Sep 22, 2016 By Steve Allison , eChinacities.com


Vying for Control – 5 Common “Chinese Girlfriend Problems”
Photo: glimpse.org

So, you're in trouble with your girlfriend again. Odds are, if you've been in a relationship with a Chinese girl, you've said or done something at least once that had you suddenly apologizing profusely, with your best Chinese, to a locked door, a stone face, or into a cell phone. There may have even been some shouting about how Westerners don't understand Chinese culture or have as much love for their families either. An argument with a girlfriend or wife is never pleasant, but interracial relationships in China have a few unique issues, compounded by the fear that these unexpected reactions may be part of a greater campaign to bring you under her thumb.

Of course an irrational fear that your sweetheart is in fact trying to control you is sure to produce unwanted conflict in the relationship, and plenty of perfectly reasonable issues can generate problems when integrating two cultural traditions in something as significant and love and marriage. Still, a Western husband can be something of a prize for Chinese families who think a foreign passport is a meal ticket out of the country and into a carefree life of luxury. So how can you tell if your new squeeze is a regular Chinese girl or plotting to turn you into her personal ATM? The trick is to keep in mind that, although things might have to change out of respect for each other's cultures, some things really are crossing the line.

1) Who's in charge of the money?
The Chinese and English speaking worlds see few things more differently than money. A culture of thrift, years of living in uncertain times, and an inadequate social welfare system have created a nation that stresses saving and rationing money to a degree not seen in the West. The carefree spending habits of an American who makes four times an average Chinese salary but seems to spend it all on pizza, beer, and Chinglish T-shirts can cause extreme discomfort to someone accustomed to tightly managing money, and fair compromise means cutting back on some of those things.

Making an effort to save more money can actually be a positive change, but it should be mutually agreed upon and reflect each person's contribution to the household. Some beleaguered husbands complain about turning their monthly salaries over to their wives and getting a monthly allowance (100 RMB a day is popular, as well as 25% of the salary). A common excuse cited by the Chinese wife is that the decadent Westerner is inadequate at saving compared to a rational, experienced Chinese saver. A real partner should have faith that you can decide your own level of involvement in managing the household, and only take over with your consent: anyone who continually questions your budgetary competence may be just looking for an excuse to wrest control of the checkbook. Just as you should be willing to compromise with her, she should be willing to discuss financial issues on even ground.

2) "Buy me an apartment"
Probably the biggest conflict that arises in long-term relationships with Chinese girls is the ultimate demand to buy a house for marriage. Not all girls ask their husbands to buy houses for them, but it is often expected in Chinese culture and every girl receives some pressure from friends and family to push for the highest level of (material) commitment possible between two people – investing in real estate together. In fact, there is an increasing trend in modern Chinese society to express success and status through material means, and it is not uncommon for a foreign boyfriend to receive a request for an iPad, new cell phone, or even a car.

While such demands are not necessarily out of the question, it's good to keep in mind that no reasonable girlfriend would ask for such a large show of a monetary commitment, unless she was getting a lot of grief from her parents, co-workers, and friends. A thoughtful and considerate request should reflect your real financial means (it's not OK for her to assume your parents have money and will buy you a house), and include your interests and ambitions.

That being said, if you're planning on going back home, considering moving to another city, or have more pressing financial matters, asking you to buy a house is likely more out of concern for her own needs than yours. She should not ask you to buy and iPad if you have to buy a plane ticket home for Christmas. Likewise, she should not ask you to put a down payment on a house while you've still got student loans. Conversely, if you've got a comfortable job and can dedicate to many more years of living in China, then perhaps it's not so out of the question for your significant other to suggest settling down in a place of your own. Her demands from you should take your situation into account. 

3) "Aren't you tired of that job?"
Such considerations should extend to your job as well. Many foreign residents came to China specifically for a particular job, and are content with their working situation. For some ambitious and money-driven Chinese workers, however, advancement is a crucial part of developing a career, and they expect frequent promotions or even a change of job. This can lead to another potential source of conflict: insisting that you ask for a raise, work more hours, or look for a new job.

Again, determining whether or not your girlfriend is trying to control you depends on how much she has considered your desires into suggesting you change your job. One hapless teacher left a comfortable university job on his girlfriend's advice, only to be told to move again and again after a few months. If you're comfortable with your work situation, and your girlfriend still keeps insisting you get a job with a higher salary, it's likely that she's more concerned with how much money she can get out of you than your own well-being.

