Chinese Student in Germany Gives Dating Advice to Fellow Countrymen

I recently found this answer on Zhihu from a Chinese student in Germany, who offers dating advice to his fellow countrymen who are studying or living abroad, and translated it into English.

It’s my first time to answer a question, so please be gentle with me.

I studied abroad in Germany — it was a small place and Europeans made up most of the population there. Also the international students came from different European countries. My roommate M was one of these super-beautiful Nordic girls. Recently she went out on a date with a Vietnamese guy (this fellow was not as tall as she was), and she and I had a deep conversation about this issue.

Your average ABC (American Born Chinese) studs don’t have this kind of trouble. So my answer is regarding those foreign students who left China after they became adults, and my examples are based on personal experiences among European students.

My response is, sorry, it’s really hard to date European or American girls.

Let’s first start by talking about the requirements for man to date these women:

  • To begin with, you have to pay attention to personal appearance and posture. First you need to be in good shape. That doesn’t mean you have to be tall — you have to have the features (women think) you should have, such as biceps, and you should not have the features (women think) you shouldn’t have, such as a beer belly. These are things that can be acquired through hard exercise. People still look at muscles. It’s not a problem if you’re not tall, but being healthy and strong are characteristics a guy must have. Europeans/Americans really do have many short (shorter than 165 cm) but beautiful, buxom girls. Their boyfriends are not all tall. Looks are even less of a problem. People don’t know much about Asian features. Again, I say personal appearance, this is something I really need to mention. What is up with the few Asian guys on campus, with their hair so greasy it reflected light and the shiny collars and cuffs on their jackets? I think these guys, from when they were young in China, just didn’t have this habit of washing their own clothes or tidying themselves up. After I came here, I went to a friend’s house for fun, the way German guys were so neat and orderly threw me several blocks behind even the standards of neatness of Chinese girls. Clean yourself up, and then buy a bottle of fresh-scented men’s cologne. Don’t feel emasculated by it, this is about showing respect to others and it also reflects the quality of your life.
  • Your language must be good, at a minimum you should be able to have small talk with Europeans/Americans without any pressure. It’s not a problem if you have an accent. But you must be able to freely joke around, make fun of yourself, and flirt with girls. Being humorous and funny is a very important standard. Who doesn’t like to make friends with someone who is interesting? Most of the Asian foreign students I know are not good at talking. Never mind European/American girls — even the Asian girls all think they’re dull. If you’re free just take a look at all the clever postings on Zhihu [a Q&A site in China] and learn from them. Humor requires intelligence, and it is something that reflects wisdom. It would be a plus if you have character, opinions, independent values, confidence, and can intelligently communicate with girls. This is easy. With China’s 5,000 years of history, you can just choose a few amusing anecdotes from history to talk about. And if you can tell a girl about some European/American history or anecdote even she doesn’t know about, great – you will immediately look even more impressive.

Meeting those requirements would enable you at least to ask a girl out. At least the girls in my dormitory would go out with you (Can you take me with you?). This is enough. If people aren’t interested, why would  they go walk the streets with you, right? Whether it develops into some kind of relationship, that’s a matter of destiny, right?

To conclude, in general the reason guys cannot get a date isn’t a matter of their Asian looks (there are some who think we look exotic), and it’s not about biology. It’s that Asian men who typically leave the country to go to school are studious. They don’t have these basic features mentioned above that attract foreign girls, and they don’t know how to improve themselves. Most of them only carry a backpack and immerse themselves in the library. To put it cruelly, these Asian men would have a hard time attracting Asian girls, let alone European/American girls. But, for some Asian men who meet the above requirements, what kind of girls  couldn’t they find in Asia? They can find light-skinned, gorgeous, buxom, long-legged, well-educated girls who share the same cultural background. These men are not going to look for a foreign girl who is more independent, can’t make Chinese food and probably cannot communicate with your parents. (Of course, dating [foreign girls] is still very cool!) So the buyer’s market and the seller’s market are seriously not matched, and this has always been a difficult thing!

At last, please search for Lorde’s boyfriend [James Lowe]. Ah, this is probably the best answer.

