Guest Post: First Comes Baby, Then His Lawyer

Sometimes you never know where a relationship — or unexpected pregnancy — will take you. For the anonymous author of this post, hers led to a baby son and, later, papers from her boyfriend’s lawyer.

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(Photo by Johannes Lander via
(Photo by Johannes Lander via

“It’s a joke,” I declare, staring at my pregnancy test, seeing a plus sign in one window and a line in another one. The line fades away. I pick up instructions, studying the text, but no matter how it looks, if both windows have lines, pregnancy is imminent.

“It’s a joke, a joke.”

Years ago, I would have wanted to find myself pregnant. Not because I was ready, but simply because it would have been with someone I loved. That day, little did I know that I would fall into a bottomless pit of my relationship with the father of my baby.

Fast forward to few weeks later. The doctor confirmed my pregnancy as my boyfriend, my mother and I come back for an ultrasound to find out the age of my baby. That day I was instructed to drink a lot of water few hours before and not go to the bathroom. Disbelief settled inside as I watched women enter with their husbands/boyfriends. I wondered how it will be to see my child on the screen, and what my child will look like.

Finally, my mother, my boyfriend and I enter into the ultrasound room. I recall undressing, a generous amount of special lube being squeezed onto my belly and without preamble I see my baby, the size of a small pea. Then a loud sound begins echoing throughout the room, fast beats that sound almost frog-like. The baby’s heartbeat, I realize, stunned at the idea that my baby has developed a heartbeat. I turn to my boyfriend, wondering if he is sharing in my emotions, but he is blank. When I asked him, he says something like this is routine for him, which disappoints me greatly. I learn that the baby is younger than thought; seven or so weeks instead of nine.

(Photo by David via
(Photo by David via

Days become months, and the seasons pass. My boyfriend is busy with nursing school, dealing with what I will call the “mid-life” crisis minus the motorcycle and a 6’0 foot tall Amazon blonde who whispers sweet forevers. I live with my parents as I check my phone, seeing texts sometimes but not everyday as I hope.

He should text more. He should care more.

I am expecting our first child and find myself feeling guilty and uncertain that things have turned out the way they did. His first words when I mentioned my pregnancy? “It’s not the right time, not the right time.” I grind my teeth. Tell that to our child who has no concept of time and continues to grow. Babies, as I learned, have a very poor sense of timing.

My feelings towards him are less and less certain and become more conflicted. In some cases he and my mom disagree. For example, the changing table. He is unemployed, but seems to have savings. Yet he sees no need to spend money on a changing table. His solution? Use newspapers on the sofa to change our child. (Luckily my father’s friend lent us a changing table, thus the idea of newspapers on sofa is nixed.) School work comes first, I come last, almost an afterthought. “If he has time to eat and go to the bathroom, then he has time to text you,” my mother tells me. “Not an excuse.” I agree. Really hard to argue with that logic.

One of my favorite days of the year is the day I gave birth. What is interesting is that our child’s birth is the anniversary of when my boyfriend first arrived in America. Perhaps those two days are the last time I felt connected and happy with him.

Afterwards, little by little we descended into Dante’s nine circles of hell.

While the birth was easy thanks to an epidural, the aftermath is a war. I begin the losing battle of breast-feeding our son. The reason my boyfriend supports me? “It’s cheaper than buying formula.” What about the baby’s health and all those benefits? “That, too,” he adds as an afterthought.

After the birth, my body is shattered, battered, even requiring a gallbladder surgery where I had to spend my first mother’s day in a hospital. My boyfriend was only there afterwards and not when I needed him the most; before the surgery.

(Photo by Toshiyuki IMAI via
(Photo by Toshiyuki IMAI via

My mind tries to adjust to having a crying infant in the house that needs me every two hours to feed him and change his diapers. My boyfriend is forty minutes away, yet school and studies in nursing consume all his thoughts. I barely sleep as I need to get up and feed my son formula during the night. He comes once a week, maybe once every few weeks. “Please help me at night,” I ask him one day. “I need my sleep,” he says. What about me, I want to ask him. Don’t I need my sleep as well? I have a son to take care of, yet instead I am concerned about his interactions with our son because he tends to seem distant. I catch him spending more time on the computer rather than interacting with our child.

The roles become 1950s, that of a workaholic father and a stay-at-home mother trying to keep sane. We drift further and further apart as I begin to feel my needs are not being met. In addition, my parents begin to point out qualities about him that I wish I could excuse or not even notice. Our dates consist of Wal-Mart, a local Chinese supermarket and restaurants. I am closed off in front of the impenetrable wall that he is, and I feel as if I cannot share my innermost self with him for fear of being ignored or rebuffed. We get together but instead of words, food speaks to us. It is an isolating experience where I enjoy the taste far more than his company.

An accumulation of hurt, pain and distance take a toll when all becomes unleashed later that year, the last time he and I were truly happy together. As we walk around the lake, all that came to me is the idea of fireworks, the last happy moments before hell is unleashed in Chinese Paladin as well as Dream of the Red Chamber before death enters into the picture.

Summer weather teases the senses with heat as he asks me about moving to an island overseas. He got offered a great job. There’s a huge relocation bonus if my son and I travel there with him.

No, I answer him. The baby will be too young. There will be diseases there like Hepatitis A, typhoid. There’s the threat of hurricanes and earthquakes and tsunamis, plus, only two hospitals for the entire island.

After listening, he threatens to take our son there.

I am at loss for words. Has he said what I thought he said? He didn’t. He couldn’t. Yet the words paralyzed me.

(Photo by Helga Weber via
(Photo by Helga Weber via

He says he wants to be family, and wants to be together. His mother traveled from Massachusetts to where I live and gave me bracelets as a dowry along with a bunch of gifts for our son.

Yet he threatened the unthinkable.

Weeks later, money divides us further as misunderstandings arise about how much to pay my family child support. Even though his second offer was acceptable to me, I discovered I’m late in answering him – he has already called in a lawyer.

I call him and beg him to get rid of the lawyer; I agreed to his second sum payment. “It’s out of my hands, out of my hands,” he repeats over and over to my pleas.

I hang up the phone, angry and frightened by the possibility of a lawsuit.

Days later, I get the papers served. He is in the house as a witness to my emotions. I countersue him back for child support, to show him that in this one instance, I will not be cowered down.

Thus ended our relationship, broken by misunderstandings and greed.

