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Guest Post – I Hate the Chinese Ideas about Marriage

This guest post was written by the same friend who wrote – Why I didn’t join the communist party. This time he asked me if he could share his opinion on marriage, and I am so glad he did.

Like arranging for a blind date, let me introduce myself first: I’m a 30-year-old single man growing up in a big city in China and I’m the only child in the family. I have a postgraduate degree and a decent job with a comparatively good salary. Moreover, I have 2 condominiums on mortgage. Everything I said here puts me in an advantageous position in the dating circle.

But I hate the Chinese idea about marriage.

Let me go back a few years. I had a sweetheart from college. I was two years older than her. So when I started to work, she was struggling with her schooling problems, academically and financially. After being together for 4 years we finally decided to get married.

This was the moment our parents stepped in. The issue they argued about was so trivial that I don’t want to mention it again. Sadly it was not even about us but about them – the parents couldn’t see eye to eye with each other. Then the whole marriage thing started to get out of our hands and became a serious family issue. My parents threatened not to visit us if we got married. And her mom said it, too. (She is from a single parent family.) In the end we decided to break up.

She dated another guy after 3 months and married him after 6. And I started the dating game year after year. When I told the story to an older friend, he said, “Well my friend, in China, dating involves two persons but marriage involves two families.”

Since I became single, all “concerned” families, friends, families of friends and friends of families start to fix me up with someone. Most of them are blind dates. Chinese blind dates are somewhat different from American ones. Here we usually go to blind dates with the intention of establishing relationship and get married. So marriage is the ultimate goal.

With this goal bearing in mind, most people tend to be really serious, or should I say, practical with their dates. In most cases, personal height, weight, occupation, salary, education, family background, property, even hobbies are investigated before we meet. Personally I’m not particularly interested in getting the information. But the matchmakers are so desperate to brag about it. Even if you don’t want to be informed, it doesn’t give you the right to refuse to provide your own.

I got really annoyed a few times for one girl insisted to see a picture of me before we “actually meet in person”, and another kept badgering me for whether I’m 168 centimeters tall or 170. Blind dates are like selling meat. You are priced, weighed and tagged.

I hate it so much that I finally decide to quit from the game. But of course I cannot really quit it, because every time when a colleague or friend sees me, she (usually she) asks, “Are you dating someone right now? Cause I know this wonderful girl…” Give me a break.

Now I’m 30. In China, it is a nightmare for single people – in most cases for single women. Most of my friends are already married at 26 or 27 and now they start to have kids. I keep seeing people from time to time, but have shown “too much enthusiasm in work, travel and simply having fun”. So all my families and friends start to show, overtly or secretly, their worry for me being abnormal in one way or another.

Every conversation starts like, “You are 30. You are supposed to be married.” Believe me, it’s really tremendous mental torture when you literally hear it 2, 3 times everyday! (For a single woman, the bombs would drop like 20 times a day.) One friend tells me that she keeps my marriage in her prayer. – What the xxxx!

“What if I haven’t found the one? What about love?” I asked. “Get married first! Then we’ll talk about love.” I hate the idea of getting married for being married. So nothing they say could talk me into it.

But it is OK for me not to rush into marriage. After all, I’m a guy. For a 30-year-old single woman, it is another story. In big cities of China, where people tend to be more open-minded, a single woman over 30 usually meets with much more obstacles in finding the ideal husband. 30 is like an expiring date for women. So girls are desperate to get married before the date, and for those who do expire, they have to give a discount.

A colleague of mine, who is a 31-year-old single woman, even has trouble in getting a date. Last year, she told me that she was going to get married with a 36-year-old guy from a remote county, who made only half her salary and refused to pay for the condominium they were going to buy. They had met for a few times and her parents pressured her to marry him. She said, “I need to do it to satisfy my parents.”

Some friends and I worked so hard to dissuade her from it, because we didn’t think this was right. She didn’t get married with that guy after all, not because she took our advice, but because that guy thought she was not good enough so he called it off.

One friend of mine immigrated to Canada. She told me, people there don’t care whether you are dating or separated, single or married, gay or hetero. They care whether you are happy or not. The Chinese are so conservative in marriage that sometimes they do absurd things for it.

Everyone knows it takes a village to raise a child, but in China it takes a village to get you married. Much appreciative as I feel for my families and friends, I still wish to be left alone, and truly believe that I will meet, marry and live happily with the one in my life.

