These past few days have been particularly difficult. School has been going smoothly, so it’s not that. My health and general well-being have both been up to par. No, I’ve had to make an especially difficult decision over the last few days. It is a decision that has brought great sadness and even mourning but I know in my heart it is the right one. I broke up with Ting Ting. We simply aren’t a good match for each other. Our relationship has had a series of problems that I have been working hard to overlook but in the end I deemed our overall connection too unhealthy for both of us.
Parting ways with her is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through. We shared a special love, and truly cared about each other. But we have entirely different goals and mismatching personalities and it wouldn’t be fair to her for me to continue with things the way they were any longer. I truly wish her the best in all she does in the future and I believe she will find a partner that is more suitable for her. And so will I. When I told my American friends about this and went into detail about the issues of our relationship they all supported my decision a hundred percent. They even pointed out issues that they noticed just by being around the two of us. But my Chinese friends were a different story. Most of them barely know her or don’t know her at all. But at first they pleaded with me to reconsider. They were all shocked and surprised that I decided to part ways with her. But after some explanation they all came around and agreed. I guess this goes to show that in China breaking up is a more serious endeavor. They don’t just frivolously end things on a whim like we seem to do in the States. I kind of like this about China, but at the same time I think it creates some problems in the long run. A good balance is needed in this regard. China also has almost an equal amount of divorces that the States has. When it comes to dating, I get the impression that they may even opt to stay with someone even if they are unhappy. But I could be wrong, and I think that casual dating is more and more becoming a thing in China.
I gave this matter much prayer and consideration before I decided to go through with it. And when I was actually in the process of breaking things off with Ting Ting I tried to be as gentle and delicate as I could possibly be. I told her that I wished her the best, and I truly do. I told her that I believe she will find someone else who is more suitable to her and who can give her everything she wants. She seemed sad and cried a little but overall I think she took it well. Her mom was a different story. Her mom and I talked on Skype (using the chat function, not the video) for about 4 hours or so. At first she pleaded with me to take her back. But after a while she started getting bitter and angry and said some extremely hurtful things in Chinese. She accused me of being dishonest and not genuine. She said I was a bad person, and I was only using Ting Ting for my own devious selfish reasons. She even went as far as to question my faith in God and tell me I had to repent. But last time I checked breaking up with a girl is not a sin. But I understand where she’s coming from she really loves her daughter and wants the best for her. But what she really ended up doing was burning all bridges between us and making me more firm in my decision.
Ting Ting and I simply didn’t have good communication. We would go hours and hours without talking and often when I tried to talk to her she either wouldn’t respond or she would only respond briefly. She didn’t just do this with me she did it with everybody. And I know enough Chinese and she knows enough English that it wasn’t a communication barrier. It was something entirely different.
I never promised anything I couldn’t deliver. I made certain that I didn’t promise I would marry her. Or that we would be together always. Whenever she or her mother brought up marriage (which was a lot) I always made a firm point of saying, “I cannot promise you anything, we need to get to know each other better before we say things like that.” And “I’m looking for a wife in the future. In the future I do want to settle down and get married but we need to know each other better.” We only knew each other in person for less than 3 months. That’s a very short period of time.
There is another thing that happened that I haven’t really told anyone about yet but it’s very appropriate to be noted. Way back in September when her mom was still here I went over to her house for supper. She brought out this ring and told me it was a gift to me of the promise of our love. At the time I was smitten with her and thought, “Hey a promise isn’t such a bad idea,” so I accepted it. Then her mother went on to say that now we were engaged and that we would be together forever. I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say. We were only with each other in person for not even a month at that point. Later on that day I sat them down and told them it was far too soon to be getting engaged and I returned the ring.
There have been so many red flags along the way that I have ignored because I had my hopes up about finally finding “the One.” But I know I’m still young and so is she, there is plenty of time for us both to find the right mate for our lives. The more I’m here, the more I think that living in China full time may not be such a bad idea. I really like China, its people, its customs, its history and its culture. And there are a lot of opportunities for work here and if I’m a native English speaker AND fluent in Chinese. There are numerous things I could do here in China. But Ting Ting’s dream is to immigrate to America and live with her mom. She talked about this all the time. And I wish her the best in that. That is a good dream to have. I just can’t help her with that.
So even though I am a little sorrowful right now, I’m excited about the future. 生活是酸甜苦辣。Life is bittersweet.