Editor’s note: the anonymous author of this post is still fighting to keep her son.

Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Guest Post: Larry – a Short Tale of Ignorance or Cross-Cultural Misunderstanding

Ava Ming

Cross-cultural misunderstandings are a huge pitfall in dating abroad, including here in China.

Just imagine what it must have felt like for Ava Ming, the English blogger behind My Oriental Life, when she heard these words from her date for the evening, a Chinese guy she met in Shenzhen: “I really want to kiss you, Ava, but I’m scared that I might get AIDS because all Africans have AIDS.”


Read on to learn the whole story of how things fell apart between her and Larry.

Do you have a shocking tale of cross-cultural misunderstandings or other guest post you’d like to see featured here on Speaking of China? Visit the submit a post page to learn more about becoming a guest poster for this blog.

Shenzhen, China (photo by Ramon Boersbroek via
Shenzhen, China (photo by Ramon Boersbroek via

I’ve often considered telling the story of my first Chinese date. But usually I’ve declined, thinking it was too personal, perhaps too upsetting and might also give the impression that I dislike Chinese men, which is really not the case at all.

But the event occurred a while ago now back in 2013. After reading about others who’ve braved their souls on Jocelyn Eikenburg’s fabulous blog, I’ve decided to share. Besides, who knows, maybe someone else could have or has had a similar experience?

I met Larry at the terminal subway station. There were very few commuters around. I was curious as to why he came so close, sitting right next to me on an empty train, leaving a small space between us.

I noticed his glances in my direction, wondering if he was trying to work up the courage to ask if he could practice his English with me. Pretty soon he introduced himself and asked me where I was from, which led to a conversation.

He told me that he was a professional who’d travelled to various European cities but never England. He was 37, unmarried and feeling the pressure from his parents to change his single status. I enjoyed our talk during the long ride but initially didn’t read anything into it. Around that time I seemed to be making a lot of new Chinese friends while on various subway rides. I guess I must have exuded an approachable air!

As we approached his stop he told me that he thought I was pretty. He couldn’t believe no other Chinese guy had made me his girlfriend. Then he asked for my number and if we could go to dinner.

Have to admit I was pretty surprised. Until then I’d been under the impression that Chinese guys would never be so forward due to a natural or cultural shyness. I said I wasn’t sure about a date but we could talk from time to time.

Over the next fortnight he sent regular messages via text and email usually beginning with ‘hello, my angel.’ Yes, Larry was a charmer but the messages did make me smile.

Eventually we set up a date and met on a hot and sticky Friday evening. By now I knew that I wasn’t romantically attracted to him, but I did like his personality and I was interested in meeting more people and expanding my circle of Chinese friends. I also assumed that he didn’t have intentions of getting serious with me either. His parents probably weren’t expecting him to marry a foreign girl.

The date was nothing special. The best word to describe it would probably be ‘nice,’ well up to a point anyway. We ate rice in a Japanese restaurant and then went for a walk in the park. He kept guiding me towards secluded places, which I thought was a bit strange. But then he’d comment on the sculpture, or lotus flower pond, or round leafy bush we’d stumbled upon.

I still wasn’t feeling any chemistry towards him. But he had a gentle humour and I thought perhaps we could be friends in the future.

Ava Ming
Ava Ming

Approaching 10pm I wanted to leave, having made plans to go dancing, but Larry wasn’t ready. He insisted on ‘just ten more minutes’ and took me to a bench by the side of the river, again another secluded place. When we sat down he made a confession.

“I really want to kiss you, Ava, but I’m scared that I might get AIDS because all Africans have AIDS.”

I was literally struck dumb at his ignorance. Then I became so angry I actually felt tears welling up. Angry tears have a whole different feeling to ones of sadness or joy.

We’d already discussed my family history, him being impressed that my parents were from Jamaica and that I was born in England. But regardless of place of birth, how could he be so naive? In addition, was there no filter in his brain to tell him exactly when to shut-up?

I told him that AIDS didn’t originate from Africa, but was initially a disease among gay white men in New York. I pointed out that he should really think before he speaks and that he shouldn’t believe so strongly in stereotypes. On top of this, why on earth had he asked me out if he’d thought I was ‘unclean?’

Seeing my distress he insisted that I’d misunderstood when we both knew that I hadn’t. To make matters worse, he then pulled me close and tried to kiss me! Saying; “look, see, I know you don’t really have AIDS!”

I wanted to storm off in a huff, but it’s kind of difficult when you don’t know where you are, so we caught the bus back together. He begged me not to tell anyone because he didn’t want to lose face. I made no such promise. If he’d just ended the date at 10pm before his confession maybe we would have become friends, although then I would never have known what he was really thinking.

For a long time I dismissed the idea of dating another Chinese guy. If this was the common school of thought then what would be the point?

A short while later I discussed his theory with my Chinese friends, many of whom also believed that AIDS originated in Africa, but none of whom believed that all Africans have it.

As for Larry, he called and emailed several times to apologise for upsetting me. I accepted his apology but declined his offers to go for a drink. Making someone cry on a first date, even if they were tears of frustration, is really not an auspicious beginning!

As I mentioned this was a while ago and I have since relaxed my guard, becoming more open to Chinese men who just want to talk. But as for dating? Not sure. For that I think I’ll need a little more time.

I’m Ava Ming, born in England to Jamaican parents and currently living in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China where I write and teach English.

Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Guest Post: “Chun Was Someone I Never Thought I Would Meet”

Unless you’re like my husband (who lucked out and ended up marrying his one and only girlfriend), chances are you’ve had your share of relationships or crushes that didn’t work out — perhaps even ones you might regret. I know I have.

Which is why, when Holly of From My World To Your World decided to share the tale of what happened between her and Chun, I was nodding my head the entire time I read it…and thinking of that one guy I never should have fell for, but did.

Do you have a story about love gone wrong or other guest post you’d like to see featured here on Speaking of China? Check out the submit a post page to learn how to get your work published on this blog.

(Photo via
(Photo via

It is really hard for me to write about this only because this is something that happened recently with someone I thought was going to be a big part of my life. But, he stopped contact with me. A small part of me wanted to know why he decided to stop talking and the other part just doesn’t care anymore. For this, it’s almost a long story, which goes back last year.

I’ll start in the beginning on how we met.

Chun was someone I never thought I would meet. I always believed people were destined to meet and I thought this was the right moment. But once again, I was wrong. Last year we met at a time in my life when I still was a very emotional person and still searching for a relationship. I really thought everything was perfect when I met him.

