Generally, the pressure to split up comes from the family since, after all, in China, marriage is a family affair.
There was one Chinese boyfriend who told me, flat out, that his parents would never accept me.
It’s true — the sight of a foreign woman and Chinese boyfriend or Chinese husband is much rarer than its counterpart, the foreign man and Chinese woman.
If you go to any major city in China, you will invariably run into the foreign man-Chinese woman pairings in any major tourist or shopping destination; not so with foreign women and Chinese men.
Not because he’s a Chinese man, or because our relationship is “unique” or different.
CFL is like a tidal wave of American men in love with Chinese women, with only a rare American woman/Chinese husband surfacing to break the monotony. Several years ago, when my husband enrolled in a New Oriental class in Shanghai for GRE prep, the instructor warned all of the Chinese men: “If you’re going to study abroad, prepare for four lonely years.” The underlying message was, don’t expect to fall in love — but be pleasantly surprised if it happens.
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There are hardly enough books depicting foreign women with Chinese boyfriends or husbands. When you have a Chinese husband or boyfriend, sometimes you feel as if you belong to a lonely club. One of my dearest e-mail friends, a woman from Germany, once found me on the net because she had a — then — Chinese boyfriend and yearned to find someone to share her experience with.
Off the top of my head, I can think of Rachel De Woskin’s Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China and Repeat After Me: A Novel, Nicole Mones’ Lost in Translation, and Pearl S. So I began to wonder — why are there so few Chinese guys and foreign girls becoming couples?