When I’m in China, I tend to turn a lot of heads, especially in the countryside — and that’s not just because I’m a foreigner. It’s because I’m often seen holding hands with my Chinese husband.
It’s true — the sight of a foreign woman and Chinese boyfriend or Chinese husband is much rarer than its counterpart, the foreign man and Chinese woman.
If you go to any major city in China, you will invariably run into the foreign man-Chinese woman pairings in any major tourist or shopping destination; not so with foreign women and Chinese men. It’s easy to gauge this reality on the website Candle for Love (CFL), devoted to helping US Americans bring their loved ones over from China. CFL is like a tidal wave of American men in love with Chinese women, with only a rare American woman/Chinese husband surfacing to break the monotony.
There are hardly enough books depicting foreign women with Chinese boyfriends or husbands. Off the top of my head, I can think of Rachel DeWoskin’s Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China and Repeat After Me: A Novel, Nicole Mones’ Lost in Translation, and Pearl S. Buck’s East Wind: West Wind (Buck, Pearl S. Oriental Novels of Pearl S. Buck, 8th,).
Several years ago, when my husband enrolled in a New Oriental class in Shanghai for GRE prep, the instructor warned all of the Chinese men: “If you’re going to study abroad, prepare for four lonely years.” The underlying message was, don’t expect to fall in love — but be pleasantly surprised if it happens.
When you have a Chinese husband or boyfriend, sometimes you feel as if you belong to a lonely club. I’m not the only one. One of my dearest e-mail friends, a woman from Germany, once found me on the net because she had a — then — Chinese boyfriend and yearned to find someone to share her experience with.
So I began to wonder — why are there so few Chinese guys and foreign girls becoming couples?
Of course, some of it has its roots in the usual stereotypes — stereotypes in the Western World.
According to Sheridan Prasso’s book, The Asian Mystique: Dragon Ladies, Geisha Girls, & Our Fantasies of the Exotic Orient, Asian men in general have long been losers in the world of mainstream American media:
If there are some admirable aspects of the portrayals of Asian women in Hollywood and on TV, it’s hard to say the same of the portrayals of Asian men. Rarely have they been depicted with traditionally masculine traits. With a few exceptions, Asian men on screen have been small, sneaky and threatening — or spineless, emasculated wimps, or incompetents who may well be technically proficient in martial arts, but impotent when faced with white man’s superior strength or firepower. Lacking machismo, they almost never get the girl.
The article Sex & the Asian Man also touches on many of Prasso’s observations, including the passionless warrior:
Even today, Asian American men complain that action heroes such as Chow Yun Fat and Jackie Chan rarely get the girl. As Leong, the author and UCLA professor put it: “Asian men can kick butt, but they can’t have a kiss.”
It gets a little more personal in blogs, such as posts titled Us Bitter, Bitter Asian Men or Sucks to be an Asian male.
Still, there’s another perspective.
I’ve had Chinese guys refuse me because they felt, as a traditional man, they could never see themselves married to a foreign girl. However, the subtext is often that foreign women are a dangerous choice — too casual, the temptress, etc — or could not accept a Chinese way of life. Generally, the pressure to split up comes from the family since, after all, in China, marriage is a family affair.
There was one Chinese boyfriend who told me, flat out, that his parents would never accept me. I don’t doubt he loved me in the beginning — but once his family knew, I suspect they made it clear that there was no future in what we had. Even my own husband was first told by his parents that he could be friends with a foreign girl, but not date her. Fortunately, their ideas changed when they met me in person!
On the other hand, there are Chinese men — and their families — who would be happy to have a foreign woman in the family. But there are other complications. For example, my good friend in Hangzhou, Xiao Yu, once told me that some Chinese men cannot overcome their feeling of inferiority — that being an American girl, a citizen of one of the most powerful countries in the world, made my presence somewhat intimidating. According to Xiao Yu, some Chinese men could never believe that such a girl would become their one and only.
And then there are the more unmentionable reasons.
A driver who took me to the Beijing Airport this summer admitted he once had a Russian girlfriend when he was a college student. But he said he was never able to satisfy her (yes, in that way), so they parted. The experience was so traumatic that he never sought another foreign girlfriend again.
On the flip side, I suspect that some foreign women might be unwilling to give Chinese men a chance because of money. Average Chinese men tend not to earn big salaries in China, unless they are, for example, bosses, high-powered execs, or an in-demand talent. And if they are to leave China to go to her country, they will face even more obstacles to earning money — language, culture, prejudices.
Still, despite the odds, sterotypes and other barriers, it does happen that Chinese men and foreign women get together. It happened for me — and a growing number of other women, including bloggers such as the Local Dialect, The Downtown Diner, and Wo Ai Ni. On occasion, it even creeps into the news, like this story.
For now, though, I’m just happy to have John, my Chinese husband, in my life. Not because he’s a Chinese man, or because our relationship is “unique” or different. But because I love him.
Are you a foreign woman with a Chinese boyfriend/Chinese husband? Or are you a Chinese man dating or married to a Chinese woman? What’s your take on this? What did I miss? I’d love to hear from you!
480 Replies to “On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese Boyfriends/Chinese Husbands”
Awesome post. So true. I too, am a white woman with an Asian male partner. We live in NY, though, where maybe it’s not quite as uncommon. I do know, however, that we draw interested eyes.
If you liked FOREIGN BABES IN BEIJING, you should check out DeWoskin’s REPEAT AFTER ME–it’s a novel, and, I think, even better than her memoir.
Thanks a ton for the comment — I’m so thrilled to hear from other women like myself!
Actually, I did mention Repeat after me in there (it was right after Foreign Babes) — and I agree, the book is even better than Foreign Babes.
Hi, I came accross your site after I googled English girls and Chinese guys. I broke up yesterday with a Chinese guy I’ve dated for a month, I really liked him and our cultural differences didn’t seem so bad at first. In some posts on here it states how Chinese see educational achievement higher than anything else, but being a bit geeky myself I thought it wouldnt matter. Problems did arise and I tried to talk about it with him but he took great offense, and he seemed to have no idea why I had a problem with him telling me don’t do physical jobs, don’t go shopping there because Chinese girls wouldn’t. I stated from the start that I’m independent, and I drive cranes and trucks for a living, so to get told to change my job was not something I could consider. So a mixture of being controlled and him staring at me all the time because he thought i was awesome was really full on. But had to end it after him telling me to not to eat cake because I’ll get fat, and whenever I ate with him he’d tell me “slow down, don’t choke’, like I was an animal at the dinner table! I had a complex on its way, and I am not fat, I’m very muscley and fit because I’m a semi-professional fighter, so I didn’t understand his logic in telling me I’m fat. But also, I know this could very well be a personal thing with just him and I’m in no way thinking all Chinese men are like this! I’m trying to stay friends with him because he’s a nice person but I think now he hates me ! Any advice would be nice thank you 🙂
In my incredibly unscientific study (just completed after reading your post), I have concluded that white woman/Asian men couples tend to live in the West more than in China. Any thoughts on this?
Good question. I think your unscientific suggestion holds some truth to it. Many of the Chinese husband/foreign woman couples I met several years ago ended up living permanently in the West. There is something to be said for that golden green card and, later, foreign passport, which liberates the Chinese from, among other things, those hukou headaches.
That said, I’ve also found that a lot more foreign women end up living permanently with their Chinese husbands in China (more than, say, their foreign husband/Chinese wife counterparts). My exceedingly unscientific guess is that many of us first go to China for personal reasons (to improve our Mandarin, career opportunities, interest in the culture, etc) and therefore are already committed to the country. On the other side, our husbands, if they have specialized talents or skills, may feel more comfortable pursuing their career in their home country (where they might feel less marginalized), or may simply see many more opportunities in China. Plus, the support of your Chinese family could be a bonus (depending on your relationship with the inlaws, of course!) if you choose to have kids, since the inlaws can often provide a hand in raising your children.
thanks for sharing your experience, and insights into these relationships. I have felt similarly with some Chinese men, who definitely didn’t see me as acceptable at some level.
Maybe I’ve just been incredibly lucky to have found my husband, who really accepts and embraces me for who I am — independence and feminism included!
I would agree there is racism in China, which is often not recognized. I think your comment about how foreign women might “threaten Chinese cultural norms” is probably what’s in the back of many Chinese families’ minds, when they discourage a relationship w/ a foreign woman.
There are definitely a lot of sham marriages out there between Chinese wife/Foreign husband couples, but I am not sure that this is the majority of relationships. I would argue that many more Chinese women simply are looking for love that may not be so available in China because they are divorced (HUGE stigma in China), or too old (women 30 or older are often considered undesirable as wives). And it doesn’t hurt that the relationship offers prestige in the eyes of their family/friends (foreign passport, foreign husband) plus a more comfortable life.
I grew up in a progressive American town with traditional Asian male role models (my judo instructors). That makes me unusual, I know. However, I cannot think of a combination more prone to heartache than a typical Western woman and a traditional Eastern man. You note how hard it is for the Easterners to accept the Western woman. It’s also a real trial for the Western woman to *become acceptable* in the eyes of her Asian mate, and often goes against the grain of everything she’s been taught about her independence. I spent 6 years with a man of Chinese origin, five of those years in Asia. Hardest thing I ever did. But many of the lessons I learned have helped me meld with my Eurasian (Turkish) husband’s culture and family.
Thanks for the post, glad to meet you all.
I think Chinese men, not ethnically Chinese, but as actually from China are
disgusting. They are rude, smell bad, treat women like shit, and are usually uneducated and stupid. Of course, normal women aren’t attracted to them!
What Pookie said may be the exact self-introduction of him/herself.To think that one whole nation is bad is a symptom of brainwashing. Using a deleted line doesn’t cover the words, I suggest such kind of posts should be erased and the IP should be bannd.
Pookie is just a jelly white loser who dated an Asian girl with citizenship offer. One thing white guys don’t know, especially the trashy ones, in Asia only problematic women who needs money would date a white guy. The normal ones wouldn’t even think about the hairy albino men.
I think Chinese culture is more racist than most realize. Call it ethno-centric, traditional, whatever, it’s all mostly the same. Since men are generally more invested in the privileges accorded them by that culture, they are less likely to want a woman from another culture, especially one that may threaten Chinese cultural norms. You see this pattern in Japan or in Taiwan; yet, men in those countries will fairly often marry foreign women, but ones from lower status in other lower status Asian countries. Japanese men with poor Vietnamese wives, etc.
And yes it is true that there are far more Chinese women with foreign men, but a great many of those couples break up, and sad to say, a good many of those marriages are based on the woman cheating the man so she can get a visa to live in Europe or America (definitiely not Vietnam).
ha! i can’t believe i missed it–sorry! but glad you felt the same way i did re: repeat after me.
I think the cultural barriers and negative stereotype is the biggest hurdles within a relationship. Traditional Chinese by cultural instinct tend to be conservative, not just in relationship but in every part of their social life. If you look at Chinese people and how they are brought up, then you would understand how this psychological dynamic works, it is quite fascinating from both psychological and cultural anthropology point of view.
Firstly, Chinese people are brought up with this idea that parents know the best, everything they say is true and you must be obedient to your parent’s wishes/command. But most people with any sort of mental capacity would know that these thinkings are not always true, and sometimes outright wrong. However, since most Chinese people are brought like that, and most of their reference groups are also Chinese people with similar upbringing, therefore chinese people tend accept these myths as the law of the land.
The second problem, which is that Chinese people marry not just for the sake of marrying. The marriage must bring benefits to the whole family, so everyone must get along together (not just between the couples) and people must be able to communicate ‘harmoniously’ together.
Also, divorces are seen as a big no no in China, despite the fact that it is increasing in the major chinese cities each year. And most Chinese people have this false notion that people in the western societies have a higher divorce rate. You would often see Chinese couple who loath each other to death, and probably don’t even share a bed, yet remain married to each other for the benefits of their offspring or their financial situation.
Lastly, Chinese have a mentality that most westerners women are a nymphet, probably from all the stories they heard from the so called trustworthy source, which is further reinforced by some strange news media reports. While, from a pure genetic and physiological point of view this is true; as the Chinese people tend to have less exercise when they are young (nerds anyone) and people with the brain not the brawn tend to be more successful at finding mates, which feeds back onto itself to create the ultimate geek. Furthermore, those Chinese people whom tend to migrate overseas are not the hard labourers, but people with certain degrees of education, which almost all Chinese aspire to as the ultimate form of life achievement. So basically nerds breed nerds…. Chinese people in most oversea countries don’t exile in the sporting field, nor do they really go to gyms much, but if you look at the library and all the finest universities they are all over-representated.
So for those Chinese men whom are brave enough to go against their upbringings and date a western women, heavy odds are stacked against them. Also, the fact that unless the lady has significant Chinese cultural and language skills, there will be a large communication barrier. If these men’s girlfriend or wife go back to China with them, then they basically have no friend/family supports that they can fall back on and living in a land that maybe totally foreign usually doesn’t bid well for the longevity of the relationships.
