Editor’s note: We’ve all seen it, everywhere we go, nearly every day: an American man with a Chinese woman on his arm. We’ve also heard the stories from the foreign man’s perspective about all the cultural differences and the interesting exchanges. But what do these relationships look like from the other side? How do the Chinese girls feel about the differences in opinion, upbringing and situational romance? Here we have a translated article on that exact perspective from a female Chinese journalist dishing the dirt (spoiler alert: it’s not that dirty) on the unavoidable conflict when Chinese women and American men date.
The story of the happily married Chinese woman and American man has been told many times before. In these stories, the two are romantic and blissful. Many believe romantic relationships between Chinese and Americans to be harmonious and happy for both partners. However, because of differences in cultural background and daily habits there are bound to be conflicting views in the relationship.
I have been in America for many years and have seen and heard many stories which underline the conflicting views and other unavoidable problems evident in relationships between Chinese women and American men.
These trivial matters are different in each individual relationship and do not represent general American-Chinese love affairs. However, they always seem to exist when Eastern and Western culture decide to tangle together.
Source: ben pollard
Giving presents and lending money
A woman I know told me a story about her American boyfriend. The two normally got along very well, until one incident occurred which underlined their fundamental differences:
The women and her American boyfriend decided to go for a walk after having dinner together. They passed through a shopping mall. At the mall, she spotted a pair of designer shoes that she had long admired. The shoes were so expensive that she did not dare buy them but she liked to visit the shop to look at them. That particular day, the shoes were on sale. They were originally between $300 and $400 but had been discounted to $120. The woman was thrilled, but quickly realized that she had forgotten her wallet.
The women told her boyfriend that those were the shoes that she really liked.
Her American boyfriend knew that she had been eyeing the shoes for a while and knew that the particular design rarely went on sale. He without a doubt understood his girlfriend’s true intentions and told her if she wanted to buy the shoes he would lend her money.
As soon as her boyfriend spoke, the women became angry. He wouldn’t spend a mere $120 on her? He would only “loan,” her the money? How stingy! Maybe she wasn’t that important to him.
Her American boyfriend sensed that his girlfriend was unhappy and understood why. He tried to explain his reasoning. “When I want to buy a present for you, I will spend money on the present! That’s no problem! But I didn’t plan to buy this for you.”
No explanation would have been fine. To the woman, his explanation only made the situation worse.
They broke up fairly soon after the incident.
The woman is now married; her husband is still American but not the American who offered to “lend her money.”
This story reflects that when Chinese women and American men date there are inherently different ways of thinking. Many American men think that is acceptable to act this way in a relationship. However, Chinese women believe that when a man acts this way it means that he does not love the woman enough. Each has their own reasoning and the clash between the two points of view can only result in conflict.
Pets or meat?
Lucy is one of my good friends, probably my best friend. She is a very daring Chinese woman. She is beautiful, stylish and flirtatious and has had many American suitors.
Lucy recently told me a story about her American boyfriend. They met and are now in a serious relationship. In general, the American man is a good match for her and they get along well.
Once, Lucy invited a group of us to her American boyfriend’s mansion. His home was huge and the grounds included a forest and a lake. The lake was filled with large and small fish.
There were so many fish. We were so excited to go look at them and immediately began thinking of things we could make with them: fish with pickled vegetables, poached sliced fish in hot chili oil and more.
Lucy proposed the idea to her American boyfriend. She asked him if we could go fishing in his lake and cook a meal with fish for him in order to show him the Chinese way of cooking and preparing fish.
Her American boyfriend was stunned. He told her that if they wanted to eat fish he would go to the supermarket to buy it but they could not use the fish in his lake.
After hearing his firm standpoint on this issue, Lucy felt awkward and put on the spot. She was angry but stayed silent. Everyone else gave up on the idea and tried to shift the topic of conversation.
Later, we found out why he had objected: he felt that the fish in his lake were like pets he had raised himself. He never caught them to eat; instead he bought nice fish food and went to the lake every day to feed them. Raising these fish was his hobby.
At the time we all still agreed that the fish were not specifically ornamental and it should not be such a big problem to catch a few to eat.
A pre-nup before marriage
My other friend and her American boyfriend wanted to get married. It was the American boyfriend’s second marriage and he had children with his first wife. Therefore, before getting married, the American boyfriend said to her that he wanted a prenuptial agreement. He did not want to divide the assets he already owned with her and wanted his own children to inherit his property and wealth. They would only jointly own the property and assets he earned while he was married to her. All of this, and they did not even know how the marriage would work out. The whole ordeal was quite unpleasant.
