2015 Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men

2015 bloggers

It’s March (the month we celebrate International Women’s Day), and time to update to my list of blogs by Western women who love Chinese men! I know, I know, I’m a little late to the game this year. All I can say is, my March has been insanely busy (including preparing for my upcoming appearance in Beijing on March 29 as part of the Bookworm Lit Fest – come if you can!).

This year, my list includes nearly 60 different blogs. I’ve still grouped the blogs loosely according to their focus, and tagged first timers on this list with *NEW* for your convenience.

Like last year, the same housekeeping rule applies — blogs must have been updated within the past year to make this list.

So, without further ado…(insert drumroll of choice)…here are the blogs!

Family and Kids
Personal Stories


Behind the Story. American writer Nicki Chen married her late Chinese husband in 1967, the same year that the US Supreme Court finally made interracial marriages legal in the US. She’s led a fascinating life indeed, so it’s no wonder that her blog has become a repository for many of the real-life stories that inspire her novels, including this quirky post about how her husband might have been a real-life ghost whisperer. Her debut novel Tiger Tail Soup just hit the shelves last year and it’s perfect for anyone who loves Pearl Buck’s wartime China stories. Check out my interview with Nicki from September 2014 to learn more about Tiger Tail Soup.

My Half of the Sky. Jana McBurney-Lin, who has a Chinese husband and children, penned the novel My Half of the Sky, which also is the namesake of her writing- and family-focused blog. But as a Tai Chi enthusiast, I loved this older post about trying out this venerable martial art.

Kylie Chan. This Australian author who married a Hong Kong national channeled her passion for Chinese mythology, culture and martial arts into writing novels, which you can learn more about at her site. She also blogs on her site, including about her appearances for 2015.

Michelle Maisto. Pretty much anyone in a Chinese-Western cross-cultural relationship will invariably find themselves having an occasional disagreement about a simple question: “What should we eat for dinner?” That’s the subject of Michelle’s memoir titled The Gastronomy of Marriage, which explores how she and her Chinese-American husband managed to make room at the table for all of their different eating preferences. Her blog is loaded with lots of Chinese food porn (naturally!) but also stories about being a mom to their little girl (who she’s teaching Mandarin — yes!).

Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang. A British woman truly ahead of her time, Rhiannon made her first sojourn to China in 1986 — what I wouldn’t give to experience that China through her eyes. She later met her husband, who is from Hong Kong, at Oxford; the two of them live with their family in the UK. Her first novel, The Woman Who Lost China, just came out in 2013 and will surely appeal to anyone fascinated with the country and its tumultuous past.

Susan Blumberg-Kason. Once upon a time, Susan was a yangxifu, spending time in Wuhan with her Chinese husband and first child. She’s since moved back to her Chicago roots, remarried and added two more children to her family, but is forever connected to China. She offers tidbits of everything from Jewish Asia to raising multicultural kids, as well as regular reviews on Hong Kong/Shanghai/China-related books. If you’re living in or near Chicago, or passing through, check out her book, All the Tea in Chicago. Last year she released her long-awaited memoir Good Chinese Wife – if you’re new to the book, check out my interview with her.

Sveta’s Book Review Blog. Sveta still searches for her true Asian love, but currently pours her passion into reading and sharing her latest reads on this blog. She reviews a variety of books, including AMWF reads that might interest followers of this blog, and now posts readings of selected books on Youtube.

Family and Kids

A Broad Abroad. JQ, an American woman who lives in Qingdao with her Chinese husband, toddler and new baby girl, isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind about living in China, her family there and more  — such as the follies of family visits during the new year.

*NEW*AMBW Families and Relationships. This is one of the best sites spotlighting AMBW (Asian men, Black women) couples and their families, filled with beautiful photos and stories of real families out there. It’s run by a black woman married to a Chinese guy (they met and married each other in just three weeks, wow!) who have two kids. Definitely worth bookmarking!

Chinese Potpourri. This blog offers a mish-mash of postings from Charlotte an American woman with a Chinese husband and two small children, living in a small town in Hebei, China – including a recent one about some unusual compliments regarding a very special pair of socksCheck out her cute family photos! She’s In my Double Happiness Archives, you’ll also find her love story — which has one of the most surprising titles: “I Want To Be Your Slave For The Rest of My Life”.

Corazón Asiático (en español). This Spanish woman named Selenia married her sweetheart from Shandong Province (their photo on this About page is one of the most romantic I’ve ever seen). Today she’s a mom and writes about life, love and studying Japanese en español.

*NEW*Diaries of a Yangxifu. UK native Sarah met her husband during a marathon in Birmingham (a how-we-met story she generously shared with us all in her guest post on my site). She’s been pregnant and living in China for most of the past year, writing about everything from her pregnancy experience to surviving the in-laws. And did I mention she’s also a vegan, just like me? Wishing Sarah a smooth delivery in the UK!

The Downtown Diner. American Melanie Gao has no pretensions about herself. Her blog is a homey, welcoming little slice of the yangxifu blogosphere, self-described as “Made famous in Beijing, now operating out of Nashville, Tennessee.” She has spoken out about her divorce from her Chinese ex-husband and will always remain my unofficial twin (we really do look alike). She often writes about her two lovely biracial and bicultural children (who recently went to Beijing to spend time with their dad). Thanks for keeping it real, Melanie.

