Studies on urban to rural migration in China over the past three decades have paid little attention to the emotional strains of migrants, either overlooking the impotency of migrant social networks in providing consistent emotional and spiritual support or overestimating the affective connection between individual migrants and their rural families. This study, which draws upon 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork in southern China, explores in-depth the intimate worlds of an array of migrant women who entered into long-term relationships with married men in their urban destination. I argue that some migrant women engage in the mistress arrangement as a means to navigate through social and emotional dislocation in the process of rural to urban migration. The relationship, socially stigmatized though, serves as a temporary shield that allows for care and ease in the city and an excuse to postpone an undesirable marital life back home. It, however, tends to place these women in a situation of isolation and dependency.