A dear friend of mine recently came to China to meet a beautiful woman that he had corresponded with for several months. The meet-up was a bit of a bust*: they needed an interpreter 24/7 and most of the expats and Chinese who met her came to the same conclusion that was confirmed a couple of weeks after my buddy returned stateside.
His intended was picked up in a raid of, um, entertainment businesses in Shenzhen and couldn’t write for a couple of weeks as they don’t have DSL in the provincial jail there. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny. OK, so it was funny and I have tortured him since it happened.
To go back in time a bit: I was startled last year when one of the staff directors here asked why foreigners seem to be attracted by the Chinese women that the natives find unappealing.
I wryly replied that he should consider it a blessing.
Lots of men look Eastward to find relationships. They frequent inter-cultural dating sites for a number of reasons: some good, some bad.
The women who use the Chinese dating services and chat services are, by and large, good women in search of an honest and lasting relationship. Most of them are divorced or highly educated and that puts them on the outs in many Chinese social circles. It is like American thinking not so many years ago.
Unlike some countries, the women here are not looking to sleep their way to an American visa. They come from proud families and are deeply rooted in their regional cultures. That does not mean that they will not relocate for the right relationship or the promise of a caring life together with a special someone. I have known several women who have followed their hearts to America, Canada and elsewhere.
Following are some general musings, concerns and comments on online love searches for Chinese women. A later post will list services and their ratings by friends and associates that have found their soul mates via the Internet.
Most Chinese make about $80–$200 U.S. dollars a month, so life is short of frills for many of the women on the net. BUT: don’t send any money unless you have been here to visit or unless you have enough knowledge to discern the truth of a request. There are scammers on the net, albeit a lot less in China than in other developing countries. Come here and meet the lady for which you are falling into cyberspace. The worst you will get is a great vacation.
My friend was asked by his cyber-paramour to pay for English lessons and a small operation. The fee requested seemed small to my American buddy but would have bought the girl a full-time tutor for a year and gotten her more plastic modifications than Cher and Phyllis Diller combined.
NEVER send money for a plane ticket unless you have verified that your beloved has a visa in hand. I know of two men who spent several long hours together in a Denver airport unknowingly waiting for the same girl. It is a long and winding road to a visa, even a fiance stamp, now that Homeland Insecurity is involved. Be in this quest for the long haul. And don’t be frivilous: a fiance visa is a once in a lifetime deal for a Chinese woman. If you decide not to marry after the trial period your Asian siren does not get a second chance to find Mr. Right.
Be sensitive about age and cultural differences: If you are “older” and your love connection is as well, you will find that she may not know much about the West. Many women during the years following the Cultural Revolution had little contact with anything outside of China. Many have never ridden in an airplane or used a computer outside of the Internet shop that helps them with dating. Now, if you can sing a few Russian songs or know all the words to any song by Michael Learns to Rock you are son-in-law material! However, don’t expect your mate to even know who the Beatles were….
You will find far more acceptance for your Western self here than in some Asian countries. China, unlike Japan, does not have nearly as much ethnocentric dislike of foreigners. Families here will embrace you, and it is a common myth that Chinese women and Western men make beautiful offspring. In contrast, in Japan they will tell you that, pretty or not, your child is still a half-breed.
Sexually, things are incredibly different. Don’t expect to be holding hands or snuggling in public. And you’d better talk out private likes and dislikes well before your fantasies about Asian subservience turn into night sweats.
And men: I have found foreigners to be quite, um, lazy about learning the culture…they rely on the woman to do all the work bridging the divide. Learn a FEW words in her native tongue and don’t expect her to have an easy time adapting. Acculturation is tougher than you think: don’t think that her generous spirit signals inner peace.
To my friend in foreign affairs: thank goodness for cultural differences. To my buddy in America: Sigh. We will pre-screen for you. *And no, we won’t just determine her cup size from her glamor shot on match.com.
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