Ember Swift. This Canadian woman is a singer-songwriter, musician, writer and blogger who writes some of the most fascinating and powerful posts on this list about her life (from her marriage to a Chinese guy to raising their kids). Don’t miss the interviews (one and two) with her that I posted up in 2013 just before Chinese New Year. Her blog has become required reading for pregnancy in China as well as navigating the visa issues of having kids with a Chinese national.

Mighty Maggie. American Maggie lives with her husband Phillip, the Devastatingly Handsome Chinese Man, in Seattle with three kids. She’s a stay-at-home mom who blogs about everything from religious issues to parenting. This is an older post, but she brings up an interesting dilemma when she writes about the problem of sending a child to Chinese language school, when she and her husband don’t speak the language well.

*NEW*Monkeys and Mooncakes. American Steph (who has a husband from Anhui, China) is a thirty-something mom to three lovely kids and she devotes her blog to helping children love Chinese language and culture at home. Parents will love her posts such as craft fun with the year of the goat and this Chinese character review game.

*NEW*Nama Mama. This was one of the most exciting blogs I discovered in 2014 – it’s not often you come across an American woman married to a Tibetan guy living in Xining, Qinghai (with their baby daughter). Kimberly has since moved the family to Jiangsu Province, where she’s now teaching English, and also moved her blog over to WordPress (update those links, folks!). Be sure to read her guest post here about how she met her husband (who seems like a super-sweet and extra-special guy).

*NEW*Rosie in Beijing. American Rosalie Zhao’s how-we-met story, which she shared in 2013 year on my blog, challenged stereotypes by introducing her future husband as “China’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger”! It still remains one of the most memorable posts I’ve run. She’s a stepmom to her husband’s daughter from another marriage and just had a baby last year; trying to bring her son over to the US on a Chinese passport led to a really interesting post for anyone considering having kids in China.

Wo Ai Ni. Rhiannon, an American woman who met and married her Chinese husband in the US, creates a whimsical collage of an intercultural family on her site. It’s a snapshot of daily family life — including two blonde-haired children from a previous marriage, and four young half-Chinese kids.


Madame Huang’s Kitchen (Formerly Out to Lunch). Carolyn J. Phillips doesn’t just have a Chinese husband. She loves to eat too, and shares her passion with the world through some of the most authentic and mouth-watering recipes for Chinese food on the web. Don’t read on an empty stomach, and be on the lookout for her upcoming illustrated book on all of China’s great cuisines. Called All Under Heaven, it will be published by McSweeney’s in September 2015. She just came out with a fantastic downloadable Dim Sum Guide. To learn more about Carolyn and her work, check out my 2012 interview with her.

Taiwan Xifu. The Taiwan Xifu dishes out delicious recipes with a dash of Chinese culture thrown in for good measure (including her posts about foods for zuo yuezi). She has since moved back to Australia – here’s wishing her family a smooth transition into their new life over there!


Living A Dream in China. Finnish woman Sara Jaaksola writes with a lot of heart and soul as she works on her Mandarin Chinese. But what I really love about Sara is her support to the community — she started the Foreign Women in China discussion forum (any woman anywhere is welcome to join). Sara had an exciting time last year with her marriage to Alan (including a huge Chinese wedding ceremony in Guangzhou), and also stopped by Hangzhou (where she and I shared a lovely day together).

Menglelan. American Menglelan (not her real name) is a teacher and, in my mind, a pioneer — the first blogger on this list who maintained a blog in traditional Chinese! She writes about eclectic topics (including the occasional post on guys!), but the Chinese-language nature of her blog makes it worthwhile reading for anyone studying the language.

Personal Stories

AMWF Couple. She’s white and British, he’s from Hong Kong, and they’re  happily dating in the UK. You’ll enjoy her posts on how they met and how they started dating (his story versus her story), as well as this recent and thoughtful post asking why so many AMWF couples end up living in Asia?

Becky Ances. She teaches English in the outskirts of Hangzhou lovely Xiamen and writes frequently about traveling, her students, and expat life. But many of you will appreciate her take on dating Chinese men, as well as more recent posts on creepy white guys in Asia and this story from an Asian man dating a white woman.

Celestereille. This blog is another proud example of beautiful Blasian love in China, right down to this gorgeous photo of the author kissing her Chinese beau, and this lovely Valentine to him. She welcomed her lovely baby Connor into the world in 2013 and in the past year (tired of things such as her “walk of shame” in China) she moved the whole family back with her to the US. Wishing her the best as she settles into life in America!

China Doll. She’s a Norwegian woman who went to China when she was 13 and later met her Chinese beau CC (with whom she had an LDR for some time). In this past year, they got engaged (hooray!) and they’ve since moved together to Beijing, where she now teaches English.

*NEW*My Chinese Boyfriend. Mexican American Yocelyn is making a splash on the web with her funky and colorful comics that cover (surprise, surprise!) her unique relationship. Some of my favorites include her recent post on racial identity in America and weird things Mexicans do.

