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To date or not to date
I am a 29yr old caucasian male American that lives in China. I speak some Chinese, but not enough to hold a decent conversation, plus you also have some of the people that do not like foreigners. I get my fair share of guys interested in me, but here they either just want sex or they are the type to say "I love you" after 15 minutes of knowing you, they don't understand its true meaning. My last BF in USA just kind of happened, in all honesty though, I was never really in love with him, I just kind of went through the motions. Prior to him it had been a year that I was single. The BF before that time I left after he abused me physically. Before him it was many years before I had a BF. I also have this bad habit, I tend to push away the guys that I truly like because I feel incomplete as a person and feel that I do not deserve them. In the end I wind up with the wrong guy majority of the time. Dating anymore just seems to be problematic and annoying, but at the same point I am tired of being alone.
My short answer is not to date, not until you work on you.

You have that self fulfilling prophesy thing going on - you believe you don't deserve any better than the users and abusers, so if you find better, you reject it off hand or, sabotage the relationship. That may or may not be intentional or even conscious on your part.

I've done it, so have others and, it leads to a world of repeated hurt that reinforces your belief that you deserve to be mistreated or, even abused, that you don't deserve the right guy.

The more the wrong guy happens, the more gun shy you get and, the more you doubt your worth and even your ability to make healthy relationship choices and decisions. That is a hard cycle to break.

I know, mainstream therapists are going to tell you that you can break it on your own, simply learn to make good choices and decisions and, learn to feel better about yourself. To a degree that's true but, I don't think it's entirely true. I think it takes the right kind of partner that understands where you've been, why yo were making bad choices and, that you probably will still unintentionally try to sabotage a good thing and, one willing to call you on it when it happens. Not to blame you but to make you aware of what you still need to work on.

It also takes some self confidence and maturity on your part to accept being called on those things and not get upset, or blame yourself but, set about being more aware of it and, fixing it.

So, were I where you are now, I'd be taking a hard look at myself and, figuring out what I needed to do to get myself as ready as I could for a good relationship and doing that. Maybe you need to do some reading, maybe you need a therapist (not a psychiatrist). maybe an abuse survivor's support group, or even online forum would help you. Whatever will get you going in the right direction for you, find it and do it. Once you get in a better place personally, then go out there and see about that good relationship.
ESLteacher Wrote:... My last BF in USA just kind of happened ... was never really in love with him ... The BF before that time I left after he abused me physically ... I tend to push away the guys that I truly like because I feel incomplete as a person and feel that I do not deserve them .. at the same point I am tired of being alone.

i think you know all about how you must love your self before thinking to date some one. I see you in fact respect your self because you left a physically abusive situation. So kinda confusing??

So how do you hate your self that you feel your "do not deserve them". there must be some self hate? Any ways most likely i am reading into this too much.

You have to be realistic up front tho, because immigration laws are harsh.
Its exciting to find a friend+ in a foreign country because you will learn so much more very quickly. Intimacy is a great incentive to learn the whole culture.
Respecting yourself and loving yourself do not always fall 100% hand in hand. Yes, I respect myself enough to leave a physically abusive relationship, however, do I completely love myself? No. I never have for as long as I can remember, even as a child.
I say "not to date" as well. You should get comfortable with yourself and get to know who you are before trying to get to know someone else. You should be using that alone time to get to know the inner you more.
"People of all sexes have the right to explore femininity, masculinity, and the infinite variations between, without criticism or ridicule."
— Leslie Feinberg
i still think a friend+ relationship while your in China would benefit both. Go for it but just hope nothing lasting happens because the immigration laws are so harsh, especially for gays.
As for feeling incomplete, we are all incomplete, this is why we run off, meet people and try to become part of an 'us' because we all feel incomplete. Well most of us. This is why people say silly stuff such as 'I wasn't whole until I was with you'.

This romantic sentiment reflects the human need for companionship, the human need for intimacy, the human need to have another in our life. We get notions like true love, soul mates and other things that allude to two halves of a whole.

Of course there is an unhealthy extreme here - where that is for you I can't say.

As for abusive relationships and falling for the wrong guy, we victims of abuse tend to bring it on ourselves more often than we like to admit. No, I'm not saying we stand there and say 'Please hit me.'

