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Dating in China


newforeigner
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I hope you don't get this personal but is this your first time in Asia? No previous experiences?

Anyway, I don't wanna be an adviser here but I'd say she either wants you to really show you want to meet her, she's a butterfly type or doesn't give a s*** and will play with you like this for some time. She didn't even indicate when she'd possibly be back. That's why I begin to think this way.

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Agreeeeeeeeed, Pete. I would be annoyed of a girl if she acted the way your ex did. I guess it's because you've had more experience with being in relationships and realize that it could be a big problem that could even lead to breaking up. But yeah, I've never really had this problem with anyone, mainly because no guy has really done anything regarding money that has left a bad impression on me.

What's a butterfly type?? I agree with Pete on how she just wants you to show her that you really want to meet her. Play it cool and just be like, "Ok, no problem! Hope to see you around." or something and whenever she talks to you next will probably be when she's wondering why you haven't contacted her, haha. Don't get butthurt about her cancelling and most importantly, don't show it! Good luck!

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To be honest I'm surprised that many expect the guy NOT to pay. During my college years I have dated girls from pretty much every major geographical area in the world and I was always expected to pay for the date, I.e. dinner and movie.

I never had to pay for anyone's shopping, nor was I expected to.

But for my generation, paying for dates is the guy's responsibility.

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Butterfly is like "jumping" from one person to another whatever suits her best at a certain time. Very random and usually means she's indecisive and cant figure what she really wants... I think the most you can do is what Stephanie said or something along these lines "Cool, let me know when you get back to Shanghai." If you start pushing you might be having a hard time and from what you've said it looks like you must like her a lot.... anyway, I hate such vague replies from women so when I receive one like this I drop it right away. Why? Experience taught me. There're so many cool people around the World that I just wouldn't have time for this :)

You definitely don't want to get hurt but anyway, since I don't know you and her, don't know the entire situation how you guys met and you seem to be confused about it too, dont do like I would. See what happens by yourself. Nobody will be truly able to suggest anything with description you've provided. Good luck

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@大肚男

Interesting. Which generation are we talking? If I listen to my grandma nowadays who is still quite young for a grandma (60+) who tells me how my grandfather, who isn't in this World anymore, was giving her entire salary at the end of each month I start to feel sick. Her entire mindset is soooo different and she always advises my sister to find some good-looking and rich boyfriend (like these were the 2 most important qualities)... me and my sister just shake our heads, there isn't much else to say... and when she found out that my sister pays more rent than her bf (they live together) and he's very much relaxed about everything since he comes from the Mediterranean region she wasn't too happy or I could say she was close to a heart attack... her daughter's daughter didn't fulfill her expectations! But for my sister it doesn't matter. She's not proud of it but her boyfriend has a difficult family situation and she's ready to step up and show her feelings buy literally investing more into this relationship. This must be a true feeling... not only a thought about getting laid!

Anyway, this is fair play. Maybe this is the sort of crowd you tend to attract (no offense) or maybe you're plainly very generous (CALLING all girls!!!), not sure. I guess it also depends on our luck. I tend to hang out with the opposite crowd and definitely didn't pay for every date. And I have reasons to believe that I'm well traveled so similarly had a chance to hang out with girls from different parts of the World.

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Women want to have equal rights, earn the same as men, be independent and be treated seriously.
There is no feminist movement to speak of in China (that I'm aware of), so this argument doesn't fly, unfortunately. The idea that the inviter should pay makes sense, but when I dine with a Chinese man, even if it's just friends, I rarely manage to pay, whoever did the inviting. Perhaps I should try harder... On first dates with any nationality I try to go Dutch, that way we're more free to meet or not meet again and nobody gets any false expectations.
She sent me a message this morning saying that she has no time to meet me because she is not in the city?! I asked her when we could meet. She wrote that she would inform me...
I might be wrong, but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath here.
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Well, I never pay for a woman on dates unless we are alternating who pays. She pays this time, I pay next time, etc. Generally when getting to know a woman I will ask a woman what type of man she likes, and then she asks me what type of woman I like. I make it clear that I respect a woman who makes her own money and wants to be equal with a man. I tell her that, in my opinion, a man paying for everything is a chauvinistic and obsolete belief. If a woman argues with this, she's probably not my type (ie, she's a golddigger who wants an ATM-boyfriend) and I refuse to see her again, but most women get the message and it's not usually an issue.