Chocolate Chick in China. This African-American blogger is an English teacher based in Nanchang Hangzhou, and you’ve got to love a woman who writes this in her About page: “I have  always been fascinated by the 5000 year old culture and also all the handsome single Chinese men that may never find love due to the fact that they overpopulate the women. so off I go to China to find a different way of life and  maybe a husband too.” While she’s still looking for love, she’s definitely stumbled into a wonderful circle of expat friends!

*NEW*Dreaming of Taipei. This Italian girl has dreams of Taiwan’s great metropolis because that’s where her sweetheart lives (they’re in a long-distance relationship). I especially love her four posts – see part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4 – about how China changed her (from her self-esteem to how she views her hometown of Verona, Italy).

Foreign Sanctuary. Constance is a Canadian married to a Taiwanese man who currently calls Taiwan home — and shares gorgeous photos as well as stories from her life (such as how her husband once sang a Taiwanese love song at her cousin’s wedding). She’s now working on a book! Enjoy her guest post on my site about how she believes everything happens for a reason (even how she ended up finding love and a new life in Taiwan).

*NEW*Greece Meets Taiwan. This is the love story of a Greek girl and a Taiwanese guy living in South Africa. You’ll love her recent post about Chinese New Year in South Africa and this one on the advantages of being in an interracial/intercultural relationship.

Hello China! elo China! (in French) Elodie is married to a man from Nanjing, and has the only blog on this list written in French. She covers everything from student life at Nanjing University (where she reached HSK level 7) to travels around China. Love her header photo on top, where she is wrapped in China’s national flag.

My Hong Kong Husband. Lina, who hails from Poland, lives in Northern California Ireland with the eponymous husband that inspired her blog — one that has fast become a popular read in the AMWF community. And it’s no wonder, with her funny posts about everything from men you wouldn’t want to date to cool Asian life hacks. Wishing her and Sing the best as they start their new life in Ireland!

*NEW*Hong Kong Kisses. This blog is written Canadian woman with a Hong Kong fiancée (they’re preparing to move to Hong Kong!). Now that she’s pregnant on top of it all, I’m expecting lots of exciting updates in 2015. Wishing this couple the best!

*NEW*I Married an Asian, Now What? An American woman who calls herself Hazel offers us a peek into her interracial marriage to a Chinese man through a mélange of journal-like posts (including their China trip during the summer of 2014). She offers a nice and short take on the problem with Chinese stereotypes.

The Inner Mongolian/内蒙古人. Susanna, who is from Scotland, discovered her husband and a new life in Inner Mongolia — but I’m certain she’s always had a flair for telling funny stories (especially her post on how to take a taxi in Inner Mongolia). This interview with her husband is just precious. Check out their cute wedding photos!

Judith in China (in Dutch). This Dutch woman used to live in Beijing with her local boyfriend but has since moved with him to Wuhan. She blogs about life in China, including the special things she encounters every day in the country, such as striking things in China. Her guest post titled “He Feels Horrible About Me Being The Breadwinner” got a lot of you talking.

Jules in 中国. American Jules met her beau in China, married him there in 2013 (with all of the pomp and circumstance you’d expect), became pregnant, moved to the US, and is now a mom to a cute little baby boy. Congrats to her!

*NEW*Karma’s World Tour. Written by AMWF couple Kara and Mark, this blog chronicles their travels around the world (in gorgeous photos that will have you wishing they had taken you along for the ride).

Linda Living in China. Originally from Germany, Linda followed her heart and passion all the way to China, never expecting that along the way she would end up falling in love with a man from Korea (they’re now engaged and figuring out how to get married in Korea). She blogs about travel, Asian beauty products, teaching and also Western women and Chinese men in love. Don’t miss her guest post here on my blog titled “Am I in the ‘Wrong’ AMWF Relationship?” How a Woman Who Loved China Fell for a Korean man.

Life Behind the Wall. The first blog on this list by an African-American woman with a Chinese husband (they’ve recently divorced). Jo Gan isn’t your usual expat teaching English in China. In the past year, she has become a partner in a bar, started her own band, dated some fascinating fellows (before meeting her sweetheart Jet Liu), and has decided to start her own fashion company. Impressive! All I have to say is, I can’t wait to see what Jo is up to in 2015!

*NEW*Lost Panda. Anna was born in Russia and raised in Germany, but she ultimately discovered her love and future in China. Last year she dazzled us with her personal stories at The Mandarin Duck, and now she’s doing it again with the Lost Panda, a blog especially dedicated to living in rural China. Some of her cool recent posts include discussing language barriers in international relationships, Chinese drinking etiquette, and five disappearing Chinese New Year’s traditions that are still alive and well in her husband’s hometown, Niuji Village.

*NEW*The Love Blender. Italian Marghini, who is dating Mr. B (she describes him as a “a Hong Kong-New Zealand-British boy with funny hair and kind eyes”), writes about one of my favorite subjects: cross-cultural dating (or, as she calls it in her tagline, “dating out of the box”). Readers will love her posts on intercultural relationships, including a recent one about 10 reasons why Asian men are sexy. By the way, she also shared her love story here for Double Happiness — check it out here!

