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" The photo leading off the post was a still from the 1980s American movie featuring Long Duk Dong, considered one of Hollywood's most offensive Asian male stereotypes.
He always opened doors for me and wouldn't leave my side until he escorted me all the way to the entrance to my apartment.
When I thought about my burgeoning crush for Tian, I figured it was no different from that college semester when I studied in Spain.
All the American girls I knew liked flirting with the local Spaniards, and why not?
As I continued to date the locals in China and eventually married a fellow from Hangzhou, I would come to realize that most expat women in China agreed with my Zhengzhou colleagues. A European woman I worked with in 2001 famously told me that, while she found all Chinese men completely repulsive, she considered Chinese children so adorable.
But some of my most fascinating and educative encounters with this idea of "Chinese men as undateable" happened online, when I came face-to-face with these opinions distilled into the cold, black-and-white reality of blog posts and expat forums.
The experience of being in a foreign country and culture somehow liberated us from our usual American expectations for men and dating itself. We could even reinvent ourselves and what it meant to be in love with someone.