What do you think?

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11 Replies to “Chinese Student in Germany Gives Dating Advice to Fellow Countrymen”

  1. From personal experience as well, please put your partner first. As cruel as it will sound, a girl may admire a workaholic but she won’t stay with someone who is more married to his job than her, and please get educated in sex as well. I don’t mean sleeping with dozens of women, but at least have some basic knowledge of how sex and stds and pregnancy works. One guy I used to know actually thought pregnancy came from oral sex…And he was close to getting a PhD in science…

    1. Sveta Li, do you realize that what you just said implies that you had or have bad taste in finding guys? A PhD degree does not mean that person has high EQ.
      Secondly, why do you think normal girls would “educate sex” to those kind of guys you have bad experience dated with? Not so many are as “generous” as you. If you want them to have more experience, please don’t shake your head when anyone wants to date you. So generous of you that even if you don’t like them, please at least help other girls who are in the same shoes just like you.

      Simply put, there aren’t many western girls who would open to Asian men. (Yeah, they look at you feel like looking at an alien.) You could yell that Chinatown is dirty and chaotic. But not all Asians or even Chinese like staying at Chinatown. And Chinatown is getting better. I have been wanting to ask westerners, if the lead actor in Crazy Rich Asian (father British and mother Malaysian) looks “Asian” enough for he’s not purely Asian. Did the movie making team purposely try to “ease up” Western audiences by someone like that, so it’s more acceptable and comprehensible?

      1. Alex, I don’t think Sveta’s reference to that PhD necessarily meant she had dated that guy or slept with him.

        As for your comment about the lead actor in Crazy Rich Asians, I’ve actually seen a lot of celebrities in China who have similar looks. Audiences prefer actors/actresses (and, for that matter, any face on TV or in the media) with certain features that fit Asian beauty standards (see this article). And no doubt that drives the people who end up in TV and movies in Asia, which is probably a major reason that Golding landed his gig in the first place. I’m not necessarily arguing in favor of the standard — just merely pointing out it’s also an issue here in Asia, but from a different perspective.

      2. Currently I am a single mother to a Hapa son ( yes, father is South chinese) and I did try to be with his dad, but because his father is a workaholic who didn’t put me and my son first, we are no longer together. Aside from one man, I don’t have interest in dating or being with anyone else. Point I was trying to make is to have some education about the bedroom, because if the guy I mentioned was well a teen or a preteen, it’s one thing. But at the time he was in his 20s… which is sad in my opinion.

        1. Sveta Li, is it sad? When I was in middle or high school in China, teens were not talking about boyfriends/girlfriends; most of my schoolmates don’t even have the first boyfriend/girlfriend until in college or even after. While in the US, people could have their first sex experience at the age of 13 or so.

          This is ridiculous. There is no comparison. If you want someone who’s similar in many ways like you, why don’t you find a man from your country and share similar background with you?

          Keep mentioning “South Chinese,” do you know the phrase in Chinese which literately means “why not eat meat?” I am not shy to admit that I still don’t have much experience even though I am in my late 20s. I don’t have many girlfriends, and dating is not in my favor.

          Yeah, you are probably thinking about what the girl was talking about, not clean with greasy hair, maybe nasty long hand nails, not in good shape, maybe is about to be bald, and probably a book worm. Sorry I disappointed you because I do not look like that. But come on, if you don’t give people of certain appearance chances, how would they gain the experience of how to date girls?

          1. Ummm my son’s father is from Hong Kong, his family from Guanzhong. His father speaks Cantonese. How else should I call someone who is Chinese but was raised with British influence? When my son grows up he can choose what others will call him.

