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Melcyan is a Water Dragon. He is also a retired Chemistry teacher and a lifelong learner. He met his Chinese partner for the first time in 2007 while ballroom dancing in Australia. Their relationship started in 2010 and they have been together ever since. His focus on CLM has been to learn more about the implications of his life-partner's culture and language for building a lifelong loving relationship.
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Online Dating – How it Changes with Distance    

By Melcyan
7499 Views | 64 Comments | 9/8/2015 12:31:42 PM

Talk about long distance online dating, this discussion really goes the distance!

Let's consider online dating where the women you are looking at have similar backgrounds but the distance apart varies. 



Let's consider distances of 10km, 100km, 1,000km, 10,000km and 100,000km.



In the following examples listed for these distances all the women have English as their first language and had similar backgrounds. This keeps the focus on how distance changes online dating.



I have dated women at the first 3 distances without using video chat. It was available in 2009 but I was not comfortable using it. If I was online dating now I would use video chat within the first two or three contacts, explain why I did not like it and then continue with my preferred modes of communication.



10km



It is interesting that the women that I got to know the least were the ones who lived only a short distance away. Compatible profiles, one email and one phone call lead almost directly to the coffee date. The women who pushed me to the coffee date after just one contact were a waste of time. Researching potential matches before you meet is certainly time well used.



The cost of getting to the meeting place was less than a few dollars.



100km



For this distance the cost of travel jumps to tens of dollars, but that is not the only factor. The 10km category coffee dates could be organized easily and could be completed within a short time. Traveling 100 km escalated both expense and time. So the number of women met in this category was much smaller but more effort was made to learn about each to decide whether the effort of meeting was worthwhile.



1,000km



The cost of travel now rises to hundreds of dollars and involves much more time. Only one person in this category attracted my attention. Our profiles were a very good match, we were similar ages and had similar life experiences. I don't think I bothered with sending a kiss. I started with an email. I had taken out a one year membership with an Australian online dating site. This gave me the freedom to contact anyone I wanted to and not have to count the cost of each contact. The emails at first were a few days apart and then they became daily and soon were supplemented by frequent phone calls.



I soon realized that I was enjoying my online contact with her much more than the other local online contacts that I was meeting face to face. The turning point came when we celebrated Valentine's day in a unique way on a phone date covering several hours.



I told her that I had contacts in the banking industry that I had used to deposit $25 in her bank account and that I had used the same contacts to transfer $25 of her money to my account. This amount of money had to be spent on maybe a rose and Valentine's day celebration food and drink which we would enjoy at the same time.



 



It was great fun getting ready for this. I bought a rose half price the week before and stored it in the fridge. I bought rose shaped candles from a “cheap as chips” store. I bought a quality clean skin wine for $5. The girl serving me at the gourmet food store loved my story and had great fun selling very small quantities of gourmet olives, cheeses, specialty meats and chocolates. I was even able to get different types of biscuits as a single serve.



At the time I was house-sitting a beach front house that had a phone but no wifi. The date went from 7pm until 10pm. When I described everything on my table overlooking a sunset over the sea, my date did not believe my description of what I had collected so I stopped a couple walking in front of the house and asked them to help me. The lady I stopped was very impressed and told my date in glowing terms about the table spread in front of her.



Her husband was not impressed. As they left I could hear her say to him “Why haven't you done anything like that for me?”



The phone date was a big success and we met in person four weeks later. Meeting in person was a seamless transition from our online experience. Our distance relationship lasted 18 months and it only collapsed when I attempted to remove the “distance” part of the relationship.



10,000km



Cape Town in South Africa is 10,000km from where I live. THE NEXT PART OF MY WRITING IS NOT TRUE. It is a hypothetical. It is fiction.



One of the most interesting people I spoke to on the dating site was from Cape Town. She was going to move to Australia in six months’ time. We had similar backgrounds and our families were both originally from England a few generations ago. We got along extremely well and seemed to be a perfect match. It seemed like it would just be a matter of time before we would meet in Australia.