While, for those Chinese man whom dates and marry a western women, then like in most relationships they will have arguments about certain things. There is probably a lot of arguments especially if they don’t share all the same cultural and social values, like going out with male friends and going to nightclubs etc. Then there is a matter of sex, which brings up further point of conflicts. As they say no relationship is ever lasting, and it will only last as long as you want it to last. Also, most westerners tend to be quite straight forward in their criticism, and most Chinese men are bad at taking criticisms. All of which, results in a big negative experiences for the Chinese men, which is further reinforced by the negative advices that he is conjuring up about this ‘type’ of relationship, like most people do when they are mentally hurt. Split up or divorce usually ends this relationship, and once bitten, twice shy, this person probably wouldn’t court a western girls again. He will probably make sure his Chinese friends don’t either.
However, not all is lost, as more ABC Chinese kids are dating and marrying western girls. These relationship is usually more stable, as ABC Chinese kids have probably grown up in the western society, can speak English and are not that overtly negative about whom their children dates, as long as they are not some druggies, criminal or other undesirables.
I’m glad I didn’t marry. Although I am a Chinese Lady, I wasn’t born in The United States. I remembered back then, I had days when I was Golden-Skinned, or Ruddy like other Caucasians in my youth. But, there are only two kinds of men regardless of being under Western, or Eastern Tradition. My impression of the first being manly in manner of speech, not-so-cool, uncivilized, and always following the rules just like why they are from a nation that joined The Plain Language Organization. The second being outgoing, effeminate, civilized, very expressive, and more open. It’s the latter being loyal to women, and the former being loyal to men. And I’m glad I didn’t have to play a role of having personality patterns like these. There is no compromise. And I’m glad I didn’t have to be with men who are uncivilized, manly in a manner of speech, and always following the rules.
The stupid stereotype against asian men:
This racist old american doctrine had its root in the early of 19th century slavery era and in many states most white americans just supported the idea to avoid contacts with the black plantation workers or the Mulatos. Although the asians were not a part of negroid slavery…unlike blacks… The mine workers from japan and china came in 1870 to the westcoast… So in 1880 …3500 asian men had irish american wives in san fransisco.. So many white american men were upset..they believed the mixed couples could emasculate and inbalance the white man’s superiority..in fact asian men had won the hearts of many white women at that time… These white men just demanded a new law in the congress…a chinese exclusion act was born in the 1880s.. so the white women had to be indoctrinated to accept the emasculating of asian man (created by white man) …this stupid false doctrine SADLY still continues to the new generation in the US. The USA is still a f***ed up 270-year-old young racist country in the dating history.
I’d highly recommend the first comment to read DeWoskin’s “Repeat after me.” It’s unreadable. I checked it out of the library and returned it halfway in. It’s extremely disappointing because “Foreign Babes in Beijing” was such a special book.
Really interesting post! I’m a Chinese-American guy who’s been dating my white girlfriend for a few years now, but it took me a while to get over the awkwardness that *other people* feel about it. I also agree with the portrayal of Asian guys in Western media as the geekier, wussier, and smaller (in every way) race that doesn’t speak English well. That image pervades society and it affects us daily. When I was in law school, I had a guy tell me that “White guys are Asian guys’ Kryptonite.” It took all my self-restraint not to wail on him!
That said, I think Asian guys need to feel less insecure about themselves, and I’m glad you address that in your post. I have lots of friends who admit they feel sheepish or intimidated around non-Asian girls, and all their wit and charm fly out the window. Hopefully we all start lightening up.
Great post! Keep posting!
Thanks for the comment! Your mentioning of
really hit home with me.
We feel it regularly here ourselves, in microaggressive actions towards my husband. For example, when he came back to his grad student office (which he shares), the other students had moved his desk behind the door — without asking his permission — to give his most coveted window spot to another girl. Meanwhile, the other day one of his fellow grad students gave him a client case to handle, and was concerned he wouldn’t be able to make a phone call! Sometimes I think people look at my husband — who appears 18 to many Americans, and speaks with a gentle voice in English (mind you, his English is excellent) — and they think he’s not capable, or he can just be easily taken advantage of.
There are a few more reasons I think the Chinese guy/foreign woman pairing is not common.
1. Age: Until the 00’s, it wasn’t that easy to come to China to study, so I’d guess a majority of foreign women who came to China did it after graduating from college. It seems like Chinese people pair up pretty young, so buy the time a foreign woman comes at age 22+, a lot of good guys are spoken for.
2. Educational level: Most foreign women who come to China have at least a BA, whereas until recently it was rare for Chinese people to get a higher education. In China, just like in the US, guys feel awkward about dating a woman who has a higher educational level than they do. That was something that kept me apart from a man for a long time (but we are going to try to get over that).
3. Money: Expats usually get higher salaries than locals, and again, guys often don’t want to date women who get a higher salary than they do. This came up with my friend as well — he said he’d “lose face,” and that other men would look down on him if he dated a woman who made more than he did.
4. The fact that other expats can be dicks when they find out you’re dating an Asian man. I’ve gotten this from both men and women. People can be very nasty when they find out you’re even willing to date a local. For some reason, they also think they can ask you very personal questions about your boyfriend’s body, about sex with them, etc., which is pretty gross not only because it is intrusive, but because it sort of applies you’re willy-nilly having sex with a lot of people.
However, because more and more young people coming to China to study, and more and more Chinese people going to the US to study, I think more young people will get a chance to meet and fall in love in a natural way. More Chinese men than before are going to college, and Chinese salaries seem to be rising (relative to expat ones). I think because of these three things, we’ll start seeing a growth of the number of foreign woman/Chinese guy relationships, because some of the hurdles will be taken away. Problem #4 still remains, I guess, but I hope over time, people will become less prejudiced. I mean, there are more than half a billion men in China. Is it so hard to believe that some of them would be cool?
Good luck to you and your husband!
Your experience as an American white woman in China, reminded me of my own experiences as a Japanese woman in her own country, Japan. LOL So I’m married to an American here in the US.
They have a very similar family values in Japan, although I understand that the importance of family is emphasized more in China, as in Japan they often put their company they work for, or government first before family. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) I think it’s great that you and your husband could break through he barrier to kindle your love for one another. Much happiness to you and your husband, as well as his family who were able to see beyond the cultural and racial difference.
Jocelyn, excellent post and MUCH appreciated. You might also want to check out Marguerite Duras, who wrote two very sensual books on the coupling between an Asian man and a young French woman. It’s not the best example, but makes for very interesting reading.
So much to add on this subject, but I’ll try to keep it short…
I myself am a white chick from New York who was previously engaged to a Chinese man while living in Shandong Province; we encountered many issues during that relationship directly because of our differences in race, language and culture. The stares and comments were, at times, rather unbearable and my ex-fiance even managed to find himself in a brawl with a few Beijing officials after they made several rude comments about us while we were attempting to eat dinner in peace. The expectations of his family further complicated matters, as did his own feelings of inadequacy and the silly power struggles we had between us. Our relationship disintegrated for reasons unrelated to racial divides, but societal/cultural pressures certainly added to our problems.
Now, I am in a serious relationship with another Asian man- he is Filipino, but often gets mistaken for Chinese or Mongolian (the guessing game of “what are you?” annoys him). As we currently live in NYC, we very rarely encounter strange looks or comments- interracial relationships of all kinds are pretty commonplace here. Furthermore, he has been living in the US for the better part of his life and we thus share the same culture, language, etc. That stated, we recently took a trip to China together and encountered a multitude of problems nearly every day because of race- from a hostess at a restaurant assuming that I was a Russian prostitute simply because I was with a tall Asian man to being bombarded with questions by strangers on a 30 hour train ride to dealing with random comments about what our kids might look like. China has definitely accepted the white male/Asian female dynamic; its reverse is still looked at as an inappropriate curiosity.
Call it luck of the draw, but the majority of meaningful relationships I’ve had have been with Asian men and I therefore find myself most attracted to Asian men. From personal experience, they have been better conversationalists, more values-oriented, romantic and logical. I guess this is stereotyping just as some white guys assume that Chinese women make the best wives, but my experiences have definitely shaped my preferences.
Hopefully more non-Asian women will give Asian men a chance instead of writing them off so quickly…
Thanks again for writing this, and all the best to you and your husband!
Hmmm, actually I’m not sure whether it’s as rare as it may superficially seems outside of mainland China, especially among the more established Overseas Chinese communities. If you go on a weekend to the many popular dim sum restaurants in the Chinatowns around the world you’ll come across just as many Asian men-White female couples and their children as vice-versa. Also many Asian men, especially after having kids, become much more family orientated and seldom frequent bars or go out, so you just have to know where and when to look.
Speaking from personal family experience, a paternal great grandfather of mine, who was the scion of a rice merchant family in Hong Kong got into a spot of trouble with the police around the turn of the century and skip-a-hopped to San Francisco to escape the short arm of the law. Five years later, he came back with an Irish American wife, who became his no. 2 wife among the three wives he had in total. Ever since then, that branch of the family occasionally throws up some interesting caucasian gene markers followed by lots of family teasings.
As for myself, I dated a German and a Swedish girl in and after high school for many years, but having grown up in the West and always seeing “White” faces all the time, I got a little home/culture/ethnic-sick and pretty much knew I’ll probably marry Asian/Chinese in the end and was just lucky that love came with the package.
Ultimately, cultural barriers and obstacles are only an issue if both partners let it become an issue and stereotype only matters if you let it get to you, for it says more about their fear and ignorance than about yourself.
Btw, best of luck.
Culture is one factor.
There may be a physiological factor.
Consider the fact that many white women choose black men, but very few white men choose black women.
Is it possible that genetically determined, physical differences have caused this?
I’ve been married to my Chinese husband for almost 20 years now. One thing that made our relationship easier was that his parents were very modern and accepted the relationship early on. Also, he lived in the U.S. for several years before we met, I had done alot of traveling myself including in Asia, he was very educated, and we both embraced many feminist ideals. My parents had the stereotype of Chinese men as “hard working” and reliable, so they were fine with it. As my boyfriend before we got married, we talked openly about our relationship expectations and cultural differences, and often when a conflict arose we would take a step back and talk about whether or not it was cultural. Often it probably wasn’t, but this “stepping back” helped us to settle the conflict more easily. We still have some things that pop up occassionally (we’re living in China right now), and we certainly get the stares. But we’re in it for the long haul, love each other, and feel like we both hit the jackpot (best of two worlds!) which we now share along with our 2 kids. I am betting that we’ll see more of these couplings as time marches on.
LOL, go do a *ahem* statistical survey on Asian “genetically determined, physical differences”. Who knows, you might enjoy it lots.
Next thing you know, you’ll start measuring a Jew’s nose too.
Wow, some excellent comments coming in.
You brought up some super-interesting points I didn’t even touch on. Though I’d say, on your #1 point, that there are still plenty of available guys in China in their mid-twenties, at least from my incredibly unscientific experience. (I met my husband post-graduate age too!). I like your comment “I mean, there are more than half a billion men in China. Is it so hard to believe that some of them would be cool?”
What a small world that my experience could speak to you as a Japanese woman in Japan. Wish you the best with your American husband!
I loved your post — what a touching (and heartbreaking) story of love in China. So many of your experiences are familiar to me (the rudeness of Beijing officials, “the Russian prostitute” comments from strangers) and I am so honored to get a look into your personal story. Thank you so much for sharing, and the best to you and your Filipino boyfriend!
What a fascinating point on the overseas Chinese communities — something I didn’t consider. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the comment, though I have to agree with Shirong’s comment above on this.
It’s so fantastic to hear from a woman married to a Chinese husband for nearly 20 years, and making it work with a family in China. Congratulations to you!
I think, beyond the challenges presented by Western stereotypes of Asian men, it is unfair to generalize. MF and Shirong have nailed it, but other commentators are wrongly assuming their experiences are universal.
If I took my experiences as universal, I’d be arguing that AM/WF pairings are the norm. I’ve lived in China for over a decade and dated many Mainland Chinese men, relationships lasting between six weeks and six years. None were “Westernized” or spoke English, but that was never a problem – nor were their families or racism, etc. My professional success is a bit threatening to the Chinese guys I date, but much less so than to the white and/or Western guys I’ve dated.
I am part of a community of Sinified foreign women who are mostly happily married to Mainland Chinese men. It has much to do with that we are a bohemian crowd of artists, musicians, designers, etc. In that it makes sense: these are Chinese men focused on creative pursuits who want to escape the fiscal priorities and pressures presented by most (certainly not all, but exceptions are rare) Chinese women; and ambitious, transgressive white etc women looking to escape the traditionalism and machismo of “Western” men.
