Double Happiness: How one “foreign student turned party boy” found love in New Zealand

Jo and Kane (photo courtesy of Kane Gu)
Jo and Kane (photo courtesy of Kane Gu)

When it comes to the love stories I’ve shared here, a lot of readers ask me, “Where are the Asian men?” Well, I’ve got a treat for you this Friday — the story of how Kane Gu, a self-described “foreign student turned party boy” snagged himself one special lady in New Zealand. 

Thanks so much to Kane for this submission!

Want to be like Kane and have your guest post or story published on Speaking of China? Check out my submit a post page for details.


It is true that love can be found in the most unusual places, or in my case, two islands in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean.

I first arrived on the Kiwi shores 11 years ago at the age of 17. You could say that I fit the archetypal image of a young Asian international student: young, anxious and being the only child of the family. At the peak of New Zealand’s campaign in promoting its education system abroad, I was but one of the tens of thousands of students who left mainland China to study here. However, having lived and gone to school in Texas prior to my arrival also conditioned me better than most for my new life here.

Seven years later, after finishing school and tertiary education, I landed a job I was happy with. And with a few failed relationships thrown into the mix, I — the once clueless foreign student turned party boy — was anything but a stereotypical Chinese male. I had dated Aussie, British and of course Kiwi girls. Years of exposure granted me a social circle of almost exclusively Kiwis, and that meant, sadly, regularly consuming rather large quantities of the happy juice. My first attempt at a serious relationship was with a young Kiwi lass. We dated for one year before moving in together and things quickly turned sour because of things beyond my control. We called it quits just before we reached the two-year mark.

Having sunken into such low spirits, I in turn partied even harder than before. No amount of alcohol could alleviate the feeling of a terrible loss. I was such a mess and thoughts of returning home were already lingering in the back of my mind.

Time went slowly as the wound healed. Christmas came once again and I was invited to a friend of a friend’s party as usual, except this time, it proved to be the turning point of my life. There she was in an elegant pink dress, my future wife to be: tall, curvy and with long blonde hair. We had our eyes on each other instantly and my feeling was apparently shared by a few other guys at the party too. A little competition for her affections had started but it didn’t bother me for long because I won. As the drinks got flowing, we got talking. After expressing a mutual interest in each other, things quickly fell into place. We chatted all night and had so much in common that every sign was pointing in the right direction.

Things went great for two months, then came the hard times. Because of earthquakes combined with issues in regards to my visa, we both lost our jobs. Arguments started to flare, tensions were high but the mutual support never ceased. We had found a soulmate in each other and these tough times forged us into a stronger couple. We always believed there was light at the end of that tunnel, however long that tunnel might be, and we would make it through holding each others’ hands. When everything eventually took a turn for the better, we made the decision to move away from Christchurch to get Jo’s career on track again. Life in Auckland turned out to be very fulfilling for us, and we soon become engaged. Jo had the opportunity to return to Xi’an with me for a month in 2012. She was adored by my parents who started referring to her as their “xifu” even though we weren’t married yet.

With our four-year anniversary coming up at Christmas this year, our now one year old daughter will be joining our celebration. We have also planned a second visit to my parents in China this October, where our wedding will also take place.

Looking back now, it almost feels like things have always been this way. We found our missing puzzle piece in each other, even though we were once kept thousands of miles apart. Sometimes love just comes so naturally as though it had all been decided for you. The distance, the cultural differences and the color of our skin didn’t matter. Maybe that’s exactly what we Chinese call “yuanfen”.

Kane Gu found his true love in Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud.


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

Did you enjoy this article?
Sign up now and receive an email whenever I publish new blog posts. We respect your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.
I agree to have my personal information transfered to MailChimp ( more information )

12 Replies to “Double Happiness: How one “foreign student turned party boy” found love in New Zealand”

  1. This is what I hope and said in one of my previous comment: more story contributions from Chinese men. Congratulation for you, Kane and Jo, and thank you so much for spending your time to share.

  2. Thanks guys for your kindness, we are certainly looking forward to our wedding and the trip to China in general, there will be more stories to share and a special thanks to Jocelyn for providing us with this platform to let our stories be heard.

    1. You’re welcome Kane! I feel so grateful that people like you are willing to share your stories — these are valuable, because they remind us all that there’s so much diversity in the community and we shouldn’t be reduced to stereotypes.

  3. Great story! Congratulations on the upcoming nuptials! 🙂
    Always love reading stories like these, thank you for collecting them. ^^

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: