Editor’s Note: Marriage in China is seen as an incredibly important step in one’s life and as absolutely necessary in most families. However, given the fact that dating is not generally encouraged and often forbidden before university, many young people feel there is not enough time and too much pressure to find a partner and get married. In an effort to expedite the process of finding someone to settle down with, family members of single Chinese men and women will often set them up on blind dates--something loathed by many of those on the receiving end of things.
Crunching the Numbers
Surveys of members of certain dating websites have shown that leading up to Spring Festival over 90 percent of users estimated that they would be set-up on blind dates and 56.7 percent of these people ended up going on more than eight to ten. That begs the questions who was most desirable this Spring Festival? Do you know someone who was set up on a blind date this holiday?
An graph showing 54.7 percent of singles went on between 8-10 blind dates over the holiday. 2 percent went on more than ten, 16.46 percent went on 5-8, 20.5 percent had 5 or less, and 6.34 percent didn’t go on any.
According to the most recent data from National Bureau of Civil Affairs, the current number of single adults in China surpasses 200 million, 140 million of which have never married. Most of these single adults are 20-24 year olds, making up 83.2 million of the total. The 25-29 age bracket makes up 38.9 million of these singles and those singles aged 25-44 make up over 60 percent of the group.
On the other hand, the overall marriage rate is on a downward trend. In 2015, about 12.2 million pairs of husbands and wives registered their marriages, a drop of 6.3 percent. Alternatively, there were around 3.8 million divorces—an increase of 5.6 percent from the previous year and the fastest increasing divorce rate in the world.
Who’s Set to Win the Dating Game?
For 58.37 percent of users, men with monthly incomes of between eight and ten thousand RMB were the most desirable catches, with those in higher and lower income brackets each occupying around 20 percent of the total.
As far as profession factored in to the selection process, men tended to prefer women around 28 years of age who were in the fields of accounting, nursing or administrative and personell positions; women tended to go for men approximately 33 years old in management, financial management and civil service.
A Nationwide Discussion
Posts on the social media platforms Weibo and Wechat relating to blind dating made up 80 percent of the total posts among singles on social media, 71 percent for Weibo and 9 percent for Wechat. This is not taking into account private messages, which if calculated may push that number up to over 95 percent, making it abundantly clear that even during this time which is traditionally set aside for visiting family, singles are out and about and talking about their blind dating experiences online.
Public opinion regarding how people feel about blind dating shows that things are complicated. With 64.5 percent of those polled indicating positive attitudes toward blind dating and 22.1 percent polled indicating negative attitudes its obvious that this is a sensitive topic. In comments sections users indicated that they dreaded going home and being forced to go on blind dates in this “Chinese-style blind dating”.
Who’s a Target?
Following discussion of blind dating among internet users, it can be seen that subject is spread over a fairly large age range. 41 percent of those involved were aged 20-29 and 40 percent were 30-39 years of age. Obviously the pressure is on for those 20-39 year old singles to find a significant other!
Gender also plays a significant role in the spread of those being set-up on blind dates in China. 78 percent of single males and 22 percent of females were made to go on blind dates over the holiday, contrary to the idea that“leftover women” suffer more pressure to go on blind dates than men. This is either due to the fact that men are actually more likely to be set up by family and friends or that they are simply more wiling to talk about it openly online than their female counterparts.
The Geography of Blind Dates
When ranked by city, those in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Shenzheng were most likely to be set up on blind dates during Spring Festival, ranking by province, the distribution was centered heavily in the South East. Regardless of how you cut it, these areas are all China’s most economicall developed areas.
Numbers of people made to go on blind dates this Spring Festival were likely not small. A song titled A Guide to Surviving Spring Festival even went viral this year on Chinese New Year’s Eve. The song describes relatives’ ceaseless interrogation of a young person’s dating life that they faces when they travel home. Many Netizens showed an affinity with the song and expressed that they too were growing weary of pressure from relatives to date.
How to Escape the Blind Dating Frenzy
One single, a 30 year old native of Zhuzhou, Hunan name Chen Wei said he “escaped to Thailand” on January 29th. He now works in Beijing but every year when he’s home for the holidays, the pressure is on to date and find a girlfriend. Travelling is a way to get away from the stress.
“Thailand is gorgeous, the sea-breeze is clean, there’s none of that fishy smell from the ocean and there are certainly no blind dates,” Chen Wei tells a China News reporter. He’s overjoyed that he chose to spend the holiday travelling and isn’t all that bothered that it may lack some of the traditional flavor it has in China. “Considering the fact that every time I go home I’m forced to go on blind dates, the New Year in China already lacks the feeling it used to have,” he says.
I’m sure that this escapee to Thailand isn’t the only one who’s forced to go on blind dates during the New Year. Who do you know that went on a blind date this holiday season?
Source: QQ News
Tickets for the Spring Festival travel period are available today.
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I like learning about Chinese society. And when I was single I went on blind dates, speed dating parties and dating websites. Very good way to meet women in China. Because picking up girls on the street (decent girls not looking to take advantage of you) is not easy and as common.
Feb 07, 2017 09:09 Report Abuse
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