Guest Post: Setting up his Chinese nephew (again) with American women

Fred and his family in Hong Kong (photo courtesy of Fred)
Fred and his family in Hong Kong (photo courtesy of Fred)

Last year, Fred shared the extraordinary story of how he tried setting up his Hong Kong nephew with American women. He wrote in the post, “I thought with 100 percent certainty that any man would leap to his death to be able to date not just one or two but three ladies!” But the nephew wouldn’t budge and Fred gave up on his matchmaking ways…

Until 2014, that is. He had plans to travel to Hong Kong in April and decided to trying fixing up his nephew once again. So, will Fred’s nephew finally find love in the US this time? Read on for part two of this fascinating story.

Fred first made his debut on Speaking of China back in December 2011, when he shared the inspiring story of how found love in Brazil. More recently, last month he provided a field report on the ratio of AMWF couples to WMAF couples in Hong Kong, which has become a fan favorite and even inspired other readers to do their own surveys.

Want to follow in Fred’s footsteps and become a guest posting legend on this site? Visit my submit a post page for details.


About two years ago, my wife and I went to Hong Kong to visit my half-brother and half-sister and their side of the family, all of whom are Chinese. My cousin Yew was my half-sister’s oldest child of three. When my wife and I visited him in 2012, Yew was single and approaching his late thirties, unattached and unmarried.

My half-sister was concerned that he still had no marriage prospects in sight. So I offered to help him by arranging for him to date four white American girls if he came to visit me in the US. Before traveling to Hong Kong in 2012, these four ladies had agreed to meet and date Yew if he came to the US. However, before he could even consider this proposition, Yew subsequently developed a strong case of kidney stones and was hospitalized, preventing him from coming to the US.

I then when to Hong Kong myself to visit him and also do some sightseeing, and it was then that I once again proposed the idea of dating these four American girls. He quickly rejected this notion because he felt he was not their equal.

Just recently, my wife, children and I visited Hong Kong from April 2, 2014 to April 12, 2014. We once again proposed that Yew should come to the US and try dating some American girls.

This time, I had hoped that things would be different.

Two of the four American girls from 2012 had since moved on and found boyfriends of their own, making them no longer available or interested. The other two (the nursing student who is my secretary’s daughter and another female lawyer) were still single, available, and interested. These two ladies once again were happy to meet Yew and give him a chance. But again, I did not tell these two ladies about each other, lest they think my nephew is a philandering playboy and refuse to date him. I promised that I would approach him and invite him to visit me this summer so that they could meet each other and seal the deal.

While last time I was the only one recruiting prospective dates for Yew, this time I had the help of my wife. She looked within her circle of single friends and knew of a handful of single girls, a group comprised of white American girls, white Brazilian girls, and Latina girls. She could not promise they would be available when Yew came or that they would give a foreign Chinese man a chance. She would not approach any of them with the idea of dating a foreign Chinese man who is not even in the US until Yew showed he was serious about dating them. She did not want a repeat of the 2012 debacle, where those four American girls agreed to give Yew a chance only to be let down by his refusal to come to the US and date them. My wife was very leery of raising false hopes within her circle of friends for fear of losing credibility. Besides, the girls in her circle could refuse to date him even if he agreed to date them.

So this time we had two white American girls who would certainly give Yew a chance and potentially a handful of other Western girls.

On the third day of our trip to Hong Kong, we met my half-sister, my half-brother and their children for dinner — but Yew was noticeably missing from the table. I couldn’t understand why he was absent. I had informed them over five months ago that I was coming and we had planned well in advance to meet on at least two occasions for dinner.

I asked my half-sister, “Where’s Yew?”
She said, “He’s much too busy with his work and studies to join us.”
I asked her, “When will he be available to meet me and my wife? I have great news for him about how to solve his singleton problem.”
My half-sister said, “Perhaps next week you will be able to see Yew.” We were scheduled to dine with the whole family then before returning to the US.

Next week came. We once again met the family and once again Yew wasn’t there.

So, I asked my half-sister, “Where’s Yew?”
Once again, she said, “He’s too busy with his work and studies.” She added that, “His company’s business had improved much since 2012,” when I last saw him. “His firm wants to promote him, but he needs to pass a course and test in IT. He’s embarrassed since he failed the test and must study again to repeat it.”

I then asked my half-sister, “What about his singleton problem? Does he have any prospects or solutions in mind?”
She said, “Yew is quite secretive about his dating life. Whenever I bring it up with him, he shuns me.” I could not believe it!

I said to her right then and there, “Call him on his cell phone.” I wanted to talk to him immediately about why he was not with us at these two family dinners and also discuss how to solve his singleton problem.

My half-sister called him and then I spoke to him. After we exchanged greetings and salutations, I cut to the chase.

I asked Yew, “Why weren’t you at these two family dinners? We planned them over five months ago.” He had initially promised to attend both of them.
He apologized and said, “Things at my company are so busy that I must work late and study to pass this course.” He never mentioned he failed the test and was repeating it, nor did I want to embarrass him by saying I knew about it.

Then I tried inquiring about his dating life. But wouldn’t you know it, Yew cut me off before I could even tell him about all the girls awaiting him in the US.

I told Yew, “I’m proud that you’re so diligent, hardworking and loyal to your company. I’m glad you’re trying very hard to advance in your career. But what about your future girlfriend or wife?”

As soon as I brought this up, he cut me off. He said, “I’m very busy right now and have to go.”
I tried asking him to give me just a few more minutes, but he insisted he had to leave and then hung up.

I could not believe it. How someone could be so disrespectful to his uncle? How dare he cut me off in the middle of a conversation?

I asked my sister, “What’s his problem?”
She said, “Honestly, he’s embarrassed about his failures in life. Not getting a promotion yet, failing that course and the test, still being single, and not being able to buy his own flat. He even shuns me when I try to discuss something serious with him.”

My sister had suggested he should go to Mainland China and find a woman in a remote village, someone willing to leave her hometown for Hong Kong. But Yew insisted he cannot find a wife until he has attained a certain level of financial comfort, including owning his own flat and having a large bank account. He believes he cannot call a woman his girlfriend or wife without having these things first.

I reminded my sister, “Western women don’t have that kind of mentality, where she’ll only date a man if he’s financially successful. Instead, she will work together with the man and reach success together as a couple. So he really should give Western women a try.”

Plus, one of the two girls I wanted to introduce to him is a lawyer in her mid-thirties with a well-paying job in the legal department of one of California’s largest insurance companies. She also owns a Mercedes and a two-story home. And best of all, she is willing to give Yew — a non-resident foreign Chinese man — a chance. That’s pure bravery and courage! This girl is willing to take a chance with him if has the courage to come to the US and meet her.

But my sister said, “Yew cannot even look a woman in the eyes unless he has some level of financial success.” She then abruptly cut me off and said not to talk about this any longer. It upsets her too much.

In the end, I left Hong Kong without even being able to see Yew or have a meaningful conversation with him. I also had to break the bad news to the two American ladies. From now on, when it comes to dating women, I guess I’ll let him fend for himself.

Fred practices employment law in Torrance, California.


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52 Replies to “Guest Post: Setting up his Chinese nephew (again) with American women”

  1. I know exactly how Fred feels! I set up my female Canadian friend with my husband’s male Taiwanese friend. They went out on several dates, things were going great, and then he stopped calling. It put my husband (then boyfriend) and I in an awkward position because my friend kept asking me why? She really liked the guy and she was really hurt by it all. And to this day, I have no idea what happened but that was the first and last time I played matchmaker.

    I know for some Taiwanese men, they feel ‘success, wealth, and material objects like a car and house’ set the tone of any relationship – meaning they feel they need to have this to offer a woman in order to settle down. However, things are changing!!

  2. Hi Fred,

    In previous post I commented I expect to hear more stories from Chinese men and you came out as the first one. Thank you.

    I understand your frustration about your nephew, Yew, but he’s not the only Chinese man having dating issue like that. In fact, on of the stereotypes I heard about Asian men especially Chinese is they lack of self confidence when approaching girls. Perhaps the reason is they are intimidates by the girl’s financials.

