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Pianote

Foreign Women And Dating In China.

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Dawei3

In Beijing, a Chinese woman I know (she's not a close friend, but is a close friend of my friends) is dating a black guy.  She has the characteristics that would appeal to almost any guy and I'm sure Chinese guys are interested in her, but she's in a long-term relationship with the guy because she likes all of him as a person.  However, she does receive lots of pressure from Chinese about her choice of a black guy.  

On 3/4/2019 at 3:44 PM, Lu said:

Dating is not easy in China for white foreign women

Definitely true.  I very close English friend of mine in Shanghai had lots of trouble meeting guys.  She was very beautiful, very petite, with a great personality.  She said that Chinese guys wouldn't ask her out for cultural reasons.  I said "what about foreign guys?"  She said "If they're in China, they're not there to date Western women."  She didn't say this with spite, just as a reflection on reality.  Fortunately, she eventually kindled relationship with a friend who didn't live in China.  Now she's happily married and has child.  

 

Another Canadian woman I knew much less well had a similar experience trying to find guys to date in China.

 

One way to meet Chinese people who welcome foreign friendships is see if your city has Toastmasters clubs.  Toastmasters is an international non-profit organization that teaches speaking & leadership skills.  Many in China use Toastmasters clubs as a way also to develop English skills.  Recently a former world champion Toastmaster attended the Toastmasters district conference for all of China.  He is black and he was treated like a star.  My Chinese friends who saw him were in awe of him.  I'm mentioning this because being part of Toastmasters can mean the people are more open to Western ideas & perspectives.  And they welcome native English speakers since the members are often all Chinese, even in English-only clubs.

 

Toastmasters Clubs are run by volunteers and most welcome guests.  There is no pressure to join.  You can find one that fits your personality.  You can search for a club at Find a club at www.toastmasters.org

 

(I've written a few posts on the fun I've had with Toastmasters clubs in China.  I think it's a great way to make friends & language partners.  I'm married so I've never used it for dating)

 

 

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StChris
6 hours ago, Dawei3 said:

Definitely true.  I very close English friend of mine in Shanghai had lots of trouble meeting guys.  She was very beautiful, very petite, with a great personality.  She said that Chinese guys wouldn't ask her out for cultural reasons.  I said "what about foreign guys?"  She said "If they're in China, they're not there to date Western women."  She didn't say this with spite, just as a reflection on reality.

 

China's a big place, so I think there may be a lot of regional variation here. Where I am in Dongbei, the Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian women seem to have zero problem finding boyfriends, whether that be Chinese men or foreign. Several of my classmates are married to Chinese men, and the rest all seem to have Russian (or occasionally Western) boyfriends. Unfortunately (for me anyway) single Russian women seem to be pretty rare in Harbin.

 

I don't know any western women here, so can't say how it is for them, but I can't see why it would be so much different from the experience of other white women (I have no idea how things are for black women). All the Chinese men I've ever spoken to have been open to the idea of a white girlfriend, and many even hold quite idealistic views of them, seeing them as less materialistic than Chinese women. Also, I don't think I've ever met a single man who would willingly reject a woman who is "very beautiful, very petite, with a great personality" just because "they're not there to date Western women.". That combination of qualities can be hard to find and I think very few men would care what race the person is.

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道艺黄帝

I was at the gym watching whatever garbo they had on the screen in front of the treadmill, and that (妈妈咪呀?) contest show was on. They never have sound on at the gym, so I can only pick up what I can read as the subtitles zoom by. I guess it's an America's Got Talent/X Factor kind of show for mothers only?

 

Anyway, there was one episode where all of a sudden a (again, no sound, just a guess) seemingly pregnant Slavic woman walked out and sang. After she sang, they grilled her for a while and she appeared to communicate w/o problems. They mentioned the baby bump, and she pointed towards backstage. Her (shorter than her) Chinese husband came trotting out, with a giant goofy grin on his face, and the audience started laughing. I can't tell if it was one of those "happy for you two" laughs, or his goofy Urkel walk, or because they had a short Chinese man who knocked up a tall White lady, but I lost my gut too. lol.

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DavyJonesLocker

I never could understand why it's pretty  one sided in China, I.e. Chinese lady and western male rather than the other way round. Physical , emotional attraction, cultural differences, Chinese females being more opened mined towards westerns? I really don't know. 

 

However I have been told a few times now by Chinese females that some Chinese guys are not overly fond of western guys as they see us as the competition / enemy which I though was a little strange. 

 

Certainly western guys can punch above their weight here, which is good for us I suppose. It does give rise to a lot of arrogance by men though. 