In the case of divorce, American women are protected by law. Every time a man gets a divorce he loses a layer of skin, becoming poorer and poorer as he has to hand half of his assets over to his former wife. Therefore, when it is time for a man to remarry they often ask their new wife to sign a pre-nuptial agreement.
Signing a pre-nup to divide up assets before marriage is a common occurrence in the United States, especially for rich men on their second or third marriage. The American man views his own assets with a rational business mindset. The specific details of a prenuptial agreement are often drawn with suggestions from lawyers and accountants. This business-like approach turns love and marriage into rationality without sentiment.
However, this also has its advantages. Chinese people often say, “Are ugly words ahead?” meaning that one never knows when conflict is coming. When negotiations on a pre-nuptial agreement are completed, a messy future divorce will be avoided.
A Very Hot Kiss
A Chinese girl named Tina spoke to me about her American boyfriend. He was a tall and handsome man. One time, Tina had just finished eating dinner when she met her American boyfriend out for a date. Having not seen her for many days, her American boyfriend gave her a huge kiss.
Tina was infatuated. However, her boyfriend suddenly felt sick. He covered his mouth and ran into the bathroom to vomit.
Tina was confused. “Am I nauseating?” She thought.
The handsome American rinsed his mouth out and came back. He asked Tina, “Why is your mouth so spicy?”
Tina thought back. “Oh!” She realized, “I had Sichuan hot pot for dinner! It’s the spiciest!”
Ever since hearing this story, whenever a girl in our group of friends goes out on a date we always remind her, “Remember not to eat hot pot!”
This is a small joke, but I think it is clear what happened in the story. From the joke, we can see yet difficultly that arises when Chinese women and American men date.
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Keywords: Relationships between Chinese and Americans Chinese woman and American man date
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45 Comments Add your comment
This doesn't apply to Americans or westerners only. I'm an overseas Chinese and even I have issues with local Chinese girls. It's mostly how their brains are hard wired. If you are an item, she expects that everything will be taken care of, right down to the needs of her family. Yes, that means if her brother wants to start a business, you are expected to chip in towards the start up capital. I've been through all that and frankly, I find it very awkward. Perhaps that why we always say they are materialistic. I think it's just different expectations.
Jan 31, 2014 00:33 Report Abuse
It is evident the problem (I mean first story) is not of China-American couples, it is a universal problem. The traditional balance of rights and duties between a husband and a wife is destroied. Present women want to receive gifts and protection, favours from a man (as if a vassal from his senior), and at the same time she feels herself free and independent (when a senior wants her to serve him). Modern society failed to create a correct balance in the sex relations. In the first story a woman had understood a man is not going to marry her, and doesnt view her as his wife.
Jan 31, 2014 14:55 Report Abuse
chinese men are overly jealous of foreign males, so please foreign males, streak a little more to make them even more insecure. Chinese girls, please note that in china's society, men are expected to go to whores (with their friends or business partners), however in western society, it is unthinkable.
Feb 27, 2014 08:33 Report Abuse
Wumao: It's "betraying," not betray. It's "their," not "there." And that's funny. I'm American, my wife is Chinese and I don't betray anyone. Neither do the other five American men I know that married Chinese girls. I guess the Klan lives in China too, and you're a member of it. Fool!
Apr 09, 2017 17:24 Report Abuse
Funny... It's like all the stories were written from MY perspective. 1. Woman has public tantrum about shoes. 2. There is no wildlife in China because Chinese people ate it. 3. Woman has tantrum because she wants the man's money because isn't that what relationships are for? Thanks for the critical self-analysis, China. It's a rare thing.
Jan 31, 2014 16:29 Report Abuse
I'm guessing there just aren't a whole lot of gay/lesbian couples open in China (it kinda has a problem with homophobia, just so's you know). Unless there is a policy on this site that excludes gays/lesbians, they're probably waiting for someone to come forward.
Feb 02, 2014 00:26 Report Abuse
Hi Ried. As Mateusz suggested, the number of articles is proportionate to the number of relationships available for dissection. In the few years that I've been in China, I've met hundreds of Western men in relationships with Chinese women, a handful of Western women in relationships with Chinese men, and no one in an inter-cultural gay relationship. If you want more gay/lesbian articles, write one. There are tens of millions of gay men in China waiting to be freed from the bonds of tradition and prejudice. Waiting for a strong, handsome man with beautiful white skin. So I guess it's up to you to do the field work, and then report on it.
Feb 02, 2014 20:47 Report Abuse
I see out girls often together in Chengdu, I would say that actually homosexuality would be less obvious in public, because sexual affections are usually kept private here. Regardless of gender. If Reid is looking specifically to read articles on gay relationships, maybe try typing in "gay relationship china" into google? just for you I did so and found articles from the BBC among others. BBC News - Being gay in China: Your stories www.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8478911.stm BBC Or, as Samsara suggested, try dating some guys and write your own stories, or just try dating men to save time procrastinating on the internet. If you need to whinge about something, please try to be interesting or original. Complaining that there are no articles written about what you want to read, published when you want to read it, and left on the one site that you seem capable of reading from is a bit pointless.
