Thursday, September 4, 2014

Venus, a stellar person, not planet

This post is a little late. But I have to "finish" the story. In tears.

Venus. Oh goodness, do I love that girl! Hence the tears. She is someone I will forever keep in contact with. And forever remember.

She's spunky, opinionated, cute, gutsy, crazy, kind, deep, thoughtful, stubborn, loving, loud and much much more.

Our last meeting was in June. She came over to my apartment for one last chat. I have always enjoyed talking to her.  The variety and depth or our conversations over the past 3 years is quite amazing. We never seem to run out of things to say. The topics of our last chat were Kevin, sex and dating in grad school.

Kevin. If you don't know who Kevin is, you should check out this post or this post. She had finally broke it off with Kevin, who was her lesbian girlfriend for the past 2 and a half years. She had debated for a while about when to do it, next term or this summer. She thought a slower break (over a couple of months) would be easier to accept. But they had a calm, collected conversation and "mutually" decided it was time to end their relationship. She wasn't broken up about it at all. She was revealed to be finished with it. She had become irritated and annoyed with Kevin's immaturity level and neediness and carelessness and lack of dependability. I told her some of that was Kevin's age and some of that was expectations that couldn't be met in another person. She was looking for love, stability, and fulfillment in a person. That was only going to lead her to heartache and disappointment. I reminded her I believed what she was looking for could only be found in God. Even if she found a man she thought was perfect, he was going to fail her, disappoint her, or anger her at some point in time. That ache/desire in her heart was only going to be fulfilled through God. She heard it all before and listened and understood. But ultimately, said she thought she could still have a good and happy marriage with out God or belief.

Dating. She had so many questions for me. What would I do and not do with my boyfriend, physically. What kind of things would we talk about. Just to clarify, my students all know I had a boyfriend in high school and college. I've shared various stories with them. Some of her questions were hypotheticals. Let me go on a tangent for a moment. Another thing to note is the maturity of level of college students in China. I may have said this before, but they are considerably less mature than the average American student. They don't usually pay for their tuition, food, cellphone bill, dorm fees, etc. They rely primarily on their parents. Some might rely on them less, but over all that isn't the case. Some might have a part time job. But most of them don't. Their parents believe they should focus on school.  SO, when I talk about boys and dating and sex, they get all sorts of giggly. They snicker and can't seem to help but cover their mouth in shock and awe of what I say. Venus, isn't that way. So, I shared some of the naive physical boundaries my boyfriend of the past and I had. She was intrigued. She said, "How can you stick to them so strictly, Nila?" I laughed. I said, "Sometimes, it wasn't easy. And, to be honest, most of the time, I had to say 'Stop' or 'That isn't ok.' I think men and women see and feel physical things very differently." I also told her said boyfriend and I were friends for about a year before we dated and we dated for about a 1 year and a half to 2 years. She was really surprised. It's not uncommon for Chinese to date 4-5 years before tying the knot. She said most people that date that long will stay together. I told her I stayed with him too long. I should have broken up earlier. About a year after dating, I was sure I wasn't going to marry him. Even after time and growth, it just wasn't going to work out. I encouraged her to know what she is willing to accept and what she's not. And if she needs to change those expectations from time to time, it's okay. But if she really can't accept smoking or lack of independence from family, then she should wait. Of course, it's "easy" for me to say all this. I'm American. There's "little to no pressure" for me to get married or have kids. But Asian families and parents are very opinionated and put a lot of pressure on their youngsters. She said she doesn't mind waiting, but she's not sure how her family will accept that idea. But she was very excited to see and meet new people in grad school. And possibly find the love of her life! There were endless opportunities in grad school.

Sex. Hahaha! I honestly can't remember how we came to this topic, but we did. I think I asked her what she would do if her boyfriend was pressuring her to have sex. I have heard this from so many young Chinese girls. They don't want to have sex. But they fear their boyfriends will leave them and find someone else. Which may very well be true. She said, very confidently, "I will never have sex with my boyfriend. I don't think it's ok. Girls should protect themselves. They should have confidence. And if my boyfriend tries to pressure me, I will say no. And if her continues for a long time, I don't need him. Maybe he's not right for me." Bravo! I love her tenacity. She expressed her thoughts about how sex is very intimate and special. She does not want to do it with everyone. She would like to wait to get married. I felt happy for her. To be so sure and so secure in her convictions. I wonder, if she will feel the same when/if the situation arises.

I hope to go visit her at some point. She is studying in a place that is called "Spring City" in Chinese. I've been there before and it has wonderful weather and lots of foreign goods. I suppose I could make some time to go ;)