“Foreign Babes in Beijing” is an awful book, insulting to foreign women living here. She took two brief relationships with Chinese men and exploited them to reinforce the worst stereotypes of them. Chinese men have their relational challenges (I should know – I have broken up with many), but so do all men, and those challenges are diversely individual, rarely the expected stereotype. I’ll grant that they’re spoild and entitled, but again so are men from all patriarchal societies. Spend a few years in China watching all the white boys who believe themselves entitled to easy access to the bodies of each and every Chinese woman and you’ll too end up with a comparative appreciation of the considerate and subtle romanticism of many Chinese men.
This was a very interesting post for me, especially as I have recently started dating a Chinese man. We have only been on two dates and I already can see some of the issues you have described.
The staring is the WORST. I’m already used to people staring at me as a “Laowai”, but sitting in a restaurant alone with an Asian man is guaranteed to have everyone turning their heads and whispering to themselves. My date had to keep muttering “Ignore them, ignore them, ignore them,” under his breath because I was getting so uncomfortable.
The other problem is the traditional gender roles. As both a man and the “host”, he feels he has to pay… but I make three times as much as him. Sometimes I worry that he thinks he has to take me to nice restaurants to keep me happy and save face, something he can ill-afford. I don’t want to embarrass or hurt him by paying, but I worry about this constantly.
We’ll see. I like him very much, and I will try and keep the communication as open and honest as possible to keep cultural issues like this from destroying our fragile and new relationship.
I’m not interested because of they hygiene issues. I cannot stand spitting, hocking loogies, nose picking, nail clipping, foot scratching, etc etc etc in public. Most Chinese men I know are fine with that.
and it’s disgusting. Bad, Bad, Bad personal hygiene.
Andi- I hope you can take it from someone who has been there; if you can tell him exactly as you have in your comment here, and make compromises about who pays (etc.), & also if you can start talking about the culture differences, you may find smoother sailing as your relationship progresses. After being married to a chinese national for 20 years (this December), I can remember back when we faced similar things, but putting it out on the table (gingerly) really worked. Now that we’re a middle-aged couple with 2 kids, it’s gotten easier. We still get major stares and whispers, but it bugs our kids more than us. Enjoy!
Dial- Most of the chinese men I know would never do those things! But then, most of the Chinese men whom I know well are highly educated, live in urban (or non-China) places, and they’ve dealt enough with the West and westerners to understand (and even appreciate) our aversion to those things. Likewise, I think if we’re in China we should try to understand why many Chinese persist with these habits; it’s certainly not intended as an afront to us from the west.
My Chinese father and Australian mother started dating in the mid 1960’s married and my sister and my self were born 1970 – 72….for me as a child i experienced a good 15 years of staring and whispering and often my mother was complimented on the ‘exotic’ looks of her children. BUT,,, considering the period of history that they got together, they copped some awful bigotry in Australia and Asia (generally from Caucasian people) – comments which I myself when hearing them as a teenager would have been willing to physically fight over. I’ve lived in China now for 5 years and I could count on 2 hands the amount of times i have seen a Chinese man with a Caucasian woman every time i do I secretly rooting for the “right on brother…:)!”
….funnily enough I have 5 friends over here….all mid to late 30’s who all have Chinese fathers/Caucasian mothers…for so long I was the only I knew, until i moved here….strange that.
i so long ago stopped seeing ethnicity it is hard to relate to this article .. behavior, yes, i notice that .. but skin/face? impossible … the aura, now, i notice that ….
and especially this is true with people i love …
me thinks some growth still needs to happen for people caught up in gender/race/ethnicity issues, pro or con ..
When I told my friends that I would like to find a foreign gf, almost all of them immediately asked me how my parents were gonna say about this. I said my parents were okay with this and were actually highly supportive for they thought the kid(s) of such a marriage would be better-looking. I think my friends’ reaction goes to show that some stereotypes still exist among young people living in a big city like Shanghai who can speak very good English. I was a little disappointed. Besides, sex is allegedly a big factor. Because I hear stories where Chinese men failed to satisfy their foreign wives and Chinese men often feel inadequate when it comes to penis size.
As one who has only dabbled in dating Chinese men, I can’t speak from as much experience at these other women. But I agree with many of their comments and sympathize with them. But as one who is looking for a more serious relationship with a Chinese man, I thank you for having forged the path for us and hopefully showed people on all sides what an interracial relationship can look like. And I hope that the younger women like Andi and I can stand up tall and smile at people even when they glare at us because we’re confident in ourselves as individuals and happy in our relationship. We should be proud that we’re choosing our partners for the right reasons and are not deterred by cultural stereotypes or other prejudices. Thank you for the post and the comments. I’m immediately subscribing to your blog.
Hi Aimee! Hi MF!
Jocelyn, Good luck and it’d very cool to meet you one day when you return to China!
I’m an American guy married to a Chinese girl in China so of course I can’t relate but I think you hit the nail on the head. Stereotypes, values, family preferences, all of it weighs in pretty heavily in China, dare I say more so than in the West. Western guys also have hurdles to jump in gaining the family’s blessing (though I think that Chinese society looks favorably and often encourages Chinese girls to get married with foreign guys so that part of the river is a bit easier to traverse; Western society however often labels guys like me as victims of yellow fever) but I can imagine that you bear the brunt of a lot of misunderstanding, from foreigners and Chinese alike. The good thing is that you got married for the right reasons. Screw the haters.
Dealing with the stares and the whispering.
When dating my German readhead girlfriend, the furtive and half-hidden stares and whispering were also the norm, especially when visiting some picturesque, but insular small European towns and villages or when in China/Asia. Personally, the best way I found to deal with them is to smile brightly and say a genuine great, big hello or Gutentag from myself or a ni hao from my girlfriend. That usually gets them out of their reverie and cut short their whisperings. They are then either forced to smile back if they are friendly or scowl and scurry away if not and you can have a good laugh amongst yourself, but either way it breaks the ice and the tension.
As for “obstacles” within the relationship itself, the key is simply to talk to each other calmly and sensibly and never go to bed angry. If he’s worth it, the ladies simply have to work slowly and patiently at eroding rather than violently break down the typical male reticent stoicism, irrespective of culture. And this is where Asian women may seem to have the cultural advantage of patience (though not always so from my personal experience) giving rise to the stereotype that Asian women make “better” wives (Ha! if only the suckers knew better before it’s too late for them).
To the guys, irrespective of cultures, it pays (lots, trust me on this) to let your guard down and show your vulnerabilities, emotionally or otherwise once in a while, for you see (sorry ladies) women dig the strong enough to be vulnerable guy thing. It has something to do with kittens and puppy dogs I think for all I know. Besides, what have you got to loose apart from a little funny awkwardness? It’s what exploring and learning about yourself and your partner, whether emotionally or physically, is all about.
Well that’s my playbook anyway, so have fun, live a little and best of luck to you all on your adventures.
Hi, Iâ€™m from South East Asia, Indonesia. Over here it seems there are not much problems like in China, I found many many foreign babes hooked up with our men, felt in love and marriage happily. Seems western women has tendency to loves more the brown skin of South East Asia, beach boys, and big eyesâ€¦ more exotic than the white guys
They do have different perception between Asian Chinese and Asian South East Asia guys, eih?
Hi, I’m an ethnic Chinese born in Paris, France. In my youth, I could only imagine dating French ‘white’ girls, with the usual stereotypes : blond hair, blue eyes and thin body, even if I eventually ended marrying a Japanese girl.
From my (few) experiences, dating white girls, one very annoying thing is that we would always be watched by others as a curiosity. It was not permanent but it always happened.
I have a lot cousins, and on 10 boys, only one is married to a white french girl, even though some have dated white girls for some time before ending with a chinese girl.
Compare to the girls : on 11, only 3 married to an ethnic chinese, all others are married to white men. It confirms the rarity of chinese men with white women, even outside of china.
Love the topic. Since this topic cites Chinese men in general, I’ll put in my two cents as a Chinese American male. I recall a similar Time magazine article some 10 years ago on Asian men being the “new” trophy boyfriends. When I read that article, I thought that this was likely only in New York and Los Angeles because I sure wasn’t seeing it. This was before the major influx of Mainland Chinese to the West Coast in the later 90’s. The flight from downtown Chinatown LA to the outer burbs after the Rodney King incident to the larger enclaves of Rowland Hts, Industry Hills and Rosemead, Arcadia, Pasadena served to broaden contact between 1st and 2nd Chinese immigrants and locals. My cousin, who is Chinese, grew up in a very multicultural community with many dating experiences with non Chinese. He basically grew up color blind or rather non color selective. He eventually married a European girl, he met in Norway.
My experience was different. I am older by almost a generation than my cousin and did date outside my race but my acculturation was different than my cousin’s. I grew up in a small town and did not date at all in highschool because nobody found me attractive or rather I felt not attractive to the general female population of the school. Only after I moved away and went to a large city, did I experience non Asian relationships. A serious relationship with a Puerto Rican girl brought up all the issues that several of the previous posts highlighted. That ended badly. I think that we both saw what a big issue our cultures were even though they were both family oriented and patriarchal.
I ended up marrying a Taiwanese girl mainly due to our commonalities. I like Chinese culture, I am proud of its language and history. Its hard enough for Chinese couples in the States to pass Chinese culture to their offspring but I think it can be doubly hard for Chinese males with Caucasian females again due to the “inferiority complex” that subtly laces the relationship. I think that the Chinese males that are in mixed race relationships bespeaks the confidence that they have in themselves and of their partners. It definitely is tough going but as the saying goes- Love is blind.
Chinese men are Yucky!!!
When in the US, when dating an Asian man I get called a Golden Himalayan (Gold Digger), and many other names that suggest that I am only with them for their cash. When living in Taiwan I had two long term Taiwanese boyfriends. One was a racist prick who had all these assumptions he had made of what it would be like to have a foreign girlfriend and made it clear to me the day I told him to get out of my house that we could never marry or have any future plans because he had to marry a Chinese woman because that was what was proper. The other was wonderful but tended to get tired of all the shit he heard about him dating a foreign woman. There were quite a few men who did not make it past a couple dates because they made it obvious (though I’m sure accidentally) that their interest in me was mostly interest in me as a race and not as a person.
Then there is the assumption that white women do not like Asian men, which makes it hard to date because many men just discount us as unobtainable. And of course the stupid (completely false) stereotype that Asian men have smaller penises makes many a foreign woman disinterested.
Wow, I am truly amazed by how so many of you have shared such deeply personal experiences. You’ve really added new dimensions to the topic, touching on perspectives I had not even considered.
Thank you so much for joining the conversation! (and BTW, feel free to continue if you’ve got more to say) 😉
I question the sexual experience of those “women” who think that a size of mans penis can determine if they give pleasure or not. A real woman knows that you can be pleased sexually in different ways. The relationships that I have had with men in America didn’t please me sexually at all. They don’t really like to be “told” how to please you. They lack passion as well. Now being with an asian man I learned a lot about the sexual side of me. I thought something was wrong with me for a very long time. (I know a lot of people don’t talk about sexual stuff but it needs to be said so this can stop.) I could never have an orgasm until I met an Asian man.
Reading through, RE the comments on the expat men’s reactions to women dating “locals”
I very quickly upon arrival in Taiwan quit hanging out with expats. They were gross to me with all their levels of bigotry and innate belief that they were better than the locals on so many levels.
But when in their presence I got a load of different reactions “But you’re pretty” being one of them.
Seriously? Because I’m “pretty” I should date expats?
They all had their local wives but could not fathom a foreign woman liking a more gentle, less retardedly macho local men. I would tell them that even in the US I preferred Asian men and I would get accused of exoticism, orientalism, or (more than twice) “liking the little dick”.
The irony in all this is that the more I was chastised for dating local men, the less likely I was to touch one of those expats with a 50ft pole.
One of the earlier comments touched on some of the social/hygiene issues of Western women dating Chinese men in a factual way. A few others did so in very uneducated and ineffective ways. The big thing any Western woman who wants to date a Chinese man has to understand is that your pool of suitable mates is probably much smaller than that for Western men who want to date Chinese men.
As much as people want to be “politically correct” and ignore reality, the constant public hocking, spitting, scratching, and digging are real … and they are a problem. The nasty disgusting stinky breath is real … and it is a problem. The smoking is real … and it is a problem, especially for the vast majority of American women. No magic wand can make reality go away. The truth is that those issues exist.
I noticed some comments above saying “Chinese men I know are not like that” … and maybe you are right … but as much as 90% of Chinese men are like that. That means the numbers a Western woman has to choose from in the social manners and acceptable hygiene departments, alone, are already small. When you add in the family and social pressures, it is almost not worth it to pursue Chinese men.
At least with Chinese men, or other Asian men, who were born or raised in Western countries, they share the same set of social and hygienic values as most Western women. That means the biggest barriers to a relationship will already be taken care of before you have ever even said hello to each other. Social standards will not change in China until someone makes an effort to educate people.
