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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What Chinese Women (probably) do wrong when dating foreign men! 中国女性跟外国人谈恋爱时易犯的错误    

By Garreth Humphris
8695 Views | 23 Comments | 12/30/2013 2:30:44 PM

A Chinese bride = Gettyphoto

I've decided to put my thoughts together on this based on my observations and feelings in relationships in China. I will not say I am an expert by any standard - these are just my personal observations and ’fears’ and ’annoyances’ when dating Chinese ladies in China. If you are a lady reading this and identify some of the traits in this, consider if you might need to modify some actions to appear less so! If you are a male looking to date Chinese ladies, be ready for the emotions and situations and accept it is ’normal’ in China. 

Of course, everyone is different - but culture and cultural expectations means that many people will have similar ’ideas’ on these things. 

So, with that being said, Ladies, please don't...

1) Assume they are Chinese - likes and dislikes, actions and inactions.

We are shaped by our environment - the manners and conventions we learn from our families and our communities are important and indelible - you like him for being ’different’ but cannot handle this difference when the real truth is told! 

He will not do things the ’Chinese Way’ and he will probably not tolerate some of the restrictions a Chinese wife might put on a Chinese husband. He will not agree that certain actions make him a ’bad man’ or a ’playboy’ since these are perfectly reasonable in his culture and society. 

He will probably not agree with all family decisions and will not willingly comply. He will be independant and strong and not back down to your mother, father, uncle or older brother as you might expect. You will need to fight for him and explain his case to them - you will need to decide whether to support his strength and independence or side with the family. It is your family against him...who will you support?

There are so many things that will not be common, some will change and adapt to create a life together, and some things you will have to accept as living with someone who is culturally and socially different from you. Think about it this way - would you like to be taken and locked in a box for your whole life - not being able to see family and friends. Not being able to enjoy the things you used to do? Being told what to do and where to go, what is an acceptable action on an unacceptable one? Why do you want to do this to him?

2) Assume they are Chinese - Cultural Expectations

If you do not explain to your potential partner the cultural expectations of meetings, events and situations, you are probably being dishonest.

Example: You tell your partner that your father’s brother is in town on business and would like to take you both to dinner - he assumes an innocent request to meet the family when in fact, DaGe is doing the family reconnaissance/spy mission for potential inclusion into the family within 3 months! 

Warn him, don't leave him totally unaware! And if possible, keep DaGe and all the family scheming well away from him until he has agreed to marry you and spend the rest of his life with you.

Meetings with family and friends, events and gatherings all have expectations of others on them and unless you are absolutely 100% sure that your potential partner knows what they mean and what is expected in what time frame, it is better not to invite him. You are responsible for the path to your families’ acceptance of the situation and you will be the only one that can defend your spouse from your family in the future - do not start out by misleading him on the true nature of the event!

3) Think he will want a baby with you!

Seriously, Chinese thinking is that marriage = baby! No matter how impractical or dangerous it might be for the mother or infant! If he wants a baby as his prime concern, he will be chasing nubile under-30 year olds with child-bearing hips...not you!

This is not to say that a baby is not possible or would not be a happy addition, but to bring this up on the second date is not the path to matrimony! 

He is interested in you because of your elegance and experience, your match to his age and interests, your companionship and passion, not your ability to suckle young!

For many foreign men looking off-shore for a potential mate,they have identified things in the female population of their own community that they do not find attractive or interesting and are exploring other cultures for this ’spark’. If the man is older and already has children, or older and avoided children, then maybe ’having a child with you’ is not high on his list of things to achieve in this life-time! It is certainly not second date discussion material!

4) Tick off a checklist

Most of the ladies I have dated have a very clear ’path to marriage’ and they seem to have decided that it will take exactly 21 dates (plus or minus 17) and each date has a series of boxes in a checklist that needs to be marked off - if one is missed, a blind fury unfolds until the box is ticked - and then the game continues as if nothing happened!

The whole dating process seems to be a matter of ticking boxes and reaching targets with little spontaneity or free spirit. It appears to be a process or procedure that must be followed to produce the only a ’China Approved Marriage!’. A little harsh maybe, but you get the picture!

If you are resolutely following a pre-defined checklist and it has no concessions for differing opinions or finding common ground between you two as a couple it is asking for trouble - be aware that initially a man will ’let you have your way’ to a certain point. 

He is interested in your complexity and will want to spend more time with you...but if you continue this path of blind checklist ticking and fail to realise that he too is complex and needs compromise on certain issues, you will quickly drift apart! 

While marriage may be the ultimate target, there will be certain provisions that he will have that you will need to discover and dispel along the way! If you flippantly disregard any of these and fail to take the time to discuss and explore options with him, you will probably have iceberg vs Titanic issues.

