Dear Ms. Wai – He said/She said

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Hi Ms Wai,

I recently went to China to visit a paleontological institute there. As a student I met other students and we discussed research and had lots of fun getting to know each other.

And there was this guy. He is going to be coming to my university to do his PhD and while I was there he was flirting with me, a LOT. He touched my nose, told me I was beautiful, gave me a journal that he had written a Yang Jiang quote in, said he couldn’t wait to come to do his PhD because we would be in the same city. On and on, a lot of sweet flirty things over the 9 days I was there.

Then on the last day of my visit, a girl was talking about how she couldn’t wait to get married and have children. I asked if she had a boyfriend and she said yes. Shock of all shocks, it was HIM! I was really distraught, my head was spinning. He had a girlfriend the whole time?

He still emails me daily and I try to keep a distance, but I can’t help myself. I like Chinese guys. Is he serious about dating me in the future? Will he break up with her when he moves countries? It hurts my heart to think of her, but he tells me not to worry about her. From what I have been reading online, this is not typical “Chinese guy” dating behavior. I am so confused.

Do you have any advice for me?

Thank you!!! I love your website.

Which girl is this guy focused on? You or does he actually have another girlfriend?

Woah. Kudos to you for managing to keep a straight face when the other girl revealed who was her boyfriend! That must have been super awkward in the moment. I’m guessing you never saw them interacting, and she wasn’t around when he was being flirty with you right? Or, thinking back, did he avoid you more when she was around on some student gatherings? That will give you a first hint.

But, did you tell him that you met his girlfriend? If not, you gotta say something soon. Like, “So your girlfriend said she wants to get married and have kids soon, do you guys have a plan?” or something like that. Then see how he reacts.

Because it could be two things. Either he wants to mess around with a foreign girl for “some fun” and chose you and is hoping he can have a little fling while he’s studying before he goes back to marry the girl his family approves, has kids, and leads a typical life.

Or, she could be getting the wrong idea about him. They could have some family/hometown connection and some sort of assumption from family members that they “should” be together and get married because economically and socially they are good for each other. An idea he doesn’t agree with. Both are kinda plausible. I’ve known girls who have said they have a boyfriend and the boy has no idea, he was just being nice to her and she took it the wrong way.

Either way, you need to approach this directly. It might feel embarrassing and awkward to bring it up but you gotta know for your own peace of mind. If you say something like, “Is your girlfriend coming to study abroad” and he says “girlfriend?” you can’t just drop it. You gotta mention the girl by name (if you know it), or description and not let him be vague about the answer. You don’t have to mention any feelings between the two of you if you don’t want, but make sure to get a concrete answer about who this girl is and what their relationship status is. If he is still evasive and tries to avoid answering, or has some weird excuse then I guess you have your answer and you can friendzone him quick before he comes.

Do you have a question for mswai? Write to her at

Ms Wai

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