“I have two Shanghainese female friends who blame their singleness on the ‘fact’ that girls actually outnumber boys in metropolitan centers like Shanghai.” Singles complaining about the lack of suitable partners in the world is nothing new.
But the confusion and frustration associated with dating in modern China is taking on a new form thanks to a combination of government policy and rapid societal change.
Interracial dating, while not without a certain stigma in Chinese society, is on the rise.
“With the globalization of China and foreign countries, the combination of Chinese and westerners are increasing,” Song says.
“With a strong culture emphasizing filial devotion, what children owe their parents is sort of unquestioned.
And they owe their parents a lot for how much Chinese parents tend to invest in their only child.” Because Chinese singletons are competing exclusively with other singletons, the pressures of standing out and succeeding are at an ultimate high, and as a result, plans to start a family are often pushed aside for later, if that ever comes.
And while there was much to write about, one topic in particular continued to drive readers to Tan’s site – love.
Single Chinese women are not without options as well.After the one-child policy was implemented in 1978 to curb a rapidly growing population, the majority of Chinese families were restricted to having only one child, bringing with it a series of social consequences.Traditional culture favors male offspring due to their ability to pass on the family name and support parents in old age, leading some Chinese families to disown, or sometimes even abort, female births.The further consequence is that Chinese men now harbor a greater anxiety that they will never find a wife.“The daughters of the one child policy have no brothers to compete with and therefore, have experienced extraordinary amounts of empowerment compared to even their mothers,” explains Vanessa Fong, associate professor at Harvard University and author of the book .