Why Chinese Men Make Great Boyfriends
After discovering the tactics for landing dates in Asia, I had romances all across Asia and my dating life was… well, let’s say diverse.
And from my (very small) pool of dating research at this time, I found that the most satisfactory, fun, and long-lasting dates were with none other than Chinese men.
Now, after many hits and misses in the dating scene, I finally found my perfect match: Richard (and surprise! he’s Chinese!).
Here are some reasons why my boyfriend is simply amazing; and coincidentally, why Chinese men make really darn good boyfriends.
Most Chinese men are the cooks in the household. Period.
In most Shanghainese households, it’s not the woman working hard in the kitchen every night–it’s the man. When many Chinese children think of homemade cooking, they don’t think of mom standing over a hot stove; but rather, recall fond memories of dad boiling stews, rolling up won tons or preparing a hot bowl of tan yuan (sweet dumplings) for dessert.
Chinese men tend to either cook with the wife, or just plain take over the kitchen entirely.
I know this may vary by region, since northern China is (I hear) more traditional in terms of having the man out in the field while the woman handles the kids and the cookin’. However, in southern China, it’s usually the man’s duty to whip up some good grub.
Even if they don’t cook every night, Chinese men do tend to help out in the kitchen more than what I was used to. And it’s awesome.
My boyfriend is no exception. He is an amazing cook that can make the simple stuff taste divine (for example, his fried rice is killer!). Richard also makes aromatic and flavorful curries ala India and Thailand. He can even make mango sticky rice!
They Tend to Be Financially Responsible
Most Chinese men** I have met tend to do a good job of managing their money well. In America, we often see young kids taking out student loans to buy a new sports car, or even young professionals maxing out their credit cards to go out for three digit meals in swanky restaurants, buy a brand bag, or perhaps a closet full of shoes.
This usually doesn’t happen in China (mostly because it can’t), and also because Chinese men tend not to spend needlessly.
Chinese people save. A lot. I’ve heard crazy stories about Chinese parents that worked as janitors for 30 years, living in a hovel all throughout, just so they could pay tuition for their son/daughter to go to the USA and study. Imagine that. Making, perhaps, $100/day and somehow saving enough money to pay for U.S. college tuition. They must have skimped on a lot.
Needless to say, this kind of behavior rubs off on the children. In China, every penny counts. Chinese men tend not to spend what they don’t have and save their money for future necessities (in China, most men buckle down and save in order to buy a house, since it’s a must in order to get married).
My boyfriend is the Chinese Warren Buffet himself. He nearly received a third bachelor degree in business just because he loves to dabble in economics and personal finance. His parents, once low paid teaching assistants in China, managed to scrape up enough money to move around the world until they finally found their place in America. My boyfriend learned the value of a hard earned dollar thanks to his parent’s plight, and thus he also learned how to save it–and more importantly, invest it.
Thanks to Richard, I’m investing in stocks and learning more about how to better manage my money.
**Note: This excludes ‘fuerdai,’ the spoiled, rich, second-generation of Chinese kids.
Chinese Men Put Family First (double edged sword here…)
Thanks to an old guy named Confucius, values in China are placed very heavily on family–and it’s easy to see. Parents pull out all the stops to ensure their child has the best upbringing, and in turn their children take care of the parents in old age.
Showing devotion and care to your family is, in my opinion, one of the most important factors in selecting a partner. I mean, seriously, would you want to date a guy that barely visits his mom and treats her like an old hag begging under a bridge? (And trust me, I’ve dated men like this).
In America, we tend to turn 18, leave the nest and live our own lives. Of course, we keep in touch with our family and come home for Christmas every now and then, but for the most part our lives become very separate from our parents. The U.S. doesn’t emphasize family ties as much as in Asia, and thus, we tend to put more importance on our goals, careers, and ambitions instead.