My advice to Western women who want to date Chinese men, or other Asian men, is to do so in your own country or other Western countries. If you insist on looking for one in China, you might have to experience a lot of disappointment until you get lucky, at least until someone is brave enough to push China to bring its social and hygienic habits into the same stratosphere as Western countries.
I’m afraid you demonstrate a very shallow and immature approach to relationships as well as the inability to venture beyond the superficials.
In any relationships, particularly when one begins to spend any significant amount of time with each other, there are bound to be things, including personal habits, that begin to grate. The key, should you like/love each other enough, is to talk it over and make personal changes and grow together. It’s as simple as that. So it’s not rocket science is it?
I sincerely hope you have the opportunity and the potential to grow up and mature into a better person that is capable of seeing beyond the superficial or initial reaction and intolerance that so often dazzle and confuses our life in this modern era.
So best of luck to you.
i feel surprise you guys so interested about this. May be it is just begining(foreign girl with chinese guy) ….this kind of marriage will be more popular in the following decades i guess…
Sorry I’m adding my comments so late here! I’m married to a Taiwanese guy who I met in university in New Zealand. When I met him I was of course aware that he was Asian but at the same time I wasn’t. It didn’t matter to me, what attracted me to him was his smile, his demeanour and his beautiful brown eyes. 6 and a half years later he’s back in Taiwan working and I’ve joined him. Sure we get a lot of stares but I get stared at anyway being white (I live outside of Taipei, the capital) and I guess I’m getting used to it.
As for family, his family lived in NZ so they weren’t surprised when I showed up. I was just welcomed in and treat like any other girl of any other ethnic origin would have been. I get along insanely well with his mother which makes me a very lucky daughter in law I think as I have heard some horror stories about mother in laws with traditional chinese thinking (but then, which culture doesn’t have horror mother in law stories?!)
There are cultural differences, but I think the reason our relationship works so well is that there is a lot of give and take on both sides. I take on some of his cultural customs, and he takes on some of mine. Like everyone else has said, openness and communication are key, as are a good sense of humour and a good dollop of tolerance for the staring public 😉
It’s never too late to join the conversation! Thanks for sharing your experience. It sounds like you have a perfect balance in your relationship. And to be together in Taiwan! Ah…don’t get me started, that is such a “treasured island” (å®å²›ï¼Œas they say in the mainland, or å¯¶å³¶ in Taiwan)
BTW, I’m adding your blog to my links at the bottom for “Foreign Women + Chinese Men” blogs — hope your hubby doesn’t mind being in the category of Chinese! 😉
I’m a white American woman, 30 years old; I mention it b/c I can’t personally remember when Asian men would have been considered unacceptable by white women due to ridiculous stereotypes like small penis or nerdy, whether they’re ethnic-Asian Americans or Asians from Asia. I’m from the redneck south of all places, maybe it’s because we didn’t have many Asians; maybe I was blind to it. Anyway, anyone would be stupid to reject people of any race out of hand. (Of course, just refer to Long Duk Dong from 16 Candles to see something shocking from just a little before my time.)
That prof in the article gave a movie example, of like, Jackie Chan doesn’t get the girl. Feh, the point of a kung fu flick is to kick butt, not provide sentimental hogwash. There’s plenty of Han matinee idols, just not in caucasian markets yet. But anyway who cares? It’s stupid movies. Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat characters just don’t put their business in the street, that’s all, like gentlemen; I have no doubt that their characters do have business going on.
Iâ€™m a Brazilian male and I date a French girl. Apparently, this discussion doesnâ€™t have much to do with me but I liked the post and comments very much, so Iâ€™d like to address 3 points:
1. Stereotypes and Generalisations: I am an ok dancer. Never danced much, but have some talent and pick up moves fast. I donâ€™t like football (real football, not that weird sport Americans play with their hands). Back home I am a mediocre player at best, but out here (I live in China) I fare pretty well against Europeans. Iâ€™ve met some French people who are truly insufferable, but not all French people are like that, I am dating one of them. Iâ€™ve met Germans who are so methodical and organized I wanted to punch them. Iâ€™ve met some who were very inflexible and a little socially inept. But I met Germans who were chaos impersonated and the life of the party.
My point is that generalizations and stereotypes come from somewhere. If you meet enough people within a group (say, people from the same country), you start to have an idea of similar traits (good and bad) that a lot of these people have. If enough people from your country meet enough people from the other country, these generalizations start forming stereotypes.
Iâ€™ve been in China for over 3 years and have observed a few things. And Iâ€™ve heard stories from friends who dated Asian men (girls and gay guys), theyâ€™ve told me things. Many of the stories confirm the stereotypes (including the size one) and others deny them (including the size one). Iâ€™ve myself seen things that confirm and deny stereotypes about the Chinese (but not the size one :P). In the end, stereotypes might give you an idea of traits that people from a certain place might have, but they cannot define an individual. Some of the stereotypes about the Chinese even contradict themselves! Think of the martial artist versus the nerdy guy.
2. Ok, stereotypes and generalizations arenâ€™t always wrong, but they arenâ€™t always right either. When two people in this world find each other and have a connection. All the life experience, culture, prejudices etc. that you had built you until that point. But what happens later on is about the individual themselves and how they deal with them. Stereotypes donâ€™t play much of a role here. Iâ€™ve seen all types of stories between Asian guys and white girls or Asian girls and whatever else. To be fair, most Asian guys dating foreign girls Iâ€™ve seen were raised overseas. And most white girls dating mainlanders Iâ€™ve seen spoke fluent Chinese (except one).
3. What I think plays a much bigger role is the simple fact that the Chinese society is VERY CLOSED. Yes, yes, I heard that Japan and Korea are worse (and I believe it) but I havenâ€™t lived in those countries and everything I know is second or third hand. My point is that if I lived in Germany or France (countries Iâ€™ve lived in and know about), bet that at least 50% of my friends would be German and we would hang out on a German or French crowd. Sure, you need to learn the language and it takes time. But in China, I know people who have been here for years and years, speak fluent Chinese and barely have any Chinese friends. I even know FBCâ€™s (Foreign Born Chinese) who speak the language since they were born, have been here for some 12-13 years and still hang out mostly with foreigners.
The main point here is that because mingling into the Chinese social network is already so difficult, I believes it reduces even more oneâ€™s chances of meeting that cool Chinese person who might share that connection with you. I remember going to a music festival here in Beijing once and seeing hundreds of cool Chinese people. I said to a friend: â€œWhere were these people all this time?â€œ. Probably, itâ€™s just related to the fact that foreigners and Chinese hang out in different places and donâ€™t really mix so much. Something similar probably happens in Chinese communities overseas.
Shirong, there is NOTHING that will ever make me ACCEPT a man who has disgusting nasty stinking breath, spits anywhere except a toilet/sink/gutter/bushes, makes that loud filthy hocking sound, publicly picks his nose, publicly digs up his butt, or smokes cigarettes. I do not have to SETTLE for somebody low class, which is what you are advocating. Why should I have to teach someone how to act? These are things he should learn as a child and no one should have to be the mother of a grown man. If an adult is doing things like these, he will never change because it is too late as those behaviors are ingrained deep inside him.
There is nothing shallow, immature, or superficial about expecting a grown adult to have common decency. I went out with a Chinese guy once who spit on the floor at KFC. I recoiled in disgust and he acted like nothing was wrong. I calmly explained that we were in a restaurant where people are eating and doing that was totally unacceptable. He said okay and then spit on the floor again less than three minutes later. I got up and walked out immediately. People like him can’t be changed now. These are the things that civilized people learn as children. It is not too much to ask for someone to have decent public manners.
I hope you are not going to get all over-sensitive now and start lashing out at foreign countries, or foreign cultural standards, or something like that. The things I mention are a problem. A very big problem. I hope the foreign women looking for Chinese men can find the Chinese men who do not do those behaviors. But it will not be easy. I know no one wants to talk about it. They would rather PRETEND that everyone has the same hygienic and behavioral standards and love can conquer everything. HOGWASH. Which is not to be confused with MOUTHWASH. The only answer is a lot more education about manners and hygiene.
Sassiella does have a point, which has something to do with what I wrote about the Stereotype/Generalisation thing.
True, not all Chinese guys spit, hock and do other disgusting things. But a lot of them do, here in China. And a lot of women I know wouldn’t go out with men who display such behaviour, no matter where he is from.
Shirong’s answer is generic and does not touch this particular issue. Was it intentional?
If she really did go out on a date with a Chinese guy who did that, it indicates she is not contaminated by bad stereotypes and probably people were unfair to her.
I did notice an excess of political correctness here. I don’t think the spitting is the main issue on a generic discussion. But it is HUGE on a personal level.
The hocking IS gross. To say it’s not is a lie. However, the Chinese man I’m dating now has excellent hygiene, he smells good, doesn’t spit, and has great breath.
Part of it, I think is a generational gap. When I see the spitting etc. it’s usually older men. I rarely see the younger men doing it. So I’m going to file hygiene under every other stereotype out there, often based in truth, but too generalized to be applied to ALL Chinese men.
*Sigh* please re-read my comments. I’ve never advocated that you MUST settle or accept anything that you do not want to. As far as I’m aware, nobody is pointing a gun at your head to force you to do anything and your personal desire, preference and prejudice are entirely your own and of your own making. Kindly do not attribute words to myself that are extrapolation and projection of your own personal sensitivity and level of maturity, irrespective of your age.
Having lived in a number of countries and dated people of most colours and creed, what I’ve suggested is merely another perspective or approach if you will. It is why I’ve deliberately kept my comment general as the details are up to individuals to work out to suit themselves. My experience is that personal attraction and curiosity does the darndest things to people, often resulting in the unlikeliest of partnerships and friendships.
I’ve dated an Irish American New Yorker who is extremely polished and well presented, yet was a total slob at home and a party animal in that she likes her drinks. I’ve also dated an ambitious Indian girl from a small town in the countryside whom I was initially indifferent to, but proved lovely and caring nonetheless. Yet in the end I simply couldn’t stand the smell of spices permeating my pores, my apartment and my wardrobe all the time.
Then there was a girl from the American Mid-West who I couldn’t stand initially and who saw it as her very own personal mission to convert me while we were dating. She has a primness to her that I initially found endearing though occasionally insufferable, but which later mellowed as we dated since she and I came to appreciate our differing perspectives. By contrast my ex-German girlfriend proved most tediously argumentative and overly politically, which while initially intellectual stimulating, became wearily frustrating especially when all I wanted was a simple cuddle after a long day. And so on it goes.
Was everything I’ve said and felt about my experience politically correct or in any way not shallow? Of course not, for it reflected the formation process of my own preferences, yet conversely also the slow erosion of my prejudices as I learned to see people beyond the superficial and appreciate them for what they are and their potential.
I’ve never regretted any of them nor fortunately ever looked back with anger or disgust. In all cases I was glad that I overcame my initial dislike and got to know every complex one of them better for what they are. Any personal habit that I disliked, I’ve always found it far more effective to either tease/surprised them out of it and/or convinced them that it’s in their own interest to change. It’s also a very tall order to expect anybody to change a life time of habit overnight, nevermind in half an hour. So the question is what prompted you to go out on a date with him in the first place?
Ultimately, I’ve learned that “civilized” is more often than not, highly subjective. To me, it’s always been the proccess of discovery, change and growth that’s more rewarding above anything else, including the first, second or third impression. Such that even when it doesn’t work out, both parties took something away with them from the relationship.
By all means, if there are certain absolute minimum requirements that you absolutely will not forego then *shrug* each to their own I guess, so long as you’re also aware of the “opportunity cost” of your decisions. It the end it may all simply boil down to the fact I’m a guy and you’re *ahem* a lady with, shall we say differing “needs” in any given relationshp.
Best of luck and may you find your heart’s desire, provided you know exactly what it is of course.
To clarify something, I have not said that ALL Chinese men publicly spit, hock, nose pick, butt dig, have stinky breath, smoke, shoot snot rockets, or cough without covering their mouths. I made it a point to say that not ALL do those things. But the sad truth is that MANY do those things, including a lot who are in their 20s and 30s. I guess they pick it up from older men because they do not know better.
For the record, I have even hung out with Western educated Chinese guys who did not do those things when they were in other countries, but reverted back to such behavior when they returned to China. Their excuse was that everyone else in China does it so they can’t stop themselves. Give me a break! It is called will power. They are too lazy to control themselves or teach to others anything proper.
This is not an attack on China either. People know about the main stereotype of the French. Many folks in places like India are known for not being attentive to body odor. I am sure there are other areas in the world with stinky breath and other kinds of problems. But this blog is specifically about things that can keep Western women and Chinese men apart so I am addressing one of the biggest issues.
Wanting all people in every country to have a basic standard of cleanliness and manners is not superficial. It is something that should be normally expected. Please do not hide behind cultural differences because saying that is an excuse for not acting. All people with some education should teach those who do not know. If someone spits by your feet, speak up. If someone coughs in your face, speak up.