 

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Pianote

Thanks @Lu we still communicate with each other. He wants me to teach him english. :)

 

Btw, dating in China doesnt seem that much harder than dating in the United States with tantan... :)

 

Actually, it's easier with tantan. the problem is the language barrier

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happy_hyaena

I watched this video by the 歪果仁研究协会 where Cindy/欣悦 walked up to random Chinese guys and asked them what their parents would think about them dating a foreigner. The guys called up their parents, asking them before finally turning the camera to Cindy.

 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1qZxgIpdQk

 

Bilibili: https://www.bilibili.com/video/av42047877/

(Toggle the 弹 button to remove the comments. It's between the video and the toolbar with the # of likes.)

 

It's interesting and funny. Granted, she's not only attractive by Chinese standards (very pale skin, big eyes, bla bla), but her Chinese is impeccable, putting her ahead of many other "normal" female foreigners. Despite that, what I take away from it is that often when people are prompted about topics like this they tend to reason about them in general, conjuring up an image of some abstract collection of stereotypes in their head, or maybe thinking about some foreign celebrity that they might or might not like. Then when they are confronted with a real person, e.g., Cindy, it's suddenly not that simple.

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mungouk
27 minutes ago, happy_hyaena said:

when people are prompted about topics like this they tend to reason about them in general, conjuring up an image of some abstract collection of stereotypes in their head, or maybe thinking about some foreign celebrity that they might or might not like. Then when they are confronted with a real person, e.g., Cindy, it's suddenly not that simple.

 

Good point, and I have a feeling that also works in reverse, for example racism.

 

 

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StChris

Sorry for the off topic post, but how do you turn off the comments when watching a bilibili video? (I mean the ones that annoyingly appear all over the video screen)

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ChTTay

I thought there was a topic on here regarding the lack of western women - Chinese men relationships. I can’t find it.

 

I have personally seen that some Chinese men struggle with Western dating and women because some aspects of what is considered normal courtship behaviour here are, by Western standards, completely over the top or even creepy/crazy. My Chinese male friend confirmed you’re often encouraged to keep trying and to “show the girl” how committed you are to her, your good features etc. This sounds okay in theory but in practice I’ve seen it become way over the top. Things like texting continuously and blaming the person if they don’t reply (and continuing to text even with no replies), turning up unannounced, constant gifts (even if previous efforts rejected), etc 

Ive also asked female friends (and my own girlfriend) if they’ve experienced stuff like this and most said they have to some extent. 

 

Some examples:

1) A female friend at University had a boy she’d never really spoken to leave her baskets of food every week for about 2 years. He would add her on wechat/QQ using different phone numbers and names (after having been blocked/deleted). One time she found flowers from him on her dorm room bed. After she graduated University, he founded a small company and included her Chinese name in the title.

2) A European friend had a close male Chinese friend here who she met through her Western boyfriend. Once they broke up, the Chinese friend told her he loved her. At first it was fairly normal, he just tried to date her, brought flowers etc. But as she told him she wasn’t interested it just turned intense. He texted her constantly, called her constantly, would wait at the bottom of her apartment building for her to go to work, leave gifts outside her door, send her food (waimai). He then actually started stalking her from her house to work and back in an effort to speak to her. In the end, my friend actually was too scared to

leave the house alone. This was all condensed into a period of 2 weeks. After that the guy would randomly try and call/add wechat but mostly stopped the rest. 

 

That’s one issue and, of course, you cannot generalise and say everyone is like this. I think it’s fair to say it’s not uncommon though. 

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Dawei3
On 5/31/2019 at 5:00 AM, StChris said:

don't think I've ever met a single man who would willingly reject a woman who is "very beautiful, very petite,

This surprised me too.  Often dating in China is seen as serious, with the implication of marriage. Because of the importance placed on most sons, dating someone they aren't going to marry is a problem (more so for men, than woman).  

 

22 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

I never could understand why it's pretty  one sided in China, I.e. Chinese lady and western male rather than the other way round

There are several aspects to this.  Chinese female friend said it bluntly, while Chinese parents generally want their kinds to marry a Chinese, if the daughter does,  "it just a daughter, so it's not a great loss (her words).  Some fathers, particularly those who came from farms, look upon their daughters with derision.  I know quite a few who were given male names because their dad was so disappointed that they were girls.  Some use English names because they are ashamed about their real names.  When a woman was raised like this, it's  understandable that she is more interested in guys that see her more as an equal.  