    I would like to start my point from our culture/custom. As Chinese, I believe you know, we were taught by our older generations some kinds of doctrines like “a man has to be superior to a woman in term of finance” or “it’s embarrassing if your girl friend/wife makes more money than you do” etc. and unfortunately those teachings are what make our mentality today. I guess that’s why Yew said he won’t be able to find a wife unless he achieves house, car, deposit, etc.

    I’m not discrediting our older generations, I really respect them; They contributes a lot to our life. However, I personally feel that those doctrines/teachings are no longer suitable/compatible with our life in this modern era. It’s now obsolete. maybe it worked well in their era but nothing is permanent in life; everything changes.

  3. At this point I believe it’s time for us to change our mentality. I hope our next generation will totally get rid of that mentality and the obsolete doctrines/teachings. and I hope our generation is the one that blows the wind of change in our society. Changing this mentality is one of the ways for us to be successful in interracial relationship. if we keep it, it’s no wonder Chinese men-Western women couples are so rare.

    I know and admit it’s not easy to change a system that has been strongly established from the beginning but we have to try and we can begin the change from ourselves/family. Remember this: if Deng Xiaoping didn’t bravely change the socialism principles, China won’t be an economic giant like it is today.

    So, I encourage all of us, Let’s change!

  4. That is quite a sad mentality that he must be good enough. Certainly yes – have some financial stability before settling down… but to wait for the perfect day and weather and fortune, it may never happen.

    He’s been sold a set of ideals by Asian TV, movies and family that has no hard goal point. How much is rich enough ? How successful do you have to be ?

    I have seen many Asian peers at 40 or 50… by then, the girls don’t pay any attention to guys of this age, and they are left with money-chasing types or nothing.

    I hope Yew will wake up. He needs to travel, see the world and meet people.


  5. I can definitely understand how Yew felt. I met my Chinese husband not long after he had been forced to stop seeing a girl because her family didn’t approve of his financial situation (they thought he didn’t have enough to offer their daughter). He was very self-conscious about money because he hadn’t become successful in his business yet. When I told him I didn’t care about that, he was shocked and relieved that we could date freely. Tens years later, we have gotten married and moved back to my hometown in America and last year I gave birth to his first son. He (and his family) couldn’t be happier at how things worked out in the end!

  6. Fred,
    Nice you keep trying but as I mentioned last year you should stop it. Even though you do it with all your good intentions you shouldn’t do it.
    Maybe this is a lesson, your nephew doesn’t even want to go for a dinner with you even though you come to HK once every 2 years because of how uncomfortable and embarrasing is… Just let him to his stuff.

    -If he failed an exam he doesn’t need to report to everyone about it, is his own business. He is a grown up. So if he feels he failed and you come say that in a post..that explains why he didn’t want to share those news

    – If he cuts you off when you call him is because he really doesn’t want you to touch the topic. So pushing him is the worst you do.

    – Touching that topic with his parents is just putting more pressure on them, which ends up on him having to hear them complaining instead of supporting him.

    Why don’t you just let him follow his own pace, please, let that poor guy alone. Life is already full of difficulties, we already have pressure at work, our own internal pressures, we don’t need those who love us to remind us about those issues.

    The more relatives you involve the more distant he will be with you. Use that love and time with your children and let him, a grown up, take his own decisions. Some people even run away from their families, some others hide, some cannot handle theis lives anymore. Let Yew do his own stuff. Everyone has a different life.

    I applaud him for not appearing in that dinner. He wasn’t disrespectful, he was protective of himself. If you were supporting him, he was be waiting for you at the airport, arms open. Just support him, whatever he does.

    Whatever he does. Whatever! Support, and that’s all.

  7. Laura has a point. If you really want to set up someone with someone else, maybe you should start from a different perspective – ask him if he wants help with it and if he does, what he’s looking for in a woman and in a relationship and go from there rather than the other way around.

  8. I think this is very invasive and me personally would be very offended by your actions.
    Everyone is living their own lives and have their own issues and struggles to work through…the last thing they need is an intrusive relative who is disrespectful to their personal space and boundaries.

