Dating across cultural boundaries does bring additional challenges, but the rewards, as in any successful relationship, are obviously worth it.

If you start dating someone local, you will probably find that everyone around you, both Chinese and Western, starts giving you advice about how to handle your new relationship, and try to interpret or explain the actions of the person you are with. Be very wary of this. Chinese millennials have grown up in a complicated mess of their own and Western culture, not to mention the ever-present conflict between traditional and modern ideas from both. People are different anyway, but here it is even more difficult to predict someone’s attitudes on any particular issue. Attempts to stereotype will be just as disastrous as assuming nothing has changed from home. As with everything else here, any assumptions or expectations you have may be completely incorrect.

The only person who can tell what your significant other thinks is them, so talk to them! You’ll avoid lots of problems this way, both real ones that you didn’t know about, and imaginary ones that never really existed.

If you date someone more traditional, an early conversation will possibly be about marriage and children. This may come as a shock to a westerner, where marriage and babies aren’t spoken of for quite a while; traditional gender roles are very strong in the China. You can talk with your partner about finding a cultural “middle ground” that works for you both. Dating is a universal experience, and as long as you have patience the little things just fade away. Love is love, it doesn’t matter what country you’re in