Double Happiness: A Brief, But Beautiful, Spanish-Chinese Romance

A girl leaning over a railing overlooking a river, with a sad expression on her face.
(photo by Michael Dorokhov, via his Flickr stream)

When Lauren submitted to me, she wrote, “I’m writing to share my story with a Chinese boy, although not all fairy tales have a happy ending.”

Even though I call this series “Double Happiness,” sometimes that happiness doesn’t last forever. Lauren’s story reminded me of the joys I experience with past loves, if only for a short time. Sometimes it’s good to remember.

Thanks for sharing your memories, Lauren.


Philip and I met in September 2010 in the canteen of our residence halls in the UK. He was going to start his master’s studies and I was in an exchange program to improve my English, as I’m Spanish.

From the very beginning we had some sort of special connection because since that September we were never apart. We shared breakfast and dinner at the canteen and we tried to spend the spare time we had together. I felt really comfortable with him and he seemed to feel the same way. As we got to know each other better, Philip started to accompany me to class and then he sometimes suddenly picked me up by surprise at the end of some class. Every time we went out, he carried my books or purse with enthusiasm. Somehow my feelings started to change and I started to wonder if that friendship was leading towards deeper feelings.

One Sunday morning, we were having brunch. Brunch was our favorite time during the week because we could spend around two hours talking and eating without the stress of everyday work. But this time, he asked me to go to the movies. We went to the movies, and also to dinner at a Spanish restaurant. He decided to take me there because I had been feeling homesick. On our way back to the residence our hands weaved together.

Two weeks later, it started to snow in our city, so he called me to share that moment with me. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was really happy. The end of December arrived and I had to go home to spend Christmas with my family, but he did come with me to see me off at the airport. However, I arrived home and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. We chatted through Skype and phoned each other during that time. When I returned, I had a present for him — a t-shirt of the Spanish football team which he loved. Days passed until one day he asked me to be his girlfriend. I accepted without hesitation.

Everything was going well. But as May approached, we both feared the day when I had to go back to Spain. We didn’t talk much about it until it was inevitable. Nevertheless, we decided to fight for our love although in our case it also meant distance. But he had to finish his dissertation and I had to finish my studies back home. We agreed to spend Christmas together and visit when we could. The same day I was leaving, he gave me a ring and said the magical words that were so difficult to express: “Wo ai ni,” I love you. I left but with a double sense of happiness and sadness — I was happy to have found him but sad to leave him.

Destiny surprised us and his behaviour towards me changed. He didn’t connect with me as much on the Internet. He didn’t answer my e-mails or phone calls. I thought something wrong must have happened but I couldn’t do anything to help him if he wouldn’t let me. Some time later I found a friend of his whom I had met twice online and we exchanged telephone numbers. A few minutes later, I received a phone call from this friend. I was told that Philip had failed his dissertation and had to go back to China in less than a month. I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to see him so the following day I bought a ticket to visit him.

By that time, Philip had been told that I was in the city (he moved so I didn’t know where he lived and he never told me because he stopped contacting me). Nevertheless, when he heard that I travelled so long he agreed to see me. We talked about random things and we laughed as we used to do. This still remained, our magical connection was still there.

However, as things beyond our control were very hard to overcome, we decided to finish our story last Christmas. He is now in China and I’m in Spain. Fairy tales sometimes do not have a happy ending.

Lauren lives in Spain, where she is planning to study Chinese after finishing her master’s degree.


How did you meet? Why do you love him/her (or Chinese men/Western women)? How two different people “complete each other” in unexpected ways? We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

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28 Replies to “Double Happiness: A Brief, But Beautiful, Spanish-Chinese Romance”

  1. @Lauren. Don’t give up so easily. I am a White boy trying to chase a Chinese goddess right now and things are looking good for me despite the distance. Don’t surrender!

  2. A really touching story. I am in a long-distance relationship between Europe and Korea. Even though we are happy now, there is always this fear at the back of my mind that something will happen and tear us apart forever.

    Relationships end, but rarely do you think it might end even while both are still madly in love.

  3. It breaks my heart just reading this story (not a fan of not-so-happy endings)! It can be really hard (or even impossible) overcoming obstacles like long-distance. There’s a saying: 错过一个人,是为了遇到对的人 – I hope this holds true for Lauren.

  4. I think I know Philip’s predicament. Where he was concerned, he failed! A Chinese man will give up the love of his life when he feels that he cannot take care of her, believing she can do better. He probably felt ashamed of his failure as well. Even if Lauren can go to China and do well there, Philip may not be able accept the idea that she becomes the breadwinner. By the way, I have no concrete evidence but I recall hearing a lot of Spanish spoken in tourist areas in China, much more than English. As a matter of fact, I heard more Germanic tones than English. I think China may present opportunities for Lauren if she choose to go some day.

