This is part 1 of my ultimate guide to Chinese girls.
I would like to preface this by saying I may not be the best person to talk about Chinese girls. One, I am not Chinese, and two, I have a sausage dangling between my legs.
Similarly, a Chinese girl would probably not be the best person to talk about Western men.
But any girl who doesn’t know that blokes like copious amounts of alcohol and scantily clad bodies, probably doesn’t know men at all.
With that out of the way, during this series of articles I want to discuss the cultural differences, Chinese dating etiquette, relationship challenges, qualities to look out for, good places to meet girls, and more!
In this particular article, I will start by addressing:
- The mindset and traits of Chinese women
- Importance of marriage in Chinese society
- First dates, and the stereotype, are Chinese girls easy?
- How Chinese guys fit into the picture.
I will add, that much of this is opinion, so take some of this with a grain of salt – and a shot of tequila!
Note: If you’re looking for a brief overview of Chinese girls, check out this blog instead. Otherwise, grab a cup of Chinese tea – or tequila – and enjoy reading part 1 of this in-depth article series.
So, you want to date a Chinese girl…
…and save her from the evils of communism and bring her back to your country for a better life.
Pardon me for saying, you are dreaming son!
In fact, that Chinese girl you are trying so hard to woo, might be thinking the same thing. She may want to rescue you from the vile clutches of capitalism and have you remain in China.
With a rise of financial independence among women in China, I can assure you, they don’t need to be saved, or want to be saved, by foreign men. No matter how dashing you are.
Something to keep in mind – close to 80% of Chinese international students visiting Australia (where I’m from), return home.
Unlike in the land Down Under, where we’re born, grow up, then try to get the hell away from our parents as fast as humanly possible, Chinese are quite the opposite.
China’s culture of filial piety is deeply ingrained.
They are a very family-oriented group, with an expectation to look after their parents as they grow older.
It is perfectly acceptable for a Chinese person to live with, or near, their parents. Not only to keep their family company, but also, to slave them out, and have them take care of the grandchildren.
In recent years, more and more Chinese have been forced to move to other cities to find work. Statistics have shown that children see their families less frequently.
The government countered this by making it illegal to not visit parents ‘often’. How often? Well, when children get thrown into the nearest gulag, they usually find out.
Wisecracks aside, no matter how far a Chinese girl may travel, she will always find her way back home. Just like a whale. A very attractive whale.
Chinese girls want serious relationships
This leads into another cultural point.
Cyndi Lauper once said “Girls just want to have fun.” If she produced a 2020 remix, she might add “Chinese girls don’t.” At least when it comes to relationships.
In every culture, you will meet people who are happy to not be mutually exclusive. But we’re not talking about that here.
When it comes to having an actual relationship, Chinese take this way, way, waaaaaaay more seriously than you might imagine.
In Australia, it’s normal to think: girl, you like me. I like you. Let’s be together and see where this goes. We may not even attempt to label what is happening. Why bother?
Two people who like each other should be together, without any strings or subsequent worries for the future.
In China, if a girl is dating you, she is thinking long term. Very long term. The longest of terms.
That’s right! It starts with an ‘m’, ends in an ‘e’, and involves attaching a ball and chain to your ankle. Forever!
For many Western guys, this immediate seriousness is one of the main problems with Chinese girlfriends.
The sad reality of leftovers
A woman in China, 28 years or older, who is unmarried, is considered ‘left over’.
China is a culture where marriage is expected to happen early. The same is said for the men. That is why Chinese parents become very pushy as soon as their child reaches 24 and is still single.
This is not helped, that in China, the day you are born, you are not one day old. You are one year old.
In a village just outside of Ningbo, where I’ve been teaching English, a newborn baby is branded as three years old!
That is not a joke. So, at 24, they are 27 in the minds of their anxious parents.
This happened to a colleague of mine at a language training center. She was 25 (28 to mommy) and had never had a relationship.
Her monster, sorry, mother, set her up on a blind date with a family friend from her village. Three months later (you read that right) she was pregnant, and engaged.
No kids before marriage
On that note, I should add: it is illegal in China to have a child without being married.
Again, China is very family oriented. The concept of having a child out of, we might say, wedlock, goes against their customs.