*NEW*Malatang. American Amanda loves China and she loves to eat (including the tantalizingly spicy dish that is the namesake of her blog, subtitled “A Vermonter’s Adventure in China.” She’s blogged about her life (and delectable meals) in some of the most beautiful corners of China, including Lijiang and the wilderness of Sichuan. She has also loved a Lijiang local along the way (which she blogged about in this insightful post titled Dating in China: Cultural Differences).

Mandarin Reflections. Nathalie describes herself as deeply “in love with the most wonderful Chinese man” – and last year the two of them made it official by getting married! You’ll enjoy her classic posts on signs that you’re dating a Chinese man and On Dating Chinese Men: All Men Are Different. Wishing Nathalie and her hubby the happiest marriage!

Mandarin Stories. Orange rain’s blog originally had a dramatic backstory — even though she was already married to a Chinese man, her family didn’t know about it. Turns out, when she finally revealed her secret marriage to the family, there wasn’t any drama over it at all (nor much reaction, according to her). She does a lot of posts w/ photos from their trips – such as Scandinavia — so this is a great blog for all you armchair travelers! Last year she and the hubby had their official wedding ceremony in Shanghai (which her two brothers and Aunt even attended, their first-ever trip to China) and she posted her gorgeous pre-wedding photos (including pics in a stunning red dress). Congrats to them!

Marta lives in China. She’s a Spaniard who met her Chinese boyfriend in Suzhou, where she used to work for a manufacturer in the city. She’s since headed to Shanghai for better work (which means she and her boyfriend now see each other on the weekends, a “short-distance relationship”!). You’ll love her post on how she met her sweetheart C as well as the humorous “don’t leave your boyfriend home alone.” You can also follow her en espaňol on her Spanish-language blog Infinity Plus One.

Michelle Guo. Michelle Chu got married in 2012 to her Chinese beau from Henan and became Michelle Guo. While her blog topics remain eclectic, she has shared much about her marriage (such as being helpless in love with her Chinese husband) and the experience of staying in her husband’s hometown. Last year she and her husband moved back to America. Wishing them the best in the US!

Mingbai. A Dutch woman with a Chinese husband runs a China consulting and travel business, and maintains a blog written in Dutch mainly about travel destinations in this great country.

Olivia’s Choice. If the community had a magazine, chances are Olivia Lau could easily be the covergirl. This beautiful and stylish woman from Spain was living in Hong Kong, where she met and married a local man and also ran her own online fashion store. After their epic proposalpre-wedding photos, and the big event itself, they’ve moved back to Barcelona to work in Olivia’s family store. In 2014, they welcomed baby Liam into their lives. Congrats to this lovely couple!

People Mountain, People Sea. Ashley is not your average American teaching English in Taiwan, thanks to her marriage to a Taiwanese guy (which included a period of time when she lived in the family home). You’ll find her posts on relationships and dating interesting, including this post on what it takes to make a cross-cultural relationship work. Recently, she’s posted about how she and her husband complement each other in different and beautiful ways.

*NEW*The Ruby Ronin. American Mary (who has a white dad and an Asian mom) has long had a love affair with Asia, spending two years in Japan (and learning Japanese), and then four years in China. She’s now living in Los Angeles with her Chinese boyfriend, but her recent posts – from how to get an Asian boyfriend in China or Japan to how she could save $10,000 a year by living in Tokyo – have me thinking it won’t be long before she returns to Asia again!

*NEW*PINK✿PEACH✿BLOSSOMS. This twenty-something woman in Germany (who has a Chinese husband) is crazy about Korean beauty products, K-Pop, manga and more, and is currently studying Mandarin Chinese. Check out her reviews of Korean beauty products and other posts about what’s going on in her life (including her bunny).

Selly’s Little World. Sarah Heintze is a German gal residing in Wuhan, China and last year was a tough one on her (including recovering a severe burn on her leg and breaking up with her Chinese fiancée). But with her recent fitness fun in Wuhan, it’s clear she’s doing pretty great these days. Wishing her a better 2015!

Shandongxifu. Ericka, who used to live in Qingdao with her Shandong husband, was known by many of us through her posts at the Lost Laowai blog — where she confidently reminded us that Laowai Girls Love Asian Boys. I share her passion for Jay Chou and, yes, Meteor Garden (quiet sigh). She rocked the blogosphere last year by bravely coming forward with her chilling story of sexual assault in Shenzhen.

Sincerely, Shalom (Formerly Jew Knew). Eileen’s blog is so lovely and touching, like her pictures of smiling, long-haired women in dazzling rainbow colors. She is married to a man from Taiwan and now writes about her life with him in Asia, even opening up to write about dealing with anxiety abroad and the perks of an intercultural marriage. Eileen shared her story with me for Double Happiness.

*NEW*When West Dates East. Autumn — who lives in LA with her Chinese American boyfriend – writes: “Some swear it’s a myth:  ‘You’ll find a unicorn before you find a white chick who dates Asian dudes.’ Welcome to my blog on unicorns.” She offers a funny and self-deprecating look into her relationship with posts about how she stumbled with chopsticks the first time she met his parents and how impossible it was to find just the right gift for his mom.

