Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dating jungle

Not easy to find Mr or Mrs right

A friend of ours is visiting from Europe, partly for work and partly to see his Chinese girlfriend. Neither him, nor we thought that it was going to work out between them when he left China some 1 year ago –but, believe it or not, the 2 of them are more in love than ever! It’s absolutely lovely to see –and she’s planning to move to Europe eventually to be with him.

I have to say that it is especially nice to see the two of them together and in love, especially considering how many “questionable” Suzhou ladies this guy dated before he met his current girlfriend.

He was going out with one, super pretty, local girl that after some dates invited him back to her apartment. He stepped inside and was amazed when he realized that the girl had used photos of herself as wallpaper in the whole flat (well OK, not entirely, but almost). There were several enlarged portrait photos of the girl on every single wall, and the girl was so proud of them:

-What do you think?! Am I not pretty?!

-Eh… very!

That one did not work out.

Another, questionable lady, was the one who had no job, no education, no intention of getting either or, and a rich daddy that paid for everything. She was looking for a Mr right with a fat wallet, who could continue her financial life support.

During one date, they were sitting at a café, flicking through a magazine together. They hit a page with an advertisement for a Mercedes-Benz, and the girl eyed up the car, asking our friend:

-What do you think of this car?

-It’s awesome.

-Do you have a car like that?

-Eh, no…

-Why not?

-Do you know how much a car like this costs? I could never afford it right now!

-I thought you had a good salary.

-I do.. but not good enough to splurge on cars like this.

The girl looked at him for a long time, before she said:

-I think it’s important to set yourself sufficient ambitions in life. I think you should have some attainable goals. Like this car for instance. You should aim to be able to buy it within a year or so!

Our friend just stared at the girl. There she was: on rich family support: not working, not studying, and not planning to. Telling HIM that he should have attainable goals in his life?!

They never dated again.

And that turned out to be a smart decision, because soon he met his current girlfriend, who is down to earth and who makes him so happy. Or, as he once described it to me:

-The Chinese dating jungle is pretty crazy. At first it’s quite interesting and almost entertaining, but after a while you get sick of it.

One thing you have to give these (unsuccessful when it comes to dating our friend) ladies though: at least they were honest! They knew what they wanted and they were not afraid to say it. Got to have some respect for that.


relationship said...

really very nice blog

E said...

our jonna is too nice to say the b word lol.
on a more serious note, jonna is right. women who hide their color are way more dangerous.
blame such materialism to the fear of poverty......

flyingfish said...

Great post as usual!

I've heard of the photo displays before. Peter Hessler mentions something similar (if not as extreme) in his book "River Town."

I wonder if it has something to do with changing conceptions of modesty and humility. Sometimes seems like the process of shedding traditional ideas about the way to represent yourself took a wrong turn, so that now people feel as if they are expected to kind of strut their stuff. At least, this was the feeling I got interviewing dozens of
Chinese kids for their applications to an American boarding school. Some of them were so full of themselves, it just
blew me away.

I guess the materialism isn't too hard to understand, is it? As E points out, there's the history of gut-wrenching poverty. And the whole national ethos has been pretty much defined by materialism and material culture of one stripe or another for the last century, or nearly, hasn't it? I mean, dialectical or trickle-down, it's all about money and goods. How you get them, how you spend them, how you distribute them.

It's great to hear that your friend finally found his match!

Kevin said...

As an Asian-American/Canadian guy who grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood and living in China right now, I've dated both American, Chinese and European women. I find that the differences between American and Chinese girls are that American girls are in search of a "feeling" of love or attraction and Chinese girls seems to be more about money and the feeling of security from the guy. On the other hand Chinese girls tend to be more loyal to the guys and have great family values while if you are dating an American woman be prepared for a lot of drama.
I think European girls are the best of both worlds. They have great family values and pursue love and attraction rather than financial security. I wish I can find a nice Swedish girl like yourself Jonna ;-).

These are just my observations and Im sure there are exceptions to all of these.

Dating girls in China sure came with some surprises. My first Chinese girlfriend was 20 when I was 24. Within a month of dating she was already making wedding plans. One day I left her at my place alone and she decided to go through all my stuff + emails (saved my gmail password on broswer). She even had the nerve to guilt trip me about some of the stuff she found which were highly personal.

Most dates included girl just sitting there and expecting me to pay for everything when the bill came. Now I've never minded paying but I like to see at least the girl offer or reach for their purse. At first it bother me but now not so much anymore. There is another instance where the girl wanted to go shopping after dinner. We wander for a bit and she picked out some dvds, she gave me a blank stare and said she forgot to bring cash. I told her why did you want to go shopping if you forgot to bring cash which she then replied "guys should pay for everything". Mind you this was just a first date and not my girl friend.

Li said...