It is almost ironic perhaps, that for teenagers to date at school is still, to this day in China, considered a bad thing.
Many parents and teachers will try to stop this. Focus only on study they might say. Yet, once a Chinese guy or gal gets to college, suddenly, nobody takes issue.
That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, with teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases on the rise in China (a side-effect of sex education, and a wider knowledge of contraception) remaining taboo.
Most Chinese people’s first experience with sex comes in the form of pornography; the Japanese kind no less.
Having relationships as a teenager I would almost say is a rite of passage. It helps us remove many misconceptions and mature.
We gain an understanding of the opposite sex. We also gain an understanding of sex, but that’s an entirely different matter.
Relationships start later in China
As many Chinese won’t experience their first relationship until they are older than 18, if not into their 20s, don’t expect them to be as knowledgeable as relationships as you might be.
Women labelled ‘left over’ often have difficulty trying to find love. Chinese men, like most men, prefer their ladies young.
In China, once you turn 30, you are old. Might as well start thinking about plots, and not the kind you find in a book.
As a foreigner, it is easy to be perceived in China as the kind of person who just wants to, that phrase again, ‘have fun’. You are not seen as someone who seriously considers marriage.
The addendum that you could, no matter how unlikely, have your visa cancelled, or could return to your home country, adds to the fear that foreigners are not totally compatible.
This is in contrast with Chinese men, who have grown up in a culture that demands a ring is put on a girl’s finger before she turns into a pumpkin. Or turns 28, whatever comes first.
In short, that Chinese girl who makes you swoon will want a commitment, to know you are not just using her for fun.
In China, being asked after a year of seeing each other to tie the knot, is perfectly natural.
A girl on the verge of being left over may be more inclined to ask for a quick marriage. Meaning, three to six months down the line, she wants to be walking down that aisle.
In Australia, the concept of a backup boyfriend is probably rare.
It sounds like a low-budget music group in need of a serious name change. But in China, it can happen more than you might think.
Distance is something that many Chinese are forced to experience in relationships. So often, people are forced to leave their hometowns for work. This can also mean leaving the city of their partner.
I know many Chinese women whose boyfriends or husbands work in other provinces in China or even different countries.
This can lead to emotional affairs. A woman loves a bloke who can comfort her emotionally, buy her presents, and make her feel happy while her boyfriend is not around.
Just because you are not Chinese, does not mean it won’t happen to you.
Being affiliated with a foreigner can give a girl some kind of social-cred, as others might be envious of her connections, as it shows her great social and language skills.
She’ll never officially say “no, I don’t like you.” And she’ll never admit she is seeing someone else, as she wants to keep you around.
But, if a Chinese girl is constantly coming up with excuses not to see you, then out of the blue is almost desperate to go out, chances are, you are the reserve batsman.
To that end, I would say never put all of your eggs in the one basket. There is no issue with knowing multiple girls, and having the opportunity to individually learn more about each of them.
Society however does seem to take umbrage at toying with a girl’s heart after becoming mutually exclusive with a lady, so, yeah, don’t do that.
Beware the wing men and women
On an entirely different note, back-up may also come in the form of the wing-man, or wing-woman.
The first time you take a Chinese girl out, she may come with a friend. Or five.
On a first date I had with a girl, she brought along two others – the BFF and the BFF’s partner. I imagine if I’d tried to get some hanky-panky on the first date, he was there to sort me out.
It is a form of security. You are still a stranger at this point.
When a good friend of mine first met me, alone, her colleagues and friends thought she was dumb. After all, Australians are a bunch of dangerous animals.
For me, I’ve rarely had a Chinese girl show up with a wing-person, or with wings in general, but it can happen. It’s also a means of the girl getting her friends a free meal because…
‘Get to the chopper!’
As said by everyone’s favorite 80s action hero in the 1987 blockbuster, Predator.
The problem is, Dutch is not allowed in China. Going Dutch at least.
It’s not the alien that will be doing the bleeding this time. It will be your wallet.
As the man, you are expected to shell out for your girlfriend at all times, even for all of the friends who tag along.
Chinese girls do like to be pampered, good food and even better gifts often showing how much you care. Actions speak louder than words, as they say.
