But in the end the sight and sound of my beloved slurping his way through a dish of noodles, his face half an inch from the bowl as he sucked the meal into his mouth like a top-of-the-range Dyson, was enough to extinguish any flames of passion.
So at the ripe age of 30, I have given up on trying to find my Mr Right. In Beijing, even the most average Western men are able to attract pretty Chinese girls, who seem to be under the impression that they have all the style and sophistication of Daniel Craig.
As a result, the streets of the city are filled with smug-looking Western guys holding hands with their pint-sized Chinese princesses.
There’s a common joke here that a girl should never ask her boyfriend who he would save first if she fell into a lake with his mother.
These girls are already aware that if you want to be the number one woman in a man’s life, you’ll just have to wait until you have a son of your own.
By my late teens, when my friends were chasing football players, I had developed a thing for men with long hair.