I’m back, folks!
Now that you know how foreign men are perceived by Chinese girls, it’s time we talked about how to meet some lovely ladies.
I’ll start by telling you about some apps you can use to meet Chinese girls, and some good venues you may want to consider visiting – or avoiding!
There will also be talk about dating in the workplace (hint: not always the best idea).
And, I’ll finish off by sharing some war stories.
So, without further ado, it’s time to take more misadventures and advice with a grain of salt and a hefty shot of the bar’s best tequila.
Use Chinese dating apps
In almost every city there is a group, which you can search for, called Couchsurf (followed by the name of your city). Request to be added.
These groups are basically a means for locals to ask questions, and to advertise events happening in the area every day.
This includes speed dating, which I know sometimes occur. When advertised, they often say ‘all races welcome’. Very progressive!
In our interconnected, digital world, there is also TanTan.
It’s the Chinese version of Tinder, and is a really popular app. Ironically, Chinese people genuinely use it for relationships, rather than hook-ups.
Not everyone on the dating app speaks English, and there is an abundance of fake profiles.
I have never used it myself, though too many of my foreign friends have come away complaining it was a waste of time and money.
You can usually tell if it is fake after maybe a week, if that. That beautiful Chinese girl you’re trying to woo – she’ll ask you for some money because she’s trying to escape a bad situation; or she’s out of work; or she’s investing in an opportunity that will earn you and her big bucks.
Another app is HelloTalk. This is used to bring people together to help learn another language, though many Chinese use it to make friends.
You can run a search in the app by age, city, country, or even continent, to help narrow down where and who you might want to consider connecting with.
Visit the local park
Another potential venue is the park. More specifically, the dating park.
Of course, different parks are in different cities, though if you arrive at the Chinese Garden of Friendship, you might be in the wrong place.
Usually, once a week, often in the late morning, parents, most notably mothers, arrive in the dozens, if not the hundreds, to advertise their unmarried offspring, who just found their way onto the ‘leftover’ list.
(I talked about leftovers in part 1 of my ultimate guide to Chinese girls.)
Hoping to find a suitable son (or daughter) in-law, they bring photos of their children, and a resume, of all things, listing name, age, height, education, job history, and sometimes their child’s prerequisites in a suitable partner.
In all likelihood, you will need to travel with a Chinese friend to work as your interpreter.
My friend, Chris, swore by this, and was washed away in the crowd of adoring mothers. Usually, they ask for your name, age, height, salary, job and contact details.
Chris claimed, if the mother accepts you at the park, then you’ve already won two-thirds of the battle!
The mom will spend the rest of the week harassing their daughter to go out with you, which should either make it easier for you to get a date, or drive the daughter into a murderous rage.
In Australia, dating in the workplace, nine times out of ten, isn’t frowned upon.
At my last school, my colleague in the English department was dating an art teacher. Years ago, when I worked as a fresh food salesman, several staff were involved with each other. It is perfectly acceptable.
Workplaces, much like school when we are teenagers, are great places to meet people who we can invite into our lives.
In China, considering the language barrier, it can be occasionally hard to find people who speak English well enough to have a good conversation.
Meeting someone at work who can communicate with us, can make us feel happy, and potentially think about dating them.
Yeah…I’m going to stop you there, mate. There is no rule that says you can’t date staff. The question is, will the staff want to date you.
Of course, I imagine there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you; unless you happen to look like Quasimodo, in which case, I urge you to wear a paper bag over your head.
On one hand, this does come down to the rumors about foreigners. To counter this, I would recommend you start off as friends and go from there, to let your colleague, who happens to be a super lovely Chinese girl, get to know you for who you really are.
On the other hand, this comes down to reputation. Chinese people in the workplace love their gossip. If you begin a relationship, everyone will know, and it may lead to embarrassing situations, for both yourself and her. Even more so if you break up.
This career may be very important to the Chinese girl, in which case, she would probably be unwilling to sacrifice that, no matter how charming you are.
Some awful occurrences
On top of careers, one thing to keep in mind; Chinese people can be pretty cut-throat in the workplace. Chinese friends of mine have spoken about some pretty awful occurrences that happened in the workplaces.
Evelyn (not her real name) says it was my first week on the job. I was not sure how to use the software. I asked my colleague, and though she helped me, she went behind my back to our manager. She reported I did not know how to use it. She said I was annoying her, constantly.
Sadly, though not unpredictably, Evelyn did not stay at that workplace much longer. Another friend, Nolan, says I was forced out of my school. I don’t take crap, and when the company began to pay us less, I complained.
My schedule, of usually five classes a day, went down to two, and then one, and then none. I was just a very handsome doorstop.
At that point, I was called into the manager’s office and asked to leave, my manager citing I wasn’t doing anything productive at work – too right! I had nothing to do!
I understand these stories have little to do with dating, but hear me out.
As we know, reputation is as important to Chinese as breathing. Perhaps even more so. The reputation of a company could be at stake if a foreigner and a Chinese staff member are in a relationship that ends badly.
On top of that, just as some Chinese are looked at with awe for dating foreigners, others are stereotyped as whores. It is believed that foreigners only care about sex, and nothing else, so a girl who is dating a foreigner, can be seen as getting only one thing.
