Chinese Women, Asian Women, Online Dating & Things Chinese and Asian
Gareth is an Australian who has lived in JiangSu, SuZhou (Heaven on Earth) for a few years - he is a keen observer of the Chinese people, Chinese culture and the changes that are occurring in China at break-neck speed. He can often be found on his a nightly 'perch' in front of his bar in the famous Bar Street in Suzhou, talking to the locals in his bad Mandarin, teaching the 'flower-selling girls' English, eating street food and smiling at the local chengguan (neighbourhood police). Gareth also has several other businesses in China around Business and English training. His experiences have been varied and interesting and his years in China have taught him to be wary of promises but excited about prospects, not a bad situation to be in!
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Perils of China: Red Flags When Dating Chinese Women    

By Garreth Humphris
10425 Views | 50 Comments | 6/9/2014 5:22:20 AM

Oh dear, with so much testosterone-fuelled aggression flying around these days on CLM, I am a bit in awe of the alpha-bears and the beta-koalas having all the limelight.

There is no way my chest can match Imi's (although it probably is as hairy!) nor can I joke about Barry’s Toilet Training issues - most of us managed to accomplish that task by age 3, not Barry’s 63!

But I have been reading avidly the faux-pas of dating by these two...Imi missing a ’back rub to kiss’ opportunity and Barry so ensconsed about warding off poor George with up-to-the second lurid detail of his high-mountain exploits (such as saving a lady from hypothermia) that he was going to bed without washing the dishes or putting the baby to bed, so to speak, I realise that it is the guys that really need help understanding themselves rather than trying to help the ladies with advice about foreigners!

Quite simply guys - if a Chinese woman crosses the boundary between platonic and on!

If she comes to your room or lingers longer than a simple application of sun-tan lotion, man up!

I am surprised that humankind has lasted so long with such dense males around! Sorry, gallantry is dead when she is in your bed! You can open doors all you like, chat to your fans on the internet, do your hobby in the back shed and be yourself as much as you like - but when nature takes it turn, you have to be there to greet it head on! All I can say, if you just want to remain yourself - single and alone - continue with the same self-attitude that got you there!

So with this in mind, I present to you a small piece I’ve been working on... Mainly because I have been at that intersection on a couple occasions in my time in China. This advice is not necessarily 'Chinese' - it applies to all races and locations. The difference is that culturally, China is stronger at these conventions and so, probably has a greater effect,

Many Chinese ladies on CLM might be wondering why can’t I get my foreign friend to commit - and many foreign men are thinking ’why are Chinese women so fast to want to get married?'. It is a pretty common dilemma facing both sides!

It is true to say that most people on CLM are looking for a serious relationship and are considering the long term - marriage and the thought of growing old together. But for some, the challenges during Chinese dating and into engagement make them wonder. Should we really get married or move on? And how do we know we're making the right decision?

I am not claiming to be a Casanova: far, far, far, far, far from it! People who see me see the biggest guy in the world! People who know me know two sides, a laughing and friendly guy who is occasionally grumpy.

So, when I am speaking it is not from the viewpoint of some hot-shot playboy, but a regular guy, with less that normal appearance and a slightly poor attitude! Certainly not ’instant marriage’ material by any measure.

I know that I have has that strange feeling in my gut on a few occasions - a sense of apprehension and foreboding that things are careening out of control and heading for a train wreck! It is these occasions when I need for some clear markers that tell me to evaluate our relationship for a longer future - whether to go on or move on in a different direction.

So the first red flag is the most obvious. When the relationship is hindered by ongoing conflict, then something is wrong!  All couples, for the most part, have fights or occasional conflict. The key word here is occasional. When the frequency grows, it's time to wonder why!

I sometimes get to the point of extreme hopelessness in a Chinese/foreigner relationship because my partner cannot see (or refuses to entertain) major fundamentals of my character and lifestyle. My lifestyle is different to her’s but it doesn't make me an untrustworthy, lying rat! 

I have found through my experience in dating Chinese women of my age-group that they do carry a lot of baggage about 'bad men' and 'blighted lives' and they are quick to link your ’normal behaviours’ with 'bad outcomes’. In general, this means a ’low trust’ environment in the first instance because they are invariably looking for reasons that you are a ’bad guy’!

