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Chinese Dating, Cross-Cultural Relationships: What Makes Them Work? by Achelle Vinzons
I have had my share of failed relationships.  I always did the leaving mostly because there was no chemistry.  I have always believed having the right chemistry is an important element in any relationship.  If this is present, dealing with and getting over differences would be easier to accomplish.  Then I read an interesting and humorous blog about the differences a married cross-cultural couple often deal with, and it got me thinking about how, sometimes, the chemistry doesn't just happen; a couple would have to work together to find the right mix of ingredients and create their own chemistry.  In this day and age when online dating, particularly Chinese dating, has become a very common resort for a lot of singles in China who have become frustrated with the hassles of real-life dating, it has become even harder to find or create chemistry with another person.  The virtual world may have exponentially expanded relationship opportunities, especially cross-cultural ones; but the challenges to such relationships yet remain.

The blog I referenced, written by John Abbott on his CLM/ALM blog (Is This a Chinese Woman / Western Man Thing, Or Is It Just Us), made me appreciate more that phrase about love being a two-way street.  In John's case, the two ways of the street even came from opposite sides of the globe, and, as John said, he and his wife were so unlike in so many ways; but, still, their marriage works.  It just goes to show that differences between two people in a relationship may come in different forms; the men may come from mars, the women from venus; the boyfriend or husband may come from the west, and the girlfriend or wife from the east; the couple may be a generation apart; they may simply have completely opposite traits.  At the end of the day, if both work willingly together, swallow their pride to budge and meet the other halfway, and care enough about each other to go the extra mile to understand and accept each other's differences, they will create their own chemistry. 

A Success StoryThrough Chinese online dating sites, for example, countless western men and Chinese women have managed to find real love, a partner for life.  It makes one wonder.  Is it just fate?  Maybe it is.  But the sheer amount of differences, so substantial that they are measured in latitudes and longitudes, should make for a very unstable solution, right?  A lot of things simply won't fit.  There would just be too many instances that would give rise to misunderstandings, and too high a probability for conflicts to occur and occur frequently.  If it was just fate, then all the puzzles should fit together perfectly.  The ingredients would be exactly what the recipe called for and already be in their right amounts to make the final concoction have just the right flavor. 

While Chinese dating sites have given long-distance relationships and/or cross-cultural relationships a bigger chance to work and last, they also provide tempting opportunities for dishonesty.  Still, so many single women of China and single men from the west have found that perfect person and are now living happy and love-filled lives with their lifetime partner through online dating.  Despite the differences in cultural and geographical backgrounds, the significant age gaps, these couples have found a way to make their relationships work.  The opportunity to share a lifetime of love and contentment with someone from one's own neighborhood or social circle is already hard to come by; when it does come by, maintaining a relationship with someone who share a lot of similarities with you can still be tricky.  When you add to the usual relationship equation the challenges of coming from totally different cultures and/or generations, the odds that the relationship would work could only get bigger.  So what is the secret ingredient?

As with any relationship, whatever the form, it takes the right combination of elements to make it work: love, honesty, trust, commitment, faithfulness, perseverance, patience, acceptance, appreciation.  These are the major requirements which both parties must have and be willing to give.  But, in my humble opinion, the key ingredient is desire.  More specifically, it is the desire to make the relationship work, the desire to overcome any challenge, the desire to keep going, the desire to stay together.  Again, both parties must share the same desire, and all the other elements will be easier to maintain; the right chemistry will be easily attained.    
We may have moments in a relationship when, like in John’s story, our partner can get on our nerves so much that we get the urge to fire them out of a cannon, to borrow John's hypothetical Wile-E-Coyote-ish tendencies.  But when we're finally with the right person (it's true what they say, when it's right, you just know it), we put up with the annoying habits, we tolerate the shortcomings, and we work side by side with our partner to resolve the differences and fix what needs to be fixed, because the shared desire to stick together through anything is there.  It is the key ingredient that makes everything else blend well with each other to create the perfect chemistry.   

I, myself, am in a long-distance relationship and the wonders of the internet have made the challenges of such a relationship easier to deal with.  We share the same desire, with the same intensity, to be physically together soon.  It's what keeps us going despite the daily frustrations and the misunderstandings both big and small. 

Check out John's blog and many other entertaining and enlightening Bloggers at the CLM/ALM Blogs.  

Introducing Achelle Vinzons:

Achelle Vinzons-writer for CLM and ALMA writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines.  

Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy

From: Original         Author: Achelle Vinzons         Time: 2/9/2013 3:18:27 AM

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#2013-02-09 03:22:00 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot
Reply Welcome Achelle to CLM/ALM. This is a great article. We're looking forward to many more.
#2013-02-15 06:25:00 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons
Reply @JohnAbbot Thank you for the welcome! I am excited to be a part of CLM/ALM!
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