SARS was a perfect opportunity for a mass education campaign to stamp out spitting, hocking, and uncovered coughing. A-H1-N1 is about to present another perfect opportunity. Will China step up and seize the initiative while the epidemic rages in full force? Or will folks lazily hide behind cultural differences and miss another chance to make a positive change in people’s lives? Leave the excuses behind!
I agree that, unfortunately, there are a lot of Chinese men with undesirable habits — spitting, smoking, hocking, etc. It certainly is a barrier to relationships. But I think it’s important to keep in mind what MF said above:
The many bad apples out there will often blind us to those one-in-a-million guys who really do exist in China.
I have met some extraordinary men in China — men who were more gentlemanly, gentle and caring than anyone I ever dated in the US (and, I might add, men who do not smoke, spit, hock, have bad breath, or even drink). If I had decided that all men in China were disgusting, I would never have given myself the opportunity to know them, which would have been an incredible loss.
As for the change you mention — yes, it is important to demand change, and I hope China changes everyday. Yet keep in mind that China is a very large country with shockingly large gaps between the wealthy and poor. While it’s realistic that a Chinese guy with a comfortable apartment and BMW living in Shanghai could change his ways, what about the migrant worker in Shanghai working on a construction site and living in a crowded, barebones dormitory just to provide for their impoverished family in Southern Henan Province?
And on the other hand, being wealthy in China can often be an obstacle to change. In today’s “People’s Republic of Capitalism” (to borrow the phrase from Koppel’s series), it often doesn’t matter how you behave, as long as you have money and power. Kind of an “ends justify the means” mentality. In some cases, these people even have no shame at all (I have seen government officials and elites, all men, who once talked blatantly about their mistresses and lewd sexual behavior right in front of me, at the dinner table). If these people are the models in society (which they are for many, who aspire to become wealthy), then it’s easy to see how such habits tenaciously hang on in China.
Affecting the change you’re describing — stamping out spitting, hocking and uncovered coughing — is going to take a lot more than just people running around policing everyone. People in China need to reclaim a sense of shame regarding their behavior in public, on many levels. I’m no expert in this field, but I do know it doesn’t help that China lags behind in psychological expertise (the very thing that could help to improve socializing people, so they behave better in public, and towards strangers).
Hi Jocelyn, I was so happy to see that you wrote about this topic, because there’s not much written about it! I’m a foreign female living in China, in a city where there are literally a baker’s dozen of foreigners. I’ve been here almost a year and found that most of the time, Chinese men seem at once attracted but intimidated (it also doesn’t help that I’m 5’11″/180cm). Many want to be near me to up their ‘face,’ but there are also some who consider themselves ‘liberal’ and want to sleep with me, because all foreign women are so ‘liberal’ they just have sex with any man any time!
But mostly, I’m an object of distant fascination, not unlike a zoo animal. Everyone tells me to get a Chinese boyfriend, but in reality, it seems that very few are open to that idea. Which is a shame, because I certainly am.
[Also, it’s hard to find foreign men too, because so many of them are interested in having a Chinese girlfriend(s)]
Anyway, I was happy to stumble on your blog and even happier that you wrote about this topic. Thanks!
Thanks for stopping by and posting a comment! I can relate to the “zoo animal” feeling in China…I’ve felt it many times myself. Sorry to hear that the Chinese men in your area aren’t so open to dating a foreign woman. But if you’re open to it, it can happen — sometimes when you least expect it. It happened to me in a city (Zhengzhou) where there was also, at the time, just, as you say, “a baker’s dozen” of foreigners.
can anyone tell me what is the strongpoint of chinesemen
earth, ahem (let me clear my throat!)
I can’t tell you the strong points of all chinese men, but I can mention a few points about at least one I know well, these being things that I think are a contrast with many of his western counterparts:
*lacks the typical western he-man machoism
*doesn’t regularly watch any sports on t.v.
*sensitive and often picks-up on what I might be thinking or feeling, responding considerately
*has great taste in food 🙂
*appreciates feminist ideals
There are probably lots of chinese men that don’t have these qualities. But the one I’m thinking of certainly does.
i just want to kown what is our impression in you guys’ mind…he he
The first and second comment are not correct at all. but others……….reasonable . Good luck to you!
Okay, but the first two are definately true for the one *I* married. I forgot to mention the sense of humor (different from western guy’s).
May i just add one more point to what Susan had mentioned about Chinese men, a lot of us are good chef at home too:) and we are happy to show off our cooking skill in front of our wives. Food is a such important part of chinese culture that cooking is not just the responsibility of women.
My goodness, what planet do you live to make such assumptions about chinese men as if you are “the expert”. I bet most of the chinese men feel the same about you. Grow up, you have a long way to go.
It’s very interesting to read what people have to say on this topic. I’m a Chinese man, born and grew up in Taiwan till I was 22, then moved to America with my family. A little about my appearance, I’m 6’1″ (since I was 18), currently weight 185 lbs at age of 40, most people would tell you I’m a good looking guy and a body builder type, especial when I once weighted at 210 lbs, with body fat around 12%.
When I was 22, moving to America was not an easy quest for me, I was considered skinny at 175 lbs. I could not get most American girls to go on a date with me. When I became 30, I just wanted to prove a point, that a Chinese man can be tall and strong like any western man and still have the same typical qualities in Chinese men, such as supremely patient, doesn’t watch sports regularly, etc. I worked out 5 days a week for 2-3 years when I had a total “make-over” on my body. Just picture how Will Smith looked in “Fresh Prince of Bell-Air” as a skinny boy and “Ali” as a 200 pound plus boxer.
My point is, people will always have their first impression from your outer appearance, and sometimes, you might just need to let them have it before they even get a chance to know the real you.
I’ve had relationships with white, black and Asian women. I can say from my personal experience, even after my transformation on my image (the macho look), many white women still keep their distance from me. This is mostly because of the race issue. For some reason, more white men can easily accept Asian women than a white women can accept Asian men.
I’m not here to complain because I do have many good friends and past girlfriends who can look beyond the race issue. Living abroad as a non-white minority, I’ve learned to adapt and accept the reality. I guess I wanted to prove and I did, that the reason most western women who don’t date Asian guy and say because they’re not macho enough all have other thoughts in mind but afraid to admit it. The truth is, it’s a different time, most people do not want to be caught being a racist even when they are. I can accept racism but I refuse to believe Chinese men are less than western men in any way.
Another thing, most western women have the imagine of Chinese men being “sissy”, it’s just as bad as many Chinese men think western women would sleep with strangers on a first date. It’s not true.
@StevenChao I’m sorry for your experiences with racists and such, but for me looks and such don’t matter at all. Not even handsome vs. ugly, tall vs. short, etc. much less white vs. Chinese. My problem now as an white American woman in China is the Chinese men don’t seem to want to date ME, not the other way around! If I could get a Chinese guy to make a move I would be so happy. Part of it is they seem intimidated. I had one guy tell me that he wasn’t rich enough to date a foreigner, which left me totally confused.
As to other expats (guys!) being dicks about it, TOTALLY TRUE. The second night I was in China, one guy asked me if I would date a Chinese guy and when I said yes, he accused me of having a fetish for small penises. I mean, WOW.
I would actually like to get some feedback about something that hasn’t been mentioned yet. What about the rampant adultery? One of my male Chinese friends told me frankly that he plans to get married to a Chinese girl, have a child, then go “outside” for love. Not only is adultery fairly common, it seems almost socially accepted and mandated. Of course adultery is also common in Western countries, but it’s not expected like it is China. Has this been a problem for any of the couples? Just wondering.
Re: Steven’s comments, I think his point that most Americans don’t want to say if they are racist, even if they are is totally correct. That’s not an easy thing to admit, or even be aware of. Perhaps it also happens that plenty of racism in China exists toward foreigners living in the country. I also agree with what Steven said abuot the “sissy” stereotype being incorrect. I don’t understand it, but I’ve noticed myself that many Chinese men carry themselves in a way that can appear effeminate to others. It’s something about the way they move their bodies, and express themselves in general that I cannot put my finger on. What is it? Can anyone explain it (maybe they have already?)
I don’t think racism is the matter, I mean, I don’t think the western women are more racist than men or conversely that Chinese men are more racist than Chinese women…
In western countries, there is a bias against Asian men.
Maybe, is it due to the lack Asian men presence in the media ? It is not a rejection as in racism (I _never_ felt any racist animosity from women in France), but a lack of appealing that might explain the discussed rarity in western countries. Actually, in my youth, I happened to be accosted by French girls, so much for the lack of appealing 😉
In China, I highly suspect the main reason is the a priori that western women are ‘rich’. Then Chinese guys may not want to lose face if they can’t afford restaurant, travels etc…
susan : maybe many Asians happen to be nerds or geeks, when they are not Kungfu experts 😉
Re Andrea, the problem of rampant adultery is not true even though the things appeard . At least the mainstream culture can not accept it.
It’s so interesting to hear what western women think about dating/marrying Chinese men in China. Yes, I guess you could call many men in China being racist (even some Chinese in overseas countries), but it doesn’t come from racial related “supremacy” background, it’s almost the exact opposite. Of course, there’re also “myth” and misunderstanding between different cultures.
As far as I know, most Chinese (men and women) are very friendly to foreigners, they don’t ask foreigners to sit in the back rows on buses:-). Regardless what you hear in the media about China’s growth, many people are curious about foreigners and a lot of them are intimidated for good reasons. If you’re familiar with recent Chinese history from the late 1800’s till WWII, China lost almost every war fought to western countries, even Japan (also an Asian country). These historical wounds still haunt many Chinese mentally.
On top of that, most Chinese people are modest by nature because Confucius’s teaching has a great influence in our culture, the doctrine of the “Golden Mean” is very different than western culture’s “I’m the best, I can do anything”.
So I can see why some western women do not understand why Chinese men won’t ask them out on a date, the the reason is simply because they’re being overly modest. What Stan said is true, I believe most Chinese men have hard time to let women pick up their tab on a date. If he thinks he cannot afford to pay dinner for two, he probably won’t ask you out for dinner date.
I don’t think married men having a mistress is accepted in modern China, just as western countries. What I can say is that, cheating men will always tell you it’s ok to cheat. Just like people smoking pot will always say it’s ok to smoke weeds:-)
I agree with Steven, usually chinese men are more reserved than the western men which i don’t think is a bad thing. Casual dating with foreign girls is just not common in China, on top of that, i think basic communication can be another issue, how many foreign girls can speak fluent chinese and how many chinese men can speak fluent english in china? not even mention the art of winning the heart of opposite sex. This issue alone can eliminate almost majority of the potiential dates. I also think that bias against asian men do still exist which makes the matter even more complicated, because it becomes more than just about dating, it becomes a issue of race and chinese certainly do not take it lightly.
It’s so cool to see the conversation continuing — I love reading these comments, and love hearing from some fantastic Chinese guys and foreign women. 😉
On the mistress issue, I have to agree with Steven Chao. While I have come across some circles of men in China where mistresses are in the picture — these are often the powerful bosses, or officials, or men in high positions, usually 40, 50 years or older. Not your typical guy, and certainly not the kind of guy most of us would end up dating or marrying anyway. Here’s a 2000 article from the BBC which mentions adultery being a problem with Chinese men in positions of power.
Maybe it feels like there is more adultery in China because we see blatant reminders of it — the karaoke bars with “xiaojie“, the “massage parlors” and ä¼‘é—²æ´—å¤´ (the “hair dressers” that are really “undressing”) on all of the streets. We may not see these same things in our home countries, but it doesn’t mean there are fewer affairs.
Yes, this discussion is interesting. But I still think that the main obstacle here is how closed the Chinese society is. Because in the end it ends up playing a role in the language barrier as well. One of the reasons so many foreigners don’t learn Chinese is because they don’t have that much contact with it.
And, by not engaging very much with a lot of Chinese people, the mixing just becomes a bit more complicated.
I agree Chinese society is closed. But if this were the main reason why there are so few Chinese men dating or marrying foreign women, you would see the same pattern with Chinese women dating or marrying foreign men. Not so.
However, if your comment is simply referring to the experience in China, in general — in other words, that it is difficult for foreigners to make friends with Chinese, and feel connected to the country — then that’s something else.
I’m sure a lot of foreigners do feel alienated when they first come to China. Still, it is possible to overcome the barriers — and doing so largely depends on how you approach your experience in the country, and the kinds of experiences you have. When I first came to China, I knew almost no Chinese — just a few survival phrases, and basic numbers. That was it. But I was curious about China, and interested to learn. I didn’t expect China to be exactly like what I’d known at home…I wanted to know China for what it was. In the process, I made some amazing Chinese friends, who spoke English and became my own teachers — teaching me about the culture around me.