So it is quite difficult to function in this environment... At times I have constantly felt under siege where even simple comments and situations are inextricably blown out of proportion. If you have been reading Imi’s blog on the website, you will see how a joke about ’not having money’ turned into a breaking point in a relationship! While many people are quick to judge this lady as being unsuitable - I can sympathise with Imi on this point - been there, done that, numerous times - it isn’t just the one lady that Imi knows that seems to follow this ’irrational path’.

Of course, I expect that I will curtail some of my social activities in preference to spending more time with my partner - but total abolition is not the answer either.

The next telling area is Is the one of cultural differences - in particular how far the Chinese partner is willing to 'let go' of social and traditional norms to foster this relationship. This is not to blame the Chinese partner - but to prepare them for the future where they will be ’playing Devil’s Advocate’ for their partner against their family, society and community! It is not an easy feat - telling your raging parents things they will not understand and do not want to comply with, being the ’bad woman’ that married a foreigner to her neighbours, losing friends and associates (and maybe even job) over who she chose to marry.

So, are there too many differences in what you want in life? This could be where you want to live, having children or not and how many, family obligations and religious preferences and how you handle money. 

One of the issues is that many Chinese people 'assume' that the foreigner will just come into their life and instantly mind-mend into being Chinese in outlook, understanding and acceptance of life principles.

For all these things there is a 50:50 bet that if you don't specifically discuss (note: strenuously discuss, not just mention) any topic that it will fall in her favour... such as;

A) She will assume you will live in China (because it isn't possible for her to leave her family!), 

B) she will assume you want children (because in China, children are what makes a family! And all men want children, no matter how many times they say no!)

C) She will assume you will buy a house (because in China, a family is not complete without a house of their own!), 

D) She will assume you will be with her 24/7 (because 'good Chinese men’ are at home, in bed by 10pm!). 

E) She will assume that her elderly family members will be welcome in your home 24/7, and take over all your possessions, pay check and privacy (because we are family and family must look after each other!) and that you will pay for everything (because you are obliged to her filial piety).

Make sure you cover all the bases and discuss what you hope for in the short-, medium- and long-term... before you get married! 

Chinese people assume that once you are captured in a marriage then all these things resolve themselves through sheer weight of numbers - in fact, entering another family as a Chinese man, these are not issues at all! To be fair - when you first mention these issues, a Chinese lady/family has never contemplated them before and cannot even comprehend the thought! You have to work, work, work, work, and work on it! Not to mention ideas around guardianship of children, travelling and passports from overseas, relationships with family across continents and even what your favourite TV show is about (because you can't get it in China).

Next, make sure you are best friends - not out of loneliness or fear of being alone, but genuine friends. 

If is easy to be besotted be exotica, find the strange exciting and appealing... but as Barry has found out, he would pay a small fortune for a toilet he recognises, and some toilet-paper... Married life is a long and sometimes winding road. Your friendship and the strong bond it represents holds the key to taking those twists and turns successfully. Besotted and exotic wear off quickly if you are not best friends with each other - because you are leaning on the local partner hardest when you chose to live with them and you can't 'function' in the community properly!

This us one of the major hold-points because many foreigners believe you must be friends before you start, but the Chinese impression is that you grow together in mutual friendship, love and need for each other.

In general, this works fine for strongly interconnected families living in the same compound (they all keep a close eye on the other’s business)... but as families are evolving to live further from their hometown and becoming more nuclear units in China, these types of interactions are changing.

Another huge red flag comes when personal deficits are too many -- such as a reliance on drugs or alcohol; an abusive style; a too demanding partner; when your lover just can't seem to take responsibility and continually blames you; when he or she cheats on you; when there are too many lies and one or both need the other to build their self-esteem. In cross-cultural relationships, these are cannot determine laws and simple conditions and you rely on your partner’s guidance and skill to overcome issues... if you are the type of person who needs to know facts and reasons, many South East Asian cultures don't function on this... there is no why or wherefore, it just is what it is!

Next, take note when one or both of you can't stand on your own two feet -- when you don't feel you can live without each other and haven't create a sense of individuality and separateness from your lover.

