When it comes to love, the Chinese are very pragmatic. Talking to some of my colleagues, it seems that the checklist to love (at least for women), included the following as the main priorities:
- Is he wealthy?
- What is his job and where does he work?
- Does he come from a good family?
Even in the Philippines, the Filipino – Chinese are known for marrying within their community and only if both parties are at the same level of life (e.g. both rich or both with family businesses, etc.) God forbid those who dare to breach what we jokingly call as the “Great Wall of China”, for heartbreak will surely await them.
In fact, to the outsider, marriage in China appears to be more often than not like a merger between two companies (families benefiting from each other) rather than the union of two people in love.
If not for a mutually beneficial relationship, then marriage may come as the result of family pressure. A friend told me that every time he goes back to his hometown, all he hears about from his relatives are questions about his unmarried state. Apparently, this is a common experience for many Chinese singles. That’s why in Chinese e-commerce sites like Taobao, hire-a-girlfriend services are popular especially during the holidays when people who work in China’s business districts are obliged to go back to their hometowns.
For women, the fear of being cast as a leftover is also a consideration for marriage. Chinese society, propelled by portrayals in media, consider unmarried women above 27, who have invested more time in developing their career rather than building a family, to be living a miserable and pitiful existence. Therefore, women are heavily pressured to avoid this situation by getting married as quickly as possible.
Yet come to think of it, all the points above are not exclusive to Chinese society. It prevails everywhere, except that the Chinese, at least, are more honest and open about it. Looking at it from a more cynical perspective, I see that more and more people everywhere marry for the convenience and security that such a union can provide.
That’s not to say, though, that it’s impossible to find love in China. After all, I found mine here.
What do you think about marriage? Do you have the same experience as the observations I made above?
About This Look:
- Red coat from a local store in Gongyuanqian Metro
- Black jumper and gloves from H&M
- Jeans from Penshoppe
- Boots and bag from Zara