Long Distance Relationships and Mandarin Chinese

July 6, 2017

If you have been in a long distance relationship for any length of time you will know, as I do, how hard it can be. It’s even harder if the person you are having that relationship with is a Chinese person who’s native language is obviously not the same as your own! One of the biggest problems I experienced in the three long-distance relationships I’ve had, was misunderstandings due to culture-difference, these of themselves caused many sleepless nights on both sides, not to mention pointless arguments and the odd-break up.

The most important thing I found during the time apart was to be able to smooth misunderstandings over, and not create too many waves by exercising some much needed emotional discipline, but emotional discipline is not all you need in order to make sure the Chinese woman/girl in question still maintains her interest in you; in fact, although you may feel you are saying the right things, Mandarin being what it is, and Chinese women’s thinking and culture being vastly different from your own, you may not be hitting the right buttons at all! So let’s take a look at a few winning techniques that can make sure her interest doesn’t wane, or even worse, her attentions don’t go elsewhere.

1. Here is one that is always nice to use: ‘ju li chansheng mei’ or ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’; the closer meaning is actually ‘distance creates beauty between people’, beauty in this case doesn’t particularly mean physical beauty, but can mean a kind of emotional beauty in much the same way as we may say seeing something through ‘rose tinted glasses’. Saying this sentence can therefore re-frame the long-distance experience into a romantic one for her, making its’ ongoing nature a pleasure rather than a burden.

2. ‘Wo zhen xiang ni, wode lao po'(wife). This sentence basically translated means ‘I really miss you, my wife’. Now, firstly, you do not need to be actually married in order to be allowed to say this, she may not even have agreed to be your Chinese bride. This is simply a way of showing your girlfriend that your feelings are strong and committed to her. This is really important to Chinese women, and don’t worry that this is the same as asking her to marry you, because it’s not. I hear Chinese guys and women (women use the term ‘lao gong’/husband) saying this to each other all the time, some of those relationships culminate in marriage and some do not. It’s simply a cultural difference you can use to your advantage. With the next one we’re going to use another great tactic.

3. With this one we’re really going to ‘amp-up’ the emotional feelings: ‘Duode nuhai xihuan wo, danshi wo yao ni, bu yao bie de’. This sentence means ‘Lots of girls like me (change to ‘nan ha’ if it’s a male), but I want you and no one else’. This is a great sentence for not only conveying a depth of feeling and commitment to her but also demonstrating your value.

Now, you may think you telling her other women are attracted to you is maybe a bit unnecessary, and in a normal relationship where you are together everyday and can see each other, I might agree with you; but you are in a long distance relationship and the main point is to keep her, so you will often need a little bit more than just good old-fashioned love, you may need the good old-fashioned green-eyed monster himself, jealousy. For sure, you will be on her mind for days after, and she’ll make sure she puts in the work for you to, instead of going luke-warm.

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