And the issues and checklist items often do not match the status of the relationship...these rules dictate a dysfunctional relationship built on rules not trust and love. 

While these ’rules’ can be explained as a ’cultural normality’ at the start, they become a burden in a short time because they are marking off points rather than learning each other together. When response X means he is a ’good guy’ and response Y means he is a ’playboy’ and there is no ’middle ground’ such as ’he is a trustworthy guy who likes to occasionally meet his friends in a bar for a few quiet drinks' then you have some troubles brewing!

This sounds a little facetious - you can play this game but try not to make it so obvious that that is what is happening! Foreign Guys like to think that they have some free-will, even if they don't! Learn to allow them a little ego and the right to choose their next step! They are not as far along the marriage path as you and standing ahead of them continually screaming at them to catch up with you rather than going back a few steps, walking beside them and helping them along the steep rocky mountain path in the fog and misty rain might be a better strategy!

Remember that foreigners will be equating 'togetherness' as moving forward together at the same speed, if you are racing ahead out the front, not seeming to want to be ’together’ in the moment but somehow ’together’ in the future, this does not make a good impression...always wanting more, or never restful enough to enjoy the moment right now! A foreign male will likely see this path to marriage as a form of ’entrapment’... You get what you want, a secure and trapped man...and then you revert to Chineseness and ’force’ situations by weight in family numbers! Not a good situation he will ’willingly’ walk into - no matter how much he ’loves’ you! You might get initial ’wins’ in small battles, but you are in the campaign for the whole war!

5) Create complexity

In general, Chinese people seem to be able to turn the simplest idea into a complex Gorgian Knot! 

You seem to need to include every person you know in every situation:

- he suggests a meal out, you want to invite your parents or posse of friends...and he will pay to give you face!

- a trip to a scenic spot will have your jaunty niece and scowling nephew in tow, that you have to return at some totally inopportune time so that they can finish their homework.

- Auntie will chaperone you to go shopping and expect payment in a dinner of largely inedible stinky delicacies that he cannot eat, but will have to pay for!

- a quiet visit to meet your young adult child will be turned into a ’super celebration of family exuberance’ which neither he, or your child, will appreciate!

Yes, family is important...but so is solitude and togetherness! If you keep surrounding yourself in distractions - he will become easily distracted, feeling you are not interested in spending ’quality time’ with him. You are pushing a wedge between him and you by introducing more and more seemingly unimportant people between you and him! 

Slowly introduce family and friends - do not surprise anyone! Do not force people into false displays of affection or ’correct’ responses! You are trying to build real trust and deep commitments, not false face and ’easy wins’.

Remember that your bored family living in the microcosm of your hometown will love to be super-critical of you and him - so make sure you can weather the barrage - any weakness will be exploited by your family. If you want him to stand beside you, you must be solid and united! Anything less is courting disaster! 

You will be forced to decide one or the other - and before you all jump on me at this point! happens between Chinese as well! Your true love’s family wasn't suitable for your family (or visa versa) and you ended up married to a man everyone thought was ’excellent for you’ but wasn’t...and that is why you are over 30 and un-married now! Cat-scratch reality ladies, sorry!

6) Fail to listen or try to understand his situation.

This is a combination of all the above - you have your agenda and ’path’ fully mapped. The river you happily skipped over, he is deeply wading through with serious doubts and concerns. Why is he here in the wilderness?, what is he searching for?, why is he following someone who seems to have a different agenda to him and constantly springs surprises and changes on him?

If he says ’no’ or ’wait’, you are so happily plotting the wedding ceremony that you fail to notice his issues, much less take them on as serious issues that need discussion. 

He says he is not happy with a situation and in 2 days time, you do it anyway...because it is ’the Chinese way’...and he must accept it! But you have turned on him - siding with what you know and believe and not even bothered to listen to his concerns or evaluate other possible alternatives. It just it! If it happens too much, he will lose interest in you!

Some similar situations are:

- You will ask you friends (and forums) about how to handle his money when in fact that is a discussion you should be having with him, sometime after the 50th date, when things are settling into a pattern of discussion and normality.

- You will have created elaborate ’structures’ that allow him to give you what you want - regardless of his business or personal situation, you have decided he can stay in your city with you so you have investigated a job for him in your uncle’s factory, or you have moved out of home and are prepared to uproot your whole existence (leaving family and friends in a fiery rage against him before they have met him because of your insistence that ’he is the one!’ and you will do anything to grab hold of him!) 

- You are prepared to move to a new city or country with the ’faith’ that your ’love’ will conquer all obstacles but you do this without considering any of his concerns! You will do this without concern for the people you say you love the most - your family and child. You are prepared to create totally new life, only with him! He sees this ’blind faith’ as irresponsible and unreasonable to other parties and a dangerous dependency on him. He wants a well-adjusted ’partner’, not a dependant child!

