Find Yourself (2020)

Drama: Find Yourself (下一站是幸福)
Original Network: Hunan TV, Mango TV
Episodes: 41
Aired: Jan 26, 2020 – Feb 18, 2020
Duration: 45 min.
Country: China

He Fanxing is a 32 year-old woman who falls in love with Yuan Song, a 22-year old guy, who is an intern in the office and her brother’s student. Due to societal pressures, she asks the Yuan Song to keep their relationship a secret for 3 months. Yuan Song doesn’t want to keep it a secret but begrudging accepts the deal as he is in love with Fanxing. On the other hand, Ye Luming, a 37 year old guy pursues Fanxing even though he knows she is already dating Yuan Song. He decides to be her friend but tries to do everything to get in between the couple. Will Fanxing submit to the pressure and marry Luming, whom everyone approves of, or follow her heart and go for her one true love, Yuan Song?

Main Cast
Victoria Song/Song Qian – He Fanxing
Song Wei Long – Yuan Song
David Wang – Ye Lu Ming
Zhang Yu Jian – He Canyang
Esther Yu – Cai Minmin
Elaine Cai – Yang Xiaoyu
Jocelyn Zhou – Song Xue
Katherine Yang – Cong Xiao
Miles Wei – Chang Huan

Chinese dramas are still a hit or miss for me, but this one is definitely a hit. I love noona romances (or in this case jiedi lian ‘姐弟恋’).

I think this drama worked well because of the intense chemistry between the leads. Despite the age gap, Fanxing and Yuan Song looked good together. In real life, I personally wouldn’t agree with this couple because 22yo is too young (no matter if the guy looks like Song Wei Long!) I can’t imagine being in a relationship with a guy who is still in college! 10 year age gap does not sound bad if it was 26yo & 36yo or 30yo vs 40yo but 22 is too young! And it shows because even in the drama, the way Yuan Song reacts and acts are immature, to think that he is already mature for his age. But in this drama, I’ll give them a pass because I loved them and they somehow fit together. Yuan Song is young but mature for his age, while Fanxing maybe older but is quite inexperienced and innocent in the matters of the heart, so they actually complemented each other.

If you disregard his age, Yuan Song is actually a good catch. He’s handsome, smart, talented. He comes from a wealthy family but is independent and hardworking. He is also sweet and caring. He maybe immature because of his age, but he learns quickly and matures fast.

The main reason they broke up in the first place was because both of them were insecure, it all happened too fast and too passionate that when problems started arising between them, they fell apart because they didn’t have a solid foundation to begin with. I really liked how they did this because it felt so realistic. The break up in episode 21 was so raw and painful. I watched it twice because i loved the scene so much.

He Fanxing, what did you mean by that? Let’s go back to the stage. There are only over 10 days left. I have to announce it. We’re just dating. There is nothing wrong with it! I shouldn’t have listened to you and given you 3 months. If you refuse to go back, then we’re done. – Yuan Song

Okay, then we’re done. Let’s break up. – He Fanxing

So today you didn’t come here for the masquerade. You came here to break up with me. Why? It’s just a ten-year gap, but you were ashamed to take me to your gathering. You know that I am ten years younger. You knew from the very beginning. – Yuan Song

It’s not about the age difference. Age is just one of the problems. Age is not the reason we’re breaking up. Neither it is about how many steps we have taken towards each other. We have hit a dead end. I can’t go on anymore. – He Fanxing

Why can’t we go on anymore? If you want marriage to be on the table, then fine. I can.. – Yuan Song

I don’t want that. – He Fanxing

I get it now. You never cared if Meiyin was my ex or not, or if my friends thought you were my maid because you just wanted to date me for three months. Am i right? – Yuan Song

I can be the bad guy, but please don’t twist my words. I do care. I kept waiting for you to tell me. Didn’t you keep quiet because you wanted to hide it? – He Fanxing

Why didn’t you just ask? I just thought those trivial things were not worth mentioning! – Yuan Song

What about studying abroad? Is it not worth mentioning either?- He Fanxing

I didn’t mention it because I’m not going! It’s because of you! Where else can I go when you’re here? – Yuan Song

I never asked you to do this for me. This will affect your future, so don’t be impulsive.– He Fanxing

I have already thought it through. If I go abroad and leave you here, you might marry your good friend while I’m still being kept in the dark! You’re a two-timer! – Yuan Song

*Fanxing slaps Yuan Song hard*

Don’t accuse me of that. You’re the only person I like. – He Fanxing

So what? You don’t trust me just because I’m younger. In your plan, I am just someone who can be your first love. After you have fulfilled your dream, I will be someone who eventually leaves. You have never thought about our future. So I was never included in your future plans. – Yuan Song

Didn’t you say that happiness matters the most in a relationship? We have only shown our best sides. We know nothing about each other’s life. Now that we’re unhappy, we can no longer go on. – He Fanxing

Okay. Let’s break up. When we meet again, just act like how we were before. – Yuan Song

And sometimes it’s really after the break up that you get to sit down and reflect on the relationship. What went wrong? What could they have done better? Did they really break up for the right reasons? or did they just need to have a honest conversation between them and show their true selves? I really appreciated Wu Meiyin as the go between of Yuan Song and Fanxing. She gave real talk to both of them.

