Cultural differences

I started chatting with a Chinese man from Guangzhou and decided to stay in Guangzhou for a couple of days before travelling to Bali and Thailand.

I met him and we had a good time… sometimes, but sometimes I was really frustrated by him. I don’t know what it is with Chinese men, but sometimes they give you a great time and give you too much attention and a minute later they completely ignore you. Although, I know now that I think it must have been hard for him as well, because he must have been at a total loss with me too. It must have been so strange for him and doesn’t know how Westerners think and what they want or expect.

Let me start from us having a good time. He took me to a couple of nice dinners and asked me all the time what I wanted to do, which I really appreciated. He wanted to speak English, although my Chinese was much better than his English. So, I kept speaking Chinese, but there were a lot of silences between us, which was kind of ok.

The frustration began during the first day: he took me to a car exhibition and there I got really frustrated, because he was just walking 1 or 2 meters before me and never looked back to see if I followed. We lost each other a few times, because I wanted to take some pictures and I was too annoyed to call him each time, partly because there were a lot of people and I didn’t want to draw attention, partly because I felt he was not paying attention to me at all. At least, walk beside me sometimes, or look back from time to time.

After that day, I thought he was inconsiderate and that we had a language barrier and a big cultural gap. I was dreading the next day, because I still had a whole day there and I didn’t want to spend the whole day with him, but I didn’t know how to tell him without hurting his feelings. So, I didn’t know what to do, until, in the morning, my friend from Huizhou (the Chinese girl I stayed with when I was there) called me that she was unexpectedly in Guangzhou.

I called the guy that I would spend the afternoon with my friend and we had a great afternoon!! I told her my frustrations, but she told me that this can be quite normal in China. Even she walks behind a guy and never next to him (and she has studied in America, so I consider her quite open-minded). I already felt much better, but also realized that that man and I come from 2 different worlds.

When I called him in the late afternoon, he was a bit frustrated, because he had been waiting for my call all afternoon. He didn’t think I would stay out that long. Oops, now it was his turn to be annoyed with me. But, I also felt that I am not obliged to anything. I don’t need to hang out with him those 2 days. That’s also something very Chinese: they don’t let you free, even for 1 second. Because there was 1 situation that last evening. He took me to the Guangzhou tower and before going up, he needed to go to the bathroom. I didn’t have to go, so I told him I would wait, but less than 1 minute he was out of the bathroom again. The thought of me being alone out there, scared him and he didn’t want to go. Give me a break!! I am living alone in China, I travel all by myself to different countries and then, I couldn’t be alone in the Guangzhou tower for a couple of minutes? That goes beyond my comprehension!

This has been quite an experience. I understand that I couldn’t be angry at him, because for him it has to be difficult too. He wanted to give me a good time, but didn’t know what to do and he didn’t want to ask me (typically Chinese to stay quiet and not talk about feelings or something personal). I wonder now, if it’s really a good idea to still date a Chinese man. I understand the differences more and more, but I can’t live with them, I need a man who is at the same line of thought as me. My friends tell me that I will have to look for a Chinese man who studied abroad for a while, but even then, I think that most Chinese men come back to China and want to live by their own traditional values again.

I don’t know. Guess I am at a difficult path, because I want to stay in China, but all foreigners here fall in love with a Chinese girl and all the Chinese men are too different from me and my culture. 有点麻烦, as they say in Chinese 😛

Anyway, the Guangzhou guy can still be a friend. I know that for dating, we are not compatible, but I want to have more friends in China to understand more about the culture, if he can accept this of course…

Are there any other people who have an experience with a Chinese man. Please let me know, we can know from each other’s experience 😉

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