Cultural differences - foreign woman/Taiwanese man dating

Hi…I moved to Taiwan about six months ago and have been dating a local Taiwanese guy for a little over two months now. I have read a few other posts on this forum about foreign woman/Taiwanese man dating relationships, but I haven’t quite seen any advice or experiences about basic cultural differences. It seems that in my boyfriend and my dating relationship lately we have been having quite a few “discussions” about our differences in thinking, and they seem to be cultural things and not personality differences. For example, in a Taiwanese dating relationship, my boyfriend tells me, the couple spends every possible minute of their free time together. Also in Taiwanese relationships, the girl doesn’t show her emotions or show anger when she’s upset, and she never yells. I’m also told that in groups, the girl is expected to give her boyfriend full attention and not talk to other people unless her boyfriend is at her side. Also she is not to share her food with anybody besides her boyfriend. I’m wondering if there are any other foreign women here in Taiwan who can share some advice or experiences with dating a Taiwanese man and any cultural differences you had to work out. Thanks…

Heh heh.

I must try that one with my Taiwanese wife. ‘You must do everything I tell you to - it’s my culture.’

Sounds to me like he’s something of a control freak. Just my humble opinion.

[quote=“tomthorne”]Heh heh.

I must try that one with my Taiwanese wife. ‘You must do everything I tell you to - it’s my culture.’[/quote]I would like to try it, too. However, I would expect a chunk of firewood to smack me up against the side of my melon before the final syllable exited my lips! :roflmao:

[quote=“Northcoast Surfer”][quote=“tomthorne”]Heh heh.

I must try that one with my Taiwanese wife. ‘You must do everything I tell you to - it’s my culture.’[/quote]I would like to try it, too. However, I would expect a chunk of firewood to smack me up against the side of my melon before the final syllable exited my lips! :roflmao:[/quote]

My wife, I don’t think she could manage it she’d be laughing so hard.

Complete shite from a man with huge insecurity problems. I know some foriegn lasses with local partners and they go out alone, spend a lot of free time without their SO hanging around like a lost puppy, share food with others, and talk to who they please.

You BF is just one of those do everything I tell you type just before he turns into one of those who stalk you if you break up, raid your emails, crack your facebook accounts, and talk shit behind your back, and treats you as if he owns you. Ask any taiense girl what their BF’s are like, they all know A…holes like this one you describe.

[color=#0000FF]RUN SuperLaoshi RUN[/color]

Hi SuperLaoshi,

welcome to forumosa.
Now that we’re friends, WTF are you doing with such a control freak??? Good god, girl. Get out of it. Change your phone number, and don’t look back.

Seriously, who would put up with such abusive shit?

Guys who spy on you and act like control freaks are almost always cheating on you, btw. Ask any woman over 30.

He is describing a highly idealized version of reality. There are very, very few Taiwanese women who behave as he describes, and those who do will often only do it for a short time, for whatever reason.

He honestly sounds like a very old-fashioned lad or someone who has watched way too many Mandopop music videos.

I’m not sure you need to run from him. Just tell him you think his culture is great but that he’s full of shit if he thinks that is how modern Taiwanese guys and girls behave, and see how he reacts. If he’s honest, he’ll say “Yeah, you’re right” and then you can dispense with the control freak stuff. A lot of guys think they want a docile littel cupie doll, but they don’t really respect that. If he wants one of those, you probably have some decisions to make.

The guy needs to be fixed by a Taiwanese girl. They usually know how to handle them.

Yeah…he really is a sweet guy and very romantic, but I’ve been wondering how much of the “cultural differences” we have are truly cultural and I haven’t been in Taiwan long enough to know. In the States such a guy would be labelled “clingy”, I believe, not so much “control freak” in his case because he doesn’t demand I follow these culture “rules” or get angry or abusive…he just gets really really sad or hurt if I disagree so I end up doing things his way because I hate seeing him hurt and I just don’t know what’s really cultural or not. So confused…but thanks for your inputs. I haven’t seen too many other foreign women in a dating relationship with a local guy so I was wondering if any out there had any similar experience.

Just explain to him that he isn’t dating someone from his culture, so he needs to accept that things will always be different. If he wants Taiwanese tell him to pick a Taiwanese. Shouldn’t be too hard in Taiwan.

There, you see, he has full control over you.

A.K.A the Little Emperor syndrome.

Exactly! There are many ways to controle another person. Abusive men do not seem abusive at first–it’s only after you’ve invested yourself in a relationship with them that they begin to be more harsh and more overt in their controling behaviors.