Why don't I pay for women? It sends the wrong message and it leads to bad patterns. You read online about some girl leaving her boyfriend because he won't buy her a phone, or something similarly ridiculous. The girl probably started by getting the man to pay for something small, and it escalated. The man keeps paying because he is worried that she might reject him if he doesn't. Well, I'm really not worried about being rejected and I'm not paying for her. There are 600 million (or some large number) of women in China, and it really isn't that hard to meet another one. I'm just not interested in wasting money on a traditional girl when there are more desirable and modern women out there.

Think about it:

Girl A:Pay for everything

Girl B:Pay equally

Choose girl B!

Having said this, honestly the best way to avoid an issue here is to go on dates that are basically free. A walk in the park, a game of badminton, or cooking her dinner are all basically free.

There is a girl in the town where I work who I think is trying to gold-dig me. She asks me prodding questions that seem to gauge my income level. After asking me my salary (I told her it was rude to ask an American this), she asked me what type of cellphone I had(a big wealth symbol in China - I told her I was currently using a laptop then changed the subject). When I told her I was travelling around, she was like, "Oh you must have so much money to do that, right?" I guess she is still stuck in the 1990s when all foreigners were rich compared to most Chinese. Anyway, I'm on vacation right now but when I get back, I'm going to see how far I can get with this girl without paying for anything.

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She sent me a message this morning saying that she has no time to meet me because she is not in the city?

This is called flaking. I would ask her out again and if she does this again, next her.

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This is a good point Lu. I also noticed that Asian girls are much less independent than Western girls. However, when I dine with friends we always split, unless it's my really good friend so it doesn't matter cause I pay here and he/she pays there. The only situation I cover is if I have a good friend that I know is stuggling financially - I have no problem with that and am happy to cover but when I notice I'm being used the friendship ends on the spot.

It's up to you if you try harder or not and cover yourself while dining with friends. Everyone of us is different as we can see from all sorts of opinions. I just think this is the right thing to do but you might think otherwise which is totally fair.

Not sure if other gents agree with me here but depending on how you go Dutch may send the wrong message also. Depends if you show any appreciation for it or not. If you don't then the other person may feel a little upset.

@WestTexas - good story mate! :) This sounds like a girl is looking for a sponsor to me. As far as I can tell you have your principles so you know what to do. I personally, after such questions, wouldn't even bother talking on a higher level than casual friends. The girl seems to have her priorities set! Been there, done that...

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I try to go Dutch

Well, being Dutch and all :mrgreen:

This is one of those odd colloquialisms that English speakers rarely use, but that must have appeared in some English textbook many years back causing it to be the preferred phrase of choice in China when talking about splitting the bill/paying separately.

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When I asked her out, she said that Tuesday is ok. After I chose the time, she suggested 7 with the sentence "if I have no another plan on that day." at the end.

She is not bad (as far as I can tell so far). However, my impression on her friend is different. That friend has bad influence on her. It might be that she is out of town and because of the typhoon, she cannot come back. However, I should not have too high expectation though.