If you live in China as a foreigner, you always have the opportunity to have contact with the culture. Even if you live in one of those foreigner enclaves (with names like “Santa Fe” or “California Shores”), you can find ways to involve yourself in the culture. If you have Chinese coworkers or you teach a language or take classes at a university with Chinese students, there are always possibilities to talk and learn, even if you’re just learning about China through your native language. If you work or live in an all-foreigner environment, then it’s up to you to find ways to connect with the culture on the weekends or evenings. It could be anything, including studying Chinese with a tutor, going to an English corner (where you can meet Chinese wanting to practice their English), learning Tai Chi from some seniors in a nearby park, or even visiting a night market and trying some new exotic snacks you’ve never had.
However, if you’re a foreigner in China who never steps out of their comfort zone, who stays at the expat bars and hangouts and events…it’s going to be tough to get to know China.
Of course I meant my experience in China. I found that people o Asias descent born outside of Asia don’t have the same issues. I saw these guys dating white, black and Asian girls so I’m not counting them in this.
My basic premise is that if a person doesn’t have a lot of Chinese friends, they won’t get to meet a lot of cool Chinese people. You seem to put the blame on foreigners who stay in their comfort zones. I, on the other hand, have met people who have lived in China for almost 15 years, speak fluent Chinese adn even LOOK Chinese. But these people still hang out with foreigners much more than with Chinese.
On the other hand, at least 80% of the foreigners I saw who have lived in Brazil seem to have become a little Brazilian themselves. Actually, we accept them as one of our own. So yes, I do put some of the blame on the Chinese society. Because if there are foreigner comfort zones, it means that they aren’t totally comfortable out there.
Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps Brazil is just more open than other places and I find it shocking that other people aren’t as welcoming. But I am not blind to our flaws and I did have a very good welcome when I lived in Germany. And other Brazilians I met who lived in France and Germany didn’t seem to have so much trouble integrating.
I apologize if I sounded as though I was putting so much blame on foreigners. I can understand where you are coming from, given your experience in Brazil, and observing foreigners integrating quite flawlessly into the culture. You are right that it is not easy in China for foreigners. I too have had moments of alienation in China. And perhaps I am an anomaly — having family ties to the country brings me so much closer to it.
“But I still think that the main obstacle here is how closed the Chinese society is.”
Yes and no. If you put an effort into it I believe the Chinese society is pretty open. But I kind of have a good starting point: a Chinese wife. I live in a totally Chinese area in Beijing, no other westerners is living here. I have been very welcomed here.
@Michael & Jocelyn
“Yes and no” Sounds about right, but look at your starting point. And I know nothing about you, But I have a few friends who speak fluent Chinese and have Chinese girlfriends/wives. Yet, the great majority of their friends seems to be foreign.
To be fair, the infamous language barrier makes it difficult to mix your foreign friends who don’t speak Chinese with your Chinese friends who don’t speak the language of the group (mostly English, but could be any other language as well).
Also, because women are generally better with languages than men, and Chinese girls are sort of “old school” in the sense that they might not require so much dialogue to bond with a foreign man. It makes it much easier for a foreign guy to chat up a Chinese girl in a random social setting (e.g. a bar).
On the other hand, some Westerns girl would need a real connection to a guy to fall for him. That requires a lot of interaction. It is amazing that in all Western female Chinese male pairings I have seen, one of them could speak the other’s language fluently (overwhelming majority for the western girl who spoke Chinese).
Point being, it just decreases the chances a western girl has of meeting those amazing Chinese guys out there. They no doubt exist, but they either don’t speak English, don’t feel confident to chat up a foreign girl, etc. etc.
This is a complex issue, and all factor raised play a role in each individual case. Foreigners aren’t innocent either. As it has been pointed out in other comments, some really have a problem with feeling superior to the Chinese.
I think one of the reasons that western women are often thought to be rich, even when they are actually not, is because they are typically a lot more exposed to the consumerism that is dominant in western culture. By that I mean they tend to spend their money more generously and liberally than their Chinese counterparts. I do not mean to say that this is just a symptom of the “white girls.” A lot of Chinese Americans exhibit the same kind of behavior as well, but maybe to a lesser degree. Fresh-off-the-boat Chinese (FOBs, e.g. myself) are usual frugal and stingy. And they expect their girlfriends (maybe not girlfriends, but certainly their wives) to be economically prudent, too. I know for a fact that I would not be able to independently afford a marriage with any of a number of sorority girls that I know on this campus, even if I could secure the highest paying job available for a normal college graduate. It’s just financially unfeasible, given their spending habits. Of course I don’t mean to stereotype people. I’m suer there are American women who are very responsible financially, and not corrupted by the consumerist culture.
Another problem that I have encountered is religion. Like many of my fellow Chinese, I’m an atheist. But I believe in atheism not by social convention or family tradition, but by years of reading and contemplating philosophy (any suggestion of coersion or brainwashing by the “communist dictatorship” is out of the question). When I came to the states, I landed in a historically white fraternity in a state right in the Bible belt. So ever since then, I’ve been consciously fighting off all forms of invitation of conversion from all denominations: Methodist, Baptist, Catholicism, Presbyterianism, Mennonite, etc. Even a Jewish professor tried pretty hard at one time to sell me his theology, and I thought Jews always kept their religion private from non-jews. A lot of protestant Christian groups on campus deliberately and actively target FOB Chinese students, which can be quite disturbing and annoying. So I’m pretty much fed up with all this unsolicited contagious religiosity, and I don’t hide my atheist belief. But a lot of American girls here are quite religious, especially a lot of the catholics, and those that could be called “sothern belles”. On the one hand, I don’t want to convert to anything, or to lie about my fundamental beliefs. On the other hand, for a lot of people here, atheism is rather controversial, to say the least. So it just never worked out seriously with any girl of religious convictions. And those ladies who are sufficiently secularist are usually too smart to involve themselves with fraternity boys.
You say something about Western consumerism. I have to say that many a Westerners has been shocked about the materialism of China. About religion, that depends on the place. You have to understand the culture of the place you are in.
hi Jocelyn, I’m a Western woman married to a Chinese man too. I’ve often wondered why so few Chinese men are in relationships with foreign women (and they really do need to reverse that trend given that there are 1.06 Chinese men for every Chinese woman nowadays.) It’s a mystery to me because I think Chinese guys make excellent partners – very family-oriented, sincere, kind, honest. Of course I’m describing my own husband but I don’t think he’s unusual in China. I think one big reason you see so few Chinese men with foreign women is what that taxi driver alluded to. At least that fear is what stops a lot of Chinese guys from trying a relationship with a foreign woman.
Anyway I’m glad I found your blog! I’ve subscribed to your RSS feed. Please keep up the great posts!
Great to hear from another Western woman who has discovered the joys of marriage to a Chinese man! When you find the right guy, they really can make exceptional partners, for all of the qualities you described (all fitting my husband as well). Thanks for sharing your take on why we’re so rare.
I’ve also added your blog to my Foreign Women + Chinese Men blogroll.
FYI to everyone…came across this article from 2005 while I was doing research on Lexis Nexis. It said 27 percent of mixed marriages comprised of Chinese men and foreign women — up from a few years before that.
Thanks for linking my blog! Yes, I am the one and the same Jessica who you corresponded with way back in … I guess it was 2003? My husband is not my then-boyfriend, but a guy I met in quite a few years later. We’ve been married for almost 3 years now and our son is 23 months.
I don’t get to blog very much because wordpress is blocked in China. I use workaround methods, but it just adds an extra level of hassle. However, I do hope you stop by my blog once in awhile and keep in touch. I’ll add you to my blogroll if you don’t mind!
Hi! It is difficult to socialise between races . Expats and locals stick to their own enclaves. If they do meet , love can happen. Racism comes only when family and friends frown on the relationship. I’m Chinese and after 30 years , I’m still thinking about the Punjabi girl who sent away to India to marry to take her mind off me.
I am a Chinese guy who currently living in America. I am studying Enginnering at UCLA, and here is my story.
I can to the US when I was 16 years old, my mother married a fat, and extreamly unattrictive bold head White guy, so we could come o the US. At first I did not mind cause I was young only 16 years YOUNG. At that time I used to only like Chinese girls cause I grow up there and watch all the Chinese movies and film where Chinese girls are beautiful. I never even thought of liking White girls by then, cause I never even seen one. lol
After living in the US for 7 years that ALL CHANGED. I watch hollywood movie and start to accept White beauty standard. MY first year I already accept the “fact” that “White guys are better than us, it is all good for White guys to get all the hot Asian chick they want but not the other way around”. But then after that I start to get a bit lonely cause Asian girls in America never even liked me, some Asian girls told me that I am good looking which I also aggree, but they only wants to be friend. While most other Asian girls are SO mean. I also start to get all the Racisim bullsh!t from White guys that Asian guys have small penis, and several WHite guys intensionally said that infront of me, however at that time they said it in a joke maner and due to my lack of English skills I did not understand at the moment however, I figured out later. That really pissed me off.
Two years later, my mom divorced her fat husband(lol). She start to dating again. I thought great, mom should date a Chinese guy who will have our values and traditions. But she did not, she dated another fat white guy cause she cannot find a good looking white guy. I asked her why? She did not say, but I was smart enough to find out that she hates Asian guys and was totally white washed by American media that Asian guys suck! So I also changed. Ever since then I start to like non-Asian girls particullary White girls. But right now, I have to stay foucs on school. Once I get my Master degree in Mechnical Engineering I will start dating.
My comment on American white girls are: 1. Most White girls in US do not like Asian gusy. Because a lot of white girls are SICK of seeing so many White guys with Asian girls and Asian guys in US dont dig white girls as much, White girls can be quite rude to us Asian males. However, the reason why Asian guys dont dig White girls is due to the lack of media promotion. You see so many movies promoting WM/AF realationships but NEVER see one does the opposite, it is quite clear that American media whihc also influrence Europe is being controlled by White men. Off course they do not want to see Asian guys getting their women cause there are already competition from Black and Hispanic guys. 2. A lot of White girls are into the Asian man sterotypes. That many of them are turn off by us without even know us. Please dont believe in those crap, I am Asian guy and I dont have those nasty sh!t they want you to believe. But it still hurts to hear all those stuffs.
One last thing. I think I am kinda mentally ill right now. I am a total SELLOUT, I can NEVER go back to Asian girls anymore.
Slipknot, thanks for sharing your experience. I was really blown away by your story, and am so sorry to hear that you were mentally scarred on some level. I completely agree that the media seems less interested in promoting Asian male/non-Asian female relationships — I’m sure, if you asked them, they’ll probably just respond with something like “movies like that don’t sell”. But deep down, it really is a double standard.
In fact, a few weeks ago I saw a commercial here in the US — I think it was for chewing gum — and it showed two Asian guys living in Scotland with Scottish accents. The whole idea behind it was “how wrong” the situation was, but it felt a bit racist and unfair. I mean, I know there are Asians living in Scotland, with Scottish accents (in fact, the girl who played Cho Chang in Harry Potter is originally from Scotland, and has a Scottish accent). But why is it all of a sudden “so funny” or “so weird” when it happens to be someone Asian.
To me, it’s unconscionable that an ad agency can still get away with this, when a similar move using blacks or hispanics would create negative backlash. Just another sign of how the media doesn’t give Asian guys a fair shake.
Â´porque demonios eruptan en la mesa?
I’m a 25 year old Chinese American writing here.
Media is not to blame for not letting Asian guys get with white girls, but movies do set the tone. How annoying is it that Jet Li can kick so much ass in “Romeo Must Die” and “Kiss of the Dragon,” but not get anywhere romantic with Aaliyah or Bridget Fonda? Boooooo! I agree with Jocelyn that it’s a double standard that needs to be shattered, like how black/white skinned relationships are being broken in cinema today. We need more ambitious directors, producers and actors to put in some hotter scenes or at the very least a romance. And we need more hunky Asian heroes to help lead the way. Let’s hope RAIN will get some action in “Ninja Assassin.”
But the bigger question is: What is a “white woman?” Is she Polish? Russian? Estonian? French? What about all the other groups in America? Mexicans? Puerto Ricans? Blacks? Ghanians? South Africans?
Sorry Asian guys, but you can’t blame any woman (of whatever skin color or nationality) for not liking you. I’ve known and loved women from different ethnicities and nationalities and they’ve loved me. There’s no excuses here. I think most Asian guys are just too timid, nice and kind to get what they want. That’s how I used to be; admiring from afar, holding doors open, being a good friend…but not enough balls to ask them out to a lovely evening and taking a risk.
You can sit and wait around til you’re 32 for a woman to magically fall in your lap, or you can grow a pair and ask a beautiful woman out. You will definitely get rejected a few times. So what? So does everyone else. You’re not special. You just might find the girl of your dreams, have 8 kids, then get a prime-time tv reality show.
So from one Asian guy to all you other Asian guys who are or are thinking about whining: don’t blame anyone or anything else if you’re not in a relationship with a girl, white or not.
It’s your life. Do what you want with it.
Very interesting. I’m a white British woman and I dated a Hong Kong Chinese guy at University (he was a post grad, I was an undergrad). I met him through some British (Hong Kong) Chinese friends of mine.