    Let him live the way he wants to. If you were dictated a certain way of life you wouldn’t feel comfortable at all.
    Your life choices are not his. Maybe he doesn’t want to date foreign girls at all

  9. This is exactly what my ex said to me, that we couldn’t marry because neither of us is financially stable. That has to be the biggest cultural rift we ever had, because as someone who grew up poor, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.
    I was always taught you can work together as a couple to achieve success, and also, money doesn’t buy happiness. I still struggle to understand why this is the “only” way.
    I hope things change for your nephew in the future, and I’m sorry he isn’t interested in learning a different way to do things.

  10. In the case of this young man, Fred is probably right to back off, especially considering Yew’s embarrassment. But introducing a friend or relative to a possible girlfriend or boyfriend is a good deed, just as long as everyone is aware that they may not click. Not everyone likes to use on-line dating, and meeting a potential partner is hard for many people. They can use the help of their friends–if they’re willing to take it.

  11. While I can see Fred’s good intentions, I agree that this is invasive. Dating and partnership is something very personal. Doesn’t matter who the amazing foriegn girls are, its his life and his choice. Maybe he doesnt want to date them. Maybe he is already sick of the pressures he has from his parents and relatives putting pressure or introducing prospective dates is extremely annoying. i have been in that situation and even though I have no preconcieved notions about where I should be before I settle down, I made a point to not approach those people ever again… So I can understand his reaction. This may sound harsh but honestly he knows you are willing to help, so unless he asks you are right to back off.

  12. Had seen the opposite situation of Fred at a midwestern university thirty years ago where I was a graduate student. There was this South Indian woman interested in white christian guys and dated a few. She was a dark skinned christian. Her white colleagues were desparately trying to break up her relationships and set her up with black guys because for some reason they considered her black.

  13. Wow, sorry to hear that things didn’t work out. Finances and work always change: one minute on top, the next on bottom, so yeah, not important. What is important is always being there for one another through thick and thin, and willing to do whatever might be possible to be there for that person. If a guy is willing to settle down and come back into my life, I will do whatever I can for him.

  14. When I look back at my old self, he identified with Yew. I came from a slightly different background than Yew’s. I can understand him though to a lot of people, especially westerners, his behaviors might seem odd and antisocial. I grew up in China during the era when the ideas of freedom and individualism just came knocking at the door of a country that was closed for almost half a century. Odd things can happen when a country with such a long history and tradition had been closed to the outside for so long.

    Ever since I turned into a teenager, my mom made sure that I understood one principal: girls were out of question for me. “High school love never works out, and you will lose focus.” Once a girl I had crush on came to my home and discuss some school work, I did not even invite her into our home. We just stood at that door and talked for almost 30 minutes. My mom was so proud of my deed and when her friend came visiting us, she told him about it. That friend, one of the few western educated scholars in China at the time, told her that there was something wrong here. He politely asked me to step out and they had a long conversation. I guess he never swayed my mom’s opinion because nothing changed for me.

    I came to the US when I was 21, and honestly, I was a boy, not a young man. By being a boy, I meant that I had an EQ of a 10-year old at the best. I was socially awkward. I could barely look at girls, let alone talking to them. Academically, I did pretty well just like many fellow Chinese students at the time. So I gained a lot of respect from faculties and fellow students. And a few girls wanted to befriend me. But I looked so unapproachable to them. So there was an episode where a guy friend told me so and so was interested in talking to me. Next time, after class, I abruptly said to the girl: What did you want to talk about? She was embarrassed, so was I. And that was the end of that.

    As time goes by, I managed to meet a Chinese girl through a mutual friend and fell in love. We married after college. We worked toward a better life in this land of dreams. Especially after I joined a technology startup. The founders were a bunch of great people. They became my mentors for both business and life. I started learning communication skills and broadening my knowledge. I read more business, philosophy and history, and learned great life lessons from some of the great American entrepreneurs.

    As both of our career took off, and life was getting better, emotion gaps started to emerge between my wife and I. while I treasured every moment our our life together, she considered our humble beginning to be a tragedy because we could not afford to go to fancy restaurants and buy luxury goods. As our life gets better, she never seemed happy. There was always something that was out of reach, and someone who was richer. Further more, her company was acquired by one of the most successful companies in the world while mine was acquired by a lesser one. The fact that she made more money than I did was unbearable for her. And it was an indication that I was inferior to her.

