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Sandy is a professional teacher of English. She has a consistant curiosity in all things that are worthwhile, and she has a very frank nature to her personality, which plays two sides in her life. Studying and teaching English for so many years makes her feel close to and appreciate mainstream western culture. Her spiritual beliefs in this world are closest to being a Buddhist, so she tends to just let things go forward naturally. Among other things she will blog about Chinese women, traditional and not so traditional.
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Of Marriage and Single Life    

By Sandy
10153 Views | 41 Comments | 1/27/2015 4:34:37 PM

Firstly I would like to say thanks and also sorry to Francis Bacon because I have stolen the name of one of his essays. May he rest in peace. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, so this means I have to examine my life and that I have to think a lot, otherwise my life might not be worthwhile. Recently I have been thinking a lot about the difference between marriage and the single life. During this time I found Francis Bacon’s article “of Marriage and Single Life” and this is exactly what I would like to figure out now. I have read quite a lot on this topic of marriage and the single life and I am pretty sure it is in the interest of men only. In this sense it is quite like Plato’s The Republic, both of which present an ideal case in order to explain something.



Let’s see some words in this article: “He that hath wife and children hath given hostages to fortune.” Wow, really? From selfish view of point, it is. Different cultures breed different people, and I don’t think that is the mainstream value in most societies. “Nay, there are some other, that account wife and children, but as bills of charges`.” I believe this, and knew some such kind of bastards. But what I most appreciate is this sentence: “But the most ordinary cause of a single life, is LIBERTY, especially in certain self-pleasing and humorous minds, which are so sensible of every restraint, as they will go near to think their girdles and garters, to be bonds and shackles.” It is so true, I think. The longer I am single, the harder it is for me to sacrifice my liberty and comfort of easier and simpler life for a marriage. As such I have gradually come to understand why some people are ‘marriage phobia’. In older China this was almost unthinkable, and the only other option for a dependent woman was to become a nun, if she wanted to be single?



But interestingly I notice it is different in international relationship and marriage. I ever talked with a guy, once I mistakenly added him back at my qq, we talked again. Thanks to and thanks for his Alzheimer and countless chatting, he can’t remember me at all. So we talked something “new”, he said he was very intelligent with PHD (hehe, it is weird to me.) and asked me how long did I divorce and how many bfs I got, and whether I had sex during, etc. and said most Chinese women he knew are easily to have sex with their Chinese bfs, while for western bfs most of them need to marry first and sex second, and ask me why with a bit of anger and disappointment. I said I didn’t know why, or should I say maybe Ticket matters? Ticket first—Marriage second—sex third—love fourth? That might be the proper order? So you are not that easy to get free and cheap sex and service. I never doubt there would be some love there, but you might understand it comes in different orders not as you expect. Poor old guy! What else I could say about it.



A lot of Western men here want traditional Chinese women to take care of them and to come to the relationship with good family values. If they want such kind of relationship or marriage, they need to be a traditional husband: a good provider and caring person etc. otherwise, equal partner might be a better choice. Also they should know that in this market things are really different from any other singles culture. If we are really serious and respectful to our potential life partner then we need to know what the other partner expects. And we leave others to the hand of God/Buddha, what actually eventuates might be so different and it is best to see this as God/Buddha 's will. After all, Man proposes God disposes. Good Luck to all of us! 


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 41) 1 2 3 4 5 More...
#2015-01-27 17:49:34 by wyhyaya @wyhyaya

hey dont forget me ,i am coming

#2015-01-27 19:32:07 by Barry1 @Barry1

@sandy339

"The longer I am single, the harder it is for me to sacrifice my liberty and comfort of easier and simpler life for a marriage"

Thanks for your thoughtful article, Sandy.

I particularly resonated with the above sentence. It is very true. I was 47 before I initially married. So I was the living proof of this statement.

But as one gets older, I believe marriage becomes more and more important for a single person. All of us will become less well in our later years, not as healthy and strong as we once were. To be alone in these circumstances would be no good at all.

I also believe a man and a woman should be together because they have different yet complementary attributes. A man has strengths in certain areas and weaknesses in others. The same goes for a woman. So it makes sense that a man and a woman be together, to help balance out the strengths and weaknesses in each other.

A selfish person will find it harder to be a good spouse. Marriage will hopefully make such a person to be more considerate and helpful towards others. Marriage arguably makes for better, more balanced people. Not so insular and small minded.

A good article, thanks Sandy. (sun)

#2015-01-28 00:26:57 by anonymous12840 @anonymous12840

Hi, I a enjoyed your article. Interesting viewpoints and thoughts. Your order of importance is definitely different than his was. Was he asking you for sex first? Or was he trying to understand you and Chinese culture better?

