As we’re at the end, I thought it would be fitting to discuss breaking up with your Chinese girlfriend.
In addition to some scenarios that may lead to a breakup, I’ll talk about what happens after it’s over.
You don’t want to lose that special someone now, do you?
Breaking up with a Chinese girlfriend is different
One thing that separates dating a Chinese girl from, say, an Australian girl, is the breaking up.
Of course, not everything will end in holy matrimony. But I have found Chinese girls are prone to breakup for the strangest of reasons.
This is obviously done out of anger. Chinese people hate conflict, and would rather avoid it at all cost.
If a Chinese girl is mad at you, she may suddenly scream she wants to break up.
In speaking to some Chinese girls, they admit, this is not meant. They have short tempers and can become envious.
Others however, admit this is a test, so if you agree to break up, then you are guilty.
My mate’s breakup (and makeup) story
I can give two examples. The first, is from my good mate, Jim, a Yank.
He and his girlfriend have broken up on seven occasions, at the time of writing this article.
I thought we were mutually exclusive. Then, she slept with a friend of mine. So, I slept with the receptionist at my school. She was very, very cute. I mean, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
I was completely open with her about it. I’ve never lied to her. She hated that, and said she wanted to end things. Then, broke down in tears minutes later.
She didn’t want to lose me, and only admitted that she had done wrong when I was willing to. Neither of us have cheated since.
But, seven times? That’s an astronomical number, even by my standards. I invaded his privacy to find out what else had happened.
Apart from slapping me across the face, he admitted:
She gets angry very easily. I respect that. It’s a part of her personality. Last year she broke up with me because I drank too much at a high school graduation and she thought I flirted with a student.
Whenever we break up, I shrug and say “Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but I still love you.” She’s the only woman I’ve ever dated for so long.
After a few hours, or maybe a day, she apologizes, and comes back to me. As long as she never gives up on me, I’ll never give up on her.
My boy Jim is either madly in love, or a glutton for punishment.
My breakup story
The next example, mine, is in keeping with my lack of patience, as my ex-girlfriend and I broke up only three times.
The first time, I introduced her to a friend of mine. A very beautiful friend I might add, and my ex became jealous that I even knew her.
Nothing had ever happened between us, but some Chinese girls demand that if they are with a man, they are the only girl in his life.
I have always been open about the fact that half of my friends are women. I am sure any guy can agree; there are women out there that we will never date.
But they are so great, either because of their personality or character, that it would be a shame to not have them in our lives.
The second time my ex and I broke up, she was drunk, and accused me of flirting with one of her friends.
The third time, I received a message from a student, at night, asking for an update on homework.
In China, it’s perfectly acceptable for students to have the WeChat contacts of their teachers. In Western countries it would be heavily frowned upon.
It’s a bit like using Compass, to communicate with parents and students, in Australia.
My ex complained at the time that students should not be messaging late, and then proceeded to look through all of my messages, convinced I was having an affair with a student.
To be frank, I was sickened by the accusation, and I broke up with her that night. No take-backs.
My girlfriend’s jealousy made her see things that were not there, and I guess I wasn’t used to having to provide a girl with security to contend with her irrational beliefs.
From my perspective, I become frustrated when the girl I love does not trust me.
Honesty and respect are two important pillars in any relationship, and in this case, I felt they were absent.
In this sense, Jim and I are different, as of course are you, dear reader.
What comes after ‘it’s over’
Pardon me for bragging, but when I look back at how my relationships in Australia ended, I would say the breakups were amicable. I realize this may not be the case for everyone.
Often, either me or my ex would travel to the other’s place to collect our belongings, and we might chat, to determine that everything was completely over.
I’m not saying something like this does not happen in China. One breakup I experienced with a Chinese girlfriend played out like this, so I’m not trying to stereotype.
But with the girl I broke up with three times, it wasn’t so pleasant.
She claimed that me breaking up with her proved I had been cheating all along. This is what she told everyone who would listen. For such a terrible man, I had integrated her into every facet of my life, introducing her to family and friends.
Months later, she continued to tell people how bad of a person I was.
This not only made a mess of my social life, considering she would be invited to the same gatherings I would go to (so I chose to skip some to avoid confrontation), it also cost me some of my best friendships.
I imagine many people have experienced a bad breakup. My point is, every foreigner I know who has dated in China has a similar experience, some of which were a lot worse than mine.
A ransacked apartment
A guy I know, who wants to be known as Matt, says:
I gave this girl the key to my apartment. I really liked her and thought she was the one. She wanted me to buy a house and a car, and I was perfectly content taking things a bit more slowly. “We’ve got time,” I said. Nah! Wrong answer!
She took that to mean I wasn’t serious, and accused me of cheating. As much as I tried to win her back, she could never forgive me for not buying her that dream house of hers, so we broke up.
I arrived home from work a day later, and found some of my belongings on the pavement. Others were stuck in the tree below my window. I raced to the ninth floor, and discovered my place wide open. She must have made a copy of the key I had given her.
The entire apartment was like a bomb had gone off. Where once everything had a place, and there was a place for everything, now it was… well, it was… a bloody nightmare. Clothes out the window. TV smashed in. Even the money I kept hidden in a vase was gone.
Another guy I know, who wants to be called Tom, refers to his ex by one word: Crazy.