4) "All my friends are getting married…"
It's probably true that Chinese girls get more pressure from their parents to get married than Western girls, but it's important to remember that women incessantly nagging their boyfriends to tie the knot is a common occurrence the world over. Just because your steady girl of several years keeps asking you when she can expect a ring, doesn't mean she's a control freak. This decision, however, should only come after carefully considering whether you're really ready to commit and start a family.

If, after a short time together, she's already telling you that her mother thinks you need to get married or break up, but refuses to discuss tough issues like where to settle, how to get a visa, and what schools to go to, you might just have a control freak on your hands. It is unreasonable to assume that a university-educated foreigner would stay teaching English in the same provincial city just because his girlfriend lives there. Even traditional Chinese parents can understand practical considerations like where and when you want to raise children.

5) "You just wouldn't understand"
One issue common to expats is not knowing whether a seemingly unreasonable behaviour is acceptable in the local culture. Some, taking advantage of this insecurity, try to convince people to do what they feel is wrong by suggesting they are simply unaware of deep-seated customs. An accusation that you don't understand Chinese culture should never be used as an excuse to push you into something you don't want to do. It should not be the end of a conversation, but the beginning of one.

There is no issue in a relationship, cross-cultural or otherwise, that cannot be resolved by both parties with sufficient discussion. Both of you should be willing to put in the time to work through your problems, and make sacrifices if necessary. All relationships need give and take from both parties regardless of cultural background. Fair compromise is a key to every good and long lasting relationship no matter where you are in the world. 

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Keywords: cross-cultural relationships Chinese girls Chinese girlfriend problems

65 Comments Add your comment

1

dan
comment|29030|0

beware bunny boilers

Jun 28, 2012 08:13 Report Abuse

2

DaqingDevil
comment|29036|58569

Does she love me if her first three questions are:
"How old are you?"
"How much do you earn?"
"Do you like China?"

Jun 28, 2012 14:22 Report Abuse

3

mohas
comment|29055|60135

i feel these all are reasonable questions to ask. every girl wants happy and better life with one that she choose..........

Jun 28, 2012 20:14 Report Abuse

4

Luna
comment|29067|0

well, these three questions already revealed that you are a superficious and materialistic person if you measure your extend of happiess with these questions. i bet the foreign guys don't like being targeted just for the sake to satisfy the girl's need for face, status and ego boost.
furthermore, it's annoying in a relationship if one has to give because the other party is making selfish demands. as the article already points out, a relationship is to care for each other on a equal basis. so go and find yourself your own earning and then speak about buying a car, a house, pretty jewelries and brand clothes with your partner

Jun 29, 2012 01:25 Report Abuse

5

Caper
comment|32598|0

oh, another thing. I guess you're either working for EF, San Qiao or Joy school up there. In any event, I would venture to say that one of your Chinese co-workers or one possibly from a competitor's school is the girl in question since not many others in that city can speak a lick of English. In any case, beware. There could be several reasons why she's taken an interest in you. It's not uncommon for the school owners or managers up there to have their staff dig for information about their competition, she could also be a gold digger or visa hunter. Or maybe I'm completely off base because the second 2 questions you mentioned are very common with all people in Dong Bei, taxi drivers, students, co-workers, strangers, you name it. I can tell you though that San Qiao school is notorious for being the hook-up center in Daqing. Countless foreigners working there have dated or married a co-teacher or other staff from that school. Even the owner and manager call it the "love school". That should tell you something. Most of them end in disaster though, one of my friends married a girl there and she threatened to cut of his d%#k, microwave it and shove it down his throat if he ever cheated on her or broke up with her. That's what you find in Dong Bei, crazy rednecks.

