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: Vestis Virum Reddit, Part 1    

By RWByrum
1608 Views | 14 Comments | 5/19/2018 1:26:53 AM

Picture of me taken from my webcam

            I began studying Latin in high school.  We used a textbook which employed Latin proverbs to help teach the language.  The author obviously intended to kill two birds with one stone, teaching us about ancient Roman thought as well as their language.  Among these proverbs were ars gratia artis, "art for the sake of art", amor omnia vincit, "love conquers all", and vestis virum reddit, "clothes make the man".  This last one obviously bore the greatest significance to the subject of this blog, my profile pictures.

            When I originally undertook to write a blog entry about my profile pictures, I had only intended to explain and defend my decision to post the four pictures which I have uploaded to my profile so far.  I believed that if only I could provide the definitive explanation for my decisions, then everyone would understand and stop criticizing me for it.  Then I realized that this was a futile hope.  Why?  Because many of the people criticizing me were not actually doing so out of ignorance, but rather due to differences of opinion about dating strategies and differences in core values.  Thus, no explanation from me, no matter how eloquently phrased, no matter how well-conceived, and no matter how definitive will be adequate to head off such criticism.  Nevertheless, I do see some value in attempting to elucidate my thoughts on these matters.  However, that value may not necessarily be derived from its persuasiveness.  I realized that I needed to expound upon much more than just why I chose the four pictures currently adorning my profile.

            Perhaps no aspect of my blog entries has received more criticism on CLM than my profile pictures.  These criticisms have varied from friendly suggestions that the pictures are undermining my ability to find my lifemate to outright demands that I replace them.  I have read these comments, carefully considered them, and then rejected them.  Why?  The simple answer was that I disagreed with that advice, but that just begs the question, why did I disagree?  I have tried to explain this through various comments, but the criticisms kept getting repeated anyway, so I have obviously failed to adequately explain my position.  That was why I decided to make this issue the subject of this blog entry.  Hopefully, I can fully explain the reasons why I have uploaded the pictures which appear in my profile along with the reasons why I had no intention of changing them.  Some of those reasons were due to practical considerations while others were driven by more philosophical considerations.

            As demonstrated by the opening paragraph of this entry, the notion that we are somehow defined by what we wear was ancient.  It has been repeated in Western culture for at least the last two thousand years.  William Shakespeare paraphrased the Roman proverb in the play, Hamlet.  Among the pieces of fatherly advice which Polonius gave to his son, Laertes, was "Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, but not expressed in fancy; rich not gaudy, for the apparel oft proclaim the man."  The modern equivalent of the ancient Roman proverb was "dress for success" which has been repeated to me in comments posted here.

            I believe that the whole notion that we should all "Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy" was what drove all of the criticism leveled at me on CLM.  By refusing to abide by this unwritten rule, I was violating a social taboo and violating social taboos was often perceived as worse than breaking the law.  Those with the audacity to violate social customs were often perceived as threats by those who adhere to those same customs.  How else could one explain the hostility of some towards such social deviation?  Why else did it even matter?

            I posted the four profile pictures which I have on CLM because they are an accurate reflection of how I look.  When I uploaded those pictures, I believed that how I normally dress was every bit as important as my physical features.  I was showing my potential matches exactly how I looked on a typical day.  There was a fundamental honesty about those pictures that I suppose just might have seemed unnerving to some men here.

            But there were practical issues involved as well.  I am a utilitarian by nature and this extends to my clothing as well.  I wear clothes primarily for comfort and secondarily out of modesty.  I don't dress to impress other people.  I also hail from a proletarian background.  While I am quite well educated that doesn't change the fact that I am a proletarian.  I have never held a white-collar job in my life or worked in a place with a dress code.  I simply didn't have "better" clothes and I was not about to acquire any merely for the sake of dressing up for a profile picture.

            There have been times when I did attend functions that required dressing appropriately, such as weddings or funerals.  Attendance at such events has been rather rare, however.  Whenever I do, I either rent clothes or borrow them from a relative.  The last such function was my niece's wedding.  Unfortunately, I did not have any pictures from that wedding.

            I have said this before in my comments, but not everyone reads the comments, so I will say it again.  Any woman who refused to date me solely on the basis of how I dressed was not someone I would care to date in the first place.  As far as I was concerned, such women were as shallow as a puddle of mud.  I was not looking for a trophy wife.  Why would I want to date a woman who was looking for a trophy husband?  I have been searching for a woman who was compatible with me.  Clearly, a woman who would be bothered so much by my profile pictures would not be willing to accept me the way I am and, therefore, would not be compatible with me.  Perhaps this was a Quixotic quest.  But that was hardly a reason not to undertake it.  One of the few certainties of life was that if you do nothing, nothing will happen.

