Chinese Women, Asian Women, Online Dating & Things Chinese and Asian
Born and raised in Maryland, USA, and attended the University of Maryland, but now living in Pennsylvania, RTByrum is an author and publisher of 9 books but does not make a living at it. His places traveled include Britain and China. His past marriage was to a Chinese woman for 3 years. He since claims to have found the secret to happiness and hopes to share that happiness with someone special, and through his blogs, perhaps also with you.
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Dating Chinese Women? First Understand Happiness    

By RWByrum
4796 Views | 40 Comments | 11/16/2017 12:12:14 PM

Happiness is not often found in your Doctor's examination room, but strength often is.

            My name is Roger and I am rather new to CLM, having joined on September 24th.  I am a 52-year-old divorced man currently living in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.  My ex-wife is a Chinese lady whom I met through online dating.  Unfortunately, our marriage lasted only for three years.  I'll go into more detail about the reasons for the failure of my marriage in a future installment.

            The focus of CLM is to facilitate and promote the development of cross-cultural romantic relationships, specifically between Chinese women and western men.  Thus, I think it only appropriate for a blog featured on that website to share that same focus.  So, I intend to use my blog to provide the members of CLM with what insights I have into dating Chinese women and developing relationships with them.

            The subject of my first blog entry is happiness.  I believe that happiness is an essential ingredient to any successful relationship.  We will naturally seek to escape from any situation in which we do not feel happy and this is especially true of our romantic relationships.  So, I believe that the only romantic relationships that truly last are those in which both partners feel consistently happy within the relationship.  I also believe that the people with the best chance of experiencing this consistent happiness are those who have achieved a state of true happiness.

            Sounds like circular logic, doesn't it?  Didn't I just say that 'the only people who are truly happy are happy people'?  On the surface, it certainly sounds like that, but that is not what I am actually saying.  To truly understand what I just said in the previous paragraph, you have to understand the difference between feeling happy and being happy.  Most people think of them as the same thing, but they are not.

            Feeling happy is our emotional response to positive stimuli.  Like all other emotions, this brand of happiness rapidly dissipates whenever the emotional stimulus that produced it is gone or whenever it is overwhelmed by a negative emotional stimulus.  True happiness is not an emotion.  It is a state of mind.  True happiness is not about constantly bouncing off the walls with joy.  It is about peace of mind, calmness, satisfaction, and optimism.  In a word, true happiness is a state of serenity.

            How do you achieve true happiness?  Since it is a state of mind, it can only come from within.  Nothing outside of you can give you true happiness, not a job, not a relationship, not money, not even religion unless the convictions taught by that religion encompass adopting the proper state of mind.

            This is nothing new.  I'm pretty sure that Confucius taught this 25 centuries ago.  I also believe that Buddha taught this as well.  I reached this same conclusion nearly six years ago.  It was the product of thirty years of introspection.  My seemly sudden insight may well have been triggered by the recapture of memories of things that I had read years ago and had long forgotten.

            Unhappiness is the twin sister of happiness.  It, too, is a state of mind.  Unfortunately, the state of mind of unhappiness is far more prevalent than the state of mind of happiness.  We all have an emotional baseline and that baseline is determined by our fundamental state of mind.  For those of us with happiness as our state of mind, our baseline emotion is going to be happy.  But for those with unhappiness as our state of mind, their baseline emotion is going to be unhappy.

            As I said before, feeling happy and feeling unhappy are both emotional responses to psychological stimuli and they are temporary responses.  Once the impact of the stimuli fades, you return to your emotional baseline.  The happy people will go back to being happy while the unhappy people will return to being unhappy.

            Our baseline emotion also affects how we respond to psychological stimulation.  Our baseline will amplify the impact of stimuli of the same nature while mitigating the impact of stimuli of the opposite nature.  Thus, for happy people, positive emotional stimuli would be felt more intensely while negative emotional stimuli would be somewhat muted.  Naturally, the opposite holds true for unhappy people.  They will feel negative emotional stimuli more intensely while having positive emotional stimuli somewhat muted.

            Being happy does not mean being carefree.  Happy people have their share of problems, but happy people are better equipped for dealing with them.  After all, a person who is habitually calm and optimistic will be better able to solve his problems than one who is pessimistic and constantly worrying.

            One of the fundamental mistakes people often make when entering into a romantic relationship is believing that the relationship will make them happy.  It will not.  The only happiness you are apt to find in any romantic relationship is the happiness which you bring in with you.  People who enter a relationship hoping to find the happiness which they lack will be disappointed and then they will bail on that relationship in the misguided belief that they will find their happiness with someone else.

            How did I find happiness?  When I realized that it was a state of mind, I simply willed myself to be happy.  I literally sat in a chair and stared out the window as I said to myself, "I am happy and I am going to remain happy no matter what happens to me."

