Chinese Love Life

    Yesterday is the lunar date of Chinese valentine’s day. Girls have been expecting the gifts from boyfriends since weeks ago. Rose-selling people started marching up along the street at the lunch time. Word on the TV said thousands of couples getting married yesterday. Being single made me the only person who hung around on the Internet, wondering when is the so called Mr.Right gonna arrive on his pure white horse back.. Nahhh..Lets just talk about something not-so-dreadful. Hmmmm. How about Chinese Love Life?

     Generally speaking, LOVE is pretty much the same in all countries. But the way of people meeting their love and the way people expressing their love are quite different. Being Chinese makes us pretty shy at expressing our undying love fire to other people. Although as the world is becoming “flatter and flatter”, the new generation is having some fun at their love life/affair. One night stands, cheatings, twisted relationships, etc. Amazingly, Chinese really catch up with the international level. But what I want to tell you is a more traditional process of “Falling in love with a good girl/boy”.

Date:

    Usually, Chinese don’t start dating until the two know each other very well. For example, being classmates for years or he’s-a-friend-of-my-best-friend. Until recent years, “Dating” was still considered to be events happen during relationships. Once you start dating, that usually means you are about to be in a relationship soon. I think it shows a sign of responsibility, at least avoids the awkwardness of “Lets not meet each other any more” after an undesirable first-date. You don’t fool around and date several persons at the same time even before you get involved in a relationship. Dating several persons at the same time is considered cheating, even for now.

    And another thing is about age. Teenagers are not allowed to be in a relationship or dating or having anything to do with the opposite sex before colleage. The wild teenagers are often called to the principle office together with their mums. They may even get suspended from school for holding hands with a young man. All you should do at this age is studying.(See more in previous blog: Education)

Relationship:

    Ok, nail down the first date and several dates after that. You are good to go to the relationship. I’m not quite sure about this part. Coz from what I’ve heard and what I’ve been through, this is what usually happens: After several dates, the two are feeling quite comfortable being with each other, feeling warm when thinking of him/her, with no further difficulties in sight (ie. Long distance, religious problem, difficulties related to money and income.), well, basically you are in a relationship. What matters is give a title to the two people and that’s it.

    But what is the difference between a date and a relationship? If the “commitment” is the answer, then I don’t think I see it on chinese people.(Maybe it rarely exists.) I mean, most chinese wont draw a line of commitment and discuss it with the partners. Then some of chinese may not even know what is commitment, coz when something going wrong, they believe a simple word “sorry” could solve all the problems. Abortions are really common nowadays (although the promotion of one child policy partly contribute to it), and people can even get married with only aiming of reproduction. I think that’s one thing we chinese still have to learn in our love life.

    Anyways. The rest of the story goes very similar to your story. Getting married, have kids, live happily ever after(will it?).

Marriage:

    Marriage is a big part of everyone’s life. If a woman at her 20s still have no sign of having a boyfriend, the parents and grandparents would be really asking about the same question every chance you see them: “When do you give us some grand children?” or should I just type in “Child”. And with the old tradition of bringing more kids means bringing more prosperity into the family, so almost every couple is having a baby or two(If the couple are able to pay the fine of the second child). And divorce rate inChina(0.79 per 1,000 people 2004) is way below the international average(1.3 per 1,000 people), which shows the commitment do exist in the marriage. Parents are normally very responsible for their child. Being collectivism makes parents forget about their individual benefit and think more for the Big Family. Take my parents for example, they have lived for 24 years. When I was a child, they used to fight a lot. But amazingly, after enduring for twenty more years they are getting along with each other better and better! Although one must say their love has become family-love already, but I still think its good.

    Its Love after all.

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6 thoughts on “Chinese Love Life

  1. Pingback: SEX « Watching The Chinese

  2. the American divorce rate is something like more than 500 per 1000. Our society is even more screwed up then the Chinese people. Americans are almost completely lost. There are many causes, I think the movies, television and multiculturalism are creating a society here that cannot cope, cannot function. America is the greatest idea- free country, but I think we need to hit the reset button as well.
    I really like your writing a lot. Partly because I see that you are taking my job: watching the chinese. heh heh. I went to China 2 years ago for 1 month and it was almost the best 1 month of my life! I love the Chinese people. BUT I only like the regular ones. I think there are regular people in every country, but way too many people forget or do not know good values, which is your observations. Anyway, I am still in America, I am born here and I of course love America’s idea, but i also love China a lot since I’ve been there. I agree though, many people here in America do not know the real Chinese. Every chance that get I tell people “you do not know anything about China from the news” “damn the news” “the news is rigged” “The real China and real Chinese people are great!”
    Anyway…too long of a comment, dui bu qi. I want to talk more with you later about these things,because like I said, you have the same job as me: promote the real Chinese. heh heh. zaijian.

    • 500 per 1000?! I cannot believe it.lol. I guess there’s no such thing as a perfect society or a perfect nation. But I think in terms of lifestyle, America or Europe are models for a future China. American movies and pop culture have had great infulence on my generation. After we realize we have to change current situation, America is always a place we can learn from. But as such a developed country like America, you guys have to figure things out yourselves. (Too bad! Kiddin.) I have confidence in America that you will find a way out, because Americans are doers and have tons of ideas of what to do next!
      Several Americans told me they like China a lot, but amazingly they all only been here for a month or two. Maybe if you stick in here a little bit longer, you probabaly dont like China as much as you do now.Haha. But China do offer foreigners a lot more opportunities than to chinese. Besides, thanks to the exchange rate, every American is rich when in China. Haha.
      Mei guan xi, I really appreciate your feed back. Really got me into thinking, I’d like to hear from you more. heh hei, Zaijian.

  3. That’s funny, I like China a lot too, and I’ve was only there for a month, so I guess we all must have similar experiences. But thinking about it, I think if a person goes to any other country they would not have the same experience. For example, I do not think I would like Russia, maybe I would but I don’t think so. And a friend of mine recently went to Europe, and she hated France but loved Ireland. So different people have different experiences. I know that many westerners go to China and like it, but other do not like it. I think the one’s who do not like it, are the one’s who do not learn Chinese and do not appreciate that different types of people actually HAVE a different culture. You cannot go to America and expect everyone to be Chinese, and you cannot go to China and expect everyone to act like an American.

    One thing that illustrates this perfectly is the Vietnamese in America and lying. My father has remarried to a Vietnamese woman, and she and her whole family lie about things all the time. So do other vietnamese people that I know. They always lie to save face or something I guess. In my culture, with my family, I was raised to believe the lying is bad. Do not lie about things and tell the truth always. Not the case with the Vietnamese. For example my father and his wife live together, just the two of them. If my fathers wife drops something and breaks it, she throws it away and doesn’t say anything about it. Later, my father might see the broken thing in the garbage and ask his wife, “wow, I see that you must have accidently dropped this thing and broke it?” she will always answer “no, no, no, I did not do it” father “well, who else could have done it?” vietnamese stepmother “I don’t know, but it was not me”. hmmmmm…….ok. Whatever. I am not saying this is bad, this is just odd to me. Her sister, sisters husband, nephews, all of them, lie to each other all the time about everything. And they think nothing of it. They are all decent people and everything, but this lying thing is weird.

    So, I do understand different cultures do different things. But I think it makes the world interesting.

    • Conversation with people from other countries always enlighten me a lot. And I agree with you, different cultures really broaden my horizen.lol. In good ways and bad ways. Well to me, those who dislike people from another culture they just dont know how to cope with the differences or conflicts. Once they figure it out, it will be alright. 🙂

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