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Born in the UK but now living in Australia, Paul Fox has travelled to many places throughout China. He has seen the lighter side, the darker side, both the gentle and the seedy sides. He documents his experiences and is willing to share them with anyone who wants to listen. He is not afraid to say things exactly how he sees them, and is quite happy to "name and shame" when necessary.
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The Holodeck - Chinese Dating Customs. Part 1    

By Paul Fox
2344 Views | 18 Comments | 3/12/2017 1:51:33 AM

For a Western man interested in Chinese dating, his becoming a member of CLM is as welcomed by many Chinese women as a portion of fried chicken is by the poorest people of Africa.



The more Western men who join, the happier many women of China will be since they have the chance to escape the traditional 'bonds' of their home country.



As you read this blog, you will learn about what 'tradition' means in China. By that, I mean when it comes to Chinese women for marriage, Chinese men, and what could probably be best described as Chinese Dating Culture.



For the uninitiated, the 'holodeck' is a fictional place, on the fictional 'Starship Enterprise', that's captained by the fictional Jean-Luc Picard in the fictional TV series and movies called 'Star Trek'.



Once inside, the holodeck will transform your phantasmagoria into virtual reality. Your dreams, your fantasies, your thoughts, all become a personal and lifelike world of realism.



Those of us who thought that the holodeck was exclusive to science-fictional starships appear to have been wrong all along. You see, China is also a huge holodeck - at least according to many of its citizens who have children of marriageable age.



The three stories I'm about to share with you are excellent examples. Far from being 'isolated cases', I could recount dozens and dozens of examples that I've heard during the last two years of living and working in the Middle-Kingdom.



Many of you will have heard of the 'Sheng Nu'. These are what China calls its 'leftover women'. Chinese single women in their late 20's, and above, who are still single. Marriage, in China, is still regarded as a huge cultural tradition. So much so, that parents often choose 'suitable' partners for their offspring. I have even seen posters put up in public places - you know, the ones that at first glance look like a 'Wanted' poster from the old 'Wild-West' - but these are offering Chinese girls for marriage.



'Suitability' is based on background, education, wealth, job or career prospects, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with old-fashioned 'love'.



Women are often railroaded into marrying a man they don't love in order to have a baby they don't want.



Heaven forbid that a lawyer, for instance, should fall in love with a lowly country girl. In spite of the fact that she may be genuine, loyal, honest, trustworthy, and beautiful, her background makes her an unsuitable 'candidate' for marriage.



China is teeming with such women. Daughters of what China refers to as 'peasants'. They grew up on a farm, have poor education, yet they know much about the practicalities of life and are in no way pretentious. After all, they have very little to be pretentious about!



The best they can ever hope for is to marry a farmer's son or a guy who works in a factory screwing caps on tubes of toothpaste 6 days a week for a meagre monthly salary.



The lawyer, on the other hand, must marry someone of similar social standing. A doctor perhaps, another lawyer, or at least a teacher, or a nurse.



One such lawyer had the magic wand waved above his head and the fairy-dust that ensued brought forth a very pretty young teacher. Not very long into their relationship they had a huge argument during which the pretty young teacher told the lawyer to essentially 'do some particular thing, or she would end the relationship'. He replied, 'OK, bye!'



The devastation that followed, the sheer desperation in realising that she, the pretty young teacher, would have to go through the whole process of being 'match-made' with another person, quickly ensured that she called back and profusely apologised in order to repair the damage she had done by being so bossy.



As for the lawyer, he took her back simply because he knew what his parents would say if he didn't. As for there being any love between the two of them, perish the thought!



This is the Chinese dating culture at its best.



They WILL get married; they WILL have a baby; and they WILL be happy - at least in the holographic minds of their respective parents.



Enter case number 2. A young university student who has a 'boyfriend' who lives in a city about 100km away. He's extremely busy with his work and seldom has time to meet with his so-called 'girlfriend'. She talks about him with complete indifference and has no feelings for him whatsoever.



But, their respective parents have pre-ordained it and decreed that they will marry, so once again, they WILL marry, they WILL have a baby, and they WILL be happy.



Once they marry, the pressure is on for them to spawn a baby. Once pregnant, the doctor will more than likely advise her to refrain from sex until at least 3 months after the baby is born. During what is likely to be the best part of a year, hubby will be required to remain celibate. Of course, a young hot-blooded male is likely to abide by that request, right?



