer usually includes one of my favorite words: serendipity. Happy accidents, such as my decision to move to the Middle Kingdom, sometimes end up changing our lives — and love — forever. That’s why I love this story from Samantha Mead, where she describes the serendipity behind how she came to meet her Chinese husband. Continue reading “Double Happiness: The Accidental Online Dater”

Double Happiness: Dreaming of Ariel in Australia

A black-and-white photo of a young Caucasian girl
In this Friday's Double Happiness, L. Han writes about why he loves Western women -- a fascination that started with Disney's the Little Mermaid, and continued through to his first crush on a white woman in Australia. (photo by Fran Priestley)

When I opened up the series “Double Happiness,” I originally called for stories from couples about why they love each other, or how they met.

But then I met L. Han, who had a story for me about why he loves Western women — even though he didn’t have a girlfriend or wife. After reading it, I decided to run it. It speaks to the people in our community who haven’t found their Double Happiness yet, but still have something to say about it.

So, thanks to L. Han, I’m adjusting “Double Happiness” to welcome your own stories on why you love Chinese men or Western women — even if you’re NOT in a couple (submit yours right here). 

Here’s his story: Continue reading “Double Happiness: Dreaming of Ariel in Australia”

Double Happiness: A Western Woman Walks Into A Bar

Two beer glasses lined up on a bar
Western women walked into bars, and walked out finding their future Chinese husbands (photo by gianni testore)

“A Western woman walks into a bar…” sounds like the start of a joke. But instead of coming back with a punchline, a number of Western women came back with Chinese men who they would eventually marry.

Sure, bars get a bad rap in the world of dating sometimes — yet these women show that your local watering hole just might turn into the backdrop for your “how we met” story. (In their case, the “how I met my Chinese husband” story.)

Continue reading “Double Happiness: A Western Woman Walks Into A Bar”