This can mean you can set yourself up to lose hefty amounts of cash if you’re not careful.
It is good to know beforehand how many people are coming to a restaurant. I’ve had plenty of friends who planned a small gathering, only to have half the city turn up.
That said, China has plenty of amazing restaurants, and not all of them need to kill your wallet.
Also, considering the ease of paying electronically, with even some homeless people having their own QR codes, you never have to be worried about not having enough cash on hand.
See also: Best apps for foreigners in China
Chinese girls are easy
Whoever said this needs to be beaten with a club. Trust me, they are not.
On top of that, just because a certain Stanley Kubrick film had an Asian gal promising to love men ‘long time’, doesn’t mean it will happen.
In fact, it mightn’t be so much of a stretch to say every Asian girl hates Stanley Kubrick. No offence.
Let’s not mince words. There are people we would consider ‘easy’ in every country, but to apply that to every single person, is a false generalization.
Ironically, foreign men in China are considered ‘easy’. Take that, misogyny!
I will add, in China, I’ve met more people, particularly women, who believe in sex after marriage, than in any other country I have traveled to.
When thinking about the girls in China who are friends of mine, six of them believe in sex after marriage. That is five more than I know in Australia who feel the same way.
In no way am I implying anything negative here.
I’m just making the point that some Chinese are very proud and respectful of their traditions, and for every girl you meet who embraces contemporary values, there will be another who is more old-fashioned.
Chinese girls can be possessive
This is another one of the problems with Chinese girlfriends.
They are the kind of girls who, if you don’t respond to their text message within 15 minutes, will probably accuse you of cheating on them.
Considering how lovely Chinese girls can be, maybe this ought to occasionally be forgivable?
This could be in relation to concubines. To this day, very rich Chinese men have mistresses.
It is, of course, a great sense of shame for the girlfriends or wives, but some accept it as a part of society. Others, understandably, do not.
When I was teaching at a language training center, the mother of one of my 10-year-old students admitted that she and her daughter had been in New York for 10 months. She wanted to be away from her husband’s mistress.
I cannot comment on how often this occurs, but you will see cases of it happening in the news. Rich men, buying property for women half their age, who are at their beck and call.
I acknowledge that a woman wants to be the soul lover in a man’s life. She has that right, and if she feels neglected or cheated, she has every reason to be angry.
A friend of mine, Rupert, openly admitted that he allows his girlfriend access to his WeChat, Facebook, Twitter and email. Whenever she wants, he gives her unfettered access to keep her mind at ease.
Whatever works, right?
Well, the way I see it, everyone has a right to their privacy.
If I trust the woman I am with, and do not suspect her, knowing wholeheartedly that I have never cheated, I likewise wish for her to feel the same way.
Pressures on Chinese girls
Chairman Mao Zedong is quoted as having once said ‘women hold up half the sky.’
The addendum ‘but a lot of people neither notice nor care’ could be added. Before I get to the crux of this sub-topic, I need to give some context.
The world over, there continues to be discrimination against women. In China, this is exacerbated, with even fewer wages and opportunities afforded to them, not to mention society’s expectations.
True, women are now more financially independent than ever before. But that is surface level, and like all good icebergs, there is so much more to this than meets the eye.
This includes the ridiculous weigh 50 kilograms or less else you are fat, and the 165 centimeters is tall enough.
I have found girls in China are more likely to be self-critical and lack confidence, considering the constraints on beauty, and the towering order to reach these standards.
Girls who do not fit into the category of ‘acceptable’ beauty are bound to be criticized. It would not be surprising to learn this has led to a range of mental health problems.
Coupled with the fact the country does not recognize mental health as a genuine concern, Chinese girls are given a sad hand to play.
What Chinese guys want
I know this article is about Chinese girls, but to better understand them it’s worth knowing a bit about the local guys.
Chinese blokes can be very strict with what they want in a Chinese girl: not too old, not too tall, not too short, not too rich, not too poor, not as successful as their man, nothing above a Bachelor degree, not too talkative, not too quiet, not a divorcee, not a single mom, and lastly, as beautiful as Li Bingbing.
Pardon me for saying, I think Chinese men can be irrationally picky when it comes to finding a girl.
