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A guide to meeting your love in China

Popularity 10Viewed 5993 times 2015-3-30 16:39 |Personal category:Living in China|System category:Life| different, adventure, affairs, loving, father

 “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love”, said a well-known physicist and scientist Albert Einstein who, being a father and a twice-married man with a mistress accompanying him in the twilight of his life, definitely had an eye for love affairs. Geography, just like gravitation, is not an obstacle for two loving hearts. People come to China, on different reasons, not expecting that love is awaiting them at the corner. For some, a love affair in China means an adventure, an antidote for boredom, but for the rest, and I’m glad to point out, for a solid part of China’s expat society it leads to a long-life and happy marriage. “It’s yuanfen!”, the Chinese will exclaim. But who said that it’s not us who is responsible for our fate? I have resumed the five most possible ways that can help the desperate expats in China to meet their significant ones, be it Chinese or another seeking for love foreigner.


If you can’t solve the problem on your own, fortunately, there is always someone who is ready to give a hand, or better – to provide a place and potential partners to choose from. For a small consideration. Speed dating, as it is dubbed in English, proves that love is not blind. In big cities like Beijing speed dating events are very popular. This is the latest trend that has emerged as the reaction to the demand of society, especially of the young unmarried megapolis dwellers. Yang Xu, a Chinese by nationality, is a founder of the earliest speed dating events in Beijing. As Mr. Yang Xu emphasizes, “Beijing speed dating” shoots its arrow at both locals and expats” as the event is intended mostly for foreigners but locals can also participate. The procedure of registration is simple. One needs to find a public page in WeChat under the name “BeijingSpeedDating” and send a short description of himself, not forgetting to mention hobbies and job occupation, and wait for the response from the moderator. The news about the upcoming events can also be easily found inside the account. The time of the events falls on the weekend. On the appointed day the participants who have their own number are seated in pairs. Gentlemen change their seats every three minutes and go to the next lady until everyone is finished. The conversation is held in English so the Chinese-born participants stand a perfect chance to practice their English as well as to find a partner from another country which has become a trend among young, perspective and international-minded locals. However, there is another option for those foreigners who are fluent in Chinese. The website tangguolove.com and corresponding speed dating events in the Chinese style were established three years ago. To get into this event, one needs to register on their website. According to one of its co-founders, Mr. Zhu Yuntao, every time the events gathers at least 70 participants and 200 and more at most. The events are held twice on the weekends with the possibility of arranging private match-making.  As Mr. Zhu Yuntao explained, there is a difference between Chinese and Western style speed dating. The Western speed dating is mostly the chitchat, meet for fun. But if one wants to take part in the Chinese speed dating, he should be prepared to be snowed under the questions like “What is your job?”, “How much do you earn?”, “Do you have brothers or sisters?, and, the king of all questions, “Do you have an apartment and a car?” addressed both to male and female participants. However, notwithstanding the frightening differences between the Chinese and Western way of seeing marriage, Mr. Zhu Yuntao said, there are fearless foreigners who come to his events specially to find a Chinese partner. There used to be participants from Australia, the USA, Russia and other countries.


Apart from speed dating, there are English corners, which is a plethora in Beijing. The main aim is to gather together and speak English. I was introduced into one English corner that was held in CBD on Saturday evenings. But this is only one of many around Beijing. Who knows, whom you will meet there. There is a possibility that after 40 years from a fatal encounter you will be sitting together one day and reflecting about that very English corner where you met each other.


If you are that busy or shy and speed dating is not your cup of tea, the Internet offers many other ways to cure your  absence-of-love sickness in China. Everyone who is still single in China cannot ignore the well-known dating websites like badoo.com (the Chinese version), cityweekend.com.cn, thebeijinger.com and most likely weliveinbeijing.com. Of course, they lose points to speed dating events, as you never know who’s hiding behind a pretty face on the photo on a website. However, there are cases when the internet encounter resulted into long and strong relationships that led to marriage eventually. Mia, a stunning blond girl from Latvia, and Robert, a Chinese born, Internet marketing expert, got acquainted on one of the websites that offers the service of finding a travelling companion. After a few meetings and talks they discovered they had much in common. Their mutual affection grew stronger when Mia and Robert went to the USA to travel. Since then, they are inseparable.


Some people say if you sit at home, your love won’t be able to discover you.  Searching for adventures in bars and clubs is as easy as ABC. Big cities like Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou can boast of the “funkiest” clubs in China. Many of them are concentrated in the city centers which makes them easy to find. But the alcohol has never been a friend of serious relationships. However, it can be a temporary cure of loneliness.