This friend is a regular reader of the blog, if you have any questions for him, please leave them in the comment section below.

For more on Marriage in China read: The bosses speech and other oddities in Chinese weddings, What happened to traditional Chinese weddings, and Chinese wedding days and wedding nights


49 Comments

  1. Chopstik says:

    A very powerful post to get a personal perspective on the pressures associated with marriage today in China. I’ve heard similar things before from other friends but nothing that resonates in quite the same way – most seem resigned to the fact that this is how it will be and do their best to accommodate themselves to it. How is it impacted by the imbalance between the numbers of men versus available women? I’ve heard that women can afford to be more choosy and men who cannot accommodate them are left behind in the dating/marriage game (sorry for the word choice but not sure of a more appropriate one at the moment). Based on this commentary, seems like that might be the case only for women who are under 30 – does that seem right?

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Seven says:

    You are right. Statistically, it seems women can afford to be more choosy because there are more men. But in reality, men, especially the ones with better jobs, still dominate the whole dating / marriage game. Usually when a single woman is under 30, she still has her say. But once she turns 30, things start to become weird. Women from the rural areas are actually less troubled, though. Usually they are married at 24, 25. Probably the expiring date is even earlier there.

    • Tom says:

      Seven was the author of this post. I really applaud the way he was able to write 1,000 words that manage to clearly express the situation and feelings of tens of thousands of Chinese men. He is also one of my main sources for Chinese opinions.

  3. john book says:

    Are we taking this as an over-all statement of dating/marriage in China or is this one man’s adventure? This one sounds really sad either way.

    As for Japan; the birth-rate is the lowest it’s ever been. Girls don’t want to get married.
    It is easy for them to wait until thirties or even forties. They see no need for a husband as they can stay in their parent’s home and pay no food, rent, etc..bills. This lets them spend all their salaries on designer clothes, bags, etc…. The girls think men are non-communicative, workaholics on the job who do nothing in the home. Men expect the wifes to pretty much take care of them. (The highest divorce rate in the country is retirement age. The men retire, think the little woman will wait on them hand and foot… NOT! Women say, “I’ve raised my children….at this age, I don’t need another baby to care for.”

    Many men find it nearly impossible to talk to a woman let alone carry on a conversation of any substance. Such shy beings!!! Most must work almost 24/7 in order to compete with younger guys coming into the work-site. If they get Sat. or Sun. off, they golf or do some sport with work associates. Men and women do not often do things together. More are going out to casual dinner with the family these days however.

    A cute little story in Japan about 10 or more years ago; women who hadn’t married by her late 20s was compared to Christmas cake on New Year’s day…stale and kinda used up.

    Now days, the girls run the economy. Mostly girls but even men now stay with the parents to save money and have free meals, laundry and house-keeping. They are called parasite singles.

    Men now are even “dating” plastic blow-up dolls instead of real women…. it is much easier for them, no conversation needed, no need to impress the “girl”, sex is free… etc…. Some guys even have collections of these blow-ups so they can “play the field”……. there is a whole new industry marking more and more realistic dolls!!! Such a deal!!!

    AH! The stories I could tell you!!

  4. Welcome to the world of The Great Overbearing Chinese Matrimonial I-Want-My-Pound-of-Flesh Pre-Mortem Examination. Is it any wonder why thirtysomething Chinese men or women have trouble getting a date (steady or otherwise) with that kind of attitude?

  5. Tim says:

    This is a brilliant post that definitely sums up the general experience had by most Chinese. I’ve heard this stories just like this more than once.

    To the author: thanks for sharing your feelings and being so candid, it’s much appreciated. Also, would you mind replying yes or no through Tom if I could use an adapted version of this story in my classes? I would have to adapt some of the vocabulary (I teach college freshmen with lower/mid-level English) and possibly shorten it. I think it would make for a great conversation starter / topic.

    Thanks again!

  6. Pelo says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us. So sorry about the end of your engagement. I hope that in time you will find a great woman to share your life with. Kudos to you for wanting to marry for love.

    The dating and engagement process is probably an ordeal in many other cultures. In your country, however, things appear to be very complicated, intense and competitive. The involvement of both sets of parents, pressure to be married by a certain age, salary, type of job, height, weight and education requirements must take a lot of fun out of dating.

    I hope you don’t find this question insensitive given the challenges you have experienced. I have read that in China, Chinese men are having to compete with American and European men when it comes to dating Chinese women. Apparently involvement with a Western man is seen as a status thing. Is this accurate?