You may soon find yourself surprizingly cut off from anything and anyone that he has no sway over. It will not seem obvious that this is happening. I know I may sound nuts or like I’m over reacting. I’m not. I married the sweetest, most romantic Taiwanese man on the planet. I divorced the most hateful, manipulative Taiwanese man I’ve ever met!

Before I met my husband, I dated quite a few Taiwanese men. The only one, other than the one I married, that I ever had real trouble with, or who made me feel uncomfortable in any way, was someone who I’m pretty sure was married, it just took me a while to put things together.
My point is that it’s possible to find someone else to date who will want to be with you for who you are, not try to get you to be whatever he’s looking for. Listen to Aunty Housecat. You need to think about having “let’s be friends” talk.

Absolutely agree with all said, especially Housecat. Your BF’s giving you a nice tall tale.

First couple of locals I met here, the first week on this Island, I was amazed of this minute 48kg Taiwanese girl pounding on her 6foot boyfriend. Quiet? Gimme a break… Culture my pi, as they say here.

Taiwanese girls are not submissive, unless they have serious problems. They are active participants in the economy, they wotk in business or in construction, they lead their own enterprises, they have no reason to take any b.s. from anyone. Why would they?

The only quiet girls I’ve seen is Taiwanese girls who don’t speak good English when they hang out with they boyfriend’s friends, and it usually does not bode well for the relationship.

I commented this situation with the other fellow office foreigner women married/divorced/in relationships with male Taiwanese and they all agree with:

1 Like

I have not read the thread yet, but this set off BIG alarm bells in my head.
What you have is a Taiwanese man who is not at the point where he can acknowledge that there are two cultures in the relationship and that both are equally valid.
Trust me on this one. I was married to a man in the past who had this problem (and was not Taiwanese, BTW) and it was a living hell. Cross-cultural relationships are fine if both parties are willing to stipulate to the basic truth that BOTH cultures have validity, and that compromises will be necessary. When one party cannot or will not realize that “normal” is culturally bound, you will either go nuts or kill him.

Been there. Did that. [color=#FF0000]Run, don’t walk[/color].

OK so lets assume you don’t run and we follow this to its natural conclusion
Taiwanese men thin its ok to have an “er nai” or 2nd wife / mistress
Taiwanese men think its ok to hit their wives
Taiwanese men can go out drinking and whoringwhile their wives stay locked in the house with the babies
Taiwanese men think its ok to ignore you and treat you like a servant if you can’t have children
etc etc etc.

How much “cultural” nonsense is enough?

By the way the comments above are just examples of what might be said, or even left unsaid and by no means reflect what all Taiwanese men are actually like.


During my first couple of years in Taiwan, I also dated a guy who told me these were cultural norms, and I tried very hard to follow them. Your experience so far sounds just like mine, and I only hope you don’t have to suffer the final manipulation, absolute control, and resulting depression and breakdown of life, as I did. My female Taiwanese students and friends tried to convince me that these “ideals” do not apply to modern Taiwanese relationships, but I was so determined to be culturally sensitive that I didn’t see my downfall coming.

Even if he is not of such a controlling personality, but truly just believes the things you list are what he wants from a relationship, then you really need to ask yourself if you are ready for the hours of explanations for things such as: male coworkers having your telephone number; old school friends from home coming to visit and you asking them to stay at your apartment; consoling him when you can’t spend time with him because you have an event to attend; you wanting to go shopping alone; explaining you didnt take the food from the person, they gave it to, no, it doesn’t mean anything… I can’t think of all the things I have gone through right now but I can tell you it is exhausting and draining.

All those warnings aside, maybe your experience will be different from mine, and after discussion he will change his attitude. Please, though, just listen to those warning bells when they go off, and don’t just dismiss them as “Oh I am being too insensitive to the culture.” That got me in a lot of trouble.

I know that if I asked my husband what he thought about your boyfriend telling you this was the culutral norm, he would tell me it is rubbish. And,when I think of my friends married here to Taiwanese guys, I can’t think of any relationships that fit into your date’s ideas. There are so many really awesome guys out there that don’t require so much work, you have to decide if it is really worth it in the long-term.

Superlaoshi, bail out now. There is a crash coming with him in the left seat.

:ponder: :ponder: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

Your bloke is a complete and utter fucking nimrod. An absolute twat of the highest order. There isn’t even a Linnean term for total numptitude of this order.
Dump him. Tell him you’re looking for a MAN, not a pantywaisted halfwit. Tell him what he REALLY needs is his mummy.
Damn! I LOVE the flob! :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao: