Section II: Living in China continued—Dating, Sex, and Relationships
The major difficulty with dating Chinese women, as I see it, has less to do with intercultural differences (at least in the beginning) or even the prevalence of narcissistic traits and disorders, and far more to do with what I refer to as issues of unavailability and underrepresentation.
Remember, from earlier discussions, that the vast majority of Chinese do not speak English above a few familiar phrases or words. Therefore, for those foreign men who cannot communicate freely in Chinese, only those Chinese girls who can speak English well enough to sustain a relationship with a foreigner are available to them, and this population constitutes a relatively insignificant and non-representative percentage of the overall population. The first question you should ask yourself, when meeting such a girl, is "why?" Why would she bother (or how did she manage) to learn English well enough to communicate in it, when virtually all of her peers cannot utter more than a simple "hello" or "okay?"
The most common reasons for this ability include: the girl is naturally talented with foreign languages and loves English (and, often, has a host of online or local foreign friends); she's one of those rare Chinese who actually needs to use English on a regular basis, e.g., she teaches English, she is an international tour guide, or she works at the front desk of a 5-star hotel; she has plans for studying abroad (or has already studied in a Western country), she has long-standing plans of obtaining a visa to and permanently living in a Western country, by hook or by crook, and, finally; she has a history of live-in relationships with other foreign men. The point is—and it is one that you absolutely need to bear in mind if you are looking for a serious, long-term relationship that can lead to a sustainable marriage—any Chinese girl you meet in mainland China who can speak English decently is entirely non-representative of Chinese girls in general. As remarkable as this may sound, having found a woman who can speak some English (initially as a means of surviving in a country where virtually no one speaks English) often tends to be the principal reason most foreign men are currently with their respective Chinese girlfriends and wives—irrespective of whether they can freely admit that reality to themselves or not.
To further illustrate the point, consider for a moment what it would mean if you were, for example, a native of Australia on assignment in New York City, and, for whatever reason, it was true that you could only date or later marry girls of the Mormon faith who were born and raised in New York City. Although it might very well turn out to be a relationship made in heaven, it is far more likely that the gross limitation in availability would sooner or later come to haunt you, as you would necessarily be denied access to the far greater and more representative American girls who might have been much more compatible with you. If you are going to pursue a serious relationship with a Chinese woman, such that you are grossly limited by the need to find a rare one who can freely communicate with you in English, then it is absolutely essential that you first rule out any hidden or nefarious agendas on her part for pursuing the relationship. However, we are personally aware of a few foreign men who have attempted to have meaningful relationships with Chinese women who could not speak one word of English. Although this is an excellent way to learn Chinese, we have to question the wisdom (if not sanity) in attempting to couple with a woman you cannot effectively communicate with. In such attempted relationships, it is often true that the foreign man ends up learning far more Chinese than his partner does English—especially is she is over the age of 35.
The following is a set of guidelines I suggest you follow when considering the motivation of an English-speaking Chinese girl for entering into the relationship.
Having written this, it is not unusual to find Chinese girls coupled with foreign men as much as 35 years their senior in what are truly loving and mutually satisfying relationships. Most Chinese girls seem to have had very estranged or distant relationships with their fathers and deliberately sought as much as a father in their mates as a husband. One Chinese girl, who was actively pursuing a foreign man twice her age, reported that she was consciously seeking the benefits of "double-love": the love of a father coupled with the love of a husband.
A major exception to the aforementioned advisories includes older Chinese women (35+), particularly those who are divorced with children. In such cases, due to the bias of most Chinese men (and their ubiquitous preference for virgins at marriage), older divorced Chinese women are virtually unmarriageable to anyone other than foreign men (possibly with the exception of a poor woman who weds a previously married Chinese man who earns a marginal living as a farmer or transient worker). In addition, foreign men who can communicate freely in Chinese are obviously not limited to only those women who can speak a reasonable degree of English, and, as such, their options are considerably greater, and their concerns regarding future problems, particularly in terms of compatibility, are far fewer.
The next chapter discusses our latest research findings on dating and marital preferences among women in China.