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Jasmine Huang, member of CLM, born and raised in the southeast of China, is sharing with you one Chinese woman's point of view regarding western men, Chinese women, online dating and cross cultural relationships. Not an expert, but would be willing to learn and grow with you all.
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What is your acceptance of a ‘May-December’ relationship?    

By Jasmine Huang
7221 Views | 8 Comments | 6/1/2010 10:30:58 PM
Tag:

Chen-Ning Franklin Yang and Weng Fan

I am a girl, I am in my late 20s and I put on my profile that I am looking for a man aged 30-40, which is the age range that I think I can accept. I’ve got couples of emails on CLM that probably started by: I think I am too old for you, but I am young at heart. Normally I just replied: I don’t think I can accept a mature man, but there are many girls on CLM, so just keep on searching and I wish you good luck. So I turned down some guys who are almost at my father’s age (I guess this is my way to put it, but I don’t mean anything to be against people in advanced age or I don’t discriminate old people. ). Though there are some nice, polite and mature guys, with whom I am still in contact and sharing ideas of online dating.

This week, I’ve got mails from 3 mature guys (all in their 50s, ok, my father’s age). One commented on my blog entry, one asked me instantly for my instant messengers, and one said he wants to find a lady like me, but in her 50s.

I kept wondering how many girls will accept someone who is significantly older than her. Yep, literally this kind of relationship is called ‘May-December romance’. The age difference between the two people is at least a decade, but often more. The phrase comes from the younger person being in the "spring" of his or her life (i.e., May), while the older partner is in his or her "winter" (i.e., December).

May-December relationships are pretty common throughout history. In ancient China, men normally got more than 1 wife. It is said Confucius was given birth by a 66-year-old father and 17-year-old mother (his father’s 3rd wife). The age difference was huge. And if we see today what the celebrities are going through, we almost feel that this kind of relationship is quite common. In 2004, Chinese public was abuzz about the engagement between the 82-year-old Chinese-born American physicist (also the 1957 Nobel prize winner), Chen-Ning Franklin Yang and his 28-year-old fiancé Weng Fan. All rumors poured in when this couple were together. A Taiwan columnist published one article in 2006, speaking sarcastically that when Yang met Weng, it was like the old solitude met the young solitude, which just equaled to ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude ’. And the other famous couples include: 1. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. He's got a quarter century on her as well, exactly so since they share a birthday. 2.Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. There's more than fifteen years separating these two. 3. Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. She's fifteen years older than he is which many say qualifies as a May-December relationship. The examples can’t be stated enough.

But we are not celebrities, even sometimes they are acting like role models. The thing is: are you really sure that you can handle this? Let’s see what the guy in his 50s said on the mail. ‘Age is nothing. A mature man will teach you the good steps of life, and teach you the way forward. A mature man is worth his weight in gold because normally he is responsible, settled, and appreciating a younger lady.’ He’s got a point in this. But despite the pros, there are always the cons in a matter. The biggest is whether and when to have children together and also how you are going to cope with people’s misunderstanding. There are also problems with being in different career stages and having different priorities in life because of age. These are certainly problems that can be overcome but are challenges that tend to be present in the May-December romance.

How many years older can a girl accept a guy and how many years younger can a guy accept a girl? How can you determine that there won’t be other purposes rather than a serious relationship? (This may be the confrontation from this world, and maybe from that inner you.) And can you really not care about others but just 2 of you in a relationship? And age really does not matter?





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(Showing 1 to 8 of 8) 1
#2010-06-02 02:20:32 by kahnsfury @kahnsfury

I believe that age is not necessarily a deal breaker in a possible relationship, but we must be reasonable here also. A girl in her twenties is just starting her adult life and to get involved with someone twenty years or more older than her is just asking for a life of regrets. Now, a ten year difference is not as bad, but even then it is a risk.