In Chinese-based relationships, there is a traditional reliance on family and relationships so that many foreigners can find ’family situations’ claustrophobic and restrictive. Your partner will want you to move to their hometown of be closer to their family... even when your job/situation makes this impractical!

And finally, trust your gut -- when you have that unerasable feeling that tells you no or you experience ongoing ambivalence. Don't ignore this. Find out what it means and honor the experience.

Sometimes you can live with a few orange flags -- not every relationship is perfect. These represent areas where couples need to grow. And if committed to one another and a meaningful growth process, these orange markers never become red. But if there are these red flags present, you need to be very, very careful!

Your ability to take an honest look and careful inventory of your relationship's strengths and weaknesses, can prevent you from moving to a disaster. Study those flags and sincerely evaluate where you stand. Remember that true love withstands the close scrutiny and you grow a more dynamic love as a result.




不过他们俩恋爱中的失误我也是一直在兴致高昂地跟进阅读。Imi错过了一次从背部按摩到接吻的绝佳机会,而Barry在他分秒不漏的登山探险中忙于跟可怜的乔治(Annie:有经验的读者启示一下或者更正一下,他说的是大黄蜂吧?I would like you, experienced readers to correct me or confirm my thoughts. By “George” he meant the big yellow insect, right?)做斗争。他甚至写到他不用洗碗护着哄小孩睡觉就去上床睡觉了…我意识到需要帮助的是我们的这些男同胞们,是他们不了解自己,女士们并不需要怎么跟外国人谈恋爱的建议!



我们的男人这么迟钝,而人类居然生存了这么长时间,真是让我惊讶!很抱歉地告诉你们,当她在你床上的时候,大公无私的绅士风度可以见鬼去了。你可以给她开门,跟喜欢你的女人网上聊天,在后面做你喜欢做的事情,或者自己平时怎样就怎样—但是当老天爷给你机会, 你应该好好表现一番好吗!













第二个方面是文化差异-尤其是中国女友愿意为你们的关系“放弃”多少社会和传统习惯,这并不是在指责你的中国女友,而是让她们为将来做好准备,她们有一天将需要站在“坏人的这边”,顶着家人 社会和周围人的压力。告诉愤怒而不愿意让步的双亲他们无法理解的事情。当她一个嫁给外国人,变成邻居眼里的“坏女人”,失去朋友和故旧(甚至工作),仅仅因为嫁了一个老外,这可不是一件易事。

你们理想中的生活有很多不同吗?这可能是你以后想住在哪里,要不要小孩,要几个孩子,家庭责任分工 、宗教信仰、金钱观念等等。



A)     她会想当然地以为你会住在中国(因为她不能离开家人)

B)      她会理所当然地以为你要孩子 (因为在中国孩子才造就了一个家庭,所有男人都要孩子,无论他们说了多少次他们不要!)

C)      她会以为你要买房(因为在中国如果没有自己的房子你的家不完整!)

D)     她会认为你应该一天二十四小时都跟她在一起(因为“中国的好男人”都在家,而且晚上十点就睡觉了!)

E)      她会认为你们家从早到晚她的年长的家人和长辈都可以来访,他们可以拿走你们的东西,工资卡和私人空间和时间(因为我们是家人,而家人应该互相照顾!)(译者认为这个有点夸张。Anniehow thinks Gareth is a little exaggerating  here)除此之外,你也应该为所有东西付钱(因为你跟她一样应该尽孝)。
















在跨国恋爱关系中,这些事情变得更加复杂 ,你不知道原则和简单的情况,需要依靠你的伴侣的指点和能力才能解决这些问题…如果你是打破砂锅问到底的那一类人,那么我告诉你很多东亚文化不是这样的。不为什么,因此,接受现状好吧!













In remembrance of Gareth…Although Gareth is gone, we could still read and benefit from what he wrote with profound insights and humor. I believe he is very happy up there。Annie)

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2014-06-09 05:45:36 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Gareth, this has to be the best blog you've written on CLM, and quite possibly the best blog written on CLM by anyone.

Anybody, Western man or Chinese woman, who is a member of this site and/or seriously seeking a cross cultural long term relationship with their opposite gender, should read this article closely and several times. And then they should carefully practise what you have laid out here for them.

