Why dating foreign men is easier
Once upon a summertime, at a bar in Beijing’s Sanlitun bar street, a woman drinking a margarita approached me while I was drinking with friends. She leaned forward and whispered in my ear: “Tiara, you might not know me, but I know you.”
I looked at her with a confused expression, trying to remember where we had met. Then she leaned closer and gave me a smile, saying “We had a common friend.” The minute she finished her sentence, my female intuition told me that she was the girl whom my on-again, off-again foreign lover cheated on me with.
Believe it or not, I was not angry at her. Quite the opposite, I was intrigued. She is in her early 30s, wearing a little black dress, sexy and cute at the same time. I could tell she is one of those Chinese women who mostly dates foreigners.
In Beijing, there is a population of single “leftover” women aged over 29 who mostly date foreigners. I am not here to judge their motives. I am here only to help you, the reader, better understand them. These are well-educated women looking for a partner who isn’t turned off by their age, intelligence or accomplishments.
For them, it is easier to date a foreigner who shares similar values rather than a Chinese man who might tell her to stop being ambitious, get married soon and stay at home to take care of her family. In general, white men are privileged when it comes to dating in Asia. When people see a white face, they assume he is rich and powerful.
But when Chinese men see Chinese women hanging out with white men, they think the women are “easy” or gold diggers. Yes, some local girls hope to change their lives by dating and maybe marrying a foreign expat, but it is not fair to accuse all Chinese women who date foreigners of this stereotype.
“I haven’t had any Chinese admirers since high school, probably because I focused too much on studies,” my friend Miss A said. She chose to delay marriage to further her education and career. Now at 35, she has a PhD degree and earns over 35,000 yuan ($5,066) a month, which makes it even harder for her to find a Chinese husband.
Dating a foreigner is easy, but keeping a long-lasting relationship with them is difficult. In the eyes of many foreigners, Beijing is a party town. What happens in Beijing stays in Beijing, they say. That’s why many expats tend to do things here that they would not back home. But for many Chinese women, even though their sexual attitudes have become more aligned with the West, deep inside their hearts, they still hope the man she is casually sleeping with might marry her one day. “It is so easy for them to get girls, so they don’t need to seriously commit to someone just to get laid,” said my friend Miss B, who has probably dated half of the foreign population in Sanlitun. Her conclusion? “They often come to me for sex, not a relationship.” A few months later, I heard from our mutual friend that the woman who approached me at the bar got married. “Married to whom?” I asked. “A Chinese guy who she met through a blind date set up by her parents,” he replied. “I told her I am not the marrying type,” he added. Four years later, this foreigner who used to refer to himself as a “honeybee that flits among flowers” finally married a Chinese woman, at the age of 49.