            I am not sure why my comments are offensive to you. I was speaking of my personal experiences. I don’t go out at all; I am a stay at home mom. I am a late bloomer in life. If I wanted a Russian Jewish male, I would not be on this site. I never said anything about appearances in my posts…I never stated that one should date only particular type of men. I only stated to be a bit more educated and curious in life and in a bedroom. And don’t think pregnancy can come from oral sex…

  2. This is the same kind of advice I give to people who want to start driving tractor-trailers but are beginners to the trade and know almost nothing about it. To put it bluntly, doing such a task requires skill, intelligence, intuition, instinct and street-smarts. These are things which you just CANNOT learn by burying your face in a textbook. The only way to gain intuition and instinct is by being on the road and racking up as many miles as possible. Same with any other successful endeavor. You get better at something by putting yourself deliberately in a difficult situation and then try to use your problem-solving skills to safely extricate yourself. That is why large OTR trucking companies always pair up new drivers with veterans for the first 6 months of their probationary periods. There is no way any firm is going to put a guy on a solo run unless he is firmly confident and capable of doing it on his own and tackling any issues that may come along. I have only recently just started to drive OTR runs across multiple state lines. Was my training tough? You bet it was. Was I discouraged at any point? Many times, due to having to deal with unforeseen incidents along the trips. Did I keep going and learn from these experiences? You bet I did, because if I am going to succeed in the career of trucking, I had better get good at it. With any endeavor in life, these analogies will be suffice.

    And also like what Sveta said, if a guy is going to have a happy, healthy and successful romantic relationship with any woman regardless of race, the last thing he wants to do is be a clumsy, bumbling idiot. Knowing how to factor quadratic equations and do trigonometry right off the back of an old envelope or knowing what I call “Snapple facts”, (useless trivia found on the inner caps of older Snapple drinks), is NOT going to help you solve problems that may arise during marriage or the raising of a child. It is NOT going to help you find the best lending and mortgage companies for your house or car so you don’t get scammed. And it is certainly NOT going to make you better in bed.

    And that is one issue which I just recently had a discussion at work amongst my coworkers. We were talking about how schools since the 1990s have been feeding children a whole crock of useless BS that would not really be of any help to them once they face the real world. Why force algebra and quadratics or the names of long dead poets down the throats of the general population of schoolchildren? These subjects are specialty subjects that are only of use to those certain and few individuals who grow up to CHOOSE to make a career studying them. For the rest of the population, this stuff is useless. Instead of AP English or Mathematics, why not have mandatory courses on money management, how to recognize the different financial scams that exist on the job market, relationship skills, job interview and resume writing skills, parenting and child-rearing, and various skilled trades like plumbing, ironworking, computer programming and commercial driving? The way the US education system is run, it is setting up future generations on the road to failure. Ever wonder why there is such a high rate of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, suicides and emotional disorders among high school and college graduates recently emerging into the real world? It is because these people are being thrust into the reality of daily living without the necessary skills and intuition needed to handle real world problems. As a truck driver, do you think I would be comfortable if I became aware that some new guy who doesn’t know how to drive at all were to get behind the wheel of a big rig and start sharing the road with me? Hell no, he would probably get into a wreck right then and there and probably kill me too if I am unlucky enough to be in his path.

    Now moving onto Sveta’s other point about putting your partner first, the EXACT opposite thing that the main article was talking about is happening to me right now. Instead of being too shut-in and closed up to the world, I am too outside and moving about to settle into any steady relationship. I have had conversations with a few Western women in the last year and I knew that if I was motivated enough, I can get a meaningful and healthy relationship started. But I am aware that my lifestyle is far from what any woman would desire in a partner. I am always on the road. What if my partner was lonely and called me to ask me where I was and my reply was “I ain’t coming back now. I just unloaded a trailer and I ain’t driving outta here till’ I get another full trailer to take back. I ain’t wastin’ fuel”. Yeah…no. I can see how this is going to end up. My grand-uncle once told me long ago, that “son, you can be anything you want in life…just don’t be a burden to anyone or society”. So I will be smart and thoughful and not put an innocent woman through the agony of having someone who is almost never there when she needs them.