In addition, I think that "I am surprised that humankind has lasted so long with such dense males around!" may be one of the funniest things I've read in the blogs, especially given the current ongoing series by Imi and Barry, as you've mentioned.

Well, well done. A great read! (clap)

#2014-06-09 07:36:52 by Imi5922 @Imi5922

Garreth, what can I say? You are 100% right haha... humankind would not last long if it was up to me lol.

As John said above, this is a great read! I need to start practicing it's content very fast and diligently :)

#2014-06-09 12:58:56 by melcyan @melcyan

Garreth, well done! From my observations of women in China and Australia you are very accurate. Wise words.

Despite my limited experience I have to comment on the the following statement -
"Quite simply guys - if a Chinese woman crosses the boundary between platonic and on!"

It matches my experience with western women but for my one and only first time experience with a Chinese woman it was only ever going to happen with me crossing the boundary between platonic and romantic. She was never going to be the first one to cross that boundary.

If my Chinese partner and I did not develop a high level of mutual respect over a long period of time, I would not have been able to cross that boundary. I think a high level of mutual respect matters even more than friendship. Our mutual respect developed from careful observations of the behaviour of each other and our behaviour with other people. We did not meet through online dating. However I know an online connection of mutual respect is definitely possible. Through my experience with a Chinese penpal I know it is possible to get to know another person very well through emails. The language barrier can be an asset to relationship building because it is reasonable to check meaning repreatedly until you are both satsfied that you understand each other. You should be able to do this with anyone but in practice you only get the chance to do it freely when you are crossing a language barrier.

#2014-06-09 13:19:06 by aussieghump @aussieghump

Oh Imi! Do not follow me! For all my pontificating, I am not very good either! I mean 14 years in China and not married? Who am I trying to kid!

Essentially we know in our own hearts the right way for us - we just need to look deeply and understand that this is not 'stupid' to do this!

We also have some strange notions about being gallantly aloof, when really the partner just wants us to show our real affection and conviction! Took me a while to realise that, but when it happens, things can move on!

#2014-06-09 13:29:02 by anonymous10328 @anonymous10328

Garreth, there is something to be said about having "fans on the internet"! Do you know how difficult it is to get a twitter following these days?

#2014-06-12 15:31:19 by warm1 @warm1

Well.. One, I figure if a man takes the time to enter the world of Chinese dating, he must truly be tired of Western women and be looking for a solid, honest relationship. Second, if a man is even willing to put up with orange flags, he might as well save the time, money and effort and stay where he is and keep what he has---or try sheep. Good God! You can't please some people. I met a lovely women here. We are together 24/7. It is new to me and often irritating . But it is part of give and take, and I don't think I can find a better women. . ( I have a very sturdy door on my shitter if I want privacy ). The best part is that she just happened to be in a town just an hours drive from my ( now "our " home ) in the U.S.
You might wonder why I am still on this site, not to look, but to read the blogs and continuously learn about my wife to be and laugh at--and with--you buffoons!
Have a good one, boys.

#2014-06-13 10:46:38 by aussieghump @aussieghump

Interesting comments - glad to see that you have found love locally - certainly saves you taking off your shirt or climbing mountains to find love!

The difference is that most of the ladies on this site describe themselves as 'traditional' Chinese that means that there are some pretty big assumptions...and they are on 'home turf' with all of those 'advantages'... this is to say - 'assumptions' about life and love.

Finding a localised lady (or a lady willing to travel to another country to look for a partner) probably means that she has already worked through most of the signals here already and is prepared to compromise!

Remember too that many of the ladies on CLM have not experienced a very different lifestyle like your own - their perspective is a traditional patriacial society - that is paranoid about what others think! Most have not travelled outside China (and if they have, they are usually tied to a 'Chinese travel group' or are going to visit relatives that are similar in outlook and traditional values to them.