I used to run a social club in China, where one of the attendees was a man who claimed his dream girl had to love watering pot plants – and nothing else.
Three years on, he is still single.
Chinese guys are persistent
In China, if a bloke likes a girl, he will ask her out, not once, twice or thrice. But dozens of times, until she eventually says yes.
In Australia, we have a lovely little term for such romantic behavior: harassment.
A typical Chinese guy will try to ensnare a girl’s attention with lavish gifts.
You will have no doubt seen videos online of men purchasing hundreds of roses, or dozens of smart phones, to highlight not only their wealth, but the honesty of their feelings.
In some of these circumstances, the girl is seen not as an actual person, but as a thing – considering the pressure on men to get married before they turn 30 is equally high.
The belief that boys are better may seem generational, one that has been outgrown, but with grandparents taking care of children, it continues to be prevalent.
Boys are often pampered, and girls, if they are not an only child, are not.
Chinese boys are seen as superior
To this day, boys are seen as superior to girls in China, and there continue to be families who abort the fetus if it’s a girl.
This is a practice that began during the One Child Policy. It’s seen particularly in the countryside where men are seen as strong, to tend the fields, and women are to be married off.
That has led to the serious social issue we are seeing now in China, where there are millions more men than there are women.
Considering the demand for marriage, women in the workplace are often harassed, on a daily basis, especially in the countryside.
You would not realize this just by walking down the street, where you may see droves of women.
But if you say, go to any Chinese classroom, there will always be an anomaly. I’ve had classes of 30 students, where only three of them were girls.
What I’ve seen
Of the girls I have met in China with brothers, almost all of them played second fiddle. A friend of mine, Catherine, her brother received everything, and she was largely ignored.
I have a student who lives at school, despite her home been just down the road. Her parents don’t want her there, instead choosing to focus on raising their son.
Looking at her mom’s WeChat, you would be forgiven for thinking she doesn’t even have a daughter, as there are no photos of her.
This treatment is something that Chinese girls, whether they largely recognize it or not, experience for the rest of their lives. It is ingrained.
You could almost say they are used to receiving less love and attention than boys.
This is also a reason why Chinese girls can occasionally be jealous or demanding. If they have found something or someone they like, they will not want to give it up so easily.
Furthermore, Chinese girls love bad boys as much as the next girl. Considering, however, the expectation to settle down early, a Chinese girl will pick a nice guy over the bad boy every time.
I have found that being genuinely nice to a Chinese girl can be enough to touch her heart. Of course, this isn’t going to be true for every girl, but I have had more than a few tell me they like me, just because I was nice, or kind, or compassionate, or supportive.
One of my friends is currently studying to be a teacher. Her own family told her that they don’t expect her to succeed. Talk about motivational speeches!
She has told me, more than once, I am the only person she knows who has shown any faith in her abilities.
Being the nice guy
In Australia, being the nice guy is a bad thing. Australian women will usually have no interest in the nice guy, because they are thought to be fake.
So many nice guys actually turn out to be arseholes. Some women would rather date the bad guy, because he seems genuine, and it is believed that they can be turned into good guys with time.
I would argue being a genuinely good guy can serve you well in China, but there can be hiccups. Some Chinese girls may not date you because they like having a nice guy around so much and fear losing you.
If that’s the case, they will call you ‘brother’ or their best friend, telling you love dies too easily.
Yes, I am speaking from past experience. That doesn’t mean you can’t win their heart over, as being ‘friend-zoned’ in China, is not like the West, where it is permanent.
I was talking the other day with one of my closest friends, Sandy, a fellow expat.
She says, in China, people only call you when they want something. Again, this isn’t true for everyone, but it certainly feels true. A lot of Chinese only call when they have a problem with English.
Just by reaching out to a Chinese girl, to check up on her, without any kind of agenda (well, a secretly hidden one maybe), is enough to touch even a heart that seems farthest out of reach.
What comes next?
This is the end of my first article about Chinese girls and some of the problems with Chinese girlfriends. But don’t worry folks, I have more to come.
In the next article, I focus on how foreign men are perceived by Chinese girls. Some of it might surprise you.
Check it out here.