    Our differences grew deeper when I made a decision to change my career. As I approached late 30’s, I grew weary of staying in the tech industry, an industry for the young. There were lots of considerations. For me, I felt that I could do something else better. I’d rather do something that I’m truly passionate about, something I could do till I’m 70 or 80, like Warren Buffett. My wife was Ok with it as long as I made money, but the moment I had my first failure, she left me. I was still trying to cling on to our broken relationship till the last minute. But finally, I understood how much I as myself meant to her, which was very little. Then I realized that I had to let go. When we evaluate an investment, there are intrinsic value and extrinsic value. Different people have different approaches. For me, I always look at intrinsic value. Because that’s how one can be successful and stay that way for a long long time. The joy brought by extrinsic value fleets fast and intrinsic value lasts for a lifetime.

    A lot of us learned to let go when we experienced our first loves. I lacked that lesson as a teenager and had to learn it the hard way. Once I did, I had no regret. Life is full of miracles. I later met an American girl. It was such a refreshing experience. If you ask me one thing I can say about this relationship, it is “appreciation”. She made everything I did for her special. And that overwhelming sense of appreciation from her made me feel special and wanted to love her back.

    As the buddhist saying: In the end, only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.

  15. Kevin….very nicely said.

    We all have expectations of ourselves, for Yew his expectation (whether right or wrong) is to be financially stable and to own his own a house before he thinks about meeting a girl and settling down.

    Fred you mentioned a girl you’d like to introduce him to “a lawyer in her mid-thirties with a well-paying job in the legal department of one of California’s largest insurance companies. She also owns a Mercedes and a two-story home”.

    This would not work for many reasons and it may leave Yew feeling anxious, uncomfortable, embarrassed and possibly depressed. Even though times have changed a great deal there are still individual men who find it difficult to have a partner whose earnings are greater than their own.

    Finding a wife from the mainland could be both a positive or a negative she may be a gem; someone who supports him, encourages him, stands by him or she may end up nagging, belittling him and comparing him to other (so called) “successful” men.

    Maybe you don’t understand Yew’s actions/beliefs; maybe they are the old way of thinking but he wants to be his own man and accomplish his own personal expectations in the way he feels is the best.

    Let him be an instead of pushing or forcing the issue step back and encourage the person he is could be and one day will be.

  16. @ Laura.

    After reflecting meaningfully on the gravity of the situation, I have to agree with you that I should have let him alone to define himself and to find his own path in life. But I was just trying to be a good uncle to him. I saw that his situation was going nowhere and I thought that if I used a little bit of positive encouragement and impetus, he can change his stiuation and find happiness for himself and the girl. The American girls seemed very enthusiastic about meeting him and I thought they may be a great match for each other. After all, I was involved in a transcontinental cross cultural relationship and succeeded. There was no reason in my mind why he could not have succeeded and find happiness in another country (just like you did and just like I did).

  17. @ Everyone. You can rest assured that I will not help Yew anymore given how he disrespected me and snubbed me by agreeing to appear for 2 dinner outings which were planned well in advance and then not appearing at the defining moment. If that is not disrepect, then I do not know what is.

  18. As a supplental to the above story, I had to break the news to my secretary’s daugher. I told my secretary to tell her daugher about Yew’s cowardice, and my secretary was shaking her head in disbelief as to how someone can have “no balls” in life. My secretary said that Yew should not focus too much on materialism and wealth acquistion first as a necessary prerquisite to have a girlfriend or a wife, because my secretary’s daughter (now just turned 30) does not have those material things yet but she is working her way up in life. Her daughter will graduate from nursing school and then will start working next year. She and he could have built their own nest egg together.

    I was going to tell Yew (had he appeared at dinner) that when I first met my Brazilian girlfriend who is now my wife, we neither had a house or a sizeable bank account. I was driving a “piece of junk” car and I had debts to pay. Now almost 15 years later, we have 2 children and a house and 2 mediocre cars. Had Yew just had the balls to be a man and sweep one of these girls of off her feet, then they can work together and build a future.