You should apologize. I think you were unfair to Yuan Song. When you two were together, you didn’t fully commit yourself. You cared too much about what others think. I understand. Humans are gregarious. The main reason you couldn’t fully commit was because you thought your relationship wouldn’t last. So you didn’t want to face other people’s opinions towards a short-lived relationship. As for Yuan Song, he doesn’t know how to manage a long-lasting and stable relationship. He’s too young. To him, his plans couldn’t keep up with the changes that were happening. He was just enjoying the moment. So you two made many mistakes. – Wu Meiyin

If we were both wrong, one of us must have committed greater mistakes. It was me, I’m older, so I should have been more forgiving. – He Fanxing

You should have trusted him and given him time to grow. – Wu Meiyin

He will surely meet someone who is more compatible with him than me. I never expected that I would think of compatibility as something that comes naturally one day. – Wu Meiyin

Of source, most would think that kind of relationship would be the most stable and safe one. A key to a lock, a pot to a lid, a man to a woman. But how is compatibility related to love? Even if you don’t look compatible together, Yuan Song still tried to get close to you and you tried your best to resist being attracted to him. Yet you couldn’t deny it. That is love. – Wu Meiyin

He Fanxing and Wu Meiyin lunch scene in episode 33

The human heart has built-in intelligence. When it encounters conflicts, it will adjust itself to adapt to the world. It will become flexible and positive. it will justify and convince itself. Without this function, asylums would probably be everywhere in the world. – Wu Meiyin

Actually, Fanxing is not as brave as she thinks she is. When she likes someone, she’ll be overly cautious. She’s greedy and timid. She wants it all. I’m one of the people she cares about. I gave up on studying abroad for her on my own accord. It was a huge blow to her. When she likes someone, she’ll protect everything about him, including his dreams. She’ll try her best to remove his obstacles and let him grow freely. I understood these things after I broke up with her. – Yuan Song

In this world, I suppose you don’t always get what you want. Now that I think about it, when we were together, I never considered her family’s feelings. I blamed her for caring about other people’s opinions. If we really went public with our relationship, it would probably cause chaos too. Our ending wouldn’t have been better than their neighbor’s son. – Yuan Song

Wu Meiyin and Yuan Song’s bar scene in episode 36

Another reason the main leads worked well was because the other option – which is Ye Lu Ming was terrible, that if I had to choose between them, i would probably choose Yuan Song too.

I mean, the premise is nothing new. Single women in their 30s are always pressured by society to get married asap, and the person they choose to marry is always being scrutinized by their peers. Do you marry a rich guy or a poor guy? A handsome or ugly guy? A super young or older guy? Either way, someone always have something to say about your partner.

Here, Fanxing is given two options — date the much younger guy that she really loves but get ready to face the backlash and negative comments about their relationship; or get married to the older, more stable and rich guy that everyone approves of but you have no feelings for. Love or Compatibility?

I love that this drama showed Fanxing not outright rejecting Luming, but actually taking time to get to know him better and giving him and herself a chance for a relationship. What I didn’t love is how Ye Lu Ming’s character was written. He was too arrogant and manipulative of Fanxing from the very start. I thought his idea of befriending Fanxing was fine, but how he did it was not. He tried to sabotage her relationship, gave poor advices, was always looking smug and totally using her to his advantage. I wished that he genuinely approached her for friendship like the usual second leads. Maybe then I would have been torn between him and Yuan Song.

I also thought that it was unfair to have the younger guy to be 22yo, Fanxing to be 32 (so there’s a 10 year age gap), but Luming is just 37yo (giving him only 5 year age gap which doesn’t really make a difference from 32 yo). First off, the actor does not look like he is 37 yo. He looks like he’s in his mid-40s (i checked and he’s 46yo!!!). So they could have made Luming 46yo and it wouldn’t really make much difference, if the main point was to compare Yuan Song against a richer, much more stable guy that you can bring home to your parents.