The relationship didn’t work out partly due to cultural differences (he was not British born but an overseas student from Hong Kong), but mostly because at 18 I was a bit too young for a serious relationship and he was a lot older than me (29). Obviously, there was no language problem as he was doing an MBA in the UK, so spoke excellent English.
None of my friends (Chinese or otherwise) had any problem with my boyfriend, nor did my family. What I did notice however is that when we were out, we got almost dirty looks from (non British) Chinese people. My then boyfriend used to say “it’s because they can’t believe I have such a pretty girlfriend”, but he was just trying to be kind, I’m absolutely certain they were thinking “can’t that guy find himself a nice Chinese girlfriend?”. These kind of looks only ever came from Chinese people.
I’m still in contact with my Chinese ex-boyfriend; he went back to Hong Kong, got married and now has two lovely kids. We swap e-mails a few times a year.
I would also point out that this phenomenon exists in Japan as well. I studied Japanese at university and have lived in Japan. While a student in Japan, I noticed many romances between Japanese girls and foreign men, but very few the other way round. This wasn’t a money or language problem as my fellow female foreign students and I all spoke Japanese and as students had far less money than any working Japanese guy (even than most Japanese students as this was the time of the high yen, when foreigners were poor). I remember that Japanese men in bars often bought my (foreign) friends and I drinks and were happy to talk to us (very glad in fact because our Japanese language skills gave them an opportunity they didn’t usually have), but never tried to initiate anything approaching romance.
I think perhaps some Japanese men were intimiated by us partly because we were not as demure as most Japanese women (I can do it, but generally I don’t). But I also I think their lack of experience with foreign women meant that they really didn’t know how they should behave and the Japanese take being polite very seriously!
However, I do find some Japanese men a bit undemanding because they are so polite to the point of not giving their opinion/agreeing with you on everything (in Japanese “dou-ii suru”). I prefer someone to challenge me. This is maybe cultural. I have met Japanese men I was attracted to, but (as yet) no romance has ever ensued.
Jocelyn, here is an artical written by a Swedish girl. Her reasons are bias. But it is interesting to read. She is trolling, if you have time to read most of her posts you will find out.
She says Chinese men are not tall. LoL, yes in ShangHi. Cause ShangHI men are southern Chinese. But in Norther China. Man are much taller, close to 5.11(180CM) on average. The same thing apply to White guys. Spanish, Italian, Frence, and Portugal men are not that tall, average about 5.8. But Nordic, Dutch, and Some Eastern European men are average about 6 feet. So, obviously this girl named Jonna is not so smart. She also talked about Chinese men are fememine, WTF. I am really pissed when she says that, I am not a bit fememine case I was born in ChenDu not ShangHi. ShangHi is an old emperial city long been fed up all the western propaganda. Men there tend to think that they are inferior. And girls offtehn take adavantages of it and make their BF do things like carry their hand bags, and even tie their shoes. lol. But this do not apply to Northern and West Chinese men. I for one will never do those things. Again, it shows how shallow Jonna is.
People offen talk aobut Chinese guys are short, but they know that French men aren’t that tall neither? The current Frence president Nicolas Sarkozy is only 5.5(165CM), and every time when he makes a speech he put a bounch of 5 feet 3, 5 feet 2 guys behihd him to make him look tall(LMAO). And Napoliean is only 5.3. lol. Yet no one makes fun of them, oh yeah. The Frence are European, and European men are might tall and strong( Sorry to say this, I mean no offence.)
Anyway, the apperance of a man is important but his personiality and his intellengence are also important. I hope people dont just judge us based on apperance.
BTW, I am not saying America is all BAD. I am really happy that I am at UCLA now, and America is fair in terms of education. However, like Chinese people. Nothing is perfect, everything has its downside like every coin has two sides.
Chinese men like me are very hard working, smart, faimily orenated, have high values, taught to be loyal, and learned how to be a good father and take good care of our parants when they get old. The down side of us, at least for Chinese men in China is that they do not have a lot of proper manner like spitting, chocking, hocking, and nose picking. Of course I do all of that too, BUT ONLY IN THE BATHROOM not in public, and everyone else does too! Also, Chinese men in China are more close minded and are SCARED to Date White girls. 1. Because my mother always telling me how BAD White girls are like they are not loyal, have no ethics, blah blah blah. However I see through her lie and NEVER believed them. Cause my mother is a two faced hyprocrite she always say good things about White men but NEVER White women. 2. Chinese men are afraid of dating White girls because, the movies and sterotypes made them “Believe” that they are inferior.
America is an equal oppournity society AT LEAST for jobs and education but not social staus for Asian men. However, it has its good sides such as clean enviorment, safe street, and great Universities. Its bad sides are: People always make sterotypes such as Black guys are stupid, white guys have smaller penis compare to black guys, Asian guys are nerds, Mexcian guys are all gangsters…… These things divide American people and greatly hurt the national unity. For God’s sake this country is called United States of America. I just hope one day Coungress would pass laws to ban all sterotypes and Punish people who create them regardless of what race they are. Its good sides are: 1. It has great infurstructure such as high way, air port, hospitals, and Universities which make living standard high and safe. 2. It has great law enforcement which protect one’s indifidual rights and properties.
I wish people especially girls also see the good sterotypes about Chinese men instead of just the negative ones. Thank you. 🙂
Perhaps interracial, international dating and marriage should be expected to be rare in the first place. And the right question to ask then is not why foreign women/Chinese men couples are so rare, but why foreign men/Chinese women couples are so common. Here is an article that may answer the latter of the two questions. I’ve cited this article somewhere else on this website.
Personally I don’t see any intrinsic value in interracial marriage. Biologically speaking, isolated populations do better at evolving traits that are adaptive to the local environment. Reproductive barrier is a necessary condition for genetic diversity, and ultimately speciation. If it weren’t for all the geological barriers between the continents, we wouldn’t have all the colorful peoples around the world today. We would all be ethnic mud. I don’t think that is necessarily a good thing. Just like inbreeding is usually a bad thing, widespread interracial breeding, which is exactly the other extreme on the spectrum, is probably not good as well.
I am in a committed relationship with a Chinese man, and I am an American white woman. We haven’t had many problems, he is very open to communication and any problems that could come up we discuss. We make similar amounts of money and after much argument he agreed to let me pay a few times. We discuss politics, flaws in Chinese society, flaws in American society, love, sex, you name it we can talk about it. I’m incredibly happy with him.
Our biggest problem is that I will not stay in China, and he is reluctant to come to America. He suspects, I think rightly, that as soon as he is a Chinese immigrant in America it will be difficult for him to get a decent job. So, in the long term I am a little worried on how we will deal with this problem when I leave. He’s already told me he wants to get married, and I would say yes in a heartbeat if I had any idea how we could work out our location problems.
And, perhaps this is a tad inappropriate but since the topic has been broached, his penis size is above average. I’ve been with white men, as well as black men, and he stacks up quite nicely. Our sex life has no problems.
I hope that more of these relationships flourish, and honestly the reason I think they don’t is because of confidence problems. I think white women intimidate many Asian men. If you look in the above comments, the Chinese-American man who had confidence had no problem getting women. I knew a few Asian-American men in high school who cleaned up, one was even a total player landing a string of white women. So, while there may be racism in both cultures involved I think the biggest problem is confidence on the part of the Asian men.
I am a Singapore Chinese who has being married to a Swiss Girl 12 years ago, together we have 2 children speak fluent German and Chinese.
Prior to my current wife, I have a Canadian Girl friend, who I am her first Chinese Boy Friend, I guess she was in love with me, while we are together, she has done some research and show me how the media protrait the Chinese man, basically in negative way, and how she think the misconcept should be corrected.
When I broke up with her because of my current wife (We married two years later), her asked if I have found a Chinese girl to replace me now, when I told her is a Swiss, she was shock, her first reaction was
– How can a Western Women fall in love with a Chinese
However, she then immediately correct the statement as herself doing exactly the same.
In general, personally I prefer Western Women compare to Chinese women because they are
– More independent,
– More cosmopolitan
– Good Lover
– Good cook (Except Anglo-Saxon Women)
– ……list could go on and on
However, I guess opposite attract
Wow! As a black woman, I must say I am disheartened by some of the comments made by the Chinese men (especially after reading slipknot’s comments!)
So what if the white women reject you – is that the only race you can date? When I dated a Chinese man (6’0 and born in China to my 5’3 and born in the Bronx) we got stares all the time and this is in a very “mixed” part of California. Asian men and Black women are the least likely to pair up of ANY GROUP. (Check the census data if you don’t believe me.)
I remember when I joined an online dating site, there was even a “fan club” for black women who thought Asian men were sexy, but all the women in it did was complain that Asian men weren’t interested in *them* because of the stereotypes associated with Black women.
As a successful, fit, woman I wonder why ANYONE of ANY RACE chases after someone who doesn’t want them? Slipknot or any other Chinese man who gets discouraged because White women don’t want to date them – um, are they the only race that counts? Reading “boohoo white women won’t date me!” hurts just as much TO ME as when they won’t date you. There are other colors besides white. Try some. You might be surprised.
Well, how often, if ever, do you see a black woman in China? I personally lived there for more than 18 years, six years in Beijing. I can count on two hands all the black women that I had ever ever seen in Beijing in all those years, all of whom were strongers to me, and most of whom were athletes that I spotted during the Olympic games. And I am yet to encounter a black woman outside the capital. But I used to meet white women in Beijing almost every other day, and was personally familiar with perhaps half a dozen of them.
If we are to limit our discussion to the US, it should not be surprising to see five or six times more Asian-White couples than Asian-Black couples, just because of the demographic make-up: There are simply more whites than blacks in the US. If you take socio-economic factors into account, it becomes even less likely for Asian men to meet black women, bacause the gap between Asians and blacks is greater than that between Asians and whites. For example, the average annual income is $36152 for Asians, $33030 for whites, and $27101 for blacks. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States#Race) You find similar patterns in literacy, college attendence, IQ, crime rates, divorce rates, life expectancy, etc. The cold reality is that all people everywhere, of all races, throughout history, just tend to marry within their own socio-economic classes. Maybe that is wrong. But would you marry an illiterate child-prostitute with AIDS? I know I wouldn’t. I know I wouldn’t marry a women 10 times weathier and 10 times more successful than I, either.
I meant to say “strangers”, not “strongers”
my tears just fall when i saw you and him! so beautiful.
I really wants to be your friend, i have a chinese boyfriend for 2 years already, but he went crazy. he cant handle the pressure from his society!
i suffer a lot.
I wish you guys all the happiness in the world.
about me… I dont know how much i can handle this relation.
i want to help him, but I found it so dificult.
he is shy to take my hands!
Well, Marie. I never said that I did not find Black women not attractive. I do find Hispanic and Black women attractive. But I had a lot more success with White girls. In high school I had many success. But now I am at UCLA Enginnering school and girls are really really BAD in Engineering school. SO Marie you do not need to feel bad, Asian born in American will have few problems accepting black women.
Marcia, just tell your boyfriend you love him and get married then all problem will be solved. Trust me this works. 🙂
BTW, Marie pay no attention to Roadblock.
Marcia, your boyfriend is shy because he got all fed up by Hollywook BullCrap. He lacks confident to love his white girlfriend. But he will have no problem to hold hand with a Chinese girl. I know this is FU$K up but it is true. However, you do not need to worry. Why not marry him and move him to United States then you will not have these problems. 🙂
um well my name is angie im 19 and i talk to this man from china he is 24 ^^, he is really nice to me but iv emailed him a lot and he actually called me ! ^^ and he realy seems to like me
I’m a Chinese born American male living in the U.S. and I have been married to my Caucasian wife for almost 2 years. Despite me living in the U.S. for 2 decades, I still have some customs she finds tough to overcome…especially the food, she can’t stand most real Chinese foods. Despite this, we have overcome much and love each other. And yes, we do get alot of looks while in China, and there are alot more foreign men with Chinese women than the reverse.
Yi, it’s true. The reason is that the Hollywood movie only promotes AF/WM relationships NEVER the other way around. Also China is not as wealthy as the United States and other western countries. However this is not the main reason. If you look at Japan and Korea for example, over it is still mostly AF/WM not the other way around even though Japan and Korea are just as rich. So you now know the main reason.
We Chinese/Japanese/Koreans have to work extra extra hard to overcome this bullcrap. The main thing we need to focous on is sports, if we can do well in sports then we will become much stronger and much more confident then our image will change. But Yi it is changing now. You know the recession hit western world hard and many Chinese women lost their interets in western men. So look on the bright side.
Angie, good for you that he likes you. You know that there are many guys in China like western women just like Chinese women. However Chinese men are afraid to date you because they heard all the bad sterotypes about them and the western media and movie made it even worst. But dont worry changes are on the way, stay positive.