  19. @Fred,
    You are stubborn. He wasn’t disrespectful, he doesn’t owe you anything. You were invasive and it would be good if you could open your eyes.
    Just look at your comments, you still keep worrying about how to “break “the news to the women.
    Yew deserves an apologize. Or two, or three, or four…
    Is not about how much he cares about his career, which by the way, is not bad. You think he is materialistic. Life in Hong Kong is expensive, and wherever you live is not bad to worry about your own finances. Everyone needs to pay bills.
    The fact is that you are too invasive. Talking to all those relatives who push him and blame he¡im, shame on you, honestly.
    Why don’t you support and protect him?
    Maybe he….suffered a lot, had a bad experience with a girl, has plenty of bills to pay, doesn’t want to start a family, is gay, is not sure about what to do with his life, is going through a difficult time, …. Don’t question his decisions, be there for him.

    Even though you are doing this with good intentions, you are doing it from your own personal point of view, and when people tell you to let him do his own stuff you keep talking bad about Yew.

    I would honestly love to meet Yew in my next trip to Hong Kong to tell him how valued he is, how he can choose his own path and how is possible to choose your family.
    Disrespectful? Not even a little. Protective of himself. Pushing is like bullying, takes people to limits.
    You are disrespectful for talking like that about your nephew, your intention is not to tell a story, is to show “how right you are”, why would you ever say things like “Had Yew just had the balls”
    “Yew’s cowardice…”
    and so on…
    Invading his life and talking that about him ain’t respect.

    And regarding the statement about finding happiness in another country, it seems to me that you are more worried about finding happiness with a foreign woman, more than the country. And anyway, yes I did find it, but no one pushed me to do so, no one told me to take or not take that decision.
    I found my husband (or ordinary chinese man as you called him in the past several times) and it wasn’t because people told me to date here, or because the pushed my parents or called me to tell me how much I am losing in life.
    Instead they let me live my own life.

  20. @ Laura.

    Wow!!!! Laura, your criticism of me was so harsh that I want to cry. You break my heart, girl. I did not intend to hurt your feelings when I wrote that your husband was “an ordinary Chinese man.” I guess to all wives, their husbands are extraordinary. So, I take back what I wrote and I say that your husband is “an extraordindary Chinese man.” Does this make you feel better?

    But you did raise a good point though. You wrote:

    “Maybe he….suffered a lot, had a bad experience with a girl, has plenty of bills to pay, doesn’t want to start a family, is gay[.]”

    I admit that I failed to consider the possibility that he may be “gay” as you wrote because for all the years I have known him, I have not heard that he had a girlfriend or had been intimately associated with a female. I thought that perhaps he was too shy or was going through some personal women problems which many men including me had to go through, and this was why I wanted so much to help him. I did not consider this possibiity because during all the years that I have known him, I did not see any effeminate characteristics in him. So, I assumed that he was heterosexual just like I am. He may be hiding his “gayness.” Wow!!!! You certainly opened my eyes.

    I have to now admit that you girls from Spain are the greatest!!!!!!

    Keep up the greatness, Spanish lady!!!!!!


  21. @ Faming Han.

    No, I did not consider the possibility that Yew may be “gay.” But after reading Laura’s indictment of my good intentions, I have to admit that I did not consider this possibility.


    1. There could be a lot of reasons, beyond the possibility of being gay. I’m an older single woman who never talked about my dating life with my family. I am not gay. I am Christian and it’s not necessarily easy for people to understand why I’d prefer to date people of the same faith. I’m also one of the rarest personality types, and I am an introvert, which isn’t the “norm” in American culture.

      It’s good that you backed off. If he hasn’t shared anything about his dating life with you, he has reasons. Please, respect that.

        1. Being Christian and/or gay wasn’t the point. I was just stating that I am not gay. Then I stated that I am Christian. Please don’t read more into it.

          1. P.S. Just as I said “I’m one of the rarest personality types” wasn’t connected to the statement about being gay, btw.

        2. BTW, for some Christian people, being gay is something they will not pursue because of their commitment to Christ. Some wonderful people. They deserve to not be dismissed. No one has the right to tell them that they cannot choose celibacy in their pursuit of God. So please don’t presume to tell them otherwise or tell me about my faith.

          “In a 2013 study in the journal Symbolic Interaction, Hollins University sociologist S.J. Creek found that celibate gay Christians tend to prioritize their sexuality differently than others might, unwilling to compromise their Christianity.”

