Chinese girlfriend

Posted by & filed under Dating.

Since Chinese Valentine’s Day is, like western Valentine’s Day, a made-up holiday lovingly handcrafted by florists and chocalatiers to plump corporate coffers in the sluggish post-Christmas season, the biggest surprise you can give a Chinese girl on this day is just remembering that there is such a holiday and pretending it is a neat thing rather than One More Hassle. After that, it’s kind of all sauce. How weak or awesome that sauce may be depends entirely on you.

Awesome sauce could include the following ingredients:

Plan to have someone deliver flowers on the day in a place where they will be noticed. This takes a little thought. The point is not just for your dream girl to receive a bouquet of flowers but to receive a bouquet of flowers in front of a bunch of people including the skinny mean girl in accounts receivable who said something bitchy about her shoes that morning.  Chocolates can be included but they are not super-important. Chocolate is not the thing in China that it is in the western world, so err on the side of buying chocolates of questionable quality that are wrapped in gaily decorated packages with ribbons, bows, etc. and are printed with brilliant, witty things like “You’re scrumptious!”
The big meal. Feed her something tasty and expensive in a place that looks nice where she can wear clothing that she doesn’t normally get to wear. You can make it western food if you like, but expect to order for both of you and try to stay away from things that contain a lot of cheese or sour flavors. If you go Chinese, think about what you will order before hand so you don’t just end up ordering kung pao chicken, because that is what every foreigner orders.
After dinner, I suggest that you do something relatively neutral like hit up a movie or go to a park. What you are looking for is not some earth-shattering event that will define you as human beings, but something safe and approachable that you can both talk about later and connect over. This may mean that you need to find a movie that you think is not particularly awesome. Remember, you are not attempting to score cool points by showing how you are totally up on the work of some give obscure director that nobody but you and a bunch of grad school smartypants give a shit about, the point is that you are having an experience together with someone you car about that you then discuss and refer back to as something that you did together as a couple that was fun. You are enjoying each other more than the movie or concert or whatever. So, consider giving the Herzog film festival a miss and going for the latest touch-feely deal with Colin Firth in it.

The obvious: Don’t be a dick. Act like you are having fun and spend a lot of time listening and nodding your head and smiling. Presumably this shouldn’t be too hard since this should be someone that you actually like.

Interracial relationships in China

Posted by & filed under Guest Posting.

When asked my views on Western-Chinese interracial relationships I was thrilled, but when they asked me to focus on the aspect of age differences in these relationships I thought to myself,” I know all about this.”

You see, I am currently married to a Chinese man and to add to the mix I am Black American and to make things even more difficult; I am 44 yrs old and he just turned 30 in October 2013. Yep, I know all about this age thing. Did I mention that we reside in mainland China? Hey, if I am going to do it I might as well jump in with both feet, right?

Actually, in China age is a very serious issue; well, if your a woman. There is a huge double standard over here. The older the man is the more stable and secure he is and the more women he is bound to get. However, a woman’s shelf life pretty much is over after 30. Oh and if you are over 40, forget about it. You might as well start buying some cats and learning to knit.

It seems the Chinese locals believe that child bearing age is before thirty, so if you have past this age your ability to have children lessens therefore the women become undesirable. We all know besides money, the reason you get married in China is to have children. If you cannot have children then you are pretty much useless to your husband. Although it is a little more complicated than that, it is pretty much the jist of it. There are hundreds of unmarried women in China that have expired and considered “old virgins” at the young age of 33 years old.

When it comes to interracial relationships, if the man is Western and white you are pretty much a God. Other nationalities are also considered quite a catch. There is a stereotype that foreigners are very rich and this feeds into the need for security for Chinese women and their families. Nowadays there are more and more Chinese women that are independent and have a more Western thought process. They are more focused on career and education. However, their parents still have the traditional thinking and want to see their daughter’s future husband have a car, house, money and pay a bride price to the family for her before the age of 30. The women are often harassed and set up with various men their parents have found for them as potential husbands.

As for the racial differences and generation gaps, they are easy to solve through acceptance, patience and compromise. When you love and care for someone these things are very small issues and easy to overcome. As with any relationship, it takes hard work and respect for each other.