Late September, last year

It was a good Monday evening when I was asked by a friend if I wanted to go eat dinner. Let’s call her Ying. So when I arrived to the restaurant, Ying introduced me to the other two guys that were sitting and eating dinner with us. The three of them are Chinese and were speaking Chinese. I could understand as much as I could at the time. But, there was something about Chun that I was attracted to. He was tall, had a broad chest, black hair, funny, and just kind of my type… a bad boy. And I was really physically attracted to him.

Chun was the type of guy who didn’t finish high school. He dropped out of school and never even bothered getting his GED. He and his parents worked at a Chinese buffet or restaurant somewhere in my city.

After dinner, Chun said he almost forgot it was his birthday the next day. So we decided to all go for hookah that night. On the way there, Ying and I were in her car. I asked her if he was single. She said she thinks he might be. That night I got to know him a little bit more, still very much curious about this guy.

The following day he wanted to go bowling, but no one wanted to go. At the last minute I decided to go. He picked me up at my house since at this time, I didn’t know how to drive. When we were bowling, we had this deep discussion about life, love, happiness and more. There were some things I told him that I thought I wouldn’t tell anyone. We talked about the tattoos on his body, the scars he received on his arm, why school wasn’t for him. I was nothing but comfortable with him since meeting him even though he had this bad boy mentality.

October, last year

Just that coming weekend, it was my birthday. In fact it was my twenty-first birthday. The day after, on Saturday, he took me out downtown to a bar and bought me a few drinks. I had gotten a little drunk, but I remember most of that night. I remember dancing with him and then him telling me he doesn’t like to dance. I remember gulping down three or four glasses of water before walking downtown and then discussing a potential relationship.

I told him I was starting to fall for him a bit and that I liked him. He replied that he liked me too, but wanted to get to know me more before pursuing a relationship with me. At the time, I thought this was the right moment to tell him my deepest secret: being autistic. When I told him, his arm was still around me, holding me as we walked. He said to me, “Don’t worry, everyone is different.”

After he dropped me off home late that night, I had liquid courage. I reached up and kissed him. It wasn’t a deep kiss. Mostly it was light kissing. I said bye to him and parted ways.

Who would’ve thought that after that night that everything would go downhill?

A few days later I met with Ying and told her what happened. She told me she talked to him and asked if we had fun that night. His excuse was, “I don’t remember much.”

My heart sank. Was this really true? Did he not remember? How could he not? He barely drank that night, or at least I thought.

The week after my birthday, I invited a lot of my friends out since I had to work on my twenty-first. I invited him out as well. He came a little later and immediately headed to the bar. I went up to him and asked him if he remembered what happened. He said he didn’t remember at all. This made me angry. Just after he had a few drinks, he suggested we all go to a different bar. We agreed to try to bar hop some. I still was upset with him and slowly that night I became devastated. How could he be so cold and barely talk to me that night?

After my party I tried to message him a few times, but he wouldn’t reply as much.

Every time I saw Ying, I felt so bad because all I would do is talk about him.

November came and I saw continued sadness in my life, I was so upset that he wasn’t replying when I tried to contact him. December came quicker than I expected. This was when I decided to call him and ask why he stopped talking to me. But, I was going to have to wait until after finals.

When finals were done, I decided that it was time to call him.

No answer.

I left a voicemail, even though I knew he wouldn’t listen. After this voicemail, I messaged him on WeChat. I said to him, “I called because I wanted to ask you something. But I guess it is pointless now. I tried hard enough. And you haven’t bothered replying. I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now, but you’re ignoring me for some reason…it hurts me. It’s been a long time since we last talked.”

Finally after a few months of no responses, I got a reply. He told me that he didn’t want to talk to anyone because he was planning on moving to a different State. I decided that this was it, which I didn’t care anymore…or at least I thought. Deep down I still cared.

The next day while driving with Ying to go downtown to bar hop, we were talking about something and brought up Chun. This was when she told me something I never knew.

She said to me, “He’s so stupid, I didn’t tell you this because I didn’t want to make things worse. But I wanted to tell you that he had this girlfriend.”

I looked at her, so confused, “What do you mean?”

She replied, “This girl, I know her, she is kind of crazy, She’s a Chinese girl. She doesn’t really care much about anything. They were on and off dating, just kind of like friends with benefits, but whatever.”

I wondered if this is what stopped him from talking to me?

“When did he meet this girl? Was it around the same time I met him?”

“Yeah, I believe so, but they were just friends before it happened. Sorry I didn’t tell you before.”

I stopped for a moment, letting this sink in. It made sense…another girl was in his life so that’s why he probably stopped talking to me.

I told Ying I was grateful and smiled, realizing that Chun was not supposed to be in my life…or so I thought.

About 7 months later, late July, this year

Out of the blue, I received a message from him on WeChat. I never bothered to really remove him from my life anyway so I decided to just keep him on social media. Just a few months before I saw that he was back in my city for the summer. Chun asked me what’s up. I told him that I was going to the mall. He said that he could meet me there. This was strange since I barely talked to him since December. And I was wondering if I was prepared to meet with him.

I told him what time I would be there and he met me. The entire time I barely wanted to look at him, still remembering about what happened in the past. My main destination was Victoria’s Secret. He followed me into that store. The entire time I felt like I was teasing him. We got into a small argument what my actual bra size is. I told him teasingly, “Why? Do you want to see me in these bras then?”

His response, “Yes, I actually do.”

Throughout that day at the mall and spending time with him, I never thought I would get some closure. He offered to drive me home. On the way I was talking about how we first met. I unexpectedly got an answer I was looking for.

“How come you don’t remember that time we went bowling?”

“Well, to be honest, I was high a lot. I was smoking weed before I saw you or anyone else. That, or drunk. Or both.”

I was a little relieved in some way. Because telling him I was autistic was one of my biggest worries and I was so scared that this is what made him stop talking to me.

“I also heard you were with this girl too?”

“Yeah, that’s true as well, but she was crazy. And she lied to me. I felt badly about it later. But I took her virginity. She never told me before. I thought she wasn’t a virgin and was angry she didn’t tell me.”

I really didn’t care about that. I just finally was able to know some of the truth.

“You really upset me at the time. I hate to blame, but a part of the reason I am like this is because of you.”

I think these words did make him see that he truly screwed up. And I luckily got an apology.