  3. I just returned from a short trip to China. As an ABC, I have a natural affinity with the people who share my ancestry. This isn’t my first time to China but, for some reason, this particular trip has frustrated me far more than my previous few times there and I think the source of the frustration is related to the essence of this article. Specifically, the article seems to be saying something to the effect that much of what Western girls respond to have to do with their perception of Chinese men based upon how the men present themselves–not innate height but working out, not inherent looks but maintenance of appearance, etc. I would take that one step further and add behavior to that. I can’t speak for the Chinese students studying in Germany but if their behavior is anything like the vast majority of Chinese I encountered in China, then there might be an overall impression they are leaving that could further undermine any positive perception of them before they even have a chance to meet a girl. In particular, I’m thinking about how most Chinese people I encountered in China seem almost oblivious to the people around them.

    Stand in line to pass through security? Expect at least a handful of people to cut you in line as if they’re in a mad rush to catch that train. I stopped one person and his train wasn’t due for another three hours whereas mine was arriving in half an hour and yet I patiently waited my turn. In Germany, people will respect queues.

    Taking a photo? Most folks there would walk right in front of you, messing up your photo. I was chatting with a German girl who was attending the same conference in China and she said the way they (Germans) are able to tell Japanese tourists from Chinese tourists is that the Japanese will politely wait for you to take your photo while the Chinese will act as if you weren’t there.

    The list goes on. I realize this may be a cultural thing and that, in China, it all works out quite well since no one seems to be bothered by line jumpers or mind how people walk through their pictures. Being from New York, I call out people who cut me in line wherever I am and I did that a number of times in China. Most folks are actually nice and would say silly things like, “But then I have to wait!” I couldn’t help but find that amusing. However, it’s when cultures clash that such things become noticeable. As China increases its economic and military prowess on the world stage, people are going to want to figure out if the Chinese people are friends or foes. Behavior that may be acceptable at home in China may not play well overseas. I realize I may be judging things through a Western lens but this is in response to a posting about how Chinese men may date Western women and how she will perceive the man will be through a Western lens.

    A few years ago, a flower market in Paris started putting up signs telling tourists they cannot take pictures unless they show the courtesy of greeting the proprietor. I asked why those signs were needed and was told that Chinese tourists would snap photos without even acknowledging the vendors much less give them business. That such common courtesy needs to be written as a sign seems to be a shameful exhibit of the socially oblivious behavior of Chinese people in general. It might be acceptable on the home front but, until the Chinese people can adopt behavior that will present a dignified front, Western perception of the Chinese will devolve into caricatures that even the most hateful racist couldn’t make up. If things come to that, there will be far more barriers to overcome than just greasy hair.

    I think the phrase that the post that I wholeheartedly agree with is where it observes that it “…is about showing respect to others…” My impression from my recent trip to China is that people have absolutely no respect for the people around them.

    To end on a more positive note: I honestly think the Chinese people are respectful by nature and are good if you get to know them. However, the way most of the people behave and present themselves–shallow as judging a people by the way they burp or spit in public may be–undermines their inner selves and does the Chinese people no favors as a whole.

    1. I agree with you, but the problem I have with this criticism, at least in the context of dating, is that the criticism is directed almost exclusively at Chinese men. If Chinese men appear uncouth, the women are no better. The Chinese men have bad personal hygiene? Well, there are YouTube videos of Chinese women taking a dump in public places. Nobody seems to think the boorish behaviour of Chinese women makes them less attractive to Western men, yet for Chinese men it’s somehow become a major obstacle to dating even Chinese women in China. Why is that? I think it’s part of the broader pattern of hating Asian men while sexualising Asian women.

      1. And the whole “hating Asian men” thing being done by some people in Western countries is not based on race or ethnicity. It is a hatred of competition in general. It is already tough for Western men to find Western women here, do you think they are going to like it when a group of snobby young Asian tourists come into town and blatantly start going after the same thing? I have seen all that happen before.

      2. Actually, the “But then I have to wait” account was by a middle-aged woman. Although I took some care to keep things gender neutral, my thoughts were, after all, in response to an article about Chinese men dating German women.

        Your point about the broader pattern of Asian men versus Asian women is supported by a lot of data such as OK Cupid’s findings of how Asian women are one of the most desired demographics (by men of all races) while Asian men are at the bottom of the desirability scale (by women of all races). Your point is well taken but broadening up this thread to that domain would open up far more issues than just boorish videos and divert away from the point of the original article.

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