    • Sara says:

      What I’ve understood is that for many Chinese girls it’s important to find a husband that can take care of here financially and possible of her family too. Chinese people also think that all the Western guys are rich and so a great choice. I think it’s also a status things and you might gain face by dating a foreigner.

      It goes the other way too and Chinese guys do get face by dating Western girls. But in the same time it could create a lot of pressure. People tend to think that only rich Chinese guys are able to get a laowai girl. So it’s a lot of pressure for those poorer men that did find love, but are having a hard time to match the ideal that others create.

      In the other hand some families might me concerned that if they daughter or son marries a foreigner then she or he would move abroad far away from the parents. My classmate is dating Chinese girl and the girls family said that if they plan to live in China it is okey, but if the guy wants to go back to his homecountry for good, then it’s a no.

      Thank you very much for this guest post! To the writer: I am sure that a wise man like you that values love over superficial things will find love sooner or later. I think it’s absolutely better to wait real love than marry just for the sake of being married.

      • Tom says:

        Oh foreigner-Chinese relationships can open a huge can of worms. It’s really hard to say much about it in a short reply, but I suppose it would be a good topic for a future post.

    • Seven says:

      Thank you. For you question, I’ll say it is partly true. In most cases here, it is a woman that dates and marries a foreign man, especially a westerner. Admittedly, I believe some people do find true love with foreigners. At the same time, there are people who wish to date and marry westerners because, as you said, involvement with westerners (not just western men) is seen as a status thing. The worst kind, though, are gold-diggers. Chinese simply think every westerner is rich! I don’t think it is a rare phenomenon, though most people would not admit it.

    • Gerald says:

      Being in a relationship with a Chinese woman, I have to throw a slight wrench in there – it’s a mixed bag. There is some envy that she gets more opportunities, some of the stereotype that Westerners must be rich, but also a lot of dirty gossip trying to argue that she would have planned it, and can’t be a good woman to be taken in by a foreigner, and giving up on all the many (too many, compared to women) nice Chinese guys…
      So, it seems to me that it’s much more of a status thing for Chinese men (in part because there’s just fewer of those pairings, but also because that sort of status is more of a male issue; the woman is supposed to just be good for her husband, traditionally. She may take care of the household finances, but outside, she’s not to be too important, typically.)

      I’ve written a bit about these issues on my blog, and thought only too much 😉

      What I wonder: Why aren’t Chinese (men) more spiteful? I mean, even if you wouldn’t be expected to (because it would be disagreeing with your parents in a rather too open, non-filial, way), can you really resist telling them you would be married already, if only they had accepted the person you were together with and planned on marrying?

  7. paviavio says:

    Chinese parents treat their children as properties that they own.

    • That is true. If Hongkongers, who are much less in ‘Chinese-ness’ than mainlanders, also treat their offsprings as personal property, imagine how full-blown Chinese treat theirs and the kids of others.

  8. Michelle says:

    This is Chinese girls’ and boys’ tragedy, but we’re adults, we still have our own choices. I told my family that I would never meet and marry a man from a blind date. My father only called me once to ask me for a blind date, I refused him. He never asked me again, even though I didn’t tell him I was dating Tim. I was very curious, why did no one introduce me to a man in my hometown? Was I not attractive? One day when I was home, a matchmaker came and wanted to introduce a man to me. She asked me “Are you dating?”, I said “I don’t want an introduced man.” She looked a little embarrassed and left. Then my cousin told me that she asked my father many times, but he just told her he couldn’t decide for me and my father asked her to tell me directly. I love my father, he respected my decision.
    The other thing that surprised me and made me love my father more is he agreed that I can marry Tim. I know this is still very hard for him, but he saw Tim loves me and I love Tim. Honestly, if a Chinese girl can really have a very happy marriage with a foreigner, their parents might think they gain face, if not they might think they lose face. Most people don’t believe a Chinese and a foreigner can have true love, they think dating foreigner is for their money, for immigration.
    If someone marries a man or woman just to please their parents, they need to know what their parents want, they want you HAPPY. I think If you’re not happy, your marriage will hurt them in future. If you think the man or woman you want to marry might make your parents angry for now, but you do think that’s the right person, you should stick to it. Because your happiness will make them happy in future.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Michelle for your addition. Your father seems to be a progressive individual. Just curious what the rest of your family makes of Tim. I get the impression that more of the objection to foreign-chinese marriages is that there are often large age differences.
      Although I once had a very drunk man want to start a fight with me because he thought I was on a date with another teacher.