Wrapped in a Chinese Leaf. Sarah is an Irish woman studying for her master’s in international business, but she also knows a thing or two about international relations, thanks to her Chinese boyfriend (who was caught last year trying out some of her beauty products!). She loves telling stories through words, and you’ve got to love this post about a Chinese feast, including her confession that she was clumsy with the chopsticks (been there!).

Xi’ananigans. Marissa, an American woman from New Jersey, met her hubby ZJ while teaching English in Xi’an (she married him in China in the most brilliant red gown I’ve ever seen) and in the past year moved with him back to the States. They’re both now navigating the challenges of building a new life for themselves in the US (which has its pluses too) and I wish them the best! Don’t miss her guest post on my site all about how she met and fell in love with ZJ, or the Q&A I did for her blog.

What do you think? What blogs did I miss?

Fenshou: After Eliza, he feared “she’ll disappear again”

(photo by Doug Wheller via Flickr.com)
(photo by Doug Wheller via Flickr.com)

Spencer Huang writes, “I dated other girls later on — Spanish, Polish, Welsh. But I could hardly overcome the recurring fear in my heart: ‘She’ll disappear again.’ At last, I returned to China with a lonely and tired heart. Eliza changed me completely.”

This is a story of how one Chinese man met an enchanting Polish woman in London, only to have her vanish from his life without an explanation.


I’m a Chinese man who just finished a master’s degree in the UK, where I once had a relationship with a Polish woman. I’ve wanted to share this story ever since the Christmas of 2012, when I met her.

I was there in London, spending my Christmas holidays with my friend John, who visited me from China. We lived in a hostel to meet more people and to share their interesting life stories. That was where I met Eliza.

My friend and I tried to talk to anyone we met in the hostel during our journey. We were chatting with a Japanese girl earlier that day, but she had grown up in the US and knew very little about Japan. It wasn’t a very interesting conversation to me.

When I was dismayed that I couldn’t find anyone interesting to talk with, suddenly Eliza walked into that room. She reminded me of a lovely elf — petite with long blonde hair, green eyes and a small face.

Before I knew it, we fell into a fantastic conversation. We talked a lot about anime, manga, Japanese culture (especially Japanese pop culture), food and musicals (such as The Phantom of Opera and other Andrew Lloyd Weber works). I really admired her independence. She worked in London as a waitress to pay her way through university. She had also left home two years before; her father passed away many years ago and her mom remarried. We bonded over our lonely childhood experiences as well.

I never imagined that I could meet a girl who had so much in common with me. We were so happy as we talked together through the whole night.

Then I asked her, “Why don`t we go out for a drink?”

“Why not?” she answered.

We left the hostel at 9:30pm to hit the empty London streets that evening, which was still Boxing Day, to have drinks together.

The next day, what a perfect day it was. We visited Piccadilly Circus and many other sites in London, sharing food and laughter. That evening, I prepared a dinner for two of Japanese sushi while she sang “Think of Me” from the Phantom of the Opera.

Suddenly, a feeling of dread hit me: I had nearly forgotten my promise to a friend from Hong Kong. He needed a place to stay during New Year’s time because he had no money and nowhere else to go. Of course, I couldn’t leave my friend to sleep on the streets and had offered him my flat in Glasgow.

I had to leave Eliza suddenly that very evening, December 27. We hugged before I left, never realizing it would be our last hug.

Later, when I returned to London to find her, everything changed. We were meant to meet at this staircase in the hostel, but she never showed up. She just vanished and left me standing there. I spent over 16 hours there, thinking about her. At last, a group of Australians came over to me and gave me a bottle of whiskey. Then I could remember nothing but the fact that she never returned to that hostel again.

I dated other girls later on — Spanish, Polish, Welsh. But I could hardly overcome the recurring fear in my heart: “She’ll disappear again.” At last, I returned to China with a lonely and tired heart.

Eliza changed me completely. A part of me still hoped that someone special might appear in my life, but I was afraid of a stable relationship, something I yearned for deep inside.

It was tough since I returned to China, but I’ve decided to move on. In the end, the memories are beautiful enough for me.

Spencer Huang works as a project manager for a media company in Chengdu, Sichuan, China.


We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

How rare are Chinese men/Western women? Enough to be “nonsense”

One villager in John's hometown in China couldn't believe we were married
One villager in John’s hometown in China couldn’t believe we were married

As the wife of a Chinese man, I’m used to attracting attention when I’m out and about in China. The stares, the questions about where I’m from, the way cars slow down to gawk at us — it’s all par for the course.

So during one of our evening walks in the village, I wasn’t surprised when an elderly woman walking in the opposite direction suddenly began asking my husband questions.

“Where are you from?” she inquired in the local dialect.

John mentioned the name of his village, nestled right in the heart of the valley.

“Where is she from?”

“America. She’s my wife.”

The woman grimaced at him in disbelief. “That’s nonsense!” Yes, she refused to believe that someone from John’s little mountain village could have possibly married a woman from America. And she walked away, not to be bamboozled by us.

