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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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A Question for Chinese Women    

By Achelle Vinzon
8080 Views | 34 Comments | 6/4/2013 5:58:06 PM

How do you reconcile your desire for love with the traditional standards of suitability that you also look for in a potential partner? Allow me to elaborate.

I am talking about the concept of romantic love as western culture has cultivated it. It is a fact that many Chinese women who want a foreign husband also yearn for this kind of love, and this yearning is partly influenced by their increased exposure to the west.

This particular brand of love, as we know it from western love stories depicted in movies and books, may develop (and, in fact, it often does) unexpectedly. That is to say, it doesn’t always follow a fixed sequence of events: we meet someone; they have the traits we admire; and love develops. The end. Romantic love is rarely as cut-and-dried in real life as it is in fairy tales.

Granted, a person from the west searching for a mate and for love often has an idea of what they are looking for in a partner and what traits will “make them love” the person. But more often than not, they are flexible with their personal “standards” when choosing a partner; these standards are more like suggestions rather than a tried and tested formula.

So it may happen that a person “learns to love” another because they possess the traits the person wants in a partner, or it may happen that love develops despite the lack of preferred traits. That is why it is often said that love happens when you least expect it and, oftentimes, the love is for someone completely unexpected.

Ironically, it is also the very western practice of “multiple dating,” which are founded on practical motivations, which foster this element of randomness in love. According to practical western reasoning, the more people one dates and the longer he/she takes to get to know potential partners, the more likely one will find his/her “ideal” mate. While this makes a lot of sense and seems like a very systematic approach to dating and finding love, the probability that love will occur unexpectedly – regardless of one’s standards – increases as one dates more people.

Most Chinese women looking for love, however, find it difficult to accept this approach. They have their fixed set of standards of suitability when searching for a mate, and this set of standards, more often than not, is paramount. At the same time, they also desire romantic love in a relationship/marriage.

Again, it can be said that when a person meets someone who satisfies all or most of their standards, then love automatically follows. But this is not always the case; romantic love is not so black and white. Unless, of course, it is simply a matter of having a different perception, a different psyche; that is, can love happen so easily and deliberately for Chinese women?

If the answer is yes, then wouldn’t that love just be a love born of necessity, when a person learns to love another because they have very suitable traits? I am not saying this kind of love is the wrong kind of love to have in a marriage, although it is limited in scope. If it makes the relationship successful and if both parties are happy and contented, then it is exactly the kind of love they both need.

From my humble standpoint, Chinese women who desire love but also continue to adhere to the traditional approach of selecting a mate are not really stepping out of the box; they are merely poking holes in the box to explore the possibility of love, as much as these holes will allow them to explore. Choosing a suitable foreign partner strictly based on customary standards and then expecting love to grow afterward is more or less the same as being with a suitable Chinese mate and then expecting love to grow afterward. Of course, the big difference is that foreign men are a lot better at treating their woman right and giving her the love and appreciation that she needs and deserves. This, in my humble opinion, significantly increases the likelihood that love will, indeed, grow; more specifically, that a Chinese woman will learn to love her foreign mate.

Given that many Chinese women nowadays are open to and are actively searching for love, then they also open themselves up to the possibility of love just walking right into their life and the man being everything they have ever wanted in a partner. In short, they have poked holes in their box big enough to allow the possibility of a fairy-tale love story to happen.

For the rest, I repeat my question: How do you reconcile your desire for love with the traditional standards of suitability that you also look for in a potential partner? Is my interpretation more or less correct?



Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 10 of 34) 1 2 3 4 More...
#2013-06-05 00:54:57 by panda2009 @panda2009

Suburban insular point of view. I'd never taken race and ethnic origin to say something. "Love" is just the thing between male and female, regardless of race or ethnicity.

"A Question for Chinese Women" What do you mean? Let me teach you, "A Question for All the Women on CLM"----"How do you reconcile your desire for love with the traditional standards of suitability that you also look for in a potential partner?" Allow me to tell you all: All of things are on the basis of self cultivation, don't give the opportunity to rascal at first, then build up a pair of good eye, distinguish and find a good man who is deserved to love all the life.

