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Dating in Shenzhen as a foreign girl

Hi! I'm Tina, almost 30 & Latina. I have lived in Chengdu for the past 3 years and recently decided that it was time to move on. The main reason being that I do want to settle down in the relatively near future and I feel like I can't get the stable income, regular hours or the handsome guy for that to become a reality. Other than that, I love Chengdu and would stay forever, but it can be lonely & I find local Chinese guys tend to be rather traditional (I'm politely saying narrow minded and somewhat perverted) and the foreign guys are generally either gross or taken (love sleeping around or basically practically married already).  I'm not saying everyone but enough that I've given up trying here.
I'm not racist though I have a preference for asian but I'm not super skinny or tiny & I tend to go from kind of yellow to quite tan at times. I do think I'm attractive but living in Chengdu has made me doubt it more than once.
So I hope you guys can tell me:
Where to meet new people in Shenzhen? That isnt in bars or clubs...
Are the asian guys super traditional/narrow minded or more open to foreigners? How about people in general? I've made a lot of close friends in CD and I'd like to make more in SZ (my Mandarin is not bad).
How is the interracial -chinese/foreign- dating scene in SZ? how about amongst foreigners? (like in Chengdu most medical students & uni students now prefer other foreigners. The whole "asian fetish" vibe has dissipated somewhat except in some key trashy demographics)
What are people my age doing in SZ? I'm generally assumed to be 22-24 but I'm kind of bored by the party life style now.
Hobby wise, can I find book clubs, film festivals, dance parties/schools, cheap swimming pools, hiking/camping groups? Is it realistic to meet people through dance troupes, art galleries, tattoo shops, at live music shows? I like meeting people through shared hobbies and activities.
What is a good place to live for a not quite 30 year old who looks and acts super young but isnt crazy about the bar scene? I think I will be near the luohu area (SZ is way bigger than Chengdu so I cant remember but I thought my friends house is about 4 stops/2 lines from luohu border to HK and I had planned to move relatively near to her)


Basically I'm looking to move to some place for the next year with the intention of meeting someone fabulous and getting a good job so I can settle down and have a family. Ideally I'd like to do that in China but if it doesnt work out I will move on to another country (for example, I've dated quite a few local chinese guys and it usually turns into a "but you are foreign so you must be a slut" or a "my parents could never accept you" or a "I love you so much and want to spend all the time with you... as your friend" thing ~oh, and also, a LOT of 21y/o's think I'm the best thing ever but I prefer grown ups~ as for foreign guys, a lot just want to sleep around, "try out" tiny/short asian girls, or they simply go home after a few months). So basically I'm asking you guys if you think SZ is a decent place for dating as a foreign girl and what the environment is really like.



The dating scene in Chengdu is pretty depressing: young chinese guys (19-23ish) really love foreign girls, the older guys want to try us out (once a guy stared at me across a bar all night. When he finally got up the courage to approach me his pick  up line was "I want to f#*$ you" followed by "I REALLY want to f you" when I just stared at him). The foreign guys are similarly impressive/depressing in general but a LOT of fit model types here.

Have you decied where you are going to next? only SZ? why dont you wanna try other city in China? like Beijing or Shanghai .

Beijing & Shanghai are too big & too polluted. Actually SZ is rather too big as well but I have friends there and I have been there before. I like the library, all the book stores, how important design is in daily life & the local art scene seemed fairly active while I was there. Plus my friend told me it was easier to find live music shows there which I also enjoy. SZ seems a good city to be young(ish) & upwardly mobile. I've considered other cities but I dont really like all the staring in smaller cities and I dont want to start over while feeling completely alone. I have another friend moving there in september as well and another will follow me in December when her current contract ends. I've spent 3 years in Sichuan, I feel like guangdong province is a good next stop & I like the local culture and food. The only thing I'm really wondering is if no one will understand my mandarin.