No one should exclude social contacts at work or university as the potential place to find your true love. What can be better than someone you know very well, with whom you worked or studied shoulder to shoulder, who helped you or whom you helped in troublesome situations. A message for those who are still lonely – probably you should just look around. What if your yuanfen is hiding under your very nose?


And the last but not the least path to finding a true love is to take part in every social event that your time can afford be it friend’s wedding, Quiz night somewhere in the Bookworm on Sanlitun, or even performing in a Chinese play in Beijing Capital Theatre that happened to Jennifer from Canada and Gang Gang from China. As Jennifer said, they know each other for over a year now. “Since our first encounter backstage, during a Chinese play in Beijing Capital Theatre, we have been through a spiral of emotions and events that brought us to the happily married couple we are today”, said Jennifer. She was working as an English and French teacher in Beijing for four years until she decided to open her own language training center. She didn’t expect her colleague from the drama company she was working for would call and ask her to act in a play. She says, “Being the bubbly  and social girl as I am, I befriended the theatre staff and the crew, particularly the one that made the décor changes and made sure I was OK before going on stage. After our first date in a bar in Sanlitun, we kept talking and seeing each other and eventually, fell in love”. Later she adds, “Because of the language barrier we learned how to be patient with each other. We also learned not to take misunderstandings too seriously and just be happy. Although we already had an open mind to start even as a couple, we learn to not only discover about a new culture but also live it, which makes each of us more aware of who we are. In our case, the match that we have is quite rarely seen, at least in China, so just by “being” we are a testimony that celebrates differences and shows that everything is possible!”


At the end, the author of the article wants to express special gratitude to Mr. Yang Xu (founder of “SpeedDatingBeijing”), Mr. Zhu Yuntao (founder of tangguolove.com, Chinese speed dating events), Mia and Robert, as well as Jennifer and Gang Gang for their amazing and full of love stories and experiences. 


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (11 comments)

Reply Report voice_cd 2015-3-31 09:50
Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report anastasiasuli 2015-3-31 09:52
voice_cd: Thanks for sharing your opinion here. We have highlighted your blog.
Thank you for highlighting it :-)
Reply Report seanboyce88 2015-3-31 10:58
basically, you just need to get out there, if you don't buy a lottery ticket, you can't win the lottery, can you?

good article!
Reply Report Igo 2015-3-31 11:02
seanboyce88: basically, you just need to get out there, if you don't buy a lottery ticket, you can't win the lottery, can you?

good article!
I'm rolling on the floor.
Reply Report Kevinfly 2015-4-1 09:27
More and more young people find their gf/bf by speed dating, I think time is an factor for such phenomenon, as we all know that there are much pressure for young people, they have a busy life and work, there is few time for them to meet friends, let alone finding someone to date.
Reply Report anastasiasuli 2015-4-1 18:02
Kevinfly: More and more young people find their gf/bf by speed dating, I think time is an factor for such phenomenon, as we all know that there are much pressur ...
That's right. Personally, I am an advocate of things like speed dating or social events. I haven't mt my life yet, but I think that's a perfect way to meet not only love, but friends too. Who knows what will happen and what it will lead to ;)
Reply Report claudeckenni 2015-4-3 02:35
Love has been the inseparable part of my life in China. But I never use speed dating or dating sites, I never went to bar or nightclubs either. I meet my first love (in China) when I get lost in Guloudajie Street, Beijing and so far, it was the most wonderful love story I ever had in my life.

I guess, if there's something I can share about how to meet your "love" in China is :
1. Be kind to everyone you meet
2. No matter what you do, give it your all, whether it's work or study
3. Do not be afraid to get lost

Sometimes you'll feel like you've lost directions, don't know where your life is heading to, but it's okay. As long as you move forward, you will see a light in the end of the dark tunnel.
And love is waiting...
Reply Report LaughinGor 2015-4-3 14:01
nice, nice!
Reply Report enlighting 2015-4-4 23:42
Interesting perspective!
Reply Report anastasiasuli 2015-4-5 00:33
enlighting: Interesting perspective!
Thanks!:-)
Reply Report sfphoto 2015-4-5 01:12
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need. -Tao Te Ching
Great post! My only suggestion is: try not to rely too much on dating websites, social events or singles parties; instead, just follow your dreams, do what comes naturally, be true to yourself and be passionate about life. When the time comes, the Tao or Way of Heaven will decide your fate. That's when you'll know that the man you've just met is the love of your life. It's called yuanfen.

Good luck!

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