Dear Ms. Wai — Is it Destiny?

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Dear Ms. Wai,

I met a guy on tantan (chinese dating app) and now, two months later, we are inseparable. I’m at his house almost every night and I’ve been meeting his friends and he’s been meeting mine. On our first dates, before we even kissed yet, he would talk about what we would be doing one, two years from now (he said he wanted to go to my home country next summer–12 months from now–on our first date) and we’ve talked about things like if he would want to stay in China and what his parents expect from him in the future and stuff like that.

The first few weeks it was said hypothetically like, “If you had kids how many would you want,” but now it’s changed to, “How many kids should WE have?” We’ve even talked about marriage (he sent me a cute proposal video on wechat and I played it off as “nice video” and I didn’t dare ask if it was a proposal because it could have possibly been one.)

I’ve told him I want to slow it down a bit, that we need to date for at least a year so we can get mad at each other, see each other in good moods, bad moods etc. But he seems so certain about me and so certain that I am the one he will marry. Truth is, that while it scares me a bit, I kinda feel the same way too. We communicate so easily despite the different languages and seem to understand each other despite the different upbringing.

I’m a bit more level-headed knowing this is just the honeymoon phase and we won’t have these intense feelings forever but I can see myself marrying him, so why wait? Am I crazy?


Dear Jane,

What I basically hear is you asking if this is destiny. That you, alone in a strange country have managed to find a man of a different culture who you feel a deep sense of bonding with so obviously it’s meant to be, right? I mean, what are the odds of you guys even meeting in the first place, much less falling in love and getting along so well.

Is it destiny or just the honeymoon phase?

Is it destiny? Perhaps, I don’t know. But is your situation uncommon? In China? Not at all. If you talk to other women who have married Chinese guys you’ll find the majority of them have a story similar to you: whirlwind romances ending in marriage just months or a year after the first date.

Because it’s a common phenomenon in China. Besides students (who tend to date for years before getting married) most relationships culminate in marriage quite quickly. Because in China, dating is a means to end. You date only for marriage. So, if you meet someone you get along with, getting married quickly is the logical solution and like you said, why wait? (Add to that your boyfriend is probably getting some pressure from his family to marry depending on his age so that might explain his eagerness.)

So the ball’s in your court. I can’t advise you about getting married, I can only tell you that this is totally normal and typical in China. Sorry if that is a little disappointing. If you wanted a special, unique situation therefore proving that you were meant for each other, I have to burst your bubble. He’s just being a typical Chinese guy.

Ask yourself what you really want. Are you also eager to get married? Do you want to start a family soon? If you feel good, go for it. But if you have some niggling doubts it is going too fast, and I think you might, just keep dating and tell him to not rush things. You said “why wait?” but I would counter with, “why rush?” If you are meant for each other waiting won’t be a burden.

Don’t let him pressure you into it because of his devotion. Just ask yourself what feels right and act accordingly. Being in a multicultural relationship brings with it a lot of challenges, but being married, and someday maybe having children, is another level entirely. Take time and think things through.

Do you have a question for Ms. Wai? If so leave a comment or e-mail her at

Ms Wai

One comment

  1. I find ‘destiny’ on par with believing in fairy stories.

    I find this lack of respect for the foreign woman’s boundaries and traditions as somewhat creepy. On a couple of occasions myself I have experienced this immediate pressure which has caused me to back-off immediately from pursuing the relationship. One such situation resulted in being stalked by said ‘boy-friend’ as it turned into a disturbing bombardment of messages – I got a new phone number as a result and male foreign colleagues volunteered to accompany me on social evenings out. The guy finally got the message that what he was doing was out of order, but even three months later I was still getting messages left at my place of work.

    Chinese men are under pressure from society and family to marry asap.
    Your needed time-line to explore if this relationship is going to work or not may be irrelevant to some of these men.

    To Jane, I would say, go with your gut instinct and don’t give in to pressure.

    One thing I always keep at the back of my mind is the fact that to some Chinese guys bedding a foreign woman is a bragging point, as the opinion of many is that foreign women are no better than ‘women of easy virtue’ – a view formed by what they watch online.

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