When John translated the whole conversation for me (I’m still working on my local dialect) I nearly doubled over in laughter. “Are you kidding? She thought you were lying about me?”

Hiking the mountains in John’s hometown

It was the first time anyone in China doubted the authenticity of our relationship. But as strange as it sounded, I could understand why. In John’s hometown, it’s not uncommon to meet people who have spent their entire lives, knowing little else beyond these mountains thick with hardy bamboo and fragrant Chinese red pines, and the rice paddies and terraced gardens sculpted into the hillsides. Who could imagine that one of their hometown sons would meet and marry a foreigner, let alone spend years in her country? As rare as it is to find Chinese men and Western women together in China’s urban playgrounds, out here in the Zhejiang countryside such a coupling sounds impossible and even ridiculous.

The Chinese government advises foreigners to carry their passports with them at all times in China. I have to wonder, should I also carry around my Chinese marriage license so I’m prepared for the next time someone calls my marriage “nonsense”?

A Tumultuous European-Chinese Marriage + Advice Needed

(photo by Leolein via Flickr.com)

When I usually share stories about couples of Chinese men and Western women, they usually fall into two camps: the “happily-ever-after” couples and the couples that once were. 

And then there’s the story I’m about to share — about a couple fighting for their marriage. Petya reached out to me recently to ask that I publish her tale on my blog, hoping that readers could also weigh in with advice on how to save her marriage and family. So please, don’t be shy in the comments! If you have any ideas, Petya would love to hear them. 

Petya, thanks so much for your courage to share this publicly.


I’m Bulgarian. My childhood passed under Communism in the Eastern Block. When I went to study in Western Europe, I got on very well with my Chinese colleagues. There was something deeply similar in the education and behavior that made contact very easy.

Years later I went to study Japanese in Tokyo. The second time I went to Japan, in my class I met a Chinese man who was interested in me. He was working in a big multinational Japanese company and they took him in Japan and payed for his Japanese lessons because they were preparing him to become their Marketing Director for China. I didn’t return his interest, even though we were getting along well. I knew we lived in different worlds — I would go back to Europe and he had brilliant career prospects in Asia.

But one day, we had a debate in class about love and he said in front of everybody that the perfect person to be his girlfriend exists and it was me. Of course it was very flattering for me, but most importantly, I found this very brave and I decided this guy is exactly like me — a fighter — so I gave him a chance.

We started a beautiful relationship. I had to go back to Europe to work. As I have a flexible and well paying job, I was traveling every month to Japan for approximately 10 days to be with him. We got engaged and continued like this. He came two or three times to Europe. We also went to China and he introduced me to his family. His mother passed away a long time ago, and his father is remarried. He has an elder brother who is married with one child.

This situation could have continued for years. He had business trips everywhere in Asia and if I could, I joined him in exotic destinations. Then the big earthquake and the tsunami hit Japan. He was in Tokyo and I was deadly worried. Then Fukushima happened too. It was horrible to be so far away. And suddenly, even though I always said I didn’t want to hurry to have children, I changed. I thought life is so short and we are so vulnerable. I could lose the love of my life and will have nothing left except some beautiful memories. Then I decided I’m ready for a family. We married one month later. A few months later I got pregnant. The big surprise was I was pregnant with twins. We decided it’s better for me to stay and give birth in Europe, because of the radiation in Tokyo. So we did. Meanwhile he moved back to China for the new position. I travelled two times during my pregnancy to China The twins were born in Europe, but he couldn’t be here to see their birth.

My life changed completely. Before I knew I was pregnant with twins, I was still planning to travel. I overestimated myself. With the two newborns and no family to help me, only a full-time nanny, I was crazy tired here. And I had to resume working on the third month after the birth, because we went through all our savings. It was impossible to travel. I thought going to Shanghai to live there, but my husband’s job, even as Marketing Director didn’t pay well enough to allow him to support our big family. I had to take care of the two babies. And I don’t speak Chinese. How could I bring the babies to a doctor without speaking the language if my husband is on business trip? I couldn’t even order a taxi. He said he would send the babies to his family, but I doubted his step-mother would take care of the babies of somebody else’s son. I went to visit him with the babies and the nanny, a long and difficult flight from Brussels to Shanghai. His father didn’t even come to see the boys in Shanghai. Only the wife of his brother came and she helped me a lot.

If we move to Shanghai, we don’t have enough money to live normally, I don’t speak Chinese, and the only solution is we hire an English-Chinese speaking nanny and I still have to travel to Europe to work for at least one or two weeks every month in order to contribute to the family budget and eventually pay my loan for the apartment I’ve bought in Brussels.

If I quit completely my job, I have to sell the flat in Brussels, abandon everything, and become a housewife and somehow live there. I’m not the housewife type. I’m conference interpreter, working for Heads of States and Governments, the European Commission and Parliament. But my main language, Bulgarian, is too small to be interesting for somebody in China.

The third solution was for him to abandon everything, but I didn’t want this. I know how difficult is to make a career from a scratch because I did it too. I could not destroy his career. And as a Bulgarian from the former Soviet Block, I know what discrimination means in Western Europe. I lived as a second category citizen in France during all my studies there, even if I had more diplomas and better notes than most of the French people. I know what humiliation means. I didn’t want him to experience the same as a Chinese.