  5. *sniffle* Oh my. This story made me tear up a bit. I have had a relationship that did not work, because of distance. I felt worse than anything when I broke this Chinese boy’s heart. It felt like a lie to be in love from that far away, and before I knew it I had to break the news to him that it would not work out. Also I ended up falling in love with my best friend, with whom I had also met at the same time as him online. Goodness. Honesty is the best policy though and it is not fair to both of you to go through that. And on my side, I ended up marrying my best friend later on down the road, so it was worth it.

  6. Lauren: Animo chica, que la vida es muy corta! 🙂

    Beautiful story, but it’s sad that it ended this way. It seems like he really took a very cowardly route to stop contacting you like that. What reasons did he give you for this?

    I’m also from Spain and in a relationship with a Chinese man, but fortunately we’re both firmly rooted in the USA so that’s one less hurdle to overcome. Although it’s too early to tell, it’s such a culturally enriching experience. I hope it sticks.

    Either way, I hope you’re doing alright now. Cherish the memories of your time together and don’t worry. 🙂

  7. A young Japanese executive for a Japanese auto company was seeing a white volleyball coach in Jefferson County, Alabama. She was a transplant from Indiana and comes from a prominent volleyball family. His family was also involved in volleyball back in Japan and they had common interests. However, it was not acceptable to the neighbors who found it revoliting that a white woman would date an Asian guy in the well-known all-white suburb of Birmingham. So, they convinced the corporation to send him back to Japan for good. They revoked his visa and put him on a plane. She was out on a recruiting trip when that happened and was stunned to find out that he had left without telling her..she was heartbroken. She quit the coaching job and went back home to Indiana. Not a tale. This happened in 2009!

  8. @ David! That is a heartbreaking story too. Interference and control from outside the lovers’ relationship is even worse than struggling with shame and distance 🙁

  9. @Kalvinator. Thanks for sharing the beutiful video story of A.J. the Chinese man falling in love with a beautiful British girl. Have you and videos showing success stories between White male & Chinese woman? Please post the link if you have any. Thanks.

  10. Hi Lauren,
    I don’t know if you will read this, is an interesting story, not everyone is brave enough to publish such a story.

    Where are you exactly from? I have never heard Lauren as a Spanish name, but as a foreign name, should I understand you are mixed or this is your nickname?

    Keep in mind that experience is what matters, maybe he was very afraid of distance? Maybe he wasn’t brave enough?

    Well…I will say.. ” whatever”, enjoy life and …if you come to China you can visit another Spanish Laura here in Shanghai!


  11. @Sophia D,
    I don’t think Jocelyn meant to use the photo without permission, she is an expert on sources, copywriter…
    In fact if you check this link:
    You will read that when you post pictures in that website the Licence says that people can “share, copy, distribute and communicate” the photo, always mentioning who is the author ( under the picture “Sophia D”).

    There are exemptions, like always.. Anyway I am sure Jocelyn will find a solution.

    But I suggest you always double check this before you publish material on the internet or this could happen to you again!

    Protecting your material is an important as your own privacy!

    1. @Sophia D, thanks for the comment. As Laura mentioned, your photo is licensed under a creative commons license, which says:

      You are free:

      to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work
      Under the following conditions:

      Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
      Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
      No Derivative Works — You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

      I did attribute the photo according to your name on Flickr. I am not using it for a commercial purpose, as this is not a post nor a website geared towards making profits. I did not create a derivative work. In addition, I also have the photo linked back to your photo on Flickr, so anyone who clicks on it will know it is yours.

      It seems then that I have satisfied the conditions which would allow me to share the photo here on my site.

      Whenever I search for images on Flickr, I only look for those licensed w/ a Creative Commons License like yours, and always check the license to ensure I am complying with the conditions on it.

      However, if you are still unhappy with me using the image, I will take it down — and replace it with someone else’s — as a favor to you. Please let me know.

  12. I understand my license, and thank you for linking it to my flickr page, however, I would appreciate it if you take it down. It’s part of a project that’s personal to me. Thanks, and sorry for the misunderstanding.

  13. @Sophia,
    I have visited your link ( the one you linked to your name when you commented here), you have nice pictures, I can see you are learning to take pictures, cause is easy to see the improvements, and light..etc.
    If you want to publish your pics on the internet, and your pictures will be for private use or if you pretend to use them as your own portfolio, etc etc, I highly recommend you to pay for copyright, which is not the same as cc commons.

    I know you need to pay for it, but I can see you like pictures, you want to protect them ( though publishing them in flickr is not the best way to do so since you directly put them in a public space available for everyone), I really really recommend you to buy copyright.

    In fact, if that’s a personal project, that’s even a better reason to protect it!

  14. Thank you for your suggestions! I understand the little privacy on Flickr, but I love Flickr. I was not trying to be rude or anything of that sort when commenting here. I am sorry for any misunderstandings, I just sometimes get nervous over my photo being posted on websites I have no knowledge of. Thank you for taking it down though 🙂

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