Oct 16, 2012 23:45 Report Abuse

6

James
comment|32739|0


My Name is James Anderson..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until
I met this special spell caster when i went to Africa to Execute some
business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for
almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love
her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at
the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married
happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me
she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back
from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads
from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all
did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told the spell
caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name
and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a
try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution…so when
he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and
that man is the reason why she left me…The spell caster said he will help
me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all
this…he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days
later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she
will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never
believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no
solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with
a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy
been together again and with lovely kid..This spell caster has really
changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many
friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to
him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever
experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone
who has similar problem and still looking for a way out..you can reach him
here: obadamtemple@gmail.com

My Name is James Anderson..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until
I met this special spell caster when i went to Africa to Execute some
business..He is really powerful..My wife divorce me with no reason for
almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have her back cos i really love
her so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at
the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married
happily for 5 years with no kid and she woke up one morning and she told me
she’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when she came back
from work she tender to me a divorce letter and she packed all her loads
from my house..i ran mad and i tried all i could to have her back but all
did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told the spell
caster what happened he said he will help me and he asked for her full name
and her picture..i gave him that..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a
try cos have tried so many spell casters and there is no solution…so when
he finished with the readings,he got back to me that she’s with a man and
that man is the reason why she left me…The spell caster said he will help
me with a spell that will surely bring her back.but i never believe all
this…he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days
later,she called me herself and came to me apologizing and she told me she
will come back to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos i never
believe this will work out after trying many spell casters and there is no
solution..The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with
a pregnancy spell and my wife got pregnant a month later..we are now happy
been together again and with lovely kid..This spell caster has really
changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many
friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to
him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever
experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone
who has similar problem and still looking for a way out..you can reach him
here: obadamtemple@gmail.com

Oct 20, 2012 18:44 Report Abuse

7

elizbaeth
comment|32911|0

IS OKAY to ask question but if those are the first question she ask you, how much you earn. it means something else. she just want cash.

Oct 25, 2012 07:10 Report Abuse

8

I china
comment|29040|0

As for buying a house.....the article states "buy together". Often the girl wants you to buy a house but in her name or in her hometown, which is not your city of residence. This is a further commitment. If you separate you can never get your investment back as she will be assured of keeping the home. It is often a conflict between my friends and their Chinese GF's.
Trying to discuss sharing that investment often results in the girl getting angry and doubting your commitment.
I understand they want financial security but in the west, we often share that burden so it is a difficult cultural aspect to understand. We all know stories in china of girls who left their boyfriends once they had their financial security. Be careful

Jun 28, 2012 15:15 Report Abuse

9

embun
comment|29104|0

That was my real experience. My China ex-GF keep saying: (1) her ex-boyfriend drives BMW. (2) This diamond ring was given by my ex-BF and I will replace it with yours. (3) It is a custom in China to provide a house for the son (she has a boy but never married). (4) She said she wants to establish her own business. Those conversation had killed my interest to continue the relationship.

Jun 30, 2012 21:47 Report Abuse

10

Rollo_CN
comment|29301|23220

Once you live in China for long time ( say over 10 years ) only then you will notice so many STUPID FOREIGNERS that find the most horrible ugly girls and then will marry and divorce and left empty and pennyless to the great benefit of China. Wake up, stop the bullshit. Why spending all your money on her is a commitment of love ???? How does she show her love ???

Jul 06, 2012 19:13 Report Abuse

11

Felix1366
comment|53986|1573617

Oh I know that story, same happened to me.

Jan 01, 2015 00:01 Report Abuse

12

crimochina
comment|29041|40616

if you use money to attract women, or you only meet women in bars you will have these problems.

life is easier than it looks, make it clear from the very beginning what you expect, what you are willing to do, and what you will not do. make them understand that the relationship hinges on these things and you will not comprise. if she in anyway tries manipulates you into buying something for her, throw out the idea of marriage. sadly it seems many expats come here with now real dating experience or are simply thrown off by the beautities they are able to attract and become easily P-whipped..