Ok, well there are probably a few hundred other ’issues’ that can arise in week one of the Chinese Dating Game! I dare not suggest that this is complete - but becoming more culturally aware of others through active listening and not relying on ’what is right!’ (from your cultural perspective). 

Grow together as two seeds in the same pot, not two seeds in the jungle!

In all relationships, and especially cross-cultural ones, there is no right or wrong nor correct or incorrect, just active listening, understanding and concessions by all parties! 

You have to be prepared for that and make everyone else aware that you have a different animal on your hands - a bit wild and very different in some fundamental ways - and they will all have to learn how to get along through compromise and understanding.

Same goes for the guys!!









2. 理所当然地认为他们是中国人--文化期待




在中国,见家人和朋友,一起出入公共场合参加各种活动都是有含义的,家人朋友对此会有所定义和期待,因此,除非你完全确定你的男友知道你们的行为意味着什么,中国文化对两人恋爱关系时间方面有什么期待,否则你还是不要邀请他。让你的家人接受你们的关系是你的责任。你也是唯一能够在家人面前保护他的人,所以不要在一些事情的真实含义 和性质上误导他!

3. 认为他想要孩子





4. 照着清单打勾

我约会过的女人大都对通向婚姻的道路有自己清楚的想法,他们似乎认为需要约会21次 加上17次或减17次,每次约会都要有个清单需要一项项打勾,如果有一项没有打勾,一场莫名其妙的怒云风暴就会爆发,直到这件事情办妥了,然后游戏继续,就好像什么事情也没发生过一样!






尽管开始的时候这些规则可以被解释为“文化现实”,它们很快就会成为一种负担,因为这只是机械地打勾划对号,而不是在实际意义上了解彼此。当做法A意味着他是个好男人,而做法B就意味着他是个花花公子,而完全没有考虑“中间地段”的可能性,例如“他是个好男人,只不过偶尔喜欢跟他的朋友在酒吧喝两杯。” 这种思维方式的引导只会带来风暴的积累和酝酿。




5 制造复杂问题








6. 不愿意倾听或者理解他的想法和处境

这是上述问题集合到一起出现的情况----你已经策划好了你们的将来和道路。你心情愉悦地越过一条河,而他在艰难地跋涉过河,心里满是怀疑和各种疑问。为什么他身处荒郊野外?他在寻找什么? 他跟着一个人,而这个人跟他的安排不一样,常常制造各样想不到的惊讶,期待各种各样的和改变,为什么?


他说他因为一件事不高兴,两天之后,你还是照你的想法做了……”因为中国人就是这样做的“而他必须接受! 但是你已经惹恼了他,你选择了你的方式,根本不努力试图去听他的想法或者考虑其他可行的解决办法。只能这样办!如果这种事情常常这样处理,他会对你失去兴趣!



你会想出来一些复杂的办法,让他做你想让他做的事情,不管他的事业在哪里,个人情况如何。你自作主张他得留在你的城市,你会给他在你舅舅的工厂找一个工作,或者你搬离了老家,打算连根拔起,离开自己的家人和朋友    他们还没见你男友本人,因为你坚持认为“我就嫁他了!”而且你不惜一切代价要抓住这个男人。







Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
(Showing 1 to 10 of 23) 1 2 3 More...
#2013-12-30 14:51:15 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I hope the Chinese ladies will take some time to really read and understand both the content of the blog and the spirit in which I am sure Gareth is offering it. The points he is making are extremely important to making your relationship work with your intended western lifemate, and the intent is to assist you to do that. Please read and digest this information.

Guys, there's a lot you can learn from this as well.

#2013-12-30 17:12:41 by lhui @lhui

"Grow together as two seeds in the same pot, not two seeds in the jungle!" great!

#2013-12-30 21:49:37 by Helenluo63 @Helenluo63

This is one of the best blogs written recently! It is very suggestive and instructive in helping Chinese to establish a healthy and equal cross-cultural relationship!

#2013-12-31 08:47:57 by anonymous8556 @anonymous8556

Thank you sir for this thoughtful blog. I had a hard time discerning if any of this were tongue-in-cheek or to be taken literally. I am totally new to this. "This" meaning attempting to meet a woman living in China. I have dated Asian--including Chinese--women in the states, some of which were not very "Americanized" yet. I notice certain traits in these ladies--besides appearances. I got the impression that some of these behaviors or traits are magnified in women who don't live in the US. This has made me re-think this whole thing. Looks aren't everything! I have had some very beautiful ladies. I would look at them thinking, "I don't deserve such a beautiful lady" Then after getting to know them I would think to myself, "No way. I do not deserve to be this miserable".

