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Author Topic: Dating across cultures  (Read 4512 times)
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jonnytx
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« on: October 15, 2004, 07:10:48 AM »

I have managed to get the attention of a very beautiful Chinese woman. She's the waitress at a buffet near where I work. I don't know what to think, really, except she's difficult yet fun to talk to, she's perfectly sweet and she's absolutely beautiful.

There is a language barrier. Her english is good enough for just sort of shooting the breeze, but as far as actually getting to know what makes her tick, or her getting to know me, it's certainly not ideal.

Has anyone ever had this sort of situation? I need some ideas for fun dates. I want to find a way to get to know this lady. I don't know what kind of time we'll have yet, we both work a lot and it may just be lunch date sort of stuff for the time being. We'll be talking on the phone some, I guess, and I'll certainly see her at her job (the buffet) once a week.

I admit that I'm smitten. She's so lovely and I wish I were a better writer so I could describe her face when she smiles. I'm completely available and sincere. Any advice?
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Thin_J
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2004, 07:45:11 AM »

I honestly have no real help to offer here, but let me offer this:

Be happy. This is what I would call a "good problem to have".
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gorky1
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2004, 08:52:34 AM »

Do you two like to dance? That's the prime non-verbal get-to-know-each-other method I can think of.

Other things... Go to the local beach/lake/indoor swimming pool, or karaoke bar, find out what music she likes, play ping pong/squash/billard, ride a motorcycle two-up, go skying, play coop multiplayer, visit the zoo, have pic-nic in the park, whatever makes her smile.  biggrin  Try to learn chinese from her.

You're a lucky man!
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depward
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2004, 09:07:26 AM »

I "went out" with a girl from Guatamala for 7 months about a year ago.  Her English was OK, but not extremely great.

Some advice that I'll give is to get to know her family.  If you start to get to know them, especially her parents, then things will go a lot more smoothly.  The language barrier will seem "there", but after awhile it'll dissappear.  You'll start to pick up each others' nuances and so forth.

Eventually after 7 months though, the cultural barrier was just too much to bear with her.  Go ice skating - that's the perfect way to interact, to hold her hand (which is a constant through each and every culture), and just a nice "ice-breaker" to show that you not only are interested, but care about talking to her as well.  Good luck!
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Thin_J
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2004, 09:11:24 AM »

After reading the last two posts, I realized a personal favorite of mine is Pool (As in Billiards). It seems to go over really well with at least like 2 out of 3 girls I know because it's apparantly something they don't get to do very often.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2004, 11:35:10 AM »

The ladies' man says:

Get her drunk and put it in her butt.


Seriously, though...

Ask her out.  What do you have to lose?
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Covenant
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2004, 12:42:26 PM »

I've had several girlfriends from different cultures (including my current one).  Best advise I can give you is to treat her like you would treat anyone else.  If you have a hard time understanding something she says, ask her to repeat it (trust me, in time you get better at hearing through the accent).  If she lives here and is anywhere close to your age, chances are she enjoys the same kinda stuff the rest of us enjoy.  So just ask her out and see how it goes.  The WORST thing you can do is try to act or treat her "different".  She'll know and won't appreciate it.
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Octavious230
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2004, 01:07:38 PM »

My gf barely spoke english when I first met her. She has a very strong German accent which took me a while to understand what she was talking about. After a while though it just clicks and you won't have much of a problem. I helped her along the way correcting her english and stuff. Of course some people would get offended by this so don't do it all the time and definatly not in front of other people. Otherwise you should be fine the only problem I have now is trying to understand what her parents are saying. They barely speak any english and don't show signs of getting any better. Really sucks to go eat dinner with them and sit there and not know what anyone is talking about for 20 mintues at a time.
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lildrgn
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2004, 03:48:59 PM »

Uhh. Don't take her to a Chinese restaurant.

If her English is limited, if and when you meet her parents, don't expect a lot of conversation.

Then again, I've never dated a Chinese woman. I'm giving it from my pov being a Chinese Man of Mystery.
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Crusis
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2004, 05:40:14 PM »

I got the attention of a very attractive Japanese girl a long time ago.  Her English was just ok (I was stationed in Japan) but we hit it off well and had somewhat similar interests.  Take it slow and get to know her as best you can, ask her what she likes to do and go do take a little time to learn about her and her culture from her.

