Of course, if you are not very good in Chinese and/or your Chinese love is not skilled in English, then being in a cross-cultural relationship becomes a constant uphill and rocky climb. Then again, not speaking the same tongue as your partner also does not always mean that the relationship is bound for failure. In fact, sometimes there’s a benefit to having an initial language barrier, as it forces two people to go beyond verbal communication. There are more and far better ways to communicate than just through words.
Given that many western men are not always very verbal when it comes to their feelings – a supposed flaw that most western women often find annoying – the fact that the Chinese rely more on what is unspoken and on what someone’s actions signify can actually make a relationship with a Chinese woman more ideal for a foreign man.
To the Chinese, non-verbal communication actually speaks volumes. This includes facial expressions, gestures, postures, tones of voice, and eye contact. These forms of non-verbal interaction play an important role in daily Chinese life and are often more powerful than verbal communication when it comes to relaying thoughts and feelings, whether the interaction is within the context of a marriage, of family, a business relationship, or any other kind of relationship for that matter.
Their considerable reliance on non-verbal communication is largely based on the nature of the Chinese language, which is made up of more than 3,000 characters. The meaning of each changes depending on with what other characters it is combined, the specific tone when it is pronounced, and the specific purpose of its use. In short, verbal Chinese communication heavily relies on non-verbal means of expression.
Additionally, the Chinese have a natural tendency to be mum when it comes to emotional expression. Speaking their mind is one thing; but putting their feelings into words is not something that comes to them naturally, in the same way that showing their affection through physical contact is also unnatural for them.
When you’re in a relationship with a Chinese woman, always keep in mind that actions speak louder than words. Your Chinese love would not mind much if you’re not very articulate, whether in English or Chinese; the most important thing for her would be how you show her that you care. After all, even the prettiest words said to a loved one are just words, and basically meaningless, unless you back them up with sincere action.
It’s not what you say, but how you say it: the tone of your voice; the expression on your face; your posture and gestures; and whether there’s sincerity in your eyes. You can also show your Chinese love how you feel in small and countless ways: send her flowers to let her know you miss her, that you’re thinking about her, or that you’re sorry; learn how to cook her favorite Chinese dish; show concern for her parents; make future plans with her.
Given that your culture is very different from hers, you must also learn about the meanings the Chinese give to certain gestures and the different contexts within which they are often used. Misunderstanding can also arise simply from not knowing that a certain flower or gift wrapper color is not the appropriate one for a certain occasion, such as your Chinese love’s birthday; or that ignoring or being irritated at her sajiao behavior means you don’t care about her needs.
While you may never be as articulate in the Chinese language as you are in the English language, you can still build a meaningful bridge between you and your Chinese love using non-verbal means. In time, the two of you will develop your own form of communication, one that is deeper and which won’t even need words at all, just a certain look in one’s eyes or a certain facial expression.
A foreign man seriously looking for the Chinese love of his life will find tons of great information about Chinese dating and relationships, Chinese women, and all things that concern Chinese society and culture on the blogs, forums, and magazine of ChinaLoveMatch.net, the home of trusted dating, where international men and Chinese women share their life experiences and bare their souls to give you the real goods on love, cross-cultural relationships, and all things Chinese.