I am saying we are attracted to certain personality types and we attract those types - something about our demeanor screams 'punching bag'. An abuser can see us coming from a mile off and knows the passwords and secret handshake to get us to fall for them. We fall for the charm, and the pretend mask.

Understanding that you are attracted to particular personality traits that lend themselves to abusive people is half the solution to stopping the the vicious cycle.

I don't know what it is you find attractive. Me, I'm attracted to dominate personalities that are attached to huge egos. This opens the doors for allowing a lot of things that lead to abuse. It took me several years of therapy to figure this out for myself.

Good news is that you may not have to go through therapy. Look at the personalities in your 'type' of guy that you get involved with. Find the commonalities, those traits that you are attracted to and change the type of person you go for.

It is relatively easy - heavy on the relatively.

Is China going to be your permanent home? If not then why would you even consider looking for a life partner in China? Seems to me that the risk is high that you will fall for a Chinese Citizen or a citizen of some other nation then end up having to part ways in future. As far as I know the USA does not grant citizenship to partners of gay people, and China is even worse when it comes to recognizing gay rights.

If the situation is such where you know a long term relationship is going to end with you two being separated by legalities of citizenship, then do not go out seeking such to begin with. Trust me, being forced to separate from the person you love is more horrible than their dying.

If your stay in China is Temporary, try being the single gay man on a professional level (pay is lousy, no benefits to speak of) and work on you. You are worth it. I would also steer clear of 'just sex' type relationships because love happens - when you least expect it.

If you can't do a therapist, then at the very least try figuring out what traits in your previous partners you were attracted to and try to connect dots to their behaviors.

If running away is your thing, then try to figure out your triggers and work on them.

I'd say you have the opportunity to do some serious self discovery here and may actually be in a relatively safe place if your stay in China is temporary you have good reasons to not get involved - legal reasons, citizenship reasons.
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[SIZE=4]I told you I had the body of a 25 year old....

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ESLT, I think your trip to China was one where you also hoped to find yourself, maybe find someone too... But at the same time, you probably knew deep down inside that it would be even harder. Aren't you being really hard on yourself? Well, now you've signed up for a few years, I'm guessing and you'll have to see it through. But something may happen when you stop looking for it.

I think you are right to say that some Chinese young men are likely to fall in love after 15 minutes. They buy even more into the whole romantic thing, and being desperate, they're likely to think anyone they find attractive will be the real thing. It's a cultural thing. It probably won't work for you, unless you meet that very special someone. But do you like Asians? Had you ever envisaged having an Asian partner?
I'm asking because maybe some people have it in their minds that they won't be happy with someone from a very different culture, not to mention what our eyes find attractive and sexy.
Wish you the best of luck, ESLT... Remember, if you like, that my mother was out in China volunteering and teaching as you are, and I think she gave me a fairly good account of what she had to live through... I don't know if I'd have the courage, although I've enjoyed trying to learn Chinese....
Zai jian. Bighug
Sweetie you have to love yourself before you love someone.
Work on building up your self esteem, finding the good qualities and accepting your self.
Loving myself is one of the HARDEST things that I have ever tried to tackle in life. I chalk a lot of it up to my beyond fucked up childhood. Some people should never have children. Over the years I have improved a lot from the obese kid that had coke bottle glasses, nervous grunts, and eye twitches (not to mention the beating marks). It scarred me scarred me deep in my soul. It has made me that much harder on myself as an adult. I can never just let the pieces fall where they may, I have to control where they fall. I feel that I always have to find ways to improve myself whether it is physical, mental, or just a skill. Most of the people that I grew up with had decent families, lived at home until they went off to college, parents paid for college, they got their bachelors, got the job, the car, the house, and the family. Me on the other hand, that was not an option. Being thrown in and out of mental hospitals for three years when in reality the problem was not with me, it was with my parents (hence why none of us three kids talk to either of them and haven't in years). I was forced on my own with nothing to start with, had to get my GED through night classes at the local community college, attempted college and between time and the cost it did not work out very long. So I did what made sense, I came to China, earned my teaching diploma, worked off my debt to my sponsor agency that paid for it, and now here I am. I am finally in a place where I can work and afford college so next semester that will be happening for me via the internet and I think that will help me feel a bit more complete. Plus, I have been researching plastic surgery in Shanghai at a certain hospital and getting rid of all of that leftover stuff from when I used to be obese will help me move to a better place mentally as well I think.

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