I Never Intended To Marry a Chinese Man

John and I on the day of our wedding ceremony“Did you always want to marry an Asian guy?” That’s what a friend of mine asked me the other night, a question that surprised me.

It’s not that I didn’t know what to say. “No, I never really even thought about it until going to China,” I told her. Then I landed in Zhengzhou, and met a super-sexy, sullen James Dean of a guy who just happened to be Chinese. And while I didn’t end up marrying him, he opened my eyes to a new reality — that I could find love with a Chinese man — that eventually led me to John.

Maybe her words shocked me because yellow fever, Asian fetishes — whatever you want to call it — just never entered into my own equation, and I know I’m not alone. Sometimes I read about Western women with their own secret hopes of landing an Asian boyfriend. But I’ve rarely encountered such a woman in the community of Chinese men and Western women in love. More often, I hear stories just like mine, the kind of “I happened to go to China” or “I happened to meet this one guy” sort of thing.

In fact, if you just considered my dating history prior to China — all white American guys — you would have assumed I’d end up with the same for a husband. But I didn’t, all because I made this last minute, seat-of-my-pants decision to head to China to “take a year off” and figure things out for myself.

Sometimes, it’s amazing how one small decision can change your life — and love — forever…and in surprising ways. 😉

Did you or your wife intend to marry a Chinese (or Asian) man? Or were you/her more like me, completely taken by surprise in the best possible way?

31 Replies to “I Never Intended To Marry a Chinese Man”

  1. What a happy couple you look like in your beautiful wedding photos! It’s weird how life, fate, yuan fen, whatever you call it takes you in different directions. I started dating my Chinese (now husband) ten days before I left to go to Taiwan for a year. At the time, people kept asking if it was serious as if I had a terminal disease or something. And like you, I hadn’t really dated Asian guys before. I don’t see love through the lens of ethnicity – although having an interest in Chinese culture did help.

  2. 🙂 Great read, your blog has really helped me to understand things a bit better since I started dating my Chinese boyfriend. Your article about Chinese men and indirect dating…WOW, sort of scary in a way how similar my own story with my boyfriend was! We have not been dating long at all but things are wonderful with him, in a country(South Africa) like my own where there are so many cultures and ethnicities you would think people would be more accepting when they see me and my boyfriend together, it’s just not so. We still seem to turn heads everywhere we go! And i also get asked the question like “so you like Asian men huh?!” or “Do you have a thing for Asians?” and the classic one “Is it true that Asian men are ____?” So annoying!!!! It’s hard for some people here just to accept that I happened to meet this guy by chance, we happened to get along and like each other and eventually love each other now and the guy happens to be Chinese! It’s like unthinkable to them! I never intended to marry a Chinese man before meeting my boyfriend, in fact marriage was never on my mind. But this is a Chinese man I will not mind marrying 🙂 He is staying to start his own business here for me, he was thinking of going back but now after being official with me he wants to rather stay, and once it is stable we are planning to marry, only thing is now we are not sure if we should marry here or in China!

  3. I’m not married or with a boyfriend. I recall that I didn’t want to date Korean men way back when. Heck, I didn’t know anything about their culture, or about them. In 2005 I was riding in a bus and Korean guy was sitting next to me. I ended up talking with him. Next day it happened again, and he asked for my number and for a brief while we were boyfriend and girlfriend. That relationship showed me that its possible to date an Asian man. (He was my first Asian boyfriend.) My special friend from 2008-2010 sowed me that it might be possible to have a long-term relationship, something I wanted for forever. Both happened to be Korean.

  4. Even if a person has this Asian guy thing or fetish, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Everybody has a fetish of one kind or another. It is only the degree or extent that differs. And if because of a fetish, a western gal marries an Asian guy what is so wrong about that if she loves him? But more often than not and no matter how you plan or scheme for or want a particular outcome, it is often the gods that determine whom you end up with. Call it yuanfen 缘分 destiny/fate or red string or whatever. That does not necessarily mean that there won’t be more unexpected twists or turns. That’s what the crazy gods do. They play games with you and make life more interesting or frustrating for you, depending on how you look at it. And at the same time they entertain themselves lest boredom becomes them. Imagine that everybody gets whom or what he/she wants. In less than no time you will get bored and then you will blame the gods for all the monotony and predictability of life. Ha ha

  5. GUILTY!!, ha ha, it was ME who asked you!. I just wondered as I am a person who has dreams and will do almost anything to make them come true (especially with my medical condition being as it is) whether you had that dream. I also do know of one woman with BAD yellow fever!!. But it’s cool you met and you love him not BECAUSE he’s Chinese but INSPITE of it!. xx

  6. You might not have a fetish, but you are open to people and culture other than your own. Plenty of people are not this way. First you were adventurous enough to be in China. Then you took interests in the language and culture. This whole deal was not completely accidental.Like it or not, your relationship will be taken as a statement. It is up to you to feel “normal”.
    If you watched the London Olympics, the segment celebrated British music featured a black and white couple. There are also a high proportion of black performers in the whole show. This created some controversies. Some asked if this is just being political correct for multiculturalism (Britain only has 8% minority population); some asked what happens if it features a white man and Asian woman; some says that is about East End of London, a melting pot.
    Maybe you can learn to enjoy shaking up people’s minds and making them question.