When we sat in the driveway for a few moments, he asked if I wanted to go somewhere else with him. I agreed and then we were off to play mini-golf and ride go-karts. Next thing I knew, it was around nine at night.

“It’s getting late and I’m kind of hungry.”

“What do you want to eat?” he asked.

“Uhm, I’m not sure, I’m not picky.”

Chun decided that we could just go to the grocery store and then cook back at his place. I said sure. But, I didn’t realize his place was farther from mine, about a twenty minute drive or so. When we got to his place, he told me his situation. Chun was living in the living room since there were only two bedrooms and his parents have a friend staying with them. So his parents and little brother occupied one room while their friend had the other. I told him not to worry. Ten minutes later, his family arrived. His parents mainly ignored him the entire time I was there.

Time was going by slow and it was already ten-thirty at night when we started to eat dinner. He suggested that I just stay the night. I asked if that was okay with his parents and he said they didn’t care.

So I spent the night. And things happened.

At the time I was so happy. Everything was perfect. We talked a lot that night. I told him that I am happy how things worked out this way. Mentioning of course that I don’t want a relationship at all.

He said he was happy too and that he wanted me in the same way I wanted him. We talked almost that entire night. About how he was in trouble with the law and how his parents didn’t recognize him as their son now because he said he has disappointed them. Part of me was feeling really bad for him.

But after that night I didn’t see him for a while. He got busy with work and so did I.

A few weeks after seeing him, I managed to convince him to come over. However, he messaged me and told me not to think anything of us and that we are just paoyou (炮友), or friends with benefits. Why would you send that when we already defined the relationship between us two? I snuck him into my house that night, but my brother came home to sleep that night. My older brother was barely home at this time as well. So, overall the mood was ruined.

This was when I asked him quietly, “Why did you have to remind me that we’re just paoyou?”

Chun wasn’t happy I brought it up, “Because I wanted to remind you.”

“No, seriously, please tell me why.”

He paused for a few seconds, totally not expecting this response.

“I feel like I’m not good enough for you.”

I looked at him, “Why do you think this?”

“When I see you, I see myself. I see how I used to be and I how much I changed. You deserve better. Now, enough of that. But promise me something.”

“Hmm?” I inquired.

“If I disappear from your life again, don’t get sad.”

Still a little confused, “Why do you say that? I already had you gone from my life once, I’m sure I can get through it again.”

I snuck him back out after this big conversation of ours. That last kiss, that last hug…I never thought it would’ve been the last of it all.

Early September, this year

School started for me and I was really happy to be back at school. One day after I was finished with classes for the week, I texted him. The message wasn’t sending on WeChat and it was saying I had to add him as a friend. Confused, I looked him up on Facebook. Chun also removed me from there as well.

I was furious. So I messaged him on Facebook telling him, “We’re better than this. I don’t know what’s going on but it would be nice for you to talk to me instead of just removing me from your life. Please call me when you get the chance.”

No phone call.

No response.

No text messages.


I talked to Ying just a few weeks after it happened. She told me that one of her friends went to hang with him and they got stuck on the highway. This friend of hers said that Chun was agitated because this one girl wouldn’t stop talking to him. And also that he didn’t really want to talk with her a lot and it was becoming annoying.

Immediately I knew that was me. I wasn’t really talking to him every day, I made sure of it. But, when I heard all this, I sighed some relief.

I began to not care about this situation because this wasn’t my problem. Deep down I knew that this was possibly going to happen again. I knew that he was going to stop contact with me again.

Somedays I have some regrets about letting him back into my life. I wish I had been wiser about things. But we learn from our mistakes and learn to accept them. This is just another life lesson that was learned the hard way. I’ve accepted what happened and even though I want to regret, I cannot. This situation shaped me into who I am today and helped make me stronger.

Holly resides in Michigan, where she writes about her novel, Destiny Across a Thousand Miles, and her life at

Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Guest Post: My Relationship Ideals Were a Smorgasbord of Western & Eastern Values, All Torn Down by Him

Have you ever compromised your own core values in a relationship? That’s what happened to Jocelyn Wong (who blogs at Jocelyn Writes and Is That Top 30?) when she dated a fellow from China. She writes, “I grew up in Hong Kong but many of the things I was brought up with included splitting a meal, not having sex on the first date and waiting until the engagement to meet each other’s parents. These ideals were a smorgasbord of Western and Eastern values that were all torn down early on in the relationship.”

Read on for the full story.

Do you have a tough breakup, love story or other guest post you’d like to share on Speaking of China? Learn how to become a guest poster by checking out the submit a post page.

(Photo by Kiril Strax via
(Photo by Kiril Strax via

Kyle and I met through Tinder of all places after one too many messy breakups. Back then I was living in a small town in Canada. I went into the app with the notion that maybe people in my own social circle just weren’t “good” enough and that my circle of friends might be too small. So I took to online dating to correct that.

I grew up in Hong Kong but many of the things I was brought up with included splitting a meal, not having sex on the first date and waiting until the engagement to meet each other’s parents. These ideals were a smorgasbord of Western and Eastern values that were all torn down early on in the relationship.

Early on our relationship I found it difficult to communicate with Kyle even though I had a very international background. Firstly there was the pseudo language barrier. Don’t get me wrong, I am a native English speaker but there are times when I find it difficult to find certain words in English that communicate my feelings. This proved to be an obstacle on our first date when I was signaling furiously at him to try get him to understand what the concept of 無奈 or 孝順 was in half broken English and Chinese. At the very least, it broke the ice.

There were other things about him that really confounded me on a cultural perspective. I was raised with the theory that “sex comes after marriage” and that you should “only have sex with your husband”. Even barring that, sex always came after “monogamy,” as I was taught by Patti Stanger who hosted Millionaire Matchmaker on Bravo. He was a lot more promiscuous than I was (though I didn’t know it at the time). It was cute though when he asked “Do you kiss on the second date?” Immediately I knew that he was going to be mine sooner or later. I would pursue him romantically because that level of awkwardness and consideration was just what I was looking for in a partner.

I digress though. That night, there was something about him, something strange that just made me throw away all the principles I was brought up with. So I slept with him on that second date.

The sex was unfulfilling, but I should’ve known better.

I’d been spoiled previously – falling in love and having meaningful sex with my previous partners that I forgot what meaningless, hedonistic sex felt like. I regretted my decision almost immediately and wished I’d stuck with my traditional principles. Still, things worked out and we became a couple very soon. The sex didn’t improve though, we were still a premature couple and that level of connection needed to be built up.

