There is a little blog controversy going on about western women dating chinese men. Jocelyn over at Speaking of China (of which I’m a big fan) took offense at another bloggers account of dating a Chinese guy. This woman wrote about a bad experience, but titled it On Dating Chinese Men, and now it is the first to come up when you google search “dating chinese men.” So Jocelyn asked other bloggers with relevant experience to add their voice to this issue, using the same title, so people looking for info on the topic will get a variety of voices on the subject. This is me throwing my hat into the ring.
I came to China married, certainly never expecting to even have the opportunity to date chinese or western guys. So I am not a girl with yellow fever, but after my break-up I was really excited to start dating Chinese guys. In fact, I made the decision to not date western guys for awhile. I mean, I’m in China, right? Like the original blogger said, I’m not the kind of person to travel to another country and eat McDonalds everyday.
It’s been a year and I have had a variety of dating experiences, and dare I say it? I think I can confidently title my post ‘On Dating Chinese men,’ as I have dated men from all different parts of the country, from all social classes and a variety(ish) of ages.
And ultimately guys here are pretty much the same as guys anywhere. Some are jerks. They only care about flashing around a foreign girl like a fancy car or a rolex. Some guys are sweet. Wanting to introduce me to local culture, doing interesting things I might not know about and helping me with language. And some guys are shy. Very, very shy keeping our relationship a secret from just about everyone and blushing when I meet his friends.
Of course the culture is different and that’s where things begin to diverge and get interesting. And I can see why people are thrown off at first. I mean, it’s different. As different as using squat toilets, as different as driving 60 miles down the wrong side of the street in a taxi, as different as using chopsticks to eat everything instead of a fork. But here’s how I see it: Different is a good thing.
I don’t want to disparage anyone, but why come to China if you only want to eat western foods, speak english all the time, have western friends and date western guys? It’s no secret China is totally irrevocably different than the west and no one can come here expecting to have the same life they do at home.
So is dating Chinese guys a struggle sometimes? Yes, but you know what else is a struggle? Asking a clerk where the toilet paper is, finding English language books or ordering the eggplant dish without meat at the local restaurant. Doing even simple things in China can be tough, so of course dating, where real emotions are involved, can be confusing, uncertain and just plain weird. It can also be surprising, funny, touching and meaningful.
It shouldn’t be any other way…