A once in a lifetime time career opportunity changed her plans. For the next five years her future was only going to be in Cape Town. I now had to decide what I was going to do. We seemed like a perfect match. Her job was a 5 year contract. I decided to visit her in Cape Town. The trip was going to cost thousands of dollars. What if our online connection did not continue when we met face to face? We had been communicating every day for two months. We both knew each other’s family and relationship history. We shared the same values. We were genuine and helpful sounding boards for each other on a daily basis. We already felt like we were an important part of the other's world. How could it not work?



If I act quickly I could spend at least 2 weeks with her before her new job started. Cape Town is also a great place to see. After she starts work I can be a tourist in South Africa. If we were not meant to be then the tourism becomes my focus.



100,000km



Yes, you read the distance right. I should not have to repeat that this part is fiction.



How was I to know that the NASA scientist I was communicating with was an astronaut?



Now she is going to be working in a space lab indefinitely but I really think she is the one for me. How do I meet her? The trip to see her will cost me $1,000,000 and I have to do a rigorous 3 month training program. If I sell my house and take out multiple loans I can raise $1,000,000. Do I feel lucky?



 



This last example is a joke but so too is the limited time and effort some people put into trying to initiate and nurture a long distance relationship all the way through to a successful outcome.



A pattern is evident. The greater the distance from a prospective partner then the greater the knowledge that you need to have about them before you meet. It is possible to learn a lot about another with online communication. Anyone who is eager to spend a lot of money to meet someone they hardly know is very foolish. What if you are going to spend a lot of money to meet 10 women you hardly know? Same answer – very foolish.



The last two scenarios were hypothetical and to be fair to the audience of my writing, I should consider one more online dating hypothetical.



Using CLM to find a life partner from China.



I have contacted over 30 women on CLM. Conversations with 5 of them continued longer than a month. However one of them stood out from the rest. We seemed to share similar values and goals in life. We had a similar family history and similar ideas on conflict resolution. This woman seemed so much better suited to me than the others. We were both able to discern that we were talking to a good person with a good heart. I decided to continue my online potential partner communication exclusively with her.



What was particularly interesting was that whenever we were not clear on the others meaning or we sensed a gap in cultural understanding we kept trying different ways of expressing ourselves until we bridged the gap. We were committed to gaining a good understanding of the other. We were lucky that she had better than basic English literacy skills and that I had 25 years’ experience teaching ESL students. We also had enough sense to know that what happened online may not translate into the same connection face to face.



We also had enough sense to know that what happened online may not translate into the same connection face to face.



I had read John Abbot's suggestions on more than one occasion about meeting multiple prospects on a visit to China. That made sense for me if I was going to meet the multiple prospects at the coffee date level but the coffee level date has from my experience only a small chance of success. Exclusive communication laid the foundation for my Chinese partner and I to reach a very high level of communication. I believe that it would be have been impossible for me to communicate at this high level with other Chinese women at the same time.



We decided that I will visit China for one month. I will meet her as soon as I arrive in China. If our connection grows we will stay in her town or travel together for a month.



If it is not to be, then what next? I have always wanted to see Beijing, Shanghai and Xian. I will see those cities and maybe meet some of the women that I have met online for a coffee. It seems similar to the online dating experience in Australia but in the reverse order. Is this planning for failure? Certainly not. In the past, my simultaneous approaches have failed and the exclusive approach has succeeded.



 



I have used my online time to find out everything that I could about my prospective partner and answer all her questions honestly. I gave the online connection every chance to build and build or falter if a major incompatibility could be exposed. We discussed everything we could including sex, sexual health and how we would verify that we were free of any STD's. We also discussed the possibility that our online connection may not progress when we finally meet face to face and what that would mean for how we interacted and used our time. This is a far cry from planning for failure.



Our self-honesty was very evident in all our actions and words and consequently we were able to achieve a breathtaking level of honesty between the two of us. It is impossible for me to comprehend having a high level of mutual respect and breathtaking honesty with multiple potential partners at the same time.



