The moment I arrived back in Shanghai in July 2017 was when I knew that my dating life here was going to be complicated. It wasn’t because I, as a western woman, am perceived to not be interested in Chinese men; it was because I was expecting bad outcomes.
So why did I have this negative mentality about dating?
My ben ming nian (本命年) and low expectations from my past dating experiences with men.
2017 was the year of the Rooster. It was my zodiac year. I had prepared for it the best I could, but still could not stop the bad luck. Before the Year of the Rooster came, I had heard that relationships during your ben ming nian were not going to work. But, I thought to still try anyway.
Over the course of the few months of living in China, I tried to date. When I mean tried, I really did. There were a few guys that were nice, but I know that they were only interested in sex. This bothered me nonetheless because I wanted something more than that.
And I thought that I had a shot with a guy from Inner Mongolia back in August 2017. We met the week before I headed to Chongqing for a month. But, I was wrong about us. He stopped talking to me about two weeks after arriving in Chongqing. I was ghosted and eventually gave up on him. But, I continued to date. Or attempted to.
Each time was a fail. Every date or guy ultimately gave me disappointment. I asked myself, “Why is it that I keep picking the wrong ones? Why do I attract the wrong men?”
But, then I thought back on my decision I made before coming back to China.
I had told myself and a few close friends in the United States that I was going to explore my sexuality and try to start dating girls. But, where do I start?
Luckily, I was in touch with the creator of Les Queers here in Shanghai. We met through an event unrelated to the LQ community and she eventually added me to a large group chat of queer women living in Shanghai area.
My first ever LQ meet-up I attended was a hot pot event sometime in late October. After this I was slowly coming out of my shell with my sexuality. It was tough because for a while I had been ashamed of it. I knew and accepted my bisexuality a few years ago, but never dared to try things at home because I knew I was going to make my life in China for several years. So why should I start a relationship with a girl in the U.S. when I’m leaving home anyway? My parents probably know I am bisexual because of my relationship with my previous platonic partner whom is female presenting. However, I don’t think they know that I’m starting to have a preference towards women.
I realized I have a preference towards women after I met “her”.
December 31st 2017 I met a woman at a New Year’s Eve event hosted by Les Queers. I never thought I would meet someone that night and we’d hit it off at the beginning.
Embarrassingly I was beginning to become drunk off of baijiu. Baijiu is a clear liquor similar to vodka, but doesn’t taste the same. I drank a lot that night and I don’t know how and why she was still attracted to me. She was sober, not drinking at all on NYE. We eventually started talking a lot more after I left Shanghai to travel for Spring Festival. The two of us talked everyday for over three weeks. I made her wait until the Year of the Rooster came to an end in order for her to ask me out. She was impatient and I was too, but it was worth the wait to jump into a relationship. We both wanted to get to know another because we knew rushing things would not be good.
So, on February 16th, 2018, just a few minutes after midnight, my ben ming nian was over and I entered my first official relationship with a woman. Never in my entire life have I felt this happy. Two days later I would find myself back in Shanghai in her arms, hugging her, kissing her and telling her how much I missed her.
People will tell me, “You haven’t met the right man yet!” Honestly, that is wrong. I haven’t met the right person yet. I’m at a point in my life where I’m starting to realize what I want. When I say I have a preference towards women now, I’m about 90% percent interested in women. 10% interested in men.
I’ve never had a man keep his interest in me for more than a week straight. I never had a man talk to me about almost everything every single day. I never had someone who wasn’t embarrassed to hold my hand in public or wasn’t embarrassed to see me during the day.
I don’t know if it was me or it was them. But looking back it it, it definitely was the wrong people I chose before. Now, I found a good person who accepts me and likes me for who I am.
Love is love. It has no boundaries.
Are you a WWAMer that has dated the same-sex before? If so, please tell us your story!
Latest posts by Holly Hollins (see all)
- Bi in Shanghai: Waiting for the Right Year, Waiting for the Right Person - March 2, 2018
- Where’s Wang: When The Cranberries Open - February 22, 2018
- Where’s Wang: My Natasha - January 25, 2018