            Sounds terribly trite, doesn't it?  Except that at the time I was dealing with the biggest crisis that I had ever encountered.  In February of 2012, I had a sore tongue.  It didn't seem like a big deal at the time, especially since I had a broken tooth immediately next to the sore.  I figured that my tongue must have been rubbing against the tooth.  A month goes by and my tongue is not healing.  If anything it was getting worse.  This is quite abnormal because the tongue is one of the fastest healing parts of the body.

            On March 17th my wife forced me to see the doctor.  I duly visited a walk-in clinic in Shippensburg.  I didn't need an appointment to see the doctors there.  When I opened my mouth and stuck out my tongue, the doctor's face immediately went white and his facial expression looked stricken.  I had never seen a doctor react that way before.  He stepped out of the room and came back a moment later with his colleague.  The second doctor said, "I hear you have an interesting tongue."

            After the second doctor had examined my tongue, the two doctors left the room to confer.  When the first doctor returned, he did not offer me a diagnosis.  Instead, he gave me a prescription for a painkiller and a referral to an ear nose and throat doctor in Chambersburg, an emergency referral.

            Three days later, I was sitting in the examination room of the ENT doctor.  He was not frightened by the appearance of my tongue, but he was angry.  "How long has that been there?" When I said about a month, he said, "It's been there longer than that."  He wasn't shy about making a diagnosis, either.  He said that he thought it was a 3-centimeter cancer tumor growing out of the base of my tongue.  Naturally, he took a biopsy of the tumor to confirm the diagnosis.  He also ordered a PETT scan at Chambersburg Hospital.  The ENT doctor also gave me a referral to a surgeon in Philadelphia who specializes in removing cancer tumors from the head and neck.  Another emergency referral.

            The PETT scan reveals hypermetabolism consistent with cancer at the base of my tongue and in the lymph nodes of my neck.  A histological examination of the biopsy material confirmed the diagnosis.  The tumor was squamous cell carcinoma, a particularly aggressive form of cancer.  By the time the tumor was surgically removed a month later, it had grown to 5 centimeters.

            After the doctor had left the examination room to process the biopsied tissue, I found myself staring death directly in the face for the first time in my life.  responded by staring out the window.  I said to myself, "I am happy and I am going to remain happy no matter what happens to me."

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2017-11-16 12:11:48 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

First, let me introduce our newest blogger, RWByrum, who has an interesting history that leads me to believe he has much to offer CLM members in understanding relationship building with a Chinese woman specifically, but also about finding and preserving happiness in general.

When I first read this blog I found it to be both enlightening and intriguing, and very much on point as to what is relevant to our blogs, and our websites. This is something we've been straying from recently, including myself, so it is nice to get back on track and be reminded why we started the blogs in the first place.

I have a few questions I want to ask RWByrum, who we might also refer to as "Roger" BTW, but I am interested to see the responses to this blog from other members before getting into those queries, because I don't wish to influence other readers' first reactions in anyway.

So welcome to the blogs, Roger, and thanks for what was a very interesting read for me. More to add later...

#2017-11-16 19:50:35 by RWByrum @RWByrum

@JohnAbbot I'm curious about what comments this inspires.  I am equally curious about the questions you have.  Thank you for giving me this opportunity.

#2017-11-16 21:21:18 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Hello Roger, and welcome to CLM.

Your first blog is an interesting one on many levels, but before John responds on a deeper level, I want to pick up on one particular level that you discuss, and that is the fact that happiness comes from within.

I agree with you 100% on this for several reasons.

At some time in your life you may have walked into a room full of people and your first thought was 'Who died?'

You can tell in a nano-second that everyone is unhappy because of what we call the 'atmoshphere' in that room.

Conversely, walk into a room full of of happiness and you can FEEL the atmosphere of happiness.

Why is this?

It's because every human being resonates between the parameters of a band of frequencies. The frequency that one resonates on comes from within.

This idea formed the basis of a rather silly book called 'The Law of Attraction'

The first few chapters made a lot of sense to me, but once it started blabbering on about attracting more wealth and more materialistic things, I stopped reading it.

If you look back at my recent blog called 'Who has got it right', you'll get a deeper insight to what I am talking about.

However, the 'Law of Attraction' does work once you understand it. Essentially it means you 'get back' what you 'put out'.

In other words, if you feel happy and successful, happiness and success will come to you. Think positive thoughts and positive things will happen.

If you live in a state of unhappiness and worry, only more of those negative feelings will come to you

It's often when a person gets themselves into a state of fear, worry, and unhappiness that they begin to look to external forces (other people), in order to make them feel happy. This may work for a short time, but it's only superficial because they are still fearful, worrysome, and unhappy within themselves, despite now having found a new 'external force' to make them 'happy'.

If you want to try and find a TRUE state of happiness then you're right, it HAS to come from within. The best way to start is to turn off the TV, throw it in the rubbish bin, and stop reading the news.

#2017-11-16 23:07:30 by jellyfish @jellyfish

Hi, RWByrum, 

Nice to meet you and thank you for sharing your thought on happiness. Many of us need that. 

