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Since you're asking for advice...|
Have you considered explaining to her that your misunderstanding seems to stem from a cultural difference and you would like her to help you understand why she's upset so you will not offend her again in the same way?
In many western cultures, a proper gentleman is expected to take care of his lady. Your offer to pay would be seen in western cultures as the proper thing to do given what you have implied about the extent of your relationship with this lady. Explain to her that in your eyes, what you were doing was something that was intended to show her respect and show her that you care about her and want to take care of her.
I suspect that she was offended by the (unintentional) implication that she could not take care of her own needs and that you needed to bail her out, so to speak. I realize that was most likely NOT your intention, but given her pride in her independence (inferred from what you wrote), I could see a Chinese lady being offended by what you did. Your heart is in the right place, mate. It's a cultural difference that lead to an emotional misunderstanding. Trust me. This won't be the last one.
I've been working with the same people in China since 2007 and it seems that somehow, on every trip, I manage to upset my best friend. Something always happens, and it is invariably a cultural difference, that ends up offending her somehow. We always work through it and everything is fine afterward, but it's bound to happen when two cultures that are SO different meet.
Something that I have told my Chinese colleagues is something like this: "I know that our cultures are different, and our languages are different. I want you to know that I would never INTENTIONALLY do anything to offend you or make you look bad. If I ever do, please remember that I would never intend to offend you or make you look bad, so please tell me what I did and why it was wrong so I can be sure not to make the same mistake again."
You know the old phrase "It's the thought that counts", right? Just be open with her about this and work through it. There are thousands of mixed-culture couples that are doing just fine. They find a way to work through the cultural differences and they learn to understand and forgive.
I wish you well with your sweetheart.