21 Nov 2005
This is another Chinese “love story,” but without a happy ending this time. It’s called “My girlfriend got pregnant, but she won’t marry me.”
> We had been together for eight full months, and our relationship was going great. But last month I wasn’t careful enough, and my girlfriend got pregnant. I felt truly sorry about that — we weren’t married, after all. When I found out she was pregant, I took a week off work to be with her. Then I saw her back to her hometown so she could spend some time there. But after a month she returned to work and refused to acknowledge me. Maybe it was her parents’ counseling, or perhaps something else? I kept asking her, so today she sent me a text message:
>> The three reasons she wants to break up with me:
>> 1. The problem is that I’m from out of town. Our families are 240 km apart, and her family doesn’t want her to marry someone so far away.
>> 2. It was a mistake that she accepted me. (Loving each other doesn’t count for anything?)
>> 3. It was a mistake that she viewed the issues too simplistically! (Actually, when we first started dating, we thought about the issues: (1) we would live where our careers take us, and (2) whether we could afford to buy a house.)
>> There’s nothing I can say — but I really love her!
Two things that struck me as very Chinese:
– That a distance of 240 km (150 miles) between the couple’s families could be considered an obstacle.
– That the breakup was done by SMS (text messaging)! I’ve noticed that Westerners generally try to do breakups in person. The new generation of Chinese, however, seems to think there’s nothing wrong with breaking up over the phone, by SMS, or even on IM!
Translator’s Note: I know my translation is a little weak in parts. I welcome suggestions for revision!