Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chinese Online Dating: Effective Communication

While Chinese online dating has its share of pitfalls and perils, bumps and blind curves, disappointments and disasters, in the end, those roadblocks can be easily overcome by considering the following advice. A lot of these are brought on and/or exacerbated by the failure to communicate effectively due to the difference in the languages spoken between the foreign man and the China woman. In any relationship, effective communication is a critical element; but, of course, effective communication is not only about words. Effective communication goes beyond being able to understand each other by speaking the same tongue, and especially in a cross-cultural setup, having a connection and an understanding of each other and on a deeper level is key to being able to communicate effectively.

Developing decent Chinese language skills will, of course, be a great plus for the foreign man. But Chinese language is not as straightforward as English and most other foreign languages and is extremely difficult to learn. Even so, countless foreign man/Chinese woman marriages have worked and this is because these couples did not let the language differences and difficulties a deterrent to their happiness. For this reason, it is more common for the China lady to develop decent English skills (and whatever language her potential foreign boyfriend and/or husband naturally speaks, when the situation applies). Make no mistake, however, that a foreign man must still try to learn some of the most commonly used Chinese phrases, both to show his woman that he is willing to try and also for the more practical purposes of communication.

It is to be expected that the peculiarities of how the other person's language is used, formed, and manipulated to convey a certain meaning, i.e. slangs and idioms unique to the English and Chinese languages, may make it challenging for a foreign man to convey his meaning and a China woman to grasp it, and vice versa. To avoid the frustrations that may ultimately result from this and unintended misunderstandings, one must stick to straightforward expressions (just avoid sounding rude, of course). This is especially important during the very first contact, and up until "serious feelings" for each other develop over time through online "communication."

Dissimilar views on relationship and marriage of a foreign gentleman and a China lady are another source of misunderstanding in a cross-cultural setup. Even with the best of intentions to try to make the other understand where one is (literally) coming from, getting the message across clearly can be frustrating because the other person's perception is influenced by a totally different set of beliefs. For this reason, both parties must be honest about their expectations from the very beginning. At the same time, they must also put in the time and effort to try and understand the other person’s roots and all the culture-specific factors that influence his/her behaviors and attitudes.

So how can a foreign man minimize, if not completely avoid, these obstacles to effective communication and prevent frustrations and misunderstandings? It is important that the foundation for a smooth-flowing exchange is laid out from the very beginning. First and foremost, before sending any China lady a message to initiate contact or before responding to a message from one who wants to initiate contact, do your due diligence, and review her profile. This may seem like a very obvious first step, but a lot of foreign men forget or intentionally ignore it, especially when it is the lady who sent the first message. Often enough, the man would simply respond and start asking questions; and often enough, the questions he asks are about things that the woman already provided on her profile description. This would immediately tell the China woman that the man is not willing to put in much effort to get to know her better, and the potential that may be hidden in this particular and very short exchange may be extinguished right then and there, even before both of them can have the chance to explore it.

Once you have carefully examined her profile, you can then use the information you have, no matter how little, to find out more about her through skillful and positive questioning. Just remember not to make it sound like you are interrogating her and not to make her feel uncomfortable and disrespected; otherwise, the exercise in trying to communicate effectively would have been all for naught. For example, if you found out that she is a tourist guide by profession, you can ask her leading questions like: Do you enjoy travelling? Do you like meeting new people? Have you had the chance to travel to many places around China, or even outside China? Do you love your job? Do you see yourself doing something else other than being a tourist guide? From these simple questions, you can easily find out if she has been exposed to all kinds of people, which could mean that she can easily adjust to different kinds of environments; you may also learn what her future plans are.

With your questions, you have to make her feel that you are genuinely interested in learning more about her. Every woman loves the feeling that a man is extremely interested in her (as long as you don't give off a creepy vibe, of course). With each response you get to your questions, you may also have the opportunity to share details about you or your thoughts about certain stuff. This way, she can also learn more about you. Over time, the two of you will fall into a natural and smooth conversation rhythm and develop a unique connection with each other. This is an effective way of learning more about each other to facilitate an effective means of communication that is based on mutual and sincere interest and the enjoyment of each other's company, rather than merely on the practical use of words with no real curiosity and emotional and psychological involvement under it.

Once the proper foundation has been laid out, the potential for a long-term online, and perhaps even a real-life, relationship can be given the chance to develop and be explored. And because a comfortable connection has already been formed, the more difficult communication obstacles can be more easily handled by both. At the least, the two of you may develop a special and lasting friendship.

Learn more about Chinese dating and China women from blogs and forums found only on the most reputable matchmaking sites, such as, where other foreign men share their insights and real-life experiences.

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