    “Once you go Asian, you don’t go Caucasian” ?

  7. As a Chinese guy who’s been Americanized over the years, I have to say why we are a best kept secret, and i hate that. Without going into stereotypes, I think Chinese / Asian guys usually are focused on family, career and education and have high standards in each of those category. They may not drive the red hot mustang… but that’s reflected in a better bank account. Plus we’re usually clean (drugs-wise) and low drama. Well, I hope your blog helps many of us.. I do have a white American “fetish”… just can’t explain it, but it’s harming no one 🙂

  8. I never intended to live in China 😉 After I graduated from the academy of fine arts I participated in various interational printmaking competitions and eventually was invited by the organizers of one of the printmaking biennials in China. I was about to spend a few months at the art residence and felt quite lonely since all of the artists there were much older than me. So I’ve met a Chinese guy online who showed me around and took care of me in Shenzhen. And we fell in love with each other. A few weeks later another young male european artist arrived and when he learned that I have a chinese boyfriend he asked “So you knew that you’ll come here and you arranged yourself a boyfriend before you arrived?” One of the funniest questions I’ve ever heard 🙂

  9. Wow I can really relate to this. Even after I started dating by bf, people would assume that I have a “thing” for asian guys/ yellow fever or whatever. Personally I dont have anything against people who do, but I find it akin to objectifying people. In reality, it had never crossed my mind that I would end up with a chinese guy. I knew very little about their culture and did not have a general curiosity about it. Then I became friends with my bf and I found my world changing everyday, and slowly it opened me to the benefits and vices of dating east asian men. Honestly it made me notice them in a different light, and while I don’t think I have an east asian bias now, I definitely find more of them attractive. So meeting him actually broadened my world view.

  10. @ Babara, reading what you wrote made me lol. Shows how prejudiced people still are. Never mind, leave them to roast in their own wisdom. To all you white/western gals who love Asian guys, and to all who have no prejudice against inter-racial relationships of whatever colours, more power to you! The gods may be crazy. But we can still be happy.

  11. Recently, one of my Chinese friends sent me a picture of her cousin in hopes that I will marry him and become part of her family–really! After I looked at his picture, she asked if he was my “favorite” kind of guy. I told her the truth: my favorite kind of guy is someone who’s smart, funny, creative, kind, and communicative–all things that aren’t based on pictures. Over the past ten years that’s meant dating a few American guys, an Egyptian, a Dutch guy, and a few Chinese guys. They’ve all looked wildly different, but the important things have been the same.

  12. Naomi ,

    I’m that guy but I’m married 🙂 hahhahaha lol hehehehhe . It’s really hard to find that person but they are out there

  13. @ Naomi
    You just eliminate at least 90% of the Chinese male population for consideration. People all have preferences. Sometimes those preferences change and surprise yourselves too.

    People who are in these relationships find non-verbal communication can be equally effective and Chinese humors are funny sometimes. The point is that many personality qualities are superficial and not carrying same weight in another culture.

  14. Roger, although it might be trivial to you, but learning to speak and spell is actually the kind of thing that either makes or breaks a person’s credibility. On the internet, where everything consists of mere words, typos like “mem” and “Oestragen” just makes you out to be an intellectual midget.

    The world today isn’t what it used to be 30 years ago, when penis size of black Americans was celebrated as the ultimate prize.

    Today, high tech is the code.

    The faces of celebrities have also changed from the usual runway models to dotcom entrepreneurs. Do you see the thing in front of you, the one that brought you to this blog? Yes, Roger, I’m talking about your computer, which you probably call a dingus or doodat. Do you have any idea who invented that contraption and the softwares that drive it? My guess is, probably not some steroid-pumped white male driving a pickup, or some black rapper with a 10″ man-thing. Although some of the programmers and engineers of the IT world might pack some hefty male parts, I won’t speculate on that, but it seems unlikely. Why? Just go watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory and you’ll get an idea.

    As an Asian male myself, sometimes I wonder how your people ever get on the moon, or conquer the world, with your slack-jaw, mouth-breathing generation. But you guys weren’t always like that, were you? I remember a time when white folks used to value knowledge and, and–dare I say it? Punctuation! So the internet used to be brimming with signs of intelligence and great promise. But today, Roger, you undid all that.

    Only 4 words come to mind. Son, I am disappoint.

    And what’s this you’re trying to share with us today– nerd-bashing? Dear lord, you’re not making it easy for me to defend you even if I want to. Nerds drive your economy, you dolt! They are the supermen that keep your sinking ship afloat. Without the presence of nerds in America or EU, you might as well hand over your land to corporate giants like Samsung and Sony. But wait, haven’t you already done that by blowing away all your hard earned money on your PS3 and Galaxy phones?

