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Peter lived for nearly a half-decade in China, including two as a Peace Corps volunteer, and is the author of Socrates in Sichuan: Chinese Students Search for Truth, Justice and the (Chinese) Way. It is the intention of his blog to foster the sort of intercultural understanding necessary for long term relationships.
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Don't Do This with a Chinese Woman    

By Peter V
2591 Views | 4 Comments | 8/2/2015 2:11:43 PM

"Get's down to what it's all about. Making the wrong move at the right time."
--The Cincinnati Kid


Some dumb decisions only reveal themselves as such with the passage of time: the condo purchased just before the housing market went south, the new pair of running shoes that gave you a blister after the first run,  the unused gym membership you can't figure out how to stop payment on. Other choices are recognized as wrong-headed the moment the words asserting them leave them your lips.


Inviting her to visit you in America certainly seemed like an instance of the latter; at least you were pretty certain it was a mistake even as the phrase, "why don't you come to America" spilled out from your mouth. Hell, you knew it was dumb thing to do before you said it, but you went ahead and said it anyway. You knew bringing a Chinese woman to America was a dumb idea because you had read one of John's blogs on this very subject long ago and were convinced by the persuasive logic, although really you don't have to be Einstein to figure this one out (no offense John).


First, financially it made no sense. For the price of what this was going to cost you could have undergone an adventure of your own, seen some new sites and cities, and visited a half-dozen women.  If international online dating is a numbers game, a matter of kissing a lot of frogs to find a prince (or princess in this case), weren’t you only lengthening the process by focusing so much energy and resources on one woman?


Interpersonally as well it had the potential to blow up in your face. Sure you had had great QQ chats and interesting email exchanges. But electronic communication is one thing, a person to person meeting a whole other, with no more reason to believe that success at one will lead to success in the other than there is to believe that mastering Grand Theft Auto will allow you to compete in the Indianapolis 500. Despite the initial promising signs, you might discover that the moment you were alone with each other you had nothing to say. If that happens in China, it's relatively easy to disappear in a country of 1.6 billion people. But here she would know where you live and could and track you down like the dog that you were if you tried to escape. What sane person would put himself in that position?


Of course, with the exception of picking Sarah Palin as your vice-president, most wrong-headed decisions can have a few things said on their behalf. When it comes to inviting a Chinese woman to America, it can at least be said to have the same advantage that playing a home game does compared to playing an away game in sports. Specifically, you want to present your best self in such a situation, and it is not always easy to be your best self after travelling half-way around the world and being surrounded by strange sights and sounds and not being able to speak the language. Plus, by remaining in America you get to eat untainted food and breathe unpoisoned air.


Even with these advantages you realize this is all rationalization and that the sane thing, the sensible thing, the only really reasonable alternative was to get your ass on a plane and fly over there yourself. So why didn’t you?


Primarily, you tell yourself, because you did not have the energy for international travel. You were simply exhausted personally and professionally and the thought of an extended trip overseas and all that this entails had all the appeal to you of buying a TV that showed only the Kardashians and Fox News. Although that might explain why you didn’t go to China, it doesn’t account for the fact that you invited her here, because there was certainly the alternative to do nothing.


But the same wise man that had cautioned you not to invite her here in the first place had also once written that six months was about the right time to consider an in-person meeting. After this period of time, the woman will begin to take you less seriously as a potential mate and put her energies elsewhere—and who would blame her? Neither of you is getting any younger—a situation that, fairly or not, impacts women much more. This made sense. Everything, including relationship potential, has an expiration date. In this particular case, it simply felt like it was time, as you father would have put it, to s**t or get off the pot.


And while you could have let this one go and moved on to another—because there are always others (that’s the great thing about ChinaLoveMatch)—you felt that this one was special and you had been at this activity long enough to know how rare that feeling is. So, dumb or not, you did it; you invited her to America for two weeks. So it was a bad move.