The second time our values clashed was when I met his parents the day we decided to become a couple – five days after we had met – and it was too overwhelming. He expected me to be okay with meeting his family the morning after I had slept over at his place. This meant: no makeup, grubby outfit, no carefully pre-arranged gift and certainly no mental preparation. What kind of daughter-in-law was I going to be?! I was mortified. I was raised in an environment where it was absolutely necessary to give your significant other’s parent a gift on your first encounter and to look your best. That day, I failed all of those criteria and retreated into myself, I was disgusted with myself. I didn’t see him for a couple of days because I was so angry with myself and him for making me go through that experience.

More cultural differences: I met his parents again soon after that first awkward encounter. This time I was prepared. I was dressed to the nines and brought them their favourite choice of alcohol (the right brand even) and some gifts I had purchased in Toronto when I spent a weekend there. They were “taken aback by my generosity” but I honestly knew no other way to act. This was how I was brought up and it seemed to have made a good impression on my other Canadian boyfriends so I followed suit this time. I later learned that they found me to be a little over the top.

Throughout our relationship, we would have troubles communicating with each other because of our cultural differences but this was the most glaring when we broke up. I was raised on local TV shows and my mother’s advice to make breakups short and snappy, like “ripping off a bandage” and to “never speak to him again” afterwards. Clean and Clear. Just like those pore strips. And that’s how my breakups had been orchestrated each time: I returned my ex-lovers things and we never spoke to each other again. You can imagine my utter shock and horror when he suggested that we not only gradually return each other’s things but to remain “friends” or “friends-with-benefits” afterwards. I could not comprehend that level of promiscuity at all and his utter lack of consideration for my feelings.

This is not my first trip around the rodeo but one that embodied the biggest cultural differences. I didn’t realise I could compromise my core values for a man. But what can I say? I was stupidly in love. Let’s hope that next time around, I learn from my mistakes and stick to what I believe in and hopefully, it’ll work out.

Jocelyn Wong is a writer, blogger, journalist and radio host. She blogs about food and fun things at, and about music at She has been published in the 2014 Women in Publishing Hong Kong Anthology: Imprint.

Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Fenshou: “Playing With Fire” In An Office Tryst

I, MarcusObal [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
I, MarcusObal [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
An anonymous Chinese Singaporean man writes, “We became an office tryst. Nobody knew what was going on between us. I liked the fact that secrecy added fire to our sex.” This story takes you into the world of a hidden love affair between two coworkers that didn’t last, but left lasting memories for the writer.

Do you have a hidden love affair or other guest post you’re burning to share on Speaking of China? Head on over to the submit a post page to learn how you can have your words featured here.

A vivid memory of your skin under the sunlight,

With your blonde hair,

Matching the sun’s glare, 

I appreciate the way you gently disappeared out of my sight.

After all, I “thank you” for having met you in my life.”

You know how the story ends and yet you read it to the end. You know what happens in the movie and still you wanted to watch it once more to experience the energy, feelings, empathy and joy all over again – all the things you hold so dear in your life. This is the story of a relationship that ended, one that I still hold dear in my own life. It is a story that I cannot stop reading in my own mind.

Part I

It all started on the day when the weather was perfect. The work ambience was quiet. I walked into my office as usual, with the feeling that it was going be the same old work environment. I still couldn’t forget the vivid beauty of that scene, with the bright sunlight coming through our transparent glass window, grazing her face while she was intently looking at the computer screen.

I instantly thought, “She’s new here.” She took a quiet glance as I was walking. I couldn’t believe what I saw. If I could have just asked her, “Would you hold that for a second?” my phone camera would have definitely snapped the moment. But I didn’t ask and she didn’t hold. We proceeded towards our chores.

The whole day I couldn’t get her out of my head, I kept thinking about where she’s from, what she’s doing here, or if she has a boyfriend. As crazy as it sounded, I chided myself, “It’s just a glance, what’s the big deal?”  I tried to stop thinking about her. Never did I ever ask myself,  “Dude, you’re crazy.” instead I kept asking, “What makes her attracted to me?” The thought replayed in my mind multiple times until I was satisfied with my answer. At the end of the day, I felt pretty confident that it was this: “It’s her manners. It’s the way she carries herself.” On the one hand, I told myself, “You’re crazy.” On the other hand, I thought, “Well, it’s free for fantasizing, you don’t have to pay.”

The next day we both bumped into each other at the corridor. She is about 5’8’’ tall. I could still remember she was holding her winter jacket in her arms, with her neatly combed hair. I wanted to smile at her. But I didn’t. We both just stared at each other and I said to myself, “You’re an idiot.”

As the days, weeks and months passed by, I found myself struggling with my emotions. We both just stared at each other, but didn’t even smile. I didn’t know what was holding me back. I guess she also didn’t know what was holding her back then. I then thought, “If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Part II

It just so happened on that day. She caught a cold and I couldn’t hold myself back any longer. In an effort to be a good co-worker, I asked if she needed any help with the meds. She said fine and we talked for a while. We exchanged numbers. Needless to say, the night of that same day, I asked for her address by text, drove to her apartment and we chatted for a moment after I dropped off the cold meds.

She was new in our office for a year on training from Europe, which is where her home country is. I’m a Chinese Singaporean here in the US. She sometimes learned Mandarin from me.

We became an office tryst. Nobody knew what was going on between us. I liked the fact that secrecy added fire to our sex. One time we were in the elevator standing close. We’re staring at each other for minutes. Then the coworker came in, and we just automatically looked away from each other. We stifled our laughs. She also seemed to like that we were enjoying ourselves instead of going public in the work environment.  We joked, we laughed. We shared our moments. Ups and downs meant a lot to both of us. Downs were usually when both of us were trying to figure out our mutual sentiments. Ups were usually when we both enjoyed each other’s presence.

Every time after I finished my workout, she greeted me by text. Every time before she left the office, I texted her to if she wanted to have something to eat with me. Sometimes we went out of town for dinners together. Usually the meals she ordered ended up being in my plate and the meals I ordered ended up in her plates. I still remember the time when I asked if she wanted to have some drinks. She said, “I only eat water during my meals.” I laughed. She asked why. I took up a glass full of water, and guzzled it down my throat. She still didn’t get it. I told her, “That’s how you eat water.” She was mad. I laughed. We both went back to our apartment and enjoyed our lust.

