How We Found Love in Beijing – a City of 21 Million People

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As a foreigner in a huge foreign city like Beijing, It can be very hard to meet other foreigners. MANY people use Tinder for meeting others in Beijing. Yes, there is a large stigma around Tinder being used only for hook ups and at times it’s used for that purpose BUT it’s also a great networking tool! 

Kendall’s perspective

Once upon a time, I had a terrible double eye infection that lingered on FOR MONTHS while living in Beijing. During this time, I didn’t leave my apartment often. I mostly just left for work a couple times a week and for groceries. I would have a good couple of days where I would be able to meet up with some friends here and there but for the majority of the time I didn’t do much. I used this time to do something I had been wanting to do for a bit, downloading Tinder! 

After a few weeks of having Tinder, I had made some really great friends! These friends introduced me to their friends and so on! It was great! I was finally formulating a nice little foreign community of friends! People from all over the world! 

On the night of June 12th, 2019 I came across this super hot dude that resembled one of my favorite actors, Ryan Renolds. After I did a little swipe right action it popped up that he had also swiped right on me! 

I sent this super hot dude a message saying “You look like one of my favorite actors, Ryan Renolds!” 

SPOILER ALERT: This ladies and gentlemen, was the pickup line that landed me a husband.

 He replied with “I hope that is a good thing!”

We talked and talked and talked! 

A few days later, he mentioned that he would be in the area of Beijing that I lived in soon! He was going to check out the Beijing Garden Expo Park that was close to where I lived. He asked if I wanted to meet up! 

I had been in my apartment for a week at this point. I hadn’t gone anywhere. Any light killed my eyes. At first, I said no. But then, I thought about it and thought about it. Could I REALLY meet up with this super hot dude looking like a straight up swamp monster? I thought and thought some more. I finally gave in. The boredom of being locked away in my tiny apartment for weeks got the best of me.

I explained to him my situation and told him that if he was willing he could come to my apartment and we could watch movies or something but that I was unable to go out due to my eye infection. He agreed!

Quickly after, we agreed on a time, I thought to myself how stupid of a decision this was! What if he was a serial killer or something! I have just invited someone I have never met to my apartment. 

Boredom does crazy stuff to your reasoning and common sense…

The time came. He was 10 minutes away. I was frantically trying to cover up my eyes with makeup. 

He messaged and said he was here. Oh God! What in the HELL was I thinking.

I went down to look for him because well, the entrance to my apartment was a little odd. You had to walk through a restaurant to find the entrance! Weird, I know. 

Oh God, I thought! What have I agreed to! What if he’s weird, what if he’s annoying? I will be stuck in my apartment with him! UGHHHHH. I was quickly regretting my rash decision, out of boredom, to have a STRANGER come to my apartment.

I walk out of the restaurant doors. I didn’t see him. Also, like…who am I even looking for? 

I got a text that says “turn around.” 

There he was. My first thought was my lord, he’s tall. My second thought was WOW, he’s so handsome.

We said hi and I quickly realized everything was going to be ok. He was kind, charming and soft spoken. He was also a talker. No room for awkward silence because I’m not sure I even said five words within the first little bit of meeting him! He wasn’t weird or annoying. It was as if he could sense my reluctance. Like, he could tell that I was a little uncomfortable and quite embarrassed about my terrible eye infections. His kindness and ability to put me at ease was such a relief. I was instantly calmed and happy to see something different besides my four apartment walls. 

Now- the rest is history! 

His name is Max and he’s now my husband! 

Max’ perspective

In a big city like Beijing you can get bored pretty fast if you don’t find a exploring companion. Since my Chinese is pretty bad, I had to fall back on modern solutions, Tinder! 

When I saw Kendall the first time on the app I was flashed by her beauty. All her pictures were beautiful but one in particular caught my eye. She was  standing at the Bohai Sea at a location called “Old Dragon’s Head” in Shanhaiguan. She was standing in front of the ocean, her head looking down and her hair flowing in the wind. I was dreaming about being together with her. I thought wow, she is so unbelievable BEAUTIFUL!

Seeing she was a foreigner in Beijing also I thought jackpot, she must love to travel! I swiped right. I was hoping that directly after a message would pop up telling me that she swiped right on me also, but it didn’t happen. 

To my luck the message popped up a few days later and she wrote me a message saying “You look like Ryan Reynolds!” My heart started beating faster and faster! I was in heaven. I got a message from her! I replied but she never answered back. I do remember that in the very beginning she had her WeChat(Social media and communication platform in China) information on there so I just added her then promptly sent a message. Again to my surprise, she replied! 

I am a man of 7,000,000 words but I didn’t want to mess it up. I made sure that my spelling and sentence structures were perfect, which sounds ridiculous but I didn’t want to run her off, after all, English isn’t my first language. 

Talking to her was and still is so easy and it always makes me smile. 

It was roughly one or two weeks after that,  I was heading to her area of Beijing by chance to visit the Rocket Expo. I decided to take the chance and ask her if she wanted to meet later that day. 

First, she said she had some terrible eye infection and to be honest, I thought she was just making excuses to not meet me. I didn’t give up and was persistent! I knew I had to meet this girl! I told her I didn’t care about the eye infection and that I would keep my distance. (Likely story, right?) 

Finally, she gave in! I was absolutely out of my mind excited! 

When she was explaining to me how to get to her apartment it sounded super weird. She told me after I arrived I would have to walk through a restaurant in order to enter the apartment complex. I think she figured that it was too confusing for me and told me to let her know when I arrived, and she would meet me outside. 

After I arrived I was waiting outside for her. As I’m standing there the work crew of the restaurant was in the middle of getting their announcements for the evening from who I assumed was the manager. Weird, I know. 

When she came out I was like bam, JACKPOT! I was on cloud nine! My first impression was wow she is perfect! Not too tall, not too short, beautiful hair and a nice butt ;). 

Yes, I saw her first from the back first. Don’t judge me. I liked what I saw! She was initially walking in the wrong direction, away from me. I texted her because I didn’t wanna yell across the sidewalk of restaurant workers and interrupt their meeting… 

“Turn around” 

When she was turning around and we started walking closer to each other and I recall being locked in by her beautiful eyes. Even infected and a tad swollen, they were still beautiful. Immediately after exchanging hellos I was again in a state of “Don’t mess it up Max and talk too much or talk about weird shit”. 

It’s different in person, I couldn’t delete or adjust my sentences or words. There was no Google translate or spell check in person.

As we begin talking I realized I had nothing to worry about. She was very easy to talk to and she was also understanding and sensitive to the fact that English isn’t my first language. 

All my fears and worries were almost immediately put to rest. I was talking to my future wife and I knew it from the very first moment I met her.