#2010-06-02 23:29:26 by ruibo @ruibo

My Chinese lady friends in New Zealand told me there is a formula! The youngest age is half you age plus 7 years. In my case 40 years to my 63 - is not a runner for me. There may be a few who share my world view at 40 but not many.
A good test might be to think about what sort of couple-life you will have in 10 years. Has he turned from lover to patient?

#2010-06-03 08:43:06 by sylvan @sylvan

I have found it to be a bit more common to have large age difference in China than it is in the US. If you are talking about us common people who are not celebrities, a typical couple is rarely more than 10 years apart. It is a taboo and many westerners use the phrase "robbing the cradle" when referring to a person who is dating someone much younger. But in China, I have seen a fair number of cases where a boyfriend or husband is much older than his girlfriend/wife. This seems to be even more common when you look at international chinese-western relationships.

#2010-06-04 08:13:34 by woaizhongguo @woaizhongguo

I guess I would see it the other way. And our difference in point of view may have something to do with the fact that I would make a distinction between wife and girlfriend. True, a lot of older Chinese guys have young mistresses. That may be who you are seeing out in public. But there is a much stronger reaction in China against older men marrying younger women. For example, I know no American woman in her late twenties who would categorically rule out a 41 y.o. man as Jasmine has done. But I can also say Jasmine's view is pretty common among Chinese woman. Far from being a prohibition, countless American movies take as their theme the renewing possibilities of a relationship between younger woman and older man. I'm working on a blog entry on this to explain why this is so.

#2010-08-04 22:42:27 by patkel @patkel

Here in the Uk there is a T V personality who married a winner of the Miss World contest about 28 years ago. The age gap is 30 years. She was ,and still is a stunning looking woman. She could have chosen a rich eligible bachelor much younger than the man she did. A TV documentary on their life together was aired recently, and It was obvious they still dote on each other.I think when two minds meet the age gap is forgotten

#2010-11-28 20:44:35 by xingtiao @xingtiao

I gave up a lovely relationship in China when I realized the life needs of myself and my much younger beloved were too different for the relationship to be successful in the long term. I maintain to this day it was true and pure love but practical realities had to be considered. After open discussion we agreed to part, though it was painful for both.
From a prior and failed relationship I can caution more mature (cough!) Western men from painful experience to thoroughly know any woman they are drawn to have a romance with. Some Chinese women are so practiced at dissimulation that the first inkling a man can have of a passport or fortune seeker is when she moves in and suddenly forgets to behave as if she is in love with him. That's the time to get out fast. We oldies are vulnerable.

#2010-11-28 20:50:38 by xingtiao @xingtiao

If I may submit a more amusing anecdote, I was invited to chat by a 28 year old who looked about 19 to my Western eyes a couple of days ago and accepted with unspoken reservations. When I saw the woman's profile photos I decided to take the 'old uncle' approach to this lovely thing who had said absolutely nothing after asking me to chat. I had asked her a few questions that she did not answer so I took the tactful approach of warning her what kind of attention she might attract with her very sexy pictures and told her to be careful. Thus I avoided making her feel as if she lost face but my reservations proved valid tonight when she appeared in Scammer Prison. :)

#2011-07-03 01:30:19 by Jaguarguy @Jaguarguy

This is a good question and I have asked myself this for months now. I have casually looked for an asian (Chinese) woman for possible marriage for the last couple years now. I have not traveled to China YET but it seems I will be. To get to the point I have built an online relationship with a woman there (Dongguan) who works for the factory I do business with over the last 15 months. She is 30 years younger than me. While I have dated and been married too women in the USA 10-15 years younger and never had a problem this is double that. She does not care, she feels more mature man is more secure and will treat her properly. Plus she is smart, funny, very caring and I feel more mature then her age which is what I am looking for and I have not had one red flag with her as I have with others in China I have chatted with.

Its real easy for a western man to fall for a young attractive asian woman but I do seriously look past it and think we could be happy for the rest of my life and she will still be young and financially secure enough to live the rest of hers after I pass.

So I ask..... am I nuts ?

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