He's nothing more than a 'sperm donor', the provider of DNA, who will soon be off to find someone willing to take away his tensions and frustrations, during which time 'wifey' is rubbing her hands with glee because she already has the house, the car, the bank account etc, and all she has to do in return is to tolerate the constant, never-ending interference from her mother-in-law.



Once the baby comes along, all her love and attention will turn to the child. Essentially her husband is now 'useless' and can do whatever he likes, with whoever he likes, just as long as he doesn't bring shame on the family.



Infidelity is the number 1 cause of divorce in China. Hardly surprising.



Case number 3 involves a rather 'foxy-looking' university student. She's decided that she doesn't want to marry a Chinese man, she's set her sights on a foreigner.



After meeting one, she whisked them both off to the holodeck and began to create her phantasmagorical fantasies.



Sadly, this particular Westerner decided that she was not his 'Miss Right' and subsequently dumped her.



'He's a playboy!' she said to me with disdain. I was going to try and explain to her that there are essentially 2 types of guys in the world. The first one is a guy who is in a committed relationship and regards his partner as being exclusive.



The other type of guy is one who has yet to find such a partner. Essentially, a 'playboy' - at least in the minds of young Chinese women.



However, I was beginning to feel that the subject was a little 'touchy' to say the least, so I didn't try to explain this to her.



What she did infer, however, was that she was not going to have a string of boyfriends that she would allow to share her bed. To her, sex was now completely off-limits until after the wedding.



So come on, how many Western guys do you know who would be prepared to 'buy a car without taking it for a test-drive'?



'If he loves me, he'll wait', she was naive enough to say. She was now back to being one of those “traditional” Chinese women for marriage. Forever lost to the modern Western man’s way of thinking.



'You're still on the holodeck, aren't you dear?' The words rushed into my head, but I was smart enough to engage my brain before putting my mouth into gear.



To be continued...


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
(Showing 1 to 10 of 18) 1 2 More...
#2017-03-12 05:47:03 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Hey Paul, I get your connection of the fantasy of Chinese marriage somehow being expected to work out between two people whose only real connection is the pressure being applied by their parents, to the Holodeck fantasies that were made to look like reality, but were anything but reality.

I agree wholeheartedly that the traditional Chinese methods of determining who would marry who hardly seem destined to work for Western men and/or women who grew up in Western culture.

But the question is, "What methods of determining who would marry who will work out for people who grew up in modern Western culture?"

Because the evolving Western methods of making this determination sure as hell aren't working out?  Marriage, and family, seem to be on a downward snowballing slide into oblivion in the West, and there is little reason to think that will change.

Don't believe me. See this article for a very interesting, albeit depressing discussion of the Global Decline of Marriage

It turns out that while marriage is in decline in China and India, it is miniscule compared to the wealthy Western countries.

And what is the seeming current method in the West of determining who will marry who? It seems to me that for both males and females it has become:

"From the late teens I will have sex with every member of the opposite gender (or for some the same gender) who enters my sphere of influence and who will let me. The ones that I like enough, or enjoy the sex with enough, I will have sex with until boredom sets in, and then go back to victimizing all comers again. 

Sometime between the age of 25 and 50 I will tire of this and look around for a marriage partner. I will then grab the first person I can find who seems stable enough to take relatively good care of me and we'll marry and live happily ever after.

And just to ensure success in following the above plan I will base all judgments I make about the quality of everyone I meet and their suitability as a marriage partner on what I see on American TV and in American movies, because the people involved in those productions are ever so clearly knowledgeable on how to have a really good, lifelong marriage."

Now there's a growing tradition that is not just akin to the Holodeck, but was, in fact, born of the Holodeck, or at least was born of the same people who gave birth to the Holodeck.

So I guess what I am saying is that, while the Chinese system is obviously far from perfect, it still is working a lot better than what we've come up with in the West, as a means of ensuring that marriage and family will survive. 

#2017-03-12 06:39:28 by melcyan @melcyan

Maybe "love" should be a banned word on CLM.as there seems to be very little agreement on what it means. Maybe a shift to the notion of a "quality relationship" both to the self and to another would be much more productive.

