I’ve been seeing a British guy who has spent more than 10 years in Taiwan. He is fluent in both Mandarin and Taiwanese, among several other languages such as French, German and Greek. Obviously the issue of language barrier is nonexistent between us. The language we use between us is English, since I feel most comfortable with it. One day, he starts speaking Mandarin with me, but I naturally replied in English (having grown up in a multilingual environment, I don’t find it odd to use more than one language during a conversation as long as everyone is fluent in them). And then he tells me: “I don’t want to speak English with you. You speak Chinese. So speak Chinese with me. I’m sick of English because I teach it every single day! When I talk to you I feel like I’m still working but just not getting paid for it.” But the thing is, I don’t get to speak English a lot in Taiwan, and I can’t exactly express myself fully in Chinese. He wants a break from English when he’s not working, whereas I want a break from Chinese when I’m not around Taiwanese people.
He said: “If I have to keep speaking English with you, I might just give up on seeing you.” I mean, what kind of excuse is that? I’ve tried speaking more Chinese with him recently, but I still feel uncomfortable about it. Even worse, now I can’t even speak English with him without feeling uncomfortable. I know this may seem like a stupid and trivial problem, but what can I do to make this a win-win situation?