Go to Chinese places she likes and take a little interest in her language - learn a few funny phrases, meet her friends and don't be afraid to say things in Chinese once you learn them.  Just be ready for a challenge and keep a small Chinese/English dictionary handy.

By the way, that Japanese girl I met has been my wife for 14 years now, once we were seriously dating she even took some conversational English classes.
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dbt1949
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2004, 05:43:34 PM »

Is this sort of like dating Canadians?
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SuperHiro
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2004, 05:54:46 PM »

Hi! I'm half chinese, married a chinese girl. There's some cultural things you have to consider. I'm assuming you're white.

1) Considering that her english is pretty bad, in all liklihood her parents won't be able to speak a word of it. I'd really consider taking a few rudimentary chinese language courses.  It'll look good on a resume for jobs and you can stop watching those dubbed movies!

2) Now, you're going to have to deal with the parents sooner or later. And you have about a 70% chance that at least one of them isn't going to be very open to an inter-racial relationship. And if you're black, it's 98% BOTH of them will, and extremely so.  But if you're white, you can pull it off pretty easily nowadays. Speaking chinese is a huge one, a fear many chinese parents have is that by dating white their daughter will lose her cultural roots, and more importantly... THEIR GRANDCHILDREN. By showing an interest in Chinese culture and language, you'll put a dent in this stereotype considerably. But if you smile, are nice, and just be really really considerate and polite to the parents, you're good to go.

3) For God's sake learn to eat with chopsticks if you haven't already.  

4) It might be best to not talk about politics.  When I visited my grandparents-in-laws on the mainland, I had an express warning from the wifey not to mention ANYTHING about my enthusiasim for all things Japanese.

5) Be very careful. I may get blasted for this, but so be it. WATCH OUT.  In way too many cases, asian immigrants will try very hard to bag a white/western husband for the green card.  Just watch your back that's all.

Just remember to try and absorb the culture, and be respectful of the parents.  The chinese family structure is very very tight, so you'll probably be seeing a lot of her parents and possibly extended family.
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Godzilla Blitz
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2004, 06:12:17 PM »

I've lived overseas for quite a few years, dated more foreigners than US citizens, and am married to a Japanese woman. Lots of good advice here, but Superhiro really hits some good points.

The only thing I'd add would be to really work hard at improving your language skills and understanding of the Chinese culture if you ever get serious about the relationship. Cross-cultural relationships often work well for short periods of time, but rarely work well unless one person (or both) really understands the other's language/culture. Simple conversations are fun for a while, but conversations get boring and the relationship will grow stale if you are constantly unable to discuss more complicated issues. Contrarily, interest in the other person's language/culture can help a relationship take off.
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Byrns
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2004, 08:19:53 PM »

This is a very helpful thread. I just started dating a chinese girl about 2 weeks ago. Her english isn't so good either, but I've shown a willingness to learn her culture and I've picked up a few phrases. (she finds it funny that I misspronounce some of the words) I figure as long as I'm trying she'll appreciate it.

I haven't met the parents yet so we'll see how that flies. (They don't speak any english)
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SuperHiro
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2004, 08:24:12 PM »

Here's a tip that helps.

"May Kwoh Ren" means American in Mandarin. If they start flinging that around, it's a good chance they're talking about you. "How Pee-yow Liang" means handsome, you're in good shape if they use this.
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2004, 08:56:13 PM »

And if they're Hong Kong chinese, you'll want to listen for "mei gwok yan" and "ho leung" respectively (assuming I haven't forgotten all my Cantonese smile
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SuperHiro
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2004, 09:01:20 PM »

And if you hear a HK chinese saying "Kwai Low", you're in deep shit.

that means "white devil" if I remember correctly
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zinckiwi
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2004, 09:58:33 PM »

Yes, "gweilo" is a term for a white devil/ghost; however, it's not necessarily meant as an insult. We used to refer to ourselves as gweilos quite happily smile
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2004, 03:22:33 PM »

Hate to break this to ya, but if she's not a naturalized Chinese, chances are, her parents will disagree strongly with her having relationships with a foreigner.