Jun 28, 2012 15:56 Report Abuse

13

David 1
comment|29043|0

My Chinese wife is a control freak and has the view that I we should live for the present, dont ease back on the spending, especially on the home.
We live in country Australia which is anathema to chinese women and Chinese in general. Sydney is where you should live or if not one of the other capitals, and of course in a nice modern house with all the mod cons.
My wife talks a lot about " losing face" especially in relation to where we are living and the state of the house. She is mortified about the thought of having any of her friends visit us and has asked me to either not mention that we live in the countryside or pretend that we live in Sydney when we visit China, to see her friends and family.
Recently a friend of hers, living in a flash house in America contacted her and of course the topic of where they both lived came up. My wife was again mortified about having to tell her friend that we lived in the countryside[ where peasants live] Fortunately her friend googled our property, had a photo of it immediatly, but my wifes face was saved when further examination by her friend revealed that where we lived was one of the best places to live in Australia! Phew.
I have already spent $75,000 since my wife has been here, 1 and a half years. Mind you I don't regret it, I just hope I die before the money runs out.
She says that the reason she bosses me around and bullies me is because she loves me, which she does. She says that if she didn't and chinese women are often like this, it means that they dont love their man.
My wife is not a traditional Chinese lady and we "discuss" some of these "quirks". I guess she still has a great deal of the Chinese culture.
Finally no one has answered my question as to how and why I can live with a Chinese woman who is absolutely obsessed with cleanliness.[?]

Jun 28, 2012 16:25 Report Abuse

14

Kev
comment|29044|78376

Hi David,

Well, I'd say that you got the short end of the stick mate! While I understand face, your wife should have to understand that, in our countries, it isn't as important as being happy with what you are, where you are and who you are.
She needs to learn that she cannot project Chinese cultural values into another country. She can retain her own cultural identity, that's no big deal really, but, she has to realise that Aussie isn't China and she can't expect things there to suit her. She has to also realise that it is she who must conform to Australian ways, not vice versa. As I said, this doesn't mean she must give up on her Chinese cultural identity but, it sounds like she wants to have the cake and eat it too.
I'd bet, that when in China, you have to conform to her way of doing things...and that's only fair I guess because it is her country. In Australia, if she's mature enough, she should figure out; "waitaminute, this isn't China, I can't act like a petulant spoiled child and demand everything. I am here because I love my man and I want to be with him, not his bank account or what he can get/give me in material pssessions". Sadly, it sounds like she doesn't see things this way.

I'd sit her down and talk to her and point out that Aussie isn't China...d'oh, and that things are different there. Tell her that you love her and want to have a wonderful life with her and hopefully that she'll realise that living in the country doesn't carry the negative social stigma that it does back in China.

Whatever happens, good luck mate!

Kiwi.

Jun 28, 2012 17:13 Report Abuse

15

Googles
comment|29045|83125

First of all, what is your wife's problem with living in the country? You've spent $75,000.00 as you mentioned! Would she rather be living in some sh****le in China? :( Regarding the bullying and bossing around..that IS NOT love! That is a bunch of nonsense. :(

Jun 28, 2012 17:18 Report Abuse

16

sid
comment|29056|0

She'll leave you when the money runs out - that's if this your story is true. No offense intended, but that's typical of prostitutes and gold diggers where I'm from. No money, no honey - be wise and trade her in.

Jun 28, 2012 20:42 Report Abuse

17

Chris
comment|29061|0

Sydney isn't the capital of Australia. Canberra is. And your wife needs to put money into the relationship too. Otherwise you might as well pay 30 000 RMB for a Vietnamese wife

Jun 28, 2012 23:41 Report Abuse

18

Kiwi 2
comment|29066|0

According to my Chinese father in law. Women don't have face, neither do foreign men... only Chinese men. So you have nothing to worry about!

Jun 29, 2012 01:08 Report Abuse

19

laoshi
comment|29071|0

...pay 30,000 RMB for a Vietnamese wife...??????

How much do you know about Vietnamese women???????

Little knowlwdge is dangerous, you idiot!!!

Are you one of those Western thrash scouring Asia for some thrash you call "exotic beauty" and then belittle the rest of the womendom if you found one such woman or two????

Go back to you country and go back to school, you nut!!!

Jun 29, 2012 06:17 Report Abuse

20

disagree
comment|29078|83125

"foreign men don't have face." Typical arrogant comment. Nonsense! :(

Jun 29, 2012 18:44 Report Abuse

21

Chris
comment|29094|0

It was meant to be a joke. Go take a chill pill and come back when you can learn to read between the lines. Don't insult people either. It won't get you anywhere.

Jun 30, 2012 00:32 Report Abuse

22

Chris
comment|29193|0

By the way 'laoshi' you sound like a fool yourself. Taking things too seriously and you probably think that the world revolves around idiots like you. Your name is stupid. Laoshi means foreign teacher and i bet you couldn't teach your way outta your own trash can. I have had a chinese gf for nearly two years and I haven't experienced these so called problems.