            To be continued

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2018-05-19 01:26:29 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Roger, there are so many different angles a person reading this blog might take i making a comment, and each of them is right for various reasons and wrong for various reasons. I have some responses directly on the point you are making, which I take to be as follows:

You chose to dress as you did in your profile photos because that is exactly the way you dress in real life, so that was the best way to ensure that you attracted only the women best suited to be your life partner because those would obviously be women who were not deterred from the real you dressed the way you really dress. Those who would be deterred would never make a good life partner for you so you don't care if they fail to express interest in you.

First, before I bother engaging with you, and explaining where I think you have gone wrong, can you please confirm that is your position.

Second, I am unsure of why you wrote this blog. I tend to assume that a person writes a blog to make a point and intends in doing so to create a discussion around the point he/she is making. In other words, we write the blog to generate a discussion that will offer up various points of view from which we might learn. In doing so we must accept that there will probably be responses that range from praise, to general agreement, to general disagreement, to ridicule to downright rudeness. We must also accept that most comments made will be somewhat personal in nature, especially when the subject matter is personal in nature - 'the way we dress'.

But that is me, and you are you.

So again, before I bother engaging with you, and explaining where I think you have gone wrong, can you please confirm if that is your purpose in writing this blog, and if not can you please suggest what you are expecting by way of reader reaction, so I can read again what you have written but from the POV of how you are hoping I will react.

I am asking this because my reaction to this will entail getting personal, not insulting, but definitely personal and constructively critical, but if that is not what you're expecting then I definitely will choose not to go there.

But then I would like to know why you did post this article so I can read it with that in mind, and better understand it from your POV.



#2018-05-19 05:29:11 by RWByrum @RWByrum


You described my position better than I did, John.  As to why I wrote it, I was trying for understanding, not approval or even acceptance.  But keep in mind that I wrote this back in March, before the proverbial excrement made contact with the ventilation equipment.  I was much more optimistic about the immediate future then than I am now.  I would not have written this now.

#2018-05-19 07:37:36 by Barry1 @Barry1



"I would like to know why you did post this article.."

Roger is a writer, John.  So apart from anything else, he enjoys writing about anything... and everything. Even if there may be no compelling message, no particularly relevant theme in each and every article.


To me, this is a good thing. Writing for writing's sake. Art for art's sake.  Life, for God's sake.


If you want to see a blog that was written entirely without any particular purpose or message, for example, take a look at the following:



On the pretext of helping Western men communicate to Chinese ladies, the whole blog is basically about a TALKING PARROT.  Had they been around here back in 2014 when it was originally published, serious folk such as Ryan and Melcyan would probably have rolled their eyes into their heads at this "inane, childish drivel" (their words, not mine).    :D:D


But herein lies the message.  All of us have individual characters and personalities. We all possess varying ways of expressing ourtselves. Different levels or appreciation of humour. Articles or words in my view don't need to compulsorily convey a particular point or message. Readers of course, can stop reading as soon as they feel turned off or bored by what they're reading.


So go, Roger, go!  Please feel free to write whatever you want, as far as I'm concerned!  (y)




#2018-05-20 14:41:47 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Barry1 - I wasn't really asking Roger why anyone would choose to write any article, or why he chose to write this article in a broad, general sense. I was asking why he "posted it" as in what was he hoping to get for feedback. But read on...

@RWByrum - perhaps I was being obtuse in my long, drawn out question. And, BTW, I do apologize in the time that has passed since you posted it and I have published it. My bad!

But my concern was that I don't want to go into a long detailed response that involves assessing your individual photos on your profile as to why each one may be good or bad for purposes of finding your ideal match, unless that is what you are looking for. Frankly, I was certain that was not what you were looking for.

But then, are you simply looking for readers to respond by saying "Oh, great. Now I understand why you posted those photos. Thanks for explaining that."

My own inclination is to disagree with the underlying premise contained in this paragraph:

You chose to dress as you did in your profile photos because that is exactly the way you dress in real life, so that was the best way to ensure that you attracted only the women best suited to be your life partner because those would obviously be women who were not deterred from the real you dressed the way you really dress. Those who would be deterred would never make a good life partner for you so you don't care if they fail to express interest in you.

But if you aren't interested in whether or not your readers agree with the premise you are operating on, and simply wish to have them understand the premise you are operating on, then I do understand and do not need to comment further.

However, if you'd like a differing POV as to the validity of the premise, then I will comment further.

I hope that makes the point of my question more clearly than I originally made it. If you're interested in further discussion, please advise. If not, then I will know from the lack of response that I need not comment further.