#2013-12-31 10:58:17 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Excellent post Gareth - thank you !
Couple of points that I would also like to raise - one of which you have already mentioned

1) Dont treat the hotel room with such dis-respect. Yes, it is a paid-for service and the room may be cleaned everyday, but your guy does not want to go into the bathroom to find your "rubbish" lying everywhere and water all over the sink and floor. There is a BIN - use it ! - There are towels - use them !
If you treat the hotel room like this, he will think you treat your home the same way. No-one wants to live with a "pig"

2) Yes it's great to meet your friends - but inviting 10 of them to join you for dinner, then off to a KTV party maybe fun, but why should you expect HIM to foot the bill ?

RMB1000 for dinner plus another RMB2000 for the ktv party just so that your friends can enjoy themselves and you can show off your new man is fine if the bill is shared
Your man will happily pay for YOUR dinner and YOUR share of the KTV party - but he should not be expected to pay for all your friends who he has never met and probably does not care if he meets or not

I am sure there will be other things that I will think of, but for now these are 2 that spring to mind

#2013-12-31 12:41:52 by Apinkapple @Apinkapple

Happy New Year.

#2013-12-31 14:44:04 by sky810 @sky810

Suggestive comments, thanks.

#2013-12-31 17:37:21 by aussieghump @aussieghump

@anonymous8556 and other readers

I know at times some of my writing seems to be a joke or to be taken with a laugh - but this one is not one of those! In fact, most of my 'blog writing' is written from the heart and not intended to be funny or misleading - some of my comment...that might be a different story!

A recent visit from my mother brought back a memory of a previous girlfriend who decided that meeting my mother was the 'green light' to a marriage when in fact, she was plainly told, on many occasions, that my mother was in China to visit me and it had absolutely no 'Chinese Way' connotations - much to her chagrin. So, I was trying to put into words some of the issues that have come up for me in the past that have 'ruined' relationships and/or tipped them into the wrong direction.

I am certainly not an angel - and as a male, probably difficult to get a 'real feeling' from - but pay attention to the mood of the person and see if you cannot detect a change in them! I think this is part of the issue for me too - the feeling that everything is quite rushed and that my concerns are 'not important' in the big picture. It means that the lady is not 'in sync' with me does not know my 'true' feelings on things! It takes time for this to be the case - not a 5 minute whirlwind romance. To assume that you know - or to do things that fly in the face of my feelings won't be tolerated too long!

And I am not unique in this - I suspect that most males - Chinese and Foreign - get into this sort of situation when 'double happiness' is the logical outcome!

#2013-12-31 20:21:02 by zhshwu @zhshwu

In China also has a clear and concise not burdensome easily meet happiness. Namely, you see her, two people feel good, want to further development, only see a deep relationship with the key figures. Relatively speaking, there is no red tape, in time, energy, money, will be a lot easier. You may not encounter this kind of happiness.

#2014-01-01 07:08:00 by Runelabs @Runelabs

Interesting stuff and I feel there is a lot to learn still of Chinese culture, since I'm just beginning and being here far away in Norway. I lived for some years in Brazil, so I recognize some points as similar, but I think that the most important thing for anything to work is accepting that the two people in the relationship must be the ones central to the efforts of the couple. Respecting and taking care of each one's families is important, as losing touch or upsetting them is very hurtful, but I think that having some insight into how one's partner feels towards obligations to the family is very important and to be able to empathize with them.

Here in Norway, social structure is such that the government takes care of a lot of services and needs for families - and the elderly. Sadly, this probably makes the fast closing upcoming wave of elderly people a bit harder to handle here in Norway, and I think having strong family ties is something that the West will need to make rapidly important. Imagine this, in roughly 20 years there will be 3x times greater numbers of elderly over 65 years than today. This will surely devastate the health care services of most countries, and make private health services so much more important, as well as health insurance. Brazil is the only country in the world right now that spends more on private health care than on public health care, but this will undoubtedly change.

Therefore I don't think that Chinese family values and traditions are the "wrong way", but something that social change around the world will need to once again re-learn where it was forgotten. Family will become very important in the not-so-distant future, but so will also the happiness between two people continue to be. Best not become the slave or ignorant of either one of them, but find a healthy and up-to-date balance.

I hope to spend a lot more time learning about how Chinese daily life works, and more about family structures. Now that the company I work for has set up our first installation in Shanghai, maybe I'll get the chance to visit too - since I've never been to China, but just admired the history, food and culture for long as an eager martial arts practitioner and instructor. :-D

@JohnAbbot - amazingly great site you got - I work with Internet technologies (mostly telco) and have long done technical security work as well, so the attention given to member safety on this site is second to none and first rate! :-D

Happy New Year here from Norway too to all! ;-)

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