May 22, 2014 13:46 Report Abuse
This article is ducking ridiculous. It really shows up the immaturity and narcissistic behaviour of Chinese women. These are just shallow and poor examples too.... and I've seen Chinese people call ALL foreign women psychologically immature in comparison with the Chinese. But that is what it is, different values. From my conversations with all non-Chinese people we we all seem to agree with the same points on Chinese people. The Chinese are unique in their values, For me a more appealing talking point would be to analyse the differences between what is meant by English 'love' and Chinese 爱, English 'care' and Chinese 照顾, to miss and to 想. They are translated but do they really convey the full meaning? it is words like these and the understandings of them that have caused more problems for me than these examples that give insight into an irrational way of thinking inherent in these Chinese individuals.ducking shoes, all American men can't handle spicy food too. I get your point is not really this simple but it's still stupid. The fact it focuses on Chinese women and American men is even problematic to me, it seems the point is missed.
Feb 01, 2014 00:02 Report Abuse
"The woman was thrilled, but quickly realized that she had forgotten her wallet." Unless she has Alzheimer's, "forgetting" a wallet is a red flag. "They broke up fairly soon after the incident." In other words, he dodged a bullet. The author (and the girls in these stories) takes the view that men are nothing more than exploitable sources of income. They see men the same way a farmer views a draft horse, only in terms of generating wealth.
Feb 01, 2014 01:17 Report Abuse
The story about the shoes i think the man is in the wrong. Why would you need a reason to spend money on your girlfriend? If you took the relationship seriously, money wouldn't be an issue and I for one would gladly spend the money if my girlfriend likes the shoes that are now on sale. In fact, I did it yesterday with a jacket in the same circumstances. Seems he just wanted a prize woman minus commitment so seems good choice to breakup. As for the fish... The woman and her friends are wrong in my opinion. Just because you eat dogs in China does that mean if I own 5 or 6 of them it should be fine to sacrifice one to your appetite? Respect the guy you are with and go buy some eating fish. No all things, or people for that matter are bound for the same cause. I believe some of these things to be true that SOME foreigners are arrogant in that they think Chinese women are prizes and therefore show no commitment to them but the same can be said for the SOME Chinese girls that think all foreigners are rich and will marry you and voluntarily hand over his cash to you. If this is love we are talking about and not just dating for the stereotypical benefits of the "foreign" relationship, we should learn about each other as with any same nationality couple and respect each other's views and needs. Lets not be too stuck to these people are this and those people are that. 这是 adult life.
Feb 01, 2014 11:03 Report Abuse
You're partly right. A man is obligated to spend money on his girlfriend, so long as she is a prostitute. Though, she would be obligated to perform the agreed upon sex acts. If, however, it's a relationship not based on the sex trade, and they are supposed to see each other as people (not whore and john), then he has the right to his own money. If she wanted the shoes so badly, she could buy them with her own money. And if she doesn't have the cash, she can work. Side note: How much sympathy would we give a man who threw a tantrum because he was horny, and his girlfriend didn't give him a blow job when he demanded it? If seeing women as sex toys is wrong, then seeing men as wallets is also wrong.
Feb 02, 2014 00:24 Report Abuse
ermm, yeah but in the real world if you give all your money you are not in a relationship, you are being scammed. saying he wanted a prize is unfair, if he wanted a prize he would have bought the shoes to keep the girl, but he was doing as he would with someone he wanted to have a relationship with. IE give and take, not just give give give.
Feb 27, 2014 08:42 Report Abuse
This is the part where i offend Chinese readers on this site. In my few years living and working in China i have observed that failure to communicate is a big problem with many Chinese people. "you think too much" is a common response when faced with a situation that requires talking and reflection. "compromise" is word many Chinese people don't seem to understand. Only children expect their demands to be met and gratified immediately. Any reasonable adult (woman) will not expect her demands to be met in a relationship as soon as she has them. Likewise, any reasonable man would be the same. I am sorry to say i have seen situations like the first one first hand, and i was embarrassed on behalf of women everywhere to see an adult behave like a spoiled child.
Feb 01, 2014 15:16 Report Abuse
Most Chinese women are stupid and naive.I even can't communicate well with them and instead I make friends with western girls and guys.Some Chinese are good to me,but for their native and stupid views,I still refuse to be friends with them even I am a Chinese.
Feb 03, 2014 00:24 Report Abuse
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