Love and Unavoidable Conflict When Chinese Women and American Men Date

Love and Unavoidable Conflict When Chinese Women and American Men Date
Mar 21, 2017 Translated by

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.

Love and Unavoidable Conflict When Chinese Women and American Men Date
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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interesting comments on one article!

Jul 06, 2020 14:03 Report Abuse



A very limited view on chinese and western simple minded in context. Not sure why interracial relationships are some sort of spotlight, they are just 2 people not races and every 2 people are different....we cannot make assumptions or stereotypes and why stare at these couples? Anyhow, let's get on with things and leave people in love alone and stop trying to analyze normal relations.

Mar 26, 2017 22:27 Report Abuse



if u want live good in China add my wechat 13679105477

Mar 23, 2017 11:52 Report Abuse



You're 'quite glad' to have met the woman you plan on spending the rest of your life with?

Mar 22, 2017 18:45 Report Abuse



must be complicated, not easy when you come from different culture

Mar 21, 2017 23:01 Report Abuse



hmm. I think every relationship has their positive and negative aspects. to focus too much on spicy vs not spicy would be real trouble would mean the relationship is weak in the first place. second, The fish pond. Put yourself in the mans shoes. lets say it was something you cared about and someone wanted to destroy it. Would you be upset? Say it was your pet cat and I said i wanted to eat it. would you get upset?. I don't think there is a cultural difference....just an obvious disregard to peoples personal feelings on both sides. He could have been more considerate and taken her fishing to another lake. She and her friends could have been more considerate by not pressing the issue after he told them it was their pet. The prenup would be unpleasant no matter what nationality you are. It's stressful and awkward for both parties. I do admit the lending of money is something that americans are not obligated to and would be a very strange thing to be an obligation. I think if i married a Chinese woman and was required to put my money into a collection for the family. I would probably do it against my better nature but only to be sure my wife would not be put off or be put into an awkward situation. Marriage is about compromise after all and you are not going to get through it without sacrifice on both the man and the woman's side. Something to consider since this is also universal truth and can happen in any country and with any relationship. This idea is not Chinese vs American. I find the whole blog a bit subjective

Sep 01, 2014 13:11 Report Abuse



Ashamed, ashamed. The question is why such girls/women met such men/boys. There must some better stories to tell! But we prefer to hear such bad news?!

Feb 28, 2014 16:33 Report Abuse



I've got some bad news for you folks.....women are gold diggers in every country. It's men that usually get the bad wrap but most women would not even consider marrying a poor man, no matter how nice and caring and good-hearted he is. If he can't pay for the things the woman wants, then forget it. On the other hand, a man can be a real sh_t, rude, disrespectful, dishonest criminal, but if he is rich there will be women lined up outside his door, True fact.

Feb 12, 2014 16:32 Report Abuse



well as for the shoes it shows that Chinese like to save their money good idea left my wallet behind i save 120 usd

Feb 06, 2014 10:29 Report Abuse



The biggest problem [ which is slowely wrecking our marriage] is my chinese wife's obsession with cleanliness. I try but I can't measure up and slowly I'm getting to the point where it's all too hard. Any help gladly received.

Feb 05, 2014 16:54 Report Abuse



i'd say obsessive cleanliness is not a big issue when compared to constant 'sa jiao' or the MIL moving in

Feb 06, 2014 19:24 Report Abuse



That's odd. In general, these are the dirtiest people I have ever met. I have been in hundreds of homes over the years. They are all covered in scum, mold, etc.

Mar 22, 2017 15:47 Report Abuse



We all can understand what is going on in any situations of our life, then what can happened is that the worth thing for someone is to be cheated deeply and have psychological troubles after that, for months or even years. I am thinking seriously that western, foreigners are just not suitable for chinese people, and same opposite way said. For all the reasons that have been said before. At least if they are not prepared mentally during a long long time. This is not a joke, too many guys are players for sex, too many girls players for money, well they want both. No one has excuses except to belong to ''the animals kingdom'' and I even now respect more real animals than all those cheaters of both parts. I just can feel here in China like a tourist even after years, that is I sometimes think my best protection to keep my mental healthy. And not only because of chinese people bad behavior but also many many foreigners bad behaviors. It's like everybody has lost the common sense of honnor, dignity, generosity... Materialist girls, horny guys, well ok, if you are in a good day and full of sense of humour you can laugh about it, but in fact it's a tragedy for many girls and boys, women and men. Poor financially and poorly educated girls from poor chinese provinces are exploited by chinese and foreigners men, while some well educated clever chinese women are stolen rich guys money or even their entire companies (true)... I've heard from some chinese people those stupid sentences : ''when you have money in China you have all the women you want'' (please don't say it's the same in the entire world), or ''China is a paradise for criminals''(dixit in an online chat by a chinese woman), ''We gonna stole all your euros'' (chinese woman in Paris), and all these chinese men or foreigners guys leaded by their sexual needs (I try to stay polit) and giving bad pressure to their female citizen... Well , this is about Power and Money , right? This is the problem here. Domination and without COMPASSION. They both, men and women, know what they are doing. So next time you guy when you are asked for some money or ''gifts'' just smile to her and go away, just let her think about what she did. And you foreigner guy don't plan to use any poor girls from other provinces thinking that what you gonna give her will be enough comparing to what she has at hometown, she needs much more than you think. And chinese girls your bodies and faces have nothing special after some time for men (you sure already know it), so you should think further than your physical appearance.

Feb 03, 2014 19:23 Report Abuse



I got a Chinese girlfriend , when we met she was living a big flat, I always asked what's her job but she won't say word.after about 3 months in to the relationship she moved to my apartment only then i realized she wasn't working and the other apartment was being paid by a chinese guy three times her age. When i tried to make her to work she said men should be taking care of girls paying for every single need. So after about a year trying to convince her to change, she wouldn't , guess what, i said bye bye, and was gone for good in my apartment never to return.

Feb 03, 2014 18:05 Report Abuse



I read this article with unprecedented enthusiasm for any articles on this site. The reason is simple: I am going through the same thing if not worse. I am married to a Chinese woman that I love with all my heart here in China. She was working and living on her own before we got married while I also had a rented apartment of my own. After the marriage, she moved to my apartment as mine is bigger with rooms for guests. We began the matrimonial journey. A couple of weeks later, her mother came to visit and she would not leave. I asked my wife when would her mother leave. She became upset. I tried to explain that I didnt oppose her mother visiting but I just wasnt prepared for her living with us. All explanation didnt help. I gave in but cant help wondering why, considering they have their own house(not rented) in the same city. After months, I realised that I have beeen turned into " money making machine". She quit her job without discussing it with me. She became demanding,compared me to her friends and ... Sometimes I succumbed to her request after a long fight just to keep my marriage and hopefully she would realise my point. This lasted two years then my company moved me to another city. I have a better apartment there and asked my wife to move in. She refused but promised she would be coming from time to time to see me. I had been paying the rent for the apartment alone since ever and she wanted me to continue paying it. I disagreed. At this point, I decide to not listen to her anymore. I keep my money to myself and finally realise that I have invested unecessarily in a marriage that never existed in the first place. I am working on getting out of it but she's been delaying the process. I hope my experience could help others out there. Dont misunderstand me. I am not myopic to generalise all Chinese women but I will think twice before i jump into another relationship with a Chinese. Afterall, once bitten, twice shy.

Feb 03, 2014 13:40 Report Abuse



i feel your pain, it happens all too often.

Feb 27, 2014 08:54 Report Abuse



What is my impression about most Chinese people(Sorry,I am a Chinese as well): 1:Foreigners have more chances to carry HIV. 2:If you are dating but not talking about the marriage during the date,they will call you player.My Chinese collegues just call me this come you talk about marriage when you are in a short relationship?lol.They are really stupid and native. 3:They will tell you how Australian people are without even being to Australia and they are so sure about it. 4:They will tell they are not the gold digger girls.But they still can't marry a guy who is more poor than their families.They will tell at least the guy should have enough money to support the life they want.I then will just laugh at them for finding excuse for not being called the gold diggers when actually they are. 5.Spitting and shitting every where,it made me vomit. 6.They will always think about each other's family finance before starting the date/gettinf,most of them will run away if they know you are poor. 7:Always like showing how rich they are.Which is nothing attractive in my opinion.

Feb 03, 2014 00:39 Report Abuse



good on you Victoria,, few women having mind in life and you are one of them,, I respect your mind,, Moud, Australia.. qq 1501354595

Feb 04, 2014 19:44 Report Abuse



Vicky, nice post. keep going :)

Feb 05, 2014 20:49 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



I think it depends on the city. In my experience some of the women from the smaller cities with a better sense of culture, tradition, and modernity have a good appreciation of fairness and new ideas.

Feb 04, 2014 13:30 Report Abuse



lol, i see you didnt say that love was a bedrock of chinese society. having equal rights doesnt mean loss of family values, duty or loyalty. however having red light districts near every apartment building in china kind of does...

Feb 27, 2014 08:46 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



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