So one big sticking point for foreigners new to China and Chineseness is that we assume that if it is not spoken is ok! And, if we speak about it once and let our opinion be known then people will respect that.
But Polite Chineseness dictates that this is not the case - people will avoid issues if they know you have a strong opinion about it - and they are usually equally set in the opposite direction! In fact - it is easier for a Chinese person to let disaster happen and then apologise about it later than take preventative action (if they will lose face)...sweeping statement I know, but a pretty good rule of thumb in China. Aka Imi's situation!

In many cases, requests and ideas that foreigners would assume should come directly from the requestor come in a 'round-about' version via others that is considered face-saving and builds on existing relationships (in Chinese terms). The idea is 'you cannot say no to a friend!' so people will find a way to make you say yes - using a friend/connection to request.

Also, in China, everything is open to negotiation - at all times! Look out for that one!

#2014-06-13 14:55:51 by warm1 @warm1

@Garreth. You are obviously well versed in this lifestyle. I have previously Skyped with a few ladies in China, and for the most part, after the second or third time, they were ready for me to come over to meet them and the future in-laws! ( not that I'm anything to shout about ). My intended and I are both a little long in the tooth, know what we want, and don't want to play games. She had previously traveled extensively around the United States and other countries before she settled here and I met her. She owns a business that employs immigrant Chinese women, ( most speak very little English and are not Americanized yet. ) and I get to enjoy the full gamut of Chinese culture daily- like a soap opera!
She owns a home in China and has family back there. Her adult son also has a green card but is hesitant about living in the US. I am sure we will visit China often. We both know what a bad relationship is, and don't want to go down that road again. We communicate well and it is getting better. We respect each other and know we were very lucky to find each other so easily- but we take steps daily not to take each other for granted. Sounds like fairy tail, pussy whipped BS I know, but we both feel something very deep that makes doing things for each other enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, she can give as good as she gets when she is crossed, but she will not hold a grudge and often gives in first and is the voice of reason. I think I provide her with security.
If the culture mystery on both sides can be unraveled , and both parties go into it with honesty, patience and realistic thoughts and goals, it will work well. I have also met a few women that came here for marriage, but ended up leaving the relationship because one or the other of the couple were dissatisfied . Most stayed here and never entered into another relationship for marriage. A lot of men buy into the Asian Women stereotype and are disillusioned when the day to day grind starts, and they find out that inside, Chinese women are just like any other women, but with a language and culture barrier. Women are women- period. We both made our intentions clear for the future, we hash out our daily problems with a common direction, we don't keep score, we laugh at our differences, and put each other first. It took me a long time to perfect this, I had to touch that hot stove many times before I learned a lesson. So far so good.
The definition of a bachelor, is a hunter that doesn't eat the game. Great blogs!

#2014-06-15 10:12:57 by ferlo @ferlo

@Garreth Humphris Well the first time I met with a lady contacted, was not platonic, I would say first day was nice date and second date was a torrid encounter.
Of course this was not in China I have never being there. This happened in Los Angeles CA.
Now all the girl that have sent me messages and want a relation with me when I see their profile all of them are ready to relocate, I don't think all the family issues will applied if the move abroad where the husband country is.
I think the red flags would not seeing in a foreign country.

#2014-06-15 19:20:13 by aussieghump @aussieghump

Maybe the challenge for me is to write a blog about how tearing a Chinese lady away from her family and community will not be stressful!

So if the lady is prepared to relocate, how many times a year will she want to return to China? And for how long? Even a trip back every few years can be expensive!
Or will she bring her family out?
Or will she want to move to Florida, Beverly Hills or Alaska, because that what she thinks America is like?
How will you accommodate the Chinese foods and friends she needs if you don't live nearby to them?

As I pointed out in the blog - these traits are not specifically 'Chinese'! They apply to all cultures and peoples... Simply the underlying message is to be successful in a relationship you want to be 1) making sure you are not raging when you have arguments 2) cultural expectations add huge pressure - and not knowing the importance to your partner to a particular event or occasion or situation is tantamount to suicide! So is assuming that if a lady is coming to be with you, she will automatically accept your way!
3) clear and a active listening - and not assuming the thought of the other person! 4)being friends with your partner - that is to say more that attraction to the exotic, 5) dependence and personal virtues, 6) knowing your partner's true feelings and intentions.

Failing to acknowledge that any of these could exist is the next major 'RED FLAG' in my book!

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