When I stumbled into the dating world whilst in China, one of the first things I discovered is that Chinese men are as diverse as any other men in any other country.  Some are indeed what we might call racist while others are open to any and all races.  Some want to find a wife while some want to jump into every bed they see.  Some are vanilla and some make Germans look like Mormons.  In short, Chinese men are very much like men all over the world.

Hahahaha great response! I've had some great experiences here & some bad ones but I've found that I can get dates easily. I guess what I'm really asking is are guys there as traditional as here? Here plenty (but still a small fraction) will date/fool around with foreigners but are not even willing to consider it as a long term thing. The women are much more open. I've seen it often enough that I do think it's a local culture thing because I've heard different stories based on a persons location (like guys in really small towns cant get a date either & when I visited Guizhou for a week I got asked out 3 times in 1 night) so I'm curious about the mood there.

Hi Tina,
FYI, Shenzhen is the only city in Guangdong where mandarin is widely spoken and understood. So you don't have to worry about people here can not understanding your putonghua~
As far as dating/relationship is concerned, it is really hard to say. But it is also super easy. You first decide they kind of guys you want to be with, then go to the right places to meet them. After reading what you wrote, i feel you don't have to go to bar/club to find friends there as you are already fed up with that kind of lifestyle. Many expats complain on this forum that people in China/Shenzhen are hard to make friends, well, because ordinary Chinese people don't like to go to bars and clubbing is never a mainstream way of life. I personally went to bar 2 times only in my 30 years time can you believe that? and most of my friends(friends that grows up with me and friends that i made later after i worked) are like me. So now it is not surprising to see why foreigners find hard to make friends here. It depends on the network you have, the place you go to for networking.
You can go to cafe, coffee shop, small live house for music, sports center, and book store where they often shows good alternative films, go to places where you can sit down and talk to people. that's how you get to know people properly.
Just go to the right places and you will find the right friends then you may make someone right out of the friends you've made.

You love China so much i think you deserve the best of Chinese men.

Adam

Hi, I just moved to Shenzhen 3 weeks ago, maybe I can tell you a little from what I've seen and heard.

Basically it's pretty common to see foreign men going out with local women but it's quite rare to see Asian men dating other races - I can tell because a lot of pedestrians giving me strange looks when I was walking along with a Ukrainian girl on the street (by the way, I'm Chinese).

People who have lived overseas for a few years are generally more open-minded. You can consider those who've come back to China from Western countries.

FighterCat :

Beijing & Shanghai are too big & too polluted. Actually SZ is rather too big as well but I have friends there and I have been there before. I like the library, all the book stores, how important design is in daily life & the local art scene seemed fairly active while I was there. Plus my friend told me it was easier to find live music shows there which I also enjoy. SZ seems a good city to be young(ish) & upwardly mobile. I've considered other cities but I dont really like all the staring in smaller cities and I dont want to start over while feeling completely alone. I have another friend moving there in september as well and another will follow me in December when her current contract ends. I've spent 3 years in Sichuan, I feel like guangdong province is a good next stop & I like the local culture and food. The only thing I'm really wondering is if no one will understand my mandarin.

You've made the right choice. SZ is the only livable city among the mega cities in China.

I'm sorry to hear that these men told you this kind of rubbish.

FighterCat :

"but you are foreign so you must be a slut" or a "my parents could never accept you" or a "I love you so much and want to spend all the time with you... as your friend" thing ~oh,.

I dont mean to hurt OP, but stay positive and be desirable will always leads you to find your partner. there almost none or very few latina in china, so people will spend some time to know about you and your culture background.

as you said, china is a very conservative, it means when encountering people who come from where we dont familiar or know almost nothing about at all, AKA south america, people will be very very cautious. what you see as normal may not be perceived the same here. there is a massive, I mean really massive culture difference between china and latin american. there are culture barrier you need to overcome.

as ericliu001 point out, chinese who been living abroad for a lengthy period time, learned how to be comfortable with foreigner may be a little open minded.

