It’s easy to gauge this reality on the website Candle for Love (CFL), devoted to helping US Americans bring their loved ones over from China.
CFL is like a tidal wave of American men in love with Chinese women, with only a rare American woman/Chinese husband surfacing to break the monotony. Several years ago, when my husband enrolled in a New Oriental class in Shanghai for GRE prep, the instructor warned all of the Chinese men: “If you’re going to study abroad, prepare for four lonely years.” The underlying message was, don’t expect to fall in love — but be pleasantly surprised if it happens.
Of course, short is relative; what we consider “average” height varies depending on geographic locale and someone who’s 5’6″ would consider someone who’s 5’9″ (the average for American men) to be lucky.
But hey, that’s cold comfort when women are putting “six feet tall, minimum” in their dating profiles and your friends all call you “Short Round”.
It’s true — the sight of a foreign woman and Chinese boyfriend or Chinese husband is much rarer than its counterpart, the foreign man and Chinese woman.
It happened for me — and a growing number of other women, including bloggers such as the Local Dialect, The Downtown Diner, and Wo Ai Ni.
There are hardly enough books depicting foreign women with Chinese boyfriends or husbands. When you have a Chinese husband or boyfriend, sometimes you feel as if you belong to a lonely club. One of my dearest e-mail friends, a woman from Germany, once found me on the net because she had a — then — Chinese boyfriend and yearned to find someone to share her experience with.
Off the top of my head, I can think of Rachel De Woskin’s Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China and Repeat After Me: A Novel, Nicole Mones’ Lost in Translation, and Pearl S. So I began to wonder — why are there so few Chinese guys and foreign girls becoming couples?
Average Chinese men tend not to earn big salaries in China, unless they are, for example, bosses, high-powered execs, or an in-demand talent.
And if they are to leave China to go to her country, they will face even more obstacles to earning money — language, culture, prejudices.