“Two American men were deported for sleeping with too many girls,” a foreign friend reported to me sometime ago. “They gave a number of girls hope about marriage and traveling to America and the girls willingly gave themselves to the guys.” My friend was a teacher in a small town in Central China were news always traveled fast. She explained that when the girls realized that they had been ‘used’, they complained to the local authorities who promptly arrested the men and sent them out of the country.
While such stories are relatively rare in China, there is little doubt that Chinese women are regularly taken advantage of by a handful of the thousands of foreigners who are living and working in China. Some foreigners arrive in China with the attitude that this country is a ‘playland’ and that taking advantage of Chinese women will have no consequences. Still, there many more foreigners in China who just happen to meet a nice girl that they are truly interested in. Thus, the million dollar question presents itself. Is it a good idea for foreigners to date Chinese women?
The simple answer to this question is ‘yes.’ But wait. don’t close this page quite yet. There are a few tips that you should have in your mind before you step into the Chinese dating scene.
1) Be honest with your girflfriend about your intentions. If you are only going to be living in China temporarily, make sure that she understand this. Do not lead her on by giving her false hope for the future. Doing this could cause trouble for you later on.
2) PDA (Public Display of Affection) is still highly frowned upon in many parts of China. Kissing and even holding hands in public is considered improper by the older generation.
3) Going to visit your girlfriend’s hometown is often seen as a serious step towards marriage in China. If you are invited to visit your girlfriends’ hometown during a holiday, be careful. Accepting the invitation may send the wrong message to her and her family.
4) In traditional culture, the fewer boyfriends that a girl has before marriage, the better. Ideally, a girl should marry her first boyfriend.
5) Having multiple girlfriends in China is never a good idea. As I wrote about earlier, acting ‘the playboy’ in China could have serious consquences on the status of your visa.
A quiet yet powerful sexual revolution seems to have been spreading through China since the turn of the millenium. Attitudes about sex before marriage are gradually changing amongst the younger generation. However, engaging in sexual activity with a Chinese girl is still not a wise decision for the following reasons:
1) If your girlfriend’s parents discover that you are involved sexually with their daughter, there may be ‘hell to pay.’ Chinese parents are often extremely protective over their ‘adult’ children and you could find yourself in serious legal and physical danger. I have heard stories about enraged parents who have taken matters into their own hands if they feel that their daughter’s honor has been somehow compromised.
2) If the local police happen to notice that a young lady is spending an inordinate amount of time at your apartment, they may suspect that she is a hired prostitute. I have heard stories of foreigners being deported on the basis of that very suspicion.
3) Impregnating a Chinese girl is a serious matter in China. Do not assume that because you are a foreigner that you will be able to just leave the girl and let her ‘fend for herself.’ Passports of foreigners who impregnated Chinese girls have been blocked before so don’t count on leaving the country.
4) For most girls in China, having sex is a sign of a serious relationship that is headed towards marriage. While there are always exceptions, most Chinese girls do not want to be simply used as a ‘plaything.’ Thus, engaging in sex should never be taken lightly.
Never forget that you are a guest in China. You are an unofficial representative of your country and every action that you take will be scrutinized by someone. It is also important to remember that Chinese girls, like any other girls around the world, have feelings. In a country where boy-girl relationships are not taken lightly, being given hope by a foreigner, used for ‘pleasure’, and then abandoned, could destroy a girl’s outlook on life. You also need to understand the concept of ‘family shame’ in China. Bringing shame upon a Chinese girl will also bring shame upon her family. In some areas of China, such shame could result in the girl being treated as an outcast in her family and village or even being subjected to physical abuse.
There is nothing inherently wrong with having a girlfriend in China. Such a relationship can you help you become better acclimated to the culture and learn more about your city. It can also be a good way for you to have a positive impact on a Chinese girl’s life. However, it may be a good idea to treat this relationship more as a friendship unless you are seriously considering marrying the young lady. Just be careful and think about the consequences of your actions not only for yourself but also for the Chinese girl and her family.
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I'm with you Spixe. In my hometown if a foreigner doesn't respect locals, most definitely this guy will end up beaten to unconsciousness. Fair enough. I really don't understand why the Chinese can accept those laowai that don't show any respect. Foreigner males in Xiamen, not all of them fortunately but most of them, are affected by too much ego, and have a lot of attitude. The thing those people easily forget is that WE ARE GUESTS in a foreign land.
Well said. I've never liked most of the foreign males in Xiamen (and most of China I suppose), even though I am one, because most of them struck me as "playas" who make foreigners look like true "foreign devils", seeing how many Chinese chicks they can get laid by in a weekend or something. Really makes me feel ashamed of my foreign status.