Love is just Love, without particular brand. The best choice of a woman is just a good life and a good man, so that she can achieve the maximum benefit of happiness. Every good girl can distinguish what kind of Love is perfect? and what kind man deserved to entrust a lifetime?

#2013-06-05 17:29:28 by Tranquility56 @Tranquility56

hi Achelle, I think your question is a fake question which is only found on your subjective and strange imagination that love must be antagonistic to traditional standards of suitability.

In fact in the real life, traditional standards of suitability uasually is just the factors of the most easily to arouse love. Such as handsome or beautiful appearance; high education or excellent ability to work; rich; generous; loyal; wise; polite, sympathetic... if I meet a man with these traits I must fall in love with him in one second, the only problem is does the sort of man exist in the world? As regards the traditional dating way I still think it's the best way to get true love no matter for Asian or Caucasian or... I never think an intimate action at first date would be a begning of true love, if it happens might be a very small probability. The reason is that all men in the world own a same trait: Generous for body love; stingy for soul love. If you want to obtain true love combines body and soul, you must take time to cultivate.

Conclusion: A question for Chinese women should be this one: How do you reconcile your desire for love in fairy tales with the imperfect men in reality?

#2013-06-07 07:00:29 by Tyler72 @Tyler72

Wow, its like the food thing all over again...

Achelle isnt bashing Chinese women or passing any kind of judgement toward the traditional way a Chinese woman looks at decisions of who to fall in love with vrs the way Westerners view love and finding or identifying a partner.

She's right. We Westerners are completely enamored with the concept of romantic and spontaneous love that comes from personal, chemistry between two people, irregardless of the logical list of traits we may think we want in a partner. As soon as we stumble upon someone who we click with in a particularly strong way, we throw our lists right out the window and feel like falling in love is INVOLUNTARY... not based on a set of criteria that we think will make for the best future spouse. We know it might be irresponsible, but we folow our hearts not our heads when it comes to choosing lovers and who we will marry... We might pause to think about it at some point.. Lol, but not until its probably too late and we have already invested so much emotionally in the person that it would be hard to put the brakes on even if we see the cliff coming up ahead.

When Achelle asks how you reconsile... Blah blah blah.. Shes simply asking you if you are using a traditional Eastern approach to finding love, ie using your head first, then how do you expect to find and connect properly with a Westerner who throws logic out the window and looks for love first with his heart and then (maybe if at all) lets a little head into the search? Shes not saying your way is right or wrong, shes just observing that it is different.

John was right in his description of something I ONLY see from Chinese people, not all of them but TOO TOO MANY OF YOU, that you think everything is some kind of national offence and you come back with these crazy knee jerk reactions and attack back. If anything is likely to chase many of us Western men away and send us looking for a different nation's women.. THATS IT... You who do that seriously need to back off and take it easy on that trait if you want to have a relationship with Western men.

I will say, however, that none of my previous girlfriends or friends from China have been like that.. But if they were I NEVER would have dated them or EVEN been friends with them for long. So I know its not everybody.. But we all know who you are because we all read the forums.

Another great post Achelle, and I really DO hope some women will reply here with serious and honest responses (not childish, angry personal attacks against you) because I really do want to know the answer to this one and I dont think Im alone in that sentiment.

#2013-06-07 15:49:47 by papaya1972 @papaya1972

Hi Achelle

There is one story I recommending you to read: 《Jane Eyre》. May be you have read it but forget what it is about.

What I want to tell you is that this romantic novel originated in English language which was a love story, has a big influence on Chinese women who were born in 60’s, 70’s and even early 80’s.
We didn’t have many stories imported those days, but this was one of the best and the most famous in China among Chinese women, though many of us were just teens that time.

