Dating Chinese Men,  My Life

Everything happens for a reason – Finding my place in China


I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason and that things will always work out in the end. As you can guess from the photo, that is exactly what happened to me! You might still remember how I wrote being down last Autumn, having no motivation for studying and parting ways with my boyfriend.

During the last few years I have noticed that life always seem to through something new my way when I’m needing a change for the most. After going through the most terrible break up back in 2009 (Chinese guy with Finnish citizenship) I got a study exchange placement from Guangzhou University and moved to China in 2010. The whole world, well the whole China at least, was in my reach.

During my years in China I learned a lot, one of the things being taking charge of my own happiness. That let me to make the hard decision to break up with my boyfriend.

But as I believed, that was the beginning for a new life for me. I had grown up a lot during the first three years in China and what I wanted came clearer and clearer all the time. I’m not someone who settles for something, but someone who reaches her dreams and wants it all.

Last December, thanks to a good Japanese friend, I met A Nan. A local Guangzhounese, already graduated, working and doing another degree on his free-time. We noticed that we had a lot to talk about, connection that is hard to put into words. During that very same month he invited me to join his trip to Heng Mountain.

Since December I have been extremely happy and have gotten so much more to my life I could have ever asked for. I now live with his family which includes parents and little sister and her boyfriend, the two of them are marrying soon and moving to their own home next month. Besides my cat Lucy, I have adopted two more cats, Small White and Small Yellow. Both my boyfriend’s dad and little sister’s boyfriend have turtles. I have gotten so many new family members!

Living abroad far away from your family members isn’t always easy, but now I have a new family here in Guangzhou which makes my life some much richer than it have ever been. I have celebrated Chinese festivals, accompanied family members to furniture shopping and enjoyed family dinners every night.

I’m sure there are some curious readers out there with questions, but first I also have some questions for you too: Have you lived with a Chinese family yourself? Or how does it feel like to be part of your Chinese better half’s family?


  • R Zhao

    So nice to read a new post by you and such an exciting one! Hope we get to hear more about A Nan and your experiences living with his family. Glad things have worked out well for you Sara.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you for your comment! I’m sure you will hear a lot more about him later on.

  • Sarah Heintze 韩香萍

    You sound so very happy! This was a lovely post to read. I have a bit of experience of living my my Chinese boyfriend’s family and while it was weird at first (for all but two days) I fell in love with it right away and I wouldn’t want to give that feeling up for the world. It’s the best, most amazing feeling ever. I love not only having my boyfriend around but also having is family around. It’s an amazing feeling, one I can’t really put into words because it’s still so new and exciting. I’m so pleased that you’re happy and you have found someone who is so amazing as well as a great family.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    It was a bit wierd for me at first too, being a guest at someone’s home, but now I feel like it’s my home too. After moving more than few times during the past three years, it’s so great to finally have a place to call home.

  • chinaelevatorstories

    I also believe that everything happens for a reason. I was in a similar situation like you last year (break-up, a friend who took her life, lots of not-so-positive experiences) and was alone in a new city, but life has taken a turn for the better in recent months. It’s always good to read somebody is happy!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    So great to thear that things took a turn for the better after all those heartbreaking things. Our experiences, good and bad, all makes us stronger.

  • chinabecky

    Wow, that’s really big news! Congrats and I want to hear more stories about living with your boyfriends family! Or just, a foreigner living with a chinese family in general. I bet it’s really interesting.

    And I totally agree with you, things happen for a reason, and experiences, both good and bad, build you to be prepared for the unexpected in the future. Good luck!

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Thank you Becky for your comment! I’ll be writing more about it later on. I’m sure there isn’t much information online about living with a Chinese family so I want to help anyone looking for that information.

    Megan Reply:

    I would also love to hear about living with a chinese family! I’m staying with my bf’s family over summer and I am terrified. I speak little to no chinese and don’t want to offend anyone accidently, especially his mother.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    I will surely write about the topic as soon as possible!

  • sauvik gupta

    sara… can you please guide us for HSK level tests. Actually my wife is doing 3 yrs Chinese language certificate course from Ramakrish Mission,Kolkata. And she is interested for HSK level 1 test. Her mail ID is- And if you please guide her for HSK level 1 test,we will be thankful to you.

    Sara Jaaksola Reply:

    Hey, please take a look at: