Eager parents quick to learn marriage lines

Updated: 2013-05-22 07:35

By Shi Yingying (China Daily)

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'As cool as going to bars'

Back at the matchmaking party, Xu Meng giggled when a man took the initiative to strike up a conversation. However, he turned away on learning that she's just 22.

"He said I'm too young for him. But to be honest, I didn't come to find a 'future husband', it's just fun to attend an event like this," said the Anhui province native, who works as a software test engineer in Shanghai.

"The media also seems to give the message that we need to hurry up and find 'Mr Right', otherwise, we'll become 'leftovers' in few years, and that stings," said Xu, who explained that she'd attended to see what was available "in the market".

Xu was not the only person from the post-1990 generation hunting for novelty at the venue. Her view was shared by 20-something Nicholas Torres from the United States.

"It's as cool as going to bars," he said, as he took a break from a series of eight-minute "speed dates" during which he spoken to six girls.

Torres, who studies in Shanghai, organized a trip to the event and invited three Japanese friends - also exchange students - plus some Chinese friends to act as "tour guides".

However, just as the post-1990 generation and expats have started to embrace the matchmaking concept, some slightly older, unmarried Chinese women are rejecting the idea and are happy just being single.

Qian Wentao, 30, a confident, personable woman who earns a good salary, has her own apartment and holds a master's degree from an overseas university, said being single at her age isn't half bad. "If I'm happy with my life right now, why bother to go on blind dates to find a so-called 'better half' who may lower my current standard of living?" asked the Shanghai hotel executive.

A believer in the theory that A-grade guys will find B-grade women, B-grade guys will find C-grade women and C-grade men will find D-grade women, Qian said all that's left are A-quality women and D-quality men.

"Therefore, I'm proud to be a 'leftover', but the term 'leftover' is disrespectful. To make it worse, the media aggressively disseminates this idea in all kinds of reports and surveys, putting pressure on us indirectly," she said.

Qian said she'd love to meet the right guy, but believes that will happen when it happens and there's no need to set a deadline to hurry things along.

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