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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Spring Festival Spree    

By Garreth Humphris
5889 Views | 22 Comments | 1/16/2013 3:00:12 PM

I went out last evening and caught up with a long-time Chinese friend. We somehow got into that inevitable discussion that occurs when the weather gets a little colder and the frost appears on the ground...

“You’re not married yet?", she asked me.
“No, not yet”, I replied.
“Hmm, 11 years in China and still no marry...I want to suggest something for you to try!”, she started, “In my hometown have many nice women...”
“Oh, great”, my eyes rolled and she glared at me, “why don't I visit your hometown in Spring Festival and meet some good women from there!”
“Wow, how did you know, big brother?”, she asked, eyes wide-open!
But she continued, “well, I only thinking of your life, and you need someone cook and clean for you, look after you.......and I know a few good women from my hometown, very difficult life, I know they want with you married!...or maybe even your brothers from overseas - we could make it a business! Get some money bringing people married”

I waited, not breathing...she continued, “Is easy, I find good ladies, you find good men!”

I can't tell you how the whole idea gave me a deep ugly feeling in my gut... A marriage broker is not a career choice I have ever really considered! Is it fair to profit from others’ misery?

“So, what you mean is, if I come to your hometown and meet a nice lady, I pay you, right?”

“Well, something like that!”, she smiled, “but I give you Big Brother discount!"

“Maybe Little Brother discount is better!”, I said, muttering under my breath - for this I got a slap!

We talked some more about this whole idea - but it became increasingly (and depressingly) obvious that my friend saw any union as a ’business proposition’ on any number of levels - between people rather than some spiritual connection. Business both in terms of her original proposal, and also business in terms of how the couple would view the liaison!

So, the difficulty was (and always seems to be) that my friend was very good at pointing out attributes that she saw in me as being 'saleable’, but was not actually very good at recommending her friend to me - it is always 'she is a good woman/she has a hard life/she deserves better - struggling with child, looking after elderly mother, low-paid job’.

While I don't doubt this is the case, and indeed, the lady in question may well be beautiful and talented, the focus is invariable what the transaction means to her! And frankly, this is not what I, as a “consumer”, needs to hear. I don't want a spec-sheet or to walk around kicking the tyres!

What I mean is, if I am purchasing a new mobile phone, I don't want to know how much I am adding to the bottom-line of Samsung, Apple or Nokia! I want to know how the handset will improve my life, bring me joy and new perspectives on my life!

I want to see the benefits (from my perspective), not just have a list of features!

So, instead of learning how my ’wedding’ will help her family and mean she will not need to work so hard, I need something like ’she will love you forever!’ - because she loves me and she appreciates me, not that being with me somehow makes her life easier (even if it does!)

I need to know how having an ’instant family’ will enrich my life, not how I am buying her child a better education.

I need to know how she will stand beside me because she believes in me and wants to be there in sickness and in health - not because I give her social legitimacy in her community!

I want to know she would want to travel with me, not because she wants ’overseas riches’ but the experience of travelling and moving through life together.

I don't want to be told I am more romantic than her former partner because I wouldn't hit her and put her in hospital!

Unfortunately, this is often how the whole ’relationship’ process is presented in China - an exchange of commodities rather than affairs of the heart! And I think that this is a fundamental difference in attitude to marriage between cultures. Some have a view of an balance and freedom of choice while others seem to focus on ’goods and chattels’.

To be fair, these may well be legitimate and reasonable assumptions for getting married - but I don't need them smashed into my face!

I mean, I don't have a checklist of desirable physical attributes that once met, the person is ’fit for purpose' - It doesn't have a 200 megapixel camera, but you don't really need one - save some cash and go with the mid-cost model! And today only, you’ll get a 5% discount!

I also have the fear of walking into a 'branded store' where all the people in the place assume you are going to walk out with one of their products - but that’s a whole other story.

Maybe it is a naive dream, and that Chinese have the ’system’ down to a fine art, and that I am kidding myself that that I can continue my present path living in China and not see things through Chinese eyes!

You could legitimately argue that it was only a few generations ago that ’western cultures’ married for status and family honour as primary drivers. And our primary marriage partners came from friends from work or college, or from introductions via family or friends. So it is not really any ’established tradition’ that is being modified...maybe I should just blame my parents for offering me ’freedom of choice’!.

Got to blame someone else - the problem, sure as hell, isn’t me! it?

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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#2013-01-16 15:18:13 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Garreth - I think you've hit on one thing (of many) that dating on CLM definitely has over live, in the flesh, dating in China - there is a much higher percentage of CLM ladies than of Chinese women in the general population who are seeking romance/attraction of the heart over material advantage as their primary criteria in judging their prospective life mate.

Would you concur with that or not?

#2013-01-16 18:58:18 by anonymous5253 @anonymous5253

Thanks! People are free to make choice.
It's said only we open to this world,so that the world open for us. Needless to say what this web CLM used for. As i said before,after readed so many times your blog,i strongly thought you were a professional column writer,commentator rather than a real seeker. What are you doing here for?
All of us wonders at times. All of us have faith that wavers. Please don't distract us.
I wonder what do you truly want? Have you ever involved? Have you loved? Surely you can talk about love,about marriage,but please don't to be a stander-by. Will you truly fight for love?
Sorry for my direct.