But sometimes…


In the movie The Cincinnati Kid, Edward G. Robinson stars as an aging poker pro, Lancey Howard, the best in the game, while Steve McQueen plays the eponymous title character, a young upstart hoping to unseat Lancey from his throne. At a pivotal moment in their card game, it becomes clear The Kid has a superior hand and Lancey should fold, at least for that hand. Instead, Lancey does something crazy. He raises, even though he has nothing in his hand. His only hope of winning is a long-shot straight flush, the odds of which, if you care about such things, are 72, 902 to 1. Miraculously, Lancey catches the flush, and wins the championship. Afterwards, when someone comments to him about the irrationality of his move, he replies: "Get's down to what it's all about. Making the wrong move at the right time. . . Like life, I guess."


Would you have Lancey’s luck?

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 4 of 4) 1
#2015-08-02 14:07:47 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Man I hate it when someone makes me eat my words. I am assuming that, since I was the one whose writings you read that advised you not to have a woman come to your country to meet you, I am also the "same wise man" that "had also once written that six months was about the right time to consider an in-person meeting", genius that I am. Please remind me exactly where I wrote that, because after years of watching things unravel here on CLM I would certainly revise the number of months for a first meeting downward to 2 or 3, so I'll toddle of and amend that advice once you enlighten me on where it can be found.

Having said that, Peter, I am curious, are we talking in this blog about the same women whom you titillated with the 36 question approach, because if it is, then your describing your feelings for her thus, "you felt that this one was special and you had been at this activity long enough to know how rare that feeling is", suggests that those 36 questions might make for a pretty good online dating tool.

Of course I am, like everyone else will be, even more curious to know what happened when the Chinese woman who had lead you into this rash faux pas arrived at your door. I look forward to the next post and enlightenment.

#2015-08-02 22:04:48 by Anniehow @Anniehow

Oh no! Probably not the typical or best move by common standards. However, maybe this lady is special and open-minded enough to try it?

I am afraid that this approach is off-putting to most women for a few factors. You mentioned the fact that you will have no escape if things go downhill. From a woman’s perspective, it is very risky to fly thousands of miles away to meet a guy in a foreign unknown place for the first time. Different language and place and most importantly, she is not absolutely sure if the guy is trustworthy or not (no offence to you, just a general concern and description). Had the guy been to China for once, then at least she met him in the home field and had all the leverage and resources to fall back on as well as sizing up the man in a safe, known environment.

Trustworthiness and genuineness is the number one quality Chinese ladies look for so if a guy makes the first move, it will gain him a lot of credits. I would like to repeat the two keywords 3 times as it is the norm to repeat important things 3 times on the Chinese mainstream forum but I will spare my readers the pain.

Aside from risk concerns, a woman taking initiative to make the first flight appears too forward on the woman’s part. China is probably decades behind America in feminism and most women still hold the traditional view that men are supposed to pursue women instead of the other way around. Even if a guy buys the plane ticket, it still appears that the woman is taking the initiative. It will put the guy in a negative light to her family and friends as well. And support or approval from family and good friends carry a lot more weight in China than in the West.

Good luck! I hope you are able to fix it or make it work in some way.

#2015-08-03 10:46:20 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

John,
The six months stipulation is what I remembered from the booklet on online dating. But I could be wrong about that. I may have misremembered; so there is certainly deniability if you so desire, because I can't quote you chapter and verse. If I misattibributed this notion to you, I apologize. On the other hand, I happen to think it is six months is a pretty good marker. Although there may be something to be said for visiting earlier, six months seems to me to be the outer limit: If you haven't made a move to meet in six months, all other things being equal (that is, you can afford it and can get the time off), then you probably aren't serious about the person.

#2015-08-03 19:34:52 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

@Anniehow: I agree that this is probably not a move most Chinese women would consider making, which is probably one of the things that impressed me about her. Re: you comment "it will put a guy in a negative light to her family and friends"--also true, but I would recommend as well John's recent column on face. And I agree completely with your safety concerns, which are much more real concerns than the face issue. I will address all of these issues in future blog entries. So when it is all added up, this is not a path very many couples will go down. But since we did this and other couples may be considering this as an option, I thought I would write about our experience with this situation in the hopes that it might provide some lessons to others who choose, for whatever reason, to go down this path,

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