The emphasis on family is crucial in China. Most blue and white collar Chinese men I’ve met in China work hard not for money, fame, or prestige–but for their family, and future family. It’s this kind of dedication that, to me, makes a good man.
My boyfriend is very loyal to his family and cares deeply for his parents (he goes on vacation with them at least three times a year). His dedication to his family shows me that, in the future, he’ll also do the same for me. To keep the family peace, my boyfriend even went so far as to change his entire work career. Instead of become an engineer like he always dreamed, he gave into his parents demands and took the long, hard road of medicine. Although he’s happy being a doctor now, it was not by his own choice.
And that is exactly why family dedication can be a double edged sword. Chinese men often marry whomever their parents approve of. The fairy tale romance of a Chinese man running off with the foreign woman and eloping in some far away land is a rare tale indeed. If the parent’s disapprove, it’s most likely not going to happen.
This also explains why meeting your Chinese boyfriend’s parents is heart attack inducing… but that’s a tale for another time.
Not All (Chinese) Men are Perfect
Of course, not all Chinese men make the best boyfriends–there are, of course, a few bad eggs. I’ve heard some horror stories of Chinese men gambling away their family’s entire fortune. I’ve also heard heart crushing tales about Chinese men that abuse their wives. No matter where you go in the world, there will always be good and bad men (and women), so I’m not speaking for the entire race here.
Yet with Richard, I know I’ve truly found a good catch. He’s a man that cooks, helps out with the cleaning, is financially responsible, devoted to his family (and thus me, assuming I become future family someday), adventurous and fun loving.
I can be a crazy woman sometimes (especially going through this year of reverse culture shock), and I am extremely appreciative of my boyfriend for being understanding, patient, and loving throughout it all. Where most men would have lost their temper and flung me out of the house, Richard has always comforted me with a hug, reassurance, and most importantly a gentle talk about what we can do to fix the problem.
So when it comes to my Chinese man, he truly makes the best boyfriend for me.
What qualities do you look like for when dating? What do you think makes a good boyfriend?
16 thoughts on “Why Chinese Men Make Great Boyfriends”
I found a guy who laughs at my jokes, cooks, dances, and has a good job. And, yeah, Chinese, too. Like Richard, he puts up with various emotional storms with grace and good humor.
His parents were the reverse of Richard’s, though — they insisted on engineering. This was easy for Andy, though, as he effortless upholds the Chinese math stereotype. But he’s grown disillusioned with engineering and I think it might have been better if he’d had less pressure and been able to find his own passion.
Yeah I don’t think Chinese kids are allowed to follow their passion, sadly. Or if they do, they really have to battle with the parents to actually be accepted, praised, and supported to shoot for their dreams. Hopefully Andy will find what he really wants to do; but then again, I somewhat envy people like Andy (and my boyfriend) because all my passion pursuing left me with a liberal arts degree, student debt and the desperate need for a job. It’s so hard to find a happy medium 🙁
Andy is hilarious (from the comments on your blog, he always cracks me up) and from the way you describe his cooking, I’m over here drooling. Good catch, Autumn!
I haven’t had enough Chinese boyfriends to form an opinion on personal experience. I think my husband is typically Chinese in some ways and rather unconventional in others. I just know what I know from what I see around me. I do think Chinese men can make good partners in the sense that they can be very family-orientated and good with finances. I’m not sure about cooking. I live relatively north (in Hebei province) and it seems that it varies. My husband is a pretty good cook, anyways.
There are some potential pitfalls that can come with dating Chinese men. I think the whole “family values” aspect can be hard to adapt to. In-laws can be incredibly meddling and there can be a lot of pressure put on the girlfriend/wife to conform to her husband’s parent’s expectations. . . and to produce a grandson. Barf. This wasn’t/isn’t too much of an issue for me, but we have other problems. We have very different ideas about how to raise and educate children and I think these are primarily due to cultural differences.