      • Michelle says:

        Actually, my father is still very traditional. Our family members are not good at expressing themselves, but we had a family meeting just for discussing Tim & I. They told me why I shouldn’t be with him and I explained to them why we were dating. I told them the love story about Tim & I (One day I’ll start my own blog and tell it). They didn’t try to force me to break up with and they trusted me that I had ability to make my own decision for I made my own choices mostly. My brother also made his own choice for his marriage. Some relatives did’t like my sister in law, which affect my father a little too. But their marriage turned out to be good. My sister, sister in law, one of my aunts and a cousin supported me a lot, they like Tim’s personality. They other people said that they held the neutral opinion. Chinese New Year, I took Tim to my home, all the family members got along well with him , which made me so happy. My aunts and uncles invited us to eat at their homes by turn.

        I understand age differences less than 10 years, which is also common in China. Most girls feel safe with maturer men. I had an American boss, he was about 50 years old and he dated a Chinese girl about 20-year old , the girl got money, the boss got sex, they break up when the boss got bored, they would never have marriage. The other colleagues told me that the boss dated many other young Chinese girls. I don’t know anyone who have large age differences married each other. I’m also interested in this issue. I know an old foreign man, he is about 70 years old, he knew a 42-year-old woman on internet and then they started dating. You might suspect the woman liked his money or was for immigration, but the woman had two big houses and she was an manager of a big company, she drove her own car to pick up this old man. She had been in America many times before she knew him. I don’t understand the relationship between them. This world is so complex.

      • Tom says:

        Oh please start a blog.
        I don’t know your father, but at least in this one area he is a tiny bit progressive. After all he didn’t send you to the matchmaker and he isn’t protesting your marriage.

        As for foreigner-Chinese relationships. Some of them make perfect sense, and it really is true love. Others are so confused and it seems like both parties are being used. I don’t think it is possible to understand this latter type

    • eduardo says:

      Michelle,
      you will understand about age difference once you are older.
      Same age marriage – why a necessity ? Only if you consider the physical the most important.
      You never know what the future will hold. You may be twenty years younger than your husband – and still die a long time before him.
      If you follow your line of thought – then only the most beautiful and intelligent should marry.

  9. […] Seeing Red in China The Middle Kingdom Made Easy Skip to content HomeAbout MeComplete ArchiveSuggested SitesChina Books to ReadThe Best China MoviesMap of China ← Guest Post – I Hate the Chinese Ideas about Marriage […]

  10. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Seven. You have wisdom and integrity and I also think that you will find true love eventually. I live in Scotland and I have been married for 46 years. Even a love match like mine is hard work and compromise is essential. My husband is disabled and unable to travel but he is happy for me to travel to Beijing and visit my Chinese friends. I learn Mandarin and most of my friends are your age, Seven. So I am very interested in young Chinese people and their problems. When I was in Beijing, I assisted at a University English Corner. A male student told me I should be at home looking after my grandchildren like Chinese ladies of my age. I told him that I do not have grandchildren, as my married daughter and her husband have never wanted children. This was their decision and I have never interfered in their life together. The young man stared at me in disgust and disbelief. I think he knew very little about Western culture. Western parents do not interfere in adult children’s decisions. Like Chinese parents, we want our children to be happy but unlike Chinese parents, we do not voice our opinions. Good luck for your future happiness!

  11. Meryl Mackay aka 马美丽 says:

    True, but I knew a bit about Chinese culture and I admit, I deliberately “poked” him! I know a bit about “filial piety”. I wanted to shock him into realising that the whole world does not exist in Middle Kingdom mode. I was also annoyed at his rudeness to me.

    • Tom says:

      I love it. I often will prod students and bring up issues I know I probably shouldn’t just to get them thinking a little bit differently. Sometimes they get defensive, and sometimes they start looking at things a little differently. Also like every country, China has some students that lack tact.

  12. Michelle says:

    Sorry for my grammar and spelling mistakes.

  13. JF says:

    Hi Seven,thank you for sharing your story.