Part III

I knew that she’d be leaving any time soon. A part of me wanted to figure out a way to work this out. A part of me also knew that those would just be the moments that lasted in our memories. One day I took her to a nearby waterfall at night. She asked me why. We kissed, sitting in our car, listening to the sounds of the water from the falls, I told her I liked her. If things worked out, I had planned to pop the question later. She blushed. She smiled. What she said to me was something I couldn’t deny. “Thank you.”

I was speechless. I was frustrated. I sank in my emotional devastation. I couldn’t believe my ears that I heard her say “thank you”? She smiled at me again and told me, “Yes because you said you like me.” I drove back. Silence reigned in our car. We stopped talking for several weeks. We intentionally avoided each other at work. My brain kept telling me, “You’re an idiot.” My consciousness kept replying to me “Thank you” for weeks. Those were the days I thought my whole world was upside down. I was not into anything, anything at all. I knew that I was playing with fire — the fire that was burning the brightest before it was going to fizzle.

Part IV

The day before she left for Europe, she asked me if I could spend the night in her apartment. I told myself, “You’re an idiot, you’re being used. YOU ARE BEING USED!!!” I told her that I would rather stay alone, knowing that she was leaving for good. She told me that she was going to “eat water” if I wasn’t coming. It was a joke that only the two of us understood, a joke about sex. I drove down to her apartment and helped her pack. After the packing, she whispered in my ears the sweetest words I was longing to hear: “Silly, you know that I love you too.”

I knew that the things that you want and things that you must have in life are different. We knew from the beginning that we would have ended up apart. But the temptation was so strong. It could have been more wrong if she had said, “I love you too.” We would be so obsessed with our fantasy instead of being yanked back to our reality. Now that I think about it, I am really thankful for what she did.

Part V

That was two years ago, while I was 27, and she was 25. She took all of my feelings away; childhood fantasy, adulthood reality, and such. I’m not sure I can ever find another woman to love.
Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts and love stories! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Fenshou: “He made me alive and dead” in Hong Kong

(photo by Steve Webel via
(photo by Steve Webel via

An anonymous woman writes of the Chinese man she once dated, “He made me alive and dead. He once left me sobbing on a hotel chaise lounge, naked and overlooking the Hong Kong skyline, and I remember thinking this was what it was like for an artist’s muse to become an artist’s mistress.”

It’s a powerful story of an all-consuming, passionate love between one Western woman and one Chinese man that ultimately burned out — but will never be forgotten.

Do you have a gripping story of passion or a guest post you’re dying to share on Speaking of China? Learn how at the submit a post page.


I found myself falling in love with a man who amazed me. I’ll call him Richard. From his view on the world, to how he would take care of me, and how he invited me to China after only really being together for two months. It. Was. Amazing. He was intelligent, hilarious, and dressed impeccably, He had ambition that matched mine and was damn sexy. Tall, dark, beautiful. Strong, but elegant and delicate. Before this whole experience, I had never dated a Chinese man, let alone, someone who hailed from another country. I was two years older than him (26 and 24), and I was okay with it because of his deep maturity and knowledge and love for the world. All I wanted was to know more about him. Though I have been in love before, I had never felt the pure need I had for Richard. It was real and scary and intoxicating.

We met at a work party — Richard, a citizen of China, and I, a Midwestern girl. It was a whirlwind. Our first week together was spent in three different cities, jumping from hotel to hotel as we traveled with our work. His English wasn’t very good, and I speak no Mandarin. I almost liked how he struggled with the language, and how I had to simplify things just a bit. Instead of the usual nonsense I have to go through with native English speakers, he and I had to cut through all the crap and just say what we really meant.

It was refreshing.

Luckily, we found ourselves in the same city for the next month. Unluckily, our jobs considered dating a no-no, so we had to figure out ways for none of our coworkers to find out about the beautiful thing we had discovered. This entailed sneaking into each other’s rooms at night, only having midnight meals and gifts mysteriously being left in my room. One day, I had found a bottle of perfume hidden under my pillow. My good friend and co-worker, who I spent most of my free-time with, questioned where I got the scent. I struggled for an answer and internally swooned.

All of this sneaking was almost romantic, and added a sense of urgency and danger to all of our rendezvous’. It was entirely worth the rushed meal, just to be able to look into his beautiful eyes and feel the power he had over me. I still get chills thinking of our first kiss, outside of a sushi restaurant at two o’clock in the morning, no one else on the street. Our conversations were sparkling and we had this power over one another that was so electrically charged. My emotions ran so high for him, and his for me.

But still, most of our communication was via WeChat, where he was my only contact, and consisted of nearly 70% of my phone’s activity.

Just as soon as it all happened, Richard was on his way back to China. Now, being too many miles apart, things really got interesting.

The instant he landed in Hong Kong, he made it very clear what he wanted. Me. To not hang out with too many guys (but most of my friends are guys!) and not drink too much (but my hometown is KNOWN for beer!) and to text him from the moment I woke up, to the moment I went to sleep.

And I did. And he did. And we both became obsessed.

We texted from my morning, to way way into his night. I think each of us were only getting about four hours of sleep. Of course, we were still keeping things secret from our friends and common co-workers, so we had no time to Skype and could barely talk on the phone. Strictly WeChat. Our conversations were normal. Flirty, romantic, sexy. Up until a week before I was scheduled to leave.

A week before, his contact suddenly became slack. Not texting when he woke up, barely giving me details of his day. So I pulled back (with lots of struggle, of course). I was hurt and confused and couldn’t figure out where the change came from. All I knew is that I wanted to see him again so I could touch him, and kiss him, and have the bright conversations we were enjoying only a month ago.

I got angry. He got angry. And anger does not translate well on WeChat. Three days before leaving, I found myself awake at four in the morning, sobbing because he wasn’t responding to me. Richard assured me everything was alright, that he was busy preparing for my arrival. I understood.

When I landed for my three week trip, things got even weirder. I wasn’t greeted with a kiss. I wasn’t greeted with a hug, or even a ‘hello’.

“Wow that is a big suitcase.”

My first night in Hong Kong was spent kissing, then fighting, then making love, and fighting again. I felt like I was in a music video. The trip was off to a bad start and working things out was difficult. He was acting strangely. I was acting strangely, our whole vibe was different than it was before.