That's my impression of 90% of Chinese parents anyway.  You can still go out with her, but be prepared for the eventual hurdle of meeting the parents.
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2004, 09:43:46 PM »

I, uhm, knew a Venezulean girl a couple years back.  I was 17, she was in her 20s.  Aside from, uh, getting to know eachother, which went smoothly enough, conversation was a real struggle for us.  She wasn't bad at English by any strech of the imagination, just, she wasn't a native speaker and it was painfully obvious in how 'jerky' conversation could be.  I have the grammarian's curse, that is, if I hear incorrect English spoken, it's like the harpsichord player in my ear hits a really bad note--and since she didn't grow up with the language, I experienced alot of that "wincing" over her (often hilarious) misuse of the language.

Indeed, that language cleft eventually led us to break up... but if you're less of an asshole than me and can tolerate poorly spoken English, hey, it's no different than any other relationship.
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Lord Percy
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2004, 11:19:58 AM »

"Wo-iny", or however you spell it, means "I love you." According to a Chinese friend of mine, at least.
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pr0ner
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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2004, 04:11:02 PM »

Quote from: "SuperHiro"
Here's a tip that helps.

"May Kwoh Ren" means American in Mandarin. If they start flinging that around, it's a good chance they're talking about you. "How Pee-yow Liang" means handsome, you're in good shape if they use this.


And what if they speak Cantonese?  slywink
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maggie-chow
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« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2004, 01:21:56 AM »

These are just suggestions from me, given with the best wishes.  Good luck!

# 1 - Don't date anyone where you work.  This can be solved in various ways.

# 2 - Learn Chinese and Chinese culture now.   This will help your relationship with the parents, also.  China is a vast, alternate, and intricate culture that you can spend a lifetime studying.

Without the language skills, watch out for falling rocks ahead.  If you don't want to learn the language to an advanced level, give it all up and find someone else (sorry).   Intercultural relationships are hard enough, because the individuals do not share a common cultural reference.  I mean, LOL, relationships between men and women are hard enough, now there is a potential area for misunderstandings.

I am American and have been married to a Chinese spouse for seven years.
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scubabbl
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« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2004, 09:27:56 PM »

I'm American and my wife in Japanese.

My advice follows suit with everyone elses. Spend time learning the culture. Asian culture can be quite different from what you're used to and understanding it will help you to not screw up and make someone mad over something you might not see as a big deal.

Also remember, a good smile is universal. It doesn't mean anything but a smile to everyone everywhere.
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2004, 01:29:03 AM »

Quote from: "dbt1949"
Is this sort of like dating Canadians?

Yes, but minus the bacon....
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Rob_Merritt
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2004, 02:32:04 AM »

I would recommend that you don't. I know this might seem shall but in my younger days, I dated across cultures alot and learn that unless you are in love with their culture and willing to kiss yours goodbye, it will probably end badly or you will be very very unhappy.
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Matrix
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« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2005, 07:21:15 AM »

In due of my come back i decided to look up one relationship post, and give my feed back. Yet this one is too old so i just want to find out what is what, so how it went between you and that girl?

 PS: I have dated and slept with different races, races doesnt matter much, curently i am dating/sleeping with very beutiful Indian girl( i am european) who are considered  to be hardest to get to bed with. She came from india 3 month ago, but speaks great english. Before that i have slept / had some relatinoship (mostly sexual) with girls from Japan some of who, could barely if any speak english.
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Calvin
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« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2005, 07:38:47 AM »

oh my god, here we go again.
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dbt1949
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« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2005, 08:15:45 AM »

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Thin_J
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« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2005, 08:40:15 AM »

There needs to be some sort of rule in the CoC to prevent posts like that one. I don't know how we could possibly word it.. other than:

"If your tag is matrix, or your IP address is xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx then you're hereby restricted from posting anything involving the opposite sex."

I think that would just about do it.
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Matrix
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« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2005, 05:04:36 PM »

i havent beent on GG for a while, but in RL  my bussines in teaching approaches and dating has been doing well.  So i wouldnt be talking about me not talking about girls, and be hapy that i do.
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