Luming was right when he said “he asked for it.” After all the tricks he played, I’m surprised Fanxing’s only reaction was to get angry at him once. I would not have spoken to him for at least a week and wait for him to apologize. Unfortunately, it came at the wrong timing – it was the same night as when Fanxing broke up with Yuan Song. The only time i liked Luming was this night — when he was there to comfort Fanxing like a real friend right after she broke up with Yuan Song. But then instead of giving her time to recover from the break up, the next day, he quickly suggested to try dating him to move on. Ugh! Doesn’t he know that rebound love rarely succeeds? How can you make a girl like you when she just came from a bad breakup? And how can Luming take advantage of her like that?

You dare to ignore my calls. What’s wrong? Did you two have a fight? I understand that you’re upset, and you don’t want to talk to anyone. But if you’re unhappy, you can talk to me. I am your love guru. Look, you can’t do this again or our friendship is over. – Ye Luming

Over? You wouldn’t do that for real. Don’t you have someone you like? Show me her photo. Don’t bother. You don’t have one because she never existed. From the very beginning, you tried very hard to give me gifts. I thought you were someone’s backup. Exactly, I was never your backup. Because you like me. But I only take you as a friend. You’ve been trying to pursue me. – He Fanxing

You finally realize. – Ye Luming

I really thought you were my friend. So I believed every word you said. If it wasn’t for my best friend, I wouldn’t have thought of other possibilities. People only spend time with the person they like. If you really liked someone else, you wouldn’t have spent all your time with your friend. Unless the person you like is her. The girl that you claimed to like is only your excuse. – He Fanxing

Still it’s unrequited love. Isn’t the rejected one more pitiful? Why does it sound as if the recipient of the love is the victim instead? – Ye Luming

Am I not a victim too? I blatantly declared to everyone that we are just friends, and now I’m a jerk. Even I myself think that I am the bitch. – He Fanxing

Then what should I do? I like you, but you have a boyfriend. What can I do besides being your friend? – Ye Luming

I don’t care what you do. But you shouldn’t have lied to me. – He Fanxing

Ye Luming and He Fanxing masquerade party scene in episode 21

He not only took advantage of her feelings, he also listened and succumbed to pressures from his family. Within the few days, he was trying to get in her family’s good graces, visiting and giving them gifts nonstop, cornering Fanxing by treating her colleagues to an expensive dinner (in front of Yuan Song), taking her to view houses, bringing her to meet his family and their families meeting and just doing everything so fast, Fanxing couldn’t breathe.

I’m sorry. I was at fault yesterday. I was upset and made an angry remark. And you noticed that. That’s why you were mad. – He Fanxing

I was. But actually, I shouldn’t be mad at you. I asked for it. I knew you wanted your ex to let you go. But I used it as an excuse so that you would date me and get into a new relationship to get past the old one. – Ye Luming

No. I didn’t feel used. Even if that’s the case, I was the one who used you. – He Fanxing

I thought after we got together, you would find that I’m better than the rest. And that I would be best at making you happy. That isn’t the hard part. The hard part is making you fall for me. – Ye Luming

I think we’re pretty good together. – Han Fanxing

Didn’t you notice? You were happier when we were only friends. – Ye Luming

Ye Luming and He Fanxing supermarket scene in episode 38

At this point, i just wanted Luming to go away and he totally deserves to be dumped for all the tricks he played. I felt so sad for Yuan Song, seeing the love of his life, get taken away from him and the new boyfriend displaying his wealth and status to everyone while all he can do is cry alone because he was never even given a chance by Fanxing to do the same.

But this show has a way of redeeming the characters so when Luming finally broke up with Fanxing i actually felt bad for him. The dinner break up scene was funny and sad! I admit, they really work better as friends. and just like what Luming said, so what if he got everyone’s approval if he can’t get Fanxing to love him? And I also wish that he can really find the one for him, because he’s not a bad guy, and he also deserves to find love.

He Fanxing, let’s break up. Let’s go back to being friends. I told you that I’d give you a month. Forget about it. Don’t force yourself. I can give myself a break too. How can love be forced? I was the one pushing it. You’re just the victim. – Ye Luming

I’m sorry. Thank you for consoling me. But you don’t have to make yourself the bad guy. If I were a victim like you said, I didn’t lose anything either. You helped me and treated me well. – He Fanxing

I helped you because I wanted to date you. You shouldn’t think too highly of someone just because he was nice to you. When a man is pursuing you, it’s normal for him to treat you well. – Ye Luming

But for someone to give so much in vain yet I can’t give him the same amount in return, it feels like I’ve dined and dashed. – He Fanxing

It’s nice to dine and dash once in a while. Also, nothing was given in vain. In the process of giving, I felt good too. Basically, it was just a give and take. – Ye Luming

Okay. I accept that. Regardless, thanks for dumping me. You still had to be the bad guy in the end. – He Fanxing

Ye Luming and He Fanxing’s break up scene in episode 39

Loved the friendship between Fanxing, Song Xue and Xiaoyu. Through thick or thin they’ve been there for each other in every joy or pain. I also loved each of their stories and how brave they are. Xiaoyu divorced Fanfan after cheating, and I appreciated that it wasn’t just the cheating that led to the divorce. Xiaoyu actually took time to weigh in the pros and cons before making a decision. Song Xue was able to cool one who gave the best advices to the group, but when it was her turn, she got pregnant, i was disappointed that she just broke up with her partner of ten years without giving him a chance to have a say in the matter. Although there was just two scenes between Song Xue and Dongyang, I also loved this couple and Dongyang didn’t shy away from the responsibility because he loves Song Xue.