I was getting more and more tired, depressed, and even crazy. I had also some health problems resulting from complications of giving birth, so I had surgery.

I started asking him to come. We fought, we argued. Then I asked for a divorce. He realized it was serious and quit his job. He came here. Was I happy? No, I was crying over his destroyed career. I was feeling guilty. He came here broken. I think unconsciously he was hating me because I destroyed his career. He hated also to be dependent on me. I tried to find him something to do while we were searching for a job. I registered him to study French and to go to driving school. He refused to finish the classes. He said he will decide when to go to classes and what to do. We argued about how could I help him. He said my job-hunting assistance wasn’t helpful and he doesn’t need my help.

I was nervous, often crying and shouting. He said he hated this kind of woman and if he knew I was like this, he would never marry me. He accused me of using the boys as a tool to make him come here. We fought for half a year. Although I found him a job as a shipment manager, and not a bad one, he wasn’t satisfied and hated it. The atmosphere in the company was bad, he said. Because of the family reunion law, he couldn’t leave the country for 6 months. He felt even worse – like my hostage.

And one day he saw me completely broken, crying and telling him that I made a mistake to ask him come here, that all I did was stupid and I’m ready to quit my job and Europe and go to China. The colleague who replaced him as Marketing director in China had left, so his position was free and he could have gone back. He refused.

So this is our story until now. We stopped arguing and I don’t ask anything from him. I just try to stay calm and he also seemed to calm down recently. But I don’t know what will happen.

What do you think? What advice do you have for Petya?


We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

Double Happiness: “Enter Zhao Ming…China’s Answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger”

Ming and Rosalie at their wedding in 2007 (Photo courtesy of Rosalie Zhao)

I love stories that challenge stereotypes about Chinese men. Well, you can’t get much better than this love story, where a white American woman goes to China and ends up falling for a guy she considers the Chinese version of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks to Rosalie Zhao for sharing her amazing story, which just might inspire more Western women out there to give Chinese men a chance.


Thanks to a relative’s cute Chinese neighbor, I went through a brief phase of yellow fever in high school. It came and went in the same fashion as most things (Josh Hartnett, Doc Martens) I pined after during my teenage years. I didn’t think my attraction to Asians would resurface, even as I packed my bags for my post-college teach in China stint. Just a week before I left, in February 2005, my cousin Nicky called it, “You’re gonna fall in love in China.” I couldn’t help but laugh.

Fast-forward a couple months later and you’d find me in China, sweating it out at the local gym. I’d never been much of a gym rat, but with a 12 hour per week teaching schedule, virtually no English-language television, and no home internet (remember—this was 2005 and I was in a small Chinese city) all that was left to do was hop on a treadmill.

Me exercising is no picture of grace and beauty, nor is it a time during which I enjoy critique or idle chit-chat. Enter Zhao Ming, seemingly China’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger. As I made my feeble attempts to use five pound free weights, Ming took it upon himself to criticize my form. While I understand now that Chinese people often offer unsolicited advice as a gesture of kindness, at the time I was thoroughly annoyed. Who did this meathead think he was? And he could hardly speak English!

Ming and Rosalie in June 2005 (Photo courtesy of Rosalie Zhao)

Though awkward, I was relieved by our failure to communicate. It meant Mr. Muscles would leave me alone. It wasn’t but a few days later, while I was on the treadmill jogging, thoroughly red-faced, that he made his second approach. I tried to politely ignore him, but as anyone living in China knows, you cannot politely ignore a Chinese person who really wants something. This guy was on a mission. In a tone that sounded a bit rehearsed, he asked, “Can I with you walk home?”

I decided it was best to stick with honesty. “Oh, sorry. I have to go home and take a shower,” I replied. His face was thrown into a state of utter confusion. He really didn’t understand English. Continuing my jog, I began to pantomime while yelling, “US, NO WALK. ME, GO HOME. SHOWER.” His face lit up; he understood. But a second later his expression collapsed, realizing I wasn’t willing to walk with him.

Over the course of the next two weeks we repeated the same song and dance—him asking to walk me home and me gesturing my refusals. It wasn’t until one night that he cornered me at the gym exit that I finally decided to give him a chance. What was the harm in letting him walk with me?

So we walked, with few words, just his bicycle and our foolish grins between us. He stopped and bought us each a yogurt, then carefully unwrapped the straw and stuck it in the drink, smiling at me widely. I felt my insides melt. When we reached my apartment I decided to run upstairs quickly to grab my Lonely Planet phrasebook. Somehow we fuddled through an hour’s worth of “conversation” before it started to rain lightly. We quickly ran into the building’s stairwell, laughing. Then he kissed me. In that moment I somehow knew that I could, in fact, find love in China. And here we are, eight years later, five years married, and still very much in love.