Kevin, what a naive thought u had for European girls. I worked and lived in Europe for almost ten years mostly in Sweden. Try to live in sweden for a while before u say things like that. I am sure Jonna is very nice swedish girl but that does not mean most swedish girls like our super cool Jonna. If u come 2 sweden turn on swedish tv, there are plenty of shows which are quite popular by young swedes which in the end are all about girls having sex in front of tv, like big brother or paradise hotel or a group of grandma age housewives talking about their sex life or how they spend money like water in Hollywood. One good thing about swedish girls is that they will never ask you to pay for them if u r on a date. Bad thing that i experienced in Sweden is that at a party in company after drinking some of my european workmates will have sex with each other mostly in the toilet even though they r both married but next morning nobody will discuss this , everything back 2 normal.
Personally as a chinese i believe it does not matter she is chinese or american or European, if she is the right one then u should give it a try.

Anonymous said...

well if it's not heart connected, the relationship will falter away very quickly.

there's a lot of pretty women with very ugly personalities if one can't see through to the core of intentions

Unknown said...

Great post.
Do you find that these girls are the norm or exception based on your personal observations from people you know?

E said...

@kevin in my experience a considerable portion of chinese don't have a sense of privacy. their mentality is that if we truly love each other, then we should be entirely "transparent" to each other. in other words, i'm entitled to find out everything about you by any means because we are in love. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU HIDING WHEN YOU DID NOT DO SOMETHING WRONG!?

Kevin said...

Li I understand where you are coming from. I am just generalizing here and Im sure that its not always the case.

With that being said, I think Europeans are more open about sex than most Americans. Its not really a big deal to them. Not everything have to be always politically correct like it is in America, especially on tv. If you are single Im sure Europe would be a better place if you are looking for strictly sex. Although I've never been to Sweden I did travel around a bit in Europe before. My point is that American girls are more likely to cheat on their partners than European girls. European girls in relationships tend to be loyal and nurturing when American woman is more about themselves. Just my experiences and accounts of stories from people. Im sure not all women are like this.

Kevin said...

@E, We were not in love. At least I wasn't. We were only dating for about 3 months and kinda knew the relationship wasn't on solid ground.

I was also not hiding anything. My emails date ranged from when I was still in high school. There was a lot of email from Ex girlfriends and other people that was very private. There was also very private photos if you get my drift. I did not even remember I still had them when she brought them up cause it was so long ago.

Maybe Im wrong in Chinese standards I don't know. I just thought it was a huge invasion of my privacy and I couldn't put up with it anymore.

Jonna Wibelius said...

wow, a bunch of interesting comments like always!!

E -that goes for both guys and gills... right?! Many "bad boys" out there too.. I know I've dated one of them. Now when I look back at it I keep thinking "how stupid was I to put up with all of that?!" -so no one to blame but me!

Flyingfish -I think the conception of modesty has def changes.. just look at FB and the stuff people tell their "friends" there...: "Just bought a new car, woho!"/ "ran 20 km in the forest, I rock!"/ "I have the best bf/gf in the world!" -Sometimes I just read this news feed and laugh! I don't understand where the need of telling others EVERYTHING comes from. Sure, I have a blog, but this is a far cry from a diary and I don't even tell 20% of everything that is going on in my life...

Kevin -Sounds like you were dating the wrong girl! There are obsessive girls of every nationality I believe. Generalizing "European girls" by putting them all under one label isn't really correct.. I don't think French, Swedish and Greek ladies have that much in common -neither in terms of morals nor standards. Huge culture differences! I think it has a lot with upbringing to do. Thanks for your nice comment about me -although I'm far from the perfect kind of girlfriend :)

Li -Interesting that you write that in Sweden you can see "girls having sex on TV!" -who are they having sex with? Well, guys of course. Shouldn't be girls -should be people! Why is it worse for a girl to have public sex than it is for a boy?

Then again -I hate all those stupid reality shows with PASSION. I am so happy that I have missed out on 98% of the last 10 years of Swedish television, because it seems to be getting nastier for every year. If you base your judgement on what you see on TV in Sweden I could understand that you would think all Swedes were crazy -and not concerned about their privacy at all!

As for people hooking up at staff parties -haha, I think this is an universal thing. Although it obviously doesn't happen so much here in Asia -or, what do I know? Never thought of it. I work in a Chi/Swe environment and believe me -our work outings are very civilized!

Anonymous -yes. And guys!

Chan -I think they are... gosh, I don't know. Exceptions maybe?! Or I hope!

african girl said...

Interesting love story! I'm happy for your friend because he already found his match.

Well, being materialistic is not bad if you can control yourself not to be too ambitious. That you will be so desperate to get that thing by hook or by crook.

I'm looking for your friend's happiness. Love each other because for without it life will be miserable. Not everyone can be so lucky enough when it comes to love life so treasure the one who loves you that much.