I have to say the most difficult part of an interracial relationship with a native Chinese local is society and their families. If you can deal with the negative comments about your relationship and the high financial demands from their family then your relationship will be peachy. I always say that other people have more problems with my relationship than we do. But they say love conquers all, and from my experiences it is holding true.

Jo Bai
Author and Blogger

Posted by & filed under Cultural.

Chinese New Year is approaching for the first time since you got together with your girlfriend, or perhaps the first time since she made the big step of telling her parents about you – make no mistake, telling the parents about a suitor, particularly a foreign one, is a significant milestone in a relationship. Your girlfriend will of course be visiting her family, assuming she has already left home and you may even be accompanying her. Naturally, you want to make a good impression, aware of how important this is, particularly given your status as an outsider. And so the issue of hong bao (red envelopes) arises.

Initially, particularly if you have not been in China for long, you may have difficulty with the idea of giving envelopes stuffed full of money to family or friends. To your mind, gifts are more personal and hard cash seems rather mercenary – as if you’re saying exactly how much they’re worth. People do give money as a gift in the west but it is often in the form of tokens and more likely to be for children. Lets face it, a gift of money says to you “I really couldn’t think of what to get you and I didn’t want to risk getting it wrong”.

This is something you just have to get over! You are not going to single-handedly change Chinese culture and as you come to a deeper understanding of it, you will see that this practice is not so strange or mercenary. Bear in mind that giving money is not unheard of in European culture – for example pinning money to the bride’s dress in Italy. Nevertheless, you know you are going to be judged on how much you give and upon whether you get the figure right, avoiding inauspicious numbers. Get it right and you may well have smoothed the way to a fruitful relationship with those who may one day become your in-laws. And what goes around comes around – strong family relationships can be very helpful in Chinese society, particularly in terms of getting started out in married life and providing childcare.

This is not to say non-monetary gifts are unwelcome! As with Christmas and many other festivals, eating is an important part of Chinese New Year. Coffee table snacks that can be worked through over the course of the holiday will go down well. You have two broad options – local or from your own culture – but the format is remarkably similar. Cakes, biscuits, savory nibbles like beans, nuts, chips etc. have their equivalents in both cultures. Perhaps this is a decision to consult your girlfriend on, depending on whether her parents’ are more likely to be impressed or bewildered by foreign fare.

Fortunately, you have one asset up your sleeve – your girlfriend. You love her. You trust her. She understands the culture. The simple answer is, you should let her decide. She knows best. Really. Talk to her about it, tell her how you feel about it and discuss what you can afford – there may be alternative figures depending on how much you have spare. But do not skimp. There really is no point and it will only get you into trouble. The likelihood is that you are well paid compared to most local people and even if you are short of money at the moment, as far as they’re concerned you should be well off. The fact is, this is more important than a couple of nights out with your mates as you enjoy ten days off work. You should listen to her while expecting her to listen to you too. And then do what you’re told.

Posted by & filed under Marriage in China, Uncategorized.

Well, the short answer is that, if you don’t screw up anything really serious, the entire process will probably take about a year, all told. This is not because you need to do a lot of hard work, but because large governmental bureaucracies move very slowly. Before I begin, please understand that I’m saying this with the assumption that you and your wife are in China when you get married. The big rules for this process are that you must:

1)    Not be married to somebody else.

2)    Not be getting married to someone who is already married or is some kind of criminal mastermind on a no-fly list.

First, get married in China. Go to your local marriage bureau and fill out the paper work. They will require that you get some kind affidavit from the US embassy stating you are not already married back in the states. This is easy to do, so just get it and bring it with you when you go to register your marriage. While you are at the embassy, they may also give you some kind of brochure about how to apply for an immigration visa. Take it and follow these instructions.

The next big thing to remember is that your wife needs to apply for an immigration visa. Do not apply for any other kind of visa because you will not get it. If she is married to you in China, the embassy will assume that the only reason she wants to come to the US is to immigrate, so don’t try to get anything other than an immigration visa. This process is long and filled with hassles, but as long as you don’t lie about anything, there really shouldn’t be any major snag. Your wife will need to get some kind of form from a local PSB stating that she isn’t a felon as well as go to a hospital that does international health exams to a get a clean bill of health stating that she’s received all the immunizations and what not that she is supposed to have.

Then you will need to go online and download the immigration visa application forms. Fill out all of this stuff to the best of your knowledge and include any kind of supplemental information that you can to show that your marriage is not some bogus deal just to score a green card. This generally isn’t too difficult to do.

Any serious romantic relationship that culminates in marriage will accrue a certain amount of stuff that is evidence of that relationship: emails back and forth, birthday and anniversary cards, photos of you guys visiting Beihai and all that jazz. When you print photos out, write a simple caption in ballpoint pen on the back stating when and where the photo was taken and who is in it. You may not remember anything, but no one expects you to. You’re documenting a relationship, not a wiretap stakeout on a druglord for the DA. Get in the ballpark and you should be good. Some people say that you should include some kind of written account of how you first met and fell in love, and I suppose you can do this, but it seems like overkill. Also, I don’t really know how I feel about regaling the feds with the story of my life. It’s your call really. Just don’t lie about stuff and you should be in the clear. Unless of course, your wife doesn’t really know you and is just paying ten large in cash to get married so she can move to the US, in which case this advice doesn’t really apply.

This post originally written by one of our readers to reveal the process of applying for an immigration visa and a Green card for his Chinese wife. We hope this will be useful to some of you.

Chinese girlfriend sajiao

Posted by & filed under Dating.

Having a Chinese girl in your life is definitely an interesting experience. Chinese women tend to be tender, caring and more feminine than most Western women. They don’t mind being submissive and enjoy acting cute and sweet. The problem is that when a Chinese girl decides to act sweet, she usually comes with a whole lot of sugar and just as too many cooks might spoil the broth, too much sugar might wear out the love.

If you have observed a Chinese couple before then you might have notice how Chinese men always carry their girlfriend’s purses or you might have amused yourself while watching a grown woman stomping her feet and whining like a child, while demanding her boyfriend to buy her something. This kind of behavior is know in China as Sa Jiao.

Sa Jiao does not easily translate into English. It could be called acting childishly or being coquettish, but it does not have the negative connotations in Chinese society that such words do in English. Sa Jiao, of course, is not just limited to persuading your boyfriend to buy you things. Sa Jiao involves playing a certain character when you’re around the one you love. A girl might act clingy and needy. She might pretend to be incapable of doing things she’s actually quite capable of doing on her own. While most Western men do not find weak and childish behavior particularly attractive in a woman, Chinese men are big fans of Sa Jiao. They love a woman who seems fragile and submissive as this makes them feel stronger and more like a man.

Part of Sa Jiao is a woman’s way to avoid appearing too independent or non-traditional, as these are considered negative qualities by most Chinese men. Although most Chinese men will grow desperate because of Sa Jiao one time or another, they still consider it worth the trouble. Chinese women, in the other hand, see it as an opportunity for them to reward their partners with the feeling of being superior.

Sa Jiao often poses problems, however, for foreign men who date Chinese women, as, while some men may initially be attracted to the cuteness aspect of Sa Jiao, most men quickly grow irritated with what can be seen as a demanding attitude from their new girlfriend. To a Chinese woman, Sa Jiao is about ensuring that her boyfriend cares enough for her to put her needs above his own, but to a Western man, Sa Jiao can feel suffocating.

In the West, women who are clingy or needy will often find themselves being handed down from relationship to relationship as most Western men will avoid (at all costs) women who require a “high maintenance”. Western society tends to praise women who are independent, free spirited and can squash a bug by themselves.

Understanding Sa Jiao is perhaps the most important step towards having a healthier relationship with your Chinese girl. While Chinese men understand and have dealt with Sa Jiao all of their lives, foreigners often do not know how to handle this type of attitude. The main thing to remember is that the point of Sa Jiao is not to annoy you, but to give you a chance to show how much you care for your woman by putting her needs above your own. This, in turn, gives the woman a chance to show her deep gratitude for having your strong male presence in her life.