Still, despite the odds, sterotypes and other barriers, it does happen that Chinese men and foreign women get together.
Fortunately, their ideas changed when they met me in person!
On the other hand, there are Chinese men — and their families — who would be happy to have a foreign woman in the family. For example, my good friend in Hangzhou, Xiao Yu, once told me that some Chinese men cannot overcome their feeling of inferiority — that being an American girl, a citizen of one of the most powerful countries in the world, made my presence somewhat intimidating.
The experience was so traumatic that he never sought another foreign girlfriend again.
On the flip side, I suspect that some foreign women might be unwilling to give Chinese men a chance because of money.
Generally, the pressure to split up comes from the family since, after all, in China, marriage is a family affair.
There was one Chinese boyfriend who told me, flat out, that his parents would never accept me.
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.
If you go to any major city in China, you will invariably run into the foreign man-Chinese woman pairings in any major tourist or shopping destination; not so with foreign women and Chinese men.
I don’t doubt he loved me in the beginning — but once his family knew, I suspect they made it clear that there was no future in what we had.