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Editor’s Note: In China, where pressure to find a significant other and get married is exceptionally high (especially for women) parents often arrange blind dates for their children, turning holiday cheer into a nightmare for some young singles. Its a clash between tradition and modernity, parents and their children, and its a common experience among China’s young singles.
Its still a long way off from the start of the Spring semester and few students are in a hurry to get back to campus, but for one student who’s had it with the blind-dates her parents set her up on, heading back early seemed like a good option.
Although Spring Festival has just barely passed, parents’ willingness to get their kids hitched should never be underestimated, and for many the blind dates over the holiday have been unrelenting. For one unlucky college girl from Zhejiang, this meant eight dates in ten days. A gauntlet which by its end, had her begging for mercy.
According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Civil Affairs, the number of of single adults in China has already surpassed 200 million, and many of these singles are under pressure from relatives to get a move on and get married. Among those most affected by the blind dating frenzy are those living in eastern and southern provinces, and the province with the highest number of singles going on blind dates is Zhejiang.
The poor girl who was pitted against eight men in ten days is Xiao Meng (alias), a 21 year old Chinese language major in her third year. This winter vacation, as soon as she arrived home in Wenzhou, she discovered that eight blind dates had been arranged for her by her parents, who don’t want her marrying someone from another area in or outside of China. So, her parents enlisted the help of relatives in seeking out eight strapping, grade-A Hangzhou natives for their daughter.
Lucky Guy Number One
In terms of attractiveness, the first date was off the charts--185 cm tall, Roman nose and a body that made it obvious he worked out. It was love at first sight...but when it came to the conversation it was awkward and cumbersome.
“He’s a elementary school gym teacher and besides having a great understanding of atheletics programs, he also loves playing games.” Xiao Meng said he couldn’t go ten sentences without bringing up games and she couldn’t find a way into the conversation. “We just didn’t hit it off.”
Attractiveness alone just wasn’t enough to win over Xiao Meng’s heart. Not having any common interests was a deal-breaker. The day after the first date failed, her parents invited over a financier. Afraid the two wouldn’t have anything to talk about again, her parents made Xiao Meng’s date (four years her senior) first add her on WeChat, knowing very well that Xiao Meng often used the app to make friends.
Lucky Guy Number Two
The young financier was a customer account manager for a bank in Hangzhou, from a well-to-do family and having already worked three years he had quite a bit of life experience. After talking for a couple days on WeChat, the two already felt pretty well acquainted and decided to meet.
“The difference between him on and offline was more than obvious. In his pictures he still looked pretty young, but in real life that wasn’t exactly the case. Four years doesn’t sound like a big difference, but he was already losing his hair.” As soon as she saw him in real life, she thought to herself, “If we were a chain, he’d definitely be the weak link.”
For Xiao Meng his looks left a lot to be desired, but he was really considerate, pulling the chair for her and waiting until she had sat down to sit himself and order. Also, he was more interesting compared to the first date, but Xiao Meng still couldn’t say yes. “I don’t want a boyfriend who looks like my dad,” she said.
Though she refused the men again and again, Xiao Meng’s parents just wouldn’t give up, they just kept throwing more bind-dates at her. They thought if she just went on a few more dates, she’d certianly find the right match.
Rou Rou (alias) is a tall, long haired senior accounting major. This year she’s 22. She discussed her blind-dates with an air of helplessness and exasperation.
When Rou Rou was in her second year of university, her mother left her with some harsh words: if you haven’t found a boyfriend by the time you graduate, don’t bother coming home. Because of this, she’s been on no less than ten blind dates up until now.
“Just looking at me you know that I have nothing to worry about, but my parents are rushing me so much!. They said if I can’t find a guy my own age at university, I should just settled for someone older.”
Awkward and Unwanted
Rou Rou says that over winter break of her sophomore year, her parents tricked her into going out to eat. When she got there, there was a date waiting for her with a coworkers cousin. Before they left the house, her parents wouldn’t stop bugging her to put on makeup and wear something nice, so before she knew what lay in store for her at the restaurant.
When she saw Rou Rou wasn’t too happy about the ordeal, her mother started telling her a bit about the guy, “He’s a master’s student at Zhejiang University, five years older than you, a civil servant in Hangzhou, only child, his mother and father both work. It’s perfect!”
At the table, both sets of parents sat with big smiles plastered across their faces complimenting each other’s kids, and they didn’t forget for a second to try to start some forced conversations, making it obviously awkward for the two would-be daters.
They added each other’s WeChats but found they didn’t have much in common. “He’s a really quiet guy, really ‘mature’. Regardless of where the conversation starts, we always ended up coming back to studying and profession. I thought maybe he’d be better as an older brother, but not a boyfriend.”
However, Rou Rou’s parents weren’t ready to give up after just one try, and they next date was someone her neighbor had introduced to them. This time she had a little experience behind her as well as a little backup. “If things didn’t turn out, I’d message my cousin who would call me, say there was an urgent family matter I had to take care of, and then I’d leave.”
What she hadn’t expected was that the person she’d be blind-dating was even stupider than her. From the very beginning he didn’t even know he had been set up on a blind date, he thought he was meeting his family to get a bite to eat. However, after a bit he figured out it was a date, because the two were about the same age and they actually got along pretty well.
Rou Rou still didn’t planning on keeping in touch after the meal though, “He was a momma’s boy. Not only could he not order food for himself, he wasn’t even able to choose a movie to see. He actually called his mom and asked!” For Rou Rou it was unbearable.
A Common Experience
Out of 50 students contacted for this discussion on blind-dating, 30 of them said they tended to be able to accept this traditional method of meeting a potential significant other, and there are many singles born after 1995 who, at the hands of their parents have been added to the army of blind daters. Many of those set up on blind dates, are female.
“After more than ten dates in three years, I’m pretty much numb to it, my parent are in a hurry for me to find ‘the one’ and I’m in a hurry to get it over with. My mom is always saying a girl might be pretty, but after 25 its all downhill and, you know, then the market gets smaller.” Summarizing three years of experience dating Rou Rou said, “Talented, good-looking guys are in super high demand, as girls we have to take advantage of our chances while we’re young and we have them, while we still have value. Otherwise, we’ll just have to work that much harder.”
Yesterday, this reporter contacted Rou Rou’s mother. She believes that blind dates are just a way to give her daughter a chance to meet boyfriends. “It doesn’t matter the circumstance, for girls age becomes a limiting factor. That’s why I want my daughter to start going on these blind dates so early.”
Source: QQ News
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Keywords: Blind dates China
Truth is the parents are selfishly thinking of their old age. In this money obessed culture children have always been treated as a financial vehicle, a form of old age pension. This is the chinese hypocrisy behind their highly valued 'filial piety'. Early marriage to someone with high income prospect means the two Draculas have a reliable future blood bank. This poverty mindset made their female sex in reality hookers throughout their long history. Date or worst marry them at your own peril. T hose who has a mainland wife should ask themselves, 'do I really know what goes on in her mind?'
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