#2017-03-12 08:08:44 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@melcyan - how ironic to suggest that we should ban the word love from a website whose name is ChinaLoveMatch.net.

Maybe instead we should embark on a joint mission of all members to come up with a definition of "love" that will work for everyone.

Although I grant you that seems like an impossible task.

#2017-03-12 08:09:27 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@JohnAbbot

What seems blindingly obvious to me is the baby 'thing'. As the law in China currently stands, a new-born-baby cannot be legally registered unless the parents are married. This is NOT the case in the West.

Young people are pressured into having a baby and in order to do so, they MUST be married. This, in my opinion, is one of the main reasons for marriage decline in the West - simply put, people in China MUST get married, while people in the West essentially have no need to marry.

 

Another factor is that young people have very little free time. They study, study, study until they graduate from university at the age of around 22.

This means that unless they meet and fall in love at school, they rarely have the opportunity to meet members of the opposite sex in the same way we do in the West. Therefore their parents must INTRODUCE them to a 'suitor'.

 

This is a topic for another blog that I am currently writing, but the Chinese government is now considering paying couples to have a second child.

This is a total 'flip' from the now defunct 'one-child-policy' whereby the government would FINE couples for having a second child.

Wait until you see the newly-proposed 'sex-education' that is proposed for every child, beginning in primary school. Talk about 'one-extreme-to-the-other' - it'll leave you dumbfounded......

#2017-03-12 12:39:25 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

"Maybe instead we should embark on a joint mission of all members to come up with a definition of "love" that will work for everyone.

Although I grant you that seems like an impossible task."

 

Yes, impossible!

You may as well ask members what is their ideal holiday destination or how they like their eggs cooked.

'Love' has a different meaning for everyone - perhaps since there are so many different kinds of 'love'.

The love we have for our parents, for example, is not the same as the love we have for our kids or our partner.....etc.

 

Interestingly enough, scientists are now convinced that the heart is totally disconnected (emotionally) from the brain, yet contains similar cells. In a strange way this means that the heart is almost able to 'think' for itself, and whilst most feelings and emotions are controlled by the brain, there is one feeling that these same scientists have connected 100% to the 'heart-brain' - and that is Empathy.

 

Maybe that's why people who seem to have no feeling of empathy are often called 'heartless'.

 

Strange, but apparently true......

#2017-03-12 22:40:56 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot I was fully aware of the irony of my comment. However, I believe communication would greatly improve if the word "love" was not used and the actions that are evidence of love (not sex) were used instead.

@paulfox1 My partner has told me about her arranged marriage that took place in China nearly thirty years ago.  She married a man who she never would have chosen if she was allowed to choose. What amazed me is how hard she worked at making the best of this situation. She improved the way her husband dressed and presented himself and helped him gain a better job. Their marriage was not ideal but they achieved a situation where they were able to respect and support each other.

#2017-03-13 07:05:19 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@melcyan

Thank you for sharing. Your partner is living proof that what I said is 100% true.

Rhetorical question, but are you surprised that she tried to make the best of it? What choice did she have?

You say this was 30 years ago, but you didn't say how long her marriage lasted, nor when it ended, but by virtue of the fact that she is now YOUR partner, then end, it obviously did.

Your partner's 'situation', (for want of a better word), is similar to that of millions of women throughout China who are forced into marriage, solely to bear a child.

 

That, my friend, was the whole point of this blog.(mm)

#2017-03-13 12:13:24 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@melcyan - I really had no doubt you were aware of the irony. I meant my comment as a compliment to you on it. I understand your thinking, but I am afraid if we lose the word "love", we're likely to lose the thing we call love shortly thereafter. But as you point out, maybe we've already lost it. The word I mean.

@PaulFox - regarding the baby "thing", it brings to mind the famous saying, "Let's not through out the baby with bathwater." Isn't that what we've been doing in the West over the last couple of generations? We've been discarding marriage (the bathwater) at a rapid pace, and as the number of marriages has steadily declined, so to has the rate of childbirth (there goes the baby).

China, of course, was taking the opposite course for the past 2 generations, and was actually throwing out the baby, via the one child law. But by insisting that those who had a child must be married, they avoided to a large degree throwing out the bathwater, being marriage. But the end result has been that there is an almost zero decline in the marriage rate. It seems to me that puts China in a better position to ultimately preserve marriage and family as an important aspect of society.