After a good talk and couple days of me wandering this foreign city by myself, we were better. But looking back, maybe we were faking our happiness. The controlling side of him took over, and my people-pleasing side was brought to surface. Our personalities clashed. Without the secrets, and sneaking, our ‘love’ was different than before. I thought he was urgent before to keep us from getting caught. But as he rushed me through a fantastic dinner, I saw a side of his personality that I didn’t like. And when I protested, he would call me selfish. I would fall to my knees and give in, abandoning half of my food.

We had our ups and downs, and told each other we loved one another. We fought passionately, made love passionately, and I felt pain in my gut when I made him mad. It was a dangerous relationship.

After three weeks of traveling, it was time to part. I think we both knew it was our end. When I landed, he messaged me making sure I made it home okay. I
told him I had.

And that was it.

Though the specifics in my tale are lacking, the feelings stirred up just by writing this assure me the experience ever even happened. It makes me want to message him. But I know I can’t. I know we are both better off. This whole ordeal is two months old, and I still feel like my life is lacking a certain something, something toxic.

Maybe it was the lust, the passion. The way he would hold me at night, like I was a life-raft. He made me alive and dead. He once left me sobbing on a hotel chaise lounge, naked and overlooking the Hong Kong skyline, and I remember thinking this was what it was like for an artist’s muse to become an artist’s mistress. I wanted to think I had the power, but if I really thought that I was a fool. He didn’t have it. I didn’t have it. The power was in us, together.

And I think letting go of that power is the worst thing I have ever done.

Though preferring to remain anonymous, the author is a young professional with bad luck in love.


Speaking of China is always on the lookout for outstanding guest posts and love stories! If you have something you’d like us to feature, visit the submit a post page for details — and then submit yours today.

Fenshou: After Eliza, he feared “she’ll disappear again”

(photo by Doug Wheller via
(photo by Doug Wheller via

Spencer Huang writes, “I dated other girls later on — Spanish, Polish, Welsh. But I could hardly overcome the recurring fear in my heart: ‘She’ll disappear again.’ At last, I returned to China with a lonely and tired heart. Eliza changed me completely.”

This is a story of how one Chinese man met an enchanting Polish woman in London, only to have her vanish from his life without an explanation.


I’m a Chinese man who just finished a master’s degree in the UK, where I once had a relationship with a Polish woman. I’ve wanted to share this story ever since the Christmas of 2012, when I met her.

I was there in London, spending my Christmas holidays with my friend John, who visited me from China. We lived in a hostel to meet more people and to share their interesting life stories. That was where I met Eliza.

My friend and I tried to talk to anyone we met in the hostel during our journey. We were chatting with a Japanese girl earlier that day, but she had grown up in the US and knew very little about Japan. It wasn’t a very interesting conversation to me.

When I was dismayed that I couldn’t find anyone interesting to talk with, suddenly Eliza walked into that room. She reminded me of a lovely elf — petite with long blonde hair, green eyes and a small face.

Before I knew it, we fell into a fantastic conversation. We talked a lot about anime, manga, Japanese culture (especially Japanese pop culture), food and musicals (such as The Phantom of Opera and other Andrew Lloyd Weber works). I really admired her independence. She worked in London as a waitress to pay her way through university. She had also left home two years before; her father passed away many years ago and her mom remarried. We bonded over our lonely childhood experiences as well.

I never imagined that I could meet a girl who had so much in common with me. We were so happy as we talked together through the whole night.

Then I asked her, “Why don`t we go out for a drink?”

“Why not?” she answered.

We left the hostel at 9:30pm to hit the empty London streets that evening, which was still Boxing Day, to have drinks together.

The next day, what a perfect day it was. We visited Piccadilly Circus and many other sites in London, sharing food and laughter. That evening, I prepared a dinner for two of Japanese sushi while she sang “Think of Me” from the Phantom of the Opera.

Suddenly, a feeling of dread hit me: I had nearly forgotten my promise to a friend from Hong Kong. He needed a place to stay during New Year’s time because he had no money and nowhere else to go. Of course, I couldn’t leave my friend to sleep on the streets and had offered him my flat in Glasgow.

I had to leave Eliza suddenly that very evening, December 27. We hugged before I left, never realizing it would be our last hug.

Later, when I returned to London to find her, everything changed. We were meant to meet at this staircase in the hostel, but she never showed up. She just vanished and left me standing there. I spent over 16 hours there, thinking about her. At last, a group of Australians came over to me and gave me a bottle of whiskey. Then I could remember nothing but the fact that she never returned to that hostel again.

I dated other girls later on — Spanish, Polish, Welsh. But I could hardly overcome the recurring fear in my heart: “She’ll disappear again.” At last, I returned to China with a lonely and tired heart.

Eliza changed me completely. A part of me still hoped that someone special might appear in my life, but I was afraid of a stable relationship, something I yearned for deep inside.

It was tough since I returned to China, but I’ve decided to move on. In the end, the memories are beautiful enough for me.

Spencer Huang works as a project manager for a media company in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.


We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

Fenshou: After Meeting in Thailand, “I Was Falling Hard For Her”

(photo by Crystian Cruz via

“Justin” wrote to me to say, “Many of the past posts in this category have featured Chinese men running away and dropping all contact. Let’s just say that the reverse happens as well, and can cause just as much heartache.”

Then he told me his own story of falling in love with an incredible Western woman he met while on a holiday in Thailand — who later slipped away from him inexplicably — and offered permission to share it with you. Thanks to Justin for this contribution! Continue reading “Fenshou: After Meeting in Thailand, “I Was Falling Hard For Her””

Fenshou: “Everything Was Perfect” Until Texas Tragedy

(photo by compassrose_04 via

Would have, could have, should have. We all have moments in our lives where we look back sometimes and wonder, if I only did this or that, would things have been different? Better?

That’s what “Lisa” wondered about her “perfect” relationship with a Chinese man she met in the US (a fellow who, incidentally, joined the US Army after 9/11 and while he was still a Chinese citizen). Their romance suddenly unraveled after tragedy struck during her stay with him in Texas. Read on for the entire story, and my thanks to Lisa for sharing.


I met a Chinese man while I was living in California and he was visiting from New York. He had moved from Northern China to the US when he was 15, and held a job in sports management. We came to find we had so much in common with each other. Our favorite sports teams were the same, and we shared the same life goals and values. He even related well with my family.