One of many reasons is China is not an immigration country!!!! there is very little input from foreign culture.  China only choose very limited foreign culture input with same cautious it display when picking a foreign women to date.

when dating a foreigner, you are really dating a foreign culture. different culture carries very different social norms and values. From reading OP's post, I got the feeling that you had a life pretty enjoyed yourself a lot. But 'enjoy yourself' life style isnt really ideal have a family life.

Ok, let me put it this way: people have this and that whatever expectation for the future, OK?  having a hobby is a good thing, it's a good way to meet people. Love partying is a good way to meet people.
but having too many hobbies and too many party can be a problem dont you think? In the end of day, people need to have a job and a family life which mean stable.
speak about attractive, every women and men (even fattest and ugliest men/women in the world) are 'attractive' in their own way when dancing at night club, because that's what it is all about.
correct me if I'm wrong, people go out partying and clubbing for enjoy themsleve, having fun and compete for  attention.

if you are not 'attractive' what else do you have? No means of offence, dont tell me 'attractive' is only thing you have, beauty and youth will be gone by time. what's left after that matter the most. That's what's chinese culture tend to think.
chinese culture has very strong feminism elements of thinking.

are asian men super traditional and narrow minded? well, be able to do very hot belly dancing at night club has anything to do with setting up family?

and finally, trust me, many foreign guys also get this: "my family will not accept you" things. chinese people need to be sure the other mean for business. this apply both to men and women and not happen when dating foreigners, it happens a lot when dating between chinese couples. As I said, this is culture norms.

chinese people sometimes say something but they really mean to ask question.
''you are foreign so you must be a slut" or a "my parents could never accept you"
these are not comment, these are questions which means:  prove it I'm wrong.

chinese culture believes deed not words. If you are not intend to understand chinese culture and social norms, your chance of dating a chinese guy is very dim.  Unless you encountered a really open minded one AND happen to have tons experience of living in a latino culture country. not many fit into that criteria.

for the foreign guys, they are quicker to adapt to the new realities, after some try & errors.  of course there are a lot setback at beginning, but they dont care. after getting enough score and experience, they know what to do, what to expect and who should they looking for.
you can say that's gender difference. and most importantly, a lot of them share experience to newbies. So it become a self feeding loops. newbies tends to imitate veterans. and veterans love to show off.

and of course, it works the other way around. chinese women who manage to find a foreigner as life patterner in foreign country loves to show off to their newbie as well. another self feeding loops is there.

[moderated : Expat.com is not a dating site ]

This thread is a bit old but I will give my 2 cents here.

I seldom go to bars, just like most Chinese guys. The bar scene in China is different from that in western world. Bars in China is not a place for Chinese to socialize, but a place for people to play, as crazy as they can. So when you date a guy in the bars in China. You can expect that this is just a game. If you want a stable relationship I suggest you go to some other places and events.

hi girl
I am totally understand you position
I am china girl.but two years ago.I tried to change my life,found a right person. had a family,
I was far away to go to America.i know the feeling when you are alone staying other coutry, tyring to find something you need.
I admire your courage.such a great girl.knowing what you need,how to change,ont only think about but also take action.
I stayed in AMERICA a half year. I  meet people through shared my hobbies and activities. Sure I made a lot of friend,but
It seemed there was not guy who would to be my right person,maybeI was not luck.but I always try.   welcomt to shenzhen. that.s good place.i l live there. even if shenzhen is not fit for you.you can go to hongkong.there should be some right place for you.

hi
it will almost be same as CD.  SZ is much more wild.  so you will find a lot of people to go out with you.  but they will all be ending same as CD.  it is really hard to find a decent man.  this days most of the guys 20-40 just want to fuck around.  they do not want commitment. 
but life in SZ is more colorfull.  you can meet many people, foreigners.  making money easier i gues.  i think you already know cost is higher in SZ.  allthe best

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