My son's girlfriend - Rant
My son (25) has a Chinese descent girlfriend. Her parents are from mainland China and speak very little Spanish. She is very sweet, and pretty. They have been together for a year now, and they love each other. However, they are having some differences as she is clingy, and he is independent. She is sedentary, and he is into fitness. He is into hanging with the boys at least once a week, and she does not have girlfriends and resents his outings, he loves dancing, she does not. They met in high school and he told me she would chase him in the school and take pictures of them together.
My son lives with my mom, and she sometimes spends the night, in the guest bedroom. Sometimes several days in a row. She cooks for them three when she is there. He has asked her not to stay over out of respect for my mom, but she stays. She chats with him all day on the cellphone and keeps him from concentrating on his job. I have had to tell him to please not chat while at work. He can chat on his breaks, but she keeps texting him, he has told me he does not like the constant texting just to say "hi".
On mother's day, she invited her mom, my mom and I for Chinese breakfast, her mom is very sweet too, but speaks very little Spanish.
On her birthday, she invited my mom, Nick and I to a formal dinner at the best Chinese restaurant in town, with her parents and uncle, so we could all meet. The amount of food served was incredible, about 12 different dishes for just 7 people. The dishes included jumbo shrimp, clams, calamari, and lobster. I am telling you this so you have an idea that this meal was not casual at all. They would serve us from the main plate into our plates and I ate so much, I later got sick... but how to refuse?
After dinner, when we were leaving, her mother approached me and told me that she was not happy at first with my son because she did not want a Panamanian boy for her daughter, but since they love each other, she is OK with that. I thought that was rude.
I found out today that we are invited for Chinese New Years. I am wondering what polite way there is to refuse food in Chinese culture, I am ok with soup but that's it. I have been reading about it, if someone has advice or a link I would appreciate it.
I also found out that my son is expected to travel to China to meet the grandparents. He is not happy about this, mainly because he has to pay for his own ticket and he is not making a whole lot of money.
My concern is that I feel he is being railroaded into a level of commitment that he is not ready for. He has told me he feels smothered. He does not make enough money to support a family, he does not have a place of his own, and may not have one for at least a couple more years. Also he will probably have to study a masters degree to have more opportunities.
By accepting these family invitations, I feel that I am playing along. I have no idea how the Chinese culture works, but in my culture, when a young person meets the parents, things are serious, but when parents meet each other things are super serious. What if they break up over her clinginess, will my son have stained her honor?
Plus the issue that I cannot eat this huge amount of food without getting sick for at least 2 days.
Sorry about this rant, but I am trying to figure out how committed (engaged) my son and all of us are to this relationship. If my son would be 100% happy I would not be writing this, but he is not 100% happy, and I think some of their issues are serious.
You know it's love when the pain of being apart is greater than the pain of being together.