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The story is as follows: on my first day of arrival, I went to the supermarket. I could not find what I want. I asked many people and none of them spoke English. When I was going to leave the store, I saw her and her friend. So, I just asked anyway. They helped me to find the items I wanted. They could not help me to get a sim card as the phone counter was closed. So, I just asked her email address when we separated. She gave me the phone number instead. Due to language problem, I was unable to get a sim card. Somebody agreed to help but that person kept me waiting. Few days ago (almost 3 weeks after I first met her), I met her by chance on the street. She recognized me immediately. (I am an asian looking guy, not western looking). I told her that I could not call her because I still had not had a sim card yet. She went to a phone store with me and helped me to get the card. I invited her for dinner at that time but she had to go home to eat. (She bought foods from the supermarket already.) So, I suggested another day. I sent her the sms and made the appointment...

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she always advises my sister to find some good-looking and rich boyfriend (like these were the 2 most important qualities)

Women invest more in children then men. Consequently for a relationship she wants a man who can (and will) help take care of the offspring, is willing to invest. Providing/paying is (traditionally) the way to express this capability. The earning(potential) and powersome-one has also tells something about the fitness of the person. Fitness is also indicated by the looks as the looks are evolutionary a proxy for health/fitness and probably also genetic compatibility.

So, from an evolutionary point of view goodlooking and rich are the 2 most important qualities. This is also verified by research, women tend to choose partners with the most money/power (basicly money and power are interchangeable)or else the potential to gain wealth and power. This is so inbred into the genes that consiously or inconsiously this continues to be true for many generations into the future. Some cultural and economic changes won't really change this however the game may be played in a (somewhat) different way.

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@大肚男

You're just 4 years older than me. I'd say we both live in the same generation! Nothing has changed. It must be all up to us and people we meet. At least I believe so.

@Silent

Thanks for a thorough explanation. It logically makes sense what you wrote and is pretty much common sense. This is the way Asians think, and probably some foreigners (well I cannot speak on behalf of the World). This is not the way I and lots of other friends I'm surrounded by think (males + females). It's a "tradition" that I believe came some centuries ago and people aren't able to open up their minds nowadays to see the big picture and make up their own mind. Why? Not sure. Problem in Asia I noticed is that people generally don't ask questions why. They aren't interested why things are as they are but tend to take things for granted. Educational system? I very much believe so!

You've also brought up earning potential related to the fitness of the person. Sorry, this isn't personal but there's no way I'm going to agree with this. I know some people who did very well financially but as partners are failing miserably. Is this a good thing? I know there's more to it than just that but it's only an example. It doesn't really matter what the research says and what women tend to choose. I know you're probably right in what you wrote but it doesn't mean this is what I support or am willing to accept. I have my own thoughts here and as mentioned above my 2 previous relationships proved that there're some women in this World who put a lot of thought into it (even in Asia) instead of listening to traditions, grandparents or mummy and daddy.

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Hmm, if everything absolutely has to be equal, then why does a man have to ask a woman to marry him? Actually, no one said that the woman can't ask the man, but things just go that way. It's just a tradition, but everyone goes by it, because it's not a huge deal.

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So, I just have to wait for her next reply which could be forever? At the phone store, I was asked to provide an ID to join the plan most popular among the students. I told her that I am a new professor. (We are not from the same university. So, there is no problem of professor dating student.) She said that she thought I were a student. The staff left my passport opened on the desk. I don't know if she saw my DOB on the passport.

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@ Stephanie, I can see a fine line between asking to get married, opening doors, letting go inside/outside first etc.vs $$$ since the former one comes purely from the heart. The latter though could come from the heart too in some situations but it's rather driven by one's financial situation where certain people can be at a disadvantage. This is why I don't believe this should be considered as a decision-making factor in any relationship - again my personal opinion only :).

@ newforeigner, you really need to get some experience in my opinion or they'll eat you alive. Take her as an example to see it by yourself rather than expecting others to tell you what to do. Don't get me wrong, we're here to share ideas and help each other out but you really need to make your own decisions based on your judgement. What I and other experienced doesn't mean you'll go through the same scenario. Hit on her and see what she does. Keep in mind that it can become a steep and painful learning curve but seriously, do it. You need to make your own rational decisions! Show her some affection and you'll learn a lot from it whether it works out good or bad!

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