So you want to know whether you should be paying for your Chinese girlfriend or not. This is a tricky question that must be broken down slightly; we can’t exactly come to an objective conclusion since it is an extremely subjective question. Let’s take a look at some scenarios and whether you need to pay or not.
Starting from the earliest scenario would be when you initially start dating her. Obviously you’ll want to be spending money on meals and dates, this is a no-brainer. You might have encountered a bit of resistance to you paying, however. This is where you need to permit her to “save face.” If your Chinese girl pushes to let her pay or go half on something, just tell her no, you want to take care of her. She may continue to push, and simply keep telling her no. She is trying to save face and not seem spoiled, but it is all an act, and an important element of Chinese culture. If you have denied her more than 3 times and she is still fighting to pay for it then maybe consider going half on it.
Now it’s probably a couple of dates in and you guys are out at the mall together and she has her eyes on a sun-dress that is a little pricey. This is where you flip it on her. Tell her you’ll pay for it. If she resists and wishes to purchase it, push for it 3 times, and if she is still saying she wants to pay for it, then give up and let her. She is still trying to save face but if she continues after multiple offers, she is probably serious about paying for it so go ahead and permit her to.
Okay so now she is your girlfriend, you’ve been together for at least a few weeks and she is staying the night at your place pretty often. This is where you start to split on meals, either alternating paying for the bill or splitting it. Maybe you split at the restaurant and alternate paying for groceries. You most likely still need to go through the “saving face” routine on certain things like clothes or home goods. Even if she makes more money than you, you have to make the effort to pay for things; it is merely a part of Chinese culture that she will certainly never surrender.
If you make far more money than your Chinese girlfriend then you need to probably just go ahead and pay for everything you can, and let her buy things when she is by herself. She is going to expect you to take care of her which you should, to an extent. When you start thinking it’s unreasonable then you should have a serious conversation. If she won’t spend her money then you most likely have a larger underlying issue.