Sara Jaaksola lives in Guangdong province where she write Living a Dream in China about her adventures.
What is it like to date a Chinese guy? Or in more detail, what is it like for a Finnish girl living in China to love a Chinese boy from Guangdong province? I would say that it’s an adventure that I’m happy to be in. I haven’t found anything in common between Finland and China, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything similar between me and my boyfriend.
Let’s start from the beginning which happened over a year ago by the Pearl River in Guangzhou.
My boyfriend never thought of having a foreign girlfriend. Like many Chinese guys, he thought that laowai women are out of his league. There is a stereotype in China that only the wealthiest guys are good enough to date foreign girls. But my boyfriend, a migrant worker from a smaller city, didn’t suffer from shyness that is blamed to be a problem for the Chinese guys. He met me, noticed that I didn’t fit the stereotypical category of frivolous Western girls and decided to be my boyfriend.
Chinese men are also said to be marriage orientated and that is a characteristic I admire. I don’t want to date just for the sake of dating someone. You can call me old-fashioned, but I still think that the goal of dating is to find that someone special to share your life with. Chinese people might be more practical with marriage, but still the common aim is to get married and start a family.
Commitment-phobia doesn’t seem to be as widespread in China that it is in Finland. When dating a Chinese man, and my boyfriend is no exception, the blessing from the parents is crucial. Most of the Chinese people don’t go against their parents or grandparents word. I used to date a Chinese guy in Finland for over five years just to be changed to a Chinese girl because the parents didn’t approve him to date anyone else than Chinese. Because I didn’t want to do the same mistake twice I met the parents of my boyfriend quite soon after we started dating.
Fellow foreign girls interested in Chinese men should be careful because if the parents do accept you, as happened in my case, they have some heavy questions for you. ”When will you get married?” asked one aunt days after our visit to the hometown. It wasn’t “if”, it was “when.”
The reason I emphasize the parents is that in China you don’t marry a person, you marry the whole extended family. And you only date someone if your plan is to get married some day.
Well, me and my boyfriend aren’t getting married right now so back to the dating topic!
Sara Jaaksola is a Finnish girl who since her childhood had a big dream. A dream to move to China. At the age of 21 she was ready to make that dream come true and settled down in Guangzhou. Soon she found the Chinese guy she was looking for and who can make excellent 土豆丝 tudousi, sliced potatoes.
In her blog, Living a Dream in China (www.sarajaaksola.com), she shares her life, relationship and experiences in China.