#2013-01-16 20:00:17 by papaya1972 @papaya1972

the so called 'culture' of marriage for status and benefits is not your problem for sure.
But who you make friends with is surely your problem.

#2013-01-16 21:46:39 by panda2009 @panda2009

Are the ladies on CLM unavailable for you? Why do you have to hacer caso de alguien?

#2013-01-16 22:05:33 by Grace172 @Grace172

haha.. sounds like your friend treated you as a bestseller. If I were you I would suggest to hold an auction in her hometown. You and some foreign men stood on the stage and thousands of 'good women' were around you and had them to offer good price, so she and you could earn a lot of money by this way.. haha..Just joking.
I think some Chinese women want to marry with western men for their selfish purpose. But not all. There are still many Chinese women are fond of the western culture and they are looking for true love. I wish your dream will come true in the new year.

#2013-01-17 13:06:19 by scubaguy14 @scubaguy14

I guess south asia isn't quite the same, I never felt any family or social pressure in Malaysia, and my wife was far above my social standing.

#2013-01-17 13:50:33 by charliewang316 @charliewang316

What a shame!

#2013-01-17 16:19:07 by aussieghump @aussieghump

I agree that what you say is true - that many CLM have a 'romantic intent' when searching. I support the idea that some 'shared material wealth' must be generated to create a happy and health family life...the interesting thing about the story is the 'Chinese obsession' to create a story about how 'you will help them' rather than how there is equality in the relationship.
Also is the idea of a 'marry-by date' that needs to be met!
For me (and I suspect many other foreigners) there are two scenarios that I find distressing - 1) the idea that the foreigner will become 'instant Chinese' and conform to all 'normal Chinese family and social obligations' or 2) the lady becomes 'goods and chattel' of the relationship and must 'give up career, lifestyle, location for love!'

My reasons for being on CLM are my own - I am seriously looking for a strong relationship and possible marriage, but it must really be in 'terms' that I know I can live with and to allow me to connect spiritually with my partner. While I understand that many people on CLM seem to have a 'marry-by date', I do not necessarily have this - please don't chastise me for this!
I write from my heart, about my feelings and why 'situations' are not right for me! For the record, I have loved in China - thwarted by a family that could not have their daughter marry a foreigner - no amount of 'fighting for love' could affect the outcome! Destroy a family to win a heart? No, that path was not open but I am not bitter about this!
I am sorry if you find my writing distressing - please, in the future, if you see my byline, please do not read any further!

@panda2009 @grace172
Both of you are articulate and accomplished individuals who (I hope) would not settle for a relationship where you can not prosper and grow! I too am in that situation - acutely aware that the 'soil' around me may be barren for all but the heartiest plants! There are many 'good women' in China, on CLM and in other places - I have just not been able to find the 'right one' as yet! This is not to say they are not close by, or in a village in China!
Simply, i have not discovered 'the right one', either through CLM or the efforts of my friends and associates! My observation in this case is the narrow criteria on how a relationship is judged - man/woman, both unmarried, must have marriage soon - you are good match, marry next week!
My writing is not about social status, material wealth or is about the 'spiritual element' that appears to be lacking in many of my conversations about marriage in China. If I can crack that 'feeling' then I am in for a lifetime!

@scubaguy Congratulations, long and happy marriage.

@charliewang316 Thanks Charlie, one day the marriage bus will come along for me, until then I will keep buying tickets!

#2013-01-17 19:14:47 by pourquoipasamour @pourquoipasamour

Garreth, John knows I am an Apple freak. Today they announced that the Iphone5S is on the way, it will be available mid Spring in North America. You did not ask my opinion, but I got a Samsung Galaxy S III recently and I am simply delighted. I give it a 10, thumbs up. My Sony/Ericson Experia has a flawless screen resolution (Sony used their fantastic Bravia engine) but the battery life is a downer. Don't buy it.
Changing the subject, this business of introductions sucks, specially if it is a business transaction. Love is and should be free and spontaneous. You are a nice guy, your girl will land in your life when you least expect. Hold your horse, be cool. I wish you all the best.

#2013-01-18 05:43:51 by hongwazi @hongwazi

sounds interesting.... but such a stupid girl. i always can meet the kind of stupid people in many cases. so used to i don't like to talk much with the,
but when i am bored maybe i will like to dalliance with the kind of people.

Chinese! haha~ so this is why everytime when people says their likes chinese culture, i used to tell them that chinese are lost, here no culture anymore. they only care about money and house right now. and some girls just wanna marry to foreigner only because they thinks they are richer. when i see some girls with foreigner and they acting were such fake, they are proud to be with foreigner without reasons, they are proud but not because they are really great that is only because they are foreigner! mostly of them will acting genteel when they has dating with foreigner, but just their acting are too badly, about the kind of girls here in china has many foreigners just playing games with them, even so they still feels proud because THEY ARE FOREIGNER!!!!

John was right, has so many girls are looking for some romantic stories on the kind of sites, because they had read in books and on some fucking stupid TV.

such a crazy country, such crazy people, must has brain problems.

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