    I have a question for you, because you mention Chinese people date to marry, which is something I’ve heard many times. And it so happens that I have a Chinese guy that I could potentially like to marry hehe

    I am in the beginning stages of my romance with a really good, decent, honest Chinese man. We are both 24. We have gone out on a couple of dates together, but then I had to come back to England so we have been keeping our “relationship” over the distance. There are many, many positive signs between us but I want to spare you from my romantic fluff. I am interested to know how I could find out if his intentions towards me are truly for marriage and whether his family would agree to marry a laowai wife. He asked for my family pictures, but his parents don’t know about me yet. (perhaps he showed them to his sisters?) Anyway, the only signs I have picked up that his parents would be open minded is that even though my guy is the only male child, he still plans to spend the next 10-20 years in Europe so his parents are not so concerned about him being abroad or looked after. Surely, they would also be prepared that he could meet a foreigner wife since he travels frequently?

    My guy is totally sweet, he hasn’t been with a woman before in any shape or form (relation or sex). I wonder if him taking me on dates symbolises that intention to marry, the same way it would with a Chinese girl?

    Sorry for taking up so much space. Thank you!

    • Gerald says:

      JF, hope you know/have found Jocelyn’s blog http://www.speakingofchina.com where these issues have been discussed quite a bit. The short (maybe in my interpretation): it’s difficult to tell. There tends to be quite a difference in the way Chinese think about other Chinese or about foreigners – so, yes, from the traditional attitude towards dating, the endpoint should be marriage. But it’s almost as much of a tradition that a Chinese man, or at least his parents (and this post is all about their influence, really), won’t even consider a laowai wife… exceptions happen, though, which leads right back to my recommending a visit to Jocelyn’s blog 😉

      • Yes, I have visited thanks, I love Jocelyn, she is a huge amount of support and sheds tons of insight. But ofcourse, she is a woman, I was hoping to hear from a Chinese man’s perspective 😉 thanks for your recommendation! 🙂

    • Seven says:

      I’m not sure that his taking you on dates symbolises that intention to marry. It’s not always the case though. But blessings for everything that is going on at the moment.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s gonna marry you haha

    • eduardo says:

      JF,
      that is very easy to find out:

      ‘No sex or initimacy before marriage’ – he will either leave quickly or stay for long.
      I am surprised that you didn’t know that ?

  14. […] Guest Post – I Hate the Chinese Ideas about Marriage (seeingredinchina.wordpress.com) […]

  15. Someone thinks this story is fantastic…

    This story was submitted to Hao Hao Report – a collection of China’s best stories and blog posts. If you like this story, be sure to go vote for it….

  16. canrun says:

    “I think without traveling it’s very hard to imagine any culture besides your own.”

    Mark Twain said it best: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

  17. Chia-fu Chen says:

    From my own experience, China is a society where people generally feel insecure about both themselves and their surroundings. For most people, there is a scarcity of resources in every aspect of life. If you think from a Chinese’s perspective, you would find it natural for one to grasp every single opportunity to gain wealth and status. For many, marriage is one single opportunity to turn the situation around for both themselves and their families. So every potential date is bound to be examined carefully. A bad choice on marriage could quickly drain a family’s small amount of assets.

    With that said, I think lack of personal freedom on the choice of marriage is a result of lack of resources in general.

  18. John says:

    Thank you for this great post, Seven.
    The situation you described is exactly right.
    I applaud your attempt of getting rid of cultural and social schemes belonging to the past, even though I know it is not easy at all.
    And nowadays, women are also being more and more demanding. In the past -somebody would say the good ol’ days- to get married it was sufficient to own a bicycle, a watch and a sewing machine. Now, you are lucky if you can barely find a date owning the “three Cs”: Car, Cash & Condo.
    Not to mention the consequent enormous social pressure that men are undergoing to “make money” so that they can get married and make their parents happy.
    In fact, what has always freaked me out is this “dis-personalization” of marriage (allow me the term): marriage is still a matter subtracted to one’s own private sphere and rendered back to the respective families, to the point that you get married not because you want it, but because you “need” it in order to match various social expectations.
    Love and happiness can wait.
    When I say this, usually somebody argues that feelings are changeable and you cannot rely on them, so having a loveless marriage is just normal and shouldn’t be too big a deal, after all. “First I get married, so mommy’s happy (for women)/daddy and my friends will stop thinking I am gay (for men), then I ‘will learn to love” him/her” is a very frequent comment that you can hear around. As if love and happiness were a lesson that you can learn, like at school!
    Obviously, every generalization is wrong, but this is 21st century, and things should start changing.
    Well done, Seven, my full support to you.