In Summary



As distance increases, the amount of prior knowledge needed of the person you meet greatly increases.



As distance increases, the need for two way honesty prior to a face to face meeting greatly increases.



As distance increases, the cost of meeting and the time taken to meet greatly increases.



As distance increases, the more you feel like genuine friends before you meet the greater your chance of success. If the face to face meeting does not develop into a romantic connection then you are still with a friend and real friends are always precious. Who knows where genuine friendship may lead – you may even end up helping each other find your life partner.


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
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#2015-09-08 12:50:49 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Melcyan and I generally are in agreement about most things, and that is true about this blog. We agree about most things. However, the one thing we don't agree about is whether a person traveling a great distance to meet his potential life partner for the first time offline should try to arrange to meet several persons of interest or just one. I plan to respond in detail to this blog on both the points I agree with and on the one which we disagree, but I'd like to see the comments of some of you other members first.

Having deferred my detailed comment for a day or two, let me just say now what a valuable read this is, and it really does provide a great roadmap on online dating at the varying distances Melcyan is discussing. Every member of CLM, male and female, will benefit greatly if they take the time to read it carefully.

#2015-09-08 17:32:37 by anonymous13869 @anonymous13869

as a Chinese woman, I won't meet with a western man if he plans to meet a few women when he travels to China, it is nothing about right or wrong, it is just my personal choice, and my feeling won't accept this idea either

#2015-09-08 20:04:09 by Mela01 @Mela01

This is a very good article.
All the members of CLM
Provides a detailed and clear reference information
This article is a valuable literature on CLM
“As distance increases, the more you feel like genuine friends before you meet the greater your chance of success. If the face to face meeting does not develop into a romantic connection then you are still with a friend and real friends are always precious. Who knows where genuine friendship may lead – you may even end up helping each other find your life partner.”This article shows the author, noble style
How is the level of a person's knowledge? Look at his article.
How is a person's moral character? Look at his article.
A person's thoughts and state how? Look at his article.
We respect the objective fact, the long-distance meeting, only to meet a person, it seems that a little harsh. The first meeting of a few people, it is possible. Through the first meeting, choose one, in-depth practical exchanges. Second minutes, the target is clear. Half a year or a year, is to enter the formal marriage, enjoy a beautiful life.
Everyone online dating for several years, every day, said: I love you. Mouth wear thin, no real action, equal to waste time. Must enter the actual contact, to experience life, to feel whether the two sides matched.
Blessings, all the members, find the ideal partner soon!

#2015-09-09 09:23:31 by Mela01 @Mela01

On multiple meetings
If you plan to meet with a few ladies, you must have a clever mind.
Once I read a forum, is a true story. A French old man 60 years old, on the Internet for more than 1 years, he decided to go to China to date. He plans to travel time is 1 months, he needs to 5 women. According to his schedule, after the end of the first ladies conference, he went to second lady of the city, encounter rain, his clothes and salute box are wet, to the two ladies home, woman to help for him to do a good job of eat, to wash his clothes, arranged the comfort of the bedroom for him. On the second day, he still went on his journey, to see the third ladies, but his clothes still a little wet, lady hope he will rest here one day, so his clothes are dry. He is stubborn, to go.
Lady away the old man grey-haired, without clear aims of emotion.
Later learned that the old man, walking more than half of China, the meeting 5 ladies, all failed. So, plan to meet with a few people, need to have strategy and wisdom.
I saw a lot of success stories, it is only a meeting of a woman. How to determine a lady? I have seen Melcyan, Barry... Others blog, they have a lot of good experience and advice, I think it is worth taking

#2015-09-09 15:18:31 by melcyan @melcyan

@ anonymous13869 are we rejecting meeting multiple women for the same reason? My reason is that I believe that I cannot get to know more than one woman in depth at the same time. Is this your reason too or is it another?

#2015-09-09 16:01:53 by melcyan @melcyan

@Mela01
I enjoy reading your comments.