  22. @Fred,
    My message wasn’t about telling you Yew is gay, was about telling you some potential situations. No need to jump to conclusions.
    Just because he didn’t share any details with you doesn’t mean he has never been with girls. I have never in my life shared anything like that before till I was sure it was the one.
    Same with my cousins, we only met the one, didn’t even heard about others in their lives.
    I will sumarize my point for you:
    Stop pushing him, let him live his own life.

    That’s all I wish you could keep in mind, instead of any other things you are taking out all the messages.

  23. Judging from a similar situation in our family – I think the gay part is very likely.

    But at a family level (and esp in the Cantonese world), it’s a bit of a diss to skip 2 dinners.

    Anyway, live and let live.

  24. Fred,

    I’m back brother for a long long time! You really don’t need money to have a gf or a wife !!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had nothing before ,too. All you need to do is to find a woman who will work with you and build a future with you. Within these yrs, I look at things very differently from you normal people here. I always say that even if you have millions, you can’t take it with you. I’ve gone to a lot of funerals with this 5 yrs and I can tell you that please enjoy your life and don’t look at homes, cars, money that big. Yes money is important but it’s not #1 on the list. If I’m a single guy, I will not mind at all that the gf makes 2-3 times more than me. Hey, some women just want families, love and happiness and loyalty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not every woman would kick your ass out the door or find another man when you lost your job or had a failed business. Some women don’t ask for much, they are very simple eventhough they make lots of money.

  25. Hi Fred and everyone reading,

    I think Fred was well-intentioned, but maybe a bit overzealous.

    We all want good things for our families and friends. Many will try to set people up and feel let down when things don’t go as well as we would like. But hopefully, Fred, you don’t see this as your personal failure to match him with a foreign woman. It’s not up to you to choose for him or force the issue. He’s human, he clearly knows what he is willing to do and not to do, or he wouldn’t have avoided the dinner. I don’t think he meant disrespect by not seeing you, but rather tried to avoid being disrespected publicly by having someone highlight the fact that he’s not married/dating and should be (according to your opinion). I’m sure you’re familiar with the whole face thing.

    He’s an adult. He has the right to choose to accept your offer or not. And it was an offer, not a demand. Maybe you should have asked in advance if he wanted to do it or not. If he said no, then drop it. If he said yes, then make the arrangements so you’d also have less apologizing to do with the potential dates. There’s no need for you to be aggressive about it, and I only say that because the language you have used in your stories about him sounds a little so. If he felt he had someone listening to him, someone he could talk to and trust, then maybe he’d open up to your ideas a bit more, rather than be made uncomfortable by them. Does he have a trusted friend he could talk to? Maybe you could advise him to start there so he can talk about what he does want (or doesn’t want) for himself. Then move forward.

    I wish you both well.


  26. @ Bruce.

    Thank you for your contribution. If only all women were as good as how you described above, then the world would be a better place. I agree with you that a good woman will stand by you firmly even if the man is going through difficult times. But where to find that type of women in this world is quite difficult.

    Welcome back, bro, after a long absence.


  27. @ Mayte.

    Thanks for your contribution. I am glad that you did not lambast me like Laura from above. I agree with you that I was a little aggressive with my nephew and it was perhaps why he shunned me by not attending both dinner sessions. I made my intent well known in advance that I was going to help him solve his singleton problem. I was honestly trying to help him with “tough love” which required me to push and be quite aggressive. But now I learned my lesson. I will not help him anymore.


      1. @ Jen.
        My nephew is still to this day single and unattached. He is so reticent about his dating life and style that one begins to wonder what is his problem. I know that it is not good to pronounce judgment by labeling his singleton lifestyle as a problem, but somewhere along the time line, one does have to wonder what is the long delay.

        1. I think that it’s obvious that you care about your nephew. That’s wonderful. Even when we do care, we can still be clueless about some way we act. I’m sure that it’s out of concern. Something else that you may want to consider: if you weren’t meeting society’s expectations (or the plans of a caring relative), how would you feel if you were pressured constantly about it? And just maybe, think about the way having a blog written about you would feel, knowing that many people could read it, including people in your town. Maybe I’m wrong and it wouldn’t bother you?

