Tim and Yan Jiang were married this weekend. A few weeks ago Yan Jiang took the time to write out the story of how they met, and I think it is a wonderful way to begin our look at inter-cultural marriages. I picked this story because too often people assume that these marriages are not based on true love, and I think this is a good reminder that this is not always the case. You can read more about them at TimCorbin.com
My soon-to-be husband, Tim, and I met in October, 2008 in the college that I attended and he taught at. Before that, I wasn’t sure I would ever have any foreign friends, so dating a foreigner was never even a thought. Tim is very easygoing and humorous and I’m a person who is not that easygoing. I met him at a time where I felt my life was very boring, but gradually, I felt my life becoming more interesting and it was soon filled with so many wonderful friends. College life became the happiest time in my life and
Tim became my best friend in college. Throughout all this, I didn’t know he had been hiding feelings for me until one day, as my graduation approached, he suddenly expressed his feelings to me, but his actions scared me. At first, I avoided hanging out with him because I didn’t know how to handle things. Despite this, I couldn’t avoid wondering if I liked him too, and I soon discovered that I did indeed have feelings for him.
Even though we liked each other, we didn’t date while I was still in college. I decided to work in Beijing and pursue different goals after graduation. Now in different cities, our relationship became more difficult to maintain, but it also became better. Of course, we experienced a lot of hard times. I could write a book about us, but I can’t do it here. We eventually decided to date on May 1st, 2010. He then proposed to me on December 25, 2010 and we decided to get married in May 2011.
Of course, some people think intercultural dating and marriage is strange. The things I see most from people are surprise and doubt. If we walk together on the road, stranger’s eyes will follow us until we’re out of their view. At first, I hated this so much because I felt so weird, but when I eventually got used to it I felt that it’s actually very funny. Sometimes we’ll stare at them the same way they’re staring at us until they look away. Last weekend, we were on the way to the seaside, a man kept looking back at us when he was driving a motorcycle, I wanted to tell him that driving safely is much more important than staring at us. Additionally, my family and friends wondered if Tim might not be serious about our
relationship and cheat on me. His family and friends questioned if I was taking advantaged of his foreign status. But when they got to know the other more, they started to understand us and support us. We’re both proud that we have wonderful family and friends. People always say most intercultural marriages are not happy, why don’t they think about if marriages in general are happy – not just intercultural ones? The happiness of a marriage is not only decided by where the couples are from, but how they love each other. Intercultural marriages do face more challenges, but if we work hard – focusing on
communication, humility, patience, and most importantly on our common faith, our life and marriage will be successful and wonderful.
Congratulations to Tim and Yan Jiang on their marriage.
Tomorrow we’ll be looking at a the other side of these relationships.