I have a Chinese boyfriend that moved to America 4 years ago. We have been dateing for a few months now and every day we go out to do something diffrent. Were i’m from there are alot od Chinese, Japanese and Koreans but, you never see them with an American women. Everytime my boyfriend and I go out we get stared at and pointed to. My boyfriend Xun never said anything about it so I think he just didnt care. At first it bothered me but, I figured that if it didnt bother him then it shouldnt bother me. My family at first didnt like him because he was from another country but, after a wile of talking about how great our relationship it they came to like him.
We havent met each others family yeat. His parents dosnt think that our relationship would last becasue, hes from China and i’m American. Xun and I had a long talk about it. He dosnt find it in his familys favor that it would end. He tells me just because hes from China that it dosnt make a diffrence. Hes here living in America now. His family has yeat to meet me but, i’m sure they will love me.
I think it has been commonly said that a lot of guys may be afraid that their parents will not approve. Did their parents ever consider that there is a huge gender disparity? Or would they prefer their son die alone? What hateful parents. Besides, what ever happened to living your life how you want it?
Personally I couldn’t care less what my parents thought of who I dated.
To slipknot: sorry to hear your terrible experiences. I’m sure if your mother didn’t shove the negativity in your face you’d feel better about things. I’m sorry your mother hates you and doesn’t want the best for you; what kind of mother would feel that way towards her own son!? Only an asian woman can be so hateful. I’m glad you are working towards a post graduate degree. Despite being ‘nerdy’ it is what will give you power. It makes me feel good that you have the fire in you to make a change, to not let others break you down. Stay strong and never give up. If you falter, it means more work for the rest of us asian guys.
ps, jocelyn, thanks for posting this, it is always interesting to get the non asian woman’s perspective. This post is getting quite the buzz over the whole internet!
asdf. My mom is a seflhating sell out Chinese women just like the typical Asian women. After what I have gone through I can NEVER marry or even date an Asian girl anymore. I am distant to marry White girls. I have a fantasy that is to marry a Nordic girl or American girl with Nordic desenct. Funny hum? But I can not help it. This is why all of a sudden I changed myself.
1. I care about my fashion now, I wear much better clothing to make myself look even better(Since I am already a good looking guy).
2. I try hard to get rid of my accent, and now I speak English almost perfectly with very little accent.
3. I work out at the gym try to get toned musle and look even better.
I am ready to rock and roll.
One thing I hope all my fellow Chinese brothers to do is to Marry None-Chinese women. Chinese women are SPOILED, they are not worth it anymore!!! Not only do they sell out themselves but they also make up Bullsh!t lies about Chiense men to make themselves feel even better. Please my fellow Chinese men: WAKE up, STAND up and just DO IT!
I really think in the near future the opposite is going to be prevalent, like the inter-racial/inter-cultural/inter-national couples with Chinese husbands/boyfriends/partners might overshadow the couples with Chinese females. I’m just making a guess because with the gender disparity, how mobile many Chinese tend to be even spreading out througout the world and with such a (still heavily patriarchal in many ways) family-oriented background, nearly every Chinese male would strive possibly pressured to have a stable “official status” relationship.
I could be wrong.
I think it will. As China gets rich, it certainally will. The Chinese media is controled by Chinese men unlike the US media controled by White Jewish men. So Chinese media will heavly promote Chinese men to date western women and more and more young, tall, good looking, rich Chinese men will be open minded to date western women. So I think it will change too.
BTW, there are already sings of Chiese media promoting such things. Just watch CCTV, and some Chinese movies. You will see it. Chinese men are NOT as weak and scared as western men think. 😉
Also, I am one of those tall, goodlooking, young well educated Chinese men who finds western women much more attractive than Chiense girls and at least half of my Chinese male friends think the same way. 🙂
Greetings to everyone!
I am a forty-one year old American lady, (Read: I am a “mutt” of European and Native American Indian stocks.), engaged to be married to a mainland Chinese gentleman. We met online about a year ago, and we have another two years to go before we can safely marry… Our story may, or may not, surprise you…
I was born to a pair of self-made wealthy entrepreneurs in the aerospace industry, yet, despite my parent’s ultra-liberal lifestyle, my own formative years were a misery of neurotic control and deprivation. The one time I broke free and chose my own mate, my parents stole my son and paid his father to leave with our son to another country. I have not seen my son for over fifteen years now, and I doubt he even knows who I am.
I finally quite literally “divorced” my family, but for all the kudos I received in taking this action, I still felt a profound shame and unshakable sense of being absolutely “alone”. I stopped dating at first because I really needed to get my head and heart together, and, just as importantly, create a new life and sense of worth for myself. In time I enrolled in college, something my parents would never let me do, and I started my own small business.
I was in my mid-thirties before I felt emotionally ready to date again, and the expected initial disasters of being too long out of the dating scene happened, though thankfully, these mostly proved to be funny in hindsight.
I will call my fiance “wanju xiong” here, as this is what I call him in person anyway. (Bright Smile). I thought that because he was an older Chinese man, and a government official too, that I would be a pariah to him, not the other way around. His response to me took me utterly by surprise…
I was honest to him from the beginning, though the details were spread over a few months, and I even went so far as to admit that I was on good terms with only one of my blood relatives, and I told him about my past in more detail than I related here. After all was said and done, and almost a week of no response, I assumed I had chased him away, but that is when I received this single line response…
“I would like for you to belong to my family…” I was stunned, and I had to ask him many times before I could accept his answer.
I love my “wanju xiong” because he has consistently proven to be more of a man than many of the men I have met over the years. He is everything I need to feel both secure and independent, a gentle and yet firmly reliable presence in my life and spirit, and we never run out of things to talk about to each other. For over a year now he has never failed to make me laugh, smile, feel optimistic, and he is loving and supportive in everything I do. He and my good relative get along extremely well, and I am beginning a great relationship with his son from a long-extinct previous marriage. Yes, he is an extraordinary cook, and he tried to make me use chopsticks so I would eat slower than him, but the cooking is so good, I aced using the chopsticks! (Laughing Loudly!) Above all, he is gifted with the ability to be an extraordinary companion.
The reason why our relationship works so well is precisely because he is as he puts it, “a very ordinary Chinese man…” His strong sense of family, his gentle and abiding nature, his balance of pride and humility, and his companion-ability are not just a part of his nature, these qualities are a part of his culture too. The perfect man for me is located literally on the other side of the planet, and I never would have found him if not for the internet and for the efforts of people who were determined to break down the barriers of ignorance, fear, and the resulting prejudices. I have so many reasons to be grateful…
We must wait two more years until he retires before we can officially tie the knot. If we married right now he would be severely investigated by his government and he would lose his retirement benefits, for which he has worked hard for over 30 years to acquire. I call, and I visit him in China, every chance I can, and it is our hope that he can move here to America with me when he retires.
Well, that is my two cents anyways… (Smile!) I would welcome any constructive comments regarding how to make his American citizenship any easier, and tips on how he can adjust and get a job when he arrives here. Thank you so much for your patience and regard! Phoenix Dawnsinger.
Wow, what a story — I am so delighted to hear from you, and to hear that you found a new life, family and home with a wonderful Chinese man. Congratulations, and thank you so much for sharing!
On the visa/American citizenship question, your best bet is to visit Candle for Love. It’s a website specifically for US citizens helping their Chinese loved ones to immigrate — the information is invaluable, and you won’t find a better source for navigating the process. Good luck!
Feichang ganxie ni, Jocelyn!
I have signed onto the “Candle for Love” website and I am currently waiting to see if the administrators will give their approval for me to begin posting. Thank you you for being so kind, encouraging, and helpful. I hope I can see posts from you at the “Candle for Love” site too.
Yours in gratitude, Phoenix Dawnsinger
Thank you for sharing your story. You are right that Chinese men are like that. In fact I am like that too, even though I am young. 🙂
Wow, never thought I would come across this when googling ‘Chinese Boyfriend’.
I am a western girl in Shanghai and I do like the Chinese men, not too much experince but I am learning as I go along. Thanks to everyone for sharing your stories. Hopefully I will have my own story to post in the future.
I am a 26 year old Australian who met my Chinese / thai husband in university 8 years ago. We have been married for 4 years and have lived both in Australia and in Thailand.
I am moving back to Thailand next month so that my husband can work for their quite successful family business.
I have found that marrying a Chinese man comes with a lot of concerns. I love my husband very much but find that his family have too much influence over our life and marriage. For example, they want us to live in their house, they want to pay for everything, they get involved in issues which are really only our own. I love them dearly and am very grateful for their help, but by accepting their help I loose my own independance.
Can anyone please give me advise on how to manage this situation whilst still remaining respectful of their culture and them?
Thank you, Karmen
I agree with Phoenix, that often it’s your husband who will serve as the “bridge” and help smooth things over. You should definitely tell your husband your concerns. Let him know what you value, and how you want to live.
In every marriage like ours, there is going to be compromise but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise everything. Over the years, my husband has come to understand and appreciate my independent, feminist side — and he has been able to allow me to be me without wrecking family dynamics. It helps that he praises me in front of them in ways that they understand (i.e. how I bake fantastic chicken wings for John). They have a better impression of me, and are more likely to be understanding of my more independent, feminist side.
Also, I have found it pays to show an interest in the family — for example, I’ve learned cooking from my Mother-in-law. I ask my father-in-law to do calligraphy on scrolls or small cards I give to friends/family. This builds good will and a relationship. When we come, I present them with vitamins as gifts — considered “filial” behavior. All of this creates more goodwill, and more understanding.
Really, though, the best thing to do is…start with your husband. Talk to him. He may be able to figure out tactful ways to achieve what you want so you’re happy, and his family is happy.
Also, realize that your husband’s family may be doing a lot of the things you mention to show their love and concern — not to control you. Keeping things in perspective can help diffuse the tension, and hopefully lead to more understanding.
Good luck, and do let me know how things turn out.
I understand and sympathize, as I have a rough time when my fiance meddles deeply in my uncle’s dating life, allows his twenty year old son to decide on matters relating to our very intimate lives, gives me orders, and is in effect an autocrat backed by a filial committee that will ever see me as the “foreigner”… It’s a permanent part of the package.
I cannot weigh in on a four year marriage, as I have only be an observer of the best and worst of my family’s marriages, and my own experience in matters of pair bonding is rather limited.
That said, I am operating on what kept my twenty-plus years of friendships strong even after the worst of acid tests, including being housemates with a few of the more interesting ones for a long stretch of years apiece.
What works for me is to take a deep breath and do the following reality check… I remember with as much objectivity as I can muster, what my life was like before my Wanju Xiong came into it, and then, I look at my life as it is right now. I literally weigh the good and the bad. The criteria is simple… Is my life just a little bit happier, safer, more stable, and more productive, just a little more often, than it was before I brought him in? When we argue, do I automatically think of ways to leave or worse? Or, do I automatically think of ways to create a compromise that will work for both of us. On some days, it’s a really close call, but when I think of the alternative, I am humbled yet empowered at the same time.
I’m sorry, but the filial dominion is eternal, the only route is passive resistance. Pay the bill before they can, praise your husband’s advise and independence without asserting an opinion on the family, or, put in a pleasant but noncommittal comment if required. Let the parents think that their input matters, and let them win the skirmishes, and I promise you, it will not cost you an otherwise wonderful marriage… In a word, pick your battles wisely, because regardless of his family or their race, the ultimate answer to an ultimatum is always, “no”. Never, never, make your husband chose between you or his family because that will ensure that you lose. On the other hand, don’t let the parents become your cross to bear. Keep being yourself, if husband complains, tell him you are still the lady he married, and kindly ask him who changed the script just because the parents want to crawl into the matrimonial bed?
Remember you are an Australian, and I think it’s safe to assume that your husband should be grateful he was spared from having to cope with your own set of meddling relatives. Add to this perspective that, if your marriage did not turn him into an Australian it didn’t change you into a Chinese person. Compromise ends where one’s real identity begins. The tough of this is, you must first convince your husband, and then ,only he can convince his family. Diplomacy, tact, enduring patience, and a very carefully considered bottom line are needed here. I wish you a ton of good luck and good results.
Faithfully, Phoenix Dawnsinger
Thank you Phoenix and Jocelyn.
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your comments and advice. What you are saying is true, my husband is the love of my life and I would hate for that to change. At the end of the day, these really are small issues in what can be a wonderful life together.
It is also nice to know that other’s are / have been in the same situation as me. It can be lonely sometimes to think you’re the only one who is going through a particular situation.
Thank you again, I really appreciate it. I will write again once I have moved to keep you up to date.
I was just trying to use google to find a way to meet foreign girls here in China and consequently found this blog. I decided to come to university in China just to study Chinese because it’s so different from English. I thought that this would be the perfect way to meet someone with whom I could have much in common. How painfully right I was.
She was Russian. She got a new job and I quit university to follow her. She started making money on her own and didn’t need me to pay for everything so it was over quicker than it started. <