"Everyone online dating for several years, every day, said: I love you. Mouth wear thin, no real action, equal to waste time. Must enter the actual contact, to experience life, to feel whether the two sides matched." I agree.

It is beyond my imagination to say “I love you” to a person that I have not met face to face. I find it hard to understand CLM members telling each other that they love each other when they have never met face to face. I believe that it is possible to create genuine friendship online but not genuine love online.

Face to face contact are not always genuine love either. It needs to be acknowledged that some people who profess love face to face are engaged more in wishful thinking than they are in real love. I think anyone who professes love online without meeting face to face is also engaged in wishful thinking.

There are many examples of mutual wishful thinking producing a good result, however, it is a pathway that is fraught with danger. The most common result for mutual wishful thinking is relationship failure.

#2015-09-09 17:16:23 by YinTingYu @YinTingYu

@melcyan
Hi Mel,
This is a very well written article and I have to agree with you on your points.
Also, I must agree with John, after some careful consideration, about meeting multiple possible partners on first trip to China.
As I read it, you are focusing on physical distance but, I have a slightly different take on it.
If I'm reaching on the internet, I try to find out and share as much as possible with the other person before meeting. Gotta have a few messages, chats, and webcam first.
I've only done it 2 times local but,... each were a bust and I stopped.

What has given the best result for me, is the spontaneous meeting. The gas pump, the farmer's market, the local micro-brewery, the art gallery, and especially,... after a recital.
It may be that I've been living on Antares too long but, life is good here and, when I make the trip to China for the first time, I will need to have established sincere contact with at least 1 (no more than 3 ladies please) to try and meet.
This makes good sense to me.
I say go for the contact first and if this does not work out, enjoy the exposure to a different culture.

Hey,...I did not know that you were an ESL teacher. Thanks for sharing.
Anyway, this is a good article and I hope all members will read it.
Peace and Blessings,
Gongji
公雞

#2015-09-09 19:14:34 by melcyan @melcyan

@Mela01
Your story about the French man was a good one except for“ old man 60 years old” Ouch!!
I still feel young at 63 and the same goes for my 60 year old partner.

#2015-09-10 10:45:17 by Anniehow @Anniehow

This article is very practical and provides food for thoughts for everyone who is considering a long distance relationship. Before you buy a plane ticket, talk about important compatibility issues to make sure you are not wasting your money and time. What does the lady think about your multiple visit approach? Is it holding you back or more efficient and practical? Not everyone is the same and there are various factors to consider, naturally it is wiser to come up with a plan acceptable to both or more parties.

It is nice that that Melcyan is willing to share his wisdom and experience to help those who are still seeking.

#2015-09-10 19:25:59 by melcyan @melcyan

@YinTingYu I was a Science teacher and home group teacher for ESL classes for a long time. I have done ESL training, but the only time I have really spent teaching English as a Second Language is with my partner and her family over the last 5 years. My partner wanted me to teach English in Shanghai, but I would much rather spend my retirement time with her.
A recent skin graft means I have 10 days with limited exercise (no dancing), so I now have the time to do a blog. I see that you support John's idea of multi–meets. I have done multi-meets locally but without success. Some filtering was done in terms of profile, email and one or two conversations, but it was not enough. When I stopped all contact to focus on my best online match I developed an in-depth knowledge of the woman I was talking to. This in-depth knowledge was only possible because we did not have any other contacts. I can't imagine doing multiple meetings within a few weeks in China. I have done it in my home town over a 3 week period with 9 women, but it was exhausting and unrewarding. I hope someone who has done it successfully in China can comment on this blog.
@Anniehow Thank you for your comment. I share your concern. It seems like the man is spending a lot of money for four or five face-to-face introductions and only then, the learning in depth starts with one. This sounds like more than one visit to me.
@JohnAbbot When does the deep connection start? There is a lot of literature written on successful long distance relationships. The general consensus is that the strength of the successful long distance relationship is founded on deep friendship. I developed a deep friendship online prior to starting my distance relationship. We never said we loved each other. We knew there was a chance that our first meeting might fail romantically but no matter what, we were friends.

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