Rosalie with Ming and his family in December 2011 (Photo courtesy of Rosalie Zhao)

Ming later revealed to me that his approach at the gym exit was going to be his final attempt to ask me out. I’m so glad I didn’t turn him down. Looking back, I’m not sure why I found the thought of finding love in China so humorous and inconceivable. In a country of 1.3 billion people, the majority of them male, why did finding a boyfriend seem so implausible? My closed-mindedness and arrogance nearly cost me the love of my life. A cautionary tale? Maybe. But more importantly, just a reminder—anything is possible, even love for the single foreign female in China!

Rosalie Zhao resides with her husband in Hebei, China, where she writes a blog in Chinese and English called An American Woman in China.


We’re looking for a few good stories from Chinese men and Western women in love — or out of love — to share on Fridays. Submit your original story or a published blog post today.

On Cultural Encapsulation and Cross-Cultural Relationships

(photo by Sarah G via Flickr.com)

Recently, in the course of doing research for a paper I’m working on with my husband, we came across the concept of cultural encapsulation:

Cultural encapsulation is the lack of understanding, or ignorance, of another’s cultural background and the influence this background has on one’s current view of the world. The purpose of this encapsulation, or “cocoon,” is to allow people to protect themselves from the rapid global changes occurring in technology, families, economy, education, and social health. Cultural encapsulation can lead to a counselor applying his or her own experiences to the client’s experiences despite the reality that both developed in different worlds, cultures, and values. To define one’s experience as the truth or reality may result in potentially harming the client, given the possible differences between the counselor and client.

The authors intended to write this information for counselors and psychologists in relationships with clients — but I feel that the idea of cultural encapsulation could easily apply to other relationships. Continue reading “On Cultural Encapsulation and Cross-Cultural Relationships”

Calling All Asian Men: What Do You Love About Western Women?

(John and I, posing for our wedding photos)

This past week, a commenter named Centaur wrote:

Jocelyn and all the western women still reading this thread, maybe we should have a thread where Asian men can comment on what they love about western women.

Centaur, I can’t agree more! What a great way to honor the Western women in your life — or just honor us in general — during the month that includes International Women’s Day.

And even better, Centaur started it off with his own Top 10 List:

1) Your eyes. Deeply set, bright, shaded with long lashes, infinitely seductive. They can have so many colors — blue, green, gray, brown, … , and the color can even change with sunlight. If I stare into them, I’d forget what I was saying.
2) Your hair. Curly, soft, fine, always makes me want to run my fingers through it.
3) Your nose. Long, high, strong (no, I am not making fun of you). It gives your face so much character.
4) Your narrow cheekbones. Contrary to the typical Western view, we don’t find high cheekbones very attractive.
5) Your curves and long legs, they give you such a feminine look.
6) You know how to handle high heels.
7) You enjoy sex. You are open, evolved, and sexual.
8) You are affectionate and you love kissing.
9) You know how to put on makeup.
10) You like to work out and you age gracefully.

So to continue this, I pulled John aside and asked him what he loves most about me. And here are John’s Top 10: Continue reading “Calling All Asian Men: What Do You Love About Western Women?”

2013 Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men

It’s March 8 — International Women’s Day — and time for an update to my list of blogs by Western women who love Chinese men!

Last year, I had a little over 40 on my list. Now we’re up to over 50, so the community keeps growing! I’ve still grouped the blogs loosely according to their focus, and I also added a *NEW* tag to denote all new additions to the list.

And here they are: Continue reading “2013 Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men”

The Next Big Thing: On “Red All Over,” My Forthcoming Memoir

(At my wedding banquet in China, posing with one of our guests)

I am thrilled that Susan Blumberg-Kason invited me to participate in the The Next Big Thing, an Internet meme where writers answer questions about their latest or forthcoming works.

Susan is the author of the forthcoming memoir Good Chinese Wife. This book traces the five years she spent trying to assimilate into a Chinese family, after jumping quickly into marriage with a Chinese man. But over time, she comes to reconsider what she thought it meant to be a wife, have a family, and raise a child — and faces the tough choice of whether or not to leave her Chinese family.

I’ve read portions of her memoir, and I can honestly say it’s a gripping story written from the heart. I loved Susan as a narrator because she shares so many of her vulnerabilities on the page. I liked the unusual, non-linear structure of her book as well, which really adds to the drama of her story and keeps you turning the pages.

And I’m sure many of you, like myself, can’t wait to get your hands on Susan’s book. To learn more, check out her Next Big Thing post from last week, or read the brief introduction to Good Chinese Wife on her website.

Now for my interview questions, which I’ll follow with introductions to several authors to watch for. Continue reading “The Next Big Thing: On “Red All Over,” My Forthcoming Memoir”

Yangxifu Pride: Pinterest Boards on Chinese Men and Western Women in Love

Pinterest board - Chinese men and Western women in loveI once wrote about the rarity of couples of Chinese men and Western women, even dubbing us a “lonely club” at times.

Well, three years later, I’m feeling a little less lonely. That’s not just because I’ve discovered so many other Western women and Chinese men sharing their personal stories on the web, and met so many couples through Facebook and Twitter.

My newest reason why? Pinterest. I created three new boards dedicated to making the faces of Chinese men and Western women in love just a little more public. Continue reading “Yangxifu Pride: Pinterest Boards on Chinese Men and Western Women in Love”