#2018-05-21 11:17:55 by melcyan @melcyan

I am glad that you posted this blog. It is about you being you. Your honesty shines like a beacon. You are not trying to partner the many people criticising your profile photos. You are only interested in partnering a compatible person who is undeterred by the photos and values Roger for being Roger. I am getting a crystal clear picture of who you are and what is important to you. 


Your target audience is very small. You are definitely going against the general advice given for success in online dating.


I don't think any of the other men on CLM will be contemplating the same strategy as Roger but if I am wrong and you are considering this strategy then you need to match or exceed Roger's clarity with regard to your own identity and values.

#2018-05-21 13:49:31 by melcyan @melcyan



I read your blog again.


I will probably surprise you by saying it is definitely funny. You describe a real problem in a humorous way and by suggesting some ridiculously funny solutions without targetting any individual other than yourself. Not only was the blog funny it was also thought-provoking and comforting to men experiencing the same problem. No purpose? No message? This blog definitely has a funny purpose and also a message about the difficulties of online dating communication.


I joined CLM nearly two years before you. I remember your very first blog. Your style and sense of humor were crystal clear in that first blog. Sometimes humor can be insightful and sometimes humor is a joyful distraction. Sometimes attempts at humor totally miss the mark and are counterproductive. The right place and the right time are everything. Some blogs are best served by giving attempts at humor a complete miss.


According to my partner and friends, I have a great sense of humor. I suspect Ryan also has a good sense of humor. Anyone who can run the painful gauntlet that Ryan ran and reach the end without any bitterness must have a sense of humor.


When I used Ryan's words in bold and italics I was specifically referring to your comments about Ryan but is not just with Ryan that you have experienced failed attempts at humor. Your most spectacular failure was your "dump Lily" song that you wrote in one of Imi's blogs several years ago. Your blog "Helping Western Men Chat to Chinese Ladies " is an example of your humor at its best. It is definitely a far cry from "inane childish drivel".


Honesty and humor often work well together but in a sensitive environment like CLM if you are ever forced to choose between the two, then I hope the choice will be honesty.  CLM is made up of both men and women. Do you have any female CLM penpals who give you genuinely honest feedback on your words in a private email?


My comments on CLM were few and far between when I started but they increased as my contact with CLM penpals increased. Often my comments on CLM directly followed email conversations with CLM penpals. Early on my comments were much more anonymous than they are now.


To all CLM men, I would like to thoroughly endorse the use of penpals on CLM as an excellent way of learning what Chinese women really think and what their values are. Solid penpal friendships with Chinese women will keep you grounded and greatly assist your pursuit of a quality loving life-long relationship with a Chinese woman.



#2018-05-22 04:13:26 by RWByrum @RWByrum


I wrote the article because I thought that the subject was of sufficient importance to merit a more formal and systematic treatment than I had given it in my previous comments.

I posted it here because I thought that people reading my blog might find it interesting.

However, I may well be wrong on both counts, but I'll let other people decided that for themselves.

#2018-05-22 04:26:43 by RWByrum @RWByrum


Thanks, Barry.  What I think is really happening here is that John is afraid that if he posts a comment saying what he really thinks then I will suffer an emotional melt-down and disappear from the blogs forever.  So, I think his questions are intended to elicit some assurance from me that this will not happen.  That's my impression, of course, it could be wrong.

#2018-05-22 04:38:03 by RWByrum @RWByrum


I'm always interested in intelligent discussion and I've never found the followers of these blogs to be particularly shy when expressing their opinions.

#2018-05-22 15:05:41 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@RWByrum - interestingly enough, of your last three comments the one I feel the need to respond to is the one addressed to @Barry1, and not the 2 addressed to me.

I had not considered that you might have a "serious meltdown" at all. I thought that you might somehow interpret something I said as insulting in some way, even though I would not have been intending to insult you. When you're talking about another person's dress or appearance, even when it is a peripheral component to the discussion, there is always the chance they will misunderstand your meaning or intent.

But I didn't think I would say something that would produce anything approaching a "serious meltdown" in you. In fact, you don't strike me at all as the meltdown type.

My concern was to know if you wanted that kind of feedback that would generate a possibly lengthy and detailed discussion about "using photos to attract your ideal match, and why I think your approach is counter productive". If you were interested in such a discussion I would have commented accordingly I would have commented accordingly, but if you were not intrested in such a discussion, then I would have passed, because I have better things to do than embark on a lengthy discussion with someone who isn't interested in having one.

It turns out we're having a detailed discussion now about having a detailed discussion, which is a worse waste of time and effort for us both than the one I was trying to avoid, so obviously I missed my mark. 

Nuff said...?

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