Another relationship I loved is between Fanxing and Canyang. They may fight all the time, but the siblings love each other so much. Canyang will support Fanxing even if she is old and single and jobless. While for Fanxing, it’s just a given that even if she ends up alone, she will always have Canyang. They always listened to each other and gave advices. Even when Canyang found out about Fanxing and Yuan Song, he made no judgment and helped them, the same way that Fanxing didn’t judge Canyang for dating Minmin.

Boyfriends can change, but siblings are forever.

He Fanxing to Ye Luming

Do you know how to kill a whale? You just have to keep throwing plastic into the sea. It will consume the plastic just like how it consumes food. As time passes, slowly, its stomach will be full of undigested plastic. Then it will gradually die. Canyang, I’ve kept the truth from them for too long. To me, lying is like a whale consuming plastic. It’s a slow suicide. It doesn’t matter if I’m lying to myself or others. The pain will only get stronger.

Fanxing to Canyang in episode 40

The relationship that I didn’t really like was between Canyang and Minmin. Thought they were a mismatch and don’t understand why they would like each other. And it is much more scandalous for a teacher and student to be dating than for a manager and intern to date. It was enough for me that they had the same age gap issue with Fanxing and Yuan Song and posed this hilarious dilemma in case Luming and Fanxing get married in the end. I thought they will break up and revert to professor/student relationship but it didn’t happen. But not bad because I like Canyang and want him to find a steady relationship while Minmin, who was really annoying and immature (didn’t find her cute at all!) slowly became mature as the show went by. She actually had nice scenes especially when she was apologizing and explaining to Ye Luming and when she finally earned her first salary.

I really like Professor He. I wish you and Fanxing the best but I won’t give up on Professor He. Whenever I think of breaking up with him, my heart feels like it’s getting into a knot. You love someone, but you can’t love freely. You have to hide it from your family. This feeling is too painful. I felt guilty. I even blamed myself for falling in love with him. There are so many people in this world. Why can’t I fall for someone that everyone approves of? If I could, I would. But I can’t do it. I’m sorry Uncle. You’ve always been nice to me. But I can’t let go of a man for you. – Cai Minmin

There’s no need to apologize. Weren’t you so full of grit before? Why did you give in so fast? You’ve spoken your mind, and gotten the upper hand. You even gave me a lesson. You reminded me that even if I’m the one everyone approves of, so what? – Ye Luming

Ye Luming and Cai Minmin’s kitchen scene in episode 38

I didn’t like Cong Xiao at the start because of how she put down Chang Huan for being lazy and unambitious and boasting to everyone that she wants to get married to a rich guy. But i couldnt totally understand her reasons. and she did say that she isn’t a gold digger, she still wouldn’t marry a billionnaire that she does not love. I grew to like her in the second half when she realized that she likes Chang Huan and took care of him when he was in the hospital. Chang Huan is so cute, i especially loved the scene when he was singing Ye Liang Tai Piao Wo De Xin so seriously to Cong Xiao. And in the end, they were still the same playful and bickering couple!

41 eps were so long but the drama took time to tell everyone’s stories and resolve them in the end that 41 felt just right. Though i wished we had 1 or 2 more episodes of OTP moments because there were too little Yuan Song and too much Luming in the second half.

Overall, I loved this drama. Each character had flaws and they all made questionable decisions and mistakes but that’s life. Just like Fanxing said about life being like a school test. There are no right or wrong answers.

If life was an exam, we might be the worst students. Everyone is seated in the classroom for the exam of life. Time is the strictest exam invigilator, though it just stands outside the door and doesn’t make any sound. Students are chased by time. They answer in a rush. Some would copy someone else’s answers. Some would toss coins. Some would submit a blank paper. Some would think so hard, but still end up choosing the worst answer. There are also some who would given their pen to someone else. There are no right or wrong answers. There are only multiple-choice questions in our life. And it’s you who marks the paper and finishes your lifelong journey. By then, how many points would we grade our lives?

He Fanxing monologue in episode 35

Rating: 9/10