She was way too much for me, you know. She drank like it was going out of fashion, and she loved to go clubbing. And she loved, I mean, LOVED to shop. I mean, at 44 years of age, I can’t keep up with that crap!
Anyway, after we broke up, she would come by my place, at 2 am in the morning, pounding on the door, screaming. The neighbors loved me, I promise you. The police were called, and that did wonders for me too.
If that wasn’t enough, she showed up at my work, harassing me and my colleagues, accusing female staff of flirting with me, and demanding my manager fire me.
Thankfully, a month later, she moved back to her hometown, but to this day, she messages me while drunk.
Why do bad breakups happen in China?
I personally had never heard of so many nasty break-ups before arriving in China.
A question to ask is: why does this happen? I can provide answers, but bear in mind, I am not the Gospel.
Girls expect to be spoiled
One, it might surprise you, but Chinese have six Valentine’s days.
Yes, take that France and Italy! You thought those were the romance capitals of the world? Ha!
There is, of course, February 14th, but also March 14th, May 20th and August 25th.
Then there is November 11th, Singles Day, which technically may not count, and last but not least, Lantern Festival, which can’t decide if it’s in February or March (it’s to do with the leap year).
This provides Chinese girls plenty of opportunities to be spoiled. With this in mind, it is no surprise that Chinese can believe in fairy tales.
Though divorce has increased in recent years, traditionalists still frown upon this, and the idea of being married to someone, forever, continues to hold sway in the hearts of many.
Fighting is acceptable
Two, despite the concept of ‘saving face’, Chinese are not above fighting in the street. A woman who feels she has been wronged by her man, is happy to have an argument in public.
My ex-girlfriend had a huge fight with me in the middle of a packed train station. That got the attention of a crowd!
If Chinese girls are not yelling about how you have done wrong, they will also be slapping you repeatedly. Arguments can become heated.
As the guy, you’re expected to stand there and take it, vow to make amends, and hope for forgiveness. Or hope the ground swallows you whole.
Three, I have noticed that quite often, it takes a while for a Chinese girl to agree to mutual exclusivity. You might have to go through many dates before she accepts you.
There are exceptions to this of course. I once went out on one date with a girl, and she wanted to be my girlfriend the very next day. Other times, a girl has waited a month, or longer, before making up her mind.
The thing is, when you and the Chinese girl decide you are in a relationship, love and trust come VERY quickly. From the girl at least.
Chinese girls may very well say ‘I love you’ in the first month or two.
In short, the relationship goes from having the brakes on, twenty-four seven, to going as fast as a Formula One.
It’s as though multiple steps in a Western relationship are skipped. Topics like ‘marriage’ and ‘moving in together’ may become hot conversations in the first month.
When feelings and passions come this fast, it is no surprise that anger, betrayal and jealousy, equally powerful emotions, can be triggered just as easily.
How do I end this?
Sitting down and actually writing an end to this article series does not come easy to me. That said, I thought I would end with a little story.
There was a moment when I was stuck in Melbourne, waiting for my visa to China to be sorted. I was between jobs, and had already been in China for a year. There was a girl who I knew, and we became closer over WeChat during this time.
She told me she liked me and thought I was a good guy:
I don’t want to lose opportunity to be with such great guy.
She then said she would wait for me. About three months later, I was in Hong Kong, waiting for my flight to Shanghai.
I had three reasons for returning: my job, my belongings, and, most important to me, the girl. Half an hour from getting onto my plane, she dropped this clangor on me via WeChat:
I have something tell you, I have boyfriend short time ago. I don’t know what say to you, but I don’t want lose you as friend.
Talk about a punch to the guts. When I asked why she didn’t trust me enough to tell me sooner, she said only three things:
- She didn’t want to hurt me
- Dating a Chinese man was simpler and would be easier for her parents to accept
- Communication was more difficult with me.
All that time while she had been seeing him, she had been flirting with me. Saying how she never thought she could date a foreigner before talking to me. How she looked forward to seeing me and introducing me to her family. How she had never been so happy talking to anyone.
Was I the back-up boyfriend? I mean, what was that?
We’re not Chinese
The simplest answer is usually the easiest, and the simple answer is: we foreigners don’t always compute as people in the minds of Chinese.
This may be cruel to say, but Chinese society can seem immoral, for if you are not one of them, you will never be as important to that Chinese girl than her own people will be.
It is a very inward society, China, and they prioritize their own, way, way, WAY before any of us.
That means you will be hurt, and sometimes not understand how it happened, regardless of how good you are at reading between the lines. It means you will play second fiddle.
It means you will feel betrayed more than once, and your skin will thicken, and there will come moments when you wonder if moving to China was worth it.
My final words of wisdom
Don’t go to China just for a girlfriend.
You go there to travel. You go there for the social experience. Or you go there to work. If everything clicks, then try to settle down.
And on that brilliantly high note, I hope you have enjoyed my ultimate guide to Chinese girls.
Of course, as stated right from the start, I am not a professional dating guru, and the one thing I know about China is this: I need to learn more about China.
If you have any stories you would like to share, or any advice that you would like to include or argue against, we can start a conversation going below.
Thanks for reading!
If this is the first article you’ve read in the series, make sure you go back and start at part 1.