Extracted one part which I myself like a lot:

“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”
Not sure if you can get an answer from here for your question, though it’s my personal view rather than all. Yes we are looking for love, but it has to be a real love with equality, not just ‘a good life’

In fact with Chinese, there are a few stories from historical people and events about this traditional character of ‘backbones’, and I believe almost every one of the Chinese female members here knows about the following:

As ancient as 孟子,“富贵不能淫,贫贱不能移,威武不能屈”
“不食嗟来之食”and
‘不为五斗米折腰’ 的朱自清who is a famous essayist in 1930’s

It won’t surprise me if you don’t really understand and you don’t have the similar traditional character in Philippine. As we all know Philippine has been invaded and has been a colony under Spain for over 300 years, then by America, then by Japan in its modern history. People there are more accustomed to the control and kind of unfairness put upon them. I am not saying they are not nice people; they are actually very polite and nice people, easier to be satisfied with whatever life offers.
What I want to say is, Chinese are very much different from your people because of the history, the culture and the traditions. Everyone has his background which is an accumulation of the past, a past not just of his own life experience but of the nation’s.
So if you ever use your own experience and way of thinking to estimate about another nation, you can go very wrong.

If you try to learn Chinese, experience more about China, after a few efforts, you may be able to ask questions that Chinese people are very happy to answer.

#2013-06-07 16:06:05 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Tranquility56 - Your comment simply supports what Achelle was saying even though you intend this to be some kind of attack. You say she is wrong to suggest that in different cultures people fall in love for different reasons, but then you go on to describe the person you would fall in love with by listing characteristics that are typically those sought by Chinese women and not so much those sought by Western women.

You indicate that these are the traits will "most easily to arouse love. Such as handsome or beautiful appearance; high education or excellent ability to work; rich; generous; loyal; wise; polite, sympathetic... if I meet a man with these traits I must fall in love with him in one second." Those are almost all traits that fit exactly what westerners would agree are not romantic. Good yes, but not romantic, and not what would induce us to fall in love.

Western men (and women) are looking for someone with that special twinkle in his or her eye, fierce independence, a rebellious spirit, a spirited flare, a feline grace or a roguish look, etc, etc. We look for sparks to fly. We do not fall in love with "high education or excellent ability to work; rich; generous; loyal; wise; polite, sympathetic".

The only trait that you listed that the two cultures have in common is beautiful appearance, but guess what - we often don't agree at all with what qualifies as beautiful appearance. I'm pretty sure you know what I mean. Western men are constantly being accused of falling in love with women who Chinese men would not find attractive. Go figure.

I really suggest that you read this blog again and look for the real meaning in it, instead of just assuming it must be something bad. It isn't an attack on Chinese women at all - it is a sincere question seeking an answer. My understanding is that she is asking you how you will balance your desire for Western style love with the usual Chinese cultural criteria of love which you have listed here.

@panda2009 - likewise I think you are responding to a very different article than the one Achelle wrote. You write that every woman is just seeking a good man, but the question is how do Chinese women, as opposed to Western women, define what a good man is when falling in love is concerned, and how can they balance that with their desire to marry a man who may not see it the same way.

#2013-06-07 23:26:13 by anonymous6467 @anonymous6467

I am a western man who considers panda2009 and tranquility56 to be intelligent, honest and attractive women. I welcome their responses to a difficult question. I look forward to reading more responses to this question from Chinese women in the coming days.

#2013-06-08 00:42:22 by madmac @madmac

I am absolutely blown away by the negativity given towards Achelle. She brings up topics that are open for mature debate and she gets attacked. I will say I am so DISAPPOINTED in the attitude of the chinese women here I am at the point of not wanting to participate in the forums anymore. I have never encountered such narrow visioned answers, which shows lack of different cultural knowledge. I keep reading answers that reflect only a one sided (blinded) opinion with no looking at the bigger picture. She is not attacking nor is she ridiculing chinese people in anyway what so ever. Open your minds to other ways of thinking, cultures, etc... you will be a better person for it.