Jul 04, 2012 21:15 Report Abuse

23

Danny
comment|29194|0

The story you shared here strongly suggests a form of narcisstic behaviour and/or personality.

It would appear very reasonable to ask her what type of relationship is she seeking that is meaningful to her, and ask her what things in the relationship do you have that are meaningful to both you and her. If her mentality is directed more towards behavior involving her attention around things that are more meaningful to her - and they do not necessarily involve you - the idea of her saying she loves you is not really being substantiated with nurturing, cultivating, cultivating the things of your well-being (physically, emotionally, psychologically, etc). There are distinctions between the two.

Here are some serious questions you must ask about her (do not tell her) to determine and truly assess her character:

Does she seek out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired?

How secretive does she appear to be? How far does it extend?

Has there been any form of intimacy between you and her?

How much time, energy, etc have you placed in maintaining the relationship you have with her, and how much has she truly done for you??
How much have you contributed to the relationship? How much has she reciprocated?

Does she have addictive habits? Does she try intellectualize, rationalize, and/or uses other psychological defense mechanisms?

Has she shown to you any of her limitations as a person? If so, what things exactly? Does it seem to you she thinks the way she does to distract herself from confronting the actual things about herself?

Has she mistaken and/or confused self- assumed blame, guilt for showing love? Has she been pushing on the idea of sacrifice being the greatest test of love? Even in more subtle ways? If so, what things is she reciprocating?

How much value does she place upon her self-image in relation to you? How significant does she feel about herself? Inflated value?
How many types of roles have you had in the relationship between you two? What sort of roles has she had that even equate to the things you have been doing?

Has she shown more indications of supporting your well-being when you are dealing and trying to cope with difficulties? What coping abilities has she demonstrated to you?

What exact quirks does she have?

How much have you been attempting to accommodate, compensate,

Asking those types of things in a person who is not really reciprocating is not love. Sacrificing things of oneself for someone else is not love, especially when your actions are not being equated with her being able to contribute more to the relationship (a relationship of equality, not traditional gender stereotypes, roles, etc). It is more domination,

If you have felt your role in a relationship (even the positions you have in a serious relationship you believe should always be there and not diminish) have been more interchangeable, you must seriously question her motives. .

Her bossing and bullying you around is not love. It is domination. It is counter-dependence. It is codependence. It is many things, but it is not love.

You must seriously learn about Chinese culture, its fallacies, etc - like how every culture has its fallacies.

With the things I read on your story, she appears to be quite capable of being pernicious (causing serious harm and/or ruin).

Jul 04, 2012 22:20 Report Abuse

24

Caper
comment|32595|0

Guess Danny thinks he's Dr. Phil. He wrote a lot and basically said nothing, that's quite a talent Doc. Too fkn funny.....

Oct 16, 2012 23:30 Report Abuse

25

Caper
comment|32599|0

Sounds to me like there's a lot of you on here who are now suffering from the aftermath of yellow fever. Lots of guys get blinded by it and don't really see clearly or think rationally when they choose a woman to date in China. This leads to all sorts of trouble in the future after they really get to know their partner. I've been in Asia for more than seven years now and I would still be very hesitant to marry a Chinese girl. I've seen and heard so many horror stories that now I guess I'm a bit gun shy. Either way, it sounds like many other foreigners I know or have met in the past. Just go sit in a pub for an evening and you'll hear countless stories that are similar or exactly the same. One thing that most of them all seem to have in common though is the fact that they dated or married a girl who was much younger than them. Maybe it's a coincidence but I doubt it. If you are observant or a people watcher, you'll notice that most Chinese people are much more immature than their western counterparts. For example, an average 25 year old Chinese girl would have about the same maturity level as a typical 18 year old western girl, maybe even less. The other thing is that because of China's one child policy, most of them are completely spoiled rotten and you as their new boyfriend, get to inherit that and wind up stuck with an immature brat, period. Would you marry an 18 year old spoiled brat back in your home country? If so, that says a lot about someone's character and morals. Couple that along with the other issues about face, money, materialism, etc. and you've just found yourself in the middle of a big s#@t storm. Good luck, you'll need it.....

Oct 16, 2012 23:49 Report Abuse