 

Another is that if a Chinese guy was raised to feel superior to women, they may not want a Chinese woman who has advanced significantly in her career or academically.  These women sometimes seek out Western guys.   

3 hours ago, ChTTay said:

That’s one issue and, of course, you cannot generalise and say everyone is like this. I think it’s fair to say it’s not uncommon though. 

This applies to what I wrote as well.  

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somethingfunny

It looks like there are two issues:

1. Why are Chinese male - foreign female relationships more uncommon? and,

2. Why are Chinese male - foreign female relationships less successful?

 

Without access to any statistics (maybe someone has some) we have to first assume that our anecdotal inclination is correct in thinking that these are actually both the case.  If so, I don't think it's too hard to think of reasons why, and some have already been mentioned above.

 

1. Why more uncommon?

Generally, and especially in traditional societies, women will marry across and up in terms of socio-economic status.  In a country like China, where "foreign" can be quite easily equated with "richer" or "more advanced", the natural trend will be for local women to marry foreign men, and not the other way round.  Of course, like with everything, this is just a general trend, and doesn't tell us anything about specific cases.  Also, it may be that the detailed reason given by each individual instance is not "As a Chinese woman I prefer to marry across and up socio-economic levels" but instead something like "This American man will provide more educational opportunities for my children" or "I admire how much he enjoys his work", but we have to remember that the latter are both just manifestations of the underlying phenomenon expressed in the former.

 

2. Why less successful?

Personally, I think people wildly underestimate the significance of cultural difference in these sorts of relationships.  For me, westerners have to take a lot of the blame here.  You have a very rigid system of marriage in China, with (at least in the past) very well defined roles and rituals.  Into that you introduce a western, romantic concept of relationships which says that none of the roles and rituals matter, but only "love" matters - this combination will not end well.  Once the reality of the demands of gender roles (on the Chinese part), or the rejection of gender roles (on the western part) become apparent, it can be very difficult for the relationship to progress.  Also, it may be the case that Chinese male - Chinese female relationships are as equally unsuccessful as Chinese male - foreign female ones, but that foreign females are just more willing to get divorced.  In China, a woman who divorces can bring shame on her family, where as in the west the narrative is the opposite - a woman who leaves an unpleasant relationship can be held up as an ideal of female empowerment.

 

A few years ago I read a couple of books I found quite interesting related to this topic.

Leftover Women

Good Chinese Wife

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Lu
2 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Also, it may be the case that Chinese male - Chinese female relationships are as equally unsuccessful as Chinese male - foreign female ones, but that foreign females are just more willing to get divorced.  In China, a woman who divorces can bring shame on her family, where as in the west the narrative is the opposite - a woman who leaves an unpleasant relationship can be held up as an ideal of female empowerment.

This is an interesting thought, that 'not divorced' doesn't equal 'succesfull marriage'. However, I think that in saying 'foreign women may be more willing to get divorced than Chinese women', you are forgetting that the man can also take the initiative to divorce, so a foreign man-Chinese woman couple can easily get divorced if he wants it.

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Pianote

@ChTTay OMG. The texting thing is so true.

 

Update 2: I met another guy tonight (I promise, he's the last guy I'll be with. I'm not a thot) who is so sweet but texts me soooo much- like, I've never had someone text me so much in my life. Even when I don't respond he texts me continuously..   He seems so sweet and kept telling me how happy he was.  He walked me back to my on-campus apartment but he doesn't know exactly where I live (big school and the apartments are hidden because they're faaar up the hill and past the stairs.) I only have 4 weeks left at this school so.. Anyway, I hope he's not possessive

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somethingfunny
10 hours ago, Lu said:

you are forgetting that the man can also take the initiative to divorce, so a foreign man-Chinese woman couple can easily get divorced if he wants it.

 

Yes, you're right, this is all conjecture after all.  It could just be the fact that people feel that Chinese male - foreign female relationships are less successful is because that type of relationship is less common and therefore people are biased towards remembering when they are unsuccessful.  I think this illustrates the most important point, which is that while there are general trends, it is foolhardy to try to second guess any particular relationship without a detailed knowledge of the particulars.  Which brings me back to my original point about people underestimating the significance of cultural differences, but I won't labour the point.

 

1 hour ago, Pianote said:

I promise, he's the last guy I'll be with. I'm not a thot

 

To get back to the OP - you don't need to make any promises to us about your future choices.  But the fact that you seem inclined to make such a statement suggests that the path that you're on is perhaps not fully aligned with your beliefs about what relationships should be.  I'm not going to tell you what kind of approach you should have towards relationships, but I will suggest that this is a path to walk carefully along.  

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