    You’ve got no tricks left, Roger. Better go hit the books and get some kind of education. I wish you the best in all your future endeavours. We’ll talk more when you get back and can form proper sentences.

  15. I have to ask why liking Chinese men/Chinese culture had to mean you have a fetish.

    1.an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.
    2.any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades.
    3.Psychology . any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.

    I found Chinese men through my interest in Chinese history and culture. I see it as no different from choosing to exclusively to date your own race. Why not a race that isn’t your own? There is no difference. To each his own. And hey, maybe you just think black hair and and epicanthic folds are sexy. 😉

  16. @Bruce
    Darn! I missed my chance! ;-> Hehe!

    Just want to check that I’m understanding you right: 90% of Chinese men are stupid, boring, mean, and silent? Really? Are you sure we’re on the same page? I definitely agree with you that humor varies by culture, but during my years in China, I’ve met a lot of great guys who do fit my preferences.

    And I have to say I’m sorry to hear that you find these qualities, which are extremely important to me, to be “superficial.” I do agree that people’s preferences change over time, but a large part of my personality is that I am a communicator, and I need a large amount of verbal communication to be happy in any relationship–friendship or otherwise. And just to be fair here: guys all around the world aren’t exactly known for being talkative. No one country has a corner on that market!

  17. @Naomi

    Those qualities you listed are quite common from a westerner.
    I was trying to say those qualities won’t be on display from most Chinese guys in China. Sorry if I imply you are superficial.

  18. “As an Asian male myself, sometimes I wonder how your people ever get on the moon, or conquer the world, with your slack-jaw, mouth-breathing generation.”
    Mostly through immigrants. Technology and patenting began to grow in leap and bounds only after the 1965 Immigration Act.

    “But you guys weren’t always like that, were you? I remember a time when white folks used to value knowledge and, and–dare I say it? Punctuation! So the internet used to be brimming with signs of intelligence and great promise. But today, Roger, you undid all that.”

    It was all a mirage just like white supremacy. It never was.

  19. @Naomi, Yes I’m the one . :). Life is soo short , not enough time to do what we want.

    Just ignore “Roger”. He/she said those things just to irritate you guys. Before I would get mad and I wished I could throw a punch thru the computer monitor. I’ve realized that it’s a waste of time making hateful comments back and forth. Once you have a REAL asian/chinese/ hispanic/black/white friend, you will realize that most things are not true!!! I always hear this OLD comment about penis size etc etc etc. Men think about sex most of the time BUT we don’t focus 110% on it. Lots of things/activities involve on daily life like work, kids, mortgages, investments, etc.. You name it.. lots of headaches ! You think you have a big penis but other women have even BIGGER ” v*****” . My point is women in general don’t look for that .. People make those comments have too much time in their hands. You think I’m a little kid when I put smiley faces ” :)” on my comment but I’m not. I’m a consultant and I do talk to people everyday. So just be kind, good person and you will shine! Enjoy your valuable time and life with good friends and families.


  20. Mmm, I’ve received emails of girls who claim they love Chinese guys, and ask me how to get to know one. Seriously, love can’t be done on purpose… can it?

  21. Love is someone who makes your heart stop whoevet that is. Love has no boundary whereever that is. That is the beauty of it.

    If someone has a purpose or for the sake of it, then the foundation of love is shaky. Not a good start for long lasting happiness.

  22. Most people stay within their own races. It is just easier to be someone sharing similar language and way of thinking. People who go across the lines are somewhat liberal. I would be a little alarmed if someone only dates the other race (fetish). It seems better when someone has played the field and makes the choice for good reasons. It is rightful to say you never intended to be with someone different.

    Very rarely, I hear Asian guys bring up the attraction to other race (mostly white) has something to do with their cultures. If you just assume you know already because of over-exposure and native born, you will be up for surprises later. We can all be a little less self-centered.

  23. Naomi,

    You didn’t miss the chance! there is another guy better than the next one. Being funny takes time and takes the right woman to appreciate your sense of humor :). My personal life is very intense so I use humors to brighten my life.

  24. I’ve met white men who say they only date Asian women, black men who only date white women, Asian women who only date Asian men etc. I have never really understood what that’s about. How can you date only people of certain race and why? I know we all have our preferences, but at least for me they have nothing to do with race, ethnicity or nationality.
    I always wanted to marry a wonderful man whom I love more than anything and who feels the same way about me. And I did. He happens to be Chinese and that’s great. I would have been equally pleased if he was German, Russian or Nigerian, as long as he is who he is.

  25. When you meet a person the first time, you don’t know if he/she is funny, caring and is a responsible person. No one is perfect and there is always something missing in a person .What I’ve learned from talking to people is that all people have some sorta problems. NO MATTER how many college degrees you have or what kind of jobs you do, common sense is what most people don’t have. When you talk to a person you know his/her character is for you. A lot of qualities that I have now are from working at it yearly. I was not humorous before and i was not a problem solver before either. I didn’t have muscles for sure. Improving yourself everyday is not hard but it takes time and time is something that we don’t have. Time is running out everyday .

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