Ugh Rosie that sounds terrible! (About the educating children and values part). My last boyfriend was born and raised in China and we also fought about values a lot. He was stunned I was so adverse to settling down, and was extremely adamant about me not drinking cold water and other chinese medicine habits. Richard was mostly brought up in the USA so hopefully that won’t happen with our kids (might happen with in laws, however).
I was going to list the cons on here but I wanted to keep it positive. Chinese men can be stubborn, persistent (some are crazy and will text 100 times a day), possessive (I see this one happen a lot, since in China kids usually don’t have close friends of the opposite sex, so they get jealous of male friends), and also being cheap (which is the double edged sword of being financially responsible). The in law problem could fill a whole post (which I’ll write about someday soon).
I know these are generalizations, but I found japanese men cheated A LOT. Korean and chinese men also work insane hours (more so than Chinese in some cases) and don’t make time for family. They also tend to make the women do EVERYTHING… But these are sweeping generalizations and also my personal experience, I know they’re not all like this (like Texan in tokyos spouse–he’s awesome).
The in law thing sucks but at least they watch the kids and are involved in their lives. In America grandparents aren’t heavily involved and don’t usually help parents watch the child. I think this is really hard on parents since raising a child is so much work. Still, the meddling of Chinese grandparents is headache inducing… It’s hard to say which is worse.
Thanks for your comment Rosie, they’re always so thought provoking!
I think it’s good you focused on the positive. Asian men in general get a bad rap, but I do think they can make great partners. It relies partly on what you are looking for in a man and also finding someone that has a personality that meshes well with one’s own, of course.
Yeah it’s all about personal preference. I know Chinese men aren’t for everyone, but they do deserve more attention here in the USA
I am a Vietnamese living in US and might be dating a Chinese man living in Canada soon – so many layers of complexity. So my lens is very different from you because I was born and raised in a culture heavily influenced by Confucius, the cultural gap might be small. The language gap is huge because right now he uses software to communicate, after 5 YEARS living in Toronto area!!!
Anyway, my main point is, you must be surprised like I was when I moved to Western New York from Texas. Grandparents here are super involved, help out, and it is not an uncommon thing to have 3 generations living under the same roof here. Obviously, the more we know, the more societies are the same around the world with some twists.
Great article! I really enjoyed it.
Hello! Sorry for the late response! Glad you enjoyed the article!!! Isn’t Vietnamese culture also heavily influenced by confucius? I see so many similarities between Vietnamese and Chinese culture, that living in China has really helped me understand my Vietnamese mother a lot. I must admit, some Chinese (and other Asians!) live in their communities and never venture out — so they don’t have to learn English! My in-laws have lived in the US for 20+ years and they struggle to speak fluent English. My Viet mother, on the other hand, lives her life in the US almost 90% in English, so she’s forced to use it all the time.
Good luck with your soon-to-be Canadian-Chinese bf! My husband is also Canadian-Chinese, it’s a great combo 😉
Yay! You hit the jackpot, Mary! 😛
Well, I have been lucky too, although C. cannot really cook (some fried rice and little else) and he spends money too happily for my liking. In fact all the Chinese men I have been with spent too happily :/ One of them was a fuerdai so doesn’t really count…
Anyway, at least C. saved to buy a house! Now he will be a slave of the bank for the next 20 years but at least social benefits will cover half of the mortgage payments every month and if anything goes wrong we still have my salary.
When I was younger I thought having similar hobbies and tastes was important in a relationship, but now I don’t think so. It is nice doing things together, but you can just learn to like what your partner likes… C. is doing a good job, reading my comics and listening to my music, haha.
BTW I can also make mango sticky rice! 😛
You hit the jackpot Marta! Your man has a house! That’s every Chinese woman’s dream! ahaha
I was the same. When I was in high school I thought liking the same music and movies was the most important, but now that I’m older I realize that same hobbies do not equal compatibility.
Wowwww you’re so cool Marta! You can make mango sticky rice!? Do you usually do the cooking at home?
