China Elevator Stories

When Saying Good Night Means Much More Than Just Good Night

Saying “good night” has a different implication in Chinese.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


The following incident happened in 2011, while I was still living in Vienna:

get a message from a Chinese acquaintance. He asks me a simple question and ends the message with: “Good night”. It’s already quite late in the evening, and I reply “good night” in return, not thinking too much about it.

The next evening he sends me another message, ending it with “good night”. I read the message the morning of the next day. It all feels a bit off, and I stop replying to his messages.

He gives up on texting me after I ignore his messages for another two weeks.

decide to ask a Chinese girlfriend about it. She tells me that this is an indirect way in Chinese of saying “I’m in love with you”.

When I tell her that he gave up on texting me after two weeks, she laughs and states that this was fast. If I were unlucky, he may have harassed me for much longer.

Did you know saying “good night” could imply a person was in love with you?

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