  19. Henry says:

    Great post

  20. […] Guest Post: I Hate the Chinese Ideas About Marriage […]

  21. Great post, and from my limited observation, all too true.

  22. […] Guest Post – I hate the Chinese ideas about marriage […]

  23. […] up as the only child in their family, spoiled by grandparents. As we’ve talked about before, owning a car and apartment is now considered a prerequisite for marriage, even though minimum wage has only increased slightly from the time you started middle school. And […]

  24. Rex says:

    One would think that if westerners – mostly men I presume – were so satisfied with the way the society has developed, they wouldn’t need to settle with someone from half the world away from a completely foreign culture; someone, from which he/she was a product of the system which apparently westerners ahbor; yet still that person is a better suitor than anyone from your own culture. You have to ask why than they are trying to promote the destruction of that system (inefficient as if may be) in favour of another broken system; As if divorce rates in the west is not at a record level – possibly even higher than in the east; Where the family unit has become nothing but a myth, where women are even more masculine than men.

    Give this fellow a few years in New York city or any big western metropolises, he will wish he had his overbearing mother, his village back. I hope China can resist the western feminist cult; baby boomer already made sure the west is doomed. china still has a chance. Stay strong my friend; careless love, carpe diem and all that feel good liberal stuff might sounds good in the movies but look a little deeper; crazy westerners aren’t any less disillusioned, otherwise they wouldn’t be in China, and there wouldn’t be hundreds of blogs about China, all regurgitating the same stories.

  25. […] This is because there is very little room in China for those classified as “other.” This can be seen not only in handicap programs, like autistic children being trained to “act normal,” but also in how educational programs are designed for a single type of learner, or that society only accepts one kind of family (read: Why I hate the Chinese idea of marriage). […]

  26. Explorer MF says:

    Great post!
    I agree – so many of my friends in China get married for the sake of being married. I’m part Chinese and whenever I’m visiting relatives, the first thing they always ask is “Do you have a boyfriend? You will be getting married soon, right?” It’s quite frustrating sometimes to explain to them that I just haven’t met the right guy yet.

    • sam says:

      i’ve very much enjoyed reading all of your posts on this matter. I’m a 24 yr old american female who is dating a 19yr old chinese male. This has been one of the most complex relationships i’ve ever had. We met at a soup kitchen for children. I had asked him if he wanted to hang out (with all in tentions of this being just a new friendship) and he some how turned it into a date. He even prolonged his trip back to china for a few weeks so that we could get to know each other better. When he got back to china he explained that his cousin (who earns the most money, and kind makes a lot of decisions for the family) aproved of our relationship and that was the most important person right now. I can’t even fully express how naive I was when I started this relationship. I would just like to say that as far as american parents not getting involved in their childrens relationships mine must have missed the memo. I acctually had a sit down with my parents and they full out voiced that they would never suport our relationship or accept him into the family. (i’m the only girl, they’re a bit protective). It’s not because he’s chinese but because of they way they’ve seen him treat me. It’s hard to explain but i’m his first girlfriend and what he knows about dateing norms are completly different from american standards. We’ve had many conversations about what each other expects from a relationship and have made compromises on both our parts. One was he had told his family I wasn’t going to work once he got his careere going….. I’m a nurse and I love my job. I had to explain to him that it didn’t matter how rich he was or “we” became (if it comes to that) I would still work. I’d say money is a huge issue too. He has a lot of pressure from his family to become more successful then them so he works really hard at his studies. Which is great and I encourage that but he gets stressed when he thinks about not makeing enough money. I’ve talked to him about my views on money but that’s something we will never agree on. We are kind of polar oposites in a way. Some of the other difficulties are:
      For one, the age difference of 4 1/2 yrs. According to my bf in china it’s very rare for the girl to be older then the guy. And as far as a girl turning 30 in china I could totally see that. When he came back from china to visit we had a conversation about age. He said he was worried (because of the distance) that if it didn’t work out i’d be wasting time. I was like what???? I’m only 24. Again naive. I’ve never felt so old in my life. I’d say the hardest part of the relationship is distance right now. It seems to intensify our cultural differences and makes missunderstandings occur frequently. We have to talk alot which can be hard with school. Our relationship is very hard right now between everything it seems impossible at times but we do love and care alot about each other. Hopefully it will be enough in the end.

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