Expect more content from you. 

Have a nice day, 


#2017-11-17 07:48:13 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

First I want to say thanks for writing, not only for the topic of happiness but for your discussion of your cancer. My brother had a very similar diagnosis last year. It was oral cancer resulting from HPV. He is doing fine now. This type of cancer is going to be on the upswing among older males because many of us have undiagnosed HPV  and, as I understand it, there is no treatment for the HPV and no way to know whether it will develop into cancer. The best thing to do is get vaccinated when you are young, which thankfully is happening at least in the US. The rest of us need to be on guard for any changes in the oral area and get to the doctor quickly. It saved my brother’s life and it sounded like it saved yours. So thanks for raising awareness of something most males on this site need to be aware of.

I admire, and agree with, your position regarding happiness. The distinction between “feeling happy” and “being happy” is certainly one that the ancient Greeks recognized, although in fact they only called the latter state “happiness” (Eudaimonia). Aristotle famously said “one sparrow does not make a spring, nor do a few events constitute happiness.”   Chinese recognizes a similar distinction between being gaoxing(高兴) and xingfu (幸福).

I guess the only point it would make is that in my experience “being happy” often requires more than just a matter of will. Nothing worthwhile is achieved without great effort, and hence happiness, which is certainly worthwhile, necessarily requires great effort. The spiritual teachers from Buddha, Confucius and Socrates to the present day all had this topic as their central focus, and for this reason are worth studying, although certainly one does not have to be a philosopher to be happy. The relatively recent discipline of Positive Psychology has turned happiness into something of a science with very impressive results. My own preference fall to the Stoics, who say that we are in control of only one thing, and that is how we choose to respond to any situation, and in that power resides true happiness.  If you want to learn Spanish or master the guitar or run a marathon, there is a path you take that requires study and discipline. Happiness, which is essentially mastering the art of life, requires study and discipline in the same way.

I guess another problem I have with the idea about willing yourself to be happy is that this is something that is often said to be people who are seriously depressed. This has special relevance in light of the fact that this is a forum about China. Most Chinese don’t recognize depression as a mental illness that can indeed be treated either through talk therapy or through medication. Instead, people who are seriously depressed are told to “cheer themselves up,” which is essentially like telling someone with cancer to cure themselves.  As someone who taught in China for five years, and then was in charge of international students for the past two years, I have seen this attitude result in a lot of untreated and unnecessary suffering. In the case of cancer, we have therapies that have been proven by double blind studies to be much more effective than simply doing nothing, and the same goes with many cases of mental illness including depression. Even if I agree (as I do) that for those of us not undergoing mental illness happiness is within our control, still the general advice to “will yourself to be happy” to someone who is not currently happy does not seem especially helpful. But if that got you through your situation then, as they say, whatever works.

I’ve gone on way too long. You obviously touched a nerve. Anyway, as someone who has recently married a Chinese woman, I am looking forward to hearing more of your experience.

#2017-11-17 18:38:49 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


You'll be very familiar with the saying 'Drink more water' then, won't you ?

#2017-11-18 07:14:18 by RWByrum @RWByrum

@paulfox1  Thanks, Paul.  I am certainly happy to be here.  I did read your latest blog entry with a great deal of interest.  In fact, I think our respective blog entries complement each other wonderfully.  I agree with you that western culture is far too materialistic and far too self-absorbed.  I also fear that the west is rapidly taking the east along with it.

#2017-11-18 07:15:33 by RWByrum @RWByrum

@jellyfish  Thanks Jellyfish!  I also enjoyed your first blog entry as well.  I will certainly contribute more and I greatly look forward to reading your future entries as well.

#2017-11-18 07:22:52 by RWByrum @RWByrum

@woaizhongguo  Thank you for the thought-provoking comment.  I had considered mentioning clinical depression at the time I was writing this blog entry, but at the time I considered the position that the clinically depressed could not cure themselves through willpower alone to be sufficiently self-evident to not require further elucidation.  Perhaps that supposition was a mistake.

#2017-11-18 14:08:49 by anonymous16627 @anonymous16627

This post is extremely offensive and obtuse.

As someone who has been chemically incapable of experiencing "happiness," the main argument behind this, that people who aren't "happy" are so because they choose to be unhappy and vice versa, is ridiculous.  

My body stopped producing the proper neurotransmitters when I was 3 years old. You mean to tell me that I should have, as a three year old, simply decided, "ok, I'm happy," and it would have caused the neurotransmitters to go back into production?  That's not the way that brain chemistry works.   Pick up a psychology book and learn something  

Imagine if this line of logic were used in other situations.  Poor people? "If you really wanted to be rich, you would be."  Cancer patients? "Stop being sick, get healthy."  Homeless people? "You're homeless because you're lazy."  The elderly?  "Stop being old."    Absurd and offensive, no?

I don't think that you understand the way that the brain works, and are confusing outlook with emotion.  


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