I was ok with everything you said as far as expressing your personal views etc. How ever you need to remember that not everyone here believes in a god or supreme deity other than that it was entertaining story.(y)

Look forward to your next story......

#2015-01-28 00:32:18 by sharonshi @sharonshi

很有勇气提这么有意思的话题——关于自由、爱情和婚姻,还有男人和女人的差别!我点32个赞!

一位老师做跨文化研究的老师在美国和欧洲做访问学者期间的感受是,觉得目前中国女人的社会地位和自由度是最高的。这种社会地位与经济地位的提升关联度比较大。中国女性的独立意识和工作能力都越来越强;最有魅力的地方还在于,外柔内刚。相比之下,中国男性的自由意识要弱一点,儒家文化影响太深,忠孝起来时,把女人就暂时晾一边了。好在,越来越多的好男人也在接受教育,越来越珍视亲密关系的可贵性。

Sandy提到的一类奇葩,在这鱼龙混杂的网络环境中是免不了的,可能生活中也会有。绕开就好。

无论是剩斗士、独身贵族、丁克还是几个孩子的妈,只要是自己的主动选择,开心就好,累了“自作自受”也是好的。

唯一心里就存的,是爱意。无论它是以回忆、现在时、还是憧憬的形式存在。只不过,婚姻中的爱,别苛责自己和爱人,要100%的纯,只需七八的量,另二三分给自由。不然,美好的爱情故事就不能传说了。

#2015-01-28 11:41:49 by YinTingYu @YinTingYu

@ sandy 339
WOW !! You read Plato and Bacon ?
Cool,...now I don't feel like such a "dinosaur". :D
Interesting though, I just finished re-reading “The Seventh Letter” by Plato before I came to the computer this morning!
Please allow me to comment and remember,... this is just one fellow's take on it.

"Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living,..." So Very True.
If we each don't take time to examine and assess our lives, what good is it ?
Just an existence. Not for me thank you.

These Bacon statements gave me pause and I had to refresh.
I have known couples that consider their partner as the "ball and chain".
I don't get it. From my perspective, this is a serious matter to embark on.
I can also understand the initial feeling of connection but gosh, the creating of a life together or a child is a beautiful thing with many responsibilities to consider.
Do you think it might be appropriate to include “bitches” as well as “bastards”? (giggle)
I have known both but,.. more males. It is sad.

Now,... this thing about traditional marriage. I think it can work out very well for many people however, with my life experience, I search for something different. Bacon's statement about “liberty” I feel, in context, is true. Both partners need to have complete mental freedom to explore their lives and yet, be committed by their own “free will choice” to their union. I don't see it as a “shackle” but more of a “life enhancement”.

Living a life of near monastic solitude and borderline hermetic obscurity for the past 5 years I have had much time to reflect on this and certainly I have come to appreciate the solitude but,...I still have an almost insane hope that there just may be someone (female) in the ethers who can understand.
Did you happen to see or remember a movie from the late 1990's titled “The Matrix”?
Here's a clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9vGMMPM5Lg

I would ask you one question; “Nea (feminine for Neo), did you take the red pill too”?
If so,...I'll bet our doses came from the same batch! You are not alone in your thinking.

I really feel your statement concerning “equal partners” is the best. Certainly there is a part of me that wishes to be the “provider” (western man thing?) but sometimes the finances have become askew and it is good to know that the other partner will be able to step up and contribute to the union. It is no big deal for me if the partner wishes to pitch in a little bit from time to time, or has greater financial backing. I will balance out. Usually this is not the case because I set aside “back up” finances if such instances should occur.

The part about the PHD (Piled High and Deep) is very funny to me because my Dad became the same way about two months before his departure. Everything was “new” to him but he still remembered who I was. I think you did Very Good to answer like you did but, from a western perspective, I would make amendment to your equation: Love (admiration, respect) is the “Ticket”. Next, the serious discussion of what may be necessary for future longevity of the relationship (“Marriage” or long term partnership). Then the POSSIBLE (if all is agreed) “Sex” or at least some Serious Snuggling. I think everybody deserves a little “test drive” before the final purchase. I know I might sound like a salesman on this last point but if there is not that particular chemistry with each, I don't think the union could last too long. You see,... the elements are the same but, for me, they just come in a different order.

You said, “in this market things are really different from any other singles culture”. Once again, Very True !! I think for many of us the cross cultural experience is Very Different and still, we try. I remember reading somewhere in the blogs that the percentage of each finding a good partner is somewhere between 18 and 22%? OK but, in the mean time we can share our insights and hopefully become a little community of friendly people who share and learn from each other. CLM is a good place to meet and who knows, we just might find the true one here. Insane as it may sound,... don't give up hope!

