If a man could not find a woman from his own culture that he was compatible enough with to make his lifetime partner, what are the chances that he would find marriage-worthy compatibility with a woman from a country halfway around the world? If a man could not make his relationship with a woman from his own neck of the woods work, what are the chances that he would make a long-distance relationship formed through online dating work?
For some people, the attraction of opposites work; others prefer flocking together with those of the same feather. What may work for one may not work for another. Just as dating within one’s comfort zone does not guarantee success of a relationship and compatibility between two people, dating beyond the borders also doesn’t necessarily lead to failure of a relationship and incompatibility of two people from different cultures. Chinese online dating has led to countless couples getting married and having their happy endings, or happy new beginnings.
What does compatibility really mean when it comes to love and relationships? Some would say being compatible with another person means having a lot in common with them, sharing the same interests and goals, and even disliking the same things, so that they are like two peas in a pod. Others would define it as one person’s traits complementing the other’s, with one person’s strengths being the other’s weaknesses and vice versa, so that they are like two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together. For some couples, the first type of compatibility is what works; for others, it’s the second.
Any relationship, cross-cultural or not, is always a risk. Both parties can never really know if their separate identities would blend well or clash until they test the waters. When a foreign man and a Chinese woman engage in a relationship, the risk of being incompatible is greater because of the cultural differences. But while compatibility plays a big role in any relationship, it is also supported by another key player, commitment. Regardless of how compatible, or perfect for each other, two people are, if one or both of them are not committed to making the relationship last, then it will take the path of least resistance and fall apart sooner or later. On the other hand, despite great cultural differences, if both parties in a relationship are committed to making it work, then it would resist any challenge to its solidity.
Making the decision to seek love and a lifetime partner in a place that is vastly geographically distant and culturally dissonant already implies a willingness to commit not only to the challenging quest, but also to making one’s efforts take root, grow, and bear fruit. When all is said and done, compatibility with another person can take any form and is still a matter of perception by the people in the relationship. How they make their similarities and differences work is, ultimately, up to them. Couples who have found lasting happiness through Chinese online dating may be like two peas in a pod or two disparate but complementary pieces of a puzzle; whichever the case is, it is their level of commitment that makes the pod a home filled with comfort and love or turn the puzzle into a story made whole by love, patience, and acceptance.