Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A little lesson on dating in China

Living in such a modern city (OK, I do have to couch this a bit - most of the time it feels very modern) as Shanghai, it is sometimes hard to remember that I am actually in China, and that 99 percent of the country is a third-world nation.  In many respects, there are parts of Shanghai that are like living in New York, Tokyo, or London  -- skyscrapers pepper the hazy landscape, Gucci, Prada and Ferragamo stores line many streets, taxis are abundant, people hurriedly walk along the sidewalks with briefcases and cell phones attached to their ears.

However, I learned a little about dating/finding a mate today that made me consider their culture a little more  - we're not in Kansas anymore, and I think they forgot to have the 1960's women's equality revolution.  This was info after an enlightening conversation with our twenty-something Mandarin tutor.
  • If a single woman turns 30, she is all dried up and should just marry the next guy that walks past her door.
  • The most important attribute a man can have is owning a house - apparently, it's the biggest chic magnet there is. 
  • While there are more and more women entering the professional workforce, more than anything, they want to find a man who can provide for them and who has a good job.
  • On the first date, one of the first questions a woman asks a man is: how much money he makes - and apparently this is expected.
  • The Chinese have one of the lowest divorce rates in the world.  It's less than 10 percent, but is growing quickly to catch up with their Western counterparts.
  • Because of the growing number of women and men working long hours (at least in Shanghai), it is harder for them to meet potential mates, thus increasing the # of 30 year old women who have to marry the first single guy they see.
  • Many women, particularly those who are not well-educated, will try to find a rich, older foreigner to marry (we've see this in person and read the personal ads in magazines to prove it)  It's often beautiful women in their 20s with creepy guys old enough to be their fathers (or older - ick!).  Of course, if you are a creepy old guy, you've hit the jackpot.
Just wanted to let you know in case you plan on dating in Shanghai.

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