Chinese women with foreign men who are a decade or so older than them are a very common pairing. In the west, such relationships are often viewed with suspicion, especially when the woman is young enough to be the man’s daughter, or granddaughter. Is the woman only after the man’s money? Does the man only want a trophy wife? In china, the circumstances are a different kind of black and white; these cross-cultural couples are simply motivated by the same dating timetable.
Granted that even in China, there are gold-diggers and visa hounds, and there are foreign men who are only motivated by their Asian fetish. For the most part, however, many Chinese women and foreign men who seek each other out have honest intentions.
On the Chinese end, the women are under constant pressure to marry before they hit their thirties. Being single in their thirties is akin to being a social pariah. It does not matter if a Chinese woman delayed marriage because she wanted to earn higher degrees in education and be more successful in her chosen career; it does not matter if her desire to be married and have a child is just as strong as those who followed tradition and married in their 20s.
Such is the pressure for Chinese women to be married and have a child by a certain age that not doing so means living with a stigma. So most Chinese women start searching for a husband in their mid- to late-20s. Does this mean that when they choose a much older, foreign man, they only do so because they’re running out of time and options?
No. The choice is a matter of both circumstances and personal desires.
On the foreign end of this cross-cultural dating situation, most men who are seriously looking for a Chinese wife are often already in their 40s, 50s, and even 60s. Why? Because they’re men, and mostly western or westernized men at that. At these ages, many have already been married at least once, and most are already done with casual encounters; in any case, these men are finally ready to fully commit themselves to the pursuit of the real thing.
They know what they want – a Chinese wife – and their only goal is marriage, no less than that. Many of these men who are at a certain age group also feel that if they are to enjoy many more years of love and happiness with their ideal partner, then there’s no time to dilly-dally. For these men, taking their sweet time to find their Ms. Right is not an option.
In a sense, men of a certain age are also under pressure to find a lifetime companion posthaste. Does this mean that when they choose a much younger, Chinese woman as a mate, they only do so because they’re also out of time and options?
Yes and no. The choice is mostly a matter of circumstances but, at the same time, the circumstances do not make their choice a desperate one.
For many Chinese women who choose to explore greater freedom in choosing a mate, foreign men are a better choice than the men from their own culture. While they are pressured to meet a marriage deadline, this does not mean that they have to completely ignore the things that they desire in a marriage, which are respect, faithfulness, compassion, and love. They realize that most Chinese men cannot satisfy these needs; so they seek out foreign men who can.
For many older, foreign men searching for a life partner, Chinese women make the most ideal wives. While they would not mind being with a Chinese woman who is closer to their age, the reality is that most of these women are already off the marriage market, especially in China. Being with a younger Chinese lady means they will not only have to contend with cultural differences, but also age-related ones. At the same time, they are also aware that Chinese women who are significantly younger than them do not mind being with an older man and age differences, no matter how great, do not make companionship and love an impossibility.
And so it is that younger, Chinese women seeking foreign husbands mostly only meet those who are older, sometimes much older; and older, foreign men seeking Chinese wives oftenmeet those who are much younger.
Certainly, the weight of time, while the context is different for Chinese women than how it is for foreign men, is a huge factor in the coming together of these men and women that are also separated by time itself. But it is when the circumstances are just right for a man and woman to come together that love transforms from being a mere possibility and a dream to reality.
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