Imagine how that Chinese girl you like would feel to have people spreading rumors behind her back. You might have a thick skin, but chances are, she may not.
My experience with colleagues
Of course, no segment would be complete without some anecdotes from yours truly!
When I first arrived in China, I asked one of my colleagues out for coffee. I told her I was new in Ningbo, and as a local, she might be able to show me the sights.
Having coffee in China, when it involves a boy and a girl, is often seen as a date. Something I did not know at the time.
So, this colleague of mine proceeded to tell everyone in the office I wanted to have sex with her.
This sounds like the plot of a B-grade rip-off of Seinfeld. I promise you; it is not. Long story short, it took a while to prove to my colleagues I was not a sexual deviant.
So, what to do? Well, if inviting a colleague out, perhaps invite her along with others at first. Chinese love their KTV; you could organize a night out for all of the staff in your department.
There is no rule that you can’t spend time with that girl you like at work. Just talk to her.
When you do feel the time is right to invite her out, alone, I might recommend you add the preface ‘as friends’ to that invitation. It may grease the wheels.
Now, the million-dollar question: Nick, your brilliant strategy – will it actually work?
Well…in my first year in China, I tried this myself. I was working at a language center, and the girl I liked was a recruitment officer, who helped enroll students.
Yes, we went out to several events, some organized by me along with staff members in our department, others by the school.
Furthermore, I did take her out to a restaurant for lunch, as friends. I know, trust me, I know – lunch does not scream romantic date.
Afterwards, I did say to her that I liked her, and I hoped that my decision to be her friend wouldn’t impact on our chances to date. She then rushed into my arms and embraced me.
But then a week later she quit her job, left Ningbo and I never saw her again. The end.
So, on that note, does my strategy work? At repelling girls, yes, apparently!
My experience in Chinese bars and pubs
I’m sure we all remember that scene from the movie, Coming to America, where Eddie Murphy asks the owner of the salon where the nice girls are.
I think all of us wish we had a guardian angel who could help us along the way.
I can very easily recommend to any reader: if your intention is to date a beautiful Chinese girl, visiting a bar should not be your first stop. This is regardless of how excellent the pubs are.
When I was living in Ningbo, there was a bar just down the road from me. One night, my friend and I had been there for over an hour, shooting the BLEEP, and out of nowhere a Chinese girl wandered over to us.
She gave me a drink, and then proceeded to proposition me.
Being the absolute gentleman I am, I said ‘Yes! My apartment is just around the corner!’ To which she ever so humbly replied ‘Blegh!’, and out came the green stuff.
It seems she had been there for a few hours and had drunk half the hooch.
Despite being quite a tall lady, nobody can apparently drink what she had and get away with it. She and her friend left and I never saw them again.
Someone, please add a sound effect here of the world’s tiniest violin playing just for me.
Another ‘sick’ story
Also, when in Ningbo, there was a great Mexican pub in Yinzhou, called Mojar.
A friend and I were there one evening, when a Chinese girl, in her first year of university, came running over to our table.
It seemed her ex-boyfriend was with her, and she wanted to make him jealous. I suppose, what better way to make a Chinese boy jealous, than trying to lock lips with a foreigner. That was exactly what she did.
She kissed me, yelled ‘you are husband!’, then proceeded to vomit all over the floor at my feet. How, um, romantic?
Seriously, I cannot make this stuff up.
Geographical differences between Chinese girls
When looking at China we see… well, China.
It may not be easily recognized, at first, that it is a country filled with different ethnic groups, customs and foods, depending on the city or province.
I am going to let my friend, also, suspiciously named Nick, originally from Los Angeles, discuss this:
I lived in Zhengzhou, a city in Henan province, in the north of China, for three years. During that time, I had 11 girlfriends. You’re not going to print that, are you?
(After much pontification, Nick continued) Life however was becoming more difficult, with my school attempting to take advantage of me. I also felt like I had seen and accomplished everything I could there.
I moved to Ningbo, in Zhejiang province, in the southeast of China, after hearing how easygoing the environment was. After living there for eight months, I had not had a single girlfriend.
(I asked why, citing his ugly face might be a reason. After a huge fight, where many bottles were smashed and blood was spilled, Nick elaborated.)
Girls in the south seem more traditional.
I have noticed girls listen to their families more. Girls in the south are shier. They are less likely to take risks, and seem more reserved around foreigners.
We’re going to tell Nick to go away now. The question on everyone’s lips might be, ‘why the difference in attitude?’
To be frank, this is a question I myself have wondered.
I lived in Ningbo for more than two years, and had a similar experience to the other Nick. During that time, I never dated a Ningbo local.
I had a long-distance relationship with a girl in Shenzhen, and dated a girl who had moved from Beijing to live there.
I did meet more than a few Ningbo girls who said they would be embarrassed to be with a foreigner. This comes from the way we non-Chinese are seen.
More to come…
This may be the end of the third article on Chinese girls, but I have more for you.
Next, I will look at Chinese dating, and that weird concept of saving face. I will also talk about relationship challenges, and qualities Chinese girls like in a man.
Check it out here.