As we continued talking to one another over the phone, I came to understand he had a troubled life because of a tumultuous past marriage that later left him a widower. He felt guilty about the relationship he had with his lost wife and as a result pushed good people out of his life. He also had trouble sleeping at night, which I had noticed.

One day, he was given the opportunity to move to Texas for a job transfer — an opportunity that meant we could live together eventually. It was the first time a man ever spoke to me about marriage. Five weeks later I came to Texas to visit with him for two days. We had a great time together. His parents loved me even though their English was limited. He told me that they were just happy that he had found someone he cared about and made him happy. I honestly believe they thought I would be a future daughter-in-law. Everything was perfect.

On my last night there, it was raining outside. His dad wasn’t feeling well, but he still drove to work that night. Unfortunately, he got into a horrible car accident that was his fault, which we learned when he called us. We dealt with the insurance claim since our English was better. Later that night, when we picked up his mother from work around midnight and told her what happened, she mentioned that her dentist had passed away that day. So much tragedy in one day. I felt so guilty. If we hadn’t been out that day visiting the city, maybe we could have convinced his father to stay home?

Still, that night his mother told me how happy she was to know me. She then gave me a lot of her clothes to wear, and had me try on everything. I flew home the next day and everything still seemed okay. I received a text from him telling me he couldn’t wait to talk later when I arrived home, and that he was still working with his father to deal with the insurance claim.

I landed three hours later and called him, only to discover his attitude had changed completely. He seemed frustrated and wouldn’t tell me anything. I was so confused, and every call became shorter and shorter. One day later, he sent me a text stating he didn’t want to speak to me or anyone. I just didn’t know what to do.

Then I did something really impulsive. I flew to Texas one week later to confront him because I felt like I needed answers. Finally, he told me what happened in a text. His family lost a lot of money from the accident, and he wanted to end our relationship because he had to worry about his family.

I stayed in a hotel that weekend, and he came to visit me there once to give me some money for the plane. He looked defeated as he sat down on the bed. He wouldn’t look me in the eye when he explained what happened, and said I deserved better. I yelled at him and told him not to tell me how to think. But he said it wouldn’t be right to keep me in the relationship during that time. He didn’t want me to wait for him because he didn’t know when he would be ready for me. He sacrificed himself because he wanted me to have a better life with someone else. There was so much guilt and shame in his face. I never saw anything like this. I took out his army tags that he had given me and he told me he wanted to keep them (I still have them to this day). He suggested what to order on the hotel menu and turned on the TV. Then he kissed me and I told him for the first time that I loved him. Before he left, he held me and kissed me again. He said quietly that he wanted to make it work.

I was forced to go back home without him. I felt horrible and alone. I thought about it every day and just didn’t know why he had to leave me over this. It was awful but it wasn’t our problem. I think I was even angry at him for ending something so beautiful. He moved to Texas without me. And from what I have heard about him he hasn’t tried to make a life for himself there and instead lives like a hermit. I heard from a friend that he tried dating but nothing ever worked out. Since moving he has closed up. He told me that once he ends things, it is over. There is no chance he would come around even if he still loved me.

I’ll always wonder what might have happened between us, had his dad not gone to work that night.


We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

Fenshou: Algerian Muslim Falls For Chinese Atheist, But Love Doesn’t Last

(photo by openDemocracy via

I receive e-mails from people all over the world with tales of love, and one of the most unusual ones comes from Soulef. She’s Algerian and Muslim, and falls for a Chinese atheist she meets in her home country. Thank you for sharing this story, Soulef!


My name is Soulef. I am from Algeria, North Africa. I have always been interested in Asian culture, especially Japanese culture. I’m a big fan of manga and watched many manga shows and movies in their original version. But I never thought of being in love with Chinese men. China was for me the barbarian side of Asia. Yes, shame on me.

I work as a translator in an American company, which is located in a building with many other foreign companies. Two years ago, while I was waiting downstairs in the building for a friend, I noticed the most beautiful — yes, this word suits him — man that I have ever seen in my life. I was petrified. I couldn’t even look away as my heart skipped a beat. I was literally staring at him. He was Chinese and was with his colleagues. I remember that I spent two hours in the car waiting for his return. I even had lunch in my car. Stalker? Yeah, definitely.

When I got home, I told my sisters that I had “the coup de foudre” for a gorgeous Korean, as I thought he was from Korea. I spent the entire weekend thinking of him.

Upon returning to work, I was downstairs in the building at 12 noon — lunchtime — to wait for him. He saw me that time and kept staring at me. The day afterwards he sent me his phone number. I called him immediately, but he couldn’t even talk. He told me later that he was unable to speak, and that his name was Bo.

Everything was so evident and so obvious. We fell in love at the first glance, we talked about marriage and kids few days later. Of course, there were some obstacles as he said. Language. Even if we both speak English, we couldn’t express our real feeling through it. Religion, too. I am Muslim and he has no religion. Physically he had issues at the beginning as I am more curvy and not like Chinese women (we had to have a long discussion to overcome this). In age, he was four years younger than me. But it didn’t matter. We were in love, totally in love.

A few months later, he had to return to China to see his parents and to tell them about us. He was a little worried, and kept telling me he will say that I was pregnant so they would accept our marriage. I found the whole thing funny because I didn’t have a clue about his inner turmoil. I thought that since my parents agreed with it, so his parents will too.

Then my sister died and I was living a family tragedy. Bo left three days later. Then things went worse when Bo sent me an e-mail two weeks into his visit to China, saying his parents were against our marriage.

He returned from China and the guy before me was not the one I once knew. He was cold, tough and rude. He avoided me. I remember once I touched his face and cried, “Look at me! It’s me! I am the one that you love!” He was crying, but never he loved me again. Despite all this, we spent some time together. Sometimes he said he would miss me. He told me once that we would meet at the end of our lives, and that he would take me to a Chinese mountain ( I don’t remember its name). The last day, he made a video for me that I recorded. He said he was not happy. He wished I will be happy, and that I will forget him. The day after, he left forever.

Later on, sometime after returning to China, he sent me an e-mail saying he was a married man. I felt as if I was living in a real-life drama, with the loss of my sister and the love of my life.

After one year of mourning, I was still in love with Bo. But I decided it was time to meet another guy — Chinese, of course. I’ve recently been flirting with another Chinese man who also works in my building. I don’t know where things will go with him, but I’m certain of one thing. Bo changed my life forever.

Soulef is a translator in Algeria, North Africa who hopes to one day marry her true Chinese love.


We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.