Yep, I was not really excited about buying a house (I wouldn’t have bought it) but he insisted and anyway it’s his money… and his house, haha. And I live there for free on the weekends 😛
(When I say house I mean apartment, btw. Not sure if English native speakers imagine a villa when I say house xD).
The few times we cook it is normally me, yes. Mango sticky rice is actually easy, I haven’t made it in a year, but I think it was just boiling coconut milk with glutinous rice and sugar! But I am sure Richard’s is way tastier than mine, hehe.
As I carried out my whistle stop tour of blogs, I noted the infamous Chinese MIL, carrying the GF handbags etc quoted by many bloggers.
My dating experiences have been limited to Caucasians apart for the first one. The men did the chasing. Well, don’t we all like to be chased. They were responsible, most were good cooks (without the aid of recipes or cook books), good with money and generous (except the first two, no open cheque books, mind you). One carried my handbag; he was an American guy and much bigger than me, I couldn’t say no.
My last young, ‘battleaxe’ was his only daughter, a 21 year old of very exotic origins who still lives with the father. At an early stage of our courtship, the daughter wanted to know if we were going to have children (She gave her dad a bag of free condoms and KY jelly from the STD clinic (True story. The father assured the daughter that we didn’t need the jelly), if I was moving in, the never ending phone calls and texts to his dad etc. Life were a series of dramas from Mr C’s domestic life. I put my foot down quite early in the relationship and very much so with the daughter from the start. We broke up but he still loiters around.
I strongly believe that outstanding issues can be potentially damaging if they’re not sorted out. I’m of the view that it’s best to nip things in the bud.
Wow, that is quite an awkward setup there with the daughter and their very, erm, open relationship.
I also believe in ‘nipping things in the bud.’ I think I didn’t do it much when I was younger, but the older I became the more I found myself bitter with regret for prolonging a relationship too long when it simply had to end.
All women do like to be chased, it’s one of the reasons I found myself more flattered as I tried out the dating scene in the USA. In China,k you really have to put yourself out there. Most Chinese men are somewhat hesitant to flat out hit on a western woman (I don’t think they hit on anyone, period), although I have varying stories.
Thank you for the comment! 😀
Oh gosh …. I don’t even know where to begin. First, my opinions are based on my personal experiences of living in China and being married to a Chinese man. I do agree that Chinese men do make good boyfriends but it unfortunately doesn’t translates into being good husbands. Let me just leave it that. About finances, yes they try to save and invest unlike most Americans. However, the idea of savings and investments is to make life better in the future. My husband wants to save and invest and it doesn’t make our lives any easier. He questions every little thing I want to buy. We don’t have everything we need in our apartment. He’s not frugal but stingy. Also, most Chinese couples have separate finances. So your husband having money doesn’t equal you having the same amount. You can try asking for some but be prepared to a lengthy explanation as to why you need it. Chinese are not willing to compromise and are very pushy. Actually I’m going to stop writing because it really makes me upset.
Hello Im from Mexico im divorced and have an 8 year old daughter I’ve been dating a Chinese man for 3 months and I think I found what I was looking for someone who’s family oriented, has a great job and makes good money and is financially responsible,but the thing that caught me he is a gentleman and makes me feel like I’m his queen, I don’t know if he is my boyfriend or not he just told me he wants to be with me forever, he doesn’t make me feel like he has an issue with me being divorced and.having a daughter that’s the main reason I’m falling for him, compared to westerners not everyone of course… instead of telling me he is in.love with me he shows me he is, I told him I want to give him a present and he told me not to because that’s my money but I want to! He is not used to that at first I thought omg why not? But I bought it anyway and he told me no one ever gave him a present apart from his family, all of them live in China but his mom past away a long time ago, I get a little bit frustrated sometimes because us Mexicans are very passionate and he is not LOL, either way I’m glad there are people that think they make great partners and they are living the same experience
Cheers to everyone from Mexico