Tranquility56 you write "In fact in the real life, traditional standards of suitability uasually is just the factors of the most easily to arouse love. Such as handsome or beautiful appearance; high education or excellent ability to work; rich; generous; loyal; wise; polite, sympathetic... if I meet a man with these traits I must fall in love with him in one second, the only problem is does the sort of man exist in the world"
You insult the integrity of every man on this site. Does any women who has these traits exist? Hell no.... no person is that perfect..so wake up!

I personally could not careless if a woman is rich or poor that has no relevence.

Achelle to you I say.....bravo!!!! You have more insight, bravery, stamina, respect and kindness with the ability to articulate your thoughts on a grand scale... please do not be insulted or hurt by the answers you get...you and people like you are needed on this site more than anyone knows....

I tip my hat to you!


MM

#2013-06-08 11:34:47 by Enyaluo1977 @Enyaluo1977

Hi Achelle
First, I’m sorry if my English is not good enough understand you...

In your words, it seems that we are here looking for a foreign life partner is a sudden whim after we watched some foreign movies or love stories. I don’t know other woman, I have contacted with foreign people for more than 7yesrs because of work. I know some very good foreign business man. They are very kind, gentleman, honest, and focus on details.

There is something in foreign movie impressed me much, that is a man built a house for his family, or baby house or playing house for his child, or repair their house and make it more comfortable for his family after work...those scene really touched me. I really wish be that wife:-) It’s not because what he did or built, it’s the love and effort behind that.

What kind of traits make a foreign man coming far away to love a woman? And what traits makes Chinese woman have that courage to conquer the culture difference and love a man thousands and thousands miles away...I think only love has such power.

When I search for a potential life partner, first I would check his age, pictures and single or not. Later when we have a conversation, I would pay more attention to if he has a positive outlook, I hope to find a happy and positive man. If he has a big smile, that works for me mostly:-) For me, there is no difference if this man is from which country. After we have deep conversation, if I really love a man, his age and appearance is not very important for me, common sense is more important. Handsome, young and know Chinese tradition could be a jerk, elder than me, with less hair maybe a good lover and husband.

I think we’re more conservative for man seperated. I am not sure in western country if they are same divorced. But in China, we consider of them married man mostly.

Talking about Chinese tradition and Chinese culture, there is one part I think it affected Chinese women mostly, that is man is superior to woman(男尊女卑). It is as old as our culture. From that single woman had to obey father, wife had to obey husband and after husband mother had to obey son (三重四德)in old China, to friends are like brothers and wife are like clothing, till now many couples rack their brain to have a boy. When I was three years old, my grandma used to teach me how to walk quietly and how to smile without showing teeth...even when we are little kids, peoples would say, “you are so naughty that no man would marry you when you grow up...” You can see we suffer much for some old tradition, when we have a chance to find a man love and respect us more, we would be much braver !

#2013-06-08 15:00:03 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@madmac, thank you, Sir. You nearly made me cry.

@Tyler72, @JohnAbbot, thank you, as well, Sirs, for your kind words and for providing a better perspective on the subject.

@Enyaluo1977, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, Ma'am.

@papaya1972, thank you for taking the time to read the blog and for sharing your thoughts, as well.

#2013-06-08 15:02:39 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@madmac - you are specifically forbidden from ceasing to participate on the forum or blogs :-).

@Enyaluo1977 - you seem to have come to a great compromise between what Western people are seeking and Chinese people are seeking when they look for a marriage partner. And very eloquently stated. A great answer to a difficult question.

@papaya1972 - in all the time the blogs and forum have been running I cannot recall one western man ever suggest to anyone, including any Chinese woman, that they have no right to ask a question because they are not a western man. Have you noticed that no western man, in her blog "A Question for Chinese Men" has complained about Achelle asking them a question, even though she is not a western man?

I was fascinated by your opening discussion about "Jane Eyre" and thought you were leading to a wise and enlightening response to Achelle's question. Unfortunately that's not where it ended up at all.

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