  28. Hi Fred,

    I think everyone here can see where your heart is in thus but the method might just need some fine tuning. Laura’s initial message wasn’t so different than mine or others’. Some of the “tough love” phrases you used might just have sparked different reactions, but if you notice, your tone changed to one of anger/frustration when talking about his decisions in his love life affected you. It then started to turn into how he was a “coward” or had “no balls”. Those would be fighting words if you were speaking to random strangers but this was said about someone whose trust you needed to gain. I don’t think you meant it to hurt him but maybe said these things in frustration. People here might have been trying to understand him and hope for his success, but I think with the obvious frustration you were experiencing, it was hard to see where this was about him anymore.

    I do think it was good of you to try. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but it would be good to get buy-in from him, so you’re helping him with what he is committed to and not working so hard for something he doesn’t want.

    Be well.


  29. Fred,

    It’s possible to still find women like that. That’s why as a man, you have to put up a lot of hard work and respect her families etc etc. You really have to find women who are not into this rat race society and don’t have materialistic mindset. Your relationship has to have commitment to understand all of this nonsense . For example, if you or your wife get very sick and the medical bills are in hundred of thousands , will you or your wife leave each other. I think differently here that I’ll sell all my homes and find every $1 to pay for it. I told you guys here that money is important but it’s not the main reason why you should stay in a marriage. If I lose all my wealth, I’ll still stay together because I can NOT take my properties, and money etc with me when I die . HINT HINT!! That’s why you have to know your man /woman when you first date in the beginning. I am doing MY home renovation this yr again so I really don’t have time to come here to chat.

  30. @ Mayte,

    Thank you for those kind words as I now feel a little better. After being sharply and harshly criticized by Laura, I wanted to cry and abandon anymore story sharing. But after reading your kind words above, I now feel better.

    Yes, I was frustrated. You can probably imagine that Yew’s mom was telling us about his singleton problem for a long time and how worried she was that he may not marry and produce any children. I wanted to come to his rescue and I had expended enormous amount of time talking to these potential Western ladies some of whom said “yes” and some of whom said “no.” So, I did not want my efforts to be wasted in vain. Then after expending so much time and energy to get these ladies to agree, he ruined the plan by refusing to date them. I even offered him to stay in my house for free and eat for free to reduce the cost for him. All he had to do was to buy an airline ticket and a little bit of spending money for the dates with the girls; then he can meet, kiss and seal the deal. I went through this process twice for him (once in 2012 and once last month) wasting a lot of time and energy all for nothing. Now do you see why my upset and anger are justified?

    But thank you for making me feel better with those kind words above.


  31. Fred,

    Next time , don’t be a matchmaker anymore. It’s the most difficult job because you can get blamed later on if the relationship doesn’t work out. Some men really don’t have the skills to attract or get women. They lack the confidence and attitudes of being well rounded individuals. That’s why you called your nephew a “coward” because you’ve put up so much work for him. I really understand you that you want to help him. Most men are like robots and they make me feel uncomfortable too and don’t mention how women react either!!! just have to have an electrifying personality to attract women . It’s very frustrating when it comes to connecting with people in general.


  32. It’s a shame that current Chinese society raises its boys to believe that only financial success can make them reach manhood or confidence in his own status. But with such level of confidence and perspective on himself, I am pretty sure this nephew would have great difficulties dating with Western women who have a different mentality. Maybe he just spared himself much hussle, but also missed a chance to widen perspectives and grow his personilty perhaps for the better.

  33. @ Bruce.

    Yes, I agree with you that playing matchmaker can lead to repercussions. If things go awry, then they will point the finger at me accusing me of misdeeds. So, that is why I will not help Yew anymore.


  34. Fred,

    If your nephew goes out with you in a group and several women talk to him then that’s a different story. They can chat to get to know each other better and later on sparks might fly. This process will take weeks or months. Finding a companion is hard dude! Someone who will understand and back you up for long term is not easy to find.

  35. I certainly hope someone on this site would set me up with a Western girl who likes Chinese.

    Or any Western girl who looks for a serious relationship with a Chinese in Hong Kong. Send me a message now.

    What are you waiting for?


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