I think that's a good thing. You seem to think that it is a bad thing to force people to be married in order to birth a child, based on this comment:

"Your partner's 'situation', (for want of a better word), is similar to that of millions of women throughout China who are forced into marriage, solely to bear a child."

But frankly I don't see why society shouldn't expect parents to be responsible enough to not have a child unless and until they are in a committed relationship that will allow that child to have both a mother and a father.

It's simple enough. Don't want to get married? Then you're not ready to have a child. You've got some growing up to do yet. I don't see anything wrong with the Chinese government's thinking on that one.

Of course many marriages won't work out and many Chinese children will lose one parent to some degree, but the statistics suggest far fewer Chinese children than Western children, many of whom never even know one parent, since that parent was never even expected to be part of the child's upbringing.

I'm trying to understand, since you seem to find the Chinese system quite repugnant, what is it that you see in the current Western system that makes it better? 

#2017-03-13 15:33:48 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot Thank you for the compliment. I agree with your words. I think the West can learn many more positives from China about marriage and family than China can learn from the West. 

 

I think it is also true that the word love has developed a fanciful meaning in the West. Hollywood and pop culture have repeatedly tried to isolate it for commercial gain but great love can only really exist in the context of a fully engaged life. It is interesting that in an article tilted "The Ten Golden Rules on Living the Good Life" the word love is not mentioned in the ten rules.

 

1. Examine life, engage life with vengeance; always search for new pleasures and new destines to reach with your mind.

2. Worry only about the things that are in your control, the things that can be influenced and changed by your actions, not about the things that are beyond your capacity to direct or alter.

3. Treasure Friendship, the reciprocal attachment that fills the need for affiliation. Friendship cannot be acquired in the market place, but must be nurtured and treasured in relations imbued with trust and amity.

4. Experience True Pleasure. Avoid shallow and transient pleasures. Keep your life simple. Seek calming pleasures that contribute to peace of mind. True pleasure is disciplined and restrained.

5. Master Yourself. Resist any external force that might delimit thought and action; stop deceiving yourself, believing only what is personally useful and convenient; complete liberty necessitates a struggle within, a battle to subdue negative psychological and spiritual forces that preclude a healthy existence; self mastery requires ruthless cador.

6. Avoid Excess. Live life in harmony and balance. Avoid excesses. Even good things, pursued or attained without moderation, can become a source of misery and suffering.

7. Be a Responsible Human Being. Approach yourself with honesty and thoroughness; maintain a kind of spiritual hygiene; stop the blame-shifting for your errors and shortcomings. 

8. Don’t Be a Prosperous Fool. Prosperity by itself, is not a cure-all against an ill-led life, and may be a source of dangerous foolishness. Money is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the good life, for happiness and wisdom. 

9. Don’t Do Evil to Others. Evildoing is a dangerous habit, a kind of reflex too quickly resorted to and too easily justified that has a lasting and damaging effect upon the quest for the good life. Harming others claims two victims—the receiver of the harm, and the victimizer, the one who does harm.

10. Kindness towards others tends to be rewarded. Kindness to others is a good habit that supports and reinforces the quest for the good life. Helping others bestows a sense of satisfaction that has two beneficiaries—the beneficiary, the receiver of the help, and the benefactor, the one who provides the help.

These ten rules are about fully engaging life. When you fully engage life (only possible when you love yourself), then love  of another is inevitable.

@paulfox1 My partner chose to fully engage life thirty years ago and love eventually came her way. Yes, I was surprised that, in the face of great difficulty, she chose to fully engage life. Few people in the East or West make this choice. Many in her position would have settled for a second or third rate life or  even committed suicide. The divorce rate in the West would radically reduce if we all fully engaged life like my partner. 

#2017-03-13 16:40:19 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@melcyan

Thank you for sharing. Your partner is living proof that what I said is 100% true.

Rhetorical question, but are you surprised that she tried to make the best of it? What choice did she have?

You say this was 30 years ago, but you didn't say how long her marriage lasted, nor when it ended, but by virtue of the fact that she is now YOUR partner, then end, it obviously did.

Your partner's 'situation', (for want of a better word), is similar to that of millions of women throughout China who are forced into marriage, solely to bear a child.

 

That, my friend, was the whole point of this blog.(mm)

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