In closing I want to address your God/Buddha statement. I believe it is sometimes best to just “give it all up” to Universal Source but, I read a little something this morning that might be a good reminder for All. This quote comes from the 13th century Persian, Sufi, poet/scholar “Jelaluddin Balkhi” Rumi.

“Often we place the saddlebags on Jesus while we let our donkey run free in the pasture”.

Meaning that we place our personal cares and woes on a "Savior" instead of accepting the responsibility and working it out the best we can first. (rofl)

I'm very glad you posted this article. It shows how smart your mind is and gave me some joy in reading as well.
Thanks for letting me take up your blog space.
Peace,
Gongji
公雞

#2015-01-29 20:14:28 by sandy339 @sandy339

@wyhyaya
Hehe, really? That is great:D

#2015-01-29 22:10:18 by sandy339 @sandy339

@Barry1
Hi Barry
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it and it really means a lot...
I never thought it with a lifelong view, yes I agree if we consider it in a long run, we’d better find someone who is close to our age otherwise when they die, with whom we could keep a company? And a lot of unmatched problem: work, health, view, etc. But who knows?

I agree on “A selfish person will find it harder to be a good spouse. Marriage will hopefully make such a person to be more considerate and helpful towards others. Marriage arguably makes for better, more balanced people. Not so insular and small minded.” I notice it too, and there are a lot of such kind people in this market, and I believe all the good ones are still in a happy relationship and marriage and not easy to be single, which makes our search harder for a good and decent partner. I find I am becoming more selfish with such kind of guys, but with honest and kind guys my heart is almost totally open and warm. Good Luck to You too:)

#2015-01-29 22:27:34 by sandy339 @sandy339

@anonymous12840
Hehe, thanks for your comment:) Actually I think my view is a little bit cliche. After having talked and exchanged opinions for a while with western guys here, we know a lot about their views. My ideal theretical order might not be achieved in reality, it is just a general explanaition for how we expect.
Was he asking you for sex first?
No the guy I talked with didn’t ask for sex, because we didn’t reach that far.
Or was he trying to understand you and Chinese culture better?
Hmmm, I am not sure, I have no patience for explaining it for him, but I am pretty sure he will know it after several failures and he said he was very intelligent. He will figure it out sooner or later.
“not everyone here believes in a god or supreme deity other than that it was entertaining story.” Hehe, I respect all the religions or even some entertaining stories in them, no comment on it, believe it or not. Have a nice day:)

#2015-01-30 14:19:17 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Sandy, this was a very thought filled article and I have had a lot of lights go off while reading it. But the one thing that really caught me up was your reference to "A lot of Western men here want traditional Chinese women to take care of them'.

To me that is more of a Chinese way of thinking than a Western way, but maybe I'm wrong. However, it seems to me that I constantly hear from my Chinese friends, and my wife and her family, about how important it is as we get older to find someone "to take care of us" if we are single. But to me Westerners are generally not far-sighted enough to worry about such things. A Chinese man will say of his partner "she's a good woman and I know when I am old she'll take good care of me". The Western guy will say "she's a good woman and she really makes me laugh a lot or she really turns me on or she's a hell of a cook".

I think we are looking for someone who is a god partner in the sense of being able to get along together and enjoy our life and companionship together, but not so much to take care of each other. Frankly we Westerners would be a lot better off if we did look for partners who would be willing and able to take care of us when we need it instead of focusing so much on how much we enjoy each other's company, but I don't think we do look for that. We're not that smart.

I'd be interested to know what caused you to say that, because I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

#2015-01-30 16:41:20 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbott

I think that you and Sandy are both right.

I know some Western men whose actions (and words ten years into the relationship) support what Sandy says and I know Chinese men who match what John has talked about.

Western men do say "she's a good woman and she really makes me laugh a lot or she really turns me on or she's a hell of a cook". but the words " how important it is as we get older to find someone "to take care of us" " are unspoken until the relationship is much older, (and in the case of the men I know) at least 10 years older.

For men who are 45 to 55, many are still trying to ignore the aging of their bodies. A man 60 to 70 is going to be much more honest with himself about his aging body.

Even though I am 62 I am physically much fitter than my partner aged 60. My partner worries more about her aches and pains. I know this sounds ridiculous but she had made me promise that I will outlive her. We cannot know exactlhow long we will live but she fears being old without me.

Looking at our family histories and our current state of health the odds are that I will outlive her but my focus is on our present life together and living it well. I tell her that I can see us dying together aged 92 and 90 after getting too passionate with our love making. This makes her smile.